Alert Solutions, a completely embedded communication suite within Pearson’s PowerSchool student information system, takes a cutting-edge approach to school communication. Using multiple messaging channels, Alert Solutions tailors communication based on school and parent preferences, using real-time contact information every time a message is sent—eliminating the need to sync or transfer data. “Power Announcement reaches parents via their preferred method of digital communication,” says Jill Ayers, technology director at Manhattan Christian School in Montana.
Biteslide is an engaging platform for presenting school projects. At the heart of Biteslide are “slidebooks,” a creative and fun way to express yourself using text, images, videos, and more. “This program is invaluable to our elementary ICT program,” says Jennifer Simon, technology integration specialist at the American International School in Ho Chi Minh City. “The built-in graphic and image features provide a fun and safe environment for students to create presentations.”
Camtasia Studio (TechSmith)
Camtasia Studio helps users easily create professional-quality videos. You can use Camtasia to record on-screen activity, customize and edit content, add interactive elements, and share your videos with anyone, on nearly any device. “With this product, I can, at the drop of a hat, send a teacher an audio/visual/animated response to a ‘How can I…?’ question,” says Tim Haag, instructional technology coach for Greater Albany Public Schools in Oregon.
Centricity2 is a website and content management system that helps users connect with key stakeholders, securely communicate with staff via an intranet, and improve public relations. “We use this service for our website, and it affects everything we do. We use the calendar to communicate between buildings and with our students and parents. We use our website to communicate with our community, and it has become a way for district to share important information in a cost-effective way. It has opened up opportunities for our teachers to create lessons in … an online format as well, which is moving us in a more technologically sound direction,” says Krissy Machamer, a media specialist at Maysville Local Schools in Ohio.
Blackboard Collaborate is an online learning and collaboration platform designed specifically for education. Its web conferencing features include two-way VoIP; multi-point video; built-in phone conferencing; interactive whiteboard, application, and desktop sharing; breakout rooms; mobile collaboration; and session recording. Users can join live sessions from mobile devices, and instant messaging capabilities allow schools to support online office hours. “[We] are able to bring NASA scientists and real-life engineering activities to our virtual students through Blackboard Collaborate. [It] bridges the geographic gap between us and our students in a remarkable way,” says Tara Park, an intermediate teacher for the Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School.