USATestprep Blog

Archive for August, 2009

Summer 2009 Expansion

Friday, August 28th, 2009

You may have noticed new states on our front page.  In addition, you might have noticed some new products in your own state.  We were very busy this summer developing new questions for all of our current products, as well as developing these new products:

  • Alabama – 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade ARMT & 7th Grade ASA
  • Arkansas – Biology, Algebra, and Geometry EOC
  • Arizona -up to date with Math 2010 standards
  • Georgia – in process of updating to GHSGT Social Studies GPS
  • Indiana – Algebra, Biology and English 10, 11 ECA
  • North Carolina – 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade EOG
  • Oklahoma – in process of updating US History EOI
  • Tennessee – Algebra, Biology, Physical Science, US History, and English I and II EOC
  • Texas – 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Grade TAKS

Powerful, Affordable Options

Friday, August 28th, 2009

This summer we focused our web development in providing our users two things that they have asked for most:

  • Standard-Specific Review – this refers to giving the teachers the ability to assess students at the individual standard level, which will help identify weaknesses.
  • Web-2.0 Friendly Site – this refers to the second generation of web design, which focuses on the user experience. Examples include social-networking and video-sharing sites.
Even with this significant development, one thing that all of our subscribers will notice is that we made the decision to keep our prices firm, or even reduce the cost of our product.  We know that budgets are very tight this year, and we hope that this will help teachers meet their classroom needs.

Help Videos Fixed

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

We found and fixed a bug with our help videos. The bug only affected users with Internet Explorer 7, causing the video to play out of view of the user. This has now been corrected and all videos play correctly.

Welcome Back to School

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Dear USATestprep Subscriber,

We hope that you had an enjoyable summer and would like to welcome you back to another successful school year. Many of you remember that we surveyed you last spring. Based on the results of that survey, we spent our summer focusing on three major areas:

  1. Pricing – In light of the current economic conditions, we made a firm commitment to keep our prices the same, or even reduce them, to better accommodate your budget. Many schools have found some relief by using the Ed Tech portion of their ARRA funds.
  2. Version 6.5 – You’ll notice a new look and feel when you log in for the first time. We’ve focused on a streamlined organization to make your navigation easier. We’re also working behind the scenes on Version 7.0, our major release, which will be ready for you when you get back from Winter Holidays.
  3. Content Development – We wrote thousands of questions this summer. If your curriculum changed, we’re already up to date. Most importantly, we now have a review available to you at the standard-specific level. This was your #1 request.

In all of these changes, we’ve kept our focus on increasing student performance and easing teacher workload. To help you with all of this, you’ll notice a bank of new help videos when you login. As usual, everything listed here, and all upcoming improvements, come at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your continued support, and we hope that you and your students find these new features as useful as the old ones.

Movie Time

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

ABOUT MOVIE TIME
Every two months we will email brief video tutorials to help you maximize the use of USATestprep. Reply to this email if you have a suggestion for a future movie.

What’s New for 2009?

http://www1.usatestprep.com/movies/what_new.mov

Managing Student Profiles

http://www1.usatestprep.com/movies/student_profiles.mov

Managing Teacher Accounts

http://www1.usatestprep.com/movies/teacher_accounts.mov

Quicktime is required to view these movies. You may download it here:

http://quicktime.com

Edit a Benchmark Test

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Whitney from Manchester High School emailed asking how she could edit a benchmark test she created. I made this movie explaining how.

http://www1.usatestprep.com/movies/whitney.mov

She said I could share the video to help other teachers with a similar question.

Where did the glossary go?

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Deborah from Jeff Davis High School sent in a great email question.

“Where is the GLOSSARY component for USA Test Prep?”

I made a screencast movie to answer.

http://www1.usatestprep.com/movies/where_glossary.mov

Mathematics 2 Launched

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Our Mathematics 2 online review is now complete. We have worked hard this summer to match the question content, difficulty level, and strand make-up to ensure that you and your students have the best possible review experience for this new EOCT.

Good luck this year with Mathematics 2!

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