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February 14, 2012

Table of Contents

PBS TeacherLine Adds Course Terms to Online Professional Development Program
PCI Education Debuts PCI Reading Program-Level Three Software
MindPlay Announces New Web-Based Differentiated Reading Curriculum
Apex Learning Announces Digital Curriculum to Meet Learning Expectations of Common Core State Standards
Revolution K12 Updates Algebra Readiness Program
Knovation (Formerly netTrekker) Launches icurio Digital Curriculum Content Solution
Shmoop Launches AP Statistics
Educational Content Provider netTrekker Becomes “Knovation”
CollegeWeekLive Connects Students and Colleges Live Online
Pearson Education’s Alleyoop College Readiness Website Launches
PCI Education Introduces Algebra City
ITI Crosslinks: Apple Announces Efforts to ‘Reinvent’ Textbooks
MIND Research Institute Launches ST Math Touch
Britannica Curriculum Program Takes Aim at Scientific Misconceptions
Britannica Launches New Editions of SmartMath
Pearson Offers First Look at Its New Suite of Interactive Books for iPad
Inspiration Software Introduces Visual Mapping for iPad
Internet@Schools Xtra News: Complete January/February 2012 Internet@Schools Contents Now Available Online—Full Text, Text+Graphics, PDF
School Specialty’s uLog Data Collection Devices Support STEM Education
School Specialty’s Wordly Wise 3000 Goes Online
School Specialty Launches MCI (Making Connections Intervention)
Pearson Launches PowerSchool Mobile for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
GradeCam Releases Free Scanning Software for Rapid Classroom Test Grading
DYMO/Mimio Announces MimioStudio 9 Software
PBS TeacherLine Unveils Course on Virtual Teaching
WNET’s THIRTEEN Announces Launch of Mission US: ‘Flight to Freedom’
Britannica SmartMath Now Extends to Eighth Grade
National PBS Survey Finds Teachers Want More Access to Classroom Tech
Epson Introduces Bright and Affordable Projector for Education
Epson Expands Ultra-Short Throw Projector Portfolio Delivering Increased Brightness and Connectivity to K-12 Classrooms
Epson Announces iProjection App for Wireless Projection from iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch Devices

PBS TeacherLine Adds Course Terms to Online Professional Development Program

PBS TeacherLine has expanded its course schedule to eight terms. PBS TeacherLine now offers additional terms that feature some of its latest and most popular online facilitated courses. Enrollment is currently open for the new winter term starting Feb. 29, 2012.

The upcoming terms offer some of the most popular PBS TeacherLine courses, along with a new course on climate change that includes resources developed through a NASA grant. "STEM 417: Global Climate Change Education for High School" enables educators to teach climate change using a problem-based approach and STEM methodology. Teachers learn how to integrate dynamic digital media resources from NASA, PBS and other online sites into classroom instruction to capture students' interest and reinforce academic concepts. 

Research conducted by Learning Point Associates, Hezel Associates, and professors from Old Dominion University show that PBS TeacherLine courses help educators boost their confidence and competence in instructional technology integration, and improve their content knowledge and instructional strategies. In addition, a recent two-year study conducted by Hezel Associates indicates student reading achievement increased after their teachers completed a PBS TeacherLine online professional development course.

PBS TeacherLine was recently recognized for educational excellence by EdTech Digest, earning 2011 Cool Tool Awards in the STEM Solution and Professional Development categories. For more information about PBS TeacherLine and full course schedule, visit www.pbs.org/teacherline.

Source: PBS TeacherLine, www.pbs.org/teacherline

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PCI Education Debuts PCI Reading Program-Level Three Software

PCI Education, a provider of resources for students with special instructional needs, has announced the launch of PCI Reading Program-Level Three Software, a new online component to the award-winning PCI Reading Program, a reading series for students with intellectual disabilities. Designed to complement the print edition of Level Three, Level Three Software delivers interactive lessons to help students master decoding through a suite of engaging virtual games. The online, subscription-based software covers the same concepts presented in print and focuses on building phonemic awareness and phonic skills.

Designed to support and enhance the basic word-decoding skills taught in its print counterpart, Level Three Software follows the same lesson pedagogy while presenting skills in a different format. This double layering promotes deeper understanding and helps students generalize newly learned capabilities. Students are guided through the program with positive reinforcement and praise from a narrator. 

In addition to the games, Level Three Software contains a digital library of the 10 fiction and 10 nonfiction books used in the print edition. Special features include highlighted text and picture support, and each book is accompanied by comprehension activities and practice in fluency. The software component also offers modified writing opportunities not available in print.

PCI Reading Program-Level Three Software offers both formative and summative assessments. The program delivers assessments for prescriptive placement, progress monitoring, and skills mastery.  Teachers can enter scores and anecdotal notes for any activities completed away from the computer. All scores can then be reviewed or printed out for use in parent conferences or for annual achievement reporting. These assessments enable teachers to individualize instruction for each student and document progress in mastering skills.

As a three-level system with print and software editions at each level, the PCI Reading Program helps students with intellectual disabilities learn how to read. The program has been carefully designed to guide students step by step to reading success and independence. Students begin Level One focused on learning high-frequency words through visual discrimination. Phonemic awareness and phonics are slowly layered in so that by Level Three students can use the words they have learned to identify 23 onsets and 20 rimes for word building and decoding. As students progress through the three levels, they are able to read 405 words with the goal of becoming more independent in their ability to decode unknown words.

For more information about the PCI Reading Program, visit www.pcieducation.com/reading.

Source: PCI Education, www.pcieducation.com

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MindPlay Announces New Web-Based Differentiated Reading Curriculum

MindPlay, Inc. has announced a new curriculum for grades K-12 reading, MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach (MVRC). MindPlay's MVRC is designed to help students improve their reading skills measurably in 30 hours or less by differentiating instruction for each student with the precision of a reading specialist and enabling them to work at their own pace.

Delivered over the internet, MVRC helps teachers provide direct instruction by providing virtual human reading specialists and speech pathologists that students can see and hear through video. MVRC provides instruction in six essential reading components, including the five identified by the National Reading Panel:  Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Grammar and Meaning, Comprehension and Fluency. Expected to ship this spring, the program is aligned to the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts.

Accurately assessing reading skills, diagnosing specific problems, and delivering direct and differentiated reading instruction in a classroom with students of widely varying abilities is a highly complex and time-consuming process for teachers. MVRC automates this process and enables all students, not just those who are struggling, to receive direct instruction that targets their specific and unique barriers to fluent reading. The research-based program applies expert teaching methods. It assesses each student's reading abilities with a complete diagnostic exam, and instantly provides prescribed sequences of lessons and activities. In addition to the basic six reading components, the MindPlay diagnostic mode also tests the tracking ability of students' eyes, which is a necessary skill for reading fluency, and assigns them to "Practical Eye Tracking" (PET) activities designed to increase their tracking speed and ability to read multiple lines at a time. This feature can also catch some vision problems, alerting teachers immediately if a student might need eye glasses to correct vision before beginning the curriculum.

