[TitleWatch] [MultiMedia Schools]
March/April 2002
Copyright © Information Today, Inc.
by Kathie Felix, News/Reviews Editor 
TitleWatch lists recently released educational software products that relate to the K-12 curriculum. This list is primarily but not exclusively comprised of CD-ROM products; other formats (diskettes, videodiscs) are noted in the text. Suggestions for entries and press releases should be addressed to Kathie Felix at 5746 Union Mill Rd., PMB 605, Clifton, VA 20124 or to kfelix@infotoday.com.

(All titles are CD-ROM unless otherwise noted.)

*Cross-Curriculum

Math & The Cosmos, an interdisciplinary program for grades 7-12, shows astronomy's connection to mathematics, physics, history, and mythology. Students learn about graphing star charts, planetary motion, parallax, the motion of the sun, Newton's Laws, and real-world applications of math fundamentals such as graphing, angles, trigonometry, and scientific notation. The program includes 10 full-color, narrated multimedia exercises, a management system, tools for tracking multiple students, and the option to print a teacher's guide, textbook, student guide, and workbook. Windows only. $100—single user. $260—lab pack, five users (five CDs and five student guides). $460—lab pack, 10 users (10 CDs and 10 student guides). $800—network version (one CD). The 100-page textbook, student guide, and teacher guide may be purchased separately. Wildridge Education, 888/244-4379 or http://www.wildridge.com/.

Math & Music, for grades 7-12, emphasizes the practical value of fundamental math skills by relating them to the basic elements of music. The program helps students build the mathematical foundation necessary to understand algebra and appreciate diverse musical forms. The 18 narrated multimedia exercises explore the musical scale as it relates to ratios, harmony and its relation to the physics of a vibrating string, the physics of sound and how we hear, and ancient number systems as the basis for understanding number theory. Also included are a management system, tools for tracking multiple students, and the option to print a teacher's guide, textbook, student guide, and workbook. Mac/Windows. $100—single user. $260—lab pack, five users (five CDs and five student guides). $460—lab pack, 10 users (10 CDs and 10 student guides). $800—network version, Windows only (one CD). The textbook, student guide, and teacher guide may be purchased separately. Wildridge Education, 888/244-4379 or http://www.wildridge.com/.

Newton's Quest, a series of three grade-specific programs, helps students in grades 4-6 master essential math and language-arts skills included in state education standards and covered on standardized tests. Each title covers a full year of math and language arts curriculum, with more than 4,000 questions, an original scope and sequence of recognized test objectives, and a five-step teaching method (pre-test, lessons, review exercises, advanced exercises, and post-test). Optional exploration and research activities cover science, space, nature, geography, history, literature, music, and art history. The program tracks student progress and creates learning profiles. Two CD-ROM package, Windows 98/95/ME/2000. $60—teacher edition with two copies of the software and teacher materials with lesson plans. $150—lab pack, five users. $325—site license, 15 users. Knowledge Adventure, 800/545-7677 or http://www.KnowledgeAdventure.com/.
 

*Early Learning

JumpStart Explorers, for students in grades pre-K to 2, introduces children to age-appropriate history and social studies curriculum. Youngsters learn about ancient world history and cultures, geography, navigational skills, and problem solving as they travel back in time with famous explorers on expeditions around the world. Activities include exploring the pyramids in Egypt and visiting King Tut, traveling the royal road of the Incas in South America, sailing to Asia with Marco Polo, discovering Plymouth Colony with the Pilgrims, and claiming first steps at the South Pole with Roald Amundsen. Hybrid Mac/Win CD-ROM. $40—teacher edition with two copies of the software and teacher materials with lesson plans for additional classroom activities away from the computer. $118—lab pack, five users. $325—site license, 15 users. Knowledge Adventure, 800/545-7677 or http://www.KnowledgeAdventure.com/.

JumpStart Languages prepares children ages 3 to 6 to learn new languages, introducing them to the sights, sounds, words, and phrases of four languages—Spanish, French, Japanese, and English. Youngsters explore the program's four Language Pavilions, which feature cultural games, stories, and songs. The program examines cultural music and lyrics, art, colors and numbers, vocabulary for everyday objects, conversational phrases, and cultural stories and characters. Hybrid Mac/Win CD-ROM. $40—teacher edition with two copies of the software and teacher materials with lesson plans for additional classroom activities away from the computer. $118—lab pack, five users. $325—site license, 15 users. Knowledge Adventure, 800/545-7677 or http://www.KnowledgeAdventure.com/.
 

