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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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November 22, 2005

Table of Contents

Free Resources: Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in askSam Searchable E-Book
AASL School Library Media Program of the Year Applications Available
Cool Links: “Shifting Worlds” Internet Librarian Keynote by Lee Rainie, Pew Internet & American Life Project
Holt Launches New World Geography Series for Middle Schools
TeachingBooks Expands Content, Adds New Features
LeapFrog SchoolHouse Aligns Link to Lessons Program With DIBELS Assessment
Free Resources: iEARN-USA’s Teachers’ Guide to International Collaboration on the Internet, Direct from the DOE
Scholastic Book Fairs Announces 2006 Student Author Contest
H.W. Wilson Releases New Middle and Junior HS Library Catalog
Free Resources: Discovery Education, The Faith & Politics Institute, and Freddie Mac Bring Civil Rights Curriculum to Schools

Free Resources: Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in askSam Searchable E-Book

In September, we noted the publication/posting by askSam Systems of a searchable database containing the text of Shakespeare's Macbeth (See Free Resources: Shakespeare's Macbeth in askSam Searchable Database), along with a number of other works. askSam is still at it, recently announcing a free, searchable E-book containing the text of Romeo and Juliet.

Per the announcement:

The text from Romeo and Juliet is available in a searchable, hypertext-linked askSam database. The individual scenes are divided into separate documents in the database. This allows you to easily search and locate scenes pertaining to specific topics - great for students, teachers, and Shakespeare buffs.

The askSam version allows you to search, browse, and analyze the text. You can either view the text online, or you can download the searchable version of Romeo and Juliet with the free askSam viewer at http://www.asksam.com/ebooks/Shakespeare/Romeo_Juliet.asp.

There is no charge for the software or information.

The downloadable version provides students and scholars with features to search and analyze the text of the play.

In addition to Romeo and Juliet, askSam has also prepared free searchable versions of the following:

- Hamlet
- Macbeth
- Leonard Da Vinci's Notebooks
- The Bible
- 9-11 Commission Report
- Patriot Act
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act
- Transcripts from the 2004 Presidential Debates

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

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

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AASL School Library Media Program of the Year Applications Available

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 2006 School Library Media Program of the Year award process is underway. New categories have been announced for this year: one District Award and two Single School Awards will be presented.

The awards recognize exemplary school library media programs that are fully integrated into the school curriculum. Each winning program receives a $10,000 prize donated by Follett Library Resources.

Applications and award information are available online at http://www.ala.org/ala/aasl/aaslawards/natlslmprogram/aaslnational.htm.

Source: AASL/ALA, 800/545-2433. extension 4382, or http://www.ala.org/aasl/

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Cool Links: “Shifting Worlds” Internet Librarian Keynote by Lee Rainie, Pew Internet & American Life Project

Last month, attendees at our Internet Librarian conference in Monterey listened intently to the keynote talk by Lee Rainie, the director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project. In "Shifting Worlds," Rainie documented some of their latest findings on how … and how much … the Internet is affecting our lives.

Of particular interest to educators are the findings about teens: "We've done special surveys of those ages 12-17 and found to absolutely no one's surprise they are more connected than ever and their intensity of Internet use is growing … " Also of great interest, among the trends Rainie posits, is that content creation and content sharing via the Internet will increase—something savvy educators can capitalize on because of its appeal to students.

The text of Rainie's Internet Librarian talk is available online via the Pew Internet & American Life Project Web site. Click HERE to go to a Pew page with links to it.

And while we're at it, we'd better point you to a fascinating report Rainie coauthored, published this past August: "The Internet At School." From the Pew Web site describing some of the content in the report: " ... There is widespread agreement among teens and their parents that the Internet can be a useful tool for school. However, 37% of teens say they believe that 'too many' of their peers are using the Internet to cheat. And there is some disagreement among teens and their parents about whether children must be Web-literate by the time they begin school." HERE is how to get to the "Internet At School" report.

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Holt Launches New World Geography Series for Middle Schools

Holt, Rinehart and Winston has announced the launch of a new world geography program for the middle grades. Holt Social Studies: World Geography/World Regions 2007 provides modular and single-volume options to match the varied social studies curricula being taught in schools and meets customer needs for flexibility, according to the announcement.

World Geography/World Regions is standards-based and provides content that is accessible to all learners through integrated research-based reading instruction, offering multiple audio, visual, and technology resources to students as they investigate the geography, cultures, and history of the world.

