NECC 2004: Library systems and technologies

More than 450 companies were at this year’s NECC displaying their technology solutions for educators. Here are some of the highlights of companies’ products related to library systems and technologies:

Encyclopaedia Britannica announced that it will introduce an improved version of Britannica Online School Edition for K-12 schools in the fall. The new release will sport a more user-focused look and organization that will make it easier and more efficient to use, the company said. It also will offer greater alignment with the school curriculum. “It’ll be very useful, particularly for younger readers,” said Britannica senior vice president Patti Ginnis. “Kids of every age will find that their section really is designed for them.” Teachers will welcome the correlation of encyclopedia articles to state and national curriculum standards, the company said, adding that the fall release will have a database of standards organized by subject and state and featuring direct links to encyclopedia articles relevant to the standards.
http://school.eb.com

News from the exhibit hall

  • NECC roundup: CEOs get behind ed-tech
  • Assessment and instructional management
  • Communications and audio
  • Curriculum and software
  • Digital imaging and creativity
  • Hardware and peripherals
  • Online learning and research
  • Presentation solutions
  • Professional development
  • School administrative solutions
  • Security and network management
  • ProQuest Information and Learning announced the launch of an updated version of the award-winning ProQuest online information service, set for release in mid-July. ProQuest Information and Learning, a unit of ProQuest Company, creates and publishes databases for libraries and educational institutions worldwide. Many new features will be part of the release. ProQuest Smart Search will tap into ProQuest’s powerful indexing to analyze a user’s search and then offer suggestions for related topics and publications at the top of the results screen. The same technology will enable users to browse topics in most ProQuest databases. Users also will be able to use eMail to send and receive multiple articles in a single eMail message from ProQuest; eMail My Research Summary, a highly refined version of the marked list feature; and eMail formatted bibliographies.
    http://www.proquestcompany.com

    To enable a district’s schools to share the same library catalog and facilitate inter-library loans, Sagebrush Corp. launched an update of its centralized library automation system, Sagebrush Accent. The latest version features a simplified, more intuitive interface suitable for K-12 students, as well as experienced and novice librarians alike. It also has updated reports that can be printed on demand or saved to a spreadsheet or PDF file, an easy-to-use cataloging editor, a smoother workflow when checking items in and out, and new inventory functionality that guides librarians through a step-by-step process.
    http://www.sagebrushcorp.com

    This eSchool News Online report on the 2004 NECC is made possible with financial support of Dell.

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    NECC 2004: Online learning and research

    More than 450 companies were at this year’s NECC displaying their technology solutions for educators. Here are some of the highlights related to online learning products and research studies released at the show:

    Online learning

    Connections Academy, which partners with states and districts to provide virtual learning programs, has added two completely online courses for math and music to its curriculum. Connections Academy’s program differs from other virtual school programs in that, although the education happens away from a traditional school building, the entire curriculum and educational experience is not tied to a computer.
    http://www.connectionsacademy.com

    News from the exhibit hall

  • NECC roundup: CEOs get behind ed-tech
  • Assessment and instructional management
  • Communications and audio
  • Curriculum and software
  • Digital imaging and creativity
  • Hardware and peripherals
  • Library systems and technologies
  • Presentation solutions
  • Professional development
  • School administrative solutions
  • Security and network management
  • The North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL), which represents more than 180 K-12 schools and companies that offer online learning, said it is currently establishing a quality review committee that will develop and give a seal of approval to commercial content providers. The group also is working with a number of partners–including the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, ISTE, Apple, and Microsoft–to create a guide for how to be an online teacher. The new guide will provide “a baseline competency that we want to promote in the online classroom,” said Tim Stroud, NACOL’s executive director.
    http://www.nacol.org

    Research

    Ed-tech provider CDW-G released the results of its “Teachers Talk Tech” study. The scientifically based survey, which had a 95-percent confidence level, found that a large percentage of U.S. teachers still struggle to integrate computers into their classrooms despite their own belief in the value of educational technology. While 96 percent of teachers own a computer at home, and 93 percent feel computers are useful in classrooms, only 22 percent said they have had adequate training in the use of computers as a teaching tool. In addition, 51 percent reported outdated hardware was a problem in their schools, and 48 percent indicated they did not have enough time in their day to become skilled with the equipment and software. In addition, CDW-G announced that Colman-Eagan School in Colman, S.D., had won the grand prize in its “Win a Wireless Lab” sweepstakes program, conducted in partnership with Discovery Education. The contest drew more than 59,000 entries, and the winning submission came from Colman-Egan library assistant Gail Scriver. Thanks to Scriver’s efforts, the South Dakota K-12 school now boasts a $40,000 IBM wireless computer lab for use by its 300 students.
    http://www.cdwg.com

    Educational Testing Service (ETS), the world’s largest private educational testing and measurement organization, was in New Orleans talking about the recently-issued “Digital Leadership Divide” report commissioned by CoSN. ETS, which helped fund the study, said it conclusively found that strong leadership is the single biggest key to the effective use of technology in schools. (See “Study: Leadership is key to ed-tech success,”.) ETS also pointed to a more ominous warning: that students might be left unprepared for technology in higher education and the workplace. ETS says its own research has shown that if educators truly want to use technology to improve teaching and learning, technology must be integrated into the daily life of the classroom. The company called for sustained, high-quality professional development for teachers, something ETS contended is currently not receiving much attention. ETS also was at NECC to showcase its dynamic classroom tools, including the online writing evaluation program Criterion and the classroom assessment program Discourse.
    http://www.ets.org

    This eSchool News Online report on the 2004 NECC is made possible with financial support of Dell.

