Administrative & Student Management Software

FileMaker has announced the availability of FileMaker Server 7, the new server software for easily sharing, managing and accessing database information with others, while dramatically increasing productivity. Server 7 offers numerous breakthroughs in data sharing and administration, as well as advanced security features. With Server 7, users have the ability to perform searches and calculations on the server instead of the client database, which provides data speed gains and greater performance from hard disk storage systems and multi-CPU servers. Each of the 125 database files that can be hosted on Server 7 can store up to 8 terabytes of information - 4,000 times the old limit. And, because each FileMaker database file can now contain multiple data tables, a single FileMaker Server can host thousands of data tables. For added scalability, users can add FileMaker Servers to their network as their needs grow. The new FileMaker Server 7 Administration Tool (SAT) allows users to accomplish tasks such as performing maintenance on live databases, and auditing remote administration through a new "Event Log" entry that identifies Administrators and their activities. Server 7 also provides three new key security functions: account authentication management, database visibility control and data encryption. For more information, visit www.filemaker.com./products/fms_home.html.

Higher education institutions looking to uncover and resolve student issues in real time need to look no further than GoalQuest's FYRe (Freshman Year Retention) and other related programs, which integrate a suite of unique Web-based tools with custom content and research services that help colleges and universities identify and address students at risk. The key to the programs' success is providing students an ultraconvenient, confidential path to reach out to existing academic and personal support services that they might otherwise ignore. GoalQuest's proprietary technology delivers a series of interactive Web-based sessions, each designed and written to help students assess themselves and potential problem areas. Through fun, engaging editorial features, "social-norming" polls, attitudinal surveys and progress reminders, the software encourages students to identify issues and solution paths. Participants can choose to send confidential queries to campus support resources, or they can choose to solve their own problems by utilizing a wide range of interactive FAQs that help determine their next steps. Using GoalQuest's real-time reporting tools, university personnel (typically student affairs executives and "first-year experience" faculty) track student progress and monitor attrition risks on a daily basis with sophisticated robotic search agents such as GoalQuest's Enrolligence Alerts. For more information, visit www.goalquest.com.

Helping special education teachers focus more time on teaching and less time on paperwork is the main function of OASYS Online by OASYS LLC (www.oasys.ws). This ASP model of OASYS' software suite streamlines the process of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and monitors the progress of children with disabilities. OASYS Online includes the Children with Disabilities (CWD) Management System and the IEP Forms Manager suites. The IEP Forms Manager automatically inserts data stored in the CWD management system, such as student demographics and guardian information, and commonly used statements, such as goals and state standards, into the appropriate fields in the IEP. Such a system is especially useful for special education teachers, therapists and administrators who benefit from the automation of writing customized IEPs, evaluation findings, and other forms and records. The new online version also features the Compliance Checker, which automatically inspects the accuracy and completion of the entire IEP. In addition, OASYS Online offers @Home Access, which gives teachers remote access to OASYS Online so they can complete projects at home that they started at school.

Vision Ventures (www.scheduleus.com) has added Web hosting services to its array of calendar and scheduling products available to schools and districts. The Web calendar hosting service is ideal for schools that don't have a large Web presence. Schools using scheduleUs Publisher are able to create and maintain their school calendars on the Web with room to store up to 2 MB of information - which equates to more than 2,500 events on multiple calendars. The hosting service is currently available to schools using the publishing software. Educators can test the hosting services for free when they download a free 30-day trial of scheduleUs Publisher from www.scheduleus.com/downloads.html. In addition, Vision Ventures will waive the first years hosting fee for schools that purchase five or more copies of scheduleUs Publisher.

Achievement Technologies Inc. has added nine new accountability reports to SkillsTutor, its online assessment tracking and management system. The program includes lessons and activities for students that help improve basic skills. SkillsTutor's reports help administers and teachers make informed decisions to drive improvement and individualize instruction. The 18 reports included with SkillsTutor - six for administrators and 12 for teachers - cover schoolwide progress, class summaries, student activity and product usage. The "School Profile Report" feature summarizes overall student activities and gives an idea of student participation organized by subject and average scores on pretests, lessons and posttests. For more information, visit www.achievementtech.com.

New versions of the SCT PowerCAMPUS 5.0 administrative system and SCT PowerCAMPUS IQ.Web 3.0 Internet component from SunGuard SCT are helping schools use the Web to access campus information and complete other administrative tasks. Designed for smaller learning institutions, SCT PowerCAMPUS systems combine the administrative and academic campus functions, while IQ.Web offers students, faculty and other campus constituents secure online access to academic information. New features have been added that enhance the automated functions of the updated systems. Students and staff alike can now benefit from improved financial information access with PowerFAIDS Integration, which automates the financial aid process and reduces unnecessary paperwork. In addition, the systems have added a new feature enabling advanced course wait listing and instructor permission prerequisites. For more information, visit www.sct.com.

