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June 07, 2005

Table of Contents

Free Resources: Project SMARTArt, a Program for Integrating Media Literacy and the Arts Into K-5 Teaching
Discovery Education Adds Content, Features to unitedstreaming
Curriculum Advantage Launches Version 5.7 of Classworks
Cool Links: About Google Print
Discovery Education Partners with CDW-G to Provide Site-Based unitedstreaming Video Servers
Free Resources: Curriculum Associates’ Professional Development Course on Test Preparation Strategies
ITI Cross Links: Library of Congress Joins Internet2
ETS Partners With Educere to Market ETS PATHWISE Online Professional Development Courses
ITI Cross Links: Thomson Gale Offers Customized Collection-Creation Tool in Virtual Reference Library; Adds Content to Databases
EBSCO Publishing Offers Enhanced Versions of NoveList and NoveList K-8
EBSCO Publishing Introduces Humanities International Complete Database
R.R. Bowker Partners with H.W. Wilson to Deliver Bowker’s Book Analysis System for School and Public Libraries
Pinnacle Systems Delivers Video Learning Software Packages for K-12 Education

Free Resources: Project SMARTArt, a Program for Integrating Media Literacy and the Arts Into K-5 Teaching

Project SMARTArt, an online resource offering a "how-to" program for teaching media literacy skills to K-5 students, has launched at http://www.medialit.org. The new site marks the completion of the Project SMARTArt pilot program at Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) Leo Politi Elementary School.

The Web site offers educators resources at no charge, including professional development guides, sample lesson plans, and integrated classroom activities covering a range of K-5 subject areas and grades. Descriptions of Leo Politi classroom projects are available in the "Case Study" portion of the site.

Project SMARTArt was funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) as one of the first media literacy grants, and it was carried out by a partnership that included the nonprofit Center for Media Literacy, LAUSD, the Music Center's Education Division, and AnimAction. The project was created to integrate two principal tenets of media literacy - critical analysis and self-expression - into traditional curricula, according to Tessa Jolls, president of the Center for Media Literacy.

The Project SMARTArt Web site features a replicable model that meets most states' education standards for Visual and Performing Arts and English Language Development, and provides specific, downloadable tools that support sustainability. Among these are the Five Key Questions of Media Literacy, developed by the Center for Media Literacy as part of its MediaLit Kit. All of SMARTArt's classroom activities, including the student-produced animation project, use one or more of the Five Key Questions to integrate the arts and media literacy into traditional subjects.

Project SMARTArt also provided training on creating 30-second animation shorts to both teachers and students from kindergarten through 5th grade. An animation tool called The Box!, developed by project partner AnimAction, Inc., provided the technology required to turn classrooms into professional animation studios, and teaching artists from the Music Center Education Division worked directly with students after planning activities with teachers. These lessons not only combined media literacy and the arts, but also integrated Open Court, the scripted reading program adopted by LAUSD.

Source: The Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.org/

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Discovery Education Adds Content, Features to unitedstreaming

Discovery Education has introduced several updates to its unitedstreaming Digital Video Library, including:

* Over 170 new titles from the Assignment Discovery series, as well as TLC Elementary School, Weston Woods, and 100% Educational Videos
* More than 15,000 new digital images in history, geography, science, language arts, health, art, and music from professional photographers
* Interactive training modules, self-paced video tutorials, sample lesson plans, and classroom integration ideas as part of the unitedstreaming "Teacher Center."

Unitedstreaming features more than 4,000 full-length videos chaptered into over 40,000 content-specific video clips that can be streamed or downloaded directly into the classroom, either via the Internet or though locally hosted video servers. Content is correlated to individual state education standards, and also includes teachers' guides, student activities, sample lesson plans, classroom integration ideas, and almost 20,000 digital images covering all K-12 subject areas. Interactive features include a custom quiz creator, self-paced video tutorials, and training modules designed to help teachers learn how to easily incorporate unitedstreaming into their daily lessons, according to the announcement.

Free 30-day trials are available at http://www.unitedstreaming.com.

Source: Discovery Education, http://www.discoveryeducation.com.

