Articles By Charles G. Doe
Defined STEM helps teachers give engaging, relevant lessons that are cross-curricular and focus on 21st-century skills, differentiate learning, and incorporate nonfiction reading and writing. Defined STEM also provides an authentic assessment of student understanding.
EDUonGo is a cloud-based learning platform for creation of lessons and courses. The system allows integration of a number of programs and external resources and can be used with individuals, single classes, or entire schools.
Remind is a communication tool that helps teachers or administrators connect instantly with students, parents and/or teachers, and teacher-librarians. Once set up, Remind sends quick, simple messages to any device.
The Imagine Easy Classroom Suite delivers standards-aligned, subject-specific instructional content combined with practice and application opportunities so students can prepare for college and/or careers. Assessment and analytical tools allow teachers and administrators to track and monitor student progress so informed classroom, school, and district-wide instructional decisions can be made.
MobyMax is a personalized, blended learning curriculum for K-8 students. It is an online learning tool that includes math, vocabulary, grammar, reading, and more.
BloomBoard Marketplace features access to thousands of free and paid learning resources for teacher practice and to improve student skills. These include courses, ebooks, articles, and videos from trusted content providers that can be accessed from a single location provided by BloomBoard.
The Gaggle Safe Classroom Learning Management System (LMS) promotes student and teacher productivity using current technology and social media. Teachers can create, assign, collect, and correct digital worksheets, such as assessments, assignments, tests and quizzes, and increase student engagement and performance through email, texting, blogs, and other LMS features.
ePals Global Classroom, ePals Clubhouse, and ePals SchoolMail365 and the ePals Global Community facilitate learner connections around the world with safe and secure educational communities. These provide excellent digital content and foster collaboration between classrooms. Digital content aides self-study, and work can be shared between classes.
Acuity CCR Online Assessments are online or pen and pencil tests that are created from a bank of items written to the Common Core State Standards and the specifications of the consortia. Acuity CCR Assessments mirror the blueprint, rigor, item types, and look and feel of the Partnership of Assessment for College and Career Readiness (PARCC).
The Skaffl app is designed for iPad classrooms to allow teachers to distribute and collect assignments digitally. Students can complete their assignments and teachers can assess them all directly on Skaffl.
PBS Math Club is a series of short videos in YouTube format, essentially a YouTube "channel" intended to work like a casual, after-school study club. It is social-media intensive since it is a vlog (video blog) of sorts and allows students to comment. Users with YouTube accounts subscribe to the program.
ProQuest develops information content and technologies which provide vast and varied information, packaged in multiple formats with digital technologies that enhance discovery, sharing, and management. Innovative services aid acquisition, management, and discovery of ProQuest content and your own library's collections.
Goodreads, a social media site for finding and sharing book titles, has more than 20 million members. The site enables people to share books they are reading, rate books they have already read, and list what they are considering next. They can do this publicly or among a self-selected network of online friends.
Drawp for School is a children's iPad app that fosters self-expression and communication. Using the app, kids can create and share art using creativity tools and the app's SimpleShare technology.
The Radix Endeavor is an educational MMO game in development funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A MMO game is a massively multiplayer online game that must be played online and can be played by thousands of students at the same time.
Flashcards are one of the faster and better ways to memorize most kinds of information. Cram utilizes the Leitner system of studying and can be used to create and store flashcards for later use or to borrow flashcards created by others. Flashcards can be created and studied on whichever electronic device is used to access the website or run the app.
Reading Assistant is designed to be used by beginning readers, English language learners, and struggling readers who have attained basic word recognition and decoding skills and are now building their vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.
Net Texts is a series of textbooks and a management and development system intended to supplement or replace textbooks, thereby saving money and taking advantage of student fascination with and involvement in current technology.
Skype is an internet-based communications technology that can be used to connect classrooms the world over for projects using voice, video, or text.
Teachers use Mobl21 programs to create structured student learning materials. After those materials are transferred to student devices, students can use them anytime, anywhere. Emantras has created communities for sharing teacher-created materials.