Curriculum Associates' Web-based management system for its BRIGANCE Comprehensive Inventory of Basic Skills-Revised (CIBS-R) helps educators assess, diagnose and record basic skills for preK-9 students. With the Web CIBS-R Management System component, districts can track and report students long-term progress, as well as their present performance levels. The CIBS-R evaluates students in the area of readiness, speech, listening, research and study skills, reading, spelling, writing, and math. When combined with the online management system, educators can compute raw scores for these assessments and create reports that include quotients, percentiles, age-equivalents, grade-equivalents, and instructional ranges for individuals and groups. In addition, the system automatically calculates the grade level and information processing scores for reading, writing and math. For more information, visit www.curriculumassociates.com.

TeacherExpress from Pearson Prentice Hall (www.phschool.com/teacherexpress) is a suite of planning and resource management tools for teachers. Available on CD-ROM, TeacherExpress helps teachers plan, teach and assess the students in their class. The systems are designed to work with Pearson Prentice Hall textbooks, such as middle school science, Texas biology, and middle school and high school Spanish. Two tools make up TeacherExpress: LessonView and ExamView. With LessonView, teachers can plan and schedule lessons using the program's prepared customizable templates, or teachers can create their own lesson plans with detailed information. ExamView allows teachers to generate and manage tests (paper or online tests), worksheets and study guides.

Destination Success by Riverdeep Interactive Learning Ltd. (www.riverdeep.net) combines standards-based assessment, learning management and professional development into one product that promises to raise test scores, even for at-risk students. Custom-tailored tutorials link direct instruction with ongoing standards-based assessment in Destination Success' five step approach. The professional development component teaches educators how to successfully use Destination Success. Its standards-based assessments and prescribed tutorials and exercises work to strengthen students' math and reading skills. Integrated classroom instruction supports whole-class learning, while the learning management system affords teachers a view of each student's path toward mastery. In addition, validation studies show that students using Destination Success can show significant improvement in 90 days. To request a free demo of Destination Success, visit www.riverdeep.net/products/success.

LiquidMatrix Corp. (www.liquidmatrix.com), makers of the e-communications platform ActiveCampus, has created ActiveAdmissions Community College Edition to serve the unique needs of community colleges. The program includes an easy-to-use personalization feature that guides community college students and staff to the appropriate section of the school's Web site. It also focuses on increased services to effectively design Web site navigation and content to serve both traditional students, as well as continuing education and community students. ActiveAdmissions Community College Edition can be purchased as a stand-alone product or can be added to any ActiveCampus product.

EMS Enterprise 3.0 and its Web-based component Virtual EMS by Dean Evans and Associates (www.dea.com) are scheduling solutions that help manage the scheduling of rooms and resources, as well as the processing of changes for event-related services. The new version works with the Microsoft .NET platform, which adds performance and functionality to the program. Improving on the previous version, the updated "Query Builder" function allows users to develop ad-hoc queries, personalized browser displays and simple custom reports. EMS Enterprise 3.0 also features improved security functions that allows multiple departments to share space in a single database, while keeping information completely confidential. In addition, the Web application, Virtual EMS, has been redesigned to accommodate e-commerce with "cart" and "checkout" functions familiar to most Web users.

CrossTec Corp.'s NetOpSchool v3.0 (www.crossteccorp.com) is a class management system with many features and functions to assist teachers in the classroom. Teachers are able to remotely control their students' computers by disabling student access to certain programs or URLs. Instructors can view individual students' screens or view all student screens as thumbnail images on a single screen. In addition, prerecorded lesson plans can be created with NetOpSchool 3.0 that teachers can play back later and save for future classes. Rounding out the new features are a new teacher interface, CD-like playback controls such as pause and skip, and the ability to zoom in to a portion of the screen.

The process of enrolling students in classes - with all of the accompanying challenges and problems - has been made easier with the launch of Chancery Software's Chancery SMS v4.2 student management software system (www.chancery.com). This updated version includes the "Master Schedule Builder" and student-scheduling tools that allow schools to create classes; determine and adjust teacher loads; and automatically schedule classes with teachers, rooms and meeting times. The system offers a "student loader" feature that balances sections as it fills student schedules. It also provides for alternate runs with adjustable weighted rules and options. In addition, Chancery SMS gives teachers various options to perform functions in grading, reporting, searching and transcripts.

A management system for classroom handheld use is now available from GoKnow Inc. (www.goknow.com). PAAM 3.0 (Palm OS Archive and Application Manager) for Windows and Macintosh is a software program that allows teachers to manage and monitor their students' handhelds. With PAAM 3.0, teachers can install applications and e-books on all handhelds in their class, view all applications on each handheld, and delete any unapproved software applications. Students are able to organize and archive their work in electronic portfolios, print course materials, as well as access their handheld coursework from any desktop computer. For a free 45-day trial of PAAM 3.0 or other applications from the company's Handheld Learning Environment, visit www.goknow.com.

This article originally appeared in the 06/01/2004 issue of THE Journal.

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