New Forums Press
Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Teachers and Accusations of Abuse
www.newforums.com, Book, $16.95
This book looks at the growing trend of educators being falsely accused of student abuse, which could result in job loss and remaining unemployable even after innocence is established.
Written by Colorado Association Attorney Greg Lawler, who has defended more than 2,000 teachers against allegations of abuse, and mass media researcher and author Matthew Olson, the book details 13 of Lawler's cases and advocates reforms that will allow educators to protect themselves. Those reforms include: anonymity for the accused, as well as the accuser, until a determination is made by a court; mandatory accountability for adults and students who knowingly make false accusations; initial screening of a report of abuse by a neutral party to see if the facts are valid and verifiable; and a thorough investigation of allegations prior to criminal reporting or suspension of a teacher.
www.qualcomm.com, Software, $49.95/new purchasers, $39.95/previously paid, registered users
The latest version of this e-mail program includes automatic spam protection, an e-mail thread condenser, automated type formatting tools and mailbox organizational shortcuts.
The software's SpamWatch feature, available in Paid mode only, is a suite of ready-to-use tools designed to deflect unwanted junk mail. The program also features a "wanted mail" box, so users can sort through junk mail and rate it with a numeric ranking "junk score." The higher number indicates e-mail with a greater number of criteria defining it as spam. The program's Content Concentrator helps unravel e-mail threads by providing a streamlined view of an e-mail.
Additional new features include contextual filing, which allows users to select a word or name within a message and automatically file the message in a folder or mailbox of the same word or name. The software's Formal Painter (Windows only) copies fonts and styles from one place to another in an e-mail. Mailbox Drawer (Mac OS 10.2 only) lets users access their list of mailboxes from any mailbox window. Dual SMTP authorization lets the program interoperate with the ISPs restrictions on sending and forwarding e-mail.
Educational Activities Software
Diascriptive Reading Online
www.ea-software.com, Internet, $795 and up
This updated and revised Web-based software is a diagnostic/prescriptive program for comprehension development of students in grades four and up. Diagnostic pre-tests automatically assess students in comprehension of details, inference, main idea, sequence, vocabulary, fact and opinion. The program then prescribes individualized assignments in non-fiction, content-area passages, automatically advancing learners or providing targeted remediation. The program's management system provides educators with the student's name, class, lesson, number of attempts, number of correct answers, time on task, percent score and date.
GuruNet Homework Edition
www.atomica.com, Software, $399 per building/year (for up to 100 PCs)-$2,999 per campus/year (for 301-3,000 PCs)
Students and educators can use this study-aid software to sharpen their focus when researching the Web for homework assignments and research projects. The software offers reference information in real time, including content from sources such as dictionaries, encyclopedias and thesauri. It also offers acronyms, geography, science and technology terms, biographies, history, weather, maps, translations and child-friendly Web content. The software works within any Windows application, including e-mail, Office and Web browsers.
For campuses with more than 3,000 PCs, pricing is negotiable.
AppendPDF Pro 3.0
www.appligent.com, Software, $3,995
The latest version of this software enables users to assemble sections from PDFs to build a new document with a choice of personalized features, including a cover page and table of contents. New features include support for using the XML format and the option of supporting linearization of PDF, so a user can view the first page of a PDF while it is still being downloaded from the Internet. The software also supports 40- and 128-bit encryption, as well as sets user permissions for PDFs.
Learning Company Books
Reader Rabbit Workbook Series
www.learningcompanybooks.com, Books, $3.99 for single subject and $14.99 for comprehensive
Geared toward children ages three to seven, this series includes three 320-page comprehensive workbooks and five 32-page single-subject workbooks. The comprehensive workbook contains ten chapters, each covering a different reading-related subject. The single-subject workbook is designed to introduce children to smaller books that focus on a single subject.
Curriculum Trends: A Reference Handbook
www.abc-clio.com, Book, $45
Part of the Contemporary Education Issues series, this book highlights the history of pre-K-12 curriculum development in the U.S. from the 1890s to the present. Author and curriculum studies scholar Valerie Janesick offers a detailed, up-to-date survey of curriculum trends from a variety of perspectives, ranging form traditionalist to reconceptualist to postmodern. Topics include: how schooling in the U.S. began with religious schools; women's emergence as teachers as a result of war; and how the high-stakes testing and standards movements have resulted in significant changes in teaching methodology.
www.class.com, Software, $100-$200 per student
This online Spanish course is the third in a series that uses Holt, Rinehart, and Winston's Ven Conmigo! textbook series. Each unit includes a variety of interactive activities to accommodate different learning styles. Students are able to record and listen to their own voices and send audio files to their teacher for assessment. Ven Conmigo! includes a Spanish-English glossary of all the words used in the course.
