One of the perks of being a staffer for the ComputED Gazette is the opportunity to view the latest and greatest educational technology products and share information with our readers. The following products - all websites, and winners of 2017 BESSIE Awards - are some of the standouts, by category:
ESL/ELL High School: NYC English Conversation is a 21st Century solution to teaching English to ESL/ELL learners. One innovation - a real first - is NYC English's translation tool which selects the native language by country rather than by a generic language, i.e., Hong Kong, Singapore, China (not 'Chinese'), Columbia, Ecuador, or Mexico (not 'Spanish'). Finally! A concession that dialect and idiom are important considerations! [See full review]
Teacher Tools Lesson Plan Delivery: Promethean's ClassFlow is a powerful, cloud-based, lesson plan delivery and organizing tool. Using any touch screen device, ClassFlow helps students and teachers stay on task. And there's a nifty app for parents. Teachers will love the app too - no more evenings spent composing emails to parents.
Multi-Level Reading & Language Arts: Benchmark Education's Benchmark Advance is an integrated core literacy program for grades K-6 which has a terrific library of grade level eBooks in many different subject areas. Nothing flashy here, but very thorough, and we like the fact that students will be learning about a subject while improving literacy skills.
Middle School Essay Composition: Turnitin's Turnitin Revision Assistant is aptly named. It's a web-based writing tool that helps students fine-tune their compositions by providing immediate feedback, and allows teachers to view each student's progress over time. While a BESSIES winner for middle school, it has broad application over all levels, including post-secondary. Highly motivating, this is something that all writers really need - a good editor.
Multi-Level & Teacher Tools Online Educational Resource: Wisewire is a new and exciting online marketplace that provides educators with powerful technology tools for creating, sharing*, exchanging, and purchasing premium quality content for use in the classroom. *[On the website, two independent Ohio State University educators (not affiliated with Wisewire) demonstrate how Wisewire can be used to share dynamic science lessons for the elementary classroom. In their outstanding publication, "Integrating Real-Time Science and Math," they provide many links to lessons on Antartica, Arctic, Polar Birds, Polar Fish, Invertebrates, Mammals and more - and promise to keep trekking across the poles to bring us the latest updates.] [See full review]
We are pleased to acknowledge the selected innovative products, and can't wait to see what these companies will come up with next.