The program is also available in a Web-based version, Holt Premier Online Student Editions, that include Live Ink Online Reading Help—an online tool Holt that displays text in a format that has been proven to improve comprehension and increase test scores. Instructional visuals in the student editions and interactive online maps help students develop geographic literacy, the announcement states.

Teachers can plan, customize, and differentiate instruction and materials to meet the needs of their students using the Holt One-Stop Planner with ExamView Pro Test Generator and the Differentiated Instruction Modified Worksheets and Tests CD-ROM. A range of assessment options from diagnostic tests to Holt Online Assessment helps teachers effectively monitor student progress.

Up-to-date real-world data for this program is provided by The World Almanac Education Group, publisher of The World Almanac and Book of Facts.

Holt Social Studies: World Geography/World Regions is authored by Christopher "Kit" Salter, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Geography and former Chair of the Department of Geography at the University of Missouri. Dr. Salter helped found the National Geographic Alliance and was instrumental in establishing Geography for Life, the document outlining the National Geography Standards.

Source: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, http://www.hrw.com

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TeachingBooks Expands Content, Adds New Features

TeachingBooks.net has announced the expansion of its content and addition of new features designed to help educators use technology to reveal the spirit and personality behind books.

With more than 4 million student users, TeachingBooks.net now includes simpler searches, curriculum-aligned resources, and training materials to enhance usability and facilitate classroom integration. In addition, TeachingBooks.net continues to increase the number of online resources available, now offering more than 10,000 author programs, book readings, book guides, and other multimedia resources.

Enhanced search capabilities allow for quick and easy navigation, offering educators the option of searching by author, title, keyword, grade level, or subject. A new QuickSearch function provides educators with access to English language learner (ELL) materials and state book award resources such as the Texas Bluebonnet reading list.

The latest version of TeachingBooks.net offers easier accessibility for educators and students via one-password access. IP authentication provides automatic sign-in for students at school, eliminating the need for student passwords. 

In addition to improving search functions and access, a new section providing resources and services is now available to help educators incorporate TeachingBooks.net into their lesson plans. The Educator Area features more than 600 thematic K-12 booklists, information on most English language children's and young adult book awards and distinctions, and thousands of links to professional resources for educators. To further support the use of TeachingBooks.net in schools, support and training resources are now included with every subscription.

To sign up for a free 14-day TeachingBooks.net trial, visit http://www.teachingbooks.net.

Source: TeachingBooks.net, http://www.teachingbooks.net

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LeapFrog SchoolHouse Aligns Link to Lessons Program With DIBELS Assessment

LeapFrog SchoolHouse has announced that its Link to Lessons program will align with the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment. The Link to Lessons program is designed to enable teachers to plan individualized instruction with The Literacy Center, LeapFrog SchoolHouse's early literacy package. The Literacy Center is an interactive, multisensory curriculum that reinforces any basal reading programs in PreK-through-grade-2 classrooms, the announcement states.

The Link to Lessons program provides individualized instruction for students identified as "some risk" or "at risk." Students can then practice early literacy skills on LeapPad personal learning tools, the LeapMat learning surface, and other components of The Literacy Center. The Link to Lessons program also generates assessment reports in English or Spanish, which can be shared with parents. The DIBELS assessment evaluates kindergartners and first-graders in six areas: word use fluency, initial sound fluency, letter naming fluency, phoneme segmentation fluency, oral reading fluency, and nonsense word fluency. For each literacy skill, students are identified as "low risk," "some risk," or "at risk."

For more information on the Link to Lessons program and The Literacy Center, visit http://www.leapfrogschoolhouse.com.

Source: LeapFrog SchoolHouse, http://www.leapfrogschoolhouse.com

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Free Resources: iEARN-USA’s Teachers’ Guide to International Collaboration on the Internet, Direct from the DOE

iEARN-USA (International Education and Resource Network) has announced the availability of its newly revised Teachers' Guide to International Collaboration on the Internet. The announcement comes during International Education Week (November 14-18), a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. The iEARN guide is one of the key tools available to educators who would like to internationalize their classrooms, according to the announcement. It is available free from the Department of Education's Web site at http://www.ed.gov/teachers/how/tech/international/.