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    NECC 2004: Professional development

    More than 450 companies were at this year’s NECC displaying their technology solutions for educators. Here are some of the highlights of companies’ products related to professional development:

    Adobe Systems announced its new Adobe Acrobat for Educators program, which offers expert advice, training, and curriculum ideas, as well as a community to share best practices. The program aims to help educators integrate the Portable Document Format (PDF) into their curriculum. Adobe says it already has signed up more than 300 teachers to participate in the program, which includes a 30-day free trial version, a $30 rebate off Acrobat Professional 6.0, free online training, and curriculum materials. Adobe also has expanded its Master Teachers and Digital Kids Club programs. The company said Adobe Master Teachers and other experts provided in-depth training on Adobe software to 600 teachers at NECC.
    http://www.adobe.com

    News from the exhibit hall

  • NECC roundup: CEOs get behind ed-tech
  • Assessment and instructional management
  • Communications and audio
  • Curriculum and software
  • Digital imaging and creativity
  • Hardware and peripherals
  • Library systems and technologies
  • Online learning and research
  • Presentation solutions
  • School administrative solutions
  • Security and network management
  • A rapidly growing provider of web-based software training and tutorials for schools and colleges, Atomic Learning turned the NECC spotlight on its new-look web site and additional offerings, which include 31 tutorial movies for netTrekker, a leading online search engine for schools. The netTrekker tutorials, aimed at both teachers and students, join Atomic Learning’s award-winning library of online training products for the entire Microsoft Office 2003 suite, Adobe GoLive CS and InDesign CS for Windows, Inspiration 7.5 for Windows, and many other software products commonly used by schools. Company spokesman Dan Meyer noted that the tutorials help teachers address many of the software-related questions students raise in the classroom. Atomic Learning also released 325 additional Spanish-language tutorials and now offers more than 2,000 of its 9,000-plus tutorials in Spanish. With access licensed on a per-year basis, the Atomic Learning site gives schools the ability to offer increased learning opportunities as well as professional development for as little as $1.25 per user, depending on the size of the school. Four years after its founding, Atomic Learning now serves more than 550,000 users in the Iowa public school system, as well as more than 300,000 users in Broward County, Fla. The company also is part of Sprint’s new Empowered Education Desktop program.
    http://www.atomiclearning.com

    Campus K12 was chosen by ISTE to be the online professional development management system for ISTE’s national program, The ISTE Institute: Leading with NETS (National Educational Technology Standards). Teachers will use the Campus K12 system to work online with their principal and an ISTE Institute mentor, implementing individual and team professional development plans based on NETS for Administrators and NETS for Teachers. “Having Campus K12 be an integral part of the online experience for the ISTE Institute is what we are all about,” said Phil Camillo, CEO of Campus K12. “Since our system is standards- and goals-based, participants will be able to assess their skills regarding NETS, set their individual and team goals appropriately, and find matching resources that meet their specific development needs.” Campus K12 chairman and founder Phil Camillo was also among the company leaders in New Orleans.
    http://www.campusk12.com

    A web-based courseware development and delivery company founded at the University of Virginia, CaseNEX announced the addition of a new course to its catalog of online professional development through the use of case methods. The course, called “Equity and Diversity in Education,” is offered online through Aug. 26. Participants examine education through an equity and diversity lens, using critical cultural studies and multicultural education as theoretical frameworks. The course explores ways in which racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ageism, and other forms of discrimination permeate educational policy and practice. CaseNEX also announced the expansion of its two-year strategic relationship with iAssessment. “Our partnership with iAssessment is powerful because it allows us to implement a comprehensive, fully-integrated professional development solution that is both flexible and efficient,” said CaseNEX CEO Marsha Gartland. CaseNEX is also a strategic partner of eSchool News.
    http://www.eschoolnews.org/casenex

    Co-nect came announced its strategic partnership with TetraData Corp. as part of a nationwide project aimed at improving professional development and identifying its role in student achievement. TetraData and Co-nect will spend three years building and deploying a web-based decision support tool for 60 test and control schools in 14 districts and eight states. Co-nect, which received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education last fall, is a provider of data-driven, K-12 professional development solutions focused on improving the quality of classroom instruction district-wide. The company delivers training, tools, and resources to solve issues such as whole-school improvement, early reading failure, and technology integration. Its research-based programs are delivered through a national network of educational consultants who provide face-to-face training supported by an integrated suite of online professional development, assessment tools, and curricular resources. Co-nect also produces the Co-nect Exchange, a proprietary web site offering professional development training and tracking, as well as curricular tools for teachers.
    http://www.co-nect.net

    At the request of teachers who have completed Intel’s 40-hour Teach to the Future training course, Intel Corp. is expanding its free offerings with a shorter online workshop series. “Seeing Reason” and “Visual Ranking” are two new editions to the Intel Teach to the Future Essentials Course. Seeing Reason teaches educators how to use a mapping and visual thinking tool, and Visual Ranking looks at how to prioritize ideas. Each class lasts approximately six hours.
    http://www.intel.com/education

    Macromedia Inc. announced the formation of its Macromedia Education Leaders program, which recognizes educational technology innovators who have demonstrated exemplary uses of Macromedia technology in K-12 education. These uses include a variety of educational applications, including classroom instruction, school administration, professional development, and online education. The first 11 program participants were on hand at NECC to describe how they use well-known Macromedia products such as Flash, Dreamweaver, ColdFusion, Breeze, and Contribute, a web-based, user-friendly program that enables educators and students to update, create, and publish content to any HTML-based web site. Macromedia Education Leader Tod Tapola, the director of instructional technology at Anthony Wayne Local Schools in Whitehouse, Ohio, described Contribute as a program students embrace and said it has done much to improve the quality of school web sites in his district. Megan Stewart, director of Macromedia’s Global School Division, said members of the Education Leaders program serve as an advisory board to the company. The program is accepting applications through September, and Macromedia will be announcing new Education Leaders later this fall.
    http://www.macromedia.com/education

    PBS TeacherLine launched a national professional development program with 80 courses that aim to enhance teacher quality and address the competency requirements spelled out under NCLB. The PBS TeacherLine program, funded by a Ready to Teach grant from the U.S. Department of Education, was piloted and refined over a four-year period. Courses cover instructional technology, mathematics, reading, science, curriculum mapping, and instructional strategies. All PBS TeacherLine courses are available nationwide. The online courses, led by facilitators who are trained and certified by PBS TeacherLine, cost $150 per course.
    http://www.pbs.org/teacherline

    Course Technology, a part of The Thomson Corp., provides numerous professional development solutions for educators. The company offers more than 1,600 print and technology-based products for technology training courses. Course Technology’s teaching and learning solutions are available for almost every popular software application–from operating systems, word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation programs to internet, networking, programming, web design, and development topics.
    http://www.course.com

    This eSchool News Online report on the 2004 NECC is made possible with financial support of Dell.