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Curriculum Advantage Launches Version 5.7 of Classworks

Curriculum Advantage, Inc. has announced the release of a significant update to Classworks, its network-based system of K-12 reading and mathematics curriculum and learning tools. Classworks Version 5.7 includes a universal import utility for processing test data and an improved benchmarking test, which gives teachers greater flexibility in assessing student proficiency on standardized skills, according to the announcement.

The new Classworks Benchmarking assessment includes 6,000 test items that can be assigned in whole units or by skill. Teachers now have greater flexibility when they create and assign tests measuring a student's understanding of entire units. Or teachers can assign quick assessments that can be administered at the beginning of a 50-minute class period, followed by a Classworks-generated learning plan the student works on for the remainder of the period.

This release also includes the fully-integrated OpenBook Anywhere content for English as a second language (ESL) students and English language learners and over 60 hours of algebra and pre-algebra activities.

There are a total of 8,600 learning activities in Classworks from dozens of educational software programs, all of which are correlated with National Education Standards in math and language arts. Classworks State Editions are further aligned to the learning standards of 15 states so that teachers can more closely tie their teaching to the core concepts and competencies prescribed by their state. For more information on state editions, visit the Curriculum Advantage Web page at http://www.curriculumadvantage.com.

Source: Curriculum Advantage, http://www.curriculumadvantage.com

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Cool Links: About Google Print

From the Google Print Web site:

About Google Print

What is Google Print?
Google's mission is to organize the world's information, but much of that information isn't yet online. Google Print aims to get it there by putting book content where you can find it most easily - right in your Google search results.

How does Google Print work?
Just do a search on the Google Print homepage. When we find a book whose content contains a match for your search terms, we'll link to it in your search results. Click a book title and you'll see the page of the book that has your search terms, along with other information about the book and "Buy this Book" links to online bookstores (you can view the entirety of public domain books or, for books under copyright, just a few pages or in some cases, only the title's bibliographic data and brief snippets). You can also search for more information within that specific book and find nearby libraries that have it.

Where do these books come from?
The book content in Google Print comes from two sources: publishers and libraries.

There's lots more to learn at About Google Print, so check it out HERE. Then try out the service itself. Click HERE to link to Google Print.

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Discovery Education Partners with CDW-G to Provide Site-Based unitedstreaming Video Servers

Discovery Education and CDW-G have announced a partnership to offer customized video servers to school districts across the country. The new video server options expand upon Discovery Education's existing local hosting option for its unitedstreaming video-on-demand service, according to the announcement.

Local hosting allows schools/school districts to access unitedstreaming content and features via servers installed on site. Video and other content is streamed or downloaded from the local network, decreasing the load on their Internet connection. Server management software ensures automatic, seamless updates of the locally hosted content during off-peak hours, and schools/school districts also have the option to add their own content, making it searchable and available only to users on their network, the announcement states.

Unitedstreaming features more than 4,000 full-length videos chaptered into over 40,000 content-specific video clips that can be streamed or downloaded directly into the classroom, either via the Internet or though locally hosted video servers. The content is correlated to individual state education standards and also includes teachers' guides, student activities, sample lesson plans, classroom integration ideas, and almost 20,000 digital images covering all K-12 subject areas. A host of interactive features including a custom quiz creator, self-paced video tutorials, and training modules designed to help teachers learn how to easily incorporate unitedstreaming into their daily lessons are also included, according to Discovery Education.

For more information about this partnership, unitedstreaming, or any of Discovery Education's other products and services, visit http://www.discoveryeducation.com

Source: Discovery Education, http://www.discoveryeducation.com; CDW-G, http://www.CDWG.com

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Free Resources: Curriculum Associates’ Professional Development Course on Test Preparation Strategies

Curriculum Associates is offering teachers free online training on effective test preparation via an online course available at http://www.catraining.com.

Entitled "Test Preparation Strategies," the three-lesson course discloses findings on factors that affect test performance and shows teachers ways to create a positive, anxiety-free attitude toward test taking, according to the announcement. Teachers can learn general strategies to share with their students, as well as content-specific test-preparation strategies for mathematics, reading, language arts, social studies, and science. The course is led by educational consultant and author Dr. Robert G. Forest. Forest is a former teacher, administrator, and VP/Publishing for Curriculum Associates. Examples and insights are provided by teachers in the Aldine Independent School District in Aldine, Texas, and also Dermott School District in Dermott, Arkansas.

