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Back to School Giveaway

It is back to school time! To celebrate, is giving away a starter pack of school supplies. To enter simply Like us on Facebook: To increase your chances of winning, you get a second entry when you share our Back to School Giveaway photo, just click the ‘Share’ button under the giveaway photo on our Facebook page. After you have ‘liked’ and ‘shared’ just leave us a comment letting us know, so we can easily keep track of the entries. (This giveaway is only available in the United States.)

Anyone can enter to win: teachers, students, grandparents, or just a good neighbor that wants to donate the supplies to a child or school in his/her neighborhood. A winner will be chosen at random on Monday August 19th and will be posted on our Facebook page. The winner will be tagged in the post and we would request for that person to send us a private message with the name and mailing address of where the gift pack is to be sent so we can get the package out as soon as possible.

Having children prepared with the proper school supplies greatly increases their interest and success in the classroom. Teachers tell of the great joy they see on the faces of the children as they begin a new school year and each student proudly pulls out all their new school supplies. They also mention how heart breaking it is to see a student that does not have the supplies they need. So even if you don’t have a child in need of school supplies, enter to win and donate the supplies to a school in your neighborhood – you can’t even imagine the joy you will create for the child that is in need.


Dr. Seuss’ Birthday, Read Across America Day

Dr. Seuss’ 108th birthday was celebrated across America on Friday, March 2 on Read Across America Day. The day is set aside to celebrate the life and work of Theodor Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss, and the importance of reading in daily life. Students from coast to coast celebrated in many different ways, from reading a Dr. Seuss story in class to going to the movies to watch “The Lorax.” Literacy rates are high in developed countries, where schooling is required and so much of the workforce is dependent upon workers being literate. Nevertheless, literacy statistics show that an estimated 20% of the adult population worldwide is illiterate.

Read Across America Day is a day to celebrate reading and help children not just learn to read but to develop a love for reading. Helping them to see the adventure and fun in a story, making it fun and entertaining, like Dr. Seuss was able to do, gives them a desire to practice. Reading stories that are imaginative and interesting will help prepare your child for reading and keep the child wanting to read more. The more they practice and read the better they get and the more they enjoy it. Reading on a daily basis exposes the children to ideas, vocabulary, and knowledge that they may not have encountered otherwise. How many times has your child been reading a story and they ask you “what does that mean?” when they come to a term or phrase they are unfamiliar with? While it may not be a phrase you would have used or they would have encountered another way, reading is in an incredible tool for teaching and learning.

Reading is critical to the success of every student. Early years in the education system builds the foundation for reading and learning. If a child learns to love reading and become proficient at it, the later years of schooling and education will be easier and much more productive. No matter the subject or topic that the student is studying, reading is a major part of learning. From reading, and understanding, the directions on a test to simply reading required materials for a subject matter, reading is an essential part of learning.

Let’s take a look at some ideas and ways that schools are celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday (Dr. Seuss week) on Read Across America Day – in many cases the celebration lasts all week. Some activities my own children have been involved in during Dr. Seuss week include a crazy sock day, Dr. Seuss hat day (or wear any hat), crazy hair day, wacky tie day, and many others. Often the school will take a day to serve Green Eggs and Ham to celebrate Dr. Seuss. Other ideas include reading a Dr. Seuss book that goes along with a subject or topic you are studying. “There’s No Place Like Space”, “Why Oh Why Are Deserts Dry?” or one of many other titles that will teach the child and let him/her see the fun and adventure in reading. Other online resources include coloring pages, worksheets, and many other mini lessons that can be used throughout the week.

The more creative and imaginative you can get during Dr. Suess Week, or on Read Across America Day, the more interested students will be in reading. Even older students that may be past the reading level of most Dr. Suess books can be given the opportunity or challenge to read a Dr. Seuss book to a younger child and see the delight and joy that the creative, imaginative books instill in young readers.A simple search on the internet provides dozens of printable activities and ideas for making your Dr. Seuss birthday celebration a fun and exciting one in your classroom or homeschool. Helping our youth develop a love for reading will help increase literacy rates everywhere as children hard their knowledge and love with others.