*Languages

Three online language courses and an Advanced Placement (AP) Spanish Exam Review will be available in September for the 2002-2003 school year. The new AP Spanish, Latin I, and Latin II courses use interactive instruction tools, including audio and visual activities. Students can record and listen to audio files of themselves speaking and submit those files online for instructor evaluation. The online AP Spanish Exam Review creates a personalized study plan to help students prepare for the AP exam. Tuition is $475 per 18-week semester, per student. The fee includes instruction and online mentoring by an experienced teacher and unlimited access to online course materials. Some courses require textbooks or special equipment (such as a graphing calculator) at an additional cost. Course costs can be significantly reduced when customers buy in quantity and/or provide their own online instructors. Some courses are one semester in length; most are two semesters. Apex Learning, 800/453-1454 or http://www.apexlearning.com/.
 

*Mathematics

Algebra Stars, for grades 8-11, helps students build their understanding of algebra by constructing, categorizing, solving equations, and classifying polynomial expressions using algebra tiles. Students work with algebraic equations, advance their knowledge of the properties of number sets, use deductive reasoning skills, and
improve their algebra fluency. A glossary is available throughout the program to help students precisely understand important terminology. The timed or untimed algebra tile games can be played competitively among students or against the program, with numerous rounds of play and competitive scoring. A printable skill report is available. Mac/Win hybrid CD-ROM. $110—single copy or lab pack, 10 users. $700—network or school unlimited license. Sunburst, 800/321-7511 or http://www.sunburst.com/.

Boxermath.com now includes Fundamental Math for grades 3-5, an online math curriculum featuring interactive, step-by-step instruction aligned to state standards. The content includes practice problems, tests, and enrichment activities. Available online by subscription. Boxermath.com also hosts Secondary Math, for grades 6-12, a comprehensive, standards-aligned math curriculum for pre-algebra, algebra I and II, geometry, and trigonometry. Secondary Math features an interactive, hands-on course of study and enrichment activities. It is available via subscription at BoxerMath.com or on CD-ROM. Online subscriptions to Fundamental Math cost $10 per student per year. Online subscriptions to Secondary Math cost $20 per student per year. Online subscriptions to both cost $25 per student per year. Individual teacher subscriptions cost $50 per year for Fundamental Math, $60 per year for Secondary Math, and $80 per year for access to both online programs. Boxer Learning, Inc., 800/736-2824 or http://www.boxerlearning.com/.
 

*Science

The World of Sport Examined, for middle and high school students, offers a global perspective on a range of sports and demonstrates the connections between human biology and sports performance. Multimedia presentations include a journey through body systems, examining topics such as fast twitch muscles, the workings of the heart, nutrition, and the skeletal system. Students can compete in three interactive games and work in a virtual gym, identifying prime mover muscles and their movements, and make an onscreen athlete complete repetitions at 10 different exercise machines. Activities include designing a training program for a variety of sports, including basketball, tennis, swimming, archery, cricket, or hockey. Tests, quizzes, a reference manual, glossary, and Web links are included. Windows 3.1 and above. $70—single copy price. Tool Factory, 800/220-8386 or http://www.toolfactory.com/.
 

*Tools

mPOWER 4.0, the multimedia presentation tool designed specifically for teachers and students, has been upgraded with two new features. Users can now import content  from Hyperstudio stacks and PowerPoint presentations, can create slide shows on Macintosh or Windows computers, and run the presentations on both platforms. Current mPOWER owners can download the new features at no charge at http://www.tomsnyder.com/products/tech_updates.asp#mpov40/. (Click on the appropriate link for Macintosh or Windows and the upgrade installer will automatically download to your computer.) The program CD includes sample graphics and media files, as well as a user's guide. Downloadable demos and a competitor comparison are available online. Mac/Win hybrid CD-ROM. $80—single computer license. Volume pricing is available. Tom Snyder Productions, 800/342-0236 or http://www.tomsnyder.com/.

SuccessMaker Classroom, designed for small schools and individual classrooms, has all of the features of SuccessMaker, including more than 6,000 hours of standards-aligned instruction. The program is available in three bundles from the latest version of the complete SuccessMaker curriculum: Elementary Core, Elementary Selection, or Middle School Core. Each bundle contains instruction in reading/language arts, mathematics, and ESL and bilingual education. Multimedia activities, real-world simulations, and structured explorations and discoveries help to develop student skills and critical-thinking abilities. The classroom management system provides personalized instruction and on-demand, in-depth reporting. Two consecutive days of on-site training are included with the purchase. Specially priced packages of 10 or 20 licenses are available. The software requires minimal networking. It can be placed on an existing server or can be delivered by a Quantum Snap Server, a compact and portable network file server purchased separately that can be installed in less than 5 minutes. NCS Learn, 888/627-5327 or http://www.ncslearn.com/.
 
 

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