www.homeworknow.com, Internet, $175 per school/year
This homework communication service has added cell phone and PDA access features. Teachers post class assignments with links to Web sites, school announcements and other related classroom information, and then students and parents have 24/7 access to those postings via a Web browser or wireless devices. Parents can stay informed about their child?s schoolwork while students can download worksheets and other assignments from a missed day of class. No student information is stored, and third-party advertisement banners or pop-ups are not used.
College Research and Matching
www.destination-u.com, Internet, $79.95
This Web site offering profiles of 1,354 U.S. four-year colleges aims to make the college selection process easier for students. The U-Finder personality assessment creates a customized report to help students learn more about their qualities and how they relate to colleges that are right for them. Emphasis is placed on need, attitude, and behavior matching. A list of colleges where the student is most likely to thrive is then generated. The service comes with the College Application Planner, a step-by-step guide with information, tips and e-mail alerts to assist with the application process.
Lucid Data Corp.
PDExpress and MyPDC 2005
www.lucid-data.com, Software, $3,960 and up
These software tools were designed to help administrators manage, track and report on all facets of a district?s professional development activities. Upgrades include an integrated spreadsheet, new staff data fields and the ability to attach course documents and photos to staff and presenter records, customize database queries, and open and edit an external data file directly in the import window. With the enhanced activities management feature, educators also have greater flexibility and control over the amount and type of data related to activities and activity participation requests.
www.excelsiorsoftware.com, Software, $500 and up/school ($15,000 and up per district)
Teachers and administrators can have portable, on-demand access to information in their electronic gradebooks?including student performance, attendance, schedules and disciplinary records?with this software. Educators can chart information to help make data-driven decisions, take attendance, enter grades and assignments and access student data anytime their classes meet outside the traditional classroom. Any changes or updates made on a handheld can be synchronized back to an educator?s Pinnacle Plus System desktop gradebook. The software can be used with both Palm and Pocket PC operating systems.
Also new is the District Data Analyzer, which helps school districts make data-driven decisions by customizing and distributing the information needed for administrators to see a clear, broad picture of their school or district. The application extracts critical information from a school?s stored data by simultaneously connecting a school or district to multiple data sources that may reside in different locations. Other features include customized data reporting options and the ability to run online using minimal bandwidth or offline with a laptop computer.
www.toolfactory.com, Software, Site license $400
This computer-based classroom assessment tool can help educators and therapists identify students, ages 6 to 14, who have dyscalculia, a group of math-based learning difficulties that affects an estimated 11 million Americans. The interactive program can be installed on any Windows-based computer. The assessment battery is divided into four sub-tests: simple reaction time, enumeration, number comparison and arithmetic achievement. Each section is tailored to the student?s age, and a single student can be tested multiple times to measure long-term progress. The interface includes verbal instructions for students with limited reading skills.
H. Wilson Co.
WTKAD-Tuffy Cubbie Workstation/Activity Desk
www.hwilson.com, Furniture, $110-$137 (with chair)
This activity desk comes with a mobile storage bin that fits snugly down in the center of the work surface. The trays are covered with a smooth lid that becomes the surface for art projects, writing and other activities. The 18-inch by 24-inch units can be used individually or placed in different configurations.
Other products recently introduced include: the Sand and Water/Activity Table and Chairs set, which comes with four large bins with matching lids; and the Tuffy Teacher?s Mobile Seat, which can be adjusted to the same height as students.
Dean Evans & Associates
EMS Professional Version 9.0
www.dea.com, Software, $4,700 and up
This software helps administrators to manage the scheduling of rooms, resources and services and to publish event-related information on the Internet. Its new features include a multi-function browser search tool that replaces a number of independent browsers, a streamlined reservation wizard process and the Query Builder, a tool for writing ad-hoc queries and simple custom reports. Enhancements have also been made to the Virtual EMS, an Internet-based add-on component that allows Web site visitors to see a calendar of scheduled events, search for available space or submit an event request.
www.questia.com, Internet, $3.50-$20 per student/year (free one-year subscription available)
This online academic library supports the majority of secondary school curriculum topics. Consisting of 50,000 full-text books and 400,000 journal, magazine and newspaper articles, it features a comprehensive suite of digital research tools. Students can create a personal online research environment where they highlight text, take notes in the margin, bookmark pages and create citations, quotations and bibliographies. One librarian at every secondary school in the country can get a free, one-year subscription of the service.
Handheld Learning Environment 3.0
www.goknow.com, Software, $19.95 per computer/year
Four new educational software applications for PalmOS handheld computers are now available in this productivity tool suite, bringing the number of applications to eight. The Cells spreadsheet program offers average, minimum, maximum and sum functions. The iKWL program supports learners using the ?I Know, I Want to Know, I Learned? educational strategy. Locker, a personal information manager, helps students keep track of their work by recording detailed information about assignments and upcoming events. The ViewPoint program helps students create and present PowerPoint-like slide shows. HLE also provides more than 50 standards-based lessons that infuse technology into ongoing curriculum.
