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August 02, 2005

Table of Contents

JASON Foundation Develops Multimedia Deep-Sea Expedition Curriculum
MMIS Xtra News: Time to Submit a Speaker Proposal for Internet@Schools East!!
Cool Links: Meet the Gamers; The Games Children Play
Free Resources: ProQuest Free Online Training
ITI Cross Links: Generosity and Copyright--Creative Commons and Creative Commons Search Tools
ALA Announces New Task Force on School Libraries
LeapFrog Launches Interactive Web Site to Showcase New FLY Pentop Computer
Big6 Learning Resources Announces Release of Big6 TurboTools v1.03
AASL Presents 2005 Awards
DyKnow Releases New Version of DyKnow Vision and DyKnow Monitor Software
Scantron Achievement Series Adds New Features

JASON Foundation Develops Multimedia Deep-Sea Expedition Curriculum

The JASON Foundation has announced JASON Adventure: Lost City Hydrothermal Vents, a deep-sea expedition to the Lost City hydrothermal vent system in the Atlantic Ocean. It is, according to the announcement, the cornerstone for a new multimedia science curriculum for 5-8 grade students that will teach standards-based science concepts through hands-on technology and real research activities. Developed by the JASON Foundation for Education, JASON Adventure: Lost City Hydrothermal Vents, will be available Fall 2005 at $49 for an online subscription and $99 for a CD/DVD of materials.

With content partners from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Exploration, the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, the University of Washington, and Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, JASON Adventure: Lost City Hydrothermal Vents will take students on a virtual journey 2,000 feet below the ocean surface alongside some of the world's leading scientists to study this unique ecosystem and explore new territory.

Four lessons, each aligned to national and selected states' standards, will examine how the Lost City hydrothermal vents formed, the chemical makeup of the ecosystem, the organisms that live there and how they survive, and the groundbreaking technology—such as state-of-the-art underwater robotic systems and satellite transmissions—scientists use to collect samples, video, and photos on the ocean floor. Students can also go behind-the-scenes to meet the Lost City expedition team members, learn about their work, and read a crewmember's journal.

Using expedition journals, video segments, interactive digital labs, inquiry-based investigations, hands-on activities, and assessments, students will learn key concepts in earth science (structure of earth's systems), life science, (unique living communities, populations, ecosystems, and diversity and adaptations of organisms), physical science (properties, changes of properties in matter, and motions and forces) and science and technology (ocean exploration technology). Geared to help teachers meet today's education challenges, JASON Adventures curriculum series aligns to leading textbooks, supports a variety of classroom models, and meets No Child Left Behind guidelines, according to the announcement. JASON's hands-on approach to learning engages students and has proven to improve learning outcomes for a variety of learners, the announcement states.

A series of onsite and online professional development courses that demonstrate how to implement the JASON Adventure curriculum into the classroom are also available. The one-day onsite course and three-week online course are facilitated by Certified JASON Trainers and offer continuing education units (CEUs).

To order JASON Adventure: Lost City Hydrothermal Vents or any professional development courses, visit http://www.jason.org. More information is available at http://lostcity.jason.org, where you can also try a sample activity.

Led by Drs. Robert Ballard and Deborah Kelley, the 2005 Lost City expedition is the result of a partnership between NOAA Office of Exploration, the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, the University of Washington, University of New Hampshire, Immersion Presents, Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration, Electronic Data Systems (EDS), National Geographic Society, and the JASON Foundation for Education.

Source: The JASON Foundation for Education, a nonprofit subsidiary of the National Geographic Society, http://www.jason.org

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MMIS Xtra News: Time to Submit a Speaker Proposal for Internet@Schools East!!

Internet @ Schools West is coming up this fall in Monterey (Click HERE to see the program), but we're already thinking about its sister conference! We've now put out the Call for Speakers for the Internet @ Schools East conference to be held March 23-24, 2006, in Washington, DC. Sponsored by MultiMedia & Internet@Schools magazine, the conference covers practical and timely technology-related topics and technology-based tools and resources for K-12 media and technology specialists. It is held in conjunction with Computers in Libraries 2006.

