New Products

New Products

The latest offerings in books, hardware, software and the Internet

Texthelp Systems Inc.

Read & Write 7.1E Gold

www.texthelp.com, Software, Single version $645, School network site license $4,495

This software program was designed for students in grades 3 and up who struggle to read and write in English. It helps learners gain access to curriculum content on a computer and mainstream technology applications to independently complete reading, writing and research assignments. It offers a Spanish translation tool and 18 literacy support features that provide immediate assistance as students work on assignments. Speech input enables them to create documents by speaking into a computer microphone.

Riverdeep

Destination Reading Course III, IV, V

www.riverdeep.net, Courseware, $499 and up

These programs offer individualized, media-rich content and cross-curricular connections. Course III targets grades 4-6, Course IV is for grades 6-8 and Course V is a high school appropriate proficiency course for students who have not mastered foundational reading skills. Texts cover a variety of fiction and non-fiction genres, ranging from informational, persuasive and technical texts to poetry and songs. With learning management tools that combine content correlated to state standards, teachers can target each student's individual learning needs.

Adobe Systems

Adobe Photoshop CS2

www.adobe.com, Software, Estimated at $599

Available as a stand-alone application or key component of the company's creative suite, the software is a major upgrade to the professional industry standard for digital imaging and creation. Features include over 95 special effects filters and a compact floating mode in Adobe Bridge to process images while simultaneously working in any CS2 application. Users can also present images with Slideshow and Filmstrip mode, scale thumbnails to any size using a slider, view and edit metadata and enter precise numeric values on-the-fly without changing global settings.

The NeuronFarm

3D-Readers

www.neuronfarm.com, Web program, $600/starter pack

This online program was designed to help educators build lifelong reading skills in a diverse group of learners. It teaches research-based reading strategies that can be applied to any text to improve reading comprehension. Verbal strategies involve two main activities--question generation and answering open-ended questions--and include assessing pre- and post-test vocabulary, activating student's prior knowledge of content and encouraging re-reading of the text. Visual strategies create and automatically score interactive visualizations or simulations.

Zaner-Bloser

Voices Reading

www.zaner-bloser.com, Program, $150-$300 per student

Designed for grades K-2, this program aligns literature with six important character development themes: identity awareness, perspective taking, conflict resolution, social awareness, love and friendship and freedom and democracy. It satisfies state standards for character education by offering multicultural, instructional, read-aloud trade books that allow students to share their point of view and fosters key literacy skills, including comprehension, vocabulary development, oral language skills and writing. The program includes Leveled Readers for guided and independent reading, teacher editions and other support components.

McGraw-Hill Digital Learning

Yearly ProgressPro Reading/Language Arts version

www.mhdigitallearning.com, Online system, $7.99 per student/year

This progress monitoring system includes two types of online assessments. The Reading Maze is a timed assessment consisting of weekly, leveled reading passages for grades 1-8 that serve as indicators of overall reading ability, fluency, decoding and comprehension skills. Students must select the correct word from a list of three to complete each blank. The weekly language arts assessment consists of 15-minute, 25 problem assessments tied to specific skills and standards that also diagnose strengths and weaknesses in decoding, vocabulary, spelling and comprehension.

The Reading Pen Group

Readingpen

www.readingpen.com, Device, $99 each/package of 10

This tool allows students to scan printed words or full sentences and obtain the pronunciation, definition and translation in seconds. They can gain self-confidence while enhancing skills in phonemic awareness, fluency, spelling, vocabulary and reading comprehension. The device, which can be integrated into any curriculum, features a nested dictionary, provides synonyms of scanned words and translates words into 25 different languages to support students with definitions in their native language while they develop their English language skills.

PLATO Learning, Inc.

Todos a leer con PLATO Achieve Now

www.plato.com, Software, $150 per student license

Designed to help English-language learners develop literacy skills, this program features materials in Spanish that cover key objectives in emergent literacy, reading comprehension and vocabulary. Technology-based activities are based on popular Spanish literature and the Spanish culture is incorporated though arts, stories and characters with tools. It's complemented with a set of leveled books written in Spanish.

Scholastic

Text Talk

www.scholastic.com, Reading program, $375/per level

This research-based vocabulary program was designed to build oral vocabulary and comprehension skills for K-3 students. Its instructional model includes language-rich read-alouds, direct vocabulary instruction and instructional Talk, which helps teachers challenge students to actively think about and use robust vocabulary words. The program includes 20 read-aloud trade books, adhesive notes offering point-of-use support and specific instructional language that engage children in discussions about words and meaning, lesson plans, a lending library, professional development tools, and Word Winner Chart, which encourages students to use new vocabulary words in daily conversation.

Aprilage Development Inc.

APRIL Age Progression Software

www.aprilage.com, Software, $2,999 to $3,999 per license (plus $599-$799 for maintenance and support)

This software drives home the harmful results of smoking to middle and high school students. Working from a digital photograph of a human face, it creates a progression of images that compare how a person will age as a smoker versus a non-smoker, which acts as a strong deterrent to students who have begun smoking or considered it. Its unique wrinkling/aging algorithms are based upon statistical research of more than 7,000 people. The software helps schools meet NCLB tobacco use prevention education requirements. Demonstrations take several minutes. Discounts are available for bulk purchases.

Spark-Space

Spark Educator, Spark Learner, Kidspark

www.spark-space.com, Software, estimated price: $69-$398

This idea-mapping product is offered in three editions. Spark Educator targets teachers, enabling them to capture all learning styles in the class and accelerate learning by presenting a lesson in conceptual and sequential format. Its 3D view allows students to prioritize and maintain concentration. Spark Learner helps students understand concepts, organize ideas and produce a finished, structured document. They can learn independently or self-check work through its built-in Text-to-Speech feature. Kidspark is a simplified version of the program for children up to the age of 10.

Califone International

CardMaster Card Reader cards

www.califone.com, Reading program, $69.95 per set

This program offers five new sets of cards that blend print and audio to enhance reading instruction. Students select a magnetic card, listen to the pre-recorded sound, record a response, and then compare the two recordings. Through kinesthetic, visual and auditory reinforcement, it solidifies mental connections between the written and spoken word. Sets feature high-frequency words in several categories: food, money, survival signs and everyday words like airplane and computer. Each set contains 48 full color cards with whimsical illustrations, word identifications, a teacher resource booklet and more.

Curriculum Associates

FOCUS Series

www.cainc.com, Books, $24.90/10-pack; $4.95/teacher guide

This 48-book series offers brief instruction and concentrated practice in the six reading strategies most difficult for students to master. Each strategy is covered in separate student books, one per reading level: Understanding Main Idea and Details, Understanding Sequence, Recognizing Cause and Effect, Making Predictions, Drawing Conclusions and Making Inferences, Comparing and Contrasting. Teacher-guided instruction to the strategy helps ensure that students understand how to answer strategy-based questions in the 20 practice lessons that follow. Lessons provide practice through a full-page reading selection, four selected-response questions and one constructed-response question.

TENEX Systems, Inc.

bSphere

www.tenexsys.com, Internet, $8 and up per student/year

This online fund accounting and business management solution provides a centralized approach to managing financial data. It delivers a suite of integrated modules--general ledger, banking, budget management, human resources, payroll, accounts payables, bidding, inventory and capital assets--in a Web browser environment utilizing an Intel-based server. The company provides online and toll-free technical support, a high security Internet data center, service delivery hardware, central data storage and maintenance, and daily redundant backups. The program can also be hosted on a school district's own servers.


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