New Products

New Products

The latest offerings in books, hardware, Internet and software

Apple iChat

www.apple.com

Hardware, $149

The iSight digital video camera works with Apple's iChat AV software to enable video conferences between two Mac users over any broadband connection. The camera features a dual-element, integrated noise-suppressing microphone and a center mount design that helps improve the clarity of video conversations. The camera also features a custom lens with auto-focus and high-end CCD sensor for high-resolution images and full-motion video at up to 30 frames per second.

The software features audio conferences over dial-up connections to the Internet. It can be set up by installing the software and plugging in any FireWire video camera and microphone. "Buddies" with audio or video conferencing capability automatically show up on the user's "Buddy" list, and an audio or video conference can be enabled with the touch of one button. The software allows for full-screen, full motion video over broadband and clearer audio than a 56K modem.

The software is a feature of the upcoming Mac OS X version 10.3, and is currently available as a public beta for Mac OS X.

Interactive Metronome

Interactive Metronome

www.IM-Powered.com

Hardware, $2,000/kit, variable software time costs, from 10 hours of software for $10/hour

This neural-training device aims to help students improve test scores and reading and math performance. Through repetition of precise activities timed to a musical metronome beat, the program "trains the brain" to plan, sequence and process information.

Data from more than 700 students nationally who have taken the training show an exam processing speed increase of 2.7 grade levels, a reading fluency increase of 2.2 grade levels, and a math fluency increase of 1.66 grade levels. Increases in national scoring percentile were also shown.

Currently, elementary and secondary schools in Florida, Illinois and Virginia offer IM training. To initiate the program, school faculty become certified IM trainers to then deliver the training over 12 sessions to classes of 20 to 25 students. Each kit includes IM Pro 6.0 software, a site license, support services, one certification, two headphones and a hand/foot sensor system.

iAssessment

iPerform

www.iassessment.com

Internet, $3 per user

This Web-based education performance management system automates technology implementation and usage in K-12 schools. It helps administrators make top-down decisions with aggregate data and analysis on system level performance from across the district. The system also helps educators by providing customized plans for each teacher with step-by-step directions on how to meet objectives and compliance goals. The system works with the iAssessment Gateway Presentation System.

Pearson Digital Learning

SASIxp 5.5

www.pearsonedtech.com

Software, Elementary core product license $5 per student, Secondary license $20 per student

The cross-platform Schools Administration Student Information system helps districts meet the reporting requirements of No Child Left Behind and Adequate Yearly Progress. Users can capture, aggregate and disaggregate data at the school and district levels for reports, including schools' academic assessment, student report cards and graduation rates. One feature allows data to be grouped by ethnicity, gender, English language learner, economically disadvantaged and migrant status.

Users can integrate the system with Pearson's Concert Instruction and Assessment online community, which lets them design programs and pinpoint areas needing improvement. Special pricing is available for customers upgrading Pearson legacy systems or purchasing both administrative and instructional products.

Symantec

Norton System Works 3.0 for Macintosh

www.symantec.com

Software, $129.95

Districts can use this software to protect their Macs from catching viruses from PCs--and from passing them onto Windows users. The software includes Norton AntiVirus 9.0, which finds and repairs Mac and PC-compatible viruses, and Norton Utilities 8.0 for Mac, which is a set of disk repair, data recovery and optimization tools for the Mac platform.

Also available is Norton Internet Security 3.0 for Macintosh ($99.95), featuring new parental controls and including Norton Personal Firewall 3.0 for Mac, which blocks inbound and outbound Web traffic. Both programs are Mac OS X native.

Scholastic

Fluency Formula

www.scholastic.com

Program, $599.99 per kit

This three-part research-based supplemental program for grades 1-6 helps students bridge the gap between word recognition and comprehension. The components of the program include: the direct fluency instruction and intervention, which provides instruction and intervention plans for teachers, including independent student work such as leveled passages, read-aloud anthologies, and workbooks; the fluency formula assessment system, which helps educators tailor instruction based on students' needs and; the fluency formula library, which includes leveled high-interest fiction and non-fiction books and read-along audio CDs for independent student fluency-building practice.

Also new from Scholastic are the ReadingLine Kits ($329.95 per kit), which offer step-by-step instruction for grades preK-1 in sounds and letters, vocabulary and phonics. And the new Sprint Reading system ($299 per collection) is an intervention program for grades 2-8 that uses systematic and direct instruction to develop phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency and vocabulary and text comprehension, as well as strengthen writing skills.

Scantron

Classroom Wizard 4.0

www.scantron.com

Software, approx. $6,000 for kit of 30 handhelds preloaded with software, plus wireless application subscription

The latest version of this real-time assessment tool for Palm-powered handhelds and mobile devices features 802.11b wireless communication capability. After a teacher creates a test with the tool, students can enter answers on any mobile device based on the Palm operating system and transmit those answers wirelessly to a Web-based application on the teacher's computer.

Student scoring and an analysis of results are automatic.

New graphic capabilities let teachers depict lines, shapes, symbols and other graphics to support testing in math, science and other topics.

