Professional development

(18) Atomic Learning has added standards-based searching to its website, allowing educators to search for online training videos by ISTE NETS standards and other frameworks.

The company has added assessments to some of its tech skills training videos, too, so educators and students can demonstrate what they know after learning how to use popular software programs such as Microsoft Word.

(19) Discovery Education is offering free summer professional development content through its Discovery Educator Network (DEN) every day during the month of August.

Available at no cost to DEN members, the Discovery Educator Network Summer School will spotlight new tools and techniques that educators can use to create engaging digital learning environments.

(20) Insight Education, which offers ed-tech consulting services ranging from planning and procurement to implementation, training, and support, has launched an online portal with case studies and best practices for using technology to enhance education. Called Insight ON: Education, this resource is available to schools free of charge.

(21) School Improvement Network is replacing its PD360 product with a new service, called Edivation, that uses the Amazon model to deliver more personalized professional development.

Launching July 15, Edivation will serve up targeted video content recommended by a teacher’s profile and history of searches, along with videos suggested by administrators; the new service is completely cloud-based and will work on any device with a web browser.

Managing tablets

(22) AirWatch announced enhancements to its Teacher Tools application that gives teachers classroom-level control of student tablets, such as the ability to freeze students’ screens, lock them into certain applications, or reset their passwords without involving the IT department.

New features for Teacher Tools include easier student registration, the option to create and dismiss classes, and enhanced communication between students and teachers during instruction, AirWatch said.

(23) Netop showed a new “classroom workflow management app” for the iPad, called Vision ME, which combines teaching tools with mobile device management capabilities “to solve the challenge of teaching in an iPad classroom,” the company said.

Vision ME includes tools for getting students to the right place during lessons, presenting content in groups or one-on-one, sharing student content with the entire class, keeping students focused on the task at hand, transferring files in a paperless classroom, and communicating with students as they become more mobile; the teacher and student versions of the app are free, while the administrative center that ties these together will cost $7.50 per user, per year.

(24) NetSupport has updated its Student app for Android devices to give NetSupport School customers more functionality in classrooms using Android tablets.

The upgrade includes a Question and Answer module that facilitates student and peer assessment, enabling teachers to use different questioning styles to gauge students’ understanding at any point during a lesson; and File Transfer, a time-saving tool that allows teachers to transfer files from their desktop to selected student tablets or multiple devices instantly.

(25) Stoneware showed new updates to its LanSchool classroom management software, featuring Chromebook support and a brand-new Assessment Mode.

Using the Assessment Mode, educators can lock down student devices during online testing—and an audit log feature will track and record the state of devices in testing mode for accountability purposes.

(26) Through a partnership with Samsung, TabPilot is selling the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 education-focused tablet with its cloud-based management system for Android tablets installed—and the company will be offering a “white glove” service for the Galaxy Tab 4 as well, through which schools can pay a nominal fee to have TabPilot set up the devices before shipping.

TabPilot lets teachers monitor or freeze students’ Android tablet screens; manage and distribute apps, web links, and other content; and lock down the devices so students see only teacher-selected content—and its management console is ideal for managing Android tablets in a group setting, because teachers can wipe the settings clean or provision the devices for a new class of students with just a few clicks.

(Next page: New assessment and online-learning products shown at ISTE)

Dennis Pierce

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