Hardware, Software and The Internet
Spector 360 Internet Use Monitor
Software, $1,995/50 PC lab
Spector 360 helps schools monitor students using the Internet. It records Web sites visited, e-mails sent and received, chats and instant messages sent and received, keystrokes typed, files transferred, documents printed and applications run. With its surveillancelike camera recording tool, it also shows in exact visual detail what students do every step of the way. Then it feeds that information into a database, offering more than 50 built-in reports and unlimited customization to answer questions such as which students are spending time surfing shopping sites, sports sites or adult sites, sending the most e-mails with attachments, or using anonymous e-mail services.
SMART Learning Marketplace Digital Resources
Internet, $239, one year/single user
SMART Learning Marketplace offers teachers access to a collection of more than one million regularly updated and copyright-cleared digital resources. It is delivered through the Global Grid for Learning and works with Notebook collaborative learning software. Users conduct a search in the software by subject, file type or grade level, or from the online search portal, and download content directly into their Notebook file. The content, which ranges from text to video clips, images, audio files and manipulatives, comes from top education publishers, museums, and technology and software educators.
P100i Card Printer
The P100i is a single-card printer that produces single-sided full-color or monochrome cards. Additionally it prints color employee and student ID cards, loyalty, gift, and membership cards, or transit and recreational passes in a single-card feed on various types of cards and technologies, including those that are preprinted. Besides providing both magnetic stripe and smart card encoding, it also offers USB and Ethernet connectivity so users can deploy and manage card printers on an enterprise-wide basis. Other features include an integrated cardholder that stores 100 cards in three separate bays to keep different types of cards easily available and clean before printing.
InstaGate Internet Use Monitor
Hardware, Starting at $919 with a $299 annual subscription
InstaGate with Web ThreatPak allows administrators to control where on the Web users can go and blocks inappropriate or dangerous sites. Blocking examples include phishing, viruses, spyware, and options to stop IMs (instant messaging), P2P (peer to peer) applications. It also addresses access to social networking sites. ThreatPak monitors and enforces the use of Internet resources and protects against legal liability brought on by inappropriate or illegal Internet activity.
Read-Aloud Libraries Supplemental Language Arts Program
Materials, Starting at $360
Read-Aloud Libraries is a supplemental language arts program that helps students in grades pre-K2 improve their vocabulary. It features books such as Three Little Pigs that provide a rich context for expanding vocabulary and listening comprehension, student-friendly vocabulary definitions, and active talk about word meaning to build facility with words. Each lesson begins with a teacher-led read-aloud using a high-quality narrative or expository text. Vocabulary words are introduced within the context of how they are used in the story. The next day, the story is reread and discussed, and students are prompted to use targeted vocabulary in the discussion.
UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY/SUBSTITUTE TEACHING INSTITUTE
SubManager Package Substitute Teacher Kits
SubManager Package offers teaching kits designed for substitute teachers and loaded with resources, such as the Substitute Teacher Handbook, which covers topics ranging from classroom management and teaching strategies to effective use of short activities. Also included are the Classroom Management audio CD, SubOrientation video, SubInstructor training with assessment and diploma, SubTrainer Manual, a one-year subscription to Publications ePackage, and a SubReady Kit, a tool for principals to prepare their schools for substitutes.
Exam Prep Courses
Materials, $5-$15 per student
Exam Prep is a new line of exam prep solutions that is initially being made available for exit exams in California, Florida and Arizona. They are aligned to each state's test blueprint, mirroring each individual test in terms of terminology, format, item types and weighting. They include practice and instructional feedback for students, and reporting and instructional management tools for teachers to enable learning environment customization. Access to courses is for a 12-month period. Solutions for other states will also be offered in the future.
Math Homework Portal
Internet, $0.75 per student/12-month license
Hotmath is a math homework portal that also offers an instant messaging feature that enables students to work together on math problems in a virtual study hall. Students access teacher-prepared problem explanations, move a pointer to a troublesome step, then use a textwindow to ask or answer a question. The site displays hint-step explanations for the actual, odd-numbered homework problems found in more than 200 math textbooks used in middle schools, high schools and colleges.
Elluminate Live! Lite Edition Web Communication Tools
Internet, Free trial
Elluminate is offering its Web communication portal, Elluminate Live!, free to any K12 school and with unlimited access for one year. Users can take advantage of an interactive, e-learning environment via a Moodle integration plugin or the Blackboard Building Block for the Blackboard Learning System-Enterprise, which are provided. Features include fullduplex audio, shared whiteboard, public/private chat, math symbol library, graphing calculator and advanced moderator tools. The company's Fire and Ice series is an example of junior high school students using Elluminate Live! to participate in a collaborative project to address global warming issues.
