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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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September 27, 2005

Table of Contents

Free Resources: Teacher’s Domain, Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
Cool Links: LibriVox, Accoustical Liberation of Books in the Public Domain!
Online Tsunami Science Project Needs U.S. High School Science Teachers
Mandarin Library Automation Announces Z39.50 Client Added to Mandarin Oasis
Scholastic Announces Launch of Latino Early Literacy Program
ETS Launches System 5 Suite of K-12 Products and Services
Free Resources: Shakespeare’s Macbeth in askSam Searchable Database
H.W. Wilson Announces Book Review Digest Retrospective: 1905-1982
Educational and Blog Search Companies Partner to Develop Safe Blogging Tool for Schools
Sagebrush Education Resources Announces State Standards Alignments
AutoSkill Releases New Literacy Intervention Suite

Free Resources: Teacher’s Domain, Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development

Teacher's Domain, produced by WGBH, is a very rich resource! Their Web site says it best:

Teachers' Domain is a multimedia digital library for the classroom that provides learning experiences in ways no textbook can. This ever-expanding library currently includes collections on:

* Science: Life Science, Physical Science, Engineering
* Social Studies: The civil Rights Movement, Brown v. Board of Education
 
Teacher's Domain offers:
* High-quality multimedia from NOVA, American Experience, and other public television productions and partners
* Video, audio, interactives, images, and documents
* Explanatory background articles for each resource
* Correlations to national and state curriculum standards
* Media-rich lesson plans
* Resource management tools

 Click HERE to go there!

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Cool Links: LibriVox, Accoustical Liberation of Books in the Public Domain!

Here's another link to a cool site for which we must thank Gary Price and ResourceShelf. He has a pointer in a recent ResourceShelf newsletter to ...

LibriVox http://librivox.blogsome.com/about-librivox/

From the LibriVox Web site: "LibriVox is an open source audio-literary attempt to harness the power of the many to record and disseminate, in podcast form, books from the public domain. It works like this: a book is chosen, then *you*, the volunteers, read and record one or more chapters. We liberate the audio files through this weblog/podcast every week. Librivox is a VOLUNTEER project: If you have problems with the quality of a recording, get busy and make another one; if you wish to listen, please enjoy; if you wish to record, please contact Librvox."

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Online Tsunami Science Project Needs U.S. High School Science Teachers

iEARN-USA is recruiting American high school science teachers to work online with peers in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand on an English-language project appropriate for science and geography classes or after school and community programs.

The project, the Young Scientists Tsunami Collaboration, brings together students in four countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the United States) for an online collaboration.

The effort focuses on the science of tsunamis, including the role of science and technology in disaster relief, preparedness efforts and examinations of the effects of tsunamis on the environment.

For the project, iEARN will create a new specific online professional development course to provide expertise and support for the science teachers involved in the project. The course will provide in-depth information on ways to use different types of technologies to enable students to interact. After completing the course, the educators will involve their students in direct interaction online with peers in the other participating countries. Together they will develop an activity for the tsunami collaboration.

The project is funded by the U.S. Oceans Bureau of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. embassies abroad.

Interested U.S. high school science teachers should contact chabib[at]us.iearn.org.

Source: iEARN, http://www.us.iearn.org/.

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Mandarin Library Automation Announces Z39.50 Client Added to Mandarin Oasis

Mandarin Library Automation, Inc. has announced the addition of a Z39.50 client to Mandarin Oasis, a centralized, Web-based library management system. This client allows librarians to search Z39.50 sites and easily add items to their library catalogs from these sites, according to the announcement. The Z39.50 "search and save" feature is integrated as part of the cataloging function. In addition, the Z39.50 client is compatible with Unicode. This allows librarians to search for MARC records in Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, or virtually any other language and save the resulting records directly into their local catalog for no additional cost.

Oasis offers complete automation functions from a single screen, including cataloging, circulation, searching, reports, and inventory. According to the announcement, Oasis helps single sites and districts lower their costs and save time with one-point installation, maintenance, and updates. It is a seamless upgrade from Mandarin M3, Mandarin Library Automation's Windows-based automation system that is now offered as a free download.