Single Sex Education vs Co-education

The debate between single sex education and co-education continues. In this Single Sex Education vs Co-education post we will look at some of the arguments for and against each to determine which type of education is really better or if there is enough evidence to decide. Naturally there are statistics both for and against single sex education, depending on who is providing the statistics and evidence. Possibly the most important factor affecting how effective single sex education vs co-education is, is the amount of preparation put into making the class a success. By this we mean that if classes are simply separated into an all boys class and an all girls class, without changing the teaching methods or anything else, the classes are not likely to see any significant difference compared to the co-education classes.

Statistics for single sex education vs co-education can be skewed either way depending on the schools being surveyed; for example a New York Times article from September 2011 states that “Single-sex education is ineffective, misguided and may actually increase gender stereotyping…” the article goes on to describe what some feel the problems are with the research and studies that have been done and even some of the problems they feel are created by the single sex education. Whether having classes of all boys or all girls provides a place of security and safety or just feeds into the aggression of boys, for instance, is still a matter of debate. Nevertheless, giving parents and students the opportunity to select a single sex education class if that is what is desired is a priority for many people.

On the flip side, the evidence from the National Association for Single Sex Public Education (NASSPE) is very different. The argument from the NASSPE is that given the right preparation and environment the results, test results specifically, that come from single sex education compared to co-education is tremendous. The evidence page on the NASSPE website details results that they found from controlled studies factoring in teacher training, demographics of the class, curriculum, and a number of other factors. They then provide the evidence showing that students in the single sex education classes outperform co-education classes by a substantial amount. They continue their evidence supporting single sex education by talking to students that have been involved in single sex education classes to get a feel for how the student felt about the environment and related the positive experience the students related.

As with any debate there are always two sides to the story and the information you gather is going to vary according to whom you are talking to. As with any education choices, be it homeschool vs public school, or debating the pros and cons of school uniforms, the more research you do and then apply your findings to the specific person in question, the easier it will be to make a decision about what is best for that student. There is no one right answer that is the best for everyone. Each person is unique and has different needs and learning styles. The debate between single sex education vs co-education is likely to continue for many years to come and choosing the best education for you or your child is a matter that must be decided today. Take into consideration the findings from the studies but then talk to the teachers, visit the location, and get a feel for the exact situation you will be dealing with to find the best choice for your educational needs.


Public School vs Homeschool

Public school vs homeschool, what are the pros and cons of each. How does one decide which option is the best for his or her child(ren). In this public school vs homeschool post we will look at some of the pros and cons of each as well as some questions to ask and things to consider when making the decision about where your children with gain the best education. Obviously there is not one right answer and the decision will have to be made on an individual basis. One child may thrive in the public school environment; the interaction, competition and insight that comes from learning in a group of peers is exactly what some people need. For others this type of environment is intimidating, scary, and very stressful.

Public School vs Homeschool
We are not going to give you some big generic list of what is better about public school vs homeschool or vice versa, simply because there is no list that would be true for everyone and because every public school and homeschool differs based on resources, staffing, funding, etc. Deciding the pros of public school vs homeschool for your child will depend on a number of factors. How does your child do in a group of peers, how does your child respond to instructions from adults, does your child do well following instructions and completing a task on his/her own or does he need constant attention and help to complete a task? For a child that does very well following directions, interacting with peers, and has some motivation for self learning, a public school may very well be a good fit. He will have many opportunities to interact with many other children, will be able to learn things from each of these interactions, and may even be spurred on in his learning by the competition of doing as well as the child sitting next to him. Another advantage of public school is that a child often has the opportunity to help other children. He learns to recognize situations in which he can help and he learns to be a leader and teacher by helping classmates, teachers, or other students attending the same school.

For the child that is very timid and does not do well in a group setting, the pros of a homeschool situation may outweigh those of a public school. Sometimes shy children get lost in the shuffle of a public school setting. He or she may be too scared to ask for help or clarification if he does not understand an assignment or lack of communication between parents and teachers may not make it clear that he is struggling in a particular area. Some children are very intimidated by other children and will not make an effort to try something they are interested in because they are worried about what others will think. For these children being in the comfort of their own home with one on one instruction and no comparison to other children can make a world of difference in how well he learns. 