FLY Fusion Pentop Computer
The FLY Fusion Pentop Computer, designed for students ages 10 and up, is a high-speed homework system that connects students to the help and information they need through homework assistance and writing digitization. New features include PC connectivity, four times the memory of its predecessor, on-the-go calculating functionality, a Spanish translator and other enhanced learning applications. Additionally a new MP3 player and garage-band music mixing capabilities are offered. An expanded array of homework applications-$1.99 to $29.99 each -also provides guidance for challenging subjects, such as algebra and essay writing.
Prodigy Tablet Portable Interactive Writing and Presentation Device
The wireless Prodigy Tablet is a portable version of an interactive whiteboard. It implements RF technology, enabling a presenter to connect up to 30 tablets at one time instead of the seven tablets that are often found with Bluetooth technology. Unlike other wireless tablets, the pad's battery is charged directly through a USB cable that's connected to a computer. Presenters can also annotate live video from a document camera. Other features include a large A5 writing area, pen storage slot and USB dongle storage slot, computer volume control, PowerPoint page up and page down, and 16 programmable macro keys. www.qomo.com
DataFRAME 2112 Data Network Storage Appliance
Hardware, Pricing varies
The DataFRAME 2112 storage area network appliance offers an industry standardbased SAN platform for high-speed, disk-based storage. It is capable of supporting both SATA II and SAS drives with drive capacities of up to 1TB each. The unit houses 12 drives, enabling storage growth of up to 12TB in a single 2U shelf that can also be grown with additional expansion shelf capacity. Users can mix and match drives and add software packs into the system as their storage environments evolve. Other features include high availability mirroring, application-aware Snapshot Agents, replication for disaster recovery, and remote data protection.
Rate Your Favorite Products!
DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION has named the Readers' Choice Top 100 K12 Products of 2007-08 in a special issue to be published in mid-February. Use our star rating system to select your favorites from our products database. Visit www.districtadministration.com/products or contact our New Products Editor Ken Royal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VMware Fusion Simultaneous Mac/Windows Software Solution
VMware's Fusion users can launch Windows applications from their Mac Dock and switch between Windows and Mac applications with Expos?. Over 60 guest operating systems can be run, from DOS to Microsoft Windows Vista, Linux, Solaris, Netware and Free BSD. VMware Fusion simultaneously runs 32- and 64-bit operating systems, enables two processors to be used at the same time, runs select 3D games and utilizes USB 2.0 devices. Data can be shared between Windows and Mac files by dragging or dropping files or with Shared Folders. Up to 8GB of memory can also be allocated to virtual machines.
TOM SNYDER PRODUCTIONS
FASTT Math Enterprise Edition Math Fact Fluency Support
Software, Starting at $60
The FASTT software, which was designed to improve math fact fluency, now offers enhanced reporting capabilities for teachers and administrators, including districtwide reporting and data export through the Scholastic Achievement Manager. The system's dashboard supports data-driven instruction and AYP accountability requirements. For students in second grade or higher, the program provides an improved experience with more games and downloadable worksheets for personalized practice. It also automatically differentiates instruction and practice based on each student's individual fluency gaps in customized 10-minute daily sessions.
Criterion Online Writing Evaluation 7.2
Internet, $15/student per 1,000 ordered
The Criterion Online Writing Evaluation places an increased emphasis on student planning and instructor training. With the latest version, teachers can now complete required training sessions online and can access more information about student performance. It also includes a more user-friendly score report that enables instructors to chart their student's progress with the touch of a button, and an expanded resources section with additional information about program specifics. Other features include a new structure for packaged online training modules. Program training for teachers is offered within the classroom setting.
Voice 5.2 Web Communications
Software, Annual license pricing
Voice 5.2 (formerly known as Voice Tools) is an upgrade to previous releases that facilitate and promote vocal instruction, collaboration, and coaching and assessment. It humanizes and personalizes any online course by using enabling voice boards, voice-enabled e-mail, embedded voice within course pages, and live group discussions and debates. Other features include enhanced volume controls, improved accuracy for fast forward and rewind, expanded audio input and output options, and improved time dictators.
California Saxon Math K-6 Supplemental Math Kits
Materials, Starts at $620/consumable kit
California schools can now incorporate Saxon Math curricula, which aligns with the California Mathematics Framework and meets the California Math Standards. It provides students with a strong mathematics foundation necessary for success in algebra and higher level mathematics. The series consists of a consumable kit program for grades K-3 and a textbook program for grades 4-6. The program contains both print and digital content designed to reach students through explicit instruction. It offers opportunities for hands-on and in-depth concept exploration.
Fluent Reading Trainer Reading Improvement Solution
Software, Starts at $250/Internet version
Fluent Reading Trainer software works to increase reading speed while ensuring comprehension in any student with the ability to decode words. Teachers either hand-select stories for students to read or have them presented randomly. Stories are accompanied by questions that test comprehension. Single-line reading improves eyetracking and reading speed. The multi-line activity improves left-to-right and line-to-line eye efficiency. Reading passages focus on sight word activity to help struggling readers improve recognition of high frequency words that are embedded in stories. The program also provides individualized assignments that match each student's abilities.