5D+ GoObserve is an electronic teacher observation and evaluation tool that was developed in partnership with the Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) at the University of Washington using the 5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning teacher evaluation rubric in the only electronic package currently available.
Britannica School was developed to replace textbooks with digital alternatives that address each state's core standards and engage student curiosity to enhance learning. An easy-to-use system helps teachers transition to digital resources and use them, while lowering district costs.
Discovery Education Techbooks are a complete text solution that addresses each state's Core Standards (currently available in 36 states), with a simple-to-use system that helps teachers transition to digital resources while substantially lowering district costs. This primary instructional resource provides dynamic, interactive resources that support the 5E model of instruction (engage, explore, explain, extend, and evaluate) with a variety of digital resources.
Compass Learning Odyssey, which is fully aligned to the Common Core State Standards, includes complete K-12 math, language arts, social science, and science curriculum, which are research-based and include interactive activities, manipulatives, videos, graphics, and animations along with audio reading passages in digital format.
Turnitin is a tool for use with student writing whether in a writing instruction class or as part of other subjects, such social studies classes. The teacher sets up a class and assignment(s) in the Turnitin service. Students or instructors then submit papers to Turnitin via file upload or cut and paste. Turnitin then evaluates the writing using three core tools so students and teachers can see the results as layered feedback.
Knewton is a technology that transforms any computer or web-based content into a personalized experience for each learner, keeps track of progress, and recommends future study.
Globaloria is a social learning network that enables students to develop STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) knowledge and job skills through game design. It includes a set of simple examples, tutorials, and simulations in a customizable, 1-year curriculum.
Shakespeare In Bits uses animated re-enactment, full audio, and unabridged text to present individual plays in a multimedia approach to learning and teaching the plays.
Nearpod is a classroom collaboration tool that allows instructors to create their own custom, interactive presentations that they can push onto student iPods or computers with the School or Gold edition.
Teachscape's Professional Learning Suite facilitates teacher training with access to a large number of easy-to-use, research-based online multimedia content libraries. These video and print libraries help teachers and instructional leaders deepen their understanding of academic content while developing effective strategies for improving teaching and learning.
Schoology is a learning management system (LMS) like Blackboard or Moodle, but it has more features. It offers a way to manage lessons, engage students, share content, and connect with other educators. It is an easy-to-use, easy-to-implement online learning, classroom management, and social networking platform that improves learning through better communication and collaboration and increased access to curriculum and supplemental content.
Britannica Pathways: Science brings the full weight of Encyclopaedia Britannica's outstanding and extensive resources to bear in this supplemental tool for middle school science instruction. It consists of a guided discussion that helps students form hypotheses, which they research. Then, the hypotheses are checked with basic, multiple-choice quizzes and a follow-up activity.
LearnZillion is a learning platform that combines video lessons, assessments, and progress reporting with each lesson highlighting a common core standard. Teachers can assign lessons to classes or individuals when remedial or enrichment math work is needed.
Gaggle online tools are used by K-12 students to communicate safely using Web 2.0 technologies, providing a secure online social learning environment made specifically for schools. Gaggle Apps are tightly integrated into the complete Gaggle system.
Educational facilities serving K-12 students need to provide safe access to Web 2.0 resources for students and staff, while also complying with laws such as the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and data retention and retrieval requirements. Another challenge faced is savvy students attempting to circumvent acceptable use policies. Websense security solutions help K-12 schools address these challenges, enabling productive use of the web; protecting against inbound threats such as spam, malware, and blended threats; and helping to ensure compliance.
Through software installed on the server, SharePoint LMS enables users to create and administer multimedia courses on the internet.
Blackboard Learn 9.1 is intended to be a complete learning management system for course delivery. The Content Management, Course Delivery, and Community Engagement modules make up the Blackboard Learn platform. Blackboard Drive, the newest feature of the Content Management module, allows educators to save time by editing and managing Blackboard Learn content straight from the desktop.
