Software & Online
7 MINDSETS CLASSROOM PORTAL
Offering age-appropriate online curriculum for elementary, middle, and high school, the 7 Mindsets Classroom Portal provides lessons, training, and a quick-search resource portal for social and emotional learning (SEL). This includes hundreds of mindsets-based lessons designed to be taught weekly (typically for 30 to 60 minutes) in a normal classroom setting. In addition to complete lessons, the portal also offers a quick-search SEL resource hub with thousands of videos and activities.
BrainMaps is a China-based English learning center that uses the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs at the core of its model, helping children ages 5–16 achieve English proficiency. Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant help students by preparing the brain to “hear” the language; by providing intensive practice in English vocabulary, grammar, and reading skills; and by giving students the opportunity to practice speaking and reading aloud with real-time corrective feedback at home and in learning centers.
Breaking the Barrier, Inc. has released the new version of its Essential Spanish Vocabulary Flashcards app. This app employs voice-recognition technology to enable learners to interact with their device—even offline—to master the most useful Spanish vocabulary. Quizzes and audio by native speakers engage and encourage learners as they progress from level to level. A new Traveler’s Guide serves as an electronic phrasebook for travelers to master key vocabulary for their journeys.
BRETFORD TECHGUARD CONNECT
Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. announced a new addition to its well-established line of comprehensive charging solutions. TechGuard Connect featuring Bretford Connect, a cloud-based web portal, allows for real-time locker management from anywhere. TechGuard Connect Lockers have ten bays and your choice of RFID or keypad user access, wired or wireless data, and AC or USB power options to charge phones, tablets, laptops and more. TechGuard Connect also includes a wide selection of color and branding options.
ClassDojo’s new “Toolkit” helps teachers create incredible classrooms by bringing all their favorite tools together in one place. For the new school year, Toolkit includes eight tools that make it easy for teachers to do activities like pairing students up for discussion, creating classroom groups, playing classroom music, and much more. Toolkit is seamlessly integrated into ClassDojo’s app and automatically projects from a phone to a SMART Board or screen.
D2L announces a summer update to its blended learning solution that provides an engaging experience for all students. With this release, D2L extends the classroom by offering an Activity Feed, standards-aligned lessons, a parent engagement experience, complete mobility, and third-party integrations with platforms like Google Drive, YouTube, and Office 365. Brightspace Lessons helps create an amazing blended learning experience using content from publishers, school-provided content, Open Educational Resources (OERs), and their own materials.
FOLLETT DESTINY ANALYTICS
Follett announced Destiny Analytics, a district-wide subscription solution to complement its Destiny Library Manager and Destiny Resource Manager platforms. The multi-featured reporting solution allows administrators and educators to explore data from both platforms, including student patron records, and to discover trends and exceptions that are displayed in graphs and charts. Usable on any device, Destiny Analytics will create interactive dashboards and reports to visually analyze information, which then can be shared with other district personnel.
FreshGrade announced that Google Translate is now integrated into the comment and announcement features within the FreshGrade tool for all new and existing school and district partners. The integration will be on the FreshGrade web application, FreshGrade mobile apps for students and parents, and will help users read and write in their chosen language. This upgrade will improve communication and collaboration between educators and their bilingual, multilingual, or English language learner (ELL) students and parents.
FUTURE READY LIBRARIANS
Future Ready Librarians (FRL) has announced a micro-credential for librarians. “Empowering Students as Creators” has been developed and will be piloted by five US school districts this fall. Student creation activities include coding, publishing, multimedia, and more. The focus of the micro-credential is one of the components of the FRL Framework, which over the past year has helped librarians and district leaders connect school libraries to the work of personalizing learning through digital transformation.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has partnered with King-Devick Technologies, Inc. to bring the King-Devick Reading Acceleration Program (K-D RAP) to students in elementary classrooms. HMH will market, sell, and distribute K-D RAP to schools nationwide, while King-Devick Technologies’ (KDT) specialists will provide educators with product training and technical support. K-D RAP is a Web-based system that allows students to practice accurate and efficient eye movements that often are not fully developed when students learn to read.
Kickboard announced its expanded school culture system that includes a full complement of collaborative, research-based professional development services. Kickboard’s highly configurable, Web-based platform and personalized leadership coaching provide a sustainable, data-driven framework for leading culture change in K–12 districts and schools. Ideal for Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) and social and emotional learning (SEL), Kickboard gives educational leaders and staff access to tools and the professional support they need to plan for a successful school culture.
Kids Discover announced the release of 25 new social studies titles in time for back to school. These titles will address topics never before covered in Kids Discover’s print or digital libraries. Ten of the new titles are geared towards grades K–3, and focus on topics like Rules and Laws, People and the Environment, and U.S. Geography. The remaining 15 titles are aimed at upper elementary and middle school learners. They will also be released digitally on Kids Discover Online, with assessment questions and interactive features.
LookWithUs.com, Inc. unveiled its beta version of its LookWithUs software, a social collaboration and communication platform for business and personal use. It combines multiple applications into an accessible platform and lets users share and work on any file type and control access and interaction on comments, files, and projects. It also lets users upload public projects and invite the world to see or even participate in music, film, creative writing, art, fashion, wikis, and more.