Some other pros of public school, which vary from school to school based on the area, funding, and staff that works at the school, may include having trained professionals that are directly involved in your child’s education. Teachers are often trained to look for and recognize learning disabilities or even gifted students early on and the school may have special programs to help accommodate these special needs, whereas a child that is being homeschooled may have a disability that is overlooked and/or may not have access to the knowledge, resources, or equipment needed to help the child with his special needs. Another pro of public schools compared to homeschool is that they have professional resources like counseling, free meals, and special educational trips, for those that qualify, that a child being homeschooled may not have access to.

Assessing the needs of your child, to the extent possible, will help you decide what the possible pros of public school vs homeschool is for your child(ren). Meeting the teachers, talking to some of the parents in your neighborhood, and learning about the technology and educational programs at the local public school will all play an important role in your decision. When considering homeschool be realistic about your expectations. How much time, money, and dedication do you have to helping your child succeed? Homeschooling can be a very positive and rewarding experience but it takes a lot of time and dedication. Be sure to take into consideration your child’s social needs, college plans, and personality to make sure that the pros of homeschooling are in the child’s best interest both now and long term. For a long time homeschooling was seen in a negative light because too many parents were keeping the kids home to help with chores, younger children, or for other reasons and were not providing the child with the education he/she needed. These students were then at a huge disadvantage in regards to jobs, higher education, and social skills.

There is no one right answer that fits every child or even one family. You may have one child that excels in a public school setting and one that does not. Or you may have a child that does very well in a homeschool situation when he is young but then desires the interaction of others as he grows and matures. Be flexible in your education choices. Reevaluate the needs, progress, and skills of each child regularly and do what is in the best interest of the child. Don’t do something just to make a point. If one situation is not right for your child, work to find one that is better.

National Education Week Nov 13-19, 2011

National Education Week is Nov 13-19 for the 2011 year. This year is the 90th year for the National Education Week celebration. Started in 1921, National Education Week is a time that is used to celebrate academic achievements and hard work of students, honor teachers and staff, recognize parents and members of the community that help at the schools, and let local and national communities know about issues in education.

The general idea is to keep education in the forefront of everyone’s mind. Too often we just get in a routine and take for granted that schools do their thing and we don’t need to be involved. But the truth is, too many kids are able to just skate by and are not really getting the education they need or deserve. The more involved the community is in the local schools the better the education will be. Teachers need help and National Education week is a great way to let the community know about the needs of the school, students, and teachers. The activities going on in each community will vary but we encourage all of you to find out what your local schools are doing to celebrate National Education Week

The National Education Association (NEA) has a few activities that anyone can participate in nationwide.

  1. The NEA has partnered with to let teachers put in project requests that they need funding for. Teachers, on average, spend at least $350 a year out of pocket for classroom materials Go to to find a project you would like to help with and donate what you can. 
  2. Priority Schools Pledge: take the Priority Schools Pledge to see how you can be involved in making sure that your student(s) has high quality teachers and adequate school resources. Taking the pledge shows that as a community we will no longer just sit by and watch as some schools flourish while others are left with very few resources and unqualified teachers and staff.
  3. Nominate a Classroom Superhero. This campaign allows parents, students, and the community to nominate an educator they feel is a Superhero. Visit to learn more about how you can support and help educators who are working to help all of us. The reward is letting these educators know they are appreciated and that what they are doing does matter, to all of us!
  4. Tell Congress to Support the FAST (Fix America’s Schools Today) Act. The average age of school buildings in the US is more than 40 years old. These building often have problems that are a major distraction and provide inadequate conditions for learning. Visit to learn more about how you can let congress know that you are interested in them supporting the FAST Act.
  5. Tell Congress to pass the ESEA reauthorization bill. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act emphasizes the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all education in the 21st century. Any parent that has a gifted student or child in need of special education knows this. Let’s make sure Congress is making our voices heard. Visit to learn more about getting in touch with Congress to let your voice be heard. 

It doesn’t matter how you choose to celebrate National Education Week, just get involved and celebrate education! Lets make sure teachers know we appreciate them and that students know how important education is. Whether your kids are in public school, charter school, or even a private school. Celebrating National Education Week from Nov 13-19, 2011 shows your kids that education is important!!