Lexia Reading 8.0 provides a complete technology-based reading curriculum. It provides the needed practice, additional paper-based instruction, and skills practice to enable students to learn to read. Lexia Reading offers students a reading program that provides intensive time on task, with focused activities, scaffolding, and branching. It immediately assesses and reports to teachers exactly how each student is progressing.
Grolier Online is a re-engineered, redesigned version of this web-based, subscription with new content and digital research tools. It tailors content for each user with an enhanced search engine that enables access to articles, maps, and videos that are adjustable to various reading levels.
In Smart Science labs, students interactively collect data from real-world videos. Students predict results and then compare the results to their predictions. Teachers review the students' work.
Quizlet is a flashcards and study games website offered in multiple languages, with visuals and voice in some languages. All flashcards are user-generated. Quizlet contains elements of social networking to promote learning through groups and a blog.
Edublogs is for creating and managing student and teacher blogs with customizable designs. Blogs can be created and managed by individual teachers or school districts for as many students as needed, all in a secure environment. Edublogs also hosts the blogs, which can be public or private, as well. Its site features a "community" with more than 688,000 public blogs on educational topics.
Kidblog's simple tools allow students to publish posts and participate in discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs including giving final approval before student blogs are posted.
PD 360 is an on-demand (ready for use whenever needed) library of professional teacher development resources that makes professional development more effective, convenient, and sustainable.
Edmodo gives teachers and students a secure and easy way to post classroom materials, share links and videos, and access homework, grades, and school notices. They can store and share all forms of digital content including blogs, links, pictures, video, documents, presentations, and more. Also included are features specifically for schools and districts that can be accessed for free by administrators.
Blackboard Mobile Learn allows students and educators to access teaching and learning wherever and whenever they want through two-way interactions on mobile devices. Blackboard Mobile Learn extends the course experience of Blackboard Learn, a web-based teaching and learning platform.
Mobl21 is an easy-to-use platform enabling educational mobility. With the editor, individual teachers, students, or institutions can create and share learning assets that complement formal courses, extending learning through the use of desktop widgets, social networking sites, and devices such as the iPhone and iPod touch. Facebook, iGoogle, Android, BlackBerry, and Flash Lite apps will be available soon.
Charles Doe reviews TimeMAPS, a money management and life skills program, a complete course or a supplement, intended to teach "personal finance literacy" defined as the knowledge needed to make responsible financial decisions.
Charles Doe reviews the subscription-based Study Island SAT and Study Island ACT test preparation programs.
Student response systems, also called "clickers," are handheld devices that help teachers poll students during class sessions and tabulate the responses. This technology is the same as that used when audiences are asked to vote on something during a television quiz program. The advantages of student response systems include increasing student involvement and allowing rapid and accurate assessment of understanding, knowledge, or interest. In this month's roundup, author Charles Doe provides a look at a representative sampling of these systems.
Subscription web services for education offer a fascinating variety of products and approaches for teachers, parents, students, and school systems. Some services provide grade book and student information systems, others offer assessment and learning management platforms, and some feature classroom resources including lesson plans, videos, digital tools, activities, and games. This article takes a look at a representative sampling of subscription-based websites that are appropriate for use in K-12 classrooms.
Charles Doe takes a look at the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS Digital Camera.
Charles Doe takes a look at the Epson PowerLite Presenter, a portable projector/DVD/speaker combo that can be used without a computer to display the contents of a DVD, CD, USB memory device, iPod, or a variety of other electronic media.
An online learning community is a place designed to help users achieve learning goals of some sort through collaborative partnerships, including varying degrees of social networking and internet-based and computer-mediated communication. Charlie Doe takes a look this month at some of the more formal versions of online learning communities—often called learning management systems (LMSs)—which are usually developed by professors or teachers to achieve academic goals via web-based services.
In a year's time, Charlie Doe's district has placed interactive whiteboards in about 30% of their elementary classrooms and, in doing so, has made interactive whiteboard technology the envy of the district. That sparked his interest, so for this roundup, he takes a brief look at several products that offer a variety of approaches, from full whiteboards to equipment that makes a standard dry-erase whiteboard become interactive.
