Software & Online
ABCMOUSE FOR SCHOOLS
ABCmouse for Schools announced the launch of new product features to help students become third-grade ready. A reimagined Teacher Homepage helps teachers plan and build lessons and monitor class progress. Student Information System Integration streamlines the process of rostering and provides ongoing data about progress and usage at the student level and beyond. A new Mastering Math app and over 100 Spanish-language learning activities have been added and families can access these without Internet connectivity.
Actiontec Electronics, Inc., announced the launch of ScreenBeam Classroom Commander, a wireless classroom orchestration solution for Windows 10/10 S-equipped classrooms. The solution promotes real-time interaction with wireless touch and touch back support, and enhances learning and problem solving with support of wireless inking, native in Windows programs. The solution also provides an environment that optimizes collaboration and focus in the classroom and even allows for students to share their work from their desks.
AEROHIVE NETWORKS HIVEMANAGER NG VIRTUAL APPLIANCE
Aerohive Networks announced the release of its new HiveManager NG Virtual Appliance, a full-featured, unified network-management system with the most economical on-premises deployment model on the market. Customers can now manage thousands of devices and experience the full power of Aerohive’s cloud networking, deployed on their site, at a price that fits their budget. HiveManager NG Virtual Appliance includes the same advanced features for monitoring, security, and access management as Aerohive’s public cloud solution.
ALMA TECHNOLOGIES REPORTING TOOL
Alma Technologies, Inc., announced an expanded suite of reporting tools with a custom reporting wizard that is intuitive enough for all staff, including classroom teachers, to build their own reports with little to no training. Teachers can pull reports that matter to their classroom and share with colleagues such as those on attendance and performance, while principals can create reports on matters such as overall pass rates by teacher, class, and course.
Bloomz, a leader in the parent-teacher communication space, has partnered with the Arizona Technology in Education Association (AZTEA) to cultivate the connective and collaborative power of educational technology for educators and parents. As part of the partnership, Bloomz will also recognize Arizona teachers for their excellence in stimulating parental engagement through the use of Bloomz. AZTEA will promote Bloomz to its members throughout the 2017–2018 school year as the parent-teacher communication app of choice.
CatchOn has introduced its proprietary iOS solution, which provides the first-ever visibility into native app usage. CatchOn is now the only tool that provides real-time evidence to help administrators hone their classroom technology without interrupting instruction. The tool provides granular evidence on what’s happening digitally in classrooms, enabling district leaders to make decisions about app use, implementation fidelity, cost, and ROI. In addition to iOS, current operability includes Mac OS, Windows Surface, Android, and Chromebook.
Cisco has announced a partnership with Suration to deliver a comprehensive content curation solution for Cisco’s education customers. Suration provides personalized content albums to accommodate different learning styles, embedded Cisco collaboration tools, and vetted content that maps to school district pacing guides, standards, assessments, libraries, courses, and more. Through this partnership, Cisco is reducing unnecessary keystrokes, searches, and activities that inhibit teachers from focusing on valuable instruction.
CLASSTAG PERSONALIZED COMMUNICATIONS
ClassTag is the first service to support personalized, meaningful, two-way communication with parents, regardless of what devices they use, even if they are entirely offline. With its new release, ClassTag bridges the gap between families using technology and those completely offline to reach 100% of families. If a family isn’t being reached via email, sms, website, or mobile app, the smart assistant will recommend printing a personalized flyer to be sent home in children’s backpacks.
CODEMONKEY GAME BUILDER PLATFORM
CodeMonkey launches the Game Builder platform as an additional feature to the series of basic coding courses. The Game Builder’s three interactive online courses feature different elements of the game-creation skill set that culminate to instruct the overall programming and design process. Along with CodeMonkey’s Game Builder free-style game design mode, the distinct courses offer a supportive environment for students to apply their coding skills and create their own games.
