More than 500 ed-tech companies exhibited at this year’s Florida Educational Technology Conference. Here’s a sampling of news from the exhibitors offering professional development solutions:

Atomic Learning, a provider of web-based software training and tutorials, announced that it has expanded its scope of offerings to include tutorials for palmOne handheld computers. Handhelds are becoming an integral part of learning in many school systems, the company said, and administrators, teachers, and students interested in quickly learning how to use their palmOne handhelds will find these tutorials useful. The initial series of tutorials are free and can be accessed either through Atomic learning or palmOne’s education page. Atomic also said that Florida’s Broward County Public Schools has extended its relationship with the company through the 2007-2008 school year. More than 272,000 students and 30,000 staff members at Broward County have year-round, 24-7 access to Atomic Learning’s short, three- to five-minute online video clips that offer on-demand answers to users’ “how-to” technology questions, the company said.

Co-nect introduced the Instructional Quality Toolkit, an integrated set of research-based diagnostics, management tools, and training resources intended to support school administrators and teachers in their efforts to define, measure, and continuously improve the quality of instruction district-wide, the company said. The toolkit can be used to collect and analyze data from teachers’ classroom practice, their perceptions about how successful they are, and students’ own work to develop a profile of instructional quality throughout the district. The system generates automated online reports that pinpoint areas of strength and need, and it also suggests strategies for improving instructional performance. These tools have been offered before as part of the overall professional development services that Co-nect provides, but the company says it is now breaking them out and selling them separately for the first time.

FETC 2005

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