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Magazines > MultiMedia Schools > March/April 2003
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Vol. 10 No. 2 — Mar/Apr 2003
News of the Latest Products and Technology for K-12
by Kathie Felix, News Editor

TitleWatch lists recently-released educational software and electronic media products that relate to the K-12 curriculum. This list is primarily but not exclusively comprised of CD-ROM products; other electronic formats are noted in the text. Suggestions for entries and press releases should be addressed to Kathie Felix, 5746 Union Mill Rd., PMB 605, Clifton, VA 20124 or

Language Arts

Destination Reading for preK-3rd grade students provides two sequenced courses designed to build reading and writing skills. Course I, designed for preK-1st grade students, focuses on emergent literacy and phonemic awareness. Course II, for 2nd and 3rd grade students, focuses on building fluency and comprehension. Together, both programs provide 500 learning experiences with more than 90 texts and stories for children to read. The included Riverdeep Learning Management system provides both diagnostic and prescriptive assessment, as well as comprehensive tracking and reporting functions. The program is available on a single user CD-ROM, network CD-ROM, and as an online subscription. Riverdeep, 800/825-4420 or

The Key Skills for Reading series includes two titles: Letters and Words (K-2) and Basic Word Concepts (grades 1-2). Letters and Words helps students learn alphabet order, organize words and objects by initial consonant sounds, match rhyming words and homophones, build words, and identify short and long vowel sounds. Basic Word Concepts covers the difference between nouns and verbs, explores superlatives, examines antonyms and synonyms, contractions, common abbreviations, and syllabication skills. Both programs feature assessment tools that provide
diagnostic student reports. Mac/Win CD-ROM. $120—single copy. $130—lab pack of 10. $700—school unlimited license. Sunburst, 800/321-7511 or


The Key Skills for Math series includes six grade-specific titles: Basic Number Concepts (K-2); Shapes, Numbers, and Measurement (K-2); Addition Practice (grades 1-3); Subtraction Practice (grades 1-3); Multiplication Practice (grades 3-6); and Division Practice (grades 3-6). Through bursts of animated reading and math practice, the programs help students develop basic skills. Designed to meet developing learning needs, each program contains an assessment tool that captures student performance and creates diagnostic reports. Mac/Win CD-ROM. $120—single copy. $130—lab pack of 10. $700—school unlimited license. Sunburst, 800/321-7511 or


The 2003 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia DeluxeEdition provides more than 39,200 articles and access to thousands of additional articles online. Program features include 108,000 Web links, 15,500 images, more than 200 videos, 150 panoramas, 750 sound clips, a world atlas with 1,200 maps, timelines, chronologies, a dictionary, and thesaurus. The encyclopedia also includes a Topic Navigator, Related Media Gallery, Research Center, and free monthly updates. CD-ROM for Windows 95/96/2000/Me/MX/NT4.0. $30, single copy price. Brøderbund, 800/395-0277 or


Interactive Skeleton for high school and medical school students provides an in-depth look at a three-dimensional human skeleton, as well as hundreds of study and clinical notes. To explore the skeleton, students click on any bone or muscle attachment. They can read its label, as well as descriptions of its location, function, common injuries, and more. A customizable quiz module offers three levels of difficulty and the ability to select the region of the skeleton for review, as well as the number and type of review questions. A Spanish edition of the program is available. Interactive Skeleton has been linked to new curriculum drawn up by the American Association of Clinical Anatomists. Mac/Win CD-ROM. $80, single copy price—English and Spanish versions. Multi-pack pricing and site licensing is available. Tool Factory, 800/220-8386 or

Special Needs

Kurzweil 3000, version 7, updates the reading, writing, and learning software for struggling students. The program allows students to leverage, when appropriate, the visual and auditory features of the software for both formal test-taking and everyday use. Administrative features allow educators to accommodate individual IEP requirements, assess student ability, and ensure a smooth transition between classroom and standardized testing situations. A new feature provides the ability to automatically search for books by title or author on electronic text repositories such as, Project Gutenberg, or Baen Free Library and then download and read those books. Included is a 30-day trial membership (U.S. only) to, an online community that allows individuals with reading-related disabilities to legally download more than 10,000 public domain and copyrighted books. Multiple pricing options are available, including the Kurzweil 5-unit Color Learning Lab Pack at $539 per seat. Stand-alone and network versions are available. Kurzweil Educational, 800/894-5374 or

Claude and Maude helps students practice letter formation with Claude, an animated rat, and Maude, an animated owl. Students can use the computer's mouse, touch screen, or a graphics pad to "trace" letters. Claude then checks to see if the letter has been formed correctly and can tell students if they are writing backwards. Phonetic speech and animation illustrate the way each letter should be formed. Windows CD-ROM. $60, single unit price. Multi-pack pricing and site licensing are available. Tool Factory, 800/220-8386 or

Touch Fun Fair helps students develop cause and effect, visual discrimination/
matching, and mouse skills. The program offers six carnival-based games for students with visual or learning impairments: Ghost Train, Darts, Coconut Shy, Ring Toss, Grab Bag, and Bumper Cars. The games and animated rewards are designed for both readers and nonreaders. Teachers and students can choose from two levels of difficulty for each activity. The program can be used by individuals or small groups. Mac/Win CD-ROM. Network version available. Switch accessible. $60, single unit price. Multi-pack pricing and site licensing are available. Tool Factory, 800/220-8386 or


Aspire 4.0 is the newest version of the suite of Internet-based teaching, reporting, grading, productivity, and communications tools for K-12 school communities. The program's communication features include messaging, assignment and announcement posting, school calendar information, and groups, clubs, and team messaging. Automated teaching tools offer online quiz and test creation, as well as an online gradebook that calculates and weighs grades immediately and can be downloaded to MS Excel. Also included are lesson plan tools (Web site library, document library, and image library) performance measurement and recording tools (grade access for calculating weekly athletic eligibility and performance trends, a quick poll/survey tool, and attendance recording), and Web page creation tools. The system is password-protected and features SSL 128 bit encryption and encrypted back-ups three times daily. Aspire 4.0 is PC- and Mac-compatible and browser-based, requiring a minimum of Netscape 4.0, Microsoft Explorer 4.0, or AOL. Aspire, 888/335-3788 or 216/619-2100;

NTI CD-Maker 6 Platinum is a CD and DVD burning product for a variety of file types, including audio, data, photo, video, and super video. The program allows users to archive data, share photos and videos, and create music CDs. Features include MP3 and MPEG-1 encoding, VCD and SVCD menu creation, and burning and slide shows with audio. Songs can be customized with the WAV editor or recorded in real time to CD. Windows 98/Me/2000/XP. $70,
single copy. Riverdeep/Brøderbund, 800/825-4420 or


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