The lessons include text and audio instruction, downloadable examples and handouts, reading assignments and also lesson reviews with which educators can assess their learning progress. Curriculum Associates has also included sample questions and illustrations from its "TEST READY" series.

"Test Preparation Strategies" is the third in a series of free courses being developed and offered by Curriculum Associates. The Topics in Education series is developed by specialists in the field of education and includes courses on "Differentiated Instruction" and "Classroom Discipline." Coming soon is "Motivating Students to Learn."

Source: Curriculum Associates, http://www.cainc.com

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ITI Cross Links: Library of Congress Joins Internet2

Are you keeping an eye on Internet2 developments. They will eventually have an impact at the K-12 level. (We'll have a session on "Exploratorium.edu on Internet2" at our Internet @ Schools West conference next October. Click HERE for a look.)

Here's a link to an announcement from the Library of Congress about its plans to connect to Internet2 that we posted on Information Today, Inc.'s NewsBreaks this week.

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ETS Partners With Educere to Market ETS PATHWISE Online Professional Development Courses

ETS has announced a partnership with Educere, a distance education services organization, to market and sell ETS PATHWISE Online professional development courses.

The ETS PATHWISE Online courses provide convenient, facilitator-led professional development opportunities for teachers and school leaders on such topics as coaching, fundamentals of classroom assessment, communicating with families, engaging students in learning, and managing student behavior, according to the ETS announcement. Educators earn continuing education units and have the option of earning graduate or undergraduate elective college credit through ETS's university partners.

For more information about the ETS PATHWISE Online courses or to register, visit http://www.educere.net/edu/courses/ or http://www.ets.org/pathwise/courses.html.

Source: ETS, http://www.ets.org

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ITI Cross Links: Thomson Gale Offers Customized Collection-Creation Tool in Virtual Reference Library; Adds Content to Databases

Thomson Gale has announced the newest enhancement to Gale's Virtual Reference Library, the eBook Subcollection Manager. Thomson Gale has also announced new enhancements and additional entries to several of the company's online databases including Thomson Gale's Virtual Reference Library, Business & Company Resource Center, and Social Science Electronic Data Library.

Click HERE to link to the complete story at EContentMag.com.

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EBSCO Publishing Offers Enhanced Versions of NoveList and NoveList K-8

EBSCO Publishing has now made updated versions of NoveList and NoveList K-8 available, offering a number of enhancements requested by existing NoveList and NoveList K-8 customers, according to the announcement. NoveList is used in over 50 percent of the public libraries in the U.S.

NoveList and NoveList K-8 now utilize a tab-oriented interface. These new tabs, which appear across the top of the page, are intended to ease access to NoveList and the customized content that it provides. Current users of NoveList can continue to search the database, using the techniques that they have grown accustomed to, by simply clicking on the "Search Our Database" tab. In addition, the same lists are still available under the "Browse Lists" tab. The tabs marked "For Readers," "Readers' Advisory," and "School Resources" now take users to the materials previously found under "Read about Popular Titles and Topics" and "Features for Teachers." For example, the Author Read-alikes and Book Discussion Guides are now under the "For Readers" tab.

NoveList's new series search allows users to view the books that comprise a series in the order in which they appear in the series (as opposed to publication date, etc.). This new feature also displays the series volume number on the search results page.

With NoveList's new popularity sorting feature, users can find, for example, a list of mystery titles published in the last five years and then see which ones have been the most popular. Popularity information is gathered from thousands of libraries and retail outlets nationwide and is based on ordering information received from Baker & Taylor. If a book has met the popularity criteria, a series of one to four stars will be displayed to indicate the popularity factor for that title.

NoveList now also offers phonetic search help, to alleviate problems stemming from difficulty spelling authors' names.

Source: EBSCO Publishing, http://www.epnet.com/

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EBSCO Publishing Introduces Humanities International Complete Database

EBSCO Publishing has announced the availability of the new Humanities International Complete database via EBSCOhost. An index-only version, Humanities International Index, is also available.