If you are a K-12 library media or technology specialist with information technology and the Internet on your mind, we'd like you to be a part of our 2006 Internet @ Schools East conference. Are you running an innovative program through your school media or technology center that is helping your students learn or your teachers teach? Are you willing to share your practical tips, tools, or techniques about using technology and the Internet in schools? Then please consider volunteering to speak at Internet @ Schools East.

All speakers receive a full, complimentary registration toe the I@SE conference as well as to Computers in Libraries 2006, plus great recognition from their peers. So think over your latest success stories or technology ventures and go to http://www.infotoday.com/I@SE2006/CallforSpeakers.shtml to learn more and to submit a proposal.

Thanks! We look forward to hearing from you soon. The deadline for proposals is August 29, so think quickly and send in your ideas! And tell your professional colleagues friends, too!

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Cool Links: Meet the Gamers; The Games Children Play

In theory, you have a less hectic schedule in summer and can do some recreational and professional reading. Let's hope so, anyway.

If so, here are a couple of links that fit both the "recreational" and "professional" categories. Since we steered you last month toward information on online collaborative and role-playing games and what they may mean for current and upcoming generations of learners and researchers, we're hoping you'd like to see some more on the subject:

-- Library Journal recently published Meet the Gamers, by Kurt Squire and Constance Steinkuehler, who cut to the chase as follows:

Why pay attention to games? For starters, games are the "medium of choice" for many Millennials, with broad participation among the 30 and under population … Game cultures feature participation in a collective intelligence, blur the distinction between the production and consumption of information, emphasize expertise rather than status, and promote international and cross-cultural media and communities. Most of these characteristics are foreign, or run counter to print-era institutions such as libraries. At the same time, game cultures promote various types of information literacy, develop information seeking habits and production practices (like writing), and require good, old-fashioned research skills, albeit using a wide spectrum of content. In short, librarians can't afford to ignore gamers.

Or how about this tidbit?:

Every time we meet with students, we ask who has checked a book out from the library based on an interest generated through game play. Roughly half say yes.

Follow the link to the LJ article and follow the authors' lead … learn about, try out some online games.

-- Or you can sit back and watch a 30-minute streaming video, The Games Children Play, which is equally entertaining and instructive. Here's the description of the program, hosted on a U.K.-based Web site called Teachers' TV:

The UK is the world's third-largest market for video and computer games, generating sales of over one billion pounds a year. Amidst hot debate, computer games are set to enter the classroom as learning tools.

This programme features two leading academics who support the use of games in education: Henry Jenkins, director of comparative media studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Jim Gee, professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

They look at a number of UK-based education projects using gaming technology, including an initiative aiming to help children author their own games.

 For summer, hot topic, cool links!

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Free Resources: ProQuest Free Online Training

Continuing our "You've Got Time—We Hope" theme (See Cool Links: Meet the Gamers; The Games Children Play), here's an idea for some no-cost online professional development, in one-hour bites, for those of you whose schools/libraries subscribe to ProQuest products and services.

Follow THIS LINK to ProQuest Information and Learning's calendar of Web training sessions being offered on a wide range of their products. Click on "August" and "Search" for the relevant calendar, pick a session on a product you and your students use, and sign up!

Do you use CultureGrams, or promote its use to your teacher colleagues? How does this sound?:

CultureGrams

This one hour class covers the content, features and tips for using CultureGrams as well as ideas for incorporating it into the classroom curriculum. Learn how to use the colorful graphical search interface to locate information on over 180 countries throughout the world. Students will learn how to leverage statistical data and create custom data tables. Your questions will be answered by a CultureGrams training expert during this interactive session.

Try it out. Total cost: one hour of your time. i.e.: It's free!

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ITI Cross Links: Generosity and Copyright--Creative Commons and Creative Commons Search Tools

These days, you, your educator colleagues, and particularly your students are probably creating reports, portfolios, presentations, or other works that need to incorporate multiple media "objects" such as music, voice, video, images, and more. So you need to be able to direct them to sources for these kinds of content, and also help them use the content appropriately and legally.

