At this week’s National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in San Antonio, TX,
LearnStar, which makes interactive educational software solutions, is demonstrating two new Mac compatible curriculum modules along with their existing software products and wireless handheld devices for the classroom.
LearnStar is debuting ESL (English as a Second Language) and GEDstar. ESL focuses on vocabulary and grammar development, listening and reading comprehension, and cultural knowledge. GEDstar is an advanced preparatory solution covering the five content areas of the GED standardized test.
GEDstar complies with the GED’s 2002 standards. LearnStar is interactive, educational software that increases the teachers’ effectiveness in the classroom, company president, Sally Ann Zoll, told MacCentral. It improves test scores by captivating students, holding their attention, and making them want to learn, she added.
LearnStar products can be used for individual learning, but they can also be used for group competition between students in a classroom, between classes, between schools in a district, or even between school districts. The number of institutions competing is limited only by the available bandwidth.
“For example, School A can challenge School B via the Internet, or all middle schools in a district can compete against each other,” Zoll said. “We also post academic tournaments every day on our Web site.”
Though LearnStar can provide input devices for their software, they’re moving away from making hardware strictly to software that’s “hardware agnostic,” Zoll said. A typical scenario of group interaction for the company’s software is two to three students teaming up with one device, say, an iBook.
LearnStar software comes with a teacher client component and a student client component. The former is Windows based, though it will also run under Virtual PC on the Mac. The student client runs on both the traditional Mac operating system, as well as Mac OS X.
LearnStar software comes in a variety of configurations. Go to the company Web site for pricing details.