Source: Mandarin Library Automation, Inc., http://www.mlasolutions.com

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Scholastic Announces Launch of Latino Early Literacy Program

Lee y seras (Read and You Will Be), a Latino early literacy initiative launched by Scholastic, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and the Verizon Foundation, includes parents and communities in the literacy development of their children.

The program is designed to create long-term attitudinal and behavioral change in an effort to close the education achievement gap.

Lee y seras: Ready for School, Ahead for Life emphasizes learning, culture and family, and demonstrates the way that everyday at-home activities such as singing, cooking, and storytelling help young children develop early language skills.

Elements of the initiative include training for parents, childcare and homecare providers; a literacy awareness institute for community decision makers; a CD-ROM toolkit of interactive resources; an audio CD with stories that help parents learn how everyday activities contribute to early literacy development; bilingual picture books; and posters and bookmarks.

The program's Web site, http://www.leeyseras.net, is available in both Spanish and English language versions.

Lee y seras program sites will be implemented in late 2005 and early 2006 by NCLR affiliates in Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Miami and New York.

Source: Scholastic, http://www.scholastic.com/.

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ETS Launches System 5 Suite of K-12 Products and Services

ETS has launched "System 5," a customizable and comprehensive suite of K-12 products and services designed to improve school performance and student achievement. ETS has repositioned all of its flagship K-12 products and services under the System 5 brand, and will add new products and services to expand the suite's offerings.

The System 5 suite is composed of five solutions for school improvement, professional development, data-driven decision making, instruction, and assessment. Schools and districts can purchase a complete solution to improve student achievement and school performance, or choose the products that fit their needs.

ETS will continue to enhance its current System 5 offerings and will add several new products and services during the next few years. ETS plans to launch an assessment toolkit, teacher content training, and an online professional development management system in 2006.

For more information on the System 5 suite, visit http://www.ets.org/system5.html.

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

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Free Resources: Shakespeare’s Macbeth in askSam Searchable Database

A free, searchable database containing the text of William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth has been released by askSam Systems.

The text from Macbeth is available in a searchable, hypertext-linked askSam database. The individual scenes are divided into separate documents in the database. This allows users to easily search and locate scenes pertaining to specific topics, the announcement states.

The askSam version allows users to search, browse, and analyze the text. They can either view the text online or download the searchable version of Macbeth with the free askSam viewer, available at http://www.asksam.com/ebooks/Shakespeare/MacBeth.asp.

The downloadable version provides students and scholars with powerful features to search and analyze the text of the play, according to the askSam announcement.

In addition to Macbeth, askSam has prepared free searchable versions of the following:

- The Bible
- 9-11 Commission Report
- Patriot Act
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act
- Transcripts from the 2004 Presidential Debates

More information on these and other files is available at http://www.asksam.com/files/files.asp.

Source: askSam Systems, http://www.asksam.com

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H.W. Wilson Announces Book Review Digest Retrospective: 1905-1982

The H.W. Wilson Company has announced the debut of Book Review Digest Retrospective: 1905-1982, an online record of books and reviews reflecting nearly eight decades of the library reference standard Book Review Digest.

Virtually every idea that shaped the 20th century found expression in the books covered by this new resource, and the reactions to those ideas are reflected in the reviews cited and excerpted, according to the announcement. The result is a vast record of historical, sociological, and literary information, offering insight into how society first responded to groundbreaking works of fiction and nonfiction, early works by seminal authors, political treatises, and other important literature.

The database covers some 300,000 books, citing more than 1.5 million book reviews. Master records for each book include the title's essentials (author, descriptive summary, publisher, publication year, page count, ISBN, indicator of illustrations, and more) plus links to review excerpts and review citations. Most books have at least one substantial review excerpt, presenting the most evaluative passages of the review, and most have at least two. These excerpts, together with the descriptive summaries of the books, deliver a complete picture of how the book was received at the time it was published, the announcement states.

Users will find the opinions of such icons as John Updike, Langston Hughes, Steve Allen, Isaac Asimov, John Lennon, Brooks Atkinson, W.H. Auden, Tallulah Bankhead, Wolf Blitzer, Raymond Chandler, Julia Child and many others in this unique resource.

