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Tech Showcase: Library of Congress online conference, LMS checklist among top picks

3 min read


Ed-tech providers continue to churn out new resources for learning and instruction. October’s Tech Showcase was a mixed bag of products and services, from a free online conference hosted by the Library of Congress, to a checklist to help districts assess their learning management system needs, to white papers on online educational content and instructional design.

Here’s what we profiled this month in SmartBrief on EdTech’s Tech Showcase:

Library of Congress to hold free online conference on using primary source documents
The Library of Congress is hosting a free online conference October 27-28 for educators on how to use primary source documents in their instruction. The event will feature a keynote address from photographer Carol Highsmith, plus 15 sessions on a range of topics, including teaching students to ask their own questions and stimulating inquiry through primary sources. Teachers can earn professional development units by attending the live or on-demand event. Registration is open now on the Library of Congress web site.

Checklist offers criteria for evaluating current learning management systems
A new checklist aims to help districts assess the capabilities of their existing learning management systems. “5 Signs You Need to Modernize Your LMS,” from learning management system provider Edsby, details five ways educators can tell that their systems might be due for an update.

Students conduct experiments in virtual lab
The Virtual Laboratory Program, from Students2Science and Connectivity, is an interactive, Web-based video program designed to support K-12 science education. Students use the lab to perform experiments, in real time, with instructors at the S2S Technology Center. The program supports instruction in 150 languages. S2S provides materials for the experiments and works with schools to schedule broadcasts and train teachers.

White paper: Content from specialty publishers is most effective for student achievement
Educational content from publishers who concentrate on a specific subject is more effective than content from publishers who produce content on all subjects, according to a new white paper from OpenEd. “Insights Into Effectiveness of K-12 Online Instructional Resources” culls data from more than 200,000 teachers and details which publishers and resources have the strongest impact on learning. The data show that short educational games and videos are among the most effective tools.

White paper: Standards-based, UDL instructional design tips

Goalbook has released a white paper outlining a five-step process for creating curricula that integrates standards-based instruction and universal design.

Humanlike robot helps students with autism practice social interaction

Milo, a lifelike robot from Robokind, is designed for use with children with autism. The robot, created for elementary and middle school students, comes with curriculum to help these kids learn and practice appropriate social behavior.

Game lets students create, move geographic features
Geomoto, a new interactive game for iOS and Android devices, aims to teach concepts in earth science and geoscience. Players move through a universe absent geographic features, manipulating tectonic plates to create mountains, valleys and volcanoes. The game is available for 99 cents through the Android and iTunes app stores.

Shmoop debuts test prep for AP European History

Schmoop’s new test prep for AP European History comes with diagnostic assessment, critical culture shifts, two full-length practice tests, answer explanations, and practice drills and exam prep tips.

New Follett offering lets districts outsource administrative tasks, services

Follett Managed Services includes inventory management, new product development, facility management and policy and professional development services.

What products and solutions are you using in your classroom? We want to hear your story. Drop us a line and let us know what works and how it’s changing your instructional practice.