Microsoft Lync for Mac 2011 will be released in October. It's compatible with Lync Server 2010, which lets teachers and students use instant-messaging, video, audio, and Web conferencing to communicate across multiple platforms.
Desire2Learn has released an update to its flagship e-learning platform, Desire2Learn Learning Suite, with a new emphasis on integrated social networking tools--such as Google+ and Facebook--and improvements in the areas of assessment, grading, and assessment tracking.
Super Star Learning Company has launched a new online learning website, projectbasedlearning.com, designed to facilitate collaboration between students, teachers, administrators, and parents.
Edmodo has updated its free classroom communication system. The system, referred to as a "social learning network" by the company that develops it, has added quizzes, badges, and revisions to its student profile page, among other new features.
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Glogster is adding new editions of its educational platform, Glogster EDU, starting in mid-September. Glogster EDU is an online service that lets students create "Glogs"--online multimedia posters that use text, photos, music, and video. They can be used for book reports, class projects, homework, and presentations on any subject.
The Missouri State Teachers Association is suing to repeal part of a law that places limits on the communication teachers can have with students, particularly through social networking platforms.
Thanks to granular privacy controls and a unique interface for controlled sharing, schools that have previously banned social networks are looking at Google+ as a viable alternative.
- By John K. Waters
PBS program "Design Squad Nation" has announced it will partner with Rocket21 to engage its community of tweens in the show's content and activities to help meet the demand for engineers in the job market in the years to come.
- By Mike Hohenbrink
Missouri Governor Jeremiah Nixon has signed Senate Bill 54 into law, making his the first state to place legal limits on interactions between teachers and students on social networking sites.
Nearly 150 Illinois K-12 districts are getting into the cloud with the help of a statewide consortium of IT professionals.
- By Bridget McCrea