Fifty of the best ed-tech products for schools
These 50 educational technology products and services are the winners of our 2012-13 Readers' Choice Awards
Centricity2 is a website and content management system that brings together all a school system’s information in one place, with group management capabilities, mobile device support, and a suite of Web 2.0 tools. It’s designed to integrate seamlessly with all compatible systems, data, and third-party applications, and district leaders can measure their community’s engagement through integrated web analytics that help monitor users’ online activity.
“In my opinion, Schoolwires has created the ultimate content management environment for digital communication,” said George Weeks, director of technology for New Jersey’s Glassboro Public Schools. “Centricity makes it easy to keep our sites fresh and continually update the information we present to the public. The backend interface is easy to use, allowing anyone to edit a page, a section, or an entire site—making the traditional webmaster obsolete. Web page editing is as simple as creating an eMail. … With this product, we have been able to make our web portal the primary source for information about the schools. Web statistics show a steady increase in unique visitors every month since we implemented the product five years ago.”
Doceri (SP Controls)
Doceri is an iPad app and desktop software program for controlling presentations and lessons remotely. It lets users control a computer (Mac or Windows), launch any document or application, and annotate over them at any time. When used in conjunction with SP Controls’ Network Room Controller, Doceri also can remotely control projectors, DVD players, and other AV devices.
“Doceri is a remote iPad app that I use almost daily in my classroom,” said Jennifer DiPasquale, a teacher at Pennsylvania’s North Hills School District. “It has completely eliminated the use of the [interactive whiteboard] in my classroom. I [can] allow my students to write on my iPad and project it on my screen. I am able to watch my students through Apple Remote Desktop, but I watch them on my iPad so I am not stuck in one place in the room. Students enjoy writing on the iPad and seeing it on the big screen. … I love Doceri!”
DreamBox is an intelligent, adaptive learning platform for teaching elementary-level math. Based on whether students give right or wrong answers to questions, the software adapts the level of difficulty, scaffolding, sequencing, and pacing of the problems they see—ensuring that every student works in his or her optimal learning zone, from struggling to advanced.
“We are using DreamBox Learning with all of our first graders and with some students in kindergarten, second, and third grade for intervention,” said Michelle Tomlin, district facilitator for the Kirkwood, Mo., schools. “We have seen growth in our students’ number sense. The students regularly make connections to what they are learning in math class from what they are doing in DreamBox. The transfer of learning is great.”
Education2020 (e2020 Inc.)
e2020 provides instruction in virtual and blended learning environments for students in grades 6-12. Emphasizing instructional content in both core and elective subjects, e2020’s programs help students recover and accrue credits for graduation, participate in Advanced Placement courses, and prepare for state, end-of-course, and standardized assessments.
“We have used e2020 for credit recovery as well as a complete school curriculum. It … allows us to customize the learning experiences for our students based on prescriptive testing,” said Kenneth Kuczynski, CEO of Christina International High School, a virtual school based in Minnesota. “Our students find lectures to be complete and easy to follow. The assignments are challenging, and each course aligns with state core standards. We also like the selection of teacher tools that allow for very focused diagnostics. The parent portal and teacher tools are very valuable resources.”