neccimagesnecclogomerMcGraw-Hill Education announced CINCH Mathematics, a teacher-led digital math program for grades K-6. CINCH Mathematics uses interactive whiteboard technology and student response devices from new McGraw-Hill partner Promethean. The program helps teachers plan, teach, assess, and differentiate instruction with the help of an online tool. Students learn math concepts and acquire skills through teacher-led, interactive whiteboard classroom instruction, and the program collects each student’s answers submitted through student-response devices so teachers can use them to personalize instruction. Besides Promethean, McGraw-Hill also announced new partnerships with eInstruction, eScholar, Qwizdom, and Renzulli Learning. The company said these partnerships will help support new products while also enhancing its existing digital solutions.

Microsoft announced a collaborative initiative led by its U.S. Partners in Learning program and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to establish a new national, student-driven virtual help desk for K-12 teachers and nonprofit organizations. Over the next three years, Microsoft and CNCS will create a program that aligns a student service opportunity with President Obama’s United We Serve initiative. It will focus on giving students real-world learning experiences as they support nonprofits and teachers who are using technology in the classroom.

mimio unveiled the latest version of its Studio 6 interactive teaching software, which now fully supports Mac and Linux users as well as those using Windows. mimio also introduced a free online educator community called mimioConnect (www.mimioconnect.com), which allows teachers from anywhere in the world to share their ideas, lesson plans, expertise, and enthusiasm.

Netop launched a new version of its Netop School classroom-management software, with a new interface design and enhanced features to support teaching and learning. Netop School 6.0 has a user interface based on the Microsoft “Ribbon” design used in Office 2007. This design moves away from traditional pull-down menus, grouping commands in a “Ribbon” at the top of the screen. Teachers now have one-click access to commands with clear labels, and they can customize the “Ribbon” to match their individual needs and preferences. Enhanced features include easier creation and editing of lessons outside of the classroom, improved views of student computers, the ability to record and replay previously taught lessons, and enhanced support for evaluating student work, the company said. Technical enhancements include support for Windows 64-bit operating systems and improved support for terminal servers.

NetSupport touted its Real Time Audio Monitoring software, which features a new Language Lab Mode. Users can see which computers have live audio activity, listen live and record the desktop sounds or audio content of any student PC, listen to the microphone feed for each student and instantly correct pronunciations where required, and even conduct a two-way audio conversation with any student to provide feedback without class disruption, NetSupport says.

netTrekker, a safe and kid-friendly internet search tool, announced a partnership with BrainPOP. Starting this fall, netTrekker subscribers will have the option of upgrading and adding BrainPOP’s animated, curriculum-based video content to their accounts. netTrekker also launched a new online community for educators, called netTrekker Village, that provides a forum for teachers to share tips, strategies, and resources as they network with their peers around the world. netTrekker offers more than 300,000 digital resources, including educational video games, web sites, and audio and video lesson plans–and its My Portfolio feature allows educators to share technology resources with students and other teachers across a school district.

Panasonic introduced three new-generation Panaboards (electronic interactive whiteboards) that combine an integrated stereo sound system, advanced text and graphic capabilities, and a rugged Fine Enamel hard-surface, anti-reflective screen with scratch and shock resistance. Available in three diagonal panel sizes ranging from 83 inches (UB-T781W), to 77 inches (UB-T781), to 64 inches (UB-T761), the new Elite Panaboards feature seamless PC and projector integration, on-board streaming media playback (compatible with AVI, WMV, MPG, and SWF formats), a spotlight mode for highlighting a specific part of the screen, and a screen-capture utility that automatically records every operation performed on the board, along with accompanying audio commentary, Panasonic says. Other features include simplified driver and software setup, an ergonomically optimized electronic pen for mouse-like operation, control of a PC from the board with on-screen keyboard input, and integrated drawing tools.

PLATO Learning’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery platform offers a multitude of functions, including standards and curriculum management, custom course creation, and thorough data analysis and reporting features. The company says its services have helped rural school districts cut down on dropout rates. Having online classes as an option has trimmed dropouts by as much as 15 percent in some school systems, PLATO says.

PolyVision introduced the eno mini–a mobile companion to its eno interactive whiteboard that offers the same features, benefits, and environmental certifications, PolyVision says. Teachers can magnetically detach the eno mini from any ceramic-steel surface and move freely about the room. Using the same Bluetooth-enabled stylus, teachers and students can collaborate on lessons by simultaneously using up to three styluses on eno mini slates and eno interactive whiteboards. Even without an interactive whiteboard, the eno mini can transform any classroom with a projector and computer into a dynamic and interactive learning environment, PolyVision says. Features include a rugged grip surface, a slate that has no battery to charge and no electronics to fail, an ergonomic design, antimicrobial protection, Cradle-to-Cradle Silver certification, and a lifetime warranty.

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