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New ed-tech products target Common Core readiness
Corwin, a publisher of professional development titles for educators, previewed a brand-new version of its Corwin eLibraries service. The newly redesigned version, which goes live next month, uses an interface that is similar to consumer websites such as Netflix, making it easier for teachers and administrators to find relevant materials.
Corwin eLibraries include digital versions of more than 800 books, allowing educators to access the texts on any mobile device from wherever they are, said Senior Marketing Manager MaryEllin Santiago. The digital versions include a “sticky notes” feature that lets educators leave notes within the text, and users also can highlight sections of text.
Corwin has created 18 different eLibraries collections, or bundles of professional development titles around themes such as Leadership, Assessment, and 21st Century Learning and Technology. Each teacher gets his or her own account, and school districts can see how often each resource is being used.
The New Jersey-based nonprofit Ten2One Group announced a new social network that connects students with mentors from around the country. Called synXup (pronounced “syncs up”), the secure, closely monitored online service intends to help middle and high school students find others who can help them with their academic and career goals.
The basic version—which will be free to schools—allows students to create a profile that shows their likes and interests; send Friend Requests; create and join discussion forums around topics of interest; and link their account to other social networks. A premium version will enable students to create personalized “action plans” to help guide their success, and it will pair students with a Success Coach and a Mentor from their chosen field of interest.
Apperson introduced a new product called SEL+ Compass, which assesses students’ social and emotional learning competencies online. A Baseline Needs Assessment comes with a two-month license that lets schools test an unlimited number of students for $299, and the company also sells more comprehensive options that are licensed yearly.
OverDrive discussed its eBook lending library for schools, which includes more than 350,000 electronic titles that can be read on any device—including iPads, Nooks, and Kindles. The company recently added textbooks to its collection, and it also has waived its hosting fee, meaning schools now pay only for the titles they access.
Smith System displayed its furniture for creating learning commons, library commons, early childhood, and 21st-century classroom environments. The chairs and tables are designed for maximum flexibility, connectivity, and collaboration.
Digitalis Education Solutions demonstrated its inflatable planetarium domes, which allow school districts to set up a complete planetarium almost anywhere in minutes. The systems come with all the electronics and software needed to show the night sky, simulate the solar system over two million years, demonstrate events such as eclipses and meteor showers, display the orbits of planets and moons, and view more than 100 deep space objects.
Inflatable domes are available in sizes ranging from 13 feet in diameter (accommodating up to 20 students) to 23 feet in diameter (holding up to 80 students).
Follow Editorial Director Dennis Pierce on Twitter: @eSN_Dennis.