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Products Worth Checking Out

K12 respondents report that an average of 30 percent of their new data-center purchasing is green, and 64 percent see cloud computing as an energy-efficient approach to IT.– Source: CDW-G’s Energy Efficient IT Report (2012)

Promethean activ table
ActivTable, contact Promethean for pricing
The interactive learning space provided by Promethean’s new ActivTable includes a virtual keyboard for up to six students along with a Web browser. Students can view each other’s work, and teachers can project student work on Promethean’s ActivBoard, an interactive whiteboard, and ActivView, a visual presenter.

Bretford bretford
PowerSync Tray for iPad, $999
This new product from Bretford, available exclusively through Apple, allows educators to charge and sync up to 10 iPads at once. Users can move selected apps, books, videos and more to each iPad. By connecting multiple trays, users can sync up to 30 iPads on a single USB port. Other features include a security lid with a user-programmable security lock, and a laser-cut numbering system to keep iPads organized.

PCI Education PCI
Reading Program Level 3 Software, starting at $630
PCI Education produces resources for students with special needs. This new software, also available in print, is a Web-based extension of PCI Reading Program and comes furnished with support for basic word-decoding skills, including games, a digital library, activities and practice in fluency. Highlighted text and graphics offer students support as they read. PCI’s three-level system is available in print and software editions.

School Improvement Network LiveBook
LiveBook, $34.95; LivePlanner, $175; site licensing also available
School Improvement Network has released two new online professional development tools—LiveBook and LivePlanner— to help educators prepare for the transition to the Common Core State Standards. Mapping to the Core by Heidi Hayes Jacobs, author and expert in curriculum mapping, is the first LiveBook available. It can be updated by the author to keep the text relevant, and educators can write notes, share ideas and influence the development of the text. LivePlanner provides tools to create customized curriculum maps that support teachers in aligning their lessons to the Common Core.

Adobe Systems adobe
Creative Suite 6, student and teacher editions starting at $349
Equipped with new features, Adobe Creative Suite 6 helps students learn skills they can use in the workforce, such as photo and video editing, and print, Web and mobile design. This version enables digital media production on the go with the integration of Adobe Touch Apps, which are available on the iPad and Android tablets. Student and teacher editions are available for schools, educators and students.

School Specialty FOSS
Full Option Science System, 3rd ed., $500; volume discounts available
FOSS is an inquiry-based science program for elementary school students that allows them to discover ideas on their own by taking notes, asking questions and making observations. The third edition focuses on active learning and helping students develop critical thinking skills. Modules are available for physical, life and Earth sciences. FOSS was developed at the University of California at Berkeley.

Follett Software Company follett
Destiny 10.1, contact Follett for pricing
With this updated version of Destiny, a library management system, educators can seamlessly integrate with other Follett products, including Titlewave, a collection development and management tool, and Aspen, a student information system. Other updated features include integration with FollettShelf, which allows students to browse Follett’s eBook collection, check out eBooks using a digital reader application, and read on a tablet, laptop or PC. Existing Destiny users with current technical support receive the upgrade for free.

Archipelago Learning study island
Study Island, pricing varies
Archipelago Learning has added new features to its popular online platform Study Island, which provides instructional content, practice exercises, assessment and reporting aligned to state standards in all content areas and grade levels. The new Teacher Toolkit facilitates access to the platform’s extensive library of resources, including lesson plans, animated lessons, virtual science labs, teacher videos, project-based learning activities and Khan Academy videos.

Which products and services make a difference in your district? Nominate your favorite products by the deadline of Sept. 12 to be considered for the Readers' Choice Top 100 Products of 2012. 100