TrueFlix REVIEWS CONTINUED
[Scholastic Library Publishing (800) 387-1437]
TrueFlix is an online resource that is sure to capture the attention of children in grades 3 to 5, motivating them to learn Social Studies, Science, and Literary Skills. It is based on materials from the True Books print series (Children's Press), and along with reading supports and Flipbooks, the website abounds with videos, images, web links, project ideas and activities, including useful lesson plans for teachers.
On the Home screen, the left navigation bar provides access to Categories: People, Places and History (American Indians, Ancient Civilizations, The Civil War, Continents, US Government, US Regions, and Westward Expansion); and on the right, there is access to Science and Nature (Disasters, Earth Science, Ecosystems, Experiments, Extreme Nature, Human Body and Space). TrueFlix thumbnails are also available to directly access specific lessons/units.
In keeping with its motto, "Watch, Read, Explore - Find the Truth," each unit is correlated to State Standards, and starts with a high quality video to stimulate interest in the topic; then a Flipbook, with features like page-turning, read-along, table of contents, and vocabulary, reinforces what is learned from the video. The Explore More button offers links to related content and research from Grolier Online, primary-source documents and multimedia.
The Activity Center features "Show What You Know" (a 10-question multiple-choice quiz), and "Word Match" (a photo-reveal game based on 9 important words included in each Flipbook), both games designed to test what the child has learned.
Children will find the simple, colorful interface appealing and easy to use. Educators may request a free trial at the company's website.
[ClassLink (888) 963-7550]
Exciting new innovations are occurring in educational technology: The confluence of cloud computing, the ubiquity of smart devices, and the adoption (in some school districts) of BYOD - bring your own device (sometimes BYO or BYOT); all of which will transform the way students and teachers access educational content.
One such product is Classlink Launchpad, winner of this year's EDDIE for Technology Resource Website. Launchpad delivers 24/7 access - any time, any place - on any Internet connected device (including smartphones, educational resources, multimedia creations, documents, software, and so much more) through the power of cloud computing. And cloud computing eliminates the necessity of buying and maintaining expensive districtwide servers, which often can't scale to demand.
Essentially a virtual desktop, Launchpad features a Resource Library with thousands of educational apps, and allows users to run any Windows app from any device, as well as supporting real-time collaboration such as chat, screenshare, and web cams. For educators, there is an additional Instructional View with tools for teachers to create class pages, upload coursework, check assignments, instruct on virtual whiteboards, check students' desktops, and more.
As innovations go, Launchpad is clearly a winner. And to see for yourself, Classlink offers a free demo at www.classlink.com/demorequest.
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