Humanities International Complete is a comprehensive database of humanities content, providing full text of hundreds of journals, books, and other published sources from around the world. Produced by Whitston Publishing (an imprint of EBSCO Publishing), Humanities International Complete provides cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts for more than 1,700 journals and contains more than 1.5 million records, according to the announcement.

Major subject areas include literature, philosophy, the arts, history, culture, and multi-disciplinary humanities titles, with a special emphasis on literature and the literary arts. Title coverage goes back as far as 1929. The database includes all of the data from American Humanities Index and Humanities International Index, plus unique full-text content, much of which is not found in other databases.

Source: EBSCO Publishing, http://www.epnet.com/

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R.R. Bowker Partners with H.W. Wilson to Deliver Bowker’s Book Analysis System for School and Public Libraries

R.R. Bowker has announced that it has signed an agreement with the H.W. Wilson Company to power Bowker's Book Analysis System for school and public libraries with the content from H.W. Wilson's Standard Catalogs. Bowker has been distributing bibliographic information to libraries for more than 130 years and H.W. Wilson has been helping librarians identify core titles for their collections for almost a century.

Bowker's Book Analysis System enables library professionals to perform quick core and gap analyses of their book collections by subject, eliminating manual comparisons common to collection development. According to the announcement, the strategic partnership with H.W. Wilson means that subscribers to H.W. Wilson's electronic Standard Catalogs will be able to view a comparison of those appropriate core titles with their own library's collection, identifying specific titles they would like to purchase. In addition, comprehensive bibliographic details on each title can be viewed through Bowker's BooksInPrint.com database.

H.W. Wilson's Standard Catalogs include five electronic databases created with input from librarians nationwide. The Standard Catalogs, found on WilsonWeb, include Children's Catalog, Public Library Catalog, Fiction Catalog, Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, and Senior High School Library Catalog.

Bowker's Book Analysis System for school and public libraries is being unveiled to library professionals at the upcoming American Library Association (ALA) 2005 Annual Conference at McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. For more information or to view a demonstration of the new system, please visit Booth 2008 during the ALA trade show on June 25-28.

Source: R.R. Bowker, http://www.bowker.com; H.W. Wilson, http://www.hwwilson.com

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Pinnacle Systems Delivers Video Learning Software Packages for K-12 Education

Pinnacle Systems, Inc. has announced the availability of the Pinnacle Studio Academic Toolkit and the Pinnacle Advanced Academic Toolkit—two digital video editing software packages specifically designed for teachers and students in the K-12 education market. These toolkits, which incorporate software, training tools, and "how to" tips and tricks, provide teachers with a fast path to incorporate digital video in the classroom to engage students in digital storytelling across a wide range of subjects and activities, according to the announcement.

Incorporating video into the classroom allows teachers to appeal to students with different learning styles and fosters project-based learning, which engages students, improves their communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, the Pinnacle announcement states. To support the increasing demand for video in the classroom, Pinnacle has incorporated its Pinnacle Studio Plus version 9 and Pinnacle Liquid Edition version 6.1 software into its Studio and Advanced Academic Toolkits. Key benefits of the Pinnacle Studio and Advanced Academic Toolkits include:

· Software that provides teachers with a full range of digital video editing capabilities.
· A "green sheet" that students can use to super-impose themselves onto any video scene.
· Supplemental DVDs that provide training information designed to help teachers get up and running quickly.
· Extended support through Pinnacle's Education Web site, which offers additional curriculum ideas, user stories, and training tools.

Pinnacle offers a three-tier site licensing model for its Studio and Advanced Academic Toolkits, allowing schools to purchase one site license. Site licensing pricing is based on school size and begins at $999 for the Pinnacle Academic Studio Toolkit and $2,499 for the Advanced Academic Toolkit. Single units are also available to qualified educators at the manufacturers suggested retail price of $79.99 for the Pinnacle Academic Studio Toolkit and $249 for the Pinnacle Advanced Academic Toolkit

For additional information and education resellers, visit http://www.pinnaclesys.com/education.

Source: Pinnacle Systems, http://www.pinnaclesys.com

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