As you read this, we are in the final preparations for our Internet @ Schools East conference <http://www.infotoday.com/I@SE2006/> later this month in Washington, D.C. We're jazzed! Highlights include Joyce Valenza, who will open the conference Thursday, March 23, with a talk entitled Virtual School Libraries and 21st-Century Service, and Alice Yucht, whose session Using RSS for Really Savvy "Resourcery," or How Bloglines Made Me Look Brilliant will kick off the Friday, March 24 tracks. The 2-day event, concurrent and co-located with Information Today, Inc.'s Computers in Libraries conference, comprises four half-day tracks: The Virtual School Library Imperative; Issues, Ideas & Resources for the Profession; School Libraries on the Cutting Edge; and Digital Imagery, Visual Literacy, & College-Level Research Skills. Needless to say, we'd like to see you and your colleagues there! Check out the program online at http://www.infotoday.com/I@SE2006/Program.shtml — or inside this issue of MMIS.
And as for this issue itself, it features the debut column of Mary Ann Bell, whom I noted last time in this space as the replacement for retiring Learning Unleashed! columnist Trevor Shaw. Mary Ann has chosen to call her column Belltones, and it will indeed be a place where she can "sound off" on library, Internet, and educational technology subjects and issues that concern her as well as all practitioners in K-12 libraries. Read her self-introduction and discussion of what you can expect from Belltones starting on page 37.
Addressing the issues of technology integration and visual literacy, elementary LMS Johanna Riddle wrote this month's cover story, Bookbinders: Fusing Technology, Image, and Literature (p. 12). In it, she describes a number of projects that can serve as examples to help you with an essential 21st century teaching task: "recognizing all forms of literacy, embracing them as relevant, and, finally, creating meaningful classroom experiences that integrate printed, visual, and technological literacies within disciplines and subjects." True to the visual literacy mandate, Johanna sent us a broad selection of pictures illustrating her students' successful projects, a number of which we've included with her article.
Rounding out the features for March/April, Amigos Library Services' Carrie Esch and OCLC's Amy Crawford have written on Helping Students Make the Jump to University Level Research (p. 21)—a subject also to be addressed at Internet@Schools East, by the way. And Charlie Doe has taken yet another broad look at an educational technology category in Digital Cameras, Visual Literacy, and the Xbox Generation (p. 26).
David Hoffman, Editor