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    NECC 2004: Communications and audio

    More than 450 companies were at this year’s NECC displaying their technology solutions for educators. Here are some of the highlights of companies’ products related to communications solutions and audio systems:

    ConnectED highlighted its online portal and Content Management System (CMS) designed exclusively for educational institutions. The company’s objective is to provide a central communications center for school administrators, teachers, students, and parents. ConnectED said it can make a school’s campus digital, offering robust functionality balanced with a simple, user-friendly interface.
    http://www.connectedcms.com

    Edline demonstrated its complete web-hosting solution that can serve as a school’s entire web site or merely a companion site. Edline is easy to implement, saves teachers time, and enhances parent-teacher communication, the company said. In conjunction with a school’s own software, student information system, gradebook, and office applications, Edline can transform school web sites into an digital extension of the school, where each visitor sees the exact targeted information educators want available to that individual.
    http://www.edline.com

    Nextel Communications came to NECC to display its line of fully integrated, wireless communications services. Nextel, which has built one of the largest guaranteed, all-digital wireless networks in the United States, provides K-12 and higher-education fields with services and support to meet their education-specific wireless needs. Among other applications, Nextel products enable educators to track students, personnel, and school assets in real time via a Nextel phone with a bar-code scanner attachment. The company also offers GPS service to locate and track school buses and maintenance vehicles.
    http://www.Nextel.com

    News from the exhibit hall

  • NECC roundup: CEOs get behind ed-tech
  • Assessment and instructional management
  • Curriculum and software
  • Digital imaging and creativity
  • Hardware and peripherals
  • Library systems and technologies
  • Online learning and research
  • Presentation solutions
  • Professional development
  • School administrative solutions
  • Security and network management
  • Sprint Corp. made six announcements in conjunction with the show, two of which involved the company’s Empowered Education Desktop for Schools program (see NECC roundup). Other announcements included new working relationships with Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five in South Carolina, Hickman Mills C-1 District in Kansas City, Mo., and Wilkes County Schools in North Carolina.
    http://www.sprint.com/education

    Audio systems

    Califone Inc., a long-time provider of classroom audio presentation solutions, showcased two wireless headset solutions ideal for language-arts centers in elementary classrooms. One set of headphones uses infrared technology to receive audio in a 15-foot range, while another uses UHF (ultra-high frequency) wireless technology to receive sound up to 150 feet. The latter set has four frequencies available, which allows teachers to operate up to four systems at the same time without interference. Califone also sells a headset with a microphone and USB connector educators can use for computer-based reading programs that record students’ voices, the company said.
    http://www.califone.com

    Telex Communications was represented at NECC by its Education Market Group. The company offers a full line of educational headphones, headsets, and listening centers for the K-20 field. Telex, which has been selling audio performance products for more than 75 years, has made a point of providing sound solutions for education, including amplification products such as ClassMate and Sound-Buddy. Telex also provides solutions for special education, including an extensive accessible-text program developed for the Library of Congress.
    http://www.telex.com

    This eSchool News Online report on the 2004 NECC is made possible with financial support of Dell.

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    NECC 2004: Presentation solutions

    More than 450 companies were at this year’s NECC displaying their technology solutions for educators. Here are some of the highlights of companies’ products related to presentation solutions:

    Having sold projectors for nearly 20 years, Boxlight Corp. calls itself a “one-stop shop” offering projectors, visual presenters, and accessories. In addition, Boxlight offers an in-house service center, 24-7 toll-free telephone technical support, and warranty and leasing programs. Educators looking for unique ways to use projectors in their classrooms or who need data to corroborate the importance of projectors for grant applications can download the company’s free white paper, “Incorporating and Purchasing a Projector in an Education Setting,” from the Boxlight web site.
    http://www.boxlight.com

    News from the exhibit hall

  • NECC roundup: CEOs get behind ed-tech
  • Assessment and instructional management
  • Communications and audio
  • Curriculum and software
  • Digital imaging and creativity
  • Hardware and peripherals
  • Library systems and technologies
  • Online learning and research
  • Professional development
  • School administrative solutions
  • Security and network management
  • InFocus Corp., a provider of digital projection solutions, demonstrated its commitment to education with products it designed to enhance learning and collaboration in the classroom. The company produces a range of education projectors, projector management tools, and wireless technology. Its products are capable of projecting images from multiple sources, including computers, DVD players, and personal digital assistants. InFocus partners with TechSmith to offer projectors designed to complement TechSmith’s popular SnagIt and Camtasia Studio products. The companies partnered in the belief that their efforts would help instructors create more innovative presentations to ensure that the entire class participates in the learning experience.
    http://www.infocus.com/education

    The Visual Systems Division of NEC Solutions sells and supports unlimited visual display solutions. Technologies include DLP- and LCD-based mobile, installed, and large-venue projection systems, as well as PlasmaSync plasma displays designed specifically for the unique needs of public display and multimedia presentation environments. The company showed off its new line of projectors, the VT470, VT570, and VT670, all of which it considers ideal for the education field.
    http://www.necvisualsystems.com

    Promethean, the maker of the ACTIVboard Collaborative Classroom System, announced the release of its new ACTIVboard Pro. This interactive whiteboard provides built-in Bluetooth wireless connectivity to personal computers, as well as the ACTIVboard system’s interactive radio communication devices, ACTIVotes and ACTIVslate XR. ACTIVboard Pro completes what the company calls the world’s first fully integrated, interactive whiteboard system. ACTIVboard Pro also provides a massive 78-inch diagonal working space and enables an entire class to take tests from their desks, with their cumulative results displayed on the board in real time. On the back end, the board tracks each student’s response for use in assessment. Promethean also announced the launch of Promethean Planet, a free online resource center that gives educators from around the globe the ability to share new and innovative lessons and access an abundance of learning resources for immediate use with the ACTIVboard technology.
    http://www.activboard.com

    It was a busy week for SMART Technologies Inc. at NECC. The Canadian-based maker of interactive whiteboards and software for schools announced a contribution of more than $300,000 worth of products to the winners of Intel’s 21st Century Schools of Distinction Awards. At a gala awards ceremony, 20 U.S. schools received a SMART Board 580 interactive whiteboard, as well as a school license for SMART Ideas concept-mapping software and SynchronEyes computer-lab instruction software. In association with its charitable arm, the SMARTer Kids Foundation, SMART also announced a price reduction on its Rear Projection SMART Board 2000i-DVX interactive whiteboard with XGA resolution. Thanks to a foundation grant, qualifying institutions can purchase the 2000i-DVX with high-quality XGA resolution for $9,499, the company said. That’s more than $3,000 off the suggested retail price. Also at the show, the Wichita Public Schools in Wichita, Kan., announced it was recommending SMART interactive whiteboards for use in every classroom across the 50,000-student district. An installation of 56 SMART Board interactive whiteboards will be complete by the start of the new school year, the company said. Other announcements included the creation of the SMART Exemplary Educator program to honor innovative teachers who use SMART products effectively in the classroom, and $80 million in grant awards intended to make SMART’s technology more affordable for school customers.
    http://www.smarttech.com

    Tandberg USA, a branch of the Norwegian visual-communications company Tandberg, showcased its new Mediaplace mobile video system. The small cart set-up enables schools to have student-instructor interaction from virtually anywhere in a building or district. Already used at several universities in Oklahoma, the system is ideal for distance learning at the K-12 level, too, the company said. It also may be used for professional development in large districts, where instructors might not be able to visit each building in person. The Tandberg system delivers rich audio, allowing for music instruction that brings students and teachers together at any distance. Tandberg also works with schools to enhance their experience of the technology, helping arrange virtual field trips to museums, zoos, and science institutes. In one application of the technology, students were able to control the movement of an underwater vehicle at a marine lab, watching the whole experience unfold right in their classroom.
    http://www.tandbergusa.com

    This eSchool News Online report on the 2004 NECC is made possible with financial support of Dell.

