A Competitive Marketplace
Company name: The Lightspan Partnership Inc.
Location: Carlsbad, Calif.
Description: Developer of interactive television programming for children in grades K-6.
Services: Lightspan is developing interactive, curriculum-based software to teach reading and mathematics that can be delivered over cable-television and other broadband networks into homes and schools. Initial offerings will be made available on CD-ROM until telecommunications firms upgrade their networks to handle interactive media.
Availability: The service is being pilot-tested in select districts. National availability is expected to be announced next month at the annual meeting of the American Association of School Administrators.
Contact: Harrison Miller, vice president of marketing, (619) 929-5900.
Company name: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Location: Huntsville, Ala.
Description: An on-line resource for educators from the kindergarten to postdoctoral levels.
Services: Spacelink provides lesson plans, software, teaching activities, electronic versions of NASA publications, news about NASA missions, and other resources for classroom teachers.
Availability: Educators can access Spacelink via direct-dial modem at (205) 895-0028 or through a variety of Internet links.
Contact: Spacelink administrator, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, (205) 544-6360; or by electronic mail at [email protected]
Company name: Scholastic Network
Location: New York
Description: An on-line service for K-12 teachers of all subjects from science to social studies.
Services: Scholastic Network schedules regular on-line forums that allow students to interview children's authors, Olympic athletes, astronauts, and other notable personalities. The network also enables users to exchange electronic mail, retrieve lesson plans, and conduct collaborative projects with other teachers.
Availability: Teachers can access the Scholastic Network through America Online.
Contact: For a rate schedule, call the Scholastic Network at (800) 246-2986.
Company name: Genentech Inc.
Location: South San Francisco, Calif.
Description: An on-line service for biology teachers developed and operated by one of the nation's leading biotechnology firms.
Services: Access Excellence is designed to break down the isolation of classroom teachers by giving them an electronic forum to share lesson plans, discuss pedagogy, and engage in cooperative teaching. The service also allows teachers to discuss scientific questions with Genentech researchers.
Availability: The service has been used by a group of 105 pilot teachers for a year. Access Excellence will be available to all America Online subscribers next month.
Contact: Pam Peters, science coordinator for Access Excellence, (415) 225-2446.
Company name: Classroom Prodigy
Location: White Plains, N.Y.
Description: A education-related subsidiary of the Prodigy computer network aimed specifically at K-12 students and teachers.
Services: Among other services, Classroom Prodigy offers students "virtual field trips," including a recent "visit" with astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis and an upcoming project called "MayaQuest," in which students will help develop the itinerary for a archaelogical expedition to ancient ruins in Central America.
Availability: Classroom Prodigy is available through dial-up modem for Windows, Macintosh, and DOS. Multimedia features of the service are available only to Windows and Macintosh users.
Contact: For more information, call (800) Prodigy, ext. 176.
Company name: Ingenious
Location: Englewood, Colo.
Description: A joint venture of Tele-Communications Inc. and Reuters NewMedia, a U.S.-based division of the international news service Reuters Holding PLC to deliver multimedia current-events programming directly to school computers over cable-television lines.
Services: The company is poised to launch "What on Earth," a multimedia news service, incorporating lesson plans that will be delivered to homes and schools across the country over the TCI cable system. Ingenious already delivers a text-based service called XChange to 18,000 U.S. schools via cable-television lines.
Availability: What on Earth will be available in some markets on Feb. 10 and is expected to be available nationwide by mid-year.
Contact: For more information, call (800) 7pcnews.
Company name: Public Broadcasting Service
Location: Alexandria, Va.
Description: A yearlong professional-development program for mathematics teachers.
Services: Mathline delivers videotaped lessons, compatible with professional standards developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, through PBS affiliates to participating teachers. Participants can discuss the lessons through electronic mail and media "chat sessions" on an on-line PBS-supported service.
Availability: The service is available on a pilot basis through local public-television stations to 500 teachers in 16 states over the 1994-95 school year. PBS expects to increase the number of teachers enrolled in the 1995-96 school year to 2,750 in 38 states.
Contact: Local public-television stations or the Mathline staff on the Internet at [email protected]