Assessment is embedded into MVRC. The program requires students to master each concept at 100 percent before they move to the next concept, to ensure they do not miss any building blocks.  This builds the concrete foundation students need for learning additional concepts and becoming fluent readers. The program addresses students' different styles by presenting each concept multiple ways. MVRC includes more than 20 levels of instruction, when needed, and over 40 practice activities per skill or concept.

Six different virtual coaches and three certified speech pathologists guide students throughout the program and provide individualized feedback based on student performance.  There are 62 phonics lessons and 60 grammar, meaning and writing lessons. Students receive a Text Lexile score for reading passages and can read from more than 1,000 stories.

MVRC collects and records all data in a central reporting system in real time. The program provides reports at district, school, classroom and student levels. It continuously monitors student progress. Teachers and administrators can customize and export the reports they need to evaluate student progress.

MVRC is expected to ship this spring.

Source: MindPlay, Inc., www.mindplay.com

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Apex Learning Announces Digital Curriculum to Meet Learning Expectations of Common Core State Standards

Apex Learning has announced new online courses specifically designed around the Common Core State Standards in math and English language arts. 

Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear framework for what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know how best to support their learning. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that students need for success in college and careers. 

Like all Apex Learning online courses, the new math and English language arts courses based on the Common Core State Standards will be designed to take full advantage of technology and media to engage students in active learning and support all students in mastering rigorous content.

During the 2012-2013 school year, Apex Learning will deliver English I, the first course based on the Common Core State Standards, followed by English II, III, and IV and Algebra I and II, Geometry and a fourth year math course.

In addition to the new Common Core courses, Apex Learning will further expand its course catalog for the 2012-2013 academic year.  Apex Learning will add Spanish III and Physics to meet the requirements of certain states for high school graduation as well as college entrance criteria.  Liberal Arts Math, a course designed specifically to meet the state of Florida's requirements and that can also serve as an elective course, will be added expanding the existing course catalog to nearly 200 semester courses.

Source: Apex Learning, www.apexlearning.com

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Revolution K12 Updates Algebra Readiness Program

Revolution K12, a web-based adaptive software division of Revolution Prep, has updated its Algebra Readiness program. The program offers improved audio/visual lessons that cover 22 topics and 113 concepts using tutorials, diagnostic questions and ongoing assessments that monitor student progress and target weaknesses through Revolution K12's Mentor Session technology.

To begin the program, students answer a set of questions that address prior knowledge concepts in order to ensure that they are ready for pre-algebra content. Then they delve into the 113 concepts in 22 main topic areas. Lessons offer Spanish text translation and test items vary in format from multiple choice, true/false, constructed response and matching. Based upon each individual's prescriptive results, students are either moved upward to more challenging content or auto-assigned to tutorials to help them improve proficiency and understanding.

Teachers are able to customize the order in which concepts are presented, making it easy to incorporate Algebra Readiness into existing curriculum. Ongoing student assessments provided throughout the program allow teachers to gauge student progress and provide timely, individualized interventions. Detailed student data that measures individual progress against standards is provided in real-time reports, thus helping teachers customize instruction and boost their overall effectiveness.

Off-line activities in the program include puzzles and games tied to each session. Algebra Readiness is iOS compatible and is aligned to Common Core, California, Florida and Texas STAAR standards.

To learn more about Revolution K12's Algebra Readiness program, go to http://revolutionk12.com or call (877) 463-8951.

Source: Revolution Prep, http://revolutionprep.com or http://revolutionk12.com

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Knovation (Formerly netTrekker) Launches icurio Digital Curriculum Content Solution

Knovation has announced the unveiling of its newest product, icurio, a digital curriculum content solution for personalized learning.  The icurio solution is designed to break down barriers to learning and transform the way teachers teach and students learn in a modern-day educational environment, according to the announcement.

The introduction of icurio comes on the heels of Knovation's corporate transformation announcement, which reflects a new name and broadening vision for the company formerly known as netTrekker. Knovation's icurio enables districts to bridge from fixed traditional content to flexible digital content that can be targeted to meet the unique needs of learners across the learning continuum.  A digital curriculum content solution that delivers a collection of 330,000 digital learning resources aligned to state and Common Core standards, icurio provides teachers more time and flexibility to engage students and address their individual needs and gives students the content and tools they need to take charge of their own learning, the announcement states.

Designed to support districts on the print-to-digital transition and to empower teachers as they transform their classrooms to an engaging, learner-centered environment, icurio gives teachers the time and flexibility to create lessons that target individual student needs, reducing barriers to learning and improving achievement.  icurio empowers teachers with:

  • 330,000+ digital learning resources aligned with state and Common Core standards and a content organization framework that allows for curriculum planning and daily lesson planning for the district, school, classroom, and the individual student.
  • Digital content from leading providers, including BrainPOP, Defined STEM, National Science Teachers Association, Learnetic Math and Science, Weekly Reader Express and more for teaching all K-12 curriculum subjects.
  • A learner-centered solution that helps teachers and students effectively use technology in learning.
  • A wide variety of tools and techniques to get students back on track.
  • Engaging resources to help students feel excited about learning and easy access to problem-solving, small group and individualized activities to support the curriculum.

Using personalized learning tools such as the Read Aloud text-to-speech feature for auditory support and the dictionary/translation tool, icurio aims to enable students to become independent learners, improve comprehension and attain a higher level of success.  icurio's personalized learning features allow students to:

  • Build and organize content collections on their own for homework and projects or access specific topic-based content that is organized and prepared by their teachers to address their individual learning needs.
  • Connect with information in different formats such as videos, text, time-based resources and images.
  • Make learning fun with educator-selected learning games and interactive online experiences, including a selected Game of the Week.
  • Access customized ELL/ESL features that build vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, reading comprehension, and writing skills.
  • Extend learning beyond the classroom and beyond the school day with 24/7 web-based access from school or home.

Each icurio subscription includes a professional learning plan that is co-developed as part of every school or district implementation plan.

icurio utilizes the standards alignment services of Academic Benchmarks, the premier provider of comprehensive standards-based K-12 educational databases, alignment tools, and integration products.

To learn more about icurio, visit www.knovationlearning.com

Source: Knovation, www.knovationlearning.com

 

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Shmoop Launches AP Statistics

Shmoop has introduced a new AP Statistics guide, which, it says, is guaranteed to fill your brain to the brim with all sorts of statistical data and know-how. As noted in the press announcement, statisticians are responsible for tracking professional baseball players' on-base percentages, analyzing the nets and grosses from feature films, and measuring the marketability of video games from region to region.

Shmoop AP Statistics guide can teach you:

--How a limitless supply of Skittles can help you spot patterns. 

--Why you can't conduct experiments on your younger siblings without knowing the appropriate confidence interval.

--How Facebook knows about your burning love for Bruce Springsteen.

--What statistical bias, mushrooms and chaperones have in common.

