Software & Online
Squirrels LLC released AirParrot 2 for Chrome OS to bring previously unavailable screen-mirroring capabilities to classroom Chromebooks. AirParrot 2 for Chrome OS software runs on Chromebooks and allows teachers and students to wirelessly present their device screens to Apple TV. The original AirParrot for Chrome OS released in 2014 gave Chromebooks the ability to connect to second- and third-generation Apple TVs. AirParrot 2 for Chrome OS advances that technology, allowing Chromebooks to connect to the new fourth-generation Apple TV and mirror to multiple AirPlay receivers at once. AirParrot 2 is also easy to use: a user opens the app, selects which AirPlay receiver they want to mirror to, and clicks connect. Users can choose to mirror their entire Chromebook desktop display or just a single tab.
ClassFlow, the free, next-generation lesson delivery software, announced new partnerships with leading digital content developers to provide teachers with expanded access to the latest interactive educational content. By partnering with Gooru, SketchFab, PhET Interactive Simulations, and Desmos, ClassFlow will offer teachers the latest technologies for lessons, including 3D models, virtual reality, and science and math simulations. Designed for K12 classrooms with interactive displays, ClassFlow simplifies the way teachers and students collaborate and use today’s modern technologies such as mobile, PCs, and interactive touchboards.
DISCOVERY EDUCATION STREAMING AND TECHBOOK
Discovery Education announced two new enhancements to its digital services, Streaming and Techbook, to support educators in peer networking and differentiated instruction. Currently rolling-out to users of Discovery Education Streaming, Streaming Plus, and the Discovery Education Techbook series is the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) Online Community. A new social media platform, embedded within Discovery Education’s services, the DEN Online Community enhances educators’ ability to connect with peers from around the world and personalize their own professional development. To further support educators’ efforts to differentiate math instruction, a Math Assessment Builder has also been added to the Discovery Education Math Techbook. Now, teachers can access 8,000 additional technology-enhanced items from which they can create their own standards-based assessments.
D-LINK E-RATE PROGRAM
D-Link announced a new Schools and Libraries E-Rate program designed to help schools build a better infrastructure for their budget. As part of the new program, D-Link will help schools and libraries simplify the E-Rate process by preparing a technology plan, filing with E-Rate, identifying detailed costs, and receiving discounts on a variety of networking products. Alone or as part of a multi-vendor system, D-Link E-Rate Category Two-eligible products bring a broad range of network benefits, and provide school with more for their E-Rate spend. Qualifying D-Link products include switches, wireless access points and remote wireless, and VPN routers.
Measured Progress, Inc. announced the launch of eMPower Assessments, interim assessments that measure student growth for grades 3 – 8. Built to measure college and career readiness standards, eMPower Assessments provide a coherent program to connect to the scale of the SAT Suite of Assessments. eMPower Assessments track student progress toward meeting state standards. The program meets districts’ needs to reduce redundant, disconnected testing and to measure growth consistently through all grades, within and across years. Used together, eMPower and the SAT Suite of Assessments support consistent assessment from grades 3 through 12. The SAT Suite of Assessments measures what students are learning in school, and what they need to know to succeed in college and career.
Edmentum has completed the initial phase of the beta program for its new K-8 individualized learning program, Exact Path. The program provides an adaptive, research-based assessment, dynamically assigned quality content, and progress monitoring tools to target individual instruction. Exact Path was developed with the goal of delivering each student the right lesson at the right level, at the right time. With 6,300 students participating in the beta program, the new solution has shown increases in their reading, language arts, and math skill proficiency while saving teachers time. The full program is expected to launch in time for the 2017-18 school year.
JAMF SUPPORT FOR NEW APPLE RELEASES
Jamf announced support for the upcoming Apple releases of iOS, macOS, and tvOS. When customers upgrade their iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV, IT administrators using Jamf Pro (formerly Casper Suite) or Jamf Now (formerly Bushel) can be confident their management workflows will be uninterrupted. In addition to version compatibility, Jamf Pro supports the new functionality of the Apple releases, including new security capabilities and configuration management for devices, additional managed restrictions, a new version of Apple’s Classroom app, and new device management capabilities for Apple TV, including zero-touch setup, configuration, and app distribution.
itslearning partnered with Gooru, a nonprofit organization that curates and vets open educational resources (OERs), to offer complete online curricula for more than 35 teacher-curated courses in core subject areas, including science, mathematics, English language arts and social studies. The courses contain resources, collections, and assessments. In addition, itslearning lets teachers remix and customize content collections and courses to meet the personalized instruction needs of individual students and the performance objectives of entire districts. With itslearning, educators can tap into over 1.7 million learning objects, such as websites, interactives, educational games, questions, digital text, and videos that have been curated and organized from over 500 sources, such as PBS, Smithsonian, NBC Learn, NASA, National Geographic, and Algebra Lab.
Kajeet, a specialist in safe, mobile student Internet connectivity, announced enhancements to the Kajeet Sentinel platform. The platform enables students to access online educational content, filters out unsafe and irrelevant material, manages data allocations, and enables educators to better understand how students are using the devices outside the classroom. The Kajeet Education Broadband solution connects students at home or on the go through two nationwide 4G LTE networks in more than 300 districts across 41 states and D.C. The upgrades to the Sentinel platform will allow educators to better manage the filters and provide enhanced reporting on when students are using their data and which sites they are visiting.