EZClassSites District Web Sites
Internet, Pricing varies and discounts and promotions are available
EZClassSites offers districts a way to publish a Web site for the community and teachers a way to easily share their own Web pages with students and parents. Users get various module tools including Classroom Calendar, Management, Newsletter, Journal, Discussion Board, Homework, and Alerts. Additionally, there is a photo gallery, WebQuests, student pages and student journal tools. Fully customized pages can also be created for new possibilities requested by teachers. The simple-to-use EZClassSites system allows teachers to input content and click to publish, which makes it a good choice for the technology challenged as well as the advanced user.
Inform 4.2 K12 Analysis and Decision Support Tool
Software, $3.75 per student
Inform 4.2 is the latest update for this K12 analysis and decision support tool. It expands its capabilities for planning individualized and group student instruction. Educators can now develop intervention plans for any group of students who need instruction outside of the regular academic program, such as remediation activities for struggling students or enrichment academics for gifted students. It also supports the Response to Intervention framework and helps school districts meet state and federal mandates and reporting requirements. When Inform 4.2 is paired with a student information system, educators can quickly view individual student performance, measure progress, and intervene when necessary.
TI-Nspire Graphing Calculator
Hardware, $135 (average price)
Students can use the TI-Nspire graphing calculator to see and explore different representations of a math problem on a single screen. It comes with an interchangeable keyboard that provides the same keystroke functionality as the company's other graphing calculators. With the Computer Algebra System (CAS) TI-Nspire, which doesn't have a removable keyboard, students can evaluate and express numeric problems and variables symbolically. The handhelds also link representations of a problem to see how changes to one affect others. Students can save and review work as well as grab and move graphed functions in real time to observe relationships and patterns.
MY Access! School Edition Instructional Writing Program
Internet, $15-$24/typical district price per student
MY Access! is an instructional writing program that develops a repertoire of prewriting, drafting, organizing and revising strategies. The program scores student responses to prompts and writing tasks almost instantaneously through artificial intelligence technologies. Teachers can conduct early diagnosis, deliver writing assignments more frequently, and monitor writing performance by student and class. Students also learn to use rubrics for self-guided instruction and can access a writer's guide with over 70 developmental activities to help them improve in all five traits of effective writing based upon needs shown by their prior work.
SOLO Writing Coach Literacy Suite Solution
Software, Starts at $3,399
SOLO's Writing Coach, part of the SOLO Literacy Suite, was designed to support struggling learners in any writing curriculum in a school or district's Title I or IDEA initiative through the use of a reading and writing scaffolding technology. It offers a Response to Intervention solution and guides educators to teach key writing strategies of summary writing, goal setting and paragraph writing. It includes three lesson books, a CD with writing assignments for independent practice, an administrator's walk-through and a step-by-step implementation guide.
Proofwriter, Online Writing Tool
Software, $2.49/two essay submissions
Proofwriter is designed for high school and college students; its online writing tool helps them check and revise their written work and build essential skills to become better writers. It uses a patented e-rater scoring engine to provide students with almost instant feedback on key elements of writing, such as grammar, mechanics, word usage and writing style. It can be accessed from any computer with Internet access and gives students the option to review highlighted errors, make revisions and resubmit their work for additional feedback.
mimio Boards Interactive Whiteboard
Hardware, $999-$1,999 (with mimio's grant)
Mimio's new series of interactive whiteboards delivers both wireless and USB cable connection options. Interactive technology is built into the frame, housed in a heavy-duty but service-accessible anodized aluminum housing, making the board less susceptible to impact or abrasion damage, which can impair the performance of boards that use touch-sensitive technology embedded in the board surface. Users have full control of all computer functions, applications, online resources and documents directly from the whiteboard using the mouse interactive stylus. Display sizes range from 78 inches to 111 inches.
Phonemic Awareness Pre-K1 Phonological Understanding Program
Phonemic Awareness is a supplemental pre-K1 program that teaches phonemic awareness. It contains 110 lessons featuring activities that follow the developmental sequence for teaching all levels of phonological awareness. It targets sound and word discrimination, rhyming, sentence segmentation, syllable blending, and segmentation and blending of phonemes. Each lesson includes between two and seven activities that take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Each focuses on a specific skill, and each skill gradually increases in difficulty. When a skill is first introduced, teachers explicitly model the task. Children then try the tasks on their own, receiving specific feedback.
Musical Mathematics Math in Songs with Activities
Software, $15 per CD, $7 per workbook, and $25 per teacher's guide
The Musical Mathematics CD integrates music into learning mathematics. The songs help children understand the meaning of multiplication and how it relates to other operations such as addition, subtraction, and division. Teachers can also expand children's learning through movement, manipulatives, diagrams and writing. Educators can use Skip Counting, which features multiplication facts, as well as other pilot features during instruction to support the various mathematics content areas in number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis and probability. The program also comes with instructional guides for educators and parents and activity books for children.