Shmoop is a digital curriculum and test prep company that makes fun, rigorous learning and teaching materials. Shmoop content is written by master teachers and Ph.D. students from Stanford, Harvard, UC Berkeley, and other top universities. Shmoop Learning Guides, Test Prep, SAT, and Teacher Editions balance a teen-friendly, approachable style with academically rigorous materials to help students understand how subjects relate to their daily lives. Shmoop offers more than 7,000 titles across the web, iPhone, Android devices, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader.

Source: Shmoop, www.shmoop.com

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Educational Content Provider netTrekker Becomes “Knovation”

netTrekker has announced that it has re-launched as Knovation.  According to the announcement, the new entity reflects a transformation of the company's strategic growth plan and ongoing endeavor to create breakthrough digital content solutions for K-12 education that remove the barriers to learning and address the unique needs of students, teachers, parents and educational administrators.  Under the new entity, the netTrekker Search product line will now be sold under the Knovation corporate umbrella.

Building on netTrekker's history and reputation for "safe search" tools, Knovation has extended its suite of advanced technologies, professional services, and content solutions to deliver learner-centered, micro-curriculum content.   As part of its transformation, a restructured leadership team will lead Knovation. Commissioning one of the largest bodies of parent/student/teacher-based research in the industry designed to understand the unique needs of each, Knovation has already begun building out its advanced services and solutions, and will launch icurio, the company's digital curriculum content solution for personalized learning, later this month. In addition, the new company will leverage strategic acquisitions to complement existing and future product lines.  

New Leadership

Knovation has re-aligned existing leadership and recruited top industry talent to advance the company's efforts to deliver powerful, personalized learning solutions.

-        Randy Wilhelm, CEO and Co-founder of netTrekker, will continue in his role as CEO of Knovation focusing on thought leadership and product innovation.  In addition to his board positions and industry leadership, Wilhelm will engage customers and school districts around the country in advancing personalized learning initiatives.

-        Joe Grieshop joined Knovation in 2010 to spearhead its corporate transformation and restructuring.  Now serving as President and Managing Officer, Grieshop leads the company's strategic plan and provides hands-on leadership of research, product development, operations, sales and marketing.

-        Steve Nordmark has been appointed as Chief Academic Officer. Formerly Vice President, Solutions Management and Development for netTrekker, he is focused on the convergence of research, technology vision and academia and will direct all areas of technology and development.

-        Jeffrey Carter has been appointed as Chief Technology Officer.  He was formerly Director of Technology for netTrekker and will continue to oversee the company's technical strategy and product development.

-        Pete Cullen joins Knovation as Vice President of Sales.  A 26-year industry veteran, Cullen gained national recognition in sales leadership and sales for team management at IBM.

-        Joe Vallo has been appointed as Chief Accountability Officer. A senior leader since the company was founded, as Chief Accountability Officer, Vallo will establish strategic direction and manage operations.

-        Julie Seibert has been appointed as Vice President, Controller overseeing the company's financial operations. 

-        Lynn Ochs joins Knovation as Director of Professional Learning. With 30 years of experience in teaching, district administration, and professional learning, in this role she will focus on enabling the effective use of digital curriculum content in the classroom.

-        Marci Campbell has been appointed as Director of Next Generation Solutions and will focus on innovation and user experience.  With netTrekker since 2005, Campbell was formerly Manager of Professional Development.

-        Laura Hannah has been appointed as Director of Marketing. With netTrekker since 2003, Hannah will lead the company's strategic marketing efforts.

-        Alan Whisman, a 30-year education industry veteran, has been appointed as Director of Content Solutions to develop strategy and processes for integrating and contextualizing digital curriculum content.

-        Ashwin Rao, has been appointed as Director of Enterprise Program Management and will align technology and product initiatives with corporate strategic direction.

 For more information, visit www.knovationlearning.com.

Source: Knovation, www.knovationlearning.com

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CollegeWeekLive Connects Students and Colleges Live Online

CollegeWeekLive has announced it has created AlwaysON, a live channel where students and colleges meet online. CollegeWeekLive AlwaysON features weekly expert presentations, unlimited access to colleges, unlimited chat sessions, and online visits organized by both colleges and high school counselors. Speakers such as Dr. Gary Gruber, Harlan Cohen, and Ted Fiske will host monthly webcasts.

CollegeWeekLive offers instant gratification in an AlwaysON world. Colleges can now engage with students actively researching their school and answer admissions questions easily and personally online. Colleges can now build a connection with prospective students at every step of the admissions process via CollegeWeekLive, from initial awareness to evaluation, to application and final enrollment.

With CollegeWeekLive AlwaysON, any of the 20,000 high schools in the CollegeWeekLive Counselor Network may request online visits with colleges that their students have expressed interest in, eliminating the need for onsite visits. Counselors will now be notified of which colleges are available at CollegeWeekLive each week, and if a member college isn't available, counselors can request an online visit.

Likewise, CollegeWeekLive participating colleges can schedule their own online visits with high schools anywhere worldwide, and reach CollegeWeekLive's current audience of 450,000 students in 191 countries while also taking advantage of CollegeWeekLive's established calendar of online admissions events.

Colleges have been quick to take advantage of CollegeWeekLive AlwaysON. The following universities are among the initial members of the beta launch.

Bowling Green State University

Colorado Mesa University

CUNY, Hunter College

Dallas Baptist University

FIDM

Florida Atlantic University

Holy Names University

Kent State

Kettering University

Knox College

Lawrence Technological University

LIU Brooklyn

Michigan Technological University

Mississippi State University

Mount St. Mary's University

Oregon Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology

Pepperdine University

Stony Brook University

Syracuse University

University of California, Davis

University of California, Santa Barbara

University of Chicago

University of Houston

University of Idaho

University of Louisville

University of Melbourne

University of North Florida

University of North Texas

University of Oklahoma

University of Oregon

University of Tampa

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

University of Vermont

Western Michigan University

William Patterson University

Colleges need to be available when and where students search, and for many students that is from their smart phone. The release of CollegeWeekLive's mobile chat application for iPhone, iPad, and Android is central to CollegeWeekLive AlwaysON.

For more information on CollegeWeekLive and AlwaysON, contact colleges@collegeweeklive.com.

Source: CollegeWeekLive, www.collegeweeklive.com

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Pearson Education’s Alleyoop College Readiness Website Launches

Alleyoop, a company incubated at Pearson Education, Inc., has announced the beta launch of its college readiness website and network, Alleyoop.com, with the goal of "helping get kids ready for college and life."  As the announcement notes, a big set of skills is required to live in this new world. Things like creative problem-solving, critical thinking, time management skills, leadership and teamwork are in demand. Mastery of subjects like math and writing are fundamental requirements.

Alleyoop is designed to speak directly to teens looking to take control of their futures by better preparing themselves for college and beyond. Alleyoop mashes up tailored guidance, rich educational activities and game dynamics to help them succeed:

* Tailored guidance - Alleyoop's personalization engine lays out the path to success. An individual assessment gets things going. Then Alleyoop adapts and provides customized instruction to keep the student on track. 

* Rich educational content - Alleyoop gives teens resources to get ready for college, from live tutors and dynamic videos to surveys and engaging quizzes. Alleyoop partners with a host of not-for-profit and commercial partners to keep the content coming. 

