Read and Be Free

A look at libraries, literature, technology and staying sane in an insane world.

AT #3 Software November 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — aimeethompson99 @ 5:10 PM

AT Software Review:

For LS589 Cohort Students, a good software rubric can be found as Figure 4.1 in the text, Technology and the School Library: A Comprehensive Guide for Media Specialists and Other Educators by Odin Jurkowski.

There are  elements of a rubric that I cannot adequately comment on since I have not been able to use these software items in classroom settings (I’ve only done some practice with the trial versions), but some of the software elements to look at and evaluate when making selections include:  Instructional Design, Presentation Design, Ease of Use, Content, Motivation, and Technical Quality.

Review and Rubric for AT Software

Name:  Inspiration 8 for Mac and Windows Grades 6-12

Company: Inspiration Software, Inc.

Price: $69.00 single license/ $310.00 for 5 licenses

Free Trial:  yes, 30 days

Features:  Organizational tools, concept maps, webs, multimedia tools, drag and drop, spell check, comprehensive symbol/graphic library

Pros:  Teacher resources, NCLB integration, Dictionary/Thesaurus, Symbol library, Keyword search feature for symbols

Cons:  Interface can be tedious, toolbars can be confusing


Name: Kurzweil 3000 Mac v. 4

Company: Kurzweil Educational Systems

Price: Kurzweil 3000 Black and White for 1 Teacher License and 4 LearnStations is $1995.00

Free Trial:  yes

Features:  Creation and delivery of electronic documents; documents can be scanned; software uses OCR Technology (optical character recognition)

Pros:  can access virtually any information whether printed, electronic, or web based

Cons:  Price


Name: InfoEyes (iVocalize Software and QuestionPoint Software)

Company: OCLC, Maine State Library is a participating organization

Price: Unknown

Features:  Online chat, virtual reference

Pros:  Available through public libraries

Cons:  Strange and cluttered website


Name: iCommunicator

Company:  PPR

Price: $6,499 for iCommunicator Kit, $4999 for Software Solo

Features:  Communication software for deaf and hearing impaired; provides speech-to-text, Speech/Text to Computer Generated Voice, Speech/Text to Video Sign Language; 30,000 word signing library, Dragon NaturallySpeaking for voice recognition.

Pros: Customizable settings for users; comprehensive, the “Cadillac” of software for deaf and hearing impaired users.

Cons:  Price


The following suggestion about book clubs came from the LD Online site and I wanted to highlight this for future use:

“Students who have print-related disabilities or special needs may be able to participate more easily in book clubs that include titles which are available in alternate formats. Since the book club facilitator may be unaware of this option, she or he may want to refer to the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic for a list of age and content appropriate books that are also easily available in an alternate format. Not only will students benefit from enhanced literacy skills, book discussions can help to foster social, communication, and analytical skills.”



One Response to “AT #3 Software”

  1. lesley farmer Says:

    good quote

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