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    NECC 2004: Digital imaging and creativity

    More than 450 companies were at this year’s NECC displaying their technology solutions for educators. Here are some of the highlights of companies’ products related to digital imaging and creativity tools:

    Focusing on preK-8 learners, 2SimpleUSA Inc. showcased its new 2Simple Music Toolkit, the latest entry in an extensive line of elementary educational programs. The two-year-old company is the North American publisher and distributor of products from 2Simple Software, a British publisher that dominates its nation’s early-learning market. The company’s flagship Early Learning Toolkit for preK-3 students has helped spur its rapid growth in the United States. Marketing manager Michael St. Louis said 2SimpleUSA has doubled its overall sales in the past year alone, citing the brand’s instant appeal. “The great thing about the [Music Toolkit] program is that it’s customizable for most students. And it’s not only easy for the students to learn, it’s also easy for the teachers to learn and to immediately integrate into their curriculum,” he said. Available at a single-unit retail price of $49.95, the 2Simple Music Toolkit can be purchased in bulk from increments of $29.97 to $19.63 per unit. The company also offers unlimited licensing for a flat fee of $833.66.
    http://www.2simpleusa.com

    The substantial size and crowd-drawing power of the Canon USA booth was a reflection of digital imaging’s impact on the classroom and educators’ growing interest in digital video. One of several companies catering to the needs of educators looking to integrate video into their curricula, Canon showcased its PowerShot compact digital cameras and its EOS Digital Camera line, which offers several Single Lens Reflex cameras to meet educators’ demands. The company also prides itself in offering production-quality camcorders that are of high quality and yet affordable, helping schools with their distance-learning initiatives as well as with video presentation. In the works is an extensive Canon initiative that will focus on helping educators and their students understand the significance and principles of big-picture topics such as visual literacy.
    http://www.usa.canon.com

    Canadian software publisher Celedy Software came to New Orleans to announce the July release of CeledyDraw 2, a teaching and productivity tool for graphics design and desktop publishing. The latest release has been enhanced to meet the needs of teachers, including support for EPS, AI, PDF, and several other vector graphic formats that enable sharing across multiple platforms. More affordable than its high-end competitors, according to the company, the versatile software now features unlimited undo/redo commands, several new templates, and an “intelligent” user interface that can guess what a user is trying to do and adjust its context automatically, the company said.
    http://www.corel.com

    eZedia Inc. previewed the Windows version of eZediaQTI 2.0, the company’s multimedia authoring software for creating rich internet web content and interactive movies. Without special programming or coding knowledge, eZediaQTI lets users combine and enhance video, graphics, animation, sound, and text to create web sites, internet banners, online presentations, and interactive content. eZedia also announced the winners of its Zoom-ed Classroom Contest. The winners of Apple eMacs were the first-grade classroom of West Tisbury School in West Tisbury, Mass., and the seventh-grade classroom of Nathan Twining Middle School in Grand Forks, N.D.
    http://www.ezedia.com

    At a time when digital imaging was hotter than ever in education, Olympus America was at NECC demonstrating several products. The company also introduced new co-curricular materials designed to help teachers integrate digital imaging and visual learning into social studies and science classes for grades 4-6. The company’s online curriculum materials are located at http://www.envisionyourworld.com. In the area of educational tools, Olympus presented three of its digital cameras and its MIC-D digital microscope. Olympus also promoted the Sylus 410 digital camera with an all-weather, splash-proof design and lenses that suit the needs of advanced photography courses. To serve professional development needs, Olympus has introduced an online newsletter called “Visionary Educator,” available at http://www.olympusamerica.com/education. Olympus said it is developing plans to train teachers to operate and use digital photographic equipment in the classroom and support those schools as technologies change.
    http://www.Olympus.com

    NECC saw the debut of the Pinnacle Video and Advanced Video Toolkits from Pinnacle Systems Inc. These new products are designed to give teachers the tools to inspire and educate their students through video production. The toolkits are based on Pinnacle’s popular video editing software applications, Pinnacle Studio version 9 and Liquid Edition version 5.5. Each toolkit comes with product training materials from leading curriculum providers. The Video Toolkit includes a Quick Step Guide from Digital Classroom, and the Advanced Toolkit comes with Pinnacle Liquid Edition PowerStart from DV Creators, giving instructors out-of-the-box teaching tools to use with their video editing software. Both the entry and advanced video toolkits are available in the U.S. and in Canada. They are priced for the education market and are available in five- and 10-license packs, with volume pricing also available.
    http://www.pinnaclesys.com/education

    Serious Magic showcased its award-winning Visual Communicator software, which enables students and instructors to create dynamic videos in just minutes. The software is ideal for everything from campus-wide newscasts to video book reports, the company said. Visual Communicator also works with existing content and provides the flexibility to create video once and share it on the internet, over a campus network, or via CD and DVD. Check the company’s web site for demonstrations of the software’s capabilities.
    http://www.seriousmagic.com

    TechSmith Corp., a provider of screen capture and recording solutions, announced new features to its SnagIt 7.1 software that aim to simplify the capturing, editing, and sharing of images, including support for MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger. SnagIt, which costs $39.95, streamlines the process of sending screen shots over MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger, and its web capture feature allows users to capture all the graphics from a web page or group of web pages in one step. Other features include automatic file naming, additional photo-edge effects, and drag-and-drop support for more than 20 file formats.
    http://www.techsmith.com

    Looking to take its consumer-product success into the educational field, Ulead displayed its new VideoStudio 8 product, released in April. VideoStudio 8 simplifies the video-editing process, enabling educators to quickly produce high-quality presentations for their students. Students also can use the software to produce videos for school projects and extracurricular activities. The latest release offers refined, automated video editing tools that make it possible to turn videos into polished movies to distribute on DVD, CD, or the web. VideoStudio 8 offers a unique approach to video automation with tools that enhance the story-telling process. In addition, a full-featured Video Editor includes new and enhanced effects and filters, royalty-free music, and overlay and audio tools for more advanced editing techniques and control. Novice users can start out on the product’s lower level, working up to the more advanced features. The company’s web site offers sample lesson plans and other ideas for integrating video editing into a curriculum. VideoStudio 8 recently won PC Magazine‘s Editors’ Choice Award for video-editing packages.
    http://www.ulead.com

    This eSchool News Online report on the 2004 NECC is made possible with financial support of Dell.