LIGHTSPEED SYSTEMS RELAY FOR CHROME
Lightspeed Systems Relay for Chrome is a comprehensive, easy to set up solution designed for Chrome OS devices in K-12. The all-in-one, cloud-based solution maximizes return on investment of school Chromebooks with simple tools for filtering, protecting, geolocating, and reporting on the devices. Administrators can easily filter access to the internet, including social media and SSL sites, with granular policies for staff and students.
Mentoring Minds relaunched its website as a resource for teachers seeking ways to integrate critical thinking into learning and teaching. The new resource hub, “Learn with Us,” features a blog and downloadable white papers that offer ideas and insight into key challenges that teachers and administrators face. Educators—both on staff at Mentoring Minds and as guest contributors—share new content on a weekly basis on topics such as college and career-readiness, student-centered classrooms, and best walkthrough practices.
SMITHSONIAN LEARNING LAB
The Smithsonian announced a joint effort with Lenovo to foster STEAM learning in school and after-school programs using the Smithsonian Learning Lab, a free online toolkit to find, customize, and share digital museum resources with others. Lenovo is funding the development of six STEAM activities that combine resources in the Smithsonian Learning Lab with hands-on projects for educators and Lenovo employee volunteers to facilitate with students. The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access is designing the activities and a step-by-step facilitator’s guide to accompany each one to support implementation in the classroom and afterschool programs. The center will also create two virtual-reality education experiences for teachers to embed into their curriculum.
EarthEcho International launched STEMExplore, a new, free, digital STEM career resource. The online resource features dozens of interviews with scientists and engineers from the STEM fields, and is designed to encourage students’ interest in STEM careers. United Technologies Corporation is collaborating with EarthEcho to offer videos that feature a range of scientific careers.
TABPILOT MOBILE DEVICE MANAGEMENT
TabPilot released an update to their mobile device management system for schools that expands their capabilities for macOS and also adds support for new features in iOS 10.3. With the release of version 6.2, the Mac capabilities were greatly expanded to include Restriction Profiles with more than 80 options, Settings Profiles with dozens of Finder and login options, and Network Profiles for configuring Wi-Fi settings, distributing certificates, and more. Other new features include the ability to play an alert sound on iPads in Lost Mode and support for Wi-Fi Whitelisting to prevent devices from connecting to non-approved networks. TabPilot is continuing to offer Mac licenses for their MDM for free, one with each iOS license, through the end of this school year.
THE VIRTUAL HIGH SCHOOL SUMMER COURSES
The Virtual High School, Inc., a nonprofit that offers online and blending learning programs, introduced three new summer courses that are open for registration. Summer School courses are offered for credit recovery and enrichment in two four-week sessions starting in July and August, and one eight-week session in July. Solar Energy Design for grades 9-12 has students explore how solar energy can reduce the carbon footprint, and learn how photovoltaic solar panels work. Cryptography: The Math Behind Secret Messages for grades 6-12 shows students how to use mathematical concepts to read and write secret messages through the application of ciphers from classical cryptography. Chemistry for grades 9-12 tasks students with investigating topics like chemical reactions, atomic theory, and states of matter using multimedia and textbook resources.
WORDLY WISE 3000
EPS Instruction and Intervention, a division of School Specialty, Inc., has teamed up with Quizlet, an online platform that offers engaging study and game activities to help students practice new vocabulary. EPS will incorporate Quizlet into the new Wordly Wise 3000 4th Edition (print) and Wordly Wise i3000 (digital) direct academic vocabulary programs. Students and teachers can choose from seven available study and game modes (flashcards, learn, spell, test, match, gravity, and live), to practice and master the vocabulary they’re learning. Both the print and online editions will be available this summer.
Logitech (www.logitech.com) announced the Rugged Combo, Rugged Case, and Add-on Keyboard for Rugged Case for Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad. The Rugged Combo helps protect the iPad from drops and daily wear and tear, and has a detachable keyboard offering a secure and approved solution for testing and exams. The Rugged Case���s frame is lined with soft polymer ribs that flex on impact to protect iPad from drops as high as six feet onto surfaces as hard as concrete. The kick-back stand has sturdy mechanical hinges that move freely within a 40-degree range, while staying firmly in place, without collapsing, even with aggressive tapping. The keyboard sources power directly from iPad, so users never have to charge the keyboard. Its dedicated row of short-cut and function keys also make it easy to navigate various iPad functions, directly from the keyboard.
Casio America, Inc. (www.casio.com) released the PRIZM CAS fx-CG500 next-generation graphing calculator. In addition to boasting an advanced Computer Algebra System (CAS), the fx-CG500 features a high-resolution, color, touchscreen LCD, conveying a Natural Textbook display in addition to other features that are permitted for use on the AP, SAT I and II, PSAT and NMSQT exams. The fx-CG500’s extra-large 4.8” screen allows for more complete and detailed viewing of mathematics. Its drag-and-drop functionality enables students to quickly and intuitively pull information from one representation into another, while its split-screen functionality allows simultaneous viewing of functions and graphs. Students can also switch between portrait and landscape views for extended screen width.
Listen Technologies (www.listentech.com) announced its newest offering, ListenTALK, which will begin shipping in June. ListenTALK is a mobile, two-way communication system that makes it easy for groups of two or more people to listen and talk with the push of a button. The pocket-sized device enables clear, secure, collaborative communications with the largest range of any traditional portable FM technology -- up to 100 meters (328 feet). ListenTALK is ideal for noisy, crowded, and/or mobile environments. Applications include training and collaboration, presentations, guided tours, event production, and language interpretation.