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Fifty from ISTE: 50 new ed-tech services

Fifty from ISTE: 50 new ed-tech services

Here are 50 news items from the ISTE exhibit hall—delivered in just 100 sentences

ISTE

Here are 50 news items from the ISTE exhibit hall.

This year’s conference from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) was the biggest yet, with nearly 20,000 people convening in Atlanta June 28 to July 1 to learn about the latest ed-tech trends and developments.

In the ISTE exhibit hall, there were 37 rows of companies demonstrating their ed-tech products. Here’s a roundup of news that stood out from ISTE 2014 exhibitors.

Classroom instruction

(1) CompassLearning has completely revamped its product line to focus on what its customers say are their biggest pain points: blended learning, intervention and credit recovery, and personalized learning.

At ISTE, the company announced three new products to address these needs: Pathblazer, a reading and math intervention program that helps quickly identify struggling learners in grades 3-8 and puts them on a path to success; Hybridge, a blended learning product that offers individual pacing for elementary and middle school students; and Gradbound, a credit recovery system for high school students.

(2) DreamBox Learning has added Spanish language support to its adaptive math software for students in grades K-8, addressing a critical need for students who are learning English as a second language.

This fall, all DreamBox Learning content will be available with Spanish voice-overs, said CEO Jessie Woolley-Wilson.

(3) Earlier this year, Filament Games previewed a suite of digital games for teaching life-science topics to middle schoolers, and now these games are available for purchase.

Called PLEx, the life science suite includes four game-based curriculum units and two bonus games, along with comprehensive teacher guides for using them in the classroom; an example is “Cell Command,” which has students shrink down to microscopic size and captain their own “cell ship” in the human body.

(4) Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has released a new app that aims to simplify teaching with iPads and Google Chromebooks.

Called HMH Player, the app lets teachers customize lessons with drag-and-drop functionality, integrating content such as YouTube videos or online news articles and sharing them with colleagues or students; allows for data analysis by student, grade level, class, or standard; and enables teachers to send directions, notes, or immediate feedback to the whole class or to individual students, as well as set up virtual study groups.

(5) Learning.com announced Curriculum Foundry, a repository of more than 30,000 K-12 digital resources vetted by classroom educators—and districts can add their own content, too.

Teachers can search for resources by standard, grade level, item type, and subject area, and they can build customized lessons and assign items to students using a single sign-on, as a way to help personalize instruction for each child; a beta version of the service will be available in January, and school districts can ask to pilot the service here.

(6) Learning Upgrade is giving every school in the nation 20 free online licenses of its Common Core-aligned lessons that help struggling students in grades K-8 succeed in reading and math using music, videos, and online gaming.

The company’s goal is to “move the needle” for struggling students—and after just one year of using its courseware, average scores on California’s state test rose from 853 to 905 at Perry Elementary School in San Diego, said CEO Vinod Lobo.

(Next page: 11 more instructional products from ISTE 2014)

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