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Seven new ed-tech tools to know about

The 3D, multi-player game simulates a study abroad trip in Spain, tasking students to use Spanish vocabulary to find their classes, buy souvenirs, interact with a host family, and even seek medical attention for a classmate.

“Short pre-task vocabulary and grammar activities will prepare you to complete the challenges,” McGraw-Hill said. “In the multi-player setting you will have the opportunity to interact with your fellow classmates from within the game, providing you with the opportunity to speak Spanish with your real-world classmates from within the virtual setting.”

Odysseyware launches all-new user interface for its online courseware

Online curriculum developer Odysseyware has created an all-new experience for users, including a redesigned student interface that is now more intuitive and works well with mobile devices, the company says.

Besides being the portal to Odysseyware’s complete online courseware for grades 3-12, its Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum, and its assessment and remediation tools, the interface features a new “notes” tool for enhanced student-teacher communication; day-planning functions to boost productivity; and more flexibility to suit different learning styles.

Odysseyware also has added two more courses to its online CTE curriculum: “Introduction to Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources” and “Introduction to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.” These bring its total CTE offerings to 41 courses in seven career clusters—and the company says it will add another 14 AG and STEM courses in early 2014.

Spanning Backup protects schools’ Google Apps data

With a growing number of schools using Google Apps for Education, a service from Spanning Cloud Apps could help protect them against the inadvertent deletion—or malicious destruction—of information contained in these apps.

Spanning Backup for Google Apps offers automatic or on-demand backup of information in Gmail, Contacts, Calendar, Sites, and Drive, with a user interface that is so easy, students and teachers can resolve their own data loss issues, the company says.

The cost of the service is determined per user, per year, for an unlimited amount of data: $15 per year for staff and $10 per year for students, with a minimum of 50 users. Spanning expects to offer a similar backup service for Microsoft 365 for Education by the end of the year.

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