[Pearson Knowledge Technologies (303) 545-9092, Grades 4-12]

         If every 4th and 5th grade teacher in the country used
WriteToLearn across the curriculum, we would have far fewer literacy problems in secondary schools, and much happier students.  WriteToLearn is an impressive web-based service which automatically assesses students' written summaries and essays using the Knowledge Analysis Technologies (KAT) engine to analyze whole passages of a student's writing.
         Unlike similar technologies, the KAT engine doesn't use keywords to evaluate compositions and can, much like a human reader, infer similarity of words and passages in large bodies of text.  The service then generates understandable feedback and evaluation immediately, as well as a report with information designed to help students monitor their own progress and assignments.  Teachers can adjust scoring and view classes, performance, and progress for individual students or entire portfolios.
         When students spend extensive time practicing and perfecting reading and writing skills, test scores dramatically improve--and this 2007 BESSIE winner offers a superb learning environment for achieving that goal.

[Johnny Spanish Productions (865) 773-8298, ages 7/up]

Discover Spanish is a free online resource that teaches Spanish the conversational way. The complete course consists of 36 innovative and media-rich lessons, where Johnny Spanish and a cast of characters provide an interactive environment for learning vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar and culture. Intended for the high school level, a variety of age groups will enjoy this delightful website, including children from middle school and up - and even adults.
Discover Spanish combines proven language acquisition techniques with state-of-the-art technology. Each lesson consists of three steps: Explore (study the meanings of words and phrases), Learn (review the vocabulary and sentence structures needed to accomplish communication goals) and Practice (self-paced, interactive exercises that reinforce learning). Lessons progress from easy to challenging, with each lesson building upon the last, allowing for rapid learning.
         Topics include: The Basics, The Family, Time and Money, Leisure, Everyday Life, and Travel.
Discover Spanish integrates culture with language learning and supports the '5 Cs' of the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning (Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities).

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