Microsoft announced several new products, deals, and programs designed to help everyone prepare for the back-to-school season. Designed specifically for educators, Microsoft is hosting an online “Back to School LIVE” series to help teachers get their classrooms ready for the first day of school. The online workshops will focus on products announced in May, including Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition, Microsoft Teams, and Intune for Education.
OppLoans launched OppU, a site that provides free interactive lessons that teach the fundamentals of money management. The courses cover topics such as spending, saving, credit, and debt. OppU is free to the public. The OppU website has interactive videos where OppU instructors present lessons and students are asked to answer questions about the material. Students must click on the correct answers in order to complete the lesson, ending each topic with a cumulative quiz.
ORIGO Education and Lakeshore Learning Materials announce their partnership to offer classroom resources for elementary mathematics teachers. Lakeshore’s manipulative kits are paired with ORIGO’s Stepping Stones comprehensive mathematics education programs and help foster a better understanding of concrete math skills at an early learning stage. Manipulative kits contain visual and tactile objects to support coherent mathematics learning and incorporate items such as geoboards, base-ten blocks, and geometric shape pattern blocks.
The latest update from Panopto extends its native integration with Instructure’s Canvas LMS. Through this update, Canvas customers can integrate Panopto’s video quizzes into their LMS as assignments and access quiz results directly from within the LMS gradebook. Video creators and administrators can now use customizable playlists to easily group course-related material, regardless of where the videos are located, and share directly from within Panopto or embedded in other web portals.
Participate has launched a new app called Participate Chats, which gives teachers a powerful, mobile way to use Twitter to find relevant education chats and connect with educators around the world. Schools, districts, and other educational organizations partner with Participate to manage competency-based blended learning professional development programs that include badging and micro-credentialing for courses, chats, and other formal and informal learning opportunities.
PowerSchool announced that Schoology has been named an approved Independent Software Vendor (ISV) and selected as the only external LMS partner in the US to be embedded into PowerSchool’s Unified Classroom. Schoology LMS customers in PowerSchool SIS districts will be able to take advantage of a more integrated experience with the PowerSchool Unified Classroom Assessment solution. PowerSchool will maintain existing LMS integrations while also supporting open standards for future external system integrations.
PowerSchool announced that West and its SchoolMessenger solutions have been named as PowerSchool’s preferred partner for emergency messaging and mass notification. With SchoolMessenger Communicate embedded within the PowerSchool user interface, PowerSchool districts can send messages without leaving the user interface, give access to parents to update contact preferences, review past messages, and use true single sign-on with added features through SchoolMessenger Passport.
Reading Horizons announced the release of a new online professional development course. The six-module course will serve as a resource for educators learning how to teach reading or refining their instruction of reading fundamentals. The Reading Horizons Online Professional Development Course provides ongoing input, follow-up, support, and practice through a blended learning model. The online course pairs with one day of initial face-to-face instruction and a method-based approach for different age groups when applicable.
Renaissance announced an expanded partnership with Classworks as part of the newly formed Renaissance Growth Alliance. The collaboration allows for a seamless connection between Renaissance and Classworks, ensuring a steady flow of actionable data and simplifying educators’ access to vital information necessary for student growth. Learning paths based on Renaissance Star 360 assessment data are automatically generated and available to students when they log in to Classworks, allowing teachers to spend more time on instruction.
SINGLEWIRE SOFTWARE SAFETY PLANNING EBOOK
Singlewire Software has released an ebook to help schools and districts enhance safety and communications. “Enhancing Safety and Communication in K12 Schools: A 12-Month Guide” provides a year-long plan to prepare for events like severe weather and active shooters and includes ways to better communicate critical information throughout a school or district. It also offers recommendations and guidance for what kind of capabilities school officials should look for in mass notification technology solutions.
TABPILOT SELF-SERVICE APP INSTALLATION
TabPilot releases an update to its mobile device management system that offers self-service options for teachers and students. TabPilot 6.4 shows how MDM features can be customized to meet the specific needs of schools. TabPilot offers the ability to assign or create for students a list of recommended apps that only install when selected by students from their own devices, saving space by not force installing apps they may not use.
Challenger Center (www.challenger.org) and New Matter (newmatter.com) announced a new partnership that will include selecting and equipping Challenger Learning Centers with New Matter’s MOD-t 3D printers. Over the next several months, Challenger Center and New Matter will announce the initial group of three Centers selected to receive five MOD-t 3D printers. Forty-three centers submitted proposals describing how they would use the printers in newly created makerspaces, design new programs, and implement the printers into current education activities.
Pai Technology (www.edu.pai.technology) announced the debut of Augie, a robot that pairs coding with augmented reality. Augie gives students the opportunity to learn code through constructive, hands-on classroom play. Designed for early childhood and elementary grade students, Augie blends research from child development experts with the latest technology. With Augie, students discover how to code by controlling a range of the robot’s movements, and they can use the video function to record their own sounds and movies.
Dremel (www.dremel.com) announces the Dremel DigiLab 3D45 printer to accompany its suite of digital fabrication tools. The 3D45 is designed for use in higher education and experienced high-school classrooms to visualize and create complex projects. Simplicity is central to the design of the printer, with intuitive instructions and real-time analysis. The 3D45 is the only printer to automatically recognize filament and adjust printer settings, eliminating the need to re-slice files for each type of filament.