Help students prosper with this new software from Pearson NCS

Teachers can track their students’ progress toward learning goals simply and effectively with the Prosper Assessment System, a complete test generation, scoring, and reporting solution from Pearson NCS.

Prosper is a software package that combines the item-banking and test-generation capabilities of the company’s ExamView Test Generator software with an easy-to-use scoring system to monitor student performance. Teachers can generate paper or online tests in minutes using questions they created themselves or items provided by leading publishers and aligned with the publishers’ textbooks. Completed paper-and-pencil tests can be scanned with an optical mark reader and a personal computer. As forms are scanned, the data instantly appear on the computer screen for viewing and editing.

Prosper’s robust reporting tools enable teachers to view individual student or group progress toward defined learning standards across one or more tests. Administrators at the school or district level also can see each classroom’s test results to ensure that students are on track for meeting state standards. Data can be disaggregated by subgroup, based on a wide variety of demographic information. For further analysis, data can be exported to many popular spreadsheet and database packages.

Teachers can update student records in the most commonly used electronic gradebook packages with a simple export function. Special introductory pricing is available starting at $1,295.

(800) 447-3269

Computer education is elementary with these programs from 2SimpleUSA

Word processing, painting, and database programs from 2SimpleUSA Inc. aim to teach young children basic computer skills at an early age.

The Early Learning Toolkit, targeted to elementary schools, enables K-3 students to paint, publish, count, plot graphs, and build simple databases. The Toolkit, which is PC and Mac compatible, includes six applications on one disk: 2Paint, 2Publish, 2Count, 2Go, 2Graph, and 2Question. A single license of the Early Learning Toolkit costs $49.95, and an unlimited single site license costs $1,323.68.

2Investigate, a separate program, is designed to introduce elementary students to database software. This Windows-based software helps students sort, classify, and display information easily and creatively as they explore the database concept. Students and teachers store their information on “cards,” which are then sorted and grouped in numerous ways–including Venn diagrams or bar, line, or pie graphs. 2Investigate costs $39.95 for one license and $1,058.68 for an unlimited single site license.

(866) 900-2220

Popular graphic organizing software now available for Palm handhelds

Inspiration Software has developed a version of its visual learning software for the Palm OS to ensure that students and teachers using Palm-based handheld computers, including AlphaSmart’s Dana, can access it.

An estimated 200,000 handheld devices are used in schools today–and the projected growth is for more than 200,000 new devices per year, the company says.

With Inspiration for the Palm OS, students and teachers can use their stylus to create graphic organizers by sketching symbols and arranging thoughts–such as a writing outline–directly on the screen. To output a project, students can transfer it to a handheld word processor, sync their handheld device to a desktop computer, or beam it to a printer.

Educators interested in previewing Inspiration for the Palm OS can download a free, 30-day trial copy from the company’s web site. Single copies of the software cost $29.95, and it comes bundled with Inspiration 7.5 for $89.95. Volume pricing also is available.

(800) 877-4292

Steep school discounts offered on professional-grade video editing software

Avid Technology Inc. is offering the education market up to 96 percent off the retail cost of its digital video and film-editing solutions. The Avid Academic Subscription Program allows schools to pay low annual licensing fees for products such as Avid Xpress Pro and update the products automatically as new versions become available.

Avid Xpress Pro, a nonlinear software program for digital video editing or broadcast news, is ideal for introductory digital media courses, according to the company.

With the new subscription program, students and educators can work within their budgets to select the products that are right for them today while knowing that as their skill sets grow, they’ll have continued access to new Avid products.

“We’re experiencing tremendous growth in the education market as film, video, and 3D-animation students want to learn the Oscar and Emmy award-winning Avid products used by the majority of postproduction and broadcast professionals around the world. Now, we’re furthering our commitment to this market by offering breakthrough academic pricing for a wider range of products than ever before,” said Alan Jacobs, Avid’s Business Development Manager for Education.

Many Avid products are now specially priced for students, faculty, and academic institutions. The Avid Xpress Pro software, which regularly retails for $1,695, costs just $295 for schools.

(800) 949-2843

Motion Computing’s new Tablet PC is first to offer biometric security

Motion Computing’s new M1400 Tablet PC is reportedly the first tablet computer in the United States to incorporate biometric authentication technology into its design, allowing only the assigned user–a teacher or administrator, for example–to access the machine.

The device’s fingerprint sensor reduces the chance of inappropriately exposing student data or allowing student hackers to break into electronic gradebooks. It also eliminates the need for multiple passwords and personal identification numbers, because it only requires a single swipe of a finger.

Tablet PCs are touted as one of the classroom’s most promising tools, because they have the capability of melding the functions of a notebook, gradebook, chalkboard, and presentation tool into a single, portable package. Teachers can use the tablet in any location for interaction with students and recording grades.

Motion’s M1400 Tablet PC, based on Intel Centrino mobile technology, starts at $1,999, though education pricing is available.

(866) M-TABLET

Reduce the risk of laptop damage with this new line of products from InfoCase

Cincinnati-based InfoCase Inc. has been providing schools with equipment to protect their students’ laptop computers since 1996. The company recently released a new product line called Exo, a new breed of carrying case designed specifically for today’s classrooms. The Exo series of laptop cases blends an innovative style with proven features designed to reduce the costs and damages associated with school laptop programs.

Exo’s patented design stays on a student’s laptop even when it’s open and in use. That means it protects your school’s technology where other cases can’t. Plus, the Exo series uses closed-cell, thermal-molded foam construction that is more protective, longer lasting, and more lightweight than conventional sewn construction, according to the company. Combine all of that with the benefit of high-flow ventilation channels and quick-access rear flaps, and you’ve got the perfect tool for reducing damage claims and down times, InfoCase says.

As an added bonus, any school using Exo series cases automatically qualifies for a discount of up to 20 percent off laptop insurance from Safeware Insurance. Academic and large-quantity pricing are available for all Exo models.

(800) 248-4844

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