* Game dynamics - The Alleyoop experience is structured as a game that keeps the action and progress moving. Users are players who conquer adaptive missions (aka a learning plan) built around achievements, rewards, and the student's goals.

The journey begins with math. As technology and science drive worldwide economic growth, math skills are in high demand. Math is one of the prime building blocks of the well-rounded high school student -- and also the prime tripping point for kids as they progress from middle to high school. Math's sequential nature means that if students miss a core concept in, for example, Algebra I, then they're in a tough spot as the class levels up to Algebra II and beyond. Alleyoop quickly "learns" where students are struggling and serves up customized videos and exercises to keep them on track.

For the next couple of weeks Alleyoop is offering a special incentive of 250 Yoops to new teen players (aged 13-18). What's a Yoop? Zip over to Alleyoop and find out!

Source: Alleyoop, www.alleyoop.com

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PCI Education Introduces Algebra City

PCI Education, a provider of resources for students with special instructional needs, has introduced Algebra City, a blended intervention program focusing on the 28 most common algebraic misconceptions.

Research shows that many students misunderstand the concepts, procedures and representations needed to master and pass Algebra I, the announcement states. Algebra City aims to keep students on track by using pinpoint assessment to identify where a student is struggling conceptually, and providing thorough and multiple approaches to correcting the misconception. Algebra City may be used for intervention with any core Algebra I curriculum.

According to Algebra City author Dr. Donna Craighead, the program's four Student Editions differ from traditional algebra textbooks. Whereas textbooks use a linear model, as an intervention program Algebra City uses assessment data to target instruction only where needed. The graphic novel-style Student Editions use avatar-like characters to encourage students to re-engage with algebra in new ways, including an online adventure island where students can solve practice problems.

Aligned to the Common Core State Standards, Algebra City is a four-part series, with each book covering seven misconceptions. The series is divided into Algebra Essentials, Equations & Inequalities, Graphing, and Polynomials & Factoring. The ExamView Assessment Suite for Algebra City includes readymade pre- and post-tests at the program, book and unit levels, an item bank and test generator, and robust reporting.

Algebra City is one of five new offerings from PCI Education that provide intensive intervention and remediation in reading, writing, and math for students in grades 6-12.  

Source: PCI Education,  www.pcieducation.com

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ITI Crosslinks: Apple Announces Efforts to ‘Reinvent’ Textbooks

Apple's Jan. 19 announcements on the iBooks 2 for iPad app, the iBooks Author, and the iTunes U app have engendered loads of news reporting, analysis, and commentary, not least from Information Today, Inc. Newsbreaks writer Nancy Herther. Her Newsbreak article "Apple Announces Efforts to ‘Reinvent' Textbooks" reports the news and ferrets out lots of opinion and interpretation.

Read Nancy's entire article HERE on Information Today, Inc.'s Newsbreaks.

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MIND Research Institute Launches ST Math Touch

The non-profit education researcher MIND Research Institute has announced the launch of its new ST Math Touch. ST Math K-5 web based software games have been enhanced by changes that exploit the properties of touch-screen mobile devices and feature interactive animations that show students how math works.

The year-long suites of grade-leveled games are designed to cover virtually all math standards by introducing concepts visually, initially without symbols or text. Students experience how math works by interacting with virtual manipulatives to solve math problems. The ST Math K-5 software has been shown to roughly double math score annual growth, particularly in schools with historically low achievement levels, according to the announcement.

ST Math Touch can be played on the major tablet operating systems including iPads, Android and Microsoft. It provides a multi-sensory experience for students with natural gesture-based computing, allowing students to make deeper neural connections in mathematics.

The program takes the form of interactive math puzzles. The "ST" stands for spatial-temporal, taken from reasoning in space and in time. Thinking ahead over multiple steps with added insight from animation improves understanding and retention, according to the announcement. With ST Math Touch, control that has previously been one-step removed through a mouse-and-pointer is now direct, intuitive, and gesture-controlled. Students now literally manipulate the on-screen manipulatives directly with their fingers, and then see how the math works as the computer animates these objects. This interactivity also helps raise engagement and concept retention. In comparison to MIND's software which uses mouse connectivity, the new format provides students with additional multi-sensory input using touch. User actions previously impossible due to "mouse fatigue" are now easy and natural. As a web-based system, ST Math Touch also allows for learning anytime, anywhere.

ST Math Touch is more than a playlist of apps; it runs on MIND Research's fully featured Integrated Instructional System. Teachers benefit from ST Math Touch's instant, mobile access to reporting, and full administrative control of the system. These live results can now provide roving teachers with insightful information both at the class level and for each individual student. Teachers are provided with information on how a specific student may be struggling with a particular math concept.

Source: MIND Research Institute, www.mindresearch.net

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Britannica Curriculum Program Takes Aim at Scientific Misconceptions

Britannica Digital Learning has announced Pathways: Science, a new instructional program that aims to lead students to conceptual clarity by using the scientific method itself. A web-based program for the classroom, Britannica Pathways: Science was created in response to the growing body of research and teacher experience showing that confusions and misunderstandings continue to plague students even after they've been taught a scientific topic in school. These misunderstandings persist because they make sense to students based on their personal experiences.

Britannica Pathways: Science combats these misunderstandings with collaborative, interactive exercises that engage students. Each Pathways lesson starts with a probing question designed to spark classroom discussion. Eventually the students process and identify the right concepts, not by being told the correct answers, but by testing their own ideas: collecting data, consulting sources, and using hands-on materials. Teachers facilitate the process but also allow their students to find the answers on their own.

Pathways is designed with the 21st century classroom and state standards in mind. During pilot tests in schools this year, teachers have praised the program's collaborative nature as well as the way it helps meet standards for reading non-fiction, the announcement states.

The Pathways program is designed to supplement any science textbook or core curriculum. It consists of 10 modules for grades 6-8 and covers more than 100 major misconceptions in the earth and life sciences, physics and scientific reasoning and inquiry.

Schools and districts interested in Pathways or any other Britannica products can go to http://info.eb.com/science for more information.

Source: Britannica Digital Learning, http://info.eb.com

 

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Britannica Launches New Editions of SmartMath

Britannica Digital Learning has announced two new versions of Britannica SmartMath, the online math practice and assessment program used in elementary schools around the country.

The new editions of the product, SmartMath Practice and SmartMath Practice Plus, both priced lower than the premium edition, provide a greater range of options for schools to choose from with regard to administrative and assessment features. All three provide the engaging math practice exercises for grades 1-8 that have proven popular with students and produced measurable improvement.

With the introduction of these new versions Britannica SmartMath is now available in three variations:

* SmartMath Practice - provides curriculum-correlated, adaptive math practice. One dollar per student, with a $425 building minimum. Ideal for libraries.

* SmartMath Practice Plus - curriculum and textbook correlated, this version is an adaptive math practice assessment of student progress. Ideal for individual classrooms.