Innovative teachers are using CodeSnaps, a no-cost app from the makers of Curriculum Pathways, to integrate CS concepts into other subjects. CodeSnaps teaches coding basics by enticing students to work together, hands-on, to control Sphero, an app-enabled robotic ball that students command using code and an iPad. CodeSnaps can be used in any learning environment, including traditional and blended classrooms, 1-to-1, or at home. The collaborative coding activity requires one Sphero robot and one tablet.
CYPHER LEARNING NEO
Cypher Learning has released NEO, a learning management system (LMS) for schools and universities. NEO offers a centralized environment for creating classes, organizing learning material, assigning and submitting homework, taking assessments, collaborating with classmates, and analyzing results. It also provides an intuitive user interface, extensive feature set, gamified elements to boost student retention, and analytical reporting tools for tracking students’ progress. It is even customizable, letting schools brand NEO with their school’s identity.
Defined STEM, a web-based curriculum resource by Defined Learning, recently announced the launch of its redesigned website. Performance tasks are now broken down into four steps: Set the Stage, Explore the Background, Do the Research, and Create the Product. New to the Set the Stage step are open-ended questions to provide context and encourage critical thinking. The Design Process section is completely new and lays out the steps students must follow to reach their goals.
Discovery Education announced a number of new features will be added to its Streaming services. This latest iteration will feature an updated look and feel that is optimized to work on small and large devices, in the classroom, and on-the-go. Also, the content-creation tools within the service’s new Studio feature will be expanded to allow teachers and students to collaborate in real-time on virtual projects. Additional STEM-focused resources will also be added.
D2L BRIGHTSPACE FOR K-12
D2L announces Brightspace for K-12, an upgrade to its blended learning solution that provides an engaging experience for all students. With this release, D2L extends the classroom by offering a new Activity Feed, standards-aligned lessons, a parent engagement experience, complete mobility, and third-party integrations with platforms like Google Drive, YouTube, and Office 365. In addition to traditional subject matters, children can learn 21st-century skills such as creativity, communication, and teamwork for lifelong benefit.
Edmentum is releasing new enhancements to its products. Study Island enhancements will include an improved educator experience that elevates standards alignment and prompts simpler assignment creation. Courseware enhancements will increase educators’ ability to monitor student performance toward course completion through intuitive data views, giving teachers more insight into students’ academic growth. Exact Path enhancements will present norm-referenced data that allows teachers to compare student performance to national norms to track progress and growth trends.
FUNDS FOR LEARNING
Funds For Learning has conducted its annual E-Rate applicant survey to gather insights about the 2017 filing window in order to understand how the education program serves schools and libraries. According to initial feedback, E-Rate recipients continue to rely on E-Rate funding to provide connectivity for schools and libraries nationwide. To aid policymakers, administrators, and other E-Rate stakeholders, the full survey will be released this fall to help inform the administration of the E-Rate program.
GETTING SMART SOCIAL LEARNING AND MINECRAFT REPORT
A new report, “How Minecraft Supports Social and Emotional Learning in K–12 Education,” published by Getting Smart, investigates the connection between classroom use of Minecraft and the social and emotional learning (SEL) outcomes of K– 12 students. Based on responses gathered from educators representing 11 countries across four continents, the report is a deeper dive into the ways educators are incorporating gaming into their lessons via its Minecraft: Education Edition to support their students’ SEL growth.
GradeCam introduced two new question types to their current array: Handwritten Numeric and Rubric With Capture. Powered by Aita—Artificial Intelligence Teaching Assistant—Handwritten Numeric questions enable students to bypass the bubble grid and write out their numeric answers. The Rubric With Capture question type works with Aita to let students write up short answers and then digitally capture and incorporate them onto an answer sheet for teachers to grade from their devices.
