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Making Macs and PCs to Play Nice

Lanschool7.2 For those principals and district administrators thinking using a mixture of PCs and Macs but want to avoid headaches, the final piece of the puzzle has arrived. LAN School’s Classroom Management program not only can control a classroom of computers, but it now supports both PCs and Macs via Parallels. A native version of the software that runs directly will be available later this year. The software can not only blank a class full of screens, show what’s on the teacher’s screen or direct them to a specific Web site, but the teacher’s console can see what everybody is up to. At any time, the teacher can send any student a message or give the class a pop quiz. A free upgrade for current LAN School users, the software costs $200 per classroom with less than 10 computers and $600 for more systems. There’s a guided tour of the application as well as a 30-day trial version of the software so you can try before you buy.

One-Step Classroom Software

Netop_6What if you could integrate everything you do in the classroom into one complete program with a single interface to control everything? Using the ribbon design that Microsoft incorporated into Office 2007, NetOp School 6.0 moves away from traditional pull-down menus to present options and features as a strip at the top of the screen. With the program, teachers can prepare lesson plans, evaluate students and actually teach. The big upgrade involves the ability to create and edit documents from any computer, transfer them via a USB memory stick and incorporate them into the school’s NetOp program. The program is available in a variety of languages and now supports 64-bit Windows. There’s a free trial to try it out.

Push Button Tests

Got_itHow many teachers have thought about incorporating a wireless student response system, but have gotten caught up in the cost and complexity of setting one up? Califone’s Got It! wireless interactive student response system can easily transform a classroom from using paper tests to push-button response. Got It! sends the class’s responses to the teacher’s computer where they are processed and analyzed. It can create six different reports on class progress, including scores, activity and full semester grades. This system can not only show who knows what but which students need remedial help or advanced work. You’ll have to wait until the beginning of the next school year to get Got It!, which will be available in either 24- or 40-person packs.

One-Stop Online Curriculum

Openclassroom_serveraspen_learningIf you’re tired of having curriculum systems scattered across a slew of programs and a bunch of separate servers with little rhyme or reason, Aspen Learning’s OpenClassroom Server can consolidate it all. Based on the Ubuntu operating system and Web 2.0 protocols, OpenClassroom is an online appliance that can support the teaching of up to 200 students, making it perfect for most elementary and middle schools.

Open_classroom_b The system is complete with learning management, collaboration, communication and storage with such activities as wikis, scheduling and room for up to 750MB of files per student. The server costs $1,200 and includes 20,000 images and a hard drive’s worth of lesson plans. Look for a 1,000-student server this fall that is expected to cost $3,500.

Digital Classroom Done Right

Follett_15studentproject Follett Digital Resources can take the confusion out of the digital classroom with a Web-based system that provides access to a school’s curriculum assets on a class by class basis. This hosted service is focused on the K-through-12 teaching environment and relies on using a recent Web browser with Flash software. The Digital Classroom provides a place for teachers to post lessons, assignments, additional online resources as well as a way for students to submit online assignments. At the same time, parents can check on their children’s work. They’ll be showing the program at booth 2176.

Teacher’s Angel

Angel_k12_small_2How often does a new version of school software come out that has lots of new and cool things, but still has the bug you hate or lacks the one feature you really need? A little too often, if you ask me, but the recently released version 7.3 of the Angel Learning management Suite has more than 100 new features that came from teachers and administrators who use the software every day. On top of improved testing tools and a simpler interface, Angel 7.3 has a new administration console for quicker supervision and better integration into SIS systems. You can try out a demo of the program. They're at booth 2266.

Managing Bullying and Discipline

Administrators are faced with a unique challenge when it comes to school discipline and safety issues: proving they did enough to prevent these things from happening. This is especially tricky because accidents and discipline problems happen anyway. The PublicSchoolWORKS’ StudentWatch Suite can help with an automated web-based system for managing the tracking and reporting of student safety, accidents, and behavior issues.
Details: The Student Bullying Reporting System gives students and parents a 24/7 online and telephone system where they can report bullying incidents. It also allows schools to meet federal and state bullying requirement. The system automatically emails reports to administrators and tracks consequence resolution.
Bottom line: By quantifying the abstract concepts of discipline and safety – targeting where incidents happen and what the consequences were – administrators can use the system to prevent or decrease discipline issues, as well as provide solid reports to protect schools when bad things do happen.

Best Practices Guide to One-to-One Computing Released

Engaged_learning_cvr FetcWant to start a one-to-one program, but not sure how to get started? The Center for Digital Education and MPC Gateway released the K-12 2.0: A Complete Guide to One-to-One Computing in the K-12 Environment. The handbook includes expert information and real-world examples about designing and supporting one-to-one programs. K-12 2.0 features results and analyses of successful and replicable one-to-one deployments from across the nation, and offers guidance on budgeting for one-to-one initiatives and potential funding streams. Professional development and classroom management tips also included.

Compass Announces Odyssey High School Program [FETC HIGHLIGHT]

FetcAs schools begin to get more pressure to offer credit recovery and intervention programs at the high school level, Compass reponds by offering a new program to support secondary market. The high school Odyssey program integrates its management and assessment features into eight core subjects, ranging from Algebra to U.S. Government.

CDW-G Launches 21st Century Classroom Microsite [FETC HIGHLIGHT]

FetcThe digital classroom has many faces depending on your school size, budget, training, etc. CDW-G offers a look at this ideal 21st Century classroom on its new microsite. While mostly a shopping list of the products they offer, there are some good lessons on integrating technology into the classroom, like creating digital stories, movies, and podcasts.

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