IEPPLUS 5 Special Education Management Solution
[Sungard K-12 Education (866) 905-8989; Website]

             SunGard K-12 Education offers the PLUS 360 Suite, a single integrated software solution for the management of student information, assessment and curriculum, special education, and financial and human resources. The PLUS 360 Suite is designed to simplify, for educators, the ability to access the information they need to engage students, effect positive change, and ultimately improve student achievement.
             In particular,
IEPPLUS allows district staff to efficiently manage the entire special education process - from referral, evaluation, and Individualized Education Program (IEP) development to maintaining historical information and ensuring compliance with IDEA regulations. Intuitive, readymade web-based forms increase the speed and ease of creating IEPs. The software solution alleviates administrative burdens and helps improve the accuracy of reporting with automated compliance validation and automated notifications to alert district staff of critical information or actions needed.
              The website design in sophisticated and uncluttered. The My Students page lists students with photos, and a link to
IEP/Edit opens the student's page, containing all essential information - DOB, age, grade, building, status, disability. The bottom half provides access to vital student information via tabs such as Evaluation and IEP,  both of which list Events and Forms. Events are chronological, and Forms allows one to edit or generate new forms using the program's detailed, built-in resources. An Eligibility Report Form, for example, can provide details such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cognitive Impairment, Deaf-Blindness, Early Childhood Developmental Delay, Emotional/Hearing/Visual/Speech-Language Impairment, Specific Learning Disability and more.
              Other tools for managing special education are Demographics, Web Forms, Meeting Scheduler, Contact Management, Goals and Objectives, Medicaid Billing, and Advanced Reporting.
              The convenience and inclusiveness of
IEPPLUS cannot be overstated. The program is winner in the category Teacher Tools - Special Education Management Website.

Spotlight on Space Science Interactive eBooks (Website)
[Rosen Publishing (800) 237-9932; grades 3-8]

             Spotlight on Space Science is an interactive eBook collection unlike any we've seen before.  A set of 14 eBooks, this elegant, compelling approach to the teaching of Astronomy is graphically captivating and age-appropriate - as well as a terrific teaching tool.
             Each eBook's 'journey' through all nine planets (well, 8 planets and downgraded Pluto, but who's counting) and the Sun, as well as the Galaxies, the Asteroid Belt, and Eclipses, is approximately 30 pages, and fits nicely into a class period or unit.  Illustrated with stunning photos - from Hubble, NASA, Kepler, and others - the program will motivate even reluctant learners to learn more about the universe and their place within it. The engaging content explains how the planets were formed, the climate and features of each, and the history of discovery. The audio-narration is charmingly human (as opposed to robotic), and the website is so responsive, it will automatically adjust to accommodate mobile devices.
Instructional Support is an intuitive menu which provides tools for reinforcement such as Vocabulary, Events and Dates/Timeline, videos, thumbnail biographies and more.  For educators, there are Lesson Plans, graphic organizer assessment tools, help with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and many more printable items. At the bottom, a pop-up menu lists the Table of Contents, Index, Browse Pages, Primary Source List, View Book Full Screen, and View Printable Items.
           Winner of this year's
EDDIE for Middle School: Astronomy Website,  Spotlight on Space Science deserves a close look. On their website,  interested educators can peruse a sample eBook (Journey to Mars).  We wholeheartedly recommend Spotlight on Space Science.