Red Ribbon Week 2011

Red Ribbon Week 2011 is October 23-31st. The theme for the Red Ribbon Week 2011 is “It’s up to me to be drug free” giving teens and children everywhere the sense of personal responsibility they have in keeping oneself drug free. The week of Oct 23-31st is the nationally recognized week for Red Ribbon Week, but  if your school missed out on it this week, don’t be afraid to get some Red Ribbon week ideas and Red Ribbon week activities and do it another week during the school year.

National Red Ribbon Week was started in 1988 in honor of Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent working on marijuana and cocaine trafficking. On February 7, 1985 he was kidnapped and murdered by Mexican drug traffickers. Shortly after his death an old high school friend and a Congressman joined together in his hometown and launched the “Camarena Clubs” that quickly had hundreds of members joining and pledging to be drug-free in honor of Kiki. These pledges were presented to First Lady Nancy Reagan and resulted in the formal formation of Red Ribbon Week a couple of years later.

How to celebrate Red Ribbon Week

Today Red Ribbon Week is celebrated in schools and communities Nationwide (an estimated 80 million people participate in Red Ribbon Week each year). There are many different ways that schools and communities can show their support of Red Ribbon Week. For many it may simply be wearing a red ribbon, for schools it is usually a bigger deal with decorations, contests, parades, etc. The scope of the event varies a lot from place to place depending on the amount of time and funds that are available. The more activities there are and the more people that you can get involved the better. Mixing it up from year to year can also help keep people interested and aware of what Red Ribbon Week is all about. There are many sites that have a lot of great Red Ribbon Week activities and ideas. is a great resource for hundreds of unique Red Ribbon Week activity ideas.

Whether it is at home, at school, or in the community participating in Red Ribbon Week every year is a great opportunity to open up and really talk to kids about drugs. If they don’t understand why drugs are bad and that their family and friends care about whether or not they are doing drugs, they will be a lot more likely to give them a try. The more they understand and see how many people want them to say no to drugs, the easier it will be for them to make that decision before the opportunity ever arises. If you live in an area where you know drugs are a problem, offer education and resources for those that may be looking for help or drug treatment information. Often it just takes someone saying they care and offering help for an individual to make the move to seek out help for their drug addiction.

No matter how big or small your Red Ribbon Week 2011 activities are, make sure you take this opportunity to share the simple message: “It’s up to me to be drug free”.  Each individual that makes the decision to be drug free will set an example for many others that are influenced by him/her every day. We don’t always realize the influence we have on other people. It may be siblings, younger students at school, kids at the bus stop or in the neighborhood. Everywhere we go people are aware of us and what we are doing. For younger kids, seeing teens that are happy and smiling and working hard gives them motivation to do the same. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to remind your community members to be drug free.


Education City Review & Education City Free Trial

In this Education City review we will take a look at who Education City is and what they have to offer. We will also talk a little about the Education City free trial for those that are interested in learning more about Education City. Education City is a website offering online education activities designed primarily for PreK to 6th grade students. Topics covered include: Math, Language Arts, Science, and ELL (English Language Learners). There are currently more than 15,000 schools worldwide use Education City activities. With more than 1,000 activities that are designed to coincide with state curriculum standards the Education City activities will me complimentary to the current curriculum and teaching methods being used.

The Education City website includes reviews from teachers and parents as well as a forum where users can discuss all the options available at Education City. Even if schools in your area are not using the Education City activities, parents can sign up for the service and allow children a safe place online to have fun and learn or reinforce skills learned at school. The Education City team has recently added an all new interactive world called, an interactive site designed specifically for at home support in Math, Language Arts and Science.

Many Education City activities are designed to work as interactive whiteboard or smart board activities allowing teachers to use the activities in a classroom or group setting.  The program monitors student achievements and identifies weaknesses to help teachers see where and how they can best help each student. In our Education City review we found that Education City prices start out around $120 for the 6th grade module and the PreK-5th grade modules are all $375 and the StigandSten is only $49.95 for a full year. The great news is that you don’t have to invest any money before you try it out because the Education City free trial will allow individuals or schools to try the activities free to see if it is something that will work for your needs.

Education City offers free upgrades for many things including a free upgrade for those states that have adopted the new Common Core Standards. For technical support Education City provides a toll free number available from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm (CST) or a live chat feature to help with basic questions. For in depth training they offer a number of targeted training sessions that last about 30 minutes each and cost $50. On site training is also available at $600 per day plus the travel costs (air fare and hotel accommodations) for the resource specialists (based in Chicago).

