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ISTE HIGHLIGHTS: Making Standards Standard

AlmaThe latest in tracking a school or district’s adherence to curriculum standards is Alma’s Standards Tracker. Built on a standards-based grading philosophy, the software fits into the company’s SIS/LMS platform and can track every part of a class’s curriculum, including each student’s proficiency at any level. The software should be ready by the fall term and can be previewed at booth 1602.


EdrediNothing shuts down a digital lesson than one kid who’s checking in on Facebook or googling his name, but Education Resources has an Answer: EdRedi. The software not only works with off-the-shelf Android, iOS or PC but can control what kids are looking at online.

ISTE HIGHLIGHTS: Google Education Plus

Edsby & Google DriveIf Google’s Apps for Education just isn’t enough to sustain classroom activities, bring in Edsby’s newly revamped Learning Management System (LMS). Together, the two can breathe life into a classroom environment. In addition to creating, collaborating and storing classroom documents, the Edsby-Google combo can support everything from taking attendance, grade books and report cards to discussion forums and parental engagement. The two programs can now be set up with a single login, which means you and your kids can get right down to the work at hand. The best part is that students can store and grab assignments on GoogleDrive and then submit them securely via Edsby. See the two interact at booth 1808.

Freebee Friday: Log On in the Cloud

Edsby office 365Edsby’s LMS system can now be used without a separate login. Just log in to your Office 365 account via Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory server and all of Edsby’s resources – from the gradebook and attendance page to report card and planning tools – are available. It also opens up everything that’s stored in your OneDrive online storage account.

Freebee Friday: Sign-Up Time

Volunteer sign upGet rid of those ratty old signup sheets for activities, parent-teacher conferences and volunteers. In its place start using VolunteerSpot's My Sign-ups, an online equivalent that works better and is fairer. You can register on your own or with a Facebook account and then start creating online sign-up sheets. Just type in the name, date, and number of people needed as well as any special details the participants will need to know about. You can even include a school or club logo. At that point any student, teacher or parent can be sent an email or log in to see what’s available and sign up for what they want. The program will even remind you when your activities are taking place.

Freebee Friday: Book It

PlannerThe days of the bound calendar planner with scribbles everywhere are long gone, but nothing good enough has replaced it. That is, until now with PlanBook. The browser-based system can streamline planning a week, a month or the entire school year. It can handle everything from classes and meetings to sports and school activities. The free version works with just about any computer or phone and can rotate classes weekly or on a variety of other popular schedule formats and the software even integrates into Google’s Education apps. Upgrading to the Premium product adds the ability to attach files and put your planner online for others. It costs $25 a year, although that drops to $16 per user a year for schools with 250 teachers.

The New Classroom

Google classroomThe latest version of Google’s Classroom software is out and it updates the classroom management program with 20 different major changes. Many are very exciting, including the ability to create, edit, distribute and even grade assignments from your phone so you can catch up on work at home or even on the bus ride to school. Plus, grades are now automatically saved, so nothing gets lost and an entire year's worth of assignments can be archived for class for next year’s batch of kids.

Emotional Learning

AppersonA child’s emotional health is just as important as his grades at school. Apperson’s Evo Social & Emotional Learning assessment lets you track their emotional well-being and receptiveness to school over time to identify trends and progress. Based on the 8-point DESSA criteria, from self- and social awareness to goal-directed behavior and decision-making, the software can store the results locally or at the district level. It costs $400 for up to 150 students, and there’s a two-month free trial.

Freebee Week: Snap and Grade

QuickkeyWhat’s better than grading multiple choice tests? How about having your phone or tablet do it for free? If you can snap a picture of the test, then the Quick Key Mobile app can turn any completed test into a grade that’s automatically placed in your school’s gradebook or an Excel spreadsheet. There are free apps for Android and iOS devices that come with QuizBuilder software for creating new assessments. The free version is for occasional use, while the $2.50 per month Pro version is for everyday use.



Freebee Week: Speak Up, Anonymously

Attentiv aAll too often, the loudest and most talkative kids aren’t the ones with the best ideas, a problem that Attentiv software is trying to solve.  The idea is that in an anonymous forum, the best and most articulate ideas will rise to the top and become the objects of serious discussion. To the kids, everyone in the forum is anonymous and only the teacher knows who’s typing what. The software is a beta freebee at the moment, but the company plans a commercial version soon.



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