Charles Doe reviews the Read:OutLoud6 text reader from Don Johnston, Inc.
Charles Doe reviews RAPS 360, a reading assessment program designed to identify problem areas in all aspects of reading, including phonics, visual and auditory discrimination, word meaning and recognition, fluency, comprehension, eye tracking, and more.
The constant development of new and evolving internet and electronic technologies has resulted in the creation of an exciting variety of teacher tools for classroom use. The related changing nature of culture and the way students learn these days makes it imperative to adopt these digital tools in our schools. This article takes a look at a sampling of new or updated software, web-based services, and hardware that can be very useful in a variety of learning situations.
Looking at the world around us, it seems clear that digital photography and video are here to stay—and they should be used in K–12 education. Equipment prices have dropped significantly; cameras and other digital devices can be placed in students’ hands without concern. In this article, Charlie Doe takes a look at some of the possibilities for the classroom and media center.
Charles Doe reviews the Study Buddy Handheld Tutor, a device that offers electronic multiple choice practice opportunities for students of all ages.
Charles Doe reviews the portable and affordable Epson DC-06 Document Camera.
As in nearly every other subject area, digital resources for language arts are changing and exploding into a dizzying array of materials. Currently, the number of technology-based language arts resources is so extensive that this article can only scratch at the surface in an examination of these compelling programs and platforms. In this roundup, Charls Doe takes a look at some reading and writing applications, as well some online tool programs and a couple examples of podcasting hardware.
Today, everything from the school lunch program to attendance rosters, telephone operations, and more can be handled by computer systems. And, of course, more and more student assessment can be managed (or at least scored) with computers, generating data results that can be used for additional software manipulation. Data management systems are developing enormous amounts of information that can be stored and then combined and additionally analyzed (or “mined” or “drilled”) for data-driven instructional leadership. This roundup takes a look at several products with different approaches to data-driven decision making.
Charles Doe reviews PebbleGo, a program designed to introduce database skills and research concepts to students in grades K-2.
Charles Doe reviews PBS TeacherLine Peer Connection, a web-based instructional and professional development resource.
A mobile device—also known as a hand-held device, handheld computer, ultrasmall laptop, tablet, palmtop, or simply a handheld—is a small, very mobile computing device. Many mobile devices have features that make them especially useful tools for educators, teachers, administrators, students, and others. This article will take a brief look at some examples of ultramobile PCs, handhelds, probeware, portable gaming devices, and digital media players that could be useful in an education setting.
There are many approaches—and many acronyms—related to ESL studies. Whichever approach or aspect is being considered, ESL resources have increased enormously with the introduction of computer and related electronic technologies. Charles Doe’s article offers some examples of the many fine possibilities available, with a mention of some of their more interesting features.
Charles Doe takes a look at Teachscape XL, a Web-based digital database with a search engine and tools to create learning materials.
Resources or tools that facilitate elementary classroom processes but aren’t major curriculum or textbook components can take at least three forms: tools that help teachers with their daily work; materials (software or electronics) that can be used for learning centers with individual students or small groups of learners; and online or electronic materials and software that support the curriculum or help teaching in some other way. This article takes a look at a few examples of new technology-based possibilities for elementary education. Several of the items mentioned here can be used across grades K–12, but they are well-worth considering in an elementary resources context.
Charles Doe reviews School Loop Standard, a Web-based software program for Web site creation and management.
Charles Doe reviews Animation-ish, a computer program designed to help students create animations.
Charles Doe reviews the Bamboo Fun Pen Tablet, a computer input device.
Document cameras—sometimes called visual presenters—are among the most exciting current technologies available to assist teachers in presenting formal or informal lessons. These devices can take the place of overhead projectors. They offer an array of helpful functions and features—and should be found on every teacher’s desk in every classroom. In this issue's "Look At ... " roundup, Charlie Doe takes a look at examples of document camera technology offered by a variety of companies.