In her Searcher article "Generosity and Copyright—Creative Commons and Creative Commons Search Tools," Laura Gordon-Murnane covers a lot of territory. She gives a "Quick Overview of Copyright Law: 1790-2005." She explains and gives hers and others' opinions about the state of copyright law today. And she poses operative questions such as, "Can you help [students, patrons, users] find materials in the public domain that they can copy, re-mix, sample, share, display, and distribute in a final report, a presentation, a blog, a podcast, or a Web site posting?" and, for that matter, copyrighted but still easily usable materials. She answers those questions in her discussion of The Creative Commons, the main focus of her article.

From the article: The Creative Commons Foundation's goal:

… is to build a reasonable copyright that encourages authors, filmmakers, photographers and/or musicians to allow others to use their works by opting out of the onerous and burdensome requirements of existing copyright law. It seeks to create a system that promotes "balance, compromise, and moderation" with respect to copyrights and to "offer creators a best-of-both-worlds way to protect their works while encouraging certain uses of them…" Think of it this way. "Share what you want, keep what you want." Their vision moves away from the restrictive "All rights Reserved/No Right Reserved" realities of current copyright law to a middle ground—"Some Rights Reserved."

 

In The Creative Commons, Gordon-Murnane asserts:

…librarians now have a useful tool they can use to help identify content that patrons might want to use in a podcast, a mash-up, a collage, a video contribution to a blog, a document, a presentation, or whatever.

 
Intriguing. And useful. Click HERE to read from the July/August 2005 issue of Information Today, Inc.'s Searcher magazine!

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ALA Announces New Task Force on School Libraries

The American Library Association (ALA) has announced the formation of a new Task Force on School Libraries, in response to the urgent need to support and maintain school library programs and certified school librarians across the nation.

The Task Force was approved by the ALA Executive Board at its spring board meeting in April 2005, and represents a major step in implementing the resolution on school libraries and librarians approved by ALA Council at the 2003 Annual Meeting.

The Special Task Force on School Libraries is charged with providing an overall assessment of the current state of school library service in America, based on existing data; identifying the most critical issues and trends affecting school libraries and school library media specialists; evaluating various options for responding to those issues; and making recommendations regarding practical strategies that the ALA can undertake to support and strengthen school library services nationwide.

"Despite growing research documenting the positive impact of school libraries on student achievement, there is growing concern about the future of school library media programs in this country," said Barbara Stripling, chair of the new Task Force. "Without proactive efforts to reverse these trends, we will end up with a serious crisis on our hands."

The 12 members of the Task Force on School Libraries appointed by ALA Immediate Past President Carol Brey-Casiano are: Chair, Barbara Stripling, Director of Library Services, New York City Dept. of Education; Kathleen Bethel, African American Studies Librarian, Northwestern University Library, Evanston, Ill.; Walter Betts, Systems Librarian, Dallas (Texas) ISD Libraries; Nancy Davenport, President, Council on Library and Information Resources, Washington; Barbara Jeffus, Library School Consultant, California Department of Education, Sacramento; Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, Deputy Director, Detroit Public Library; Karen Lemmons, Library Media Specialist; Howe Elementary School, Detroit; Katherine Lowe, Library Director, Boston Arts Academy/Fenway High School Library; Sara Parker, Missouri State Librarian, State Information Center, Jefferson City, Mo.; Marguerite Ritchey, Vice President, Board of Trustees, Summit County Library, Silverthorne, Colo.; Helen Spalding, University Librarian, Portland (Ore.) State University; Pat Wand, University Librarian, American University, Washington.

The Task Force met during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago in June and will report back to the Executive Board and Council at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January 2006.

Source: American Library Association, http://www.ala.org/

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LeapFrog Launches Interactive Web Site to Showcase New FLY Pentop Computer

LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. has launched an interactive, video-based Web site to showcase the company's soon-to-be-shipping FLY pentop computer (see LeapFrog Enterprises Introduces FLY Pentop Computer). The new Web site at http://www.liveonthefly.com was specifically designed for tweens, to engage, entertain, and educate them about the features of the new FLY pentop computer. With four video-based tween hosts, the site interacts directly with the users and allows them to see the product in action and use it onscreen the same way they would use it on FLY paper.

