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

May/Jun 2009: Features

A LOOK AT... Data Management and Analysis Systems

Today, everything from the school lunch program to attendance rosters, telephone operations, and more can be handled by computer systems. And, of course, more and more student assessment can be managed (or at least scored) with computers, generating data results that can be used for additional software manipulation. Data management systems are developing enormous amounts of information that can be stored and then combined and additionally analyzed (or “mined” or “drilled”) for data-driven instructional leadership. This roundup takes a look at several products with different approaches to data-driven decision making.

Curriki and the Open Educational Resources Movement: Please Pass the Curriculum! [Available Full-Text, Free]

Sharing knowledge: In some form or another, it’s why most educators went into teaching in the first place. But traditional instructional materials don’t lend themselves to sharing between educators. New technologies now allow teachers to share and collaborate locally and globally in ways that generations past could never have imagined. These tools signal what may grow to be true disruptive change in how schools acquire and disseminate instructional and professional development resources. The nonprofit ( is a 3-year-old organization that offers a large collection of free and open source content and collaboration tools.

Partnering With the Public Library on Web 2.0 Tools for Student Research

Today, Web 2.0 tools make collaboration easier than ever, and your public librarian is there to help you navigate through them. While public libraries have many focuses, resources for children and teenagers are a mainstay of their programs and materials. These librarians work with the same students you do, just after school—helping with homework, research papers, and math problems, as well as finding the perfect novel for a historical fiction assignment. Why not work together during the school day? This collaboration can help you assist students to understand the Web 2.0 tools that can make research fun and invigorating, and it gives you a chance to share the workload.

Using Games and Simulations in the Classroom

A new, free white paper—"Best Practices for Using Games & Simulations in the Classroom"—that tackles the practical challenges teachers face when they use video games was released this past February by the Software & Information Industry Association's Education Division. In this article, Lee Wilson, the author of the paper and the co-chair of the working group that produced it, summarizes, excerpts from, and describes the main points of the report.

May/Jun 2009: Product Reviews


Alice Kurtz reviews eLibrary, a web-based collection of periodicals, images, learning resources, and teacher tools.

LabQuest Library

Sally Finley reviews LabQuest Library, a LabQuest-focused toolkit that includes a lab creator, lab organizer, and links to LabQuest device upgrades.


Charles Doe reviews PebbleGo, a program designed to introduce database skills and research concepts to students in grades K-2.

May/Jun 2009: Columns

EDITOR'S NOTES: Budget-Stretching Ideas

THE PIPELINE: Tricks for Kids and Information Literacy

When he read the recent New York Times article “In Web Age, Library Job Gets Update,” featuring strategies of New York City school librarian Stephanie Rosalia, Stephen was moved this month to list a number of tricky web sites like the one that she uses to teach her kids information evaluation skills. Check out his list. It’ll make you laugh, or cry, or laugh ‘til you cry … but the sites comprise an eminently useful educational tool.

THE MEDIA CENTER: Get Your Special Education Brain in Gear

Special needs students—those with physical, behavioral, cognitive, and learning disabilities—represent a diverse range of learners. Because of the nature of the job, media specialists must provide resources that meet their needs. There are many ways you can do this, making connections to a broad range of learning needs and working with a broad range of teachers, and in this month’s Media Center column, Mary Alice gives you some guidance.

BELLTONES: Look Before You Leap

There is a dirty little secret out there in school land, and it involves money and time wasted due to poor purchasing. Far too often, supplies, equipment, software, books, consumables, and other materials are bought (frequently in bulk), but they turn out to be huge disappointments that see little or no use. Enter Mary Ann Bell, with "one of those ‘do as I say, not as I do' missives," to advise you and address this situation.

May/Jun 2009: In the Spotlight


Saywire offers a combination of safe social technology and secure permission-based controls designed to provide “walled garden” social learning networks for K–12 education.
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