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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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Internet @ Schools

Sep/Oct 2008: Features

A Look At … Document Cameras

Document cameras—sometimes called visual presenters—are among the most exciting current technologies available to assist teachers in presenting formal or informal lessons. These devices can take the place of overhead projectors. They offer an array of helpful functions and features—and should be found on every teacher’s desk in every classroom. In this issue's "Look At ... " roundup, Charlie Doe takes a look at examples of document camera technology offered by a variety of companies.

Adapting Social Networking to Address 21st-Century Skills

From using Twitter to encourage short story writing to utilizing Delicious to organize professional development tips and favorite articles, the number of social networking tools and websites is increasing exponentially. We know educators use these 21st-century tools with students in all grade levels. The question remains, how­ever, whether and how these tools might be used to positively affect student understanding and achievement. "Yes," says ePals' Tim DiScipio, "these tools, when chosen thoughtfully, implemented appropriately, and combined with innovative pedagogy through internet-connected communities, can teach students the skills necessary to thrive in the 21st century and expand their ability to communicate and collaborate in a global marketplace." Read on, learn more!

Social Networking and Your Library OPAC! [Available Full-Text, Free]

While many schools are blocking access to social networking applications on the internet, school library automation OPACs are beginning to provide such applications to students and staff. Barbara Fiehn talked with some library automation vendors and others about this emerging trend to see what they're up to, and with some school library media specialists to gain some insight to their hesitations and acceptance. Read on to see what she learned.

Virtual Environments and K–12 Education: A Tour of the Possibilities—Part 2

In the July/August issue of MMIS, Kelly Czarnecki started her "tour of the possibilities" of using virtual environments in K-12 education with a look at two projects based on/in Teen Second Life—Science in Second Life, and Suffern Middle School in Second Life. Here's the rest of the tour, visting Whyville, the River City Project, Quest Atlantis, and McClarin's Adventures.
 

Sep/Oct 2008: Product Reviews

Animation-ish (Classroom Edition)

Charles Doe reviews Animation-ish, a computer program designed to help students create animations.

Bamboo Fun Pen Tablet

Charles Doe reviews the Bamboo Fun Pen Tablet, a computer input device.

NXT Sensor Adapter for LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT

Sally Finley reviews the NXT Sensor Adapter, a device that enables a LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robotics system to use sensor-based controls.

SAT Method Test Prep

Susan Hixson reviews an online test prep program for the SAT.
 

Sep/Oct 2008: Columns

EDITOR'S NOTES: Engaging the Reader … and the Learner

CYBERBEE: Campaign 2008

With the 2008 election upon us, there are many websites analyzing the personal attributes and platforms of the candidates as well as examining the political process for electing a president. The news media provides all sorts of information from facts to commentary with a dose of speculation by an array of "expert" panelists. For better or worse, YouTube and blogs allow unfettered participation by individuals. It is more important than ever that your students learn to be discerning readers when researching these sources. CyberBee has selected a variety of places to explore and use with your students.

THE PIPELINE: Promoting Reading Using This 2.0 Stuff

Our traditional practice with books is not as scalable as we and our users might want. How do we get book recommendations to scale as well in libraries as Amazon does on the web, but still aimed at our age cohorts? Traditional practice offers a personal touch with a human being. That needs to continue, but we can extend that personal touch beyond the walls. Since we really care about books (and reading), we can use the new tools on the web to put our services on steroids.

THE MEDIA CENTER: From Makeshift to Wow--Our New Media Centers

Students in Mary Alice Anderson's district are benefiting from new or renovated media centers in four of their nine schools, a significant part of the district's renewed emphasis on facilities improvements. The district opened two entirely new secondary media center constructions in 2000 and 2006; this summer a new elementary media center opened in completely renovated spaces and another relocated to improved spaces in former classrooms. In this column, Mary Alice looks at features that enhance the functionality and educational environment of these long overdue new facilities.

BELLTONES: I’m Mad and I’m Not Gonna Take It Anymore!

Mary Ann Bell is mad about the internet filtering going on today in so many schools. She believes it is past time to stop letting paranoia, combined with laziness, block teachers, counselors, administrators, and students from the internet resources they deserve to access at school. So … herewith she’s starting to speak out!
 

Sep/Oct 2008: In the Spotlight

ISTE Classroom Observation Tool (ICOT)

The ISTE Classroom Observation Tool (ICOT) is a free online resource created to help guide teachers, administrators, and other educators as they observe and assess technology integration in classrooms.
 
 
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