AVE Intervision Network discussed its synchronous and asynchronous class environment, AMVONET VCR, available online. AMVONET, or the Advanced Manageable Video Network, offers a choice of interactive tools that are included in the software, as well as a module for real-time recording and playback of the class session online.

AMVONET is web-based and does not require any third-party software. Teachers can switch between participants’ audio, video, chat, whiteboard sessions, presentations, and screen share permissions in real time with one click. Teachers also can interact with each student individually either by using the private chat module or by stepping into a private tutoring room. The private audio chat feature allows the teacher to tutor a student without interrupting the learning process for the rest of the class.

Blackboard announced the release of Version 8.0 of its Blackboard Academic Suite, a standards-based learning management product. One key enhancement is the Blackboard Grade Center—a redesigned smart grading tool with an interface that simplifies the grading process while providing analytic capabilities for teachers. Additionally, teachers can now eMail students and parents directly from the Blackboard Grade Center and create and share printable progress reports for better school-to-home communication.

The new Self and Peer Assessment tool in Version 8.0 enables students to review and grade their own work, based on teacher-set criteria, so they can monitor their own progress. Students also anonymously can review and grade work submitted by their classmates, encouraging them to learn from their peers and build critical-thinking skills while monitoring their own progress.

Moodlerooms highlighted its services for helping schools, colleges, and universities take full advantage of Moodle, an open-source course management system that is becoming increasingly popular in education. Moodlerooms offers an enterprise model for implementing Moodle, through which customers benefit from optimized source code, hardware, and legacy integrations. Building on Moodle’s open source code, Moodlerooms developers can shapethe software to match the needs and vision of any institution, thecompany said.

The company provides a wide range of hosting packages powered by Sun Microsystems and can write the customization code that ties Moodle into a school’s or district’s information infrastructure. Moodlerooms also offers online and on-site training, in which experienced Moodle users can answer clients’ pedagogical and technical questions concerning the software.