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    NECC 2004: School administrative solutions

    More than 450 companies were at this year’s NECC displaying their technology solutions for educators. Here are some of the highlights of companies’ products related to school administrative solutions:

    FileMaker Inc. announced FileMaker Work Requests, a FileMaker database application that tracks and manages the complete process of fulfilling a school or district’s work requests. The tool, which includes a way for staff to submit requests, estimate the cost, and delegate the request, costs $119 per license, though education-specific pricing is available. To accommodate AlphaSmart’s Dana, FileMaker also added wide-screen PDA support to its FileMaker Mobile, a $69.99 tool that lets teachers and administrators synchronize multiple mobile devices to a single desktop database.
    http://www.filemaker.com

    News from the exhibit hall

  • NECC roundup: CEOs get behind ed-tech
  • Assessment and instructional management
  • Communications and audio
  • Curriculum and software
  • Digital imaging and creativity
  • Hardware and peripherals
  • Library systems and technologies
  • Online learning and research
  • Presentation solutions
  • Professional development
  • Security and network management
  • The new, web-based Destiny Textbook Manager from Follett Software Co. allows school staff to check textbooks in and out of inventory with a bar-code scanner located on any computer on a school’s network. Staff also can record the book’s condition. Destiny Textbook Manager can be used on a district-wide basis to create a single, centralized textbook database. It also helps schools hold students and parents accountable for lost or damaged textbooks and can be customized to include an individual school or district’s fine and replacement policies. The program automatically sends an eMail message to a student’s home, informing parents of textbook fines.
    http://www.fsc.follett.com

    Funds For Learning is offering an enhanced version of its free eRate management tool, E-Rate Manager, for $99 per year. The paid version, called E-Rate Enhancement Plus, will include all the features available in the basic service, plus an asset management tool and a multi-year archive of your school’s eRate correspondence and documents. The asset management tool helps school staff keep track of the serial number and location of equipment purchased and installed with eRate funds, as well as the three-year transferability rule that prohibits the relocation of equipment purchased with eRate funds. The archive lets eRate applicants build a data repository of their district’s pertinent eRate records, which is ideal in the case of audits or staff turnover. Funds For Learning said more than 300 applicants use its free tool to manage the eRate application process.
    http://www.fundsforlearning.com

    iAssessment has released two new web-based school management programs. The Grants Management Program helps educators manage the various steps required by foundation or government grants, including reports and evaluations. The Systems Unification Suite is a front-end presentation solution that allows educators to access all of their school data–such as student information, human resources, or financial databases–from a single web portal.
    http://www.iassessment.com

    Focusing on affordable student information management systems for K-12 schools across North America, Software Technology Inc. (STI) produces a suite of products and services that encompass all facets of student and faculty records. The company’s STIClassroom product lets teachers automate many of the administrative functions of their work day by combining attendance records, gradebooks, textbook tracking, and a curriculum-based lesson planner into one software package.
    http://www.sti-k12.com

    This eSchool News Online report on the 2004 NECC is made possible with financial support of Dell.

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    NECC 2004: Security and network management

    More than 450 companies were at this year’s NECC displaying their technology solutions for educators. Here are some of the highlights of companies’ products related to computer security and network management:

    Apple Computer unveiled its Remote Desktop 2 software, offering 50 new features over its predecessor. These features include remote software installation; built-in, real-time screen sharing for online assistance; remote control to perform common OS X functions simultaneously across multiple systems; and user access mode, allowing a subset of users to be granted administrator privileges. The product will be available in July.
    http://www.apple.com

    NetSupport products have a special appeal for the K-12 field because strained school budgets require software, rather than hardware, solutions for networking issues. There is no need for hardware with NetSupport School, which can provide interactive classroom instruction, testing, and monitoring. Version 7.5 of the product, released in April, combines instructional capabilities with all new testing/polling modules and application/internet monitoring functionality. Teachers can demonstrate applications in real time, display their computer screen on students’ screens, create customized tests, manage application and web usage, monitor student progress, nominate group leaders, digitally send out and collect coursework, annotate the screen, perform online chat, and much more. The product is currently available only for Windows. NetSupport School is aimed at classrooms, but another product, NetSupport DNA, lets administrators keep track of the entire network’s activity, as well as a school or district’s hardware and software inventory.
    http://www.netsupport-inc.com

    News from the exhibit hall

  • NECC roundup: CEOs get behind ed-tech
  • Assessment and instructional management
  • Communications and audio
  • Curriculum and software
  • Digital imaging and creativity
  • Hardware and peripherals
  • Library systems and technologies
  • Online learning and research
  • Presentation solutions
  • Professional development
  • School administrative solutions
  • St. Bernard Software, a global provider of web-content filtering appliances to schools and businesses, came to NECC with the results of a new national survey, which showed that 59 percent of school technology decision-makers say at least some of their students have accessed inappropriate web content at school in the past year. The scientifically based survey, commissioned by St. Bernard Software, was conducted in June by JAS Market Research. It found that school decision makers cite games as the biggest problem, followed by pornography, violence, and hate sites. St. Bernard Software recommended its iPrism product as a content-filtering solution. iPrism, an internet-access management appliance can monitor, filter, and report on inappropriate internet usage, the company said. Each day, a St. Bernard Software team updates iPrism’s database to ensure that inappropriate content is being blocked from students’ view. St. Bernard also cited a case study in Greenwood, Ind., which showed that its content-filtering products had led to dramatic savings for the school district.
    http://www.stbernard.com

