Stars Suite
[Educational Options (866) 243-7460, grades 7-12]

Stars Suite's web-based educational product supports students and teachers inside and outside the traditional classroom. Teachers are offered powerful classroom management tools, while students are presented with pre- and post-assessment tests, along with numerous "Novel" lessons and activities to reach their academic goals. Courseware includes Electives, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, TestPak and Prep Courses.

Designed for students requiring original credit, Novel courses typically include 18 lessons with accompanying submissions, followed by a randomly generated mid-term and final exam. Course methods are "Pre-Assessment" (identifies competencies and deficiencies) and "Credit Recovery Acceleration" (generates a prescriptive course of study).

A huge plus is that Stars Suite has low bandwidth requirements, making it faster to load and more accessible to all users.

[Inspiration (503) 297-3004, grades K-1]

Kidspiration 3 has once again wowed the EDDIES judges, who quickly and unanimously named it the winner of Early Elementary Thinking Skills. But this new version (released earlier this year) offers so much more than thinking skills: There is support for students from kindergarten through fifth grade, with exercises to build reading and writing skills, as well as conceptual understanding of math.

New capabilities include tools for using visual learning to improve math; a Word Guide, which provides access to 13,000 words; recorded speech for pronunciation and grammar; and an expanded symbol library with enhancements to help ELL and ESL students expand vocabulary. Version 3 has improved audio support for expression and documentation, and now supports larger monitors with higher resolution.

There is so much to the new Kidspiration, we recommend Inspiration's supplemental lesson plan materials to make the most of this powerful learning tool.

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