Applications launching on the new Web site include FLYTones, a music application where users draw instruments on paper and then play them; and Scheduler, a calendar that records and reminds users about upcoming events by writing them on paper. Both Web-based applications allow users to e-mail information to friends, and FLYTones allows users to send finished music compositions to others online. Coming in the next few weeks to the Live on the FLY Web site are applications such as Flyball, an interactive baseball trading card game, and Calculator, an application that allows users to draw a calculator and then use it.

The new Web site also features the Great FLY Invasion Sweepstakes, offering tweens a chance to win one of 1,000 FLY pentop computers, or other prizes.

The FLY platform is designed to bring computer interactivity to the most ubiquitous and user-friendly tool of all, pen and paper. It is the first consumer electronics device to give users real-time audio feedback as they write and draw on special FLY paper, making what the user writes come to life, the announcement states. For instance, a FLY pentop computer user can draw a calculator, touch the handwritten digits and functions to perform an operation -- then hear the answer announced from the FLY pentop computer. A user can also draw a piano keyboard or drum set and play it.

The FLY pentop computer will be available in mid-October at a suggested retail price of $99; FLY accessories and applications will have a suggested retail price range from $4.99 to $34.99.

Source: LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., http://www.leapfrog.com/

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Big6 Learning Resources Announces Release of Big6 TurboTools v1.03

Big6 Learning Resources has announced the release of Big6 TurboTools v1.03. TurboTools is a software program for Windows and Macintosh, designed by Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz, to help students become more productive and successful using the Big6 information problem-solving process. It guides students through the Big6 process to create projects and complete assignments of all types, including research papers and book reports.

Big6 TurboTools assists educators in preparing students to become world class researchers and independent learners, according to the announcement. Students are empowered to improve their grades and learn how to efficiently solve information problems.

The following is a summary of the added features and benefits in v1.03:

- The new Big6 TurboTools personal edition is now available in addition to the school version. This standalone option allows users to create, store, and manage projects, planners, and documents.
- Projects and planners can be exported and imported to allow users to take them home for use in the Big6 TurboTools personal edition.
- Evaluations and tests can be exported and imported to facilitate resource sharing between schools and institutions.
- A filtering utility has been added to allow administrators to categorize reports, evaluations, and tests for specifics teachers and/or courses.
- Various users (e.g., teachers) can be designated as administrators. When logged in as an administrator, users can create report templates, evaluations, and tests.
- The Big6 Planner can now contain project documents and can be managed from either the locker or planner views.

Source: Big6 Learning Resources, http://www.big6turbotools.com

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AASL Presents 2005 Awards

The American Association of School Libraries (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced the 2005 recipients of its annual awards.

The AASL Collaborative School Library Media Award, sponsored by the Sagebrush Corporation, presented $2,500 to Valerie Edwards, a school library media specialist at Monona (WI) Grove High School. The award recognizes and encourages collaboration and partnerships between school library media specialists and teachers in meeting goals through joint planning of a program, unit or event in support of the curriculum and using media center resources.

The AASL/Highsmith Research Grant was awarded for a research project titled "School Virtual Libraries: The Influences of Best Practices on High School Students' Information Seeking," submitted by Joyce Valenza from Rydel, PA. The grant, sponsored by The Highsmith Co., Inc., encourages innovative research aimed at measuring and evaluating the effect of school library media programs on education. The monetary award can be as high as $5,000, based on research expenses.

The ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant, funded by ABC-CLIO Schools, was awarded to the Wisconsin Educational Media Association (WEMA). The grant, which can be as much as $1,750, is given to school library media associations that are AASL affiliates for planning and implementing leadership programs at the state, regional or local level.

The Distinguished Service Award, sponsored by Baker & Taylor, went to Rebecca Bingham, a past president of AASL and a leader in ALA and state library organizations. The $3,000 award recognizes an individual member of the library profession who, over a significant period of time, has made an outstanding national contribution to school librarianship and school library development.