Atomic Learning and Versifit have announced its transformation to one corporate brand: Hoonuit. The rebranding exemplifies the evolution of the companies into a comprehensive suite of data analytics and professional development tools that together provide educators the knowledge and insight to maximize success in the classroom. A new solution, Hoonuit Early Warning, demonstrates these extended capabilities using predictive analytics and allows educators to log observational behavior, take action, and measure outcomes in one central location.
KiraKira3D announced its partnership with HP to produce a new series of approachable, video-based lessons to teach 3D design skills using the Sprout Pro by HP 3D scanning and printing platform. The video lessons—most of which feature female instructors who are engineers, animators, designers, architects, and computer scientists—teach basics in Autodesk TinkerCAD and Maya, Fusion 360, Solidworks, Rhino 3D and other design, animation, and 3D modeling software.
Impero Software has announced several new products. Impero Edlink is a mobile device management solution that allows schools to manage multiple mobile devices while also safeguarding students online. Impero Insight is a cloud-based, cross-server reporting and analytics tool that pulls a school or district’s data (collected by Impero Education Pro on one or across multiple servers) into interactive graphical reports that highlight trends in keyword detection and online safety across a school or district.
KAHOOT! NEW MOBILE APP
Kahoot! has announced its new mobile app. The new app, designed for iOS and Android, brings the magic of game-based learning outside the classroom: Teachers can send after-class challenges to students as homework, and learners can continue playing for revision and fun anywhere. The app will also appeal to teachers who can extend learning beyond the classroom by challenging students to play a Kahoot at home on their own time, either alone or with classmates.
KIKO LABS THINKING TIME
Kiko Labs announced several enhancements to Kiko’s Thinking Time, including accessibility on iOS devices, Android tablets, and desktop browsers. Designed for children ages 4 to 7, the program targets skills required for school success. The latest release brings the total number of games up to 25. Together, the adaptive games include thousands of questions that train memory, inhibition, focus, and more, including several new exercises that incorporate Common Core-aligned math content to reinforce cognitive skills.
Lightspeed unveiled its new logo and corporate identity, along with its new Activate instructional audio and video platform. Lightspeed is expanding its focus to helping educators effectively use instructional audio and video systems to improve student achievement in the areas of whole-classroom instruction, group learning, and collaboration. Among the new products include the Activate app, helping educators to capture and share audio and video in the classroom and serving as a coaching resource for teachers.
MindPlay announced that the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) has officially endorsed the company’s Virtual Reading Coach as a product that continues to meet the needs of special education students. Research- and evidenced-based, MindPlay offers a range of user statistics and testimonials attesting to their product’s impact on student outcomes. The solution addresses readers with dyslexia, autism, ADHD, and cognitive disabilities, as well as readers looking to strengthen literacy skills in general.
MAKERBOT MY MAKERBOT AND EDUCATORS GUIDEBOOK
MakerBot has announced the release of My MakerBot, a cloud-based platform, and MakerBot Educators Guidebook. The new My MakerBot is a Chromebook-compatible, in-browser platform that gives users the ability to upload and prepare files, print, then monitor their progress from any device, anywhere. The Guidebook features a course in 3D design, printing, and it provides nine classroom-ready 3D printing lesson plans as well. The projects all feature teacher-friendly instructions and the core standards they meet.
(www.wevideo.com (opens in new tab))
WeVideo announced that its cloud-based collaborative video editing application is available as part of the new Microsoft Windows experience for K-12 classrooms. WeVideo provides students and teachers with an extensive creative toolset that includes video editing, graphics, green screen, voice-over, special effects, and more, making it perfect for any project and subject area. Cloud syncing allows users to start a project on one device and continue on any other, at home, on campus, or anywhere.
Nearpod announced the launch of new digital lessons using groundbreaking programming and timely documentaries from the BBC. Now, for the first time ever, teachers can teach topics related to the environment, technology, and more, through Nearpod’s engaging classroom technology assisted by content from the BBC Worldwide Learning catalogue. By combining its interactive features with high-quality content, Nearpod is arming teachers with powerful educational content designed to help kids succeed in the 21st century.