Besides providing review excerpts, the database helps users locate the full reviews. Like other WilsonWeb databases, Book Review Digest Retrospective features links to a subscriber's other OpenURL-compliant reference databases, without the added cost of a link server. Clicking the WilsonLink icon launches an automatic search for full text or additional information on all available OpenURL-compliant resources. WilsonLink also provides extended services, including document delivery options and a Web search, and the WilsonWeb holdings indicator links to the subscriber's OPAC, to let researchers know if they'll find cited periodicals on the shelves. Free 30-day trials are available to librarians.

Source: H.W. Wilson, http://www.hwwilson.com

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Educational and Blog Search Companies Partner to Develop Safe Blogging Tool for Schools

ePALS Classroom Exchange and PubSub.com have announced a joint partnership to develop and release ePALS StudentBlog, a safe and protected blogging tool designed for teachers, students, and parents to search, publish, and share classroom projects across cultures and continents in an age-appropriate environment.

ePALS StudentBlog constantly monitors relevant blogs and Web feeds for matches to students' subscriptions, filters out inappropriate postings, and delivers the results in real time, the announcement states. The solution's "prospective search engine" delivers ongoing matches to student and teacher queries by making them persistent. Instead of relying on a static, historical collection of data, prospective search registers queries and evaluates them against every new document published as it is discovered. Matched results can be delivered as an RSS or Atom feed into a news aggregator or read on the Web, empowering students and teachers to become more informed citizens and view education and research as an ongoing process. This product will enable teachers to supervise and keep curriculum focused on all content and posting activity, according to the announcement.

PubSub is a service that monitors more than 16 million Internet sources of news and information on users' behalf, notifying them when things they care about are published in blogs, press releases, SEC filings, newsgroups, and other sources. ePALS Classroom Exchange is an Interenet-based community of collaborative classrooms and a provider of school-safe e-mail, eMentoring, and Web browsing technologies. Combining these capabilities enriches students' online research and publishing experiences while protecting them from inappropriate content and enabling teachers to keep project or lesson plan focus, the announcement states.

Source: ePALS Classroom Exchange, Inc., http://www.epalscorp.com; PubSub.com, http://www.pubsub.com/

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Sagebrush Education Resources Announces State Standards Alignments

Sagebrush Education Resources has announced that its online bookstore, sagebrushbooks.com, now offers titles aligned to state curriculum standards in all 50 states for the core subject areas of Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science. Within those core subject areas, state standards alignments are offered for both nonfiction and fiction, providing educators with a broader selection of titles to use in their classrooms and lesson plans. By aligning titles to state curriculum standards, Sagebrush reinforces the library's role in the instructional planning process and provides the ability to respond to administration mandates on curriculum support, according to the announcement.

Sagebrush's titles are dynamically aligned to the specific standards of each state. Users can find aligned titles three different ways: 1) drilling down from the state standard into the lowest, most-finely detailed benchmark of a standard, 2) drilling up from an individual book listing, or 3) using curriculum search to define specific search criteria up front, in addition to grade level, price, binding type, interest level, reading program, and more. All applicable state standards from 1995-2005 in the four core areas are available online in full text format and include the most current copyrights as well as classic titles.

For more information on Sagebrush's state standards alignments, visit http://www.sagebrushbooks.com.

Source: Sagebrush Corporation, http://www.sagebrushcorp.com

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AutoSkill Releases New Literacy Intervention Suite

The AutoSkill Literacy Intervention Suite provides AutoSkill's Academy of READING and Academy of MATH software in a single package.

The new title offers a systematic approach to building foundation reading and math skills using individualized training programs. Program features include automated monitoring, management, and reporting tools to track student, classroom, and school progress in both subjects.

The Web-based interface can be accessed with a single user name and password; a single database can cover an entire district.

The Academy of READING portion of the program covers foundation skills in five core areas outlined by the National Reading Panel: phonemic awareness, sound symbol association, phonics and decoding, comprehension, and reading proficiency.

The Academy of MATH program focuses on computational fluency and strategic competence across 10 math skill levels and eight instructional levels. The course material is aligned to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards.

The AutoSkill Literacy Intervention Suite is available immediately. Pricing is available upon request.

Source: AutoSkill International, Inc., 800/288-6754 or http://www.autoskill.com/.

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