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Magazines > MultiMedia & Internet@Schools > November/December 2004
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Vol. 11 No. 6 — Nov/Dec 2004
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


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, or

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,

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,

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, or

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. $79.95—Starry Night Enthusiast. $149.94—Starry Night Pro. Imaginova, 800/252-5417,


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 at FileMaker, 800/325-2747,

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. $79.95—Retail price. Educational Insights, 800/995-4436,

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,


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,



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