Software & Online
ADVANCED FILTERING FOR ARISTOTLEINSIGHT::K12
Sergeant Laboratories announced that advanced filtering is now included with AristotleInsight::K12 for both traditional computers and Chromebooks—making it an affordable, easily managed upgrade from expensive and cumbersome filtering tools. By combining advanced filtering with AristotleInsight::K12’s geo-location, forensic auditing, and utilization reporting capabilities, AristotleInsight::K12 helps schools in maintaining CIPA compliance and teaching digital citizenship.
CAREER CLUSTER INVENTORY TOOL
CEV Multimedia announced the addition of the Career Cluster Interest Inventory (CCII) tool to its comprehensive iCEV platform. The CCII provides assistance to students from eighth grade to higher education during career planning. A student completes the interest inventory within a 15-to 20-minute time period and receives information on a career cluster that best fits the student’s interests and skills. Career clusters, 16 groupings of related occupations developed by the U.S. Department of Education, provide essential knowledge and skills to guide in developing programs of study to bridge secondary and postsecondary curriculum.
ClassFlow, a free collaborative learning application from Promethean, released new resources and tools for teachers and students. The update includes thousands of ready-toteach interactive lessons curated by experts, extended collaboration opportunities for students, free student accounts, and rewards to reinforce students’ positive behaviors. Additionally, teachers can now download ClassFlow Desktop for free. With ClassFlow Desktop, a native app for Window and Mac OS, a teacher can capture anything displayed on their computer and share it with students as interactive lesson content.
Neverware’s CloudReady operating system transforms Macs and PCs to deliver the same experience as Google Chromebooks. Now the solution supports dual-booting CloudReady with Microsoft Windows on the same computer. With the dual-boot feature, users benefit from the faster response rate and ease of use of a Chrome lab while being able to reboot into Windows for heavier workloads such as graphics or programming. Existing data will be preserved and users will be able to choose between Windows and CloudReady each time they power on their computer.
The community-driven non-profit Ed-Fi Alliance announced the release of the Ed-Fi Implementation Suite 2.0, a set of pre-built technology tools for education agencies to develop and maintain integrated education data systems in their local or district-controlled IT environments. The two main components of the Implementation Suite—the Operational Data Store (a centralized data hub that districts steward themselves) and accompanying API (which helps edtech vendors integrate their products)—are available together as part of one free license. Since Ed-Fi technology does not collect or store student data, districts and states determine the most secure environment to implement the technical components, keeping data storage and management in the hands of appropriate officials. EducationSuperHighway, a national non-profit dedicated to upgrading the Internet access in American public school classrooms, launched a beta version of Compare & Connect K-12, an online tool that makes the Internet services that schools receive more transparent. School district technology directors and superintendents can easily view broadband pricing and bandwidth information for school districts across the country. Compare & Connect K-12 provides transparency by leveraging newly public 2015-16 E-Rate application data to display Internet access and wide area network (WAN) speeds and pricing.
FOLLETT JOINS THE #GOOPEN CAMPAIGN
Follett announced that it will join the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign, committed to supporting districts and educators as they transition to the use of open-licensed educational resources (OERs) in their schools. Follett plans to introduce searching and access to the Learning Registry – a shared repository of learning resource metadata – into its Destiny solution this fall. This new functionality will make it easier for teachers to search for and find free, open educational resources from the Learning Registry alongside print and digital resources owned by their school, creating lesson plans and playlists that drive appropriate content to students.
GALE AND GOOGLE
Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has reached a milestone in its quest to improve discoverability and researcher workflow, completing indexing work with Google. Researchers can now easily discover scholarly content from Gale and its partners on Google or Google Scholar, through a pathway that leads directly to their institution or local library. In addition, Gale has integrated Google Apps for Education – including Gmail, Classroom, Drive, and Docs – with over 70 of its products, making it easy for schools to leverage Gale library content directly in the classroom.
