NECC 2008: Classroom & Learning Management

Angel Learning demonstrated its course management software for schools, which offers gradebook efficiency–allowing teachers to drag and drop scores and corrections into their records–and automatic monitoring of student performance, creating more personalized curriculum.
Aspen Learning’s Open Classroom Server supports up to 200 students, and a new model to be released soon reportedly will support 1,000 students–delivering Web 2.0 applications that have proven critical to the 21st-century classroom. The Open Classroom Server avoids external bandwidth congestion that can bog down school computers and sports features that let teachers take control of students’ computers, Aspen says.
CrossTec announced the latest version of its classroom management software, CrossTec SchoolVue. SchoolVue version 10 is a complete solution that keeps teachers in control of classroom technology, with new features that give educators the ability to instruct, monitor, and interact with students individually, as a pre-defined group, or the overall class, CrossTec said.

Haiku Learning Management System offers simplicity with its online classroom-to-student communication system. Haiku aims for its online learning environment to be free of the complex bells and whistles that make sense to school IT administrators, but confuse and frustrate teachers who don’t have time to study the ins and outs of a school web site, the company says. Its online system helps students and teachers exchange messages, maintain attendance records, conduct web-based discussions, and distribute, collect, and grade homework assignments. Haiku also allows principals to deliver resources and report cards to students and their parents.
Class and district management tools are combined with a comprehensive learning management system in Holt McDougal’s ThinkCentral, a new program that is most applicable in middle and high schools. ThinkCentral can help teachers manage their administrative tasks, manage class content, and personalize lessons for individual students, the company says–creating a classroom in which students do not have to learn the exact same way. Teachers can assign tasks to their entire class, to a pre-selected group of students, or to individual students. The program also generates grade reports aligned with state standards.
LanSchool Technologies announced the release of LanSchool v7.1. The new version of LanSchool’s classroom-management software includes USB drive blocking and keystroke/application monitoring. Teachers can turn off access to student USB devices without affecting other USB devices, and a history of application usage is saved, giving teachers access to everything a student types on the computer.

Classroom lessons today often require students to be working on computers–but with that need comes the potential for students to use computers inappropriately while teachers conduct class. NetSupport School allows educators to deliver interactive lessons to students’ computers while closely monitoring what each student sees on his or her monitor. At NECC, NetSupport introduced version 10 of the software, which allows teachers to see when students are sending instant messages back and forth during class time. Teachers also can record students’ keyboard, screen, and mouse activity to review later; a new "Student Journal" feature creates a digital record of all activity and content provided by the teacher and student during a class session.

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