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August 05, 2014

Table of Contents

Free Resources: Popular Math Game Apps from Hooda Math
Booktrack Promotes Platform to Create 'Soundtracks' to Complement Ebooks
Edgenuity Introduces New Courses for Back to School
Compass Learning, Renaissance Learning Partner to Bridge Assessment and Personalized Instruction for K-12 Classrooms
Knovation Announces netTrekker’s Interoperability with SAFARI Montage

Free Resources: Popular Math Game Apps from Hooda Math

To celebrate the start of the 2014-15 school year and ensure math skills are fresh in students’ minds, Hooda Math’s apps will be free for Apple devices until Sept. 1.

Hooda Math’s apps for iPhones and iPads include skills practice like flash cards, fraction circles and fun games. The fraction circles app is a convenient alternative to physical manipulatives, which are often easy to misplace. It is normally the most expensive app Hooda Math offers but will remain free through Sept. 1 for “Back to School” season.

Hooda Math’s specialty is engaging, creative math games, and there are many free games on the App Store in August. One of the most popular games is Ice Cream Truck , where students can use their math and logic skills to run a mobile ice cream truck, budgeting for supplies on a road trip and setting their ice cream prices accordingly.

Students can also access all of Hooda Math’s content for free on Hooda Math’s website, hoodamath.com.

After Sept. 1, the prices for most of the apps will return to $1.99, and the paid apps will never have ads or in-app purchases. Hooda Math Mobile, an app version of the full mobile website, will continue to be free.

Source: Hooda Math, hoodamath.com

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Booktrack Promotes Platform to Create 'Soundtracks' to Complement Ebooks

Booktrack is a cloud-based platform that allows users to create soundtracks, or access ready-made soundtracks—complete with movie-like sound effects—that complement their reading selections. Booktrack synchronizes these movie-style soundtracks to ebooks.

Music, ambient audio, and sound effects are automatically paced to an individual's reading speed and synchronized to match the story while they read. Users can add Booktracks to existing text or create their own digital content, and align the audio with their individual reading speeds. Booktrack is essentially doing for reading what sound did for movies, according to the company.

Booktrack currently offers free access to thousands of stories, from famous classics to contemporary titles. Users can create their own Booktrack titles by matching stories to an extensive library of over 20,000 free-to-use high quality music and ambient audio tracks. Published Booktrack titles are instantly available to a global audience across Booktrack’s online service and mobile apps.

Studies conducted by NYU and The University of Auckland show that Booktrack has proven to improve reading comprehension and retention by 20%, and that Booktrack readers tend to read for 30% longer on their own, according to the company. These studies also suggest that using Booktrack helps students develop the skills needed for tackling college admission exams such as the SATs and the ACTs.

For more information, link to this infographic illustrating the effectiveness of Booktrack. Or watch a short showcase of the technology on Youtube here: youtu.be/YtB0T4xwMKA.

Source: Booktrack, booktrack.com

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Edgenuity Introduces New Courses for Back to School

Edgenuity, a provider of online and blended learning solutions, has announced the release of 10 new courses heading into the 2014-2015 school year. Ranging from Algebra 1 and World History to specialized, career-oriented courses in computing and medicine, these new courses are designed to promote student inquiry, engagement and subject mastery, and to help students obtain the core skills they need to succeed in college and career.

The new course offerings include:

  • Algebra I – An all-new edition of Edgenuity’s most popular course, with more real-world connections, interactive tools and models, worked examples, and performance tasks to help students meet the rigor of challenging standards.

  • Physical Science – Focused on traditional concepts in chemistry and physics, this course provides an overview of scientific principles and procedures with virtual labs, interactive simulations and models, and project-based activities designed to meet the Next Generation Science Standards.

  • English Language Arts 9 – Invites students to explore both classic and contemporary texts with a focus on literary analysis and inferential evaluation of poetry, drama, and literary nonfiction, mastering comprehension and literary-analysis strategies.

  • AP World History – This challenging course for advanced students joins Edgenuity’s existing AP suite, which also includes courses such as AP Human Geography, AP Psychology, AP Spanish and French, and AP Environmental Science.