New and developing technologies are producing a wealth of wonderful resources for science instruction. These include everything from virtual experiments delivered via software or the internet to probeware and data loggers—and a number of interesting and useful devices in between. This roundup takes a look at a variety of science programs and tools, with a focus on what’s available and what’s interesting. The goal is to introduce some new possibilities for classroom use, not to provide a comprehensive review of this category of learning tools.
Charles Doe reviews Writing Roadmap 2.0, an online essay scoring tool designed to give students practice in building writing skills.
Charles Doe reviews Lexia Reading v5, a collection of three software programs combined with management functions.
Teachers have been looking for alternatives to standard written book reports and other student reports for years, often combining them with art projects for more visual presentations. Some exciting new possibilities have been created as a result of more powerful computers, increased internet use, the development of inexpensive digital and video cameras, new software, and other technologies. Read Charles Doe’s latest “Look At … ” report to learn more.
Among the most fascinating developments in language arts technologies are those driven by programs often called “engines.” This article takes a quick drive around the block to examine some of these engines, beginning with those found in web-based programs. The cruise then continues with a quick view of some interesting new web and CD-based software, as well as some computer-related devices using other developing technologies. The final stops on the tour will be some interesting and useful electronic devices for language arts learning.
Charles Doe reviews WordBuild Elements Level 1, a spiraling vocabulary curriculum for grades 3-12.
Charles Doe reviews Fluent Reading Trainer (FLRT), a Web-based program that helps students increase reading speed while improving or maintaining reading comprehension.
Remember folder games and puzzles? Teachers have always used instructional aids of one kind or another to supplement instruction, such as calculators in Math class, games, puzzles, math aids, and other devices for small group or individual work. In recent years, computers and computer-related electronics such as MP3 players, hand-held devices, keyboards, projectors, whiteboards, and a diverse collection of additional electronic instructional aids have become available. Charlie Doe's Look At ... roundup this month sorts these supplemental electronics into categories and describes an array of them for your information.
The speed at which podcasting is spreading is phenomenal! This versatile technology is entering the educational arena almost as fast as it entered the technology mainstream a while ago. Podcasts allow students and teachers to easily share information. An absent student can download the podcast of a recorded lesson. Teachers or administrators can communicate curriculum, assignments, and other information with parents and the community. Both video and audio podcasts offer a new and fresh way of presenting reports. In this month's Look At ... roundup, Charlie Doe gives you the what, the how, and the why of this phenomenon.
Charles Doe reviews the tool package that includes Encarta Premium, Encarta Kids, Microsoft Math, Learning Essentials and more.
Charles Doe reviews a DVD-based program designed to illustrate editing techniques and principles.
Charles Doe reviews TeacherFilebox.com, an online collection of instructional resources for PreK-6 educators.
Presentation systems are an exciting and expanding mixture of educational tools growing from computer, projection, and other technologies. The systems examined in this article are built around interactive whiteboards, devices that interpret projected surfaces and interact with a computer desktop. This article takes a look at some complete presentation systems and their components.
The “social networking” generation is writing, and this writing is important to them. Schools must find a way to merge these informal writing activities with the writing activities found in classrooms. It’s possible that the use of social networking technologies with classroom writing programs could make writing in school interesting enough to motivate students to tackle the more formal writing needed for college, business, and other activities in adult life. Charles Doe's latest "Look At ... " article examines some of the software and Webware possibilities inspired by social computing as well as some of the newer computer- and Internet-based writing tools.
Charles Doe reviews the Radius Audio Learning System, a hardware product that plays CD-ROMs and reads digital activity cards to process information and student responses.
Charles Doe reviews The Bridge of Vocabulary, a program that includes a book with 100 vocabulary activities and a companion CD-ROM that provides more than 300 additional activities.
Charles Doe's Look At ... this month surveys software that includes student management systems featuring record keeping, scheduling, and other similar tasks; teacher evaluations; online learning environments; communications (usually email); grades and grade books; reporting; and more.
