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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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August 16, 2005

Table of Contents

JKRowling.com Pioneers Accessibility Features
MMIS Xtra News: July 2005 iPod Shuffle Winner Announced
Applications Available for 2006 Inspired Teacher Scholarships
National Library Media Certification: A Candidate’s View
Curriculum Advantage Releases SC and AL Classworks Editions
Pearson Educational Measurement Pilots MEAP Testing
Discovery Updates unitedstreaming
ETS Online Test Bank Includes Massachusetts Learning Standards

JKRowling.com Pioneers Accessibility Features

The official site of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling (http://www.jkrowling.com/) is now accessible to disabled, deaf, and visually impaired Internet users.

The site's new accessibility features are offered through an Accessibility Menu. These features include the ability to enlarge text in certain areas of the screen, pause movement, and turn off background sounds.

All of the content can be enlarged for visually impaired users. A built-in sound glossary allows users to look up the meaning of important sound clues on the site; a caption feature allows users to read the contextual content of sounds.

The site is keyboard navigable; a mouse is not needed for access.

The Rowling Web site pioneers new Macromedia Flash technology. Lightmaker, the site designer, has worked closely on this project with RNIB and Macromedia.

Macromedia, 800/470-7211 or http://www.macromedia.com/.

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MMIS Xtra News: July 2005 iPod Shuffle Winner Announced

Congratulations to Michigan elementary school teacher Stacey Jackson, July 2005 winner in MMIS Xtra's monthly drawing for an Apple iPod Shuffle. At the beginning of each month, MMIS Xtra staffers pull a winning name at random out of their e-hat! The winner is chosen from among those who have registered during the previous month to receive the MMIS Xtra e-newsletter plus free access to product reviews and other content on MultiMedia & Internet@Schools magazine's Web site, MMISchools.com.

MMIS Xtra, e-mailed every other week to registrants, provides timely news of products, services, companies, and issues of interest to school library media and technology specialists and other educators, along with Cool Links to an array of interesting stories, and Free Resources they can use themselves or tell their teacher colleagues about.

Want your MMIS Xtra? ... and a chance to win the next Apple IPod Shuffle!? Sign up HERE.

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Applications Available for 2006 Inspired Teacher Scholarships

Applications for the 2006 Inspired Teacher Scholarships for Visual Learning are available for download.

A total of 30 scholarships in the amount of $750 will be awarded in the spring of 2006. The scholarships support professional development activities for educators who champion the integration of visual learning and technology into the curriculum.

Five of the 30 scholarships are Inspired Teacher Scholarship Rookie Awards. To be eligible for a Rookie Award, candidates must be new to visual learning and must demonstrate a desire and capacity to learn and apply visual learning techniques in their classrooms.

Educators from K-12 schools, colleges, and universities are eligible to apply for the scholarships. A minimum of one year of service is required; applicants must demonstrate that they have direct contact with students.

The 2005 scholarship awardees included technology coordinators, school library media specialists, college and university faculty members and elementary, middle, and high school teachers from 16 U.S. states, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The 2005 scholarships were used to attend a variety of professional development events, including the 2005 National Educational Computing Conference; the Northwest Council for Computer Education Conference; the 2005 World Conference on Computers in Education in Cape Town, South Africa; the 12th International Conference on Thinking in Melbourne, Australia; and other state, regional, national, and international conferences.

The scholarship application is available online at http://www.inspiration.com/scholarship/.

Inspiration Software, 800/877-4292 or http://www.inspiration.com/.

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National Library Media Certification: A Candidate’s View

National Board Certification in Library Media: A Candidate's Journal by Peggy Milam will be released by Linworth Publishing in November 2005.

The 128-page book offers advice from national board-certified media specialist Milam as she details her journey from application to certification in library media.

This guide offers a blend of informational resources and personal experiences that provide certification candidates with useful approaches to preparing and applying for national board certification in library media.

Peggy Milam is a National Board Certified library specialist in Cobb County, Georgia. She is President-elect of the Cobb County Association of Library Media Specialists and the Media Leadership Team. Peggy has worked as a library media assessor for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and has written and spoken as an advocate for National Board Certification.

National Board Certification in Library Media: A Candidate's Journal will be available at a price of $44.95.