This past fall, Google released a collection of templates in Docs, Sheets, and Slides to create a professional presentation. Recently, Google added new templates designed by five experts in their fields, and made all templates available for the Web as well as Android and iOS devices. One of the updates is a lesson plan and a book report template for Google Docs, created by Reading Rainbow. Another new template is that provided by the Google Science Fair (GSF) for Google Slides, designed to help young scientists prepare a project presentation.
IC3 DIGITAL LITERACY CERTIFICATION GS5
Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, announced the release of the IC3 Digital Literacy Certification Global Standard 5 (GS5). IC3 is regularly updated, and GS5 delivers a comprehensive solution for learning how to succeed in an environment that requires the use of computers, devices, or the Internet. IC3 GS5 consists of three individual exams that must be completed to earn the IC3 certification: Computing Fundamentals, Living Online, and Key Applications. The Global Digital Literacy Council, made up of educators, industry experts, and government officials, ratified the new GS5 standard to ensure it is made up of the most relevant foundational computing skills for today’s academic and business environments.
Insight Education Group announced the launch of its new sister company, Insight ADVANCE. Its flagship product, ADVANCEfeedback, allows teachers to upload video of classroom instruction, share it with peers, coaches, and observers, and then receive detailed, specific, and timely feedback. ADVANCEfeedback can be used on a variety of Web-enabled devices, including mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and computers.
KALTURA VIDEO QUIZZING
Kaltura recently developed and fully integrated an Interactive Video Quizzing tool into its platform. Now educational institutions, corporate training teams, and anyone using videos for learning and training can add interactive quizzes to Kaltura video workflows for the purpose of enhancing feedback and assessment during video-based learning. The tool is included in all existing and future Kaltura MediaSpace and Kaltura Application Framework-based products, which include Kaltura’s LMS integrations. Instructors can decide whether the quiz is graded or ungraded, whether the correct answers and score are revealed to viewers, and whether there are hints available.
myON has added myON Classics collections for middle and high school students to its 10,000-book collection. The myON Classics collections are available at no cost to all myON customers. Aiming to reach middle and high school users, myON Classic books are complete in their original format. Titles include The Scarlet Letter, Metamorphosis, The Invisible Man, War of the Worlds, and fiction by authors such as Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Edith Wharton.
READ 180 UNIVERSAL
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) launched READ 180 Universal, the fully-updated next-generation intervention program that uses leading scientific research in brain and cognitive functioning, as well as advances in adaptive learning technology, to create customized instructional paths for struggling readers. The program features new content created specifically to support different areas of the brain with clear knowledge, language, and vocabulary objectives. It also includes HMH Teacher Central, a redesigned learning management system that enables more effective whole-and small-group instruction using real-time data.
Reading Horizons and MetaMetrics have expanded their partnership to add Lexile measures to the Reading Horizons Discovery Program. Reading Horizons Discovery is a strategy-based reading solution designed for students in K-3 that incorporates multisensory, Orton-Gillingham principles of instruction. The easy-to-use software helps teachers deliver assessments and skill-based lessons for each grade level. Initial assessments ensure that teachers have an accurate measure of each student’s ability and the software adapts to meet the needs and skill levels of those students and provides differentiation as they progress through the program.
Schoology announced plans to support the IMS OneRoster standard, as well as OneRoster integration with Infinite Campus. The integration will allow for seamless and safe syncing between the platforms. The IMS OneRoster API is a subset of the broader Learning Information Services (LIS) standard. Working with Infinite Campus, Schoology will ensure the consistency of student rosters and final grades between systems. Educators will no longer need to manually access and enter this data from LMS to SIS, but instead will have a consistently connected platform enabling a more streamlined teaching process and increased accuracy between platforms.
“SCIENCE OF INNOVATION” VIDEOS
Six new stories in NBC Learn’s “Science of Innovation” video series highlight how innovation can turn fundamental science and engineering ideas into significant societal and economic impacts. Narrated by NBC News and MSNBC anchor Kate Snow, the six videos will be available through NBC affiliate stations, and can also be seen for free online at NBCLearn.com, NSF.gov, Science360.gov, and USPTO.gov. Topics include “3D Bioprinting,” “Origami Structures,” and “Friction-Stir Welding.” Each video aligns to state and national education standards. Lesson plans will be rolled out to help teachers engage students in the classroom.