Ulead in Education
www.ulead.com, Internet $30-$500
This online resource offers K-12 teachers information and tools for incorporating digital media software in the classroom. The service provides online support for teachers using video and imaging software, and it equips teachers with curriculum content to teach multicultural diversity, poetry and environmental studies with new lesson plans added each month. Teachers can also access step-by-step tutorials, project ideas and school showcases. References are available for online training and support, as well as grant writing tips, templates for creating digital media projects and articles and examples of schools using digital media in the classroom.
World Cultures and World Regions
www.nationalgeographic.com, Books, $460 for each classroom set; $67.50 for individual titles
Designed for grades 3-8, these two series combine literacy development with science and social science content correlated to national curriculum standards. The World Cultures series includes seven titles that help students explore changing cultures around the world. Articles examine key issues that affect the people of the region, such as urbanization, highlight the contributions of noted artists and sports figures, and look at how traditional and modern worlds meet.
World Regions also includes seven titles and helps students see connections between the world's physical regions and the people who live there. Readers go on assignment with National Geographic photographers and writers for close-up views of faraway places.
Evaluating Programs to Increase Student Achievement
www.skylightedu.com, Book, $26.95
Authored by Martin H. Jason, a professor of education leadership and organizational change at Roosevelt University, this book provides a framework for schools to plan and evaluate their school improvement programs. The book outlines the phases of assessment with step-by-step procedures for each assessment phase, as well as describes how program evaluation contributes to a learning organization and can be used to improve the curriculum. Testing and measuring program outcomes and the six phases of the evaluation process are also included.
www.absolute.com, Software, $39.95
This new software helps protect remote and mobile PCs against threats from the Internet. Using the browser-based AbsoluteConsole, the software allows users to centrally establish network security policies for company-wide compliance, improve user productivity and bandwidth by restricting non-essential applications and create rule sets based on user groups, protocol type, direction of network traffic and local or remote addresses and ports. In addition, the software helps safeguard network resources and lower internal and external security risks. Districts can decrease their administrative costs by using the software's centralized deployment and administration.
mPOWER for the Web
www.mmdesigncorp.com, Software, district license (includes desktop version) $1,995, plus $495/school within district
This application allows students to create multimedia presentations within a Web browser. The technology includes the same tools found on the software's desktop version. Students can express their ideas as Web presentations, remotely collaborate on projects and edit playback when online. Teachers may use the plug-in architecture for assessment, testing and full copyright protection. There is a one-time district setup and phone installation support fee of $1,500.
The company has also released its updated desktop authoring tool, Mpower 5, to include cross-platform authoring and playback via a patent-pending XML format, which enhances image editing and paint functionality. The individual school edition, $79.95, includes a user guide and one CD-Rom. Site licenses are $799.95.
Educator Professional Development Management System
www.ahainteractive.com, Internet, $25-$50 per user/year
Administrators can use this Web-based system to align professional development to strategic objectives. Features include an online course catalog, course registration and attendance tracking. The program helps differentiate professional development by educator experience level, teaching assignment and initiatives. The fee includes licensing, hosting, training, support and upgrades.
www.companioncorp.com, Software, $1,495-$2,495 per site
This point-of-sale automation software for K-12 cafeterias includes features such as free and reduced lunch program management, customizable reports, recertification letters, integrated word processor, auto-update technology, Web interface for students and parents to access account information and multi-level security. The software can be database-managed at each site or at one central location servicing and entire district. Supporting Windows 2000 and XP and Mac OS X, the software is available as a free upgrade to all MacLunchroom subscribers.
Lexia Learning Systems
Teaching Reading: Stages and Strategies
www.lexialearning.com, Software, $500/5-pack; $700/10-pack; add-on CDs $50/each
This professional development and reading software provides educators with an introduction to the central concepts in teaching children to read. The program is based on techniques that coincide with Reading First. Educators can learn to better understand the challenges faced by a struggling reader and to individualize instruction. The software provides training in the core concepts of reading instruction, including the skills acquisition process, the relationships of reading development with spoken and written language, and the stages of reading and multi-sensory strategies for instruction.
The Leadership Brain: How to Lead Today's Schools More Effectively
www.corwinpress.com, Book, $34.95
Authored by David A. Sousa, this book provides a new model for a whole-brain approach to educational leadership. It looks at the differences in learning and retention, left- and right-brain hemispheric preferences, higher-order thinking and the nature of creativity. Advice includes how to: effectively shape and manage school culture; address the call for ethical and spiritual leadership; understand how thinking habits influence actions; and reduce misconceptions about students with disabilities, as well as gifted and minority students.
Math and My World
www.rourkepublishing.com, Books, $20.95 for individual titles; $119.70 for series
Designed for grades 4-6, this series teaches students the practical uses of math across a wide range of disciplines, including science, geography and economics. Students learn to make sense of the nutrition labels on cans in Kitchen Math and calculate how long their family trip will take in Travel Math. Other titles include Map, Medical, Money and Weather Math.