Linworth Publishing, 614/436-7107 or http://www.linworth.com/.

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Curriculum Advantage Releases SC and AL Classworks Editions

Curriculum Advantage, Inc. released Classworks State Editions for South Carolina and Alabama. The new editions are correlated to state learning standards and include import utilities that provide students with immediate instruction based on assessments.

The new Classworks version 5.7 includes the fully-integrated OpenBook Anywhere content for English as a second language (ESL) students and English language learners, as well as more than 60 hours of algebra and pre-algebra activities.

Classworks is a network-based system of K-12 language arts and mathematics curriculum and learning tools. The program includes 4,000 hours of learning activities, 6,000 test items for benchmark tests, and a Universal Import Utility for state and benchmark assessments.

The 8,600 Classworks learning activities have been chosen from popular educational software programs, all of which are correlated with National Educational Standards in math and language arts. The state editions extend the alignment to the learning standards of 22 states.

Additional Classworks Import versions are available for Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, and New York. An Alternet Import edition is available for Pennsylvania.

Scantron Performance Series and Edusoft data can be imported into Classworks.

Curriculum Advantage, Inc., 888/841-4790 or http://www.curriculumadvantage.com/.

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Pearson Educational Measurement Pilots MEAP Testing

Pearson Educational Measurement (PEM) will implement a pilot program of online testing for 6th grade English Language Arts and Social Studies tests administered as part of the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP).

The pilot, to take place in October, will involve 27 schools and approximately 2,800 6th graders in each subject area. Some of the pilot schools have been provided with laptop computers as part of Michigan's Freedom to Learn initiative. The participating schools plan to test all of their 6th grade students online in these two subjects.

The online testing will be administered as part of the PEMSolutions (Pearson Educational Measurement Solutions) custom suite of assessment services. At the end of the pilot, PEM will compare the performance of online and paper administrations of the test.

Pearson Educational Measurement Solutions, 800/627-0365 or http://www.pearsonedmeasurement.com/.

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Discovery Updates unitedstreaming

Discovery Education improved its unitedstreaming digital video learning resource with new content, improved network management tools, and new interactive training and assessment features.

The new edition of unitedstreaming includes hundreds of new videos, closed-captioning for more than 900 video titles, and dynamic bibliographic citations for all video titles in APA, MLA, and Chicago Style formats. Additional features provide user ratings to allow a peer point of reference and recommendation, 2,000 new geography images, 27,000 encyclopedia articles, and 200 lesson plans correlated to videos in science, math, social studies, language arts, art, and music.

The expanded Teacher Center offers self-paced interactive courses for staff development credit, access to weekly live webinar sessions with certified trainers covering a variety of technology topics, and a Trainers' Toolkit with materials and information for teacher trainers to use in assisting others.

Improved Server Manager, Network Manager, and Upload Manager software help deliver the online content quickly and efficiently.

A new Assignment Builder feature scheduled to debut by the end of August will enable teachers to create complete student assignments based around unitedstreaming content. A new Student Center will allow students to access assignments and quizzes with a unique ID and submit completed materials to their teachers.

Licensing is available at a cost of $995/year per K-8 school and $1,495/year for high schools.

Discovery Education, 800/323-9084 or http://www.discoveryeducation.com/.

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ETS Online Test Bank Includes Massachusetts Learning Standards

ETS expanded its online Formative Assessment Item Bank with more than 11,000 mathematics and language arts test questions aligned to Massachusett's Learning Standards in the K-12 Curriculum Frameworks.

The ETS Formative Assessment Item Bank enables Massachusetts educators to use items aligned to state academic standards to create custom formative assessments to be given throughout the year. The testing is designed to assist teachers to improve and adjust instruction and to develop personalized learning strategies for students struggling with a particular standard.

Districts can use the Item Bank to create standards-aligned benchmark assessments to assess students consistently across the district.

Teachers access the Item Bank online through the ETS data management software, Instructional Data Management System (IDMS). New questions are developed and added to the Item Bank on a regular basis.

State-aligned items are currently available in Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Additional states are scheduled for coverage in the coming months.

ETS, 609/921-9000 or http://www.ets.org/k12learn2/datadriven.html/.

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