    SonicWALL Inc., a leading provider of integrated network security, mobility, and productivity solutions, aims to secure wireless networks in schools. The company displayed its SOHO TZW Education Edition, a fully integrated distributed wireless solution featuring an 802.11b wireless access point, firewall, and IPSec virtual private network (VPN) technology. SonicWALL says the product is ideal for schools seeking a highly secure, affordable wireless network. The company, which has won the eSchool News Readers’ Choice Award among other honors in its 13-year existence, strives to offer “rock-solid” security while making its own technology transparent. Schools can even customize their networks so that students and administrators each can have their own levels of security.
    http://www.sonicwall.com

    Vericept Corp., a provider of risk-management solutions, announced that it has been working with expert Nancy Willard, executive director of the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use, to create a grant template that helps schools gain federal funding through the Safe and Drug Free Schools program for use of Vericept’s technology. Vericept enables “virtual adult supervision” of student internet, eMail, and network use through its Vericept Intelligence Platform. Monitoring thousands of schools across the country, Vericept’s solution identifies instances of network misuse by students, visits to web sites that provide potentially dangerous information, online drug dealing, and eMail dialogs threatening violent acts–providing administrators with the tools and information needed to deter potentially harmful behavior.
    http://www.vericept.com

    Version3 Inc., developer of the Version3 Simple Sign-On solution, said its access management application operates in a healthy Microsoft Active Directory environment to allow any educational institution to simplify its identity management initiative, streamline its business process, and reduce administration costs. In addition, the application gives students single-point authentication and access to school resources, information, and applications. Version3 also announced its School Access Management Initiative (SAMI). The program enables educators to purchase Simple Sign-On for a reduced price, with the objective of establishing a coordinated, system-wide effort–from kindergarten through the graduate level–to develop a secure student-identity management infrastructure.
    http://www.ver3.com

    This eSchool News Online report on the 2004 NECC is made possible with financial support of Dell.

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    NECC 2004: Assessment and instructional management

    More than 450 companies were at this year’s NECC displaying their technology solutions for educators. Here are some of the highlights of companies’ products related to assessment and instructional management:

    Idaho-based CRI Advantage, a provider of K-12 analysis and reporting solutions, announced that it has teamed up with The Administrative Assistants Ltd. (AAL), of Toronto, to jointly market a comprehensive student information management solution. This new solution combines guided analysis with reporting capabilities to provide educators and administrators with new understanding and insight into the management and improvement of student achievement. As part of the venture, CRI provides Academic Accelerator, its powerful yet easy-to-use guided and advanced analytics software to increase understanding and insight into student performance. AAL provides its eSIS product, which offers the specific student-related information administrators need to plan and manage overall operations, including student demographics and test scores. The software lets district and school administrators monitor student enrollment, manage inter-district transfers, and make better strategic, budgetary, and operational decisions.

    News from the exhibit hall

  • NECC roundup: CEOs get behind ed-tech
  • Communications and audio
  • Curriculum and software
  • Digital imaging and creativity
  • Hardware and peripherals
  • Library systems and technologies
  • Online learning and research
  • Presentation solutions
  • Professional development
  • School administrative solutions
  • Security and network management
  • With assessment and NCLB hot topics as always, CTB/McGraw-Hill, a leading provider of assessment solutions, came to NECC with the announcement that it has expanded its alliance with TurnLeaf Solutions, which specializes in customized online reporting and data anlalysis. The companies are teaming up to help schools meet NCLB requirements by making TurnLeaf’s Achievement Management System (AMS) available nationwide. AMS enables educators to store local, state, and national assessment data in a central warehousing system. The data then can be manipulated for use in customized reports showing progress over time–a valuable tool for administrators charged with providing Adequate Yearly Progress reports. CTB-McGraw Hill also introduced its I-know and I-know Progress products, which work in tandem with AMS to give educators a comprehensive online solution for instruction and assessment. I-know is a formative online classroom assessment system, while I-know Progress provides web-based data management tools tailored to educators’ needs.
    http://www.ctb.com

    Curriculum Advantage was at NECC to talk about its new Classworks Import Edition for New York. The program imports state-mandated assessment data into Classworks, enabling New York State educators to tie the state’s learning standards to classroom instruction. Classworks, a network-based system of K-12 language arts and mathematics curriculum and learning tools created from 180 different software products, uses assessment data to prescribe individualized learning paths for students. For the past year, Curriculum Advantage has been revamping the 11-year-old Classworks program into a relevant teaching resource for schools where NCLB standards for accountability and informed instruction have become a major concern. To date, the company has developed state import editions for Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New York, and Illinois, as well as a Scantron Performance Series import edition.
    http://www.curriculumadvantage.com

    GTCO CalComp announced the integration of the Personal Response System (PRS) with its InterWrite Software. InterWrite PRS combines interaction and assessment to enhance classroom activity. Each student has an infrared wireless remote to answer questions given by the teacher. Teachers can create their own questions for the InterWrite PRS or use questions provided in textbooks. The instant charting and displaying of results gives teachers the ability to measure student comprehension, provide real-time student feedback, and refine lessons. Students are able to change their answers throughout the allotted answer time, as well as indicate how confident they are in their answer–all by using their remote control. An integrated gradebook program allows teachers to grade and record test and quiz results in seconds, saving them precious time. With InterWrite PRS, teachers can spend less time taking attendance and administering and scoring quizzes and tests, while spending more time teaching, the company said.
    http://www.gtcocalcomp.com

    Holt, Rinehart and Winston, a publisher of textbooks and educational materials for students in grades six through 12, released a new edition of Holt Science & Technology that has been redesigned with new activities, updated text, and new visual resources. The revised middle-school science program includes new supplementary resources such as the Holt One-Stop Planner, a CD-ROM with ExamView Test Generator, Holt Online Assessment, and the popular online edition of the textbook. Holt also announced the release of its Holt Online Assessment for Literature, a new resource that enables teachers to diagnose students’ understanding of literature, assign intervention, and track improvement with benchmark practice tests.
    http://www.hrw.com

    Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland have entered into an agreement worth nearly $1 million with LeapFrog SchoolHouse, the school division of LeapFrog Enterprises Inc., to give one-to-one LeapPad access to the district’s kindergarten students. Throughout the county, 216 kindergarten classrooms in 70 Title 1 schools will use the LeapTrack Assessment & Instruction System to improve reading, language arts, and math instruction. LeapFrog SchoolHouse says it wants educators to recognize a new category for educational technology–the Personal Learning Tool (PLT). This category is for special-purpose, portable devices that merge curriculum and technology and cost $100 or less, the company said. The company has provided more than 30,000 classrooms with its LeapPad and Quantum Pad products to date.
    http://www.LeapFrogSchoolHouse.com