* Premium Edition - curriculum and textbook correlated, it provides adaptive math practice along with a full suite of features for the assessment of student progress. Premium Edition includes pre- and post-tests that capture student improvement and a test-creation tool. Ideal for school- and district-wide implementation.

Britannica SmartMath is designed to improve student math skills and test scores and to supplement any mathematics curriculum. The program differentiates instruction by adjusting to every student's level. Amusing avatars create a fun, game-like environment that engages students.

The program can be used to improve student skills in conjunction with the core curriculum, in tutoring and after-school programs and by students working at home or in classroom groups.

The program is correlated to Common Core standards and helps schools achieve Annual Yearly Progress under the U.S. No Child Left behind Act by building math proficiency through practice while assessing student learning and providing evidence of improved performance.

More information is available at http://info.eb.com.

Source: Britannica Digital Learning, http://info.eb.com

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Pearson Offers First Look at Its New Suite of Interactive Books for iPad

At FETC in Orlando, Pearson has showcased the first wave of high school multimedia texts re-imagined for the iPad:  Miller & Levine Biology, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Environmental Science, with Chemistry and Algebra 2 following in a few weeks.  Thanks to a partnership between Apple and Pearson, students everywhere will now be able to control their own learning experience with the swipe of a finger.  Four-color interactive pages add depth and wonder and inspire students as they pinch, stretch, tap and drag beautiful illustrations, animations, content, video and photos to master their subject matter on iPad, the announcement states.

Now available in Apple's iBookstore, the iBooks represent a new learning model with self tests and opportunities for personal exploration that will transform the education experience, according to the announcement.

The iBooks are the newest addition to Pearson's wide range of mobile learning solutions, including Dash, the company's app that gives teachers mobile access to multimedia learning materials and personalized lessons; the recently released PowerSchool for Parents and PowerSchool for Students apps; and others that range from full curricula to interactive games and study cards.  For more information, go to www.mypearsonmobile.com; to purchase, go to www.apple.com/itunes/education/.

Source: Pearson, www.pearsonschool.com

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Inspiration Software Introduces Visual Mapping for iPad

Inspiration Software, Inc., has announced the introduction of Inspiration Diagrams bringing visual mapping and outlining to the iPad. This spring, Inspiration Diagrams will join the company's family of tools based on proven learning methodologies that help students and educators think, learn, brainstorm, analyze and write, the announcement states.

With Inspiration Diagrams, students in grades 6-12 will improve their comprehension, critical-thinking and writing skills across the curriculum. Students can use the same mind-mapping and outlining tools they already know from Inspiration and Webspiration Classroom, such as RapidFire, to create visual diagrams and outlines that help them clarify thoughts, organize and analyze information, integrate new knowledge and learn to think critically.

When students create visual diagrams and plan projects with Inspiration Diagrams, they learn and demonstrate critical-thinking skills, cross-curricular literacy and writing skills that are delineated in the new, widely adopted Common Core State Standards.

Inspiration Diagrams Lite, an abridged version of Inspiration Diagrams, will be available for free in the App Store in March. Inspiration Diagrams will be available for purchase for $29.95 for a single download in April. Pricing for volume purchases will be available by contacting Inspiration Software at sales@inspiration.com.

Source: Inspiration Software, www.inspiration.com

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Internet@Schools Xtra News: Complete January/February 2012 Internet@Schools Contents Now Available Online—Full Text, Text+Graphics, PDF

The January/February 2012  issue of Internet @ Schools magazine is all there now at our website www.InternetAtSchools.com. In addition to the free January/February reviews and the free full-text cover story (TOOLS FOR LEARNING: How to Manage All That Learning), which have been available since the beginning of the month, now the remaining features, columns, and other January/February content have been processed. Some are free to view. Others are available in a variety of formats -- Full Text, Text+Graphics, and Page Image PDF -- on a pay-to-view basis by way of Information Today, Inc.'s InfoCentral and ProQuest Archiver.

For access, see the January/February 2012 issue contents HERE, click on any article, and follow the links.

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School Specialty’s uLog Data Collection Devices Support STEM Education

Frey Scientific, a division of School Specialty, is furthering its support for STEM education with its uLog USB Data Collection devices. With these dataloggers, Frey Scientific offers a way to collect data without barriers or expensive logging devices. uLog sensors are an all-in-one solution for classroom data collection.

Using uLog sensors, students tap into the power of existing classroom computers to track scientific data such as pH, light, sound, temperature, distance and motion.  A breadth of sensors is available - more than 40 - to capture and measure this data. With the device's SensorLab Data Analysis software, students can track and graph data on their computer in real time using a program such as Microsoft Word or Excel.  Students' observations about the natural world are immediate and engaging, furthering their interest in scientific analysis and reporting.

Frey's uLog Sensor Reference Guide provides teachers with a wide range of resources, including STEM-based investigation activities and guidance on integrating technology into the science laboratory curriculum. This special guide helps educators understand the uLog sensor technology they're introducing to their students.

uLog Sensors feature:

* A 5-foot cable that allows students to place the computer at a safe distance from lab work

* Built-in cable storage that keeps workspaces clear and makes uLog easy to store.

* Sensors that lock together for ease of handling and safer storage.

* A multicolor LED that matches the sensor with graph trace.

* The ability to control logging from the sensor or computer.

* SensorLab software that auto detects sensor type and units when plugged in.

* Device can be free-standing, handheld or mounted on a ringstand.

* Durable plastic housing that is splash proof for use in labs.

For more information, visit www.FreyScientific.SchoolSpecialty.com.

Source: School Specialty http://eps.schoolspecialty.com

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School Specialty’s Wordly Wise 3000 Goes Online

EPS, School Specialty's Literacy and Intervention division, has announced that its bestselling Wordly Wise 3000 will be available online. Wordly Wise 3000 Online will provide all students with the same direct academic vocabulary instruction as the print edition, in a dynamic and interactive online format. Full audio support and immediate feedback make the program ideal for struggling readers and English language learners. Available in May for grades 4-8, Wordly Wise 3000 Online will launch additional grade levels throughout 2012.

The online format features an appealing student interface that increases motivation for today's tech-savvy learner. A variety of types of engaging word interactions with automatic feedback, and a full complement of reviews, will enhance retention. Teachers will now be able to access a comprehensive and time-saving reporting feature that puts progress monitoring at their fingertips. Educators will also be able to access online teaching resources, including a Teachers Guide, to augment instruction.

Wordly Wise 3000 Online presents the same vocabulary curriculum as the print program. The academic vocabulary taught improves reading comprehension as students learn the words they need for success in grade-level literature, content-area texts and on standardized tests, such as state assessments and the PSAT, SAT and ACT. The Wordly Wise 3000 curriculum is closely aligned with the Common Core State Standards and other individual state standards, as well as the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association standards.

Students bookend each Wordly Wise 3000 Online lesson with a pre- and post-test to assess gains. They learn new words with virtual word cards, complete a series of engaging activities using the words and word parts in context, read nonfiction passages and do review puzzles. The variety of formats and art promote engagement to ensure and retain mastery.

