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Magazines > MultiMedia Schools > May/June 2003
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Vol. 10 No. 3 — May/June 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

Cross Curriculum

The Brainchild AchieverPlus! software series—for grades 3-8 and high school exit level—provides assessment and interactive, standards-based lessons in language arts and math. The lessons are divided into state strands, as well as individual state benchmarks and learning objectives. A total of 14 newstate-specific titles have been released, among them Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, and Texas. Available in Mac/Win hybrid CD-ROM or network versions. $4,999—Math Achiever Plus! for elementary (grades 3-6) or middle school (grades 6-8). $4,999—Language Arts Achiever Plus! (Reading and Writing). $4,999—Achiever Plus! for high school (includes both Math and Language Arts combined). Brainchild activity books, assessment subscription, and PLS hand-held devices are available for an additional charge. Educational Resources, 800/624-2926 or Brainchild,

Take It to the Computer for K-3rd grade is designed to teach students to use basic computer tools as they work on activities that integrate literacy, math, and technology. Program features include an editable text tool, paint and drawing tools, and slide show tools with music functions. The activities and print support materials correlate to state standards. Among the print materials are 26 literacy activity cards and 22 math activity cards, each with step-by-step instructions for students and teachers. The software is available in four grade-specific editions. Each edition is priced at $299. Mac/Win dual platform. Evan-Moor Educational Publishers, 831/649-5901 or

Language Arts

The Academy of Reading, designed for struggling readers, complements existing reading programs to help low-level readers to achieve reading success. The software concentrates on building student phonemic awareness, developing decoding skills, and improving comprehension. Each skill set can be treated independently or simultaneously. Students work in a group of virtual rooms, where they can access specific modules, perform tasks, and view full-motion animated video guides for help and encouragement. Mac 9.1 or higher. Windows 98/2000 Professional/NT 4.0. Pricing begins at $940 for stand-alone purchases. Volume discounts are available. AutoSkill, 613/235-6740 or

Tools for Teachers

Chancery SMS 3.0 updates the Web-based student management system with customized role-based home pages, an active alerts real-time event delivery system, and PDA support to search and view student data. Additional new features include integration with the company's school-to-home Web portal(K12 Planet), school or district-wide advanced search capabilities with customizable search result tables, mass student record changes, elementary resource services scheduling, and report customization. Chancery Software Ltd., 800/999-9931 or

Learning Access! provides online assessment tools for creating, administering, scoring, and reporting interactive diagnostic assessments in reading, writing, and math. The Learning Access! product series includes ReadingAccess, Math Access, and Writing Access. Each title allows educators to create and deliver end-of-course exams, periodic benchmark assessments, teacher-created quizzes, and homework. Reading Access examines 30 different skills in five essential components: phonicawareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Math Access assesses math skills and progress in grades 4-9 (including algebra). Writing Access for grades 4 and up offers a prompt-driven writing environment that scores student responses to prompts within seconds. Vantage Learning, 215/579-8390 or

Teacher Works allows K-12 teachers to manage lessons, appointments, tasks, teacher resources, and state correlations. The resource planner features five major sections: Lesson Planner, Personal Assistant, Teacher Resources, Correlations, and Internet. State correlations can be accessed and created to mirror individual course content. The Internet component allows teachers to keep all commonly used Web links in a single place without searching for individual bookmarks. Specific Teacher Resources updates can be downloaded from the Web site. CD-ROM for Mac and Windows. Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, or

Tools for Everyone

Macromedia Director MX updates the multimedia authoring tool for building content and applications for CD, DVD-ROM, kiosks, and the Web via Macromedia Shockwave Player. The new features include integration with Macromedia Flash MX products, use of the streamlined Macromedia MX user interface, Mac OS X support, newworkflow efficiencies, and the ability to create content accessible to individuals with disabilities. Localized versions for French, German, and Japanese will be released. Mac OSX 10.1 or higher. Windows 98SE/2000/XP. $499—education pricing. CD-ROM or online download. Macromedia, or, a subscription-based online product for K-12 schools, provides lesson-planning, homework, and assessment resources for use at home, school, or any Internet connection site. The password-protected site includes standards-based curriculum, interactive homework assignments, project templates, tools, lesson plans, reference materials, and online professional development. Toll-free technical support is available daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Eastern Time. Pricing options include classroom, lab, school site, or district licensing. Sunburst Technology/QuickMind/
Educational Resources, 800/624-2926 or

SMART Ideas 3.1 updates the concept mapping software to include five languages—English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian. New program features include 20 new symbol styles and picture-based connectors such as stars, globes, footprints, and math signs. The software creates multi-level diagrams that visually represent complex ideas. Built-in templates and a clip art gallery are included. Users can add live Web links, audio clips, photos, images, documents, movie clips, and presentations. Diagrams and outlines can be saved as HTML files with all levels of hyperlinks. Windows only. $199—individual license. Volume discounts available. SMARTer Kids Foundation grants reduce the price to $59 for one to four copies and $29 for orders of 100 or more copies. SMART Technologies, 888/42SMART or

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