Twenty new curriculum software products for schools

CoolStreet engages high-school-age students in a real-world exercise of running a business, with the goal of maximizing market share and earnings. Players own pizza shops on the same street, and when the game begins, they compete for business against each other during a “Pizza Battle.”

During the game, players are encouraged to review financial statements, growth charts, and operational statistics. With these data, they can make changes to store operations. Each pizza shop is taken “public,” and shares of the stock are traded and monitored. Teachers use data captured during the game to reinforce lessons and supplement course content.

CoolStreet is a Windows 8 Store app, and its development was guided by Promethean’s alliance with Microsoft. It can be downloaded for free under Games or by searching for “CoolStreet.” A Windows Live ID is required to access the Windows Store.

Super Duper Learning, which offers online content for English language and special-education instruction, announced new apps that will enable users of its four online modules to access the content on iOS devices.

The first of these free apps, which will be in the Apple App Store for back to school, addresses Phonological Awareness. Following Directions will follow later this fall, and the final two, Auditory Memory and Sequencing, will be available by the end of the year. All of the apps feature game-based learning activities, the company says.

Texthelp showcased version 11 of its Read&Write Gold for PC, a customizable toolbar that integrates with common Windows applications and provides language support to students of all ages and abilities—especially those with learning disabilities and English language learners.

Version 11 features new text-to-speech voices, support for Google Docs, enhanced support for Chrome and Firefox, and the ability to leave “Voice Notes” in Word documents, which can be used to insert instructions or create audio responses. These features join the program’s other abilities, which include spell checking, text and picture dictionaries, word prediction, vocabulary builders, and more.

TCI is developing a new K-8 science program, Bring Science Alive!, that will be built from the ground up to align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The online program will be available in 2014 and will feature student-centered lessons, investigations, and simulations. Educators interested in helping TCI create this program can sign up to take part in focus groups, test lessons, complete surveys, and more at this link.

Wanderful Interactive Storybooks unveiled an interactive storybook collection for Android devices. These 13 apps are based on award-winning children’s books such as Harry and the Haunted House, Arthur’s Teacher Trouble, and Ruff’s Bone and encourage children to explore each interactive storybook page for all its hidden content.

The thirteen apps include eight apps built for the U.S. market, with story content in English and Spanish, and four apps built for the U.K. market, with story content in U.K. English and French. Users can toggle instantly between languages with just a tap on the screen, Wanderful says. A Classroom Activities guide also is available for each app. Developed by teachers, these guides offer lesson plans aligned with the Common Core State Standards around each story’s themes. The activities are grouped by grade level and by subject area, including language arts, reading, social studies, science, and art.

The Android versions of Wanderful interactive storybooks join iOS apps that were launched earlier this year. They’re available for $4.99 each in the Google Play Store. The 13th app in the collection is a free Wanderful Storybook Sampler, which includes pages from seven of the most popular Wanderful storybooks, so teachers can sample and experience the content free of charge before buying.

Waterford Institute’s new Classroom Advantage brings the company’s Early Reading software to the cloud, allowing users to create content “playlists” from its online library of 4,800 learning activities—all of which are aligned with the Common Core standards, Waterford says. The materials are intended for use with large or small group instruction using an interactive whiteboard, and teachers can share their content playlists with colleagues.

eSchool News Staff

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