Moving right along, Charlie switches from last issue's Look At ... Elementary-Level Software and Webware to secondary-level materials this time ... "everything from exciting new software for video-editing tasks that weren’t really possible in high schools 20 years ago to extraordinary subscription databases," plus "Web-based courseware that is becoming larger and larger in scope, more sophisticated assessment tools, and some programs with intriguing electronic delivery methods."
Charles Doe reviews Great Source iwrite, a free Web-based writing resource for grades 5-12.
Charles Doe reviews WriteBrain, a Web-based multimedia writing program.
This article begins with a look at some examples of the excellent smaller, more narrowly focused elementary programs available on CD and moves on to examples of some of the outstanding, more far-reaching programs available via the Web or a network of some type. As usual, Charlie Doe has the category covered in this latest roundup.
Online or Web-based assessments are growing in number and variety. The amazing growth in the number and use of Web-based assessments is being spurred by their enormous advantages. Scoring and reporting is nearly instantaneous; results are available to teachers and administrators soon after test completion. Student feedback also can be nearly instantaneous and part of the learning process when the assessment is used as part of ongoing instruction. This article takes a look at a number of K–12 Web-based assessments to provide examples and to discuss as many different types of quality assessments as possible.
Reviewer Charles Doe takes a look at TeenBiz3000, an Internet-based reading and writing supplemental program for grades 9-12.
Charlie Doe reviews the Nova5000EX, a full-featured tablet computer or electronic learning slate that can be categorized somewhere between a handheld unit and a laptop computer.
New and exciting uses of digital technology in language arts are appearing all the time—a very good thing in view of the digital nature of the lives of today's K–12 students. As we all know, the amount of time that students spend with television, cell phones, iPods, gaming technologies, the Internet, computers, and other electronic technologies is stunning. Fortunately, emerging digital technologies can help language arts teachers liven up their classes, making them more digitally relevant and keeping or regaining student attention. This article takes a look at some Web-based programs and some new hardware that may provide new ideas for your language arts classroom.
Exciting new mobile computer technologies are moving into K–12 education on many fronts. Today, teachers can work with portable media players, audience response systems, smartphones, portable keyboards/small laptops, tablet PCs, laptops, and hand-held devices (personal digital assistants, or PDAs). All of these sport the latest in wireless and other technologies, and all vary widely—and wildly—in function, potential, and cost. This article takes a look at seven types of currently available mobile technologies.
Charles Doe reviews Type to Learn Jr. New Keys for Kids, a keyboarding program for students in grades K-2.
The Califone DVD50-PLC is a portable DVD player with a 7-inch screen, two headphones, cables that connect the unit to a television and/or sound equipment, an AC adapter, a rechargeable battery pack, and a remote control.
Math, computers, and the Internet make a wonderful combination that seems to be producing better, more effective, and more interesting math educational materials every day. Internet technology—driven by speedy DSL access, increasing flexibility of use, and a large (and growing) potential audience—is providing an exciting forum for the development of some really outstanding math resources. Charlie Doe takes a look at the territory in this math roundup.
Charles Doe discusses digital cameras and provides an overview of some of what is available in this installment of our LOOK At ... series of features.
Learning Essentials for Microsoft Office, a software tool that provides education-specific scaffolding for students and teachers using Microsoft Office applications, is reviewed by Charles Doe.
Reviewer Charles Doe takes a look at the Mobilepresenter BT, a wireless tablet used to annote presentations and run computers while a teacher or presenter is moving around a room.
Charlie Doe covers scanners in this "Look At ...," discussing how they can be effectively used and what you need to know about them to make an informed buying decision, then describing an array of scanners from "basic" to "multi-function."
Charlie Doe looks at everything from computers, projectors, and printers to curriculum, tool, and security software in his latest Look At ... roundup.
Reviewer Charles Doe examines The New Classroom Jeopardy!
Charles Doe reviews FASTT Math, software available on CD-ROM for network and stand-alone use.
