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Tech Tools: Curriculum

September 2007
Geometer's Sketchpad<br />
Geometer's Sketchpad

What's new in tech tools for your curriculum

Teacher Tube and C-Span’s Classroom are excellent sources for free multiâÂ????Â????media lessons on topics ranging from the pros and cons of student blogging to the latest from the presidential campaign trail. Teacher Tube posts videos submitted by students and teachers, but its banner ads can get in the way. By contrast, C-Span is run by a nonprofit organization and features professionally produced items.

Curriculum Associates’ Math FactMaster Online teaches students basic math facts with the help of animated characters and a variety of games. In addition to assessing students’ skills, the program displays how long it takes students to answer the questions. A year’s subscription costs $69 per class.

PaperTools Pro 2.0 is an all-inclusive package that helps students write better research papers. The program leads kids through the entire writing process—from asking initial questions through to editing. It not only tracks sources and attaches key words to research, but it also helps students prepare bibliographies. The program costs $55.

Assistive Learning Technology’s Stages series helps developmentally delayed children get on the fast track for learning. The $125 software guides students through learning and language in a seven-step process that leads them from understanding simple concepts to exploring the written language. The program also generates reports assessing students’ needs.

Close the language gap with Knowledge Adventure Academy–Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension. The program, with 2,400 leveled vocabulary words that build background knowledge and improve reading comprehension, places individual students at the level they will learn and retain new words rapidly. The software costs $6,250 for a building license, for up to 500 students.

With dozens of lesson plans and ideas online, the Geometer’s Sketchpad helps breathe new life into math class—and it makes the chalkboard obsolete. The $40 student version of the program emphasizes exploring complex shapes, patterns, and relationships as a way of teaching students math.

Students enter different eras virtually through the latest edition of Holt World History: Human Legacy from Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. The newest resources throughout the online edition immerse students in various geographic and cultural time periods while also encouraging self-directed learning. Interactive maps, videos, artwork, and literature feed students’ inclination to explore. One- and six-year subscriptions are available.

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