Before making a purchase, use the Education City free trial and check out the forums and user reviews. The more you understand how the program works and what it is designed to do the easier it will be to get started. Read our Education City Review on for more information about what Education City is, who should use Education City, and how to use Education City.

Free Education

With most public schools in the U.S.  recently starting a new school year I have been hearing parents grumble about “free education”.  Referring to the fact that they are tax paying citizens and yet they are required to pay sometimes hundreds of dollars to register their children in public school.  In the United States, like many other countries, primary education is funded through taxation or charitable organizations versus tuition fees.  A public school education is still considered free in America.  However, with the growing number of children in public school and the growing cost of providing these children the schools, teachers, books, supplies, etc…is putting stress upon the schools budgets.  Schools given a certain annual budget, based on a number of factors, and it is their responsibility to prioritize their funding to ensure they are providing their students with the best educational experience within that budget.

There was a time, many years ago, when parents were not responsible to pay any additional costs for their child to go to public school.  The schools supplied everything including notebooks, pencils, supplies for specialty classes etc…To this day many public schools, at least through primary school, still provide students with everything they need to get a well rounded education.  Some have come up with a system where they ask parents to supply a specific list of inexpensive items (crayons, pencils, glue, tissues, etc…) to help cover some of their costs.  In most cases, if the students are not in a financial position to purchase these items the school, other parents, or charitable organizations will donate these items.

As children get into upper level grades their education becomes more expensive as their classes start requiring more expensive supplies.  Take for instance mandatory physical education class that requires a special uniform, or a wood working or sewing class that requires special equipment and supplies.  Naturally this would be a huge expense for the school to absorb.  However, many of the classes that require the students to purchase books, supplies, or pay a fee are usually elective classes.  All of the required core classes typically include everything the student will need to complete the course.

When I asked specifically what additional costs some of these parents were expected to come up with it was typically fees for elective classes, optional yearbook, or fees associated with specialty groups (cheer-leading, sports, drill team etc…).  It appeared at first glance that only students from a privileged background would be able to participate in such activities, which I felt is unfair.  However, after going to some of our local schools I learned that only about half of the students participating in these particular programs are from wealthier families.  Many of the students have either found people within the community to help sponsor them in their endeavor, or have taken on employment themselves and are paying for the opportunity themselves.

In doing some research, I have found there are other free education options including online education and homeschool to name a couple.  And there may be ways for parents to use either of these methods free.  However, I found even if you are getting a free homeschool curriculum you would still have a number of other expenses in teaching your child from home.  In order to get a free online education you will need access to the Internet which you can get from places like the public library.  But, I don’t think they would take too kindly to someone bringing their children every day all day for class.  Therefore, you will have a monthly service fee for Internet service to your home, not to mention computer expenses and such.

In a nutshell, “Free Education” is relative to your perspective.  However, the United States is one of few countries that provide their citizens with many many educational opportunities for nearly nothing. And from my research, even when there are fees involved with free education there are ways to get assistance if you are willing to work for it.

Back to School Activities

Back to school activities come in many varieties depending on the age of the children or teens going back to school, the type of school the children will be attending, the teacher, and many other factors. In this post we would like to take a look at some of the types of back to school activities that can make the transition from summer back to a school schedule more fun and less stressful. Back to school time is always a time of great excitement, but can also be a time of fear and anxiety for many children. What if I don’t like my teacher? What if my friends aren’t in my class? What if I get lost? What if I can’t do the work? These are just a few of the questions that have been flying around my house as we prepare for back to school.

Back to school activities can include back to school shopping for new clothes or school uniforms, taking one child at a time and making this a special time between a parent and child can make the experience go a lot better. If appropriate, talk with your child before hand about what items the child will need, how much money can be spent, and a plan on where the shopping will take place. If you or your child have a favorite store, watch the ads for a few weeks before school starts and pick a time when some of the more expensive items the child will need are on sale. Make sure you are both rested and have had a good meal before starting the back to school shopping. This back to school activity can be especially exhausting, but the more prepared both parties are the better it should go.