NetApp announced plans to expand its strategic alliance with Microsoft to help enterprises accelerate digital transformation for hybrid cloud. Collaboration areas include developing new NetApp ONTAP-based cloud data services offered on the Azure cloud; engineering collaboration to deliver a solution architecture that will speed the migration of enterprise applications to Azure and Azure Stack; integration of NetApp’s newly launched FabricPool functionality, and enablement of Azure as a backup destination for NetApp’s Cloud Control SaaS offering.
NetSupport announced the release of NetSupport DNA, an IT Asset Management solution that contains a toolbox of features allowing technicians to monitor and manage all IT assets across a school, campus or district—saving time, reducing costs, while also adding an extra layer of security. Additionally, its student toolbar feature highlights lesson objectives and expected outcomes, allowing teachers to deliver targeted student and peer assessment with a Q&A module, surveys, or pre-prepared tests.
NUREVA HDL300 AUDIO CONFERENCING SYSTEM
Nureva Inc. announces the general availability of its HDL300 audio conferencing system. At the core of the HDL300 system is Nureva’s Microphone Mist technology, which places 8,192 virtual microphones throughout a meeting room to pick up sound from any location. The system’s audio processing unit can handle 15,000 MIPS, using virtual microphones, continuous self-calibration, simultaneous echo cancellation, position-based automatic gain control, and sound masking. The system is designed for common UC&C applications.
OFFICE 365 MICROSOFT TEAMS
(www.office.com (opens in new tab))
Office 365 has announced their new classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams are now rolling out to Office 365 for Education customers. Teams helps create engaging classroom environments with rich conversations including text, video and voice, and more. Lesson planning and content creation is done through integrated Office apps. If faculty and students don’t already have Office 365 for Education, they can get it for free with a valid school email address and then access Teams.
PARROT EDUCATION CURRICULUM
(http://edu.parrot.com (opens in new tab))
Parrot Education by Parrot is expanding its education curriculum worldwide, offering programs for elementary, middle school, higher education, field researchers, and developers. In addition, Parrot Education has developed strong collaborations with companies such as Tynker, Apple, Workbench, and Mathworks so educators can teach students STEM skills, such as geometry, science, art, physics, and coding, and so kids can continue to learn coding at home, particularly through Parrot drones and “Parrot Flight School.”
PEARSON REALIZE LMS GOOGLE CLASSROOM INTEGRATION
(www.pearson.com (opens in new tab))
Pearson unveiled the latest version of its Realize learning management system (LMS), featuring an integration with the free education tool, Google Classroom. The Classroom integration can save teachers time and help them to improve instruction and learning, as they can easily access and choose premium digital content from the LMS, assign the materials, communicate, and collaborate with their students via Google Classroom. Through Google Classroom, teachers can get access to Google Drive, Sheets, and Slides.
Performance Matters announced a new module for its Calibration tool, which includes training on the process of being a classroom observer. Created in partnership with Teaching Learning Solutions, the Performance Matters Calibration tool helps districts measure observer accuracy and improve interrater reliability to create consistency and fairness in educator evaluations. With this training module, districts can now access new courses designed to teach observers how to conduct evidence-based observations and conversations to promote continuous growth.
PowerSchool implemented major updates to its Unified Classroom platform. With an enhanced student-centric approach to learning, the Unified Classroom connects the classroom and home in a single solution. Improved data-driven instruction enables educators to individualize instruction to drive student success. With the Unified Classroom, teachers, students and parents interact with a user-friendly dashboard to view key data and tasks, eliminating the need for multiple systems and giving teachers back time to spend on their students.
RENAISSANCE FLOW 360
Renaissance announced the launch of Renaissance Flow 360, an innovative solution designed to make assessment-driven personalized learning a reality. The program includes a Mastery Dashboard, where educators have deep insight into student mastery by domain, standard, skill, or subskill. Educators can see this view at the classroom level and beyond—allowing teachers to decide which students need additional instruction or practice and giving administrators a clear picture of achievement and growth across the district.
