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50 top ed-tech products, straight from educators

LearnZillion

LearnZillion offers a free set of math and ELA videos for grades 2-12, developed by expert teachers directly from the Common Core standards. A premium version of the product offers more extensive lesson plans and professional development for teaching to the Common Core. “The videos are kept to five minutes, and I use them in my math classroom,” said Kathy Ogean, a sixth-grade math teacher in Illinois. “I like the emphasis on using modeling/pictures to demonstrate concepts. Each video lesson is completely aligned to the Common Core, and all content is authored by teachers who specialize in particular grade-level bands.”

http://learnzillion.com

Lexia Reading Core5 (Lexia Learning)

Lexia Reading Core5 provides personalized learning on the fundamental literacy skills for students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade and delivers real-time performance data without testing. Kimberly Bowers, a second-grade teacher for the Meridian Schools in Idaho, called the product “highly engaging.” She added: “The students love using this software. The platform allows us to access this digital courseware via our classroom computers and on iPads. Students can also access their personalized account from home. I’ve seen tremendous student growth.”

http://www.lexialearning.com

MimioConnect (Mimio)

This software offers a collection of lesson plans and teaching tools for instruction with an interactive projector, whiteboard, or tablet computer from any manufacturer. “I am an early childhood educator for students with special needs. My classroom is an integrated setting serving students ages 3-5 who have a variety of developmental delays,” said Kim Buenger of the Olathe Unified School District in Kansas. “As part of a technology pilot for our district, we have been using the MimioConnect software with our classroom set of iPads. Many of my students have a difficult time with time on task and their ability to focus. Through the use of the Mimio software, I am able to design activities that are engaging to the students. It is amazing to see their improvement in focus [and] attention.”

http://mimioconnect.com

My Big Campus (Lightspeed Systems)

Part social network, part learning management system, and part content management system, My Big Campus is a solution that safely brings together all the tools students need and makes them easy to access and share. “We use My Big Campus as our LMS and social network,” said Tom Yorke, secondary ELA teacher and tech coach for Sharon Springs Central School in New York. “Teachers are using it to create blended learning environments for our students, [and] some teachers [are] using it to flip their classrooms. It has helped in creating engaged learners, while meeting Common Core and Annual Professional Performance Review requirements.”

http://www.lightspeedsystems.com

myON (Capstone)

myON is a personalized digital literacy platform that offers unlimited access to more than 7,000 enhanced digital books, with multimedia supports, real-time assessments, and close reading tools. “We use myON to provide access to digital content for readers at their interest and reading level,” said Cindy Roberts, director of curriculum for the Emmett School District in Idaho. “Each student is able to create an individualized profile based on their interests and have access to a list of recommended books. Teachers can create customized book lists for students, groups, or classes related to projects or units of content. We are also finding that the text-to-speech feature along with the graphic novel layout is encouraging reluctant readers to spend more time interacting with texts.”

http://www.myon.com

Nepris

Nepris is an online platform that connects STEM teachers with industry experts, exposing students to real-world job skills and role models. The website is “an awesome way to connect your classes with an expert or even other classes around the country that are studying the same units,” said LeAnn Waldie, instructional technologist for the Godley Independent School District in Texas.

http://www.nepris.com

NetSupport School (NetSupport)

This classroom management software gives teachers the ability to instruct, monitor, and interact with their students—either individually, as a pre-defined group, or with the whole class. “NetSupport School has allowed our teachers to monitor student activity on [their] computers, to communicate with students, and to use the teacher’s computer as a demonstration tool for the students,” said Phyllis Freeland, a high school business teacher with the Pasadena Independent School District in Texas. “The students are able to communicate with the teacher by asking for help from their computers … and by participating in student surveys. Teachers are able to start each student computer from the teacher station, as well as shut down all student computers. NetSupport School is a very valuable tool.”

http://www.netsupportschool.com

observe4success

observe4success is a web-based tool that administrators can use to observe, record, and analyze instructional practices to support high-quality teaching. The product “allows administrators to take notes and rate instructional practices via an iPad or notebook computer. The skills and standards in the program are customizable to the individual school, and immediate teacher feedback is possible,” said Jaime Christensen, director of schools for Spectrum Academy in Utah. “It also allows [administrators] to upload videos of teachers delivering lessons, so that the teacher [can] review and note strengths and weaknesses.”

http://www.observe4success.com

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