The Distinguished School Administrator Award, sponsored by SIRS/ProQuest, was awarded to Michael Hart, a principal at Holy Rosary School in Tacoma, WA. The award of $2,000 is given to a school administrator who has made worthy contributions to the operations of an exemplary school library media center and to advancing the role of the school library media center in the educational program.

The Frances Henne Award, sponsored by Greenwood Publishing Group, went to John McDonald of Connersville Middle School in Hagerstown, IN. The award is given to a school library media specialist with five or fewer years in the field, to be used to attend an ALA annual conference or AASL national conference for the first time.

The Intellectual Freedom Award, sponsored by ProQuest, was awarded to Ann Ewbank for fighting book removals and making changes in access to materials for students at Cholla Middle School in Phoenix, AZ. The award of $2,000 to the recipient and $1,000 to the media center of the recipient's choice is given for upholding the AASL and ALA principles of intellectual freedom.

The School Librarian's Workshop Scholarship, sponsored by Jay W. Toor, president of Library Learning Resources, was awarded to Elizabeth Fisher of Radnor, PA. The $3,000 scholarship provides financial assistance for the professional education of an individual who plans to become a school library media specialist.

Source: AASL/ALA, 800/545-2433 or http://www.ala.org/aasl/.

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DyKnow Releases New Version of DyKnow Vision and DyKnow Monitor Software

DyKnow has released version 4.1 of its DyKnow Vision and DyKnow Monitor software with major enhancements, including desktop broadcasting, filmstrip view, domain-based authentication and more efficient communications.

DyKnow Vision enables educators to present prepared or spontaneous lesson notes that appear on computers in front of students. Students can simply add their individual personalized notes to create a more robust electronic notebook, according to the announcement. DyKnow Monitor gives teachers the ability to monitor and control student computers during class.

Version 4.1 makes lesson creation easier for teachers and note-taking more personalized for students, the announcement states. Two of software enhancements include demonstration mode and panel filmstrip viewer, which are designed to create improved methods for teachers to prepare and present lessons.

With demonstration mode, either the teacher or a student can broadcast any application in real-time through DyKnow Vision. For example, a teacher can work with Web design software within DyKnow software, broadcasting each click of the mouse to student computer screens. Screen shots of the demonstration can be captured and inserted into student DyKnow notebooks for annotation.

The new panel filmstrip viewer allows educators to see several panels of a notebook at one time and present panels in any order during the session. Teachers can use DyKnow Vision's new prepared notes navigator in combination with the panel filmstrip viewer to easily preview prepared content before transmitting to students.

Version 4.1 also improves system management and moves towards tighter integration with other applications by introducing domain-based authentication. Users can sign onto DyKnow products with the same password information they use to log onto a computer on the institution's network. DyKnow administrators no longer need to manage duplicate sets of user information. With this enhancement, users may sign on and save personal DyKnow preferences, such as ink color, toolbar location, and customized application blocking plans, from any networked machine.

 Additional features in the release include a more intuitive start page, an expanded help utility, improved security for exams, more efficient wireless communication, and multiple DPI setting support.

Version 4.1 client software is available for immediate download at http://www.dyknow.com/download. A streaming video demonstration of the Dyknow interactive system and software can be viewed from http://www.dyknow.com/video.htm.

Source: DyKnow, http://www.dyknow.com

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Scantron Achievement Series Adds New Features

Scantron has released a Classroom Testing module and new item-sharing capabilities for Achievement Series. The enhancements give educators new collaboration capabilities and greater flexibility in using Achievement Series for testing, for classroom quizzes as well as district assessments.

The Classroom Testing module makes it easier to create and activate tests. Features include classroom-specific reporting tools that give teachers quicker access to student performance data and the ability to view results in a single screen. The module gives districts one platform for all levels and the same report formats for district or classroom tests.

The new remote sharing enhancements allow districts to more easily share non-copyrighted test items within a single district or multiple districts. Collaborative access to item banks or copy-only access is available.

Achievement Series is used to develop and deploy tests, capture results, and manage information needed for data-driven decision making to guide classroom instruction.

Source: Scantron Corporation, 800/722-6876 or http://www.scantron.com/.

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