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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Classworks Algebra Series provides a network-based
system of K-12 reading and mathematics curriculum that
teaches algebra and pre-algebra to middle school students.
The program includes more than 330 activities that assess,
instruct, remediate, and extend student exposure to
pre-algebra and algebra. A pre-test given before each
unit prescribes a personalized series of lessons for
each student. Detailed reports keep teachers informed
of student progress and allow them to edit the activity
path where necessary. Curriculum Advantage, 888/841-4790,
Holt Science & Technology, Indiana Edition,
is specifically developed for the state's middle school
science curriculum and meets the Indiana Academic Standards
for Science. Extensive assessment opportunities, expanded
Section Reviews, comprehensive Chapter Reviews, and
two pages of ISTEP+ Test Prep help teachers prepare
students for high-stakes testing. A complementary Online
Assessment resource diagnoses student understanding
of science, assigns interventions, and tracks improvement
with benchmark practice tests. Holt, Rinehart and
Winston, 800/992-1627, http://www.hrw.com/
JMP Intro, a statistical visualization tool
designed for students and teachers, aids student and
teacher capabilities to visualize scientific data. SAS
inSchool, 888/760-2515, http://www.sasinschool.com/.
PLATO Physical Science is the second release
in the PLATO Middle School Science Series. The program
was developed for use as a self-study tool in the classroom
or credit recovery programs, for teacher presentations
designed to introduce science concepts, for test review,
for use as a supplement to GED instruction, or as a
complement to textbook lessons. Features include a test
item bank linking exam questions to specific standards-based
objectives for pre-testing and mastery assessments.
The curriculum is aligned to state standards and the
guidelines set by the National Science Foundation, the
Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (MCREL)
Lab, and the AAAS Project 2061. PLATO Learning, 800/869-2000,
PLATO Multimedia Science Simulations, with
levels for both intermediate and advanced instruction,
provides an alternative to in-class lab experiments,
allowing teachers to expand the scientific concepts
presented to their students. The program was originally
developed by New Media, a U.K. company acquired by Plato.
PLATO Learning, 800/869-2000, http://www.plato.com/.
Science CSI (Concentrated Science Investigation),
a kit for grades 5-12, contains the latest digital tools
from Vernier and Bodelin, as well as a science curriculum
written by Apple Distinguished Educators. The package
includes a Bodelin Proscope hand-held USB microscope
and accessories and Vernier pH, conductivity, and temperature
probes. The kit comes in a hardshell portable case.
$999. Vernier, 888/837-6437, http://sciencecsi.com/scisi/
Starry Night Enthusiast and Starry Night
Pro are now available in version 5.0. The programs
let users see the universe from any vantage point. New
features include SkyGuide interactive multimedia tours
designed to reveal the science and history of stars,
a SkyCalendar with information on upcoming astronomical
events and regional star parties, and observational
tools that allow users to experience the night sky in
realistic detail. The Starry Night software links directly
to the Web for news of important discoveries and exclusive
automatic data updates for comets, asteroids, and satellites.
Both releases include Sky Theater, a 104-minute DVD
presentation that takes viewers on a voyage through
the solar system, and the Starry Night Companion, a
192-page illustrated astronomy book. $79.95Starry
Night Enthusiast. $149.94Starry Night Pro. Imaginova,
TOOLS FOR TEACHERS
The FileMaker Education Starter Kit, a free
bundle of five predesigned ready-to-use databases, is
available with a 30-day free trial of FileMaker Pro
7. The databases are designed to track faculty and
staff; manage curriculum, admissions, and grade books;
find and use mathematical clip art; manage registrations
and course offerings; and organize class materials.
Eligible education customers will receive FileMaker
Pro 7 at a cost of $149 per license, which is 50 percent
off the suggested list price. Details can be found online
FileMaker, 800/325-2747, http://www.filemaker.com/.
The Jeopardy! Link system helps educators create,
organize, customize, and share quiz content for Classroom
Jeopardy!. The package includes four components: a plug-and-play
podlike peripheral device, a CD-ROM containing Jeopardy!
Editor authoring software, a USB connection cord, and
an instruction manual. Educators can create or update
games on their PCs with Jeopardy! Editor and then use
the peripheral device to save the games to Classroom
Jeopardy! cartridges. $79.95Retail price. Educational
Insights, 800/995-4436, http://www.educationalinsights.com/.
Learning Access! 3.0 allows educators to give
assessment tests in reading, writing, math, and science
subjects. The program provides a Web-based assessment
and accountability environment for standards-aligned
assessment needs, including pre-tests and diagnostic,
formative, and summative assessments. The new version
adds 34,000 searchable items in reading, writing, math,
and science item banks; more than 30 percent more test
items in reading, writing, and math (geometry and algebra);
and a new science item bank (biology, physics, and chemistry).
Also added is Dr. Norman L. Webb's Depth-of-Knowledge
Cognitive Levels for all items and prompts in the content
areas of reading, writing, math, and science. Vantage
Learning, 800/322-0848, http://www.vantagelearning.com/.
TOOLS FOR EVERYONE
Vox Proxy 3.0 updates the software that lets
users animate PowerPoint slides with three-dimensional
animated characters. The program creates talking characters
that can be scripted for presentations. This update
can be viewed with the free PowerPoint 2003 Viewer;
media files can be played using Windows Media Player
9. New features include an online help system and a
Vox Proxy CD Prep add-on that allows the PowerPoint
2003 viewer to be included on Vox Proxy presentation
CDs. Right Seat Software, 303/278-2244, http://www.voxproxy.com/.