Wordly Wise 3000 Online's management system provides educators with a convenient dashboard for ease in managing assignments and reports. Student data are captured from pre-test through post-test and throughout the entire program, and are displayed in a variety of easy-to-use reports that facilitate interpretation, progress monitoring and differentiation of instruction. Reports are available for teachers and school administrators, showing individual student gains as well as class-level progress.

For more information, visit http://eps.schoolspecialty.com/WW3000online.

Source: School Specialty http://eps.schoolspecialty.com

 

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School Specialty Launches MCI (Making Connections Intervention)

EPS, School Specialty's Literacy and Intervention division, has unveiled its new blended learning solution, MCI (Making Connections Intervention), which provides literacy intervention for struggling readers in middle school and beyond. Based on the comprehension instruction from the print-only program, the new MCI integrates the best of teacher-led, face-to-face instruction with engaging, individualized online instruction to maximize the depth, intensity and effectiveness of the intervention, according to the announcement.

MCI incorporates the most current research on adolescent literacy and online learning to meet a wide range of student needs. Woven through the comprehension lessons are multiple opportunities to build students' vocabulary and fluency, as well as develop decoding and vocabulary skills and writing abilities.

The three levels of MCI - AQUA, GOLD and CRIMSON - cover key skills and strategies to support middle school literacy, with readability up to three grades below level and plenty of supports and scaffolding to assist struggling readers. MCI's adaptive software ensures that students are reading texts that are challenging, but not frustrating, to help them build their skill levels. The components of the new program include MCI Comprehension, MCI Word Study, MCI Writing and MCI Student Library, which provide all the necessary elements for an effective RTI intervention program for Tiers 2 and 3. 

MCI's online Management System automatically records student performance data from assessments and other online activities and provides teachers with a variety of reports for viewing, interpreting and using the data, allowing them to monitor progress, differentiate instruction and manage their RTI implementations. Other reports offer school administrators a tool for monitoring Adequate Yearly Progress goals and Student Gains.

For more information, visit http://eps.schoolspecialty.com/MCI.

Source: School Specialty, http://eps.schoolspecialty.com/

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Pearson Launches PowerSchool Mobile for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad

Pearson has announced the launch of PowerSchool for Parents and PowerSchool for Students, two new free apps for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Now available on the App Store, these apps provide real-time access to attendance, grades, assignments, scores, and more to the 10 million students and their parents whose schools use PowerSchool, Pearson's web-based student information system. 

Both apps were designed for fast, easy "one-thumb" browsing, allowing students and parents to quickly access the latest school information from any location. For parents, a "Live Feed" streams all information for all students for the current week in a single view. 

Integration with social media sites Facebook and Twitter allows students and parents to share official grades and scores with their friends and family.

To use the apps, students must attend a school that uses PowerSchool version 7.1 or higher.  For more information about PowerSchool, please visit www.PearsonSchoolSystems.com.

Source: Pearson, www.pearsonschoolsystems.com

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GradeCam Releases Free Scanning Software for Rapid Classroom Test Grading

GradeCam has announced a free formative application that automates multiple-choice test scoring and provides teachers with immediate feedback on the learning in progress in their classrooms.

GradeCam is a web program that works with a standard web or document camera to quickly grade multiple-choice tests at no cost. The teacher simply swipes a completed test under the camera, and within seconds, GradeCam delivers the student's name, score, and questions missed. After scanning all tests, GradeCam provides an item analysis for each question showing how many students chose answer A, how many chose B, etc. Forms can be printed from the application.

Educators who take advantage of this free tool by addressing topics that need further instruction can dramatically improve the quality of their day-to-day instruction, the announcement states. Available studies suggest that the rate of learning in classrooms where teachers use short-cycle formative assessment is approximately double that found in other classrooms. (Source: Research Brief: "What Does Research Say the Benefits of Formative Assessment Are?" published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics)

GradeCam offers its proprietary technology for licensing to all education providers. Companies that have already licensed the application include Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Illuminate Education, LinkIt!, and Mastery Connect. For more information about the free web-based application, visit www.gradecam.com.

Source: GradeCam, www.gradecam.com

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DYMO/Mimio Announces MimioStudio 9 Software

DYMO/Mimio has debuted MimioStudio 9 software featuring the MimioStudio ActivityWizard. A solution for generating interactive, high-quality activities and lessons in minutes, MimioStudio ActivityWizard enables teachers to easily provide students with multiple learning opportunities based upon instructional design principles. 

The MimioStudio ActivityWizard allows teachers to generate exercises targeted for specific ages and grade levels, across core subjects including languages, arts, math, science and social studies. The ActivityWizard automatically populates the activity template with relevant facts from an extensive knowledge engine. The product marks the first software offering from DYMO/Mimio to incorporate the instructional philosophy of Headsprout, an innovative provider of adaptive instructional content, since the company's acquisition in March 2011.

MimioStudio 9 software seamlessly integrates with the complete MimioClassroom suite, including the MimioTeach interactive system, which converts any dry erase board into an interactive whiteboard; MimioVote assessment system; MimioView document camera; and MimioPad wireless tablet and MimioCapture ink recording system.  

The software is compatible with Windows, Macintosh and Linux operating systems, and will be available in 33 languages, beginning with American English in February and followed in March by its multi-language version so teachers worldwide can generate localized activities.

Features and benefits, per the announcement:

  • Connect your interactive classroom- Integrates MimioTeach, MimioVote, MimioView, MimioCapture and MimioPad devices seamlessly for a user-friendly interactive technology classroom experience
  • Maximize learning appeal and effectiveness- Offers a built-in knowledge engine for teachers to generate teaching exercises across core subjects in minutes
  • Save teachers time- Includes MimioStudio Gradebook to automatically record student answers, eliminating the need for teachers to hand-grade tests when used with the MimioVote student assessment system
  • Collaborate and share- Imports files from other interactive teaching technologies so teachers can use content they already have
  • Universal solution- Available for download at www.mimio.dymo.com in 33 languages, with compatibility for Windows, Macintosh and Linux operating systems

Source: DYMO/Mimio, www.mimio.dymo.com

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PBS TeacherLine Unveils Course on Virtual Teaching

PBS TeacherLine is launching "TECH570: Fundamentals of Virtual K-12 Teaching" to fulfill the need for highly effective virtual educators and to help districts prepare for a revolutionary transition in education: An increasing number of K-12 students across the country are taking advantage of online learning options. Thirty states have full-time online learning schools open to students from districts statewide, while 40 states offer state-run virtual schools, according to Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning. Researchers project that by 2014 more than 10 million students will be taking virtual courses. 

The six-week course goes beyond simply teaching about the online tools for virtual teachers, but delves deeply into the critical knowledge, strategies, and techniques to support student achievement in an online learning environment while aligning to the standards from the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), and the NEA Guide to Online Teaching. Prospective virtual teachers are guided through the course by an exemplary course facilitator who models how to build community, strategies for working with virtual students, and assessment techniques. The course offers project-based online learning experiences, helping educators develop the practical skills, resources and materials required for effective virtual teaching for K-12 students.