Dude Solutions, Inc. released TechnologyEssentials, a cloud-based IT asset and workflow management suite for IT professionals. TechnologyEssentials enables IT teams to automatically discover all IT assets connected to a network, as well as maintain access, oversight, and control across their entire organizational technology infrastructure. Designed to serve as a centralized IT backbone for organizations, TechnologyEssentials comprises of three solutions. Incident allows IT professionals to streamline the help desk process via automated workflows, asset tracking, and reporting. Insight offers comprehensive dashboard views, including discovering all IP-addressable devices on the network and capturing critical status updates for software, operating systems, and warranties. Coming out later this year, the Mobile Device Management (MDM) tool enables administrators to remotely manage device policy, supervise device usage, and control application distribution across the network.
VHS CREDIT RECOVERY
The Virtual High School (VHS Inc.), a non-profit organization that offers online learning programs, has enhanced online credit recovery by offering students at risk of falling behind or failing a course three types of Credit Recovery programs: flexible courses, summer school options, and customized courses. The organization offers 0.5 credit classes and 1 credit classes, designed to last 4 and 8 weeks, respectively. Courses include English, Algebra, Geometry, and Biology, can begin mid-semester, and are flexible, self-paced, and teacher-facilitated. Enrollment in the VHS Flexible Courses program is on a rolling basis.
ESSDACK collaborated with GoEnnounce to build Your Digital Footprint, an affordable digital citizenship curriculum for secondary students. The curriculum offers ten lessons focusing on the importance of building a positive digital image for students to prepare for college readiness. The ten lessons, along with a pre-and post-test, are aligned to CCSS ELA Anchor Standards and ISTE Standards. The curriculum touches on digital security, copyright, digital literacy, digital communication, and digital image. Lessons can be arranged topically or by grade level. GoEnnounce provides a platform for students to apply and practice the lessons taught in Your Digital Footprint, which is free to use, has safety filtering and human monitoring in place, and has no private messaging or advertisers.
DIGITAL APPS FOR 21ST CENTURY LEARNING
DeeperDive Learning, Inc. released Digital Apps for 21st Century Learning, a digital PD course for K-12 educators who need a streamlined way to choose and use applications for their classrooms. The seven-hour asynchronous course delivers the concepts, tools, and best practices needed to successfully identify, select, and implement technology apps for use in learning both inside and outside the classroom. The course is delivered via the MassiveU platform, and is accessible from any Web-enabled mobile device or online screen.
DIMENSIONU GAMES AND TEACHERS APP
Educational videogame developer DimensionU, Inc., announced the release of its mobile educational games on the Android platform. The apps are now available for download on Google Play and Amazon. The company has also made product enhancements to its Web and iOS games as well as its TEACHERS by DimensionU app. For educators, the updated TEACHERS by DimensionU app provides more control over curriculum assignments for students, setting game durations to better fit classroom schedules, creating password-protected game environments for only their students/classes, as well as setting team vs. individual play options. For students, game enhancements include a new game map, new team-based play, and cross-platform multiplayer capabilities enabling Web, Android, and iOS users to play with or against one another.
EDTHENA ADDS METX VIDEOS AND MOBILE APP
Teachers using Edthena, an online video coaching platform for classroom observation, now have access to the complete library of Measuring Effective Teaching Extension (METX) videos. The METX library, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is one of the largest video collections of classroom practice with more than 2,100 recorded lessons. The Edthena platform enables teachers to interact with and analyze the METX videos, as well as their own teaching videos using the Edthena commenting tools. While watching a video, teachers can add comments at specific points in time. Edthena also launched an iOS app, enabling teachers to upload video of classroom instruction directly from mobile devices.