    Interactive educational software company LearnStar Inc. focuses on products for whole-class activities that motivate students and channel their attention, resulting in documented test score improvements. The software’s built-in academic competitions, challenging quizzes, real-time polling, testing, and performance assessment tools increase teacher effectiveness, LearnStar says. The company’s interactive curriculum includes core subjects for elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as standardized and SAT test preparation, GED, ESL, life skills, and financial literacy. This learning method encourages students to evaluate solutions by synthesizing new material with existing knowledge. A captivating game format makes them eager to learn.
    http://www.learnstar.com

    It was a big week for Microsoft Corp., which highlighted two major announcements in New Orleans. The first involved the software giant’s role in developing an online assessment tool to measure technology literacy in grade-school students. The new tool, a collaboration between Microsoft and ISTE, is the first major initiative in Microsoft’s new U.S. Partners in Learning program. (See Microsoft launches $35M tech training program for U.S. schools.) Microsoft also made news at the conference by announcing that Scantron Testing and Assessment will adopt the Microsoft Class Server learning management platform, enabling student achievement results from Scantron software products to be used by teachers to deliver NCLB-standards aligned instruction. Class Server enables teachers to create, deliver, and grade assessments and lessons over the web.
    http://www.microsoft.com/education

    The K-12 field’s need for internal assessment practices that synch up with state standards is addressed in the new Prosper Assessment System from Pearson NCS. The company has achieved a breakthrough in combining item banking, test generation, scoring, and reporting in a single, affordable, easy-to-use software package. The system allows teachers to develop tests aligned with both state and local standards. It also allows for immediate feedback on student performance. “This tool is targeted at the classroom,” said Catherine Ronayne, director of education marketing for Pearson NCS. “…We also were able to include a separate database for each category or group of students described in the No Child Left Behind Act.” In addition to customizable data reports, the system generates tests customizable by subject area, and it works with Pearson NCS’s ExamView product to generate its test questions. Data can be disaggregated at the building or district level. The Prosper Assessment System starts at $1,500 with special introductory pricing. Building site licenses also are available.
    http://www.PearsonNCS.com/prosper/

    PLATO Learning is rolling all of its content onto a single platform, called the Plato Learning and Teaching Enterprise. From one interface, students, teachers, parents, and administrators will have access to a complete suite of PLATO tools for K-20 content, teaching tools, professional development, administration, and assessment. “Everything is available today, this just brings it together on one platform,” said the company’s Terri Redden. The professional development and assessment components won’t be integrated until 2005, PLATO said. The company also recently released two new instructional products to help improve students’ literacy skills. PLATO Advanced Writing Process and Practice is designed to teach writing strategies, grammar, and mechanics to high school students, and PLATO Achieve Now K-3 Reading is a supplemental early reading program that works on PCs and Sony PlayStation game consoles.
    http://www.plato.com

    LEAPS (Life Excelerator/Assessment of Personal Skills), an assessment and curriculum program for behavior prevention, intervention, and remediation, is now being used in about 100 school districts in 21 states. This fall, its maker–Provenio Group Inc.–plans to add a post-assessment component so students can be tested before and after they complete the program. Next spring, the company plans to add administrator tools and will release a version suitable for elementary school students. http://www.proveniogroup.com

    Scantron, a leader in educational testing and assessment tools, and SchoolNet announced plans to integrate their respective test management and instructional management systems into a single technology platform, giving schools a single, content-neutral platform for managing accountability, assessment, curriculum, and instruction. SchoolNet will integrate Scantron’s Achievement Series, a web-based test management engine, into its SchoolNet Instructional Management System–a web-based tool that helps educators organize curriculum and track instruction. With Scantron’s test engine integrated into its platform, SchoolNet now will offer school districts a comprehensive technology platform to create and deploy their own exams and quizzes as well as easily integrate those offered by third-party publishers, while providing real-time results to guide instruction in the classroom.
    http://www.scantron.com

    Sunburst Technology presented a newly designed version of the QuickMind.net online learning environment for K-12 schools. The company acquired QuickMind.net last February and has been working to enhance the product’s usability. The revised program includes a fully integrated browse-and-search function. With one-click access to the software’s resources, teachers can select student activities through state-specific standards identified in advance. The new release also has more security and usability for the program’s Reporting Tool, enabling schools to better track student performance.
    http://www.sunburst.com

    This eSchool News Online report on the 2004 NECC is made possible with financial support of Dell.

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    NECC 2004: Curriculum software

    More than 450 companies were at this year’s NECC displaying their technology solutions for educators. Here are some of the highlights of companies displaying curriculum software and solutions:

    AIMS Multimedia has updated the look and feel of DigitalCurriculum, the company’s curriculum-on-demand teaching and learning system. In addition to a more streamlined look for its concept video clips, photo archive, teacher guides, lesson plans, and encyclopedia articles from Encyclopaedia Britannica, the site now offers a Calendar of Events section that provides information about what happened on that day in history for six different subject areas: science, social studies, language arts, mathematics, health and guidance, and arts and humanities. Each Daily Event is linked to videos and other supportive curricular elements. The new version will be officially released in July, but educators can try a 30-day free trial version at a development site, www.eduvid.com.
    http://www.digitalcurriculum.com

    News from the exhibit hall

  • NECC roundup: CEOs get behind ed-tech
  • Assessment and instructional management
  • Communications and audio
  • Digital imaging and creativity
  • Hardware and peripherals
  • Library systems and technologies
  • Online learning and research
  • Presentation solutions
  • Professional development
  • School administrative solutions
  • Security and network management
  • The world’s largest internet provider, America Online, continued beefing up its no-cost online AOL@SCHOOL service by announcing an alliance with Hotmath Inc., one of the nation’s leading math homework-help web sites. The alliance will give students and teachers unlimited access to more than 200 math practice problems per math subject, along with tutorial solutions. Targeting middle and high schools, the Hotmath problems and tutorials currently encompass pre-algebra, Algebra 1, and Algebra 2, with future plans to offer geometry, pre-calculus, and calculus. AOL@SCHOOL now boasts unique content offerings from more than 30 partners, 200,000 pages of online content, and more than 10,000 tested lesson plans from educators.
    http://www.aolatschool.com

    Inspired by popular crime investigation dramas on television, the new Science CSI Kit from Bodelin Technologies, in collaboration with Vernier Software and Technologies, aims to engage middle and high school students in the study of science. At a suggested education price of $1,099, the Science CSI Kit includes a Bodelin ProScope handheld digital microscope, lenses, and accessories; Vernier Logger Lite software and a complete set of pH, conductivity, and temperature probes; a durable, easy-to-carry case; and curriculum that integrates with Apple iLife and is written by Apple distinguished educators.
    http://www.sciencecsi.com