ScanSoft

OmniPagePro 12

www.scansoft.com

Software, $599.99 ($199.99 to upgrade)

The latest version of this office management software does not require manual reproduction of documents and spreadsheets. Users can convert paper and PDF files into editable documents with retained layout, create searchable PDF files for electronic archives, process images from network MFP and scanners, scan and convert documents into a range of formats and share documents using e-mail, Web, XML and eBooks.

Thornburg Center

Snapshots! Educational Insights from the Thornburg Center

www.tcpd.org

Book, $24.95 (educational discounts available)

This book tackles an array of current issues in education. Each chapter is written by a different center associate.

Chapters include: The Power of Storytelling in Education; Extending the Information Revolution with Digital Equity and Inclusion; Purposeful Use of Music; What Skills Will Students Need for the 21st Century?; Contemporary Literacy in the Digital Age: From Vision to Strategy; and From Data to Understanding.

Council for Educational Change

SPSnapShot

www.studentperformance.com

Software, $2-$2.95 per student/calendar year

Educators in districts that use norm-referenced or criterion-referenced standardized tests can use this software to analyze and interpret assessment data. Tables, graphs and charts help in monitoring performance; charting improvement based on subject strengths and weaknesses; tracking learning gains for individuals, classes and grade levels; viewing selected students' longitudinal test performance, and; identifying individuals or groups of students in need of specific attention or additional instruction.

Digital Controls

SchoolTools@work 3.1

www.e-solutionsatwork.com/schooltools

Internet, $22,500 installation and initial annual license; $3,200/year thereafter for license, hosting and support

Districts can use the latest version of this Web application to improve communication with the surrounding community. The application lets teachers, coaches or administrators directly post online current information about school functions and activities. The updated version is deployed under a new licensing model from previous versions, which reduces implementation costs.

Software Technology

STIPD

www.sti-k12.com

Internet, $15 per employee, plus annual license fee of 20 percent of purchase price

This Web-based software is designed to simplify administrative tasks and organize, centralize and cross-reference information from school to district to state. It allows administrators and other personnel to manage and track all administrative aspects of professional development, including training curriculum, course enrollment and credential management. Among other features, the software also gives users complete access to employee training history, professional development hours, salary points, credits, credentials and certification deadlines.

Software installation and training are at additional cost, as are per diem services such as data coaching and advice on NCLB reporting.

KALPA

Professional Development Manager

www.kalpalearn.com

Internet, $18,000-$25,000, plus $8,500 average annual subscription fee/year

This Web-based system lets administrators track and manage district-wide teacher development and allows teachers to track and manage activity using desktop or laptop computers at home or school. The system, which can store all of a district's professional development data, is driven by a relational database that KALPA manages as an ASP.

The Pulliam Group

Focus on Standards

www.pulliamgoup.com

Software, starts at $5 per student

This end-to-end software helps teachers and administrators understand the assessment data they are collecting and learn how to adjust instruction for improved results. The five-part program guides in assessment of current student performance and then helps in design and implementation of a standards-based instructional plan to improve academic achievement. The system can help improve reading, language arts and math achievement for students, including English language learners and students with special needs.

Carroll & Graf

The Only Grant-Writing Book You'll Ever Need

www.avalonpub.com

Book, $14

This book includes resources, sample forms, proposal components and elements that grantmakers look for in proposals, glossary of terms, tips on using the Internet to find grant opportunities and practice exercises and examples for approaching each section of a grant.

The book's co-authors are Alren Sue Fox, former director of research, planning and evaluation for the New York City Human Rights Commission, and Ellen Karsh, former director of the New York City Mayor's Office of Grants.

Holt, Rinehart and Winston

Middle School Mathematics Premier Online Student Editions

www.hrw.com

Internet, $43.95 per student (Course 1); $45.45 per student (Courses 2 and 3)

This math curriculum is the online version of Holt Middle School Math. The online textbook helps students learn difficult math concepts by using mathematical models and manipulatives that move students from the concrete to the symbolic.

An optional learning management system allows teachers to customize the curriculum and align it with state standards.

AIMS Multimedia

DigitalCurriculum

www.digitalcurriculum.com

Software, $995-$1,395 per license, depending on enrollment

This multimedia curriculum system integrates more than 40,000 multi-media components and has been enhanced to include a My Digital Curriculum status page, a Digital Curriculum Mail internal messaging system and the ability to add locally-produced videos and audio.

Resources are correlated to state and national standards and feature multiple bit-rate encoding for both school and home use.

Funds For Learning

E-rate Manager

www.eratemanager.com

Internet, Free to schools

This Web-based system lets E-rate applicants monitor the status of their funding requests and then generate the multiple forms for the Schools and Libraries Division in order for E-rate discounts to reach applicants or their service providers. The system organizes funding information for individual applicants, helps protect applicants from missing deadlines, helps vendors more easily prompt their customers and offers a view of payment information. The site is supported by fees charged to vendors.

COMPanion

Textbook Tracker v.3

www.companioncorp.com

Software, $1,495 - $2,995

The latest version of this textbook management program features a Web interface where students and parents may view transactions for the Internet. The SIF-compatible software also includes a built-in-server and Web server software, networking functionality, and integrated word processor and auto-software update technology. The TCP/IP-based software is Web-enabled and operates natively in Windows XP and Mac OS X.


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