Inspiration 7.6/Kidspiration 2.1
www.inspiration.com, Software, Single copy $69, Update $39.95 (free to Inspiration 7 and Kidspiration 2 customers)
The updated versions of these visual learning tools include new compatibility with emerging technologies, giving educators more choices in how they use graphic organizers to develop and organize thinking. Enhancements include the ability to draw and write directly on interactive whiteboards and Tablet PCs and syncing to Inspiration for Palm OS. When the software is used with a whiteboard, toolbars can be moved to the bottom of the screen, allowing shorter students to view and use the tools. Current users can download free updates at www.inspiration.com/inspupdate, or www.inspiration.com/kidsupdate, and volume discounts are available.
Bilingual Math Tutorials
www.smarthinking.com, Internet, $5-$10 per student/year
To help students improve their academic performance, this tutoring service has added online math tutors who are bilingual in Spanish and available 24/7. Other live tutoring options include writing, chemistry, biology, physics, statistics, accounting, economics and Spanish. Students can ask questions by dropping in, submit questions for next-day response, pre-schedule sessions and also submit school essays to the online writing lab for a personalized critique, usually within 24 hours. All interactions are saved, permitting on-demand review and analysis by the student or institution. More than 80 percent of the online tutors hold a Masters degree or Ph.D. in their discipline.
The Reading Assistant Manager
www.soliloquylearning.com, Software, $2,000 and up
This network software program can be used by children in grades 1 through 6 at their own pace to improve reading skills. Its proprietary speech recognition/reading verification technology listens to students as they read, providing intelligent intervention when needed and reporting student performance to the teacher. Students choose poetry, fiction, nonfiction or chapter books to read that are each assigned a ?Power Point? goal that they can see when making their selection. Purchases include a headset with earphones and noise-reducing microphone for each user.
Time to Lead
www.lucernemedia.com, Book/DVD, $195
This program was designed to help administrators cope with their workload and achieve goals related to students, parents and the community. It includes a 36-minute DVD (or video) and a 28-page booklet featuring activities, worksheets and overhead masters that blend humorous vignettes with effective how-to strategies in five skill areas: being proactive rather than reactive; clearing the clutter; delegating and empowering; leading by example; and balancing work and personal life.
www.groxis.com, Software, Approximately $150/lab pack?$2,800/site license
This search and research software platform enhances Web-based research by providing access to multiple data sources?including the leading search engines?in a user-friendly visual environment. It includes Grokker 2.2, a new version of the visual search tool that has been optimized for education and research; new features include the ability to export bibliographies. The platform also incorporates ready-to-implement plug-ins, which are data sources from special libraries and other information resources relevant to educational settings.
Pearson Digital Learning
Concert Inform v3
www.pearsondigital.com, Online subscription: $3-$3.75 per student/year
This achievement data analysis and decision support tool was designed to offer educators insight on classroom, school and district-wide performance. It can capture, share and report on a variety of student and assessment information, including student demographics and state, standardized or district tests. Districts and schools can view performance data at district, school, classroom and individual levels against target benchmarks. Other features include improved sorting, grouping, monitoring and system navigation. Teachers can also identify groupings of students based on district-defined criteria, scores above or below a designated level on one or more chosen assessments and/or concepts.
SMART Board Software 9.0
www.smarttech.com/support/software, Software, Free
Available as a free download to all SMART customers, this Windows-based software suite has new content and features. Teachers can now play a Flash file from within a notebook software lesson and save it on a notebook software page or in the gallery, an integrated library of education-related materials. The gallery now includes 6,000 images and backgrounds, 138 image collections and curriculum-focused Flash files.
Teachers and students can also open files created on certain other interactive whiteboard brands and connect any networked computer, such as a laptop, to their interactive whiteboard by using LinQ software, a free sharing application.
The notebook software toolbar can be moved to the bottom of the screen so younger and special needs students can better operate the technology. It also features a number of new tools to help teachers deliver more engaging lessons. For example, teachers can conceal and reveal information point by point by clicking and dragging the screen shade up or down, left or right, over a notebook software page, desktop or any other application.
Fortres Grand Corp.
PC Manifest v1.0
www.fortres.com, Software, Single license $59 (volume discounts available)
This software helps create a complete inventory of all the hardware, software and system information for each computer on a network. It monitors each computer, alerting administrators to changes in hardware or software, and automatically records the dates and details of every software installation and hardware upgrade. It identifies installed spyware, adware, instant messaging and chatware, sorts and searches computers by software titles and versions and provides documentation for troubleshooting inconsistent application behavior between computers. System requirements are Windows 2000/2003 server, Windows 98/Me and 2000/XP.