    Compass Learning followed up on the recent announcement of its newest product, CompassLearning Odyssey for English Language Learners (ELL), due in classrooms this fall. The software helps American educators address the growing number of students who have yet to master English language basics. Under NCLB standards, ELL children are tested on their progress in learning English. CompassLearning’s product development team worked with the Q Group, which specializes in language learning products, to create Odyssey ELL. The software presents real-world situations to involve the user and is designed to meet the needs of students from diverse backgrounds. The browser-based Odyssey ELL is offered in two versions, Levels K-6 (Elementary) and Levels 7-12 (Secondary). The Elementary Level is designed for children ages 5-12 with little or no previous knowledge of English. CompassLearning vice president Sloane O’Neal described the release of an English-Language learner product as a “big departure” from the company’s previous offerings but noted the emerging need and important role for such a product in the era of NCLB.
    http://www.compasslearning.com

    Educational Insights introduced Jeopardy! Link, a tool that makes it easier and more time-efficient for teachers to create, organize, customize, and share quiz content for the company’s popular, award-winning Classroom Jeopardy! product. Before Jeopardy! Link, most teachers wrote their games on a computer, then retyped the entire games into a game storage cartridge with a special keyboard that attached to the Classroom Jeopardy! scoreboard. With Jeopardy! Link, teachers simply type the game on their PC or Mac, the same as before, then download the game directly and instantaneously onto the cartridge with a simple key command. Jeopardy! Link will be available in October for $79.95, but orders received by Aug. 31 will cost only $49.95. At NECC, Educational Insights also introduced its Loud & Clear line of audio devices designed for use in educational settings, including listening center equipment and a waistband voice amplifier.
    http://www.educationalinsights.com

    Evan-Moor Educational Publishers released a software program for first- to fifth-graders, called Take it to the Computer: Writing Sentences and Paragraphs. Using the software, students learn basic computer skills while engaging in motivating activities that guide them through the multiple stages of the writing process. Each grade-specific edition of Take it to the Computer, which retails for $399 for the classroom edition or $599 for the lab edition, includes 48 Computer Activity Cards with step-by-step instructions for students on the front and lesson and extension ideas for teachers on the back. Evan-Moor also released Daily Paragraph Editing, a new daily practice series designed to improve writing among students in grades 2-6. Each grade-specific edition of Daily Paragraph Editing is 176 pages and retails for $19.95.
    http://www.evan-moor.com

    Failure Free Reading made a major announcement just prior to the start of NECC when the company, in partnership with Teaching Gear, laid out plans for the new Intelligent Tutor system. The program, which works with Failure Free Reading’s research-based reading comprehension program for non-readers and the very lowest-literacy students, is designed to document every move a student makes. The Intelligent Tutor allows the teacher, tutor, or administrator to better track the progress and milestones in a student’s work and will be featured as part of the company’s online solution as well as its LAN-based software.
    http://www.failurefreeonline.com

    New to NECC, Nortel Networks Kidz Online (NNKOL) exhibited many free resources available to educators through its internet portal. NNKOL’s integrated lesson plans use a peer-based learning approach, in which students create learning materials targeted to other kids. In addition to its repository of learning resources, NNKOL provides professional development support to help educators teach technology-infused lessons that engage and motivate students to learn.
    http://www.nnkol.org

    Pearson Digital Learning demonstrated the new Level Two and Level Three components of its Waterford Early Math & Science program, adaptive computer-based instruction developed by the nonprofit Waterford Institute in Utah. It encourages hands-on exploration and inquiry-based learning, giving K-2 students a solid foundation in math and science skills. Waterford researchers have found that children should have at least 3,000 hours of pre-literacy activity by the time they reach kindergarten. The researchers also discovered dramatic advantages in the reading and learning skills of children who were read to by their parents on a daily basis. In the case of students who do not receive such attention, the Waterford Early Reading and Early Math & Science programs aim to bridge the gap through technology–enabling young students to have a valuable, personalized learning experience. The latest releases continue the use of engaging songs and first-rate, entertaining computer graphics to introduce topics such as elementary counting, numbers, and even astronomy.
    http://www.PearsonDigital.com

    Riverdeep introduced new versions of some of its popular curriculum software programs. Kid Pix Deluxe 4 for Schools, a digital art application, helps students express creativity, build organization and presentation skills, and document learning across the curriculum. The new version includes a powerful set of Teacher Tools that help educators use Kid Pix to teach standards-based curriculum content. Riverdeep also released new versions of two titles in its Carmen Sandiego geography series designed specifically for the classroom: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? for Schools and Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego?
    http://www.riverdeep.net

    SAS inSchool, the education division of North Carolina-based SAS Institute Inc., showcased two new educational software programs at NECC. Curriculum Pathways 2005, for students in grades 8-12, includes new, online educational materials in algebra, earth science, English language, Spanish grammar, and contemporary world history. JMP Intro is a new statistical visualization tool designed specifically for use by students and teachers. SAS inSchool also held a drawing at the conference for State Educational Technology Directors Association members for five 5,000-seat Curriculum Pathways licenses, valued at $25,000 each.
    http://www.SASinSchool.com

    Synergistic Systems, a division of Pitsco, produces hands-on, minds-on math, science, and technology learning solutions for grades 7-12. Its tools come complete with assessment features and multimedia-delivered, integrated curriculum. The company’s computer-based, interactive, and self-directed curriculum reportedly has been particularly effective with at-risk students. The New Orleans Public Schools District has implemented Synergistic Systems Science to help ninth-graders meet local and national standards, the company announced. Synergistic Systems Science features science labs that address 97 percent of the National Science Teachers Association’s Physical Science standards for grades 9-12 and 100 percent of the New Orleans Physical Science standards.
    http://www.synergistic-systems.com

    Texas Instruments (TI) joined with USA Today to announce a new publication called Science TODAY. Written by experienced science educators, Science TODAY is a resource of free classroom activities based on USA Today‘s articles and signature graphics, for use with TI’s educational handhelds. Science TODAY activities are available for use with these TI graphing calculators: TI-73 Explorer, TI-83 Plus family, TI-84 Plus family, and the TI-Navigator Classroom Learning System. Activity resources include a teacher guide, student handout, graphic transparency, technology guide, and LearningCheck assessment files.
    http://www.education.ti.com

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