To ease some of the worries a child may have about getting lost, meeting a new teacher, finding out who is in the child’s class or other similar fears, check with your child’s school to see if they have an open house or back to school night before school starts. This can be a fun back to school activity for both the parent and the child as you will both have the opportunity to get to know the child’s teacher, learn more about the school campus, and possibly meet a couple of classmates before school even starts. Just knowing where he/she needs to go and one or two people the child can expect to see on their first day back to school can be a great stress reliever.

There are several simple back to school activities that can make going back to school more fun for a child. Prepare a favorite meal the night before school starts, have your child pick out his/her favorite new school clothes and lay them out before bed. Go through the students school supplies together and label them with the child’s name. Help your child prepare a small back to school “gift” for his/her teacher. If the teacher has a “wish list” of classroom supplies that will be needed the gift could include some of these supplies as well as an item the child picks out for the teacher. Older children may be able to help younger children by talking about some of the back to school activities they have experienced in previous years that they especially enjoyed. Focusing on the good and positive aspects of going back to school will hep calm nerves and prepare students for the first few hectic days of getting back to school and a regular school routine.  

Keep in mind that the first few days of school are often packed with information and back to school activities that can be overwhelming even for older students. If possible have things in order around the home before school starts so that there is not a lot of extra stress and chores required of the student in the evenings. At the end of the first week you may want to consider a back to school activity to celebrate, a dinner where children can tell about some of the best, and most frustrating, times they had during their first few days back to school. Just as important as preparing for the return to school and participating in fun back to school activities, is creating a routine that will keep both parent and child focused on a successful year. Having a routine for when and where each child will do homework, chores, and have free time can help eliminate a lot of daily bickering about whether or not the child’s homework is done, whether or not he/she can go play, etc. Creating a parent contract detailing the agreement can be very helpful in sticking to the plan.

Whatever back to school activities you plan be sure to do them with love and concern for the student. As a parent with many day to day stresses we sometimes forget how hard a new school year can be. To children this is a very major change that they are going through and they need all the love and support they can get. Being involved and showing them how much you care will help them to know that everything will be okay!

Education Software

There are many different types of education software available.  This article helps define what education software is and offers examples of what teachers, students, and schools can expect to find in education software.  Keep reading to see what type of education software may fit your needs.

What Is Included in Education Software?

Education software refers to any software that has an educational function or a function in education. It includes a wide range of products with different purposes and functions. It can be software used solely by the teacher, shared by teacher and student, or used exclusively by the student.

Teacher-Oriented Education Software

Administrative software helps teachers to keep track of the details of their students’ attendance, activities, accomplishments, and grades. Included in the record-keeping software are programs designed specifically for classroom teachers in public and private schools, homeschool-oriented software, and software that can be used by any teacher. Types of education software for teachers include software for:

• assignment management
• awards and certificates
• diplomas
• high school transcripts
lesson plans
• progress reports
• reading log
• record generator
• report card grading
• resource list
• student data
• teacher’s journal
• track attendance and hours
• weighted grading

Student-Oriented Education Software

Software that students may use to complete assignments include word processing and spreadsheet programs and presentation software, like that found in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), or its counterpart Open Office, or iWork (for Apple computers). Software that is subject specific ranges from game software in which educational material is incorporated to serious study of topics, like the Rosetta Stone software for language learning.  Here is a list of some areas for which student-oriented education software is available:

  • addition and subtraction
  • algebra
  • anatomy
  • art history
  • astronomy
  • Bible study
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • colors and shapes
  • counting
  • English study for non-native speakers
  • foreign language study, such as French, Italian, German, and Spanish
  • fractions and decimals
  • geography
  • geometry
  • multiplication and division
  • music appreciation
  • music composition
  • music theory
  • musical instrument instruction
  • phonics
  • physics
  • reading
  • SAT, ACT, and PSAT test preparation
  • social studies
  • spelling
  • the US Constitution
  • thinking skills
  • typing
  • vocabulary
  • weather
  • writing

There is also software available for programming, web design, illustration, architectural design, animation, theater set and costume design, novel writing, and more.

Networked School Software

Some software is designed for deployment on a school network, with the teacher being able to control access, levels, and other items, and students each having access to their own account, that the teacher sets up appropriately for the student’s level of development and knowledge. For example, Sibelius 7 music notation software features a network license option and classroom controls that allow the teacher to manage a computer lab in which students compose music.