According to education experts, skills required for online teaching are different from the skills used for face-to-face instruction in the classroom. Key differences include curriculum, social dynamics, assessment strategies, and technical challenges. "Fundamentals of Virtual K-12 Teaching" helps teachers bridge the gap from face-to-face instruction to online instruction and sets them on a path for virtual teaching success.

TECH570 takes approximately 45 hours to complete, and costs $525. Teachers can earn PDPs, CEUs, or graduate credit from one of the more than 30 higher education institutions that have partnered with PBS TeacherLine. The course will first be available February 29, 2012. 

Source: PBS TeacherLine, www.pbs.org/teacherline

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WNET’s THIRTEEN Announces Launch of Mission US: ‘Flight to Freedom’

WNET's THIRTEEN has announced the launch of Mission US: "Flight to Freedom," the second in a series of innovative role-playing games developed to transform the way middle school students learn U.S. history. Timed to support and extend curriculum activities connected to Black History Month in February 2012, "Flight to Freedom" immerses learners in the experiences of a runaway slave in the years before the Civil War. Educators and students can access the game via streaming and download through any internet-connected computer at www.mission-us.org, making it accessible in the classroom, the library, school technology lab and at home. Mission US is produced by THIRTEEN and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) with additional support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In "Flight to Freedom" players take on the role of Lucy King, a fictional 14-year-old enslaved in Kentucky in 1848. As they navigate her escape and journey to Ohio via the Underground Railroad, they discover that life in the "free" North is dangerous and difficult. Players encounter a diverse group of people - from abolitionists to slave owners - and make decisions that affect the game's outcome. "Flight to Freedom" helps students learn how enslaved people's choices - from small, everyday acts of resistance to action that sought an end to slavery - affected the lives of individuals, and ultimately the nation.

As students play "Flight to Freedom," they build knowledge of the history of slavery and the abolitionist movement. Their understanding and critical perception of the historical context deepens through the accompanying curriculum of activities and by examining a robust collection of primary sources such as maps, posters, runaway ads, slave narratives and other materials. Students also interact with the game's embedded "Smartwords" to build vocabulary and historical literacy skills.

Mission US has been developed to address a pressing need to engage middle school students in American history in more effective ways, getting kids to care about history by seeing it through the eyes of peers from the past. The first game in the series, "For Crown or Colony?" puts players in the shoes of Nat Wheeler, a 14-year-old printer's apprentice in 1770 Boston who must decide if his loyalties lie with the Patriots or Loyalists. All of the Mission US games use state-of-the-art gaming technology combined with standards-aligned curriculum concepts to engage and appeal to today's tech-savvy 21st century learners. The game style and distinctive visual treatments echo the anime style popular with teens and tweens.

"Flight to Freedom," like all Mission US games, includes a comprehensive collection of resources and materials for educators. These materials include document-based questions (DBQs), a collection of primary sources, activities for individual, small group, and whole class implementation, vocabulary builders, standards alignments, writing prompts and visual aids. Teachers can project content from the game using a variety of technology tools such as interactive whiteboards. The game and supporting materials are free and downloadable for use in classrooms, libraries and homes.

The content for "Flight to Freedom" was developed by a team of historians and educators at the renowned American Social History Project (ASHP)/Center for Media & Learning, a research center at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Content developers used award-winning works of scholarship and were advised by Ira Berlin, a Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland; Nikki Taylor, a historian at the University of Cincinnati and the National Underground Railroad Center; and Christopher Paul Moore. The game's curriculum was developed by Stanlee Brimberg, a master teacher with 40 years of classroom experience, now coordinator of grades 5-8 at the Bank Street School for Children. The game itself is designed by Electric Funstuff, innovative educational software developers experienced in using game design to create rich learning experiences.

To provide peer-to-peer support for "Flight to Freedom," PBS member stations across the country are conducting in-depth educator outreach and professional development in their local markets around the effective integration of Mission US into the classroom and curriculum. Additional outreach partners include the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the American Library Association (ALA)/American Association of School Librarians (AASL).

Mission US launched in September of 2010 with its first mission, "For Crown or Colony?" The next two installments of this ongoing series are planned for release in 2013 and 2014. In Mission 3, "The Race for the Golden Spike," players will take on the role of workers helping to build the transcontinental railroad. In Mission 4, "The Sidewalks of New York," players will explore early 20th century New York as a muckraking journalist.

Mission US is produced by THIRTEEN in association with WNET.

Source: WNET, www.wnet.org/

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Britannica SmartMath Now Extends to Eighth Grade

Britannica Digital Learning has announced that Britannica SmartMath, its online math practice and assessment program, now provides coverage and exercises for seventh and eighth grades, extending beyond its previous reach in grades one through six.

The newest release of the product also sports a streamlined teacher's module that makes it easier to issue assignments and track student progress, according to the announcement.

Britannica SmartMath is designed to improve student math skills and test scores and to work with and supplement any mathematics curriculum. SmartMath is an engaging, formative assessment program that differentiates instruction by adjusting to every student's level. It combines questions and activities with an adaptive platform that individualizes learning. Amusing avatars and an award system create a fun, game-like environment that engages students.

The program can be used in a variety of ways: to improve student skills in conjunction with the core curriculum, in tutoring and after-school programs and by students working at home or in classroom groups.

The program is correlated to Common Core standards and helps schools achieve Annual Yearly Progress under the U.S. No Child Left behind Act by building math proficiency through practice while assessing student learning and providing evidence of improved performance.

Source: Britannica Digital Learning, http://info.eb.com

 

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National PBS Survey Finds Teachers Want More Access to Classroom Tech

PBS LearningMedia has announced findings from a national survey of teachers grades pre-K-12 that sheds light on the rising role of technology in America's classrooms, as well as barriers teachers face to accessing the "right" digital resources. Ninety-one percent of teachers surveyed reported having access to computers in their classrooms, but only one-in-five (22 percent) said they have the right level of technology.

Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of teachers cited budget as the biggest barrier to accessing tech in the classroom. In low-income communities, this is an even greater challenge as 70 percent of teachers reported it as the greatest obstacle. Teachers in affluent communities also have greater parental and school board support for tech in the classroom compared to those teaching in low-income communities. Thirty-eight percent vs. 14 percent cited high levels of parental support and 38 percent vs. 21 percent for school board support.

While the vast majority of teachers have access to computers, less than two-thirds (59 percent) have access to an interactive whiteboard, a newer technology that can be used more broadly for classroom lessons. Teachers in affluent districts are also twice as likely to have access to tablets as teachers in middle and lower income districts. Still, teachers' opinion about the ability of tech to enhance learning is universal; 93 percent believe that interactive whiteboards enrich classroom education and 81 percent feel the same way about tablets. This attitude towards technology transcends grade level, the income levels of the student population and the types of communities where they teach.

According to the survey, tech resources used most often in the classroom include: websites (56 percent), online images (44 percent) and online games or activities (43 percent). Increasing student motivation (77 percent), reinforcing and expanding on content being taught (76 percent) and responding to a variety of learning styles (76 percent) are the top three reasons teachers use technology in the classroom.