Quizlet released Practice Test mode, one of the popular study modes on the Quizlet Web site, for its mobile iOS and Android app. Practice Test mode gives students a chance to gauge how they might perform on an in-class test. The app features an “instant feedback” option that provides real-time feedback on correct and incorrect answers. Students can also take custom practice tests with a variety of question types, including multiple choice, true/false, and written questions.
LapCabby (www.lapcabby.com) recently introduced a new range of static and portable ICT storage options, to support mixed device deployments. Locka by LapCabby is the new range of durable, static ICT storage solutions, for securing and charging a myriad of devices and accommodating a growing mobile user base. Schools can now create a central ‘hub’ for devices including Chromebooks, laptops and tablets. The Locka can be set up in a number of way-wall-mounted, placed on a desktop, or stacked together on the floor. The range also offers control on the level of access required with digital key pad access, door-per-device for BYOD, or one locked door securing multiple devices. The UniCabby supports a multitude of devices up to 14,” including Chromebooks, tablets, netbooks, and laptops, with or without protective cases. The unique design combines clever cable storage in the rear of the unit with a custom-molded shelf, allowing multiple adaptor exit points, to deliver streamlined and space-efficient cable management.
Califone (www.califone.com) introduced its Kids Headphone, smaller in size and durable to fit the needs of younger listeners. The headphone includes a headband with slightly less inward pressure than models for older students, but still enough to block external ambient noise. The headphone has cushioned circumaural ear cups and an adjustable headband that fits smaller head sizes. The ear cups block ambient noise, helping students stay on task while also reducing the need to increase the volume, protecting their hearing.
Ricoh (www.ricoh.com) introduced a new projector that offers a larger canvas, ideal for midsize and large conferences and classrooms, with an expanded projection range, increased brightness, and flexible setup options. The RICOH PJ WU5570 can project up to a 300-inch screen size, and features pre-installed lenses with up to 5,500 lumens of brightness. The projector also features WUXGA resolution of 1920x1200 pixels, 1:8 power zoom, and a 9,000:1 high contrast mode. Vertical and horizontal lens shift and vertical and horizontal keystoning provide greater flexibility in configuration. Users can control the projector through Crestron, AMX, and PJLINK systems. An optional Eco mode consumes up to 20 percent less power and provides 20 percent longer lamp life than in normal mode.
Mimio (www.mimio.com) added 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) to its line of touch displays. The new UHD MimioDisplay offers four times the resolution of conventional 1080P high-definition displays. Its size and LED backlighting make lessons more visually striking, even in large classrooms. Available in 75-inch and 84-inch diagonal sizes, the 4K UHD MimioDisplay device uses Touch 360° interactive technology to drive seamless collaborative learning. Up to ten single-point touch users or five dual-touch and gestures users can work simultaneously anywhere on the display. With its built-in stereo speakers, there is no need for a separate audio system. The MimioDisplay touch display is integrated with other MimioClassroom products, including the MimioMobile collaboration and assessment app. The display also comes with MimioStudio classroom software.
STM Bags (www.stmbags.com) has created the dux, a multi-generation iPad case combining a protective outer shell and screen cover for an all-in-one rugged design. With a reinforced back panel and corners, the dux is tough enough to meet U.S. Department of Defense Standard 810F/G protocols, and will protect any iPad from drops up to 4 feet. The dux is made with durable polycarbonate materials that will repel the occasional spill or drip. It weighs under a pound, making it light yet still durable. Additionally, the dux is lined with microfiber to protect screens from scratches.
Shuttle Computer Group (www.us.shuttle.com) and zSpace (www.zspace.com) have teamed up to create a desktop virtual reality solution used in K-12 schools and universities. zSpace’s virtual reality environment offers over 250 STEM lesson plans and activities for educators. Virtual-holographic images can be “lifted” from the screen and manipulated with the stylus. Some applications provide multi-sensory feedback—for example, students working with a virtual heart can see it pumping, hear it, and feel it beating. Due to the heavy graphic requirements of 3D applications, some zSpace displays need intensive computing power, so they turned to Shuttle. With Shuttle, zSpace offers a solution with a smaller footprint without risking performance.