Promethean launched the Preparing for Standardized Tests program, developed in collaboration with the Chicago International Charter School. The test-prep program is designed to improve students’ performance on the reading and math sections of the PSAT, SAT, and ACT exams. The program includes a collection of interactive whiteboard lessons, and every week students will complete two essential skills lessons and answer the corresponding practice questions that are presented in a formal testing format.
Qwizdom previewed its Q6 Student Response System, which is available for pre-order in late March. It features a keypad similar to a cell phone, text input, and a larger LCD screen than previous student response models. The Q6’s radio frequency remotes let each student communicate with teachers from up to 328 feet away. Students enter responses with their remotes, and the teacher’s computer instantly receives and records the results.
Sanyo displayed its line of low-cost classroom projectors, which feature an auto-advance filter every 250 hours for optimum performance and networking software so that administrators can monitor projectors. The company also introduced a new mount along with a short-throw projector that works on any interactive whiteboard. The mount has integrated speakers and attaches directly to a wall, eliminating installation concerns.
SchoolCenter has joined forces with SimplyBox, which lets teachers and students capture, visually organize, and share content from the web or their own desktop. SchoolCenter will host a school’s SimplyBox accounts in its data center, and a $2-per-user fee ensures safety and security with monitoring by a central administrator.
Schoolnet announced the completion of Gradespeed SIS, a fully comprehensive student information system developed with partner districts. Gradespeed SIS lets districts manage and track school data, including schedules, student data, and parent communications. Administrators can submit state reports and design school schedules, and teachers can manage grades and give parents progress reports.
SMART Technologies demonstrated several of its newest technology products for schools, including one still in development. Using cubes with black-and-white shapes under a SMART Document Camera 2.0, SMART’s mixed reality projects 3-D images into the screen. SMART also updated its response system for secondary students with an alphanumeric keyboard that allows for written responses and typed-out mathematical equations.
TCPN (The Cooperative Purchasing Network) promoted its ability to help schools competitively bid and award contracts for commonly purchased products and services. TCPN follows state-mandated purchasing procedures and gives the same pricing to small entities as it gives to large buyers.
Texas Instruments announced that it has teamed up with NASA to develop free online math content for teaching Algebra I through AP Calculus. The “Exploring Space Through Math” curriculum will be aligned with standards from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and it will be available on NASA’s web site and the TI Teacher Exchange later this year. It aims to use students’ interest in space exploration as a “hook” to get them interested in math. Students will be able to design a space capsule, control the launch of a shuttle, and more—learning key math concepts along the way. The curriculum follows the “5E” instructional model: engage, explore, explain, extend, and evaluate.
Texas Instruments DLP showcased its 3-D Ready DLP Projectors, which use millions of microscopic mirrors that reflect light to create a picture for projectors. The imaging technology can project two images on the screen at the same time—one for the right eye and one for the left, which, when used with 3-D glasses, create a 3-D effect.
Turning Technologies displayed its various student response software, ResponseCard keypads, and ResponseWare, a web-based polling application that creates a wireless response and voting system. Student results are instantly displayed allowing teachers to quickly assess student understanding and differentiate instruction. Results can be collected anonymously or tracked by individual with the use of a participant list and saved for later analysis and instructional planning.
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