PBS, a leading provider of free teacher resources and digital content for use in the classroom, has regularly surveyed educators on their use of digital media and technology since 2002.

PBS, together with WGBH and local member stations, recently launched PBS LearningMedia (See Free Resources: PBS LearningMedia), which features a robust library with tens of thousands of digital assets, including lesson plans, background essays, and discussion questions for pre-K-12 educators that align with Common Core State Standards. This free media-on-demand service features content from NASA, National Archives and PBS programs such as NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, and SID THE SCIENCE KID all in one place.

Teachers using PBS LearningMedia can create custom class pages and lesson plans while implementing state standards correlations as well as accessing student management tools, analytics, online professional development, staff training, and a curriculum gap analyzer tool.

Source: PBS LearningMedia, www.pbslearningmedia.org

 

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Epson Introduces Bright and Affordable Projector for Education

Epson has announced the PowerLite 93+, a powerful yet budget-friendly projector designed for K-12 classrooms. Replacing the current PowerLite 93, the PowerLite 93+ boasts high performance features including 200 more lumens than its predecessor, a robust built-in speaker and advanced connectivity features.

The PowerLite 93+ offers 2,600 lumens of color and white light output and delivers crisp images with XGA resolution. The projector also comes equipped with a range of connectivity features, including RJ-45 wired LAN connectivity for remote projector management, as well as use of a virtual remote control via a web browser for basic projector control from a computer instead of the projector's remote control. The PowerLite 93+ also includes HDMI connectivity for connecting to the latest devices for high-quality video and digital audio.

The PowerLite 93+ provides classrooms with a variety of advanced features to accelerate learning, including:

-       Increased Communication: A powerful, internal 16-watt speaker fills the classroom with sound and saves on equipment costs; built-in closed captioning decoder makes presentations accessible to viewers with hearing impairments at no additional cost and helps meet ADA section 508 compliance

-       Teaching Aids: Pre-designed line and graph pattern templates or customizable images aid in instruction, saving valuable class time by eliminating the need for teachers to draw lines and grids on a whiteboard or blackboard; timer can be set to power off projector if no signal is received, saving energy and lamp life

-       Setup Flexibility: 1.2x optical zoom and +30 degree horizontal and automatic vertical keystone correction provide easy and convenient setup in various classroom settings, allowing users to place the projector off-center and still get a standard formatted image; Quick Corner® allows the four corners of an image to be moved independently for a perfectly rectangular image

-       USB Plug ‘n Play: Instantly projects images, transmits audio and controls the presentation from either a Windows PC or Mac via a single USB connection; allows for easier set up and eliminates the hassle of dealing with bulky VGA cables and toggling between computer keys

-       Extended Lamp Life: Using Epson's exclusive E-TORL lamp technology, the lamp life can last up to 6,000 hours3 in economy mode helping to maximize presentation time

-       Convenient Control: Direct Power On and Off allows for an installed projector to be powered with a flip of a wall switch; Instant On/Off® enables teachers to avoid delays when starting and finishing presentations and be up and running in seconds; A/V Mute Slide stops the sound and picture to allow for a quick pause in the presentation

-       3LCD Technology: Features the latest 3LCD, 3-chip technology to deliver amazing, true-to-life color and detail for powerful presentations; 3LCD technology provides an energy-efficient light engine which efficiently uses available lamp light to create stunning images; in contrast to 1-chip DLP technology, 3LCD requires, on average, 25 percent less electricity per lumen of brightness4

The Epson PowerLite 93+ ($699) will be available in March 2012 through national resellers, pro audio/visual dealers, mail order, and distribution, and at the Epson store, www.epsonstore.com

For additional information, visit www.epson.com/projectors.

Source: Epson, www.epson.com

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Epson Expands Ultra-Short Throw Projector Portfolio Delivering Increased Brightness and Connectivity to K-12 Classrooms

Epson has introduced the Epson PowerLite 470, 475W, 480, and 485W - four bright, affordable and easy-to-install ultra-short throw projectors designed for the K-12 classroom. These projectors expand Epson's ultra short-throw projector line, delivering comprehensive connectivity, including HDMI, and lower height requirements for mounting in classrooms with low ceilings. Ideal for use with standard or interactive whiteboards, these models provide minimal shadow interference and glare and include wall mount hardware for quick, easy and inexpensive installation. In addition, replacement lamps cost only $79*, providing increased savings and lowering overall cost of ownership.

The PowerLite 470 ($1,399*), 475W ($1,499*), 480 ($1,499*), and 485W ($1,599*) projector solutions are for teachers in need of a wall mounted short throw projector for use with their standard dry erase or interactive whiteboard. The PowerLite 470 and 475W deliver 2,600 lumens color and white light output2, the PowerLite 480 delivers 3,000 lumens color and white light output and the PowerLite 485W delivers 3,100 lumens color and white light output. The PowerLite 470 and 480 offer XGA resolution and can project 4:3 content up to 93-inches diagonal, while the PowerLite 475W and 485W deliver WXGA resolution for widescreen content and can project a 16:10 image up to 100-inches diagonal.

All four models offer comprehensive connectivity features ideal for current and future classrooms, including HDMI digital connectivity for high-quality video and audio and RJ-45 or optional wireless (via 802.11 b//g/n module $99* or access point) network connectivity for presenting audio and video for lessons over a school's network, monitoring and controlling projectors remotely, virtual remote control via projector IP address, and broadcasting messages to an entire school. The projectors also offer USB Plug ‘n Play for instantly projecting video with audio, while also allowing control of the presentation via remote control from a PC or Mac® computer via a single USB connection.

Offering increased flexibility, Epson's new ultra short throw models can be mounted approximately eight inches away from the wall to accommodate smaller classrooms or meeting rooms, and can easily be used with a standard or interactive whiteboard, projection screen or a simple white wall.

Source: Epson, www.epson.com

 

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Epson Announces iProjection App for Wireless Projection from iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch Devices

Epson has introduced iProjection - its first projection app for wirelessly displaying documents and photos to Epson projectors, allowing mobile professionals and educators the freedom to present content wirelessly with ease. Available for free in the App Store, iProjection enables wireless projection from most iOS Apple devices running iOS 4.2 or later, including the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. iProjection is also cloud-ready, supporting cloud files services such as Dropbox or various email applications.

iProjection allows mobile users to present to any Epson wireless projector from mobile Apple iOS devices such as an iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. In addition, as more teachers integrate mobile content into their lesson plans, iProjection is beneficial in a classroom environment, allowing teachers the flexibility to move about the classroom while simultaneously sharing content. This versatile app also allows teachers to access files through the cloud, offering the ability to display documents and files not residing on the mobile device. The app is compatible with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Apple Keynote, Adobe PDF, and JPEG and PNG image files, as well as cloud services such as Dropbox and email applications such as Gmail.

iProjection is currently available for free download in the App Store. For more information on iProjection, visit www.epson.com/projectorapp.

Source: Epson, www.epson.com

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