The new Teachers' Guide provides tutorials, tips, online and print resources, and specific curriculum-based projects in which U.S. teachers can participate to establish school-to-school global interaction on the Internet. Examples are provided across the entire curriculum, from science and creative arts projects to interaction in World Languages.

iEARN-USA Director Dr. Edwin Gragert, notes: "Through the Internet, students and teachers have the opportunity to go beyond international simulations and engage directly with students in other countries. Students have the opportunity to both learn and teach through direct interaction, enabling them to gain knowledge about and the ability to work with other cultures. These are important 21st century skills. The Teachers' Guide provided by the Department of Education helps educators equip students with these skills."

iEARN-USA has pioneered online collaborative education among countries of the world since 1988 for the purpose of enhancing learning and connecting youth to make a difference in the world. iEARN is currently active in schools and youth organizations in 115 countries. iEARN works internationally with many partners to expand access by U.S. classes to the world's students and teachers.

Source: iEARN-USA, http://us.iearn.org

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Scholastic Book Fairs Announces 2006 Student Author Contest

The Scholastic Book Fairs' annual "Kids are Authors" competition is now underway for 2006. The contest will honor two grand prize winners for fiction and nonfiction and will award 25 honorable mentions.

The grand prize winners will have their books published and distributed nationally by Scholastic Book Fairs. They will receive a medal, a commemorative certificate and a copy of their published book. The grand prize winners' schools will receive a $5,000 merchandise certificate from Scholastic Book Fairs and 100 copies of the printed book.

The schools of the honorable mention winners will receive $500 in Scholastic Book Fair merchandise and a certificate of merit.

Detailed entry information can be found online at http://www.scholastic.com/kidsareauthors/.

The deadline for entries is March 15, 2006.

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

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H.W. Wilson Releases New Middle and Junior HS Library Catalog

H.W. Wilson has launched the Ninth Edition of its Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog. The new edition includes coverage of timely new topics of interest to middle school students and educators, as well as expanded coverage of Web resources, periodicals and graphic novels.

The Catalog provides an up-to-date core collection of fiction and nonfiction books and other publications for readers at grade levels five through nine, in addition to review sources and other aids for school librarians and media specialists. All titles are selected by experienced librarians familiar with the needs of young people and educators in diverse parts of the country.

The new edition's new features include a list of mostly Web-based resources, a two-section list of recommended periodicals (journals for teachers, librarians and media specialists and periodicals with educational value for children and young adults) and a selection of recommended graphic novels, chosen by an expert in the field with special attention to propriety for a middle school and junior high school audience.

Each Catalog entry offers information for acquiring new resources and integrating them into a library collection: publisher, price, ISBN, suggested Dewey Decimal classification, and descriptive annotations and evaluative quotes from reviews. Also included are notes on available editions, awards, publication history and series titles.

The new Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog is available in an electronic edition on WilsonWeb and in print format. The online edition delivers the new content, an archive from the previous edition, online links and electronic searching features. The paper edition includes annual updates in paperbound supplements through 2008, at no additional charge.

Source: H.W. Wilson, 800/367-6770 or http://www.hwwilson.com/

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Free Resources: Discovery Education, The Faith & Politics Institute, and Freddie Mac Bring Civil Rights Curriculum to Schools

Fifty years ago, Rosa Parks launched the Civil Rights Movement by refusing to comply with an unjust law. To celebrate this and other pivotal moments and the individuals who made the dream of equal rights for everyone a reality, The Faith & Politics Institute, Freddie Mac, and Discovery Education have developed Freedom on the Move, Continuing the March toward a More Perfect Union. This cross-curricular program, designed to educate middle school students about the historic lessons and living spirit of the Civil Rights Movement and to inspire them to apply these lessons to their own lives and communities, is being provided for free to all U.S. middle and junior high schools.

Freedom on the Move, Continuing the March toward a More Perfect Union, is a multimedia learning kit that includes:

Teacher's Guide - Four cross-curricular lessons focusing on the past, present, and future of civil rights; assessments; background information and suggestions for getting started; and relevant Web sites and resource lists.

Student Magazine - Interviews, articles, and images that evoke the voices of young people from different parts of the world who have first-hand experience with the struggle for equal civil rights, and those who have since retraced their steps.

Classroom Poster - Inspirational poster that spotlights young people who have made a difference.

DVD - Two educational films—Civil Rights: The Long Road to Equality, and Join Us on the Journey: An Introduction to the Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage. The DVD also contains preview segments and ordering information for two additional films—Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks, and Mighty Times: The Children's March—available to educators for free from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Freedom on the Move, Continuing the March toward a More Perfect Union mails to all U.S. middle and junior high schools in November 2005 and parents, educators, and administrators across the country are encouraged to engage with this curriculum in order to teach every child in America about this important piece of our nation's history.

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

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