It's February. and the Florida Educational Technology Conference as well as ALA Midwinter are recently over. We at MMIS chose to attend FETC this year. Both events boasted large numbers of attendees and lots of exhibitors, with the K-12-focused companies at FETC showcasing their latest technology-based solutions to the compelling needs of the K-12 education market. Literacy, writing, math, and assessment in all its complexities seemed to be very hot, and we'll be publishing features covering those topics in upcoming issues.
Our own Internet@Schools East conference in Washington, D.C., comes up in March, and as I mentioned last time, we'd love to see any Mid-Atlantic region readers--or readers from further afield--attend. The program is inside, on page 37, as well as online at http://www.infotoday.com/I@SE2005/.
I also alluded to a new e-newsletter last issue, which should be live and e-mailing by the time you read this. Already live and online is our revamped MultiMedia & Internet@Schools Web site at http://www.mmischools.com/. At the site, you can read the breaking educational technology and library technology news stories we cite in the MMISxtra e-newsletter. And by filling out and submitting a simple registration form, you have free access to our collected software, hardware, and Web site reviews, both current and archived. (Registering also gets you entered into an "electronic drawing" to win an Apple iPod.) Finally, of course, you'll be able to search other current and archived content from the magazine--features and columns--by category in the Research Centers. As in past, some of the stories are available online, full text, for free, but now all the rest will eventually be available online at a small charge per article as well. Try out the site. We think you'll like it.
Now, briefly, to this issue of MMIS: The theme seems to be the virtual library. Audrey Church addresses the topic head on in "Virtual School Libraries--The Time Is NOW!," on page 8, where she directs your attention to a range of excellent, school-maintained (usually librarian-maintained) sites under the subheading "Best Practices: Virtual School Libraries." And public librarian Manny Paredes discusses the vision behind and creation of an extended virtual library system in "Cherry Hill Public Library's Digital Community Center--Reaching Out to the Schools and Beyond," on page 16. Round this out with Robert Congleton's "Database News" article on page 23 on what some of the major online content providers to K-12 have now and are planning in the near future, and you've definitely got a virtual school library focus.
David Hoffman, Editor