Charles Doe reviews Read & Write 7.1E Gold, a floating toolbar designed for use withWindows-based software programs.
This article examines a sampling of cutting-edge early literacy products for a variety of uses: full curriculum, limited computer access, adaptive computer-based instruction, large and Web-based programs, Reading + Writing and ESL, and home or school. Keep in mind that this is not an attempt to cover the entire category; these programs were selected as good examples of their types.
Math teachers and their students have a huge number of instructional, testing, tutorial, and other materials available in a bewildering array of formats. Programs and services are offered as software for personal computers or hand-held devices, on stand-alone handhelds and calculators, and as Web-based subscription services. This article takes a look at some of the instructional, testing, and tutorial software or Web-based programs and services for math teaching.
A product review of "Fractions with Professor Von Strudel," math software for grades 2-6.
A product review of Deltora, a Web site for ages 9-12 that supports the Deltora novels by Emily Rodda.
Soliloquy Reading Assistant 3.0 helps students improve reading skills by providing additional practice at reading aloud at school, supplementing teachers' reading lessons. The program listens to students as they read, provides intelligent intervention when needed, and reports student performance to the teacher. Both grade-level reading material and excellent managing software is available.
Advances in technology—including artificial intelligence (AI), as well as computer- and Web-based technologies—have led to the development of exciting instructional and testing applications for teaching writing. Some of the more radical changes are stemming from the development and relatively widespread use of computerized essay correction technology. In this article, learn about an array of essay-scoring products from some of the top testing companies, including Educational Testing Services (e-rater), Pearson Knowledge Technologies (Intelligent Essay Assessor), and Vantage Learning (IntelliMetric).
Expanding educational (and other) assessments and the explosive growth of computer and Internet technologies have produced an ever-increasing number of online assessment tools for nearly any imaginable purpose. Formal assessments, including standardized tests, and more informal assessments, such as those used by classroom teachers, are included in this boom. The assessments discussed here include everything from programs that administrators might look at for standardized testing for an entire district to programs that individual teachers might purchase for their own use or for use within a department.
The electronic devices, Web sites, and computer software discussed in this article will almost certainly light up the eyes of the television, Game Boy, or computer game fans in most classrooms. And, hopefully, some of the enthusiasm for the medium will carry over into the subject matter. For purposes of this article, language arts is loosely defined as anything that might be taught in an English class. Discussing a representative sampling of this technology will hopefully give readers ideas for classroom use, as well as ideas about places to look for additional similar learning tools.
Canvastic is a publishing tool that combines paint, draw, and text tools and can be used to created single page-sized documents or slideshows. The program offers easy-to-understand text, draw and paint tools, and a clear interface. Canvastic is customizable for use with younger students and has none of the "toy" features that are common with paint programs for this age group. The download package includes backgrounds, clipart, templates, and some sample lessons in several content areas.
The Neo is a portable, lightweight, and inexpensive computer "companion" that looks like a keyboard with a small screen attached.
As the Web continues to develop and faster Internet access becomes available to more individuals, the likelihood of Web-based programs replacing CD-ROMs is becoming more and more real. The advantages provided by subscription Web-based services will lead them to be used for direct instructional purposes in the classroom.
You've learned the basic functions of your hand-held computer (or PDA—Personal Digital Assistant)—and now you're wondering what more you can do with it, or how you can improve its function.
Handles scanning and provides the ability to work with virtually any photography application.
A comprehensive, integrated suite of CD- and DVD-burning tools.
The Blobs, an interactive animated program with narration by Jane Horrocks, helps students learn basic number, letter, color, and beginning word skills.
Charles Doe reviews the CIBS-R Management System, a Web-based student record book, scoring sheet, scorer, and performance tracker for student progress as measured by the BRIGANCE Comprehensive Inventory of Basic Skills--Revised (CIBS-R).
The Internet has added whole new dimensions to databases—not only to the type and breadth of information available—but to the complexity and problems involved in getting the information.