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Ed-tech product roundup: February

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Every Monday, SmartBrief on EdTech features Product Showcase, a section highlighting new products and services designed to support teaching and learning. We’ve pulled all the solutions together into a product roundup, featured here on our Connected Teaching and Learning blog.

Ed-tech providers hit the ground running in February, launching a number of solutions for the classroom and campus. Here’s what readers liked this month:

SpaceChem. Students battle monsters and build factories that turn raw materials into chemical products in SpaceChem, the new educational puzzle game from Zachtronics. Students flex their logic and design muscles as they complete missions and battle enemies. The game, available at no charge to schools, is available on Mac, Windows, Linux and STEAM platforms.

ProjectNextTech. has released ProjectNextTech, a two-semester course on digital literacy. Using project-based instruction, the course teaches high-school students how to choose technology tools; search for and evaluate information properly; and find, assess and create media in a number of formats.

DUST. This multiplayer, alternate reality game aims to get middle- and high-school students excited about science. According to the game’s trailer, a meteor shower has sprayed clouds of dust into the Earth’s atmosphere, rendering all adults unconscious. Gamers work together, using mobile apps, social media and Web sites, to find the key that will save the planet.

Door 24 Plus. This new iOS math app from Curriculum Associates uses games to hone number sense and algebraic thinking skills. Students practice fact fluency in Snargg Splatt and sharpen their computational fluency in Victor Fixer. The app is part of Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready program.

Boardmaker Current Events. These curricula aim to improve math and ELA skills in students with special needs. Boardmaker Current Events targets ELA and math through a weekly news-based program. Boardmaker Expedition Education focuses on critical thinking and writing. The third course, Boardmaker Book Bridge, develops reading, writing and vocabulary through literature.

Allowance Manager. This Web and mobile app is designed to teach students the basics of money management. The solution is available in two versions: Allowance Manager Basic (free with limited features) and Allowance Manager Pro ($149, annual fee).

BenQ projectors. BenQ unveiled three new projectors this month, all designed for the classroom. TheĀ MX723 features 3,700 lumens of brightness and 13,000-to-1 high contrast ratio. The ultra-short-throw MW853UST+ comes with a brightness of 3,200 lumens and a 10,000-to-1 contrast ratio. TheĀ HC1200, an sRGB color projector, features 2,800 lumens of brightness and an 11,000-to-1 contrast ratio.

Presidents vs. Aliens. This iOS game aims to hone students’ social studies skills. Elementary and middle school students answer trivia questions about US presidents and presidential history for the chance to hurl that president’s head at oncoming aliens.

Dell Chromebook 11. Dell added to its lineup of education laptops with the release of the Chromebook 11. The laptops, which start at $279, have an estimated ship date of February 25.

myON. Digital content provider myON has added 30 titles from National Geographic Kids to its library. Among the new titles, geared primarily at middle-school students, are “Wheels of Change”, “Stolen into Slavery” and “The Skull in the Rock.”

CloudReady. This platform aims to help school IT staff simplify management of its PCs and Chromebooks.

Make sure you stay updated on what’s new in the education market. Check out Product Showcase each Monday in SmartBrief on EdTech. If you’re not already receiving this brief, we invite you sign up today.

Note: Story updated February 24, 2015 to correct the name of Curriculum Associates’ app, Door 24 Plus.