SCHOOLDUDE HELP DESK
SchoolDude by Dude Solutions launched Help Desk, a new and innovative IT help desk-management solution that simplifies the help desk process for K-12 and higher education institutions. Help Desk streamlines IT support communication between school staff or faculty and the IT department, enabling more efficient work-order management and improved asset tracking. Help Desk integrates with SchoolDude’s Technology Essentials’ Insight and Mobile Device Management solutions, resulting in a comprehensive IT asset-administration platform.
SMART Technologies has developed a connected classroom suite incorporating displays and software that improve both learning experience and educational outcomes through a choice of technology options. Two new panel series feature SMART’s proprietary iQ technology that fully integrates software, content, and student contributions from devices on its SMART Board interactive displays. Teachers can also now move freely without being tied to a single computer or display; easier transitions reduce teacher stress and set-up time.
SMART TECHNOLOGIES & TES
SMART Technologies is partnering with Tes to launch an online space that gives educators
and education leaders tools and ideas for inspiring greatness and improving learning outcomes.The Inspiring Greatness hub brings together leading voices in education to give schools actionable insight on how to meet the challenge of unlocking student potential, and developing the unique greatness in every learner. Contributors include school leaders, classroom teachers, technology experts, education policy makers, and more.
Smoothwall announced a new cloud-based, remote filtering tool for the Chrome browser. Cloud Filter for Chrome enables districts to provide a customizable level of URL filtering on devices using the Chrome browsers when those devices are off-site and no longer connected to the school network. Providing a seamless experience, devices will switch automatically from on-premises filtering to cloud-based filtering once students leave the network.
StudySync announced a new addition to the resources that make up its comprehensive blended ELA (English Language Arts)/ELL (English Language Learner) program for grades 6-12. The new Unit Creator tool allows teachers to create unique, specialized units from scratch. Teachers can draw from StudySync’s Blasts, Skills lessons, and text libraries, and select lessons from more than 1,200 fiction and nonfiction texts and text excerpts in StudySync’s digital library.
SKYWARD DISTRICT BRANDING
Skyward sets school districts up to pursue more efficient internal processes and improve school-to-home communications while also helping to attract and retain job candidates. Parents can take advantage of Skyward’s social media-style message board to communicate with teachers, and students get access to features like online assignments and future course requests. For businesses and human resources, Skyward offers an applicant tracking feature. With customized workflows, districts can personalize processes to provide employees with procedures unique to the district, increasing positive perceptions. Just as important, business offices can brand their human resources tasks and financial reports, improving visibility and top-of-mind awareness.
Swivl has announced Recap 2.0, a new version of its Q&A platform designed to allow educators to pose questions to students and gather video responses. Recap 2.0 now features a connection to Discover, a public Q&A site. The site then connects students to Journeys, a new approach that provides videos and links relevant to the question. This platform makes it easier for educators to shape class discussion around student questions.
TabPilot has integrated custom workflow and tracking for teacher app requests. The Teacher App Request features are available in TabPilot 6.3, recently released worldwide. Teachers can request an app via pasting an iTunes URL or using the integrated App store. TabPilot 6.3 also introduces the ability for admins to build a catalog of approved apps to which teachers can be granted permissions to install or uninstall from devices, such as a classroom set.
TYNKER IPAD SUPPORT FOR EDUCATION CURRICULUM
(www.tynker.com (opens in new tab))
Tynker announced iPad support for its coding curriculum, designed for K-6 classrooms. These courses, along with 18 brand new ones, will become available to schools across the country this fall. Tynker’s elementary school curriculum teaches students computer programming through fun, gamified lessons that ensure success at every level. The lesson plans, currently available for use in classrooms via desktop computers, will be introduced to schools everywhere via iPad this August.
