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Seven new ed-tech tools to know about

Schools can set up the system so that students have access to eBooks for three, seven, or 14-day periods. Every student gets his or her own username and password, so students can read eBooks on multiple devices simultaneously—and the system synchs their place in a book automatically, so they can start reading on a new device where they left off using another one.

Brainhive includes tools for note taking, citation, and encouraging “social” reading (for instance, students can rate books they’ve read, add books to their list of favorites, and share this list with their friends). Teachers also can set up online book clubs within the system. Brainhive contained 6,500 eBook titles—a mix of both fiction and nonfiction—from some 30 publishers as of press time.

Filament Games unveils new digital science game bundles

Filament Games, a developer of digital games for education, has come out with a number of stand-alone games for teaching civics, science, and math. At TCEA, the company announced that it soon will sell entire collections of middle school science games that schools can purchase as a bundle.

The new product line is called PLEx, which stands for Play, Learn, Experiment. The first of these bundles will be available this summer. It focuses on life science and includes the games “Reach for the Sun,” in which students take on the role of a plant and must balance their resources to grow and reproduce; “Fossil Forensics,” in which they collect and analyze fossils, making connections between them to note evolutionary similarities; “Crazy Plant Shop,” in which they learn about plant genetics by operating a shop that specializes in rare and exotic breeds of plants; and “Cell Command,” in which they learn about cell anatomy and functions by commanding a “cell ship.”

The games will include curriculum materials and classroom management tools to make implementation easy. The company is also developing earth and physical science bundles.

Learning.com app now includes 21st-century skills assessments

At TCEA, Learning.com announced a major upgrade to its mobile app.

The company had launched its app for Android and iOS devices last fall, giving students and teachers access to its EasyTech lessons in technology skills via tablet computers. Now, the app includes assessments as well, meaning teachers can deliver a full range of 21st-century skills instruction and assessment on mobile devices.

McGraw-Hill lets students study abroad, without leaving campus


Hoping to do for language studies what it has already done for political science, McGraw-Hill Education launched a new computer game at SXSWedu called Practice Spanish: Study Abroad.

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