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June 03, 2014

Table of Contents

Free Resources: Shmoop's Smartphone-Ready Video Test Prep
Gale Adds Hundreds of Wiley Titles to Ebook Platform
Edgenuity Unveils New Algebra I Course
Netop Releases New Version of Classroom Management Software
SunGard K-12 Education Selects Schoology As Premier Learning Management Solutions Provider

Free Resources: Shmoop's Smartphone-Ready Video Test Prep

Shmoop has launched Video Test Prep, enabling students using their smartphones to study in quick bursts whenever they have a few minutes to spare.

When a student registers, Shmoop will send them three videos a day, tailored to their SAT, ACT, or CAHSEE needs. Students can then watch the videos in the convenience of their own home/school/bus/circus tent. And there’s no need to set a study reminder: Shmoop will automatically send the videos, prompting students to watch.

Each video includes a sample exam question and walks students through the process of answering it. By providing detailed answer explanations, Shmoop fosters comprehension, so that students don’t just get practice with one question; they are able to improve their skills for an entire concept.

Shmoop will send these videos directly to a student’s inbox every day for 30 days; by the end of the month, students will have reviewed the equivalent of a full-length practice exam. Bonus: each video is tagged to the Common Core.

Source: Shmoop,

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Gale Adds Hundreds of Wiley Titles to Ebook Platform

Gale has announced that more than 400 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ebooks are coming to Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), Gale's ebook platform. The new titles include monographs covering in-demand subjects such as business and economics, medicine, computer science, and psychology, and are part of Gale’s recently announced effort to expand its ebook offerings for the growing STEM market. In addition, nearly 180 titles from the popular “For Dummies” series such as Stock Investing For Dummies, Paleo Cookbook For Dummies, and Pinterest For Dummies will also be added.

Gale will combine the reference content from its more than 100 publishing partners with monographs and multimedia content, such as videos, to make GVRL the only library platform delivering this broad cross-section of research support, according to the announcement. In addition, the company is launching a new proprietary monograph publishing program that will combine the best works from its partners covering the humanities, philosophy, religion and social science disciplines along with Gale’s core strength across these content areas, including more than 350,000 historical monographs. GVRL provides a unique opportunity for libraries to house their reference and monograph collections in the same place — meaning that students and researchers can get the background on a topic at the same time they dive into deeper research.

GVRL offers InterLink technology, which allows users to link directly from their InfoTrac periodicals to contextually relevant articles within GVRL, as well as offer the converted HTML version of ebook monograph titles alongside the PDF, making possible features such as ReadSpeaker technology (text-to-speech functionality), article translation, and easy integration into LibGuides and curriculum. GVRL also allows for unlimited concurrent users and downloads, online book browse, and the ability to download articles as PDFs to ereaders or MP3 players for offline access.

For more information on GVRL or to request a free trial, visit

Source: Cengage Learning/Gale, or

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Edgenuity Unveils New Algebra I Course

Edgenuity has announced the release of its new Algebra I course. This next generation interactive course is aligned to college and career readiness standards and incorporates data and feedback from the educators and students who use Edgenuity, creating an effective and engaging learning experience for students, according to the announcement. The new course joins Edgenuity’s existing suite of courses aligned to college and career-readiness standards, including the Common Core, such as its middle and high school English Language Arts (ELA) courses, which recently received an EDDIE Award for excellence.

Algebra I is considered a gatekeeper course because it is the first in a series of higher-level mathematics courses that students need to succeed in college and life – and provides an understanding of the skills and concepts that are prerequisites for many careers, including those in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields.

In developing the new course, Edgenuity focused on how to make the concepts and reasoning skills inherent in algebraic thinking accessible to all students—not just those who traditionally excel in mathematics.

  • On-screen teachers model problem solving by thinking aloud, allowing students to understand how experts think about mathematics.

  • Lessons include a guiding question to promote inquiry and focus on big ideas.

  • Problems are scaffolded with a set of custom-built interactive tools, such as interactive coordinate graphs, virtual algebra tiles and other manipulatives, and equation solvers. Students work with these tools in guided step-by-step tasks early as they are learning concepts, and then gradually move to more symbolic and independent representations as they gain confidence.

  • An abundance of rich graphics, charts, diagrams, animations, and simulations help students relate to and visualize the content.

  • Performance tasks allow students to demonstrate understanding with meaningful, real-world applications.

Edgenuity conducted research on the tools with students and educators in partner schools, helping to refine and enhance the tools to ensure effectiveness.

The full-year course focuses on the key areas of the Common Core model pathway for Algebra I and builds on the foundation established in middle grades by deepening students’ understanding of linear and exponential functions, and developing fluency in writing and solving one-variable equations and inequalities.

Source: Edgenuity,

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Netop Releases New Version of Classroom Management Software

Netop has released new versions of its bestselling classroom management software that introduce core classroom management features for Mac student computers in addition to improved browser support.

According to a recent survey by the Center for Digital Education and the National School Boards Association, implementation of BYOD programs in school districts more than doubled in the last year -- from 22 to 56 percent. While the trend is primarily seen in high schools (84 percent) and middle schools (74 percent), the majority of elementary schools also allow students to bring their personal devices to school.

Developed for mixed classrooms and BYOD environments, Vision and Vision Pro 8.6 offer the key classroom management features that make learning and teaching with technology easy and effective, the announcement states. Teachers can share their computer screen, supervise activity on student computers, assist students remotely, blank screens and turn the internet on or off. Browser support is now enhanced, and the blocking features in Vision (Lock Web, Filter Web) now work with the latest version of Firefox.

To learn more about Vision Pro classroom management software, watch this video. Version 8.6 of Vision Pro is available at no extra charge to existing customers who have a current Advantage program as of May 20, 2014. For more information about classroom management features and pricing, visit

Source: Netop,

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SunGard K-12 Education Selects Schoology As Premier Learning Management Solutions Provider

Software and technical services provider SunGard K-12 Education has selected Schoology as its premier learning management solutions provider. The alliance pairs eSchoolPLUS’s Teacher Access Center with Schoology’s platform for managing instruction, communication, and collaboration. The integration between the two software solutions gives teachers the ability to manage their entire classroom and student learning experience in one tool—from attendance and intervention management to learning resources, online engagement, and virtual classrooms.

SunGard K-12 Education’s eSchoolPLUS student information system helps educational stakeholders—students, school administrators, district staff, teachers, parents, and board members—manage and access the summary and detailed student information they need.

At the heart of eSchoolPLUS is the Teacher Access Center classroom management system. Teacher Access Center helps boost teacher productivity by putting information and processes they need at their fingertips. From their home page, teachers can take attendance, address a discipline issue, and communicate efficiently with students, parents, and school administrators. The software’s robust gradebook, which accommodates both standards and non-standards-based grading, helps them manage student grades and identify trends that support student achievement.

Schoology provides a media-rich, collaborative learning environment in which educators can differentiate instruction, individually pace students, and implement group-based learning. The platform’s intuitive interface engages students in online discussions, helps improve communication, and provides a means to assess comprehension in real time. Schoology also enables teachers and administrators to assess mastery of state standards and custom learning objectives. Native mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch; Android device; or Kindle Fire keep students and educators connected and engaged in learning long after class ends.

Source: SunGard K-12 Education,

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