This month’s SmartBrief on EdTech Product Showcase roundup is running today due to the Memorial Day holiday.
As the school year winds down, a number of new products are hitting the ed-tech shelves. Here’s what piqued SmartBrief on EdTech readers’ interest this month in Product Showcase:
Bringing STEM to Light: Teaching about Light and Optics
Educators can enroll to take a free online course this summer on the science of light. The five-week, self-paced class, Bringing STEM to Light: Teaching about Light and Optics, is designed for teachers with students ages 6 to 14 and will include a number of hands-on activities using Laser Classroom’s Light Blox Kit. The class begins June 22. Registration is open now for interested teachers.
Online service delivers special education instruction
PresenceLearning has launched a new service that enables students with special needs to receive live instruction from credentialed special education teachers. Schools can use the service for one-on-one instruction as well as with small groups.
Summer STEM workshops for teachers
Vernier is hosting a series of one-day training sessions this summer for science teachers. The sessions, which cost $99 each, are designed to help science educators integrate data acquisition technologies into their curriculum. Training specialists will be on hand to guide attendees through activities using Vernier’s probeware and handheld data-acquisition devices.
Online platform lets teachers create and manage assessments for free
EvoAcademics, a cloud-based assessment platform, enables teachers to build, share and grade tests and quizzes for free. The system includes a reporting function so teachers can analyze results.
Authentication system helps establish identities for distance learners
A new student authentication service is designed to help online learning programs prevent user fraud among students. Ucard, from ProctorU, uses a layered authentication process — webcam with live proctor, challenge questions and keystroke analysis software — to confirm students’ identities. A video walk-through of the system is available at the company’s web site.
3D curriculum teaches students how to prototype new designs
Pitsco’s “3-D Printing: Design Solutions” curriculum aims to show students the process which engineers prototype new designs using 3D printers. The three-week program includes activities that teach students about copyrights, patents, trademark protection and simple modeling software. Students will also create and print out design projects, in teams of two, and present the projects with the class.
Students pilot spaceships in new physics game
Middle-school students learn about physics as they simulate piloting a spaceship in Motion Force, from Filament Games. Players practice adjusting propulsion and direction as they fly through the universe and get help from the Fuzzies, a quirky race of aliens that dole out advice on forces and motion.
Partnership aims to help schools find qualified substitute teachers
Kelly Educational Staffing, a branch of Kelly Services, has teamed up with TeacherMatch to create a new way for schools to find substitute teachers. The partnership gives KES access to TeacherMatch EPI, a platform that culls teacher data, where it can locate teachers that suit districts’ needs.
Cloud solution offers safe home broadband access to students
Wireless service provider Kajeet has created a cloud-based platform designed to help schools provide and manage students’ home broadband connectivity. The solution includes Kajeet SmartSpot, a mobile hot spot, and its Sentinel cloud portal. Sentinel includes features that allow IT teams and teachers to create time-based filters, manage access to content and monitor student traffic, among other functions.
Mobile app aims to simplify on-campus job recruiting
OneStop On Campus enables campus recruiters to manage their recruitment efforts from their mobile devices. The app, available for Android and iOS devices, includes features for finding and registering for career fairs; gathering resumes with QR codes; update notes in real time; rate candidates; and share data and notes with team members. The app requires a OneStop Campus Recruiter or Enterprise Recruiter account.
Kaplan Univ. gives students access to personalized competency reports
Students taking classes through Kaplan University can access a Competency Report. The report outlines students’ abilities to perform certain career tasks, based on the skills they have acquired through their classes.
Mobile app helps bridge home-school divide
Parents have a new way to stay on top of what’s happening with their children’s school life, right from their mobile device. Edmodo for Parents allows parents to see homework assignments (due and completed), teacher announcements, upcoming lessons and quizzes, and school events. The app is available at no charge from the iTunes and Google Play store.
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