TypingMaster Inc., has released its latest game-based course, TypeTastic, which is specially designed for elementary-school students. TypeTastic gets even the youngest students started typing by using just one finger to start. These pedagogical games are designed for both computers and touchscreen devices, providing easy access for everyone. The TypeTastic training course focuses first on teaching letter locations, hand-eye coordination, and typing with one finger. Within a few hours, the students can type short texts smoothly.
WEST CORPORATION SCHOOLMESSENGER APP
West Corporation recently unveiled the SchoolMessenger app. This new mobile and web application in the SchoolMessenger solutions family—available for free as a mobile app for iOS and Android devices and as a browser-based application—brings together teacher and classroom messaging technology with school- and district-level notifications, putting a complete app for school communications at parents’ fingertips. With the SchoolMessenger app, parents can engage in two-way conversations with teachers, school groups, and more via optional add-on modules.
Workbench has added partners Dremel, Pai Technology, and Robolink to create online communities where makers, fans, students, and educators can access projects that use 3D printers, robots, and drones. Workbench and Dremel will create an online hub focused on the Dremel DigiLab 3D printer. Workbench and Robolink will create Basecamp to help users train for Robolink’s robotics and drone competitions. Workbench and Pai Technology will have their hub focused on coding/augmented reality robot, Augie.
WORKBENCH CODING TOOLS
Workbench announced new features for its education platform that allows students to work through progressively complex lessons. Among Workbench’s new features is block-based programming for Parrot’s online community in which users write programs for their Parrot drones by dragging/dropping pieces of code. Workbench is also working with Parrot on a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol, lettings users use Bluetooth to send flight paths to the drone. Workbench now includes integration with Canvas and Engrade.
SMART Technologies (https://home.smarttech.com) has developed a connected classroom suite incorporating displays and software that improve both learning experience and educational outcomes through a choice of technology options. Two new panel series feature SMART’s proprietary iQ technology that fully integrates software, content, and student contributions from devices on its SMART Board interactive displays. Teachers can also now move freely without being tied to a single computer or display; easier transitions reduce teacher stress and set-up time.
Califone International (www.califone.com) announced the release of the CD360. The CD360 is designed specifically for regular classroom use, using shatterproof ABS plastic for safety and durability. With a Maximum Volume Limiter, the player ensures students are listening to content at a safe and appropriate level. The CD player features skip and search functions, a directory button, anti-shock button, and LCD display. The CD360 includes an 8200-HP digital stereo headphone and a one-year warranty.
Epson (www.epson.com (opens in new tab)) has announced the release of two new ultra short-throw laser displays for K-12 education. The BrightLink 710Ui and PowerLite 700U ultra short-throw laser displays leverage Epson’s proprietary 3LCD technology and integrated laser light source to deliver spectacular image quality, durability, and reliability. In addition, the BrightLink 710Ui is the world’s first 3LCD interactive laser projector. As for the PowerLite700U, it comes with 4000 lumens of white brightness and color brightness, delivering unmatched image quality.
LocknCharge (www.lockncharge.com) announces the release of the Sphero SPRK+ Charging Case. The aluminum Case is designed to store, secure, protect, and transport up to six Sphero SPRK+ robots. It also accommodates the robots’ inductive charging bases, maze tape, and protractors. Sphero SPRK+ robots are used in classrooms to inspire curiosity, creativity, and invention through connected play and coding, allowing students to easily learn programming, complete hands-on activities, and share their creations with the community.
NEC Display Solutions of America (www.necdisplay.com) announced the release of its 65-inch E651-T display. The 10-point integrated infrared touchscreen is a cost-conscious commercial-grade display targeting the K-12 education market. The display’s anti-glare, tempered glass protects the display from damage and also reduces the incidental fingerprinting and glare to preserve imagery on the screen. The display has a 140-watt power consumption and a media player that lets the display automatically switch to USB-loaded content while idle.