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Internet @ Schools

Nov/Dec 2006: Features

A LOOK AT ... Web-Based Assessment

Online or Web-based assessments are growing in number and variety. The amazing growth in the number and use of Web-based assessments is being spurred by their enormous advantages. Scoring and reporting is nearly instantaneous; results are available to teachers and administrators soon after test completion. Student feedback also can be nearly instantaneous and part of the learning process when the assessment is used as part of ongoing instruction. This article takes a look at a number of K–12 Web-based assessments to provide examples and to discuss as many different types of quality assessments as possible.

DATABASE NEWS: What's There, and What's Coming Up, in the World of K–12 Content, Part 4

In part 4 of his series on database vendors, author Robert Congleton describes updates on enhancements and new products that have been released in the last year by seven of the vendors reviewed in parts 1 and 2 of the series: Greenwood Electronic Media, netTrekker, NewsBank, ProQuest Information and Learning, Thomson Gale, H.W. Wilson, and World Book.

Library Automation in K–12: A 2006 Update, Part 2

Last year, in her two-part series, “The Voice of the Vendors: Futures in School Library Automation, Parts 1 and 2,” Barbara Fiehn shared the results of her conversations with Follett, Sagebrush, Companion Corp., Dynix, Mandarin Library Automation, The Library Corporation (TLC), Innovative Interfaces, Inc., and Sirsi Corp. This year, she is once again touching base with as many of these companies as she can to find out what’s new and compelling in the market in general and in their offerings in particular. Here, in Part 2 of her Library Automation in K–12 Update 2006, she introduces Softlink and provide news since her earlier coverage of Follett Corp.—including its acquisition of Sagebrush's library automation products—SirsiDynix, and Mandarin Library Automation, Inc.

Web 2.0 and Its Technologies for Collaborative Library Communication [Available Full-Text, Free]

A mystifying or vague buzzword to many, Web 2.0 was made fashionable in late 2004 by O'Reilly Media, the foremost publisher of computer technology books and a leader in cutting edge online technology conferences. This article will provide an introduction to Web 2.0 for libraries and will also attempt to bring to light a few notable, free Web-based interactive communication tools that can help librarians and other educators seamlessly access, create, organize, and disseminate information for their library, themselves, colleagues, and friends. The resources mentioned and the re­ferences and recommended readings provided should bring librarians up-to-speed on little-known and newer techniques, tools, and thinking on this crucial topic.

Nov/Dec 2006: Product Reviews

American History Online

Reviewer Alice Kurtz takes a look at American History Online, a database for 7th grade - high school learning.

Blue Zones: Quest for the True Fountain of Youth

Reviewer Sally Finley takes a look at Blue Zones: Quest for the True Fountain of Youth, the latest online exploration from Questmaster Dan Buettner.

Straight Curve Mathematics Series 2

Reviewer John Drag, Jr. reviews Straight Curve Mathematics Series 2, a Web-based math program for grades 3-5.


Reviewer Charles Doe takes a look at TeenBiz3000, an Internet-based reading and writing supplemental program for grades 9-12.

Nov/Dec 2006: Columns

EDITOR'S NOTES: School's In, and the Library Is at the Center—Part 2

CYBERBEE: Caching in on GPS

Cyberbee is positioned this month--Globally Positioned, that is--with resources to help you and your students map trails, find treasure caches, and solve problems by using the Global Positioning System technology made possible by 24 U.S. military satellites orbiting Earth that transmit signals to a GPS receiver.

THE PIPELINE: Some Tricks to Build Information Fluency—Part 2

Stephen Abram offers more tricks to build information fluency in the second of his columns on the subject, this time offering teaching/learning ideas based on MySpace, Second Life, Teen Second Life, Activeworlds, OPAC or Web treasure hunts, and game show Web sites.

THE MEDIA CENTER: It's in the Procedures Book

A procedures book is a collection of documents that explains how your media program operates. It describes or prescribes a preferred, common, and consistent course of action. It is both a practical tool to help you and your staff and a resource that helps define the philosophical basis of your program. Does your media center have an up-to-date and helpful policy and procedures book? There is no better time than now to begin compiling one, and Mary Alice's column this month can serve as your guide.

BELLTONES: Encouraging Technophobes--Old Dogs CAN Learn New Tricks

Mary Ann Bell counts herself as a hortiphobe-turned-hortiphile. Well, almost. The point is, she says, she was able to change. And she thinks you can help your school's remaining technophobes change as well.

Nov/Dec 2006: In the Spotlight


The CultureGrams report series provides an insider's perspective on the daily life and culture of countries across the globe, including background information on customs, lifestyle, and country-specific recipes.
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