  • Computer Applications: Microsoft Office – Introduces students to the features and functionality of Microsoft Office through video instruction, interactive skill demonstrations, and hands-on practice assignments.

  • Expository Reading and Writing – Designed to develop critical reading and writing skills while preparing high school students to meet the demands of college-level work. Students explore short but complex fiction and poetry, and focus on expository and persuasive texts and analytical reading. 

  • Modern World History – Examines major events and turning points of world history from the Enlightenment to the present through an investigation of the foundational ideas that shaped the modern world.

  • Medical Terminology – Introduces students to the structure of medical terms, medical abbreviations and acronyms. The course allows students to achieve comprehension of medical vocabulary appropriate to health care settings, medical procedures, pharmacology, human anatomy and physiology, and pathology. 

  • Microsoft Office Specialist – Introduces students to the features and functionality of Microsoft Office while preparing them for the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of the Microsoft User Specialist (MOS) certification program.

Multimedia content such as graphs, charts, diagrams, animations, simulations, and labs, as well as an emphasis on analytical problem-solving skills are incorporated throughout the courses to drive student engagement. Assignments and projects encourage students to apply critical thinking skills and demonstrate their learning. Students are introduced to new skills through direct instruction, interactive tasks, practice assignments, and unit-level assessments. As with most of Edgenuity’s course offerings, these new courses are tablet compatible for anytime, anywhere learning.

Source: Edgenuity, edgenuity.com

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Compass Learning, Renaissance Learning Partner to Bridge Assessment and Personalized Instruction for K-12 Classrooms

Compass Learning and Renaissance Learning have announced a strategic partnership that will result in the integration of Renaissance Learning’s STAR reading and math data and the newly released suite of solutions from Compass Learning, providing educators powerful tools to assess each student’s proficiency and automatically assign personalized learning paths that align to both state and Common Core standards.

The Renaissance Learning progression – a sequencing of skills a student must master from Kindergarten to high school graduation – is powered by insights from more than 54 million assessments taken each year by students at more than one third of U.S. schools. With this integration, results from STAR assessments combined with Compass Learning content will automatically deliver personalized learning paths for educators in three simple steps:

  1. Compass Learning imports test data from Renaissance Learning STAR assessments into Compass Learning software including Hybridge, Pathblazer and Gradbound.

  2. A learning path is assigned to each student based on the data.

  3. Students then complete a range of Compass Learning activities, built on decades of research about how kids engage and learn, and linked directly to their educational needs and abilities.

For more information, visit compasslearning.com.

Source: Compass Learning, compasslearning.com

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Knovation Announces netTrekker’s Interoperability with SAFARI Montage

Knovation has announced a partnership with SAFARI Montage intended to expand and simplify educators’ access to curated digital content from a wide range of free content providers. netTrekker and SAFARI Montage users can now access more than 360,000 digital learning resources from Knovation by using a single integrated search. The educator-curated resources are aligned to state and Common Core State Standards (CCSS), tagged and organized so teachers and students can easily access relevant digital resources for use in blended learning classrooms.

Additional features of the partnership depend on which SAFARI Montage module subscriptions have been licensed and include the ability to display netTrekker search results within the SAFARI Montage Learning Object Repository (LOR). Users will also be able to save netTrekker search results in SAFARI Montage CreationStation. Other features include tools for creating and adding content to playlists or lessons.

The resources in Knovation’s digital library go through a 127-point Resource Certification Process featuring three phases: content identification, content contextualization and content maintenance. As a result, they are CCSS-aligned in four core subject areas and many more. Vetted and certified by doctoral-level curriculum experts who curate the resources, Knovation ensures instructional relevance by identifying learning needs, such as grade and reading level, and providing various content formats including video, lessons plans and eBooks.

SAFARI Montage is the latest company to join Knovation’s list of technology integration partners, including Scantron Achievement Series and Performance Series, Alexandria by COMPanion, Book Systems Atriuum, MackinVIA, Tech4Learning Wixie and Follett One Search, among others. Knovation integrates with learning management systems, assessment solutions, library automation systems and other popular platforms to bring valuable digital content to the education market.

Source: Knovation, knovationlearning.com

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