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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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December 20, 2005

Table of Contents

Free Resources: Dickens' A Christmas Carol in askSam Searchable E-Book format
Scholastic Education Introduces New Enterprise Edition of READ 180
Sagebrush Announces Pinpoint v2.0, Upgraded Integrated Search Tool
Free Resources: Online Television Journalism Curriculum for High Schools
Olympus Announces First Members of the Olympus Visionary Educator Program
ITI Cross Links: More on ProQuest's Black Studies Center
GTCO CalComp Releases InterWrite Software 6.0 Interactive Whiteboard Software

Free Resources: Dickens' A Christmas Carol in askSam Searchable E-Book format

askSam Systems keeps on adding to its free, searchable collection of literature works online. (See Free Resources: Shakespeare's Macbeth in askSam Searchable Database and Free Resources: Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in askSam Searchable E-Book.) Thinking seasonally, now they've done Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

Per the askSam Web site:

Read, search and analyze the text of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Written by Charles Dickens in 1843, A Christmas Carol has become one of the most popular and enduring Christmas stories of all time. The eBook contains the complete text as well as the original illustrations. Enjoy. "And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!"
It's available HERE from askSam.

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Scholastic Education Introduces New Enterprise Edition of READ 180

Scholastic Education <> has introduced READ 180, the Enterprise Edition, the first major revision of the nationally recognized reading intervention program since it launched in 1999. READ 180, the Enterprise Edition delivers research-based reading instruction for students in grades 4 and above who struggle to read proficiently, and now offers a new teaching system and management tools. These enhancements reflect and incorporate recent evolutions in technology, school, and district requirements to demonstrate adequate yearly progress (AYP) under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, and data gathered from successful implementations of READ 180.

To further support READ 180 educators, the Enterprise Edition now features the rBook, an engaging, interactive text that introduces students to skills and strategies in writing and vocabulary to further build reading comprehension. The rBook also provides a more explicit instructional path for whole and small group lessons, making it easier for new teachers to implement the program and for all READ 180 teachers to differentiate instruction based on students' progress and reading levels, according to the announcement. Additionally, the Enterprise Edition integrates professional development directly into the Teacher's Edition, helping teachers identify resources based on students' needs and learn best practices for teaching literacy to struggling readers.

The new technology platform in the READ 180 Enterprise Edition features the Scholastic Achievement Manager (SAM), a management system that continuously captures data on student performance and provides teachers and administrators with technology tools to manage student data, run reports, and locate resources. Using SAM, teachers can link directly from these reports to standards-aligned resources for differentiating instruction among the students in their class. SAM also supports more concurrent student users and allows educators to disaggregate student data by AYP groups and chart progress at the classroom, building, and district levels.

Additional features of READ 180, the Enterprise Edition, include support for English Language Learners in Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Hmong, and Haitian Creole, as well as new paperback and audiobook titles that reflect student interests.

The program also incorporates ongoing professional development to help teachers become successful instructors of reading. READ 180: Best Practices for Reading Intervention, a course develop by Scholastic Red Professional Development, offers anytime, anywhere access to online videos of researchers, modeling of best practices, and research-based teaching strategies and resources to help raise reading achievement.

READ180 began as a collaborative effort between Vanderbilt University and the Orange County Public Schools in Florida. It has been proven effective in numerous large-scale validation studies in Phoenix, Arizona; Santa Rosa, Florida; Los Angeles; and Des Moines, Iowa, with further research ongoing in districts around the country, the announcement states.

More information on READ 180, the Enterprise Edition, is available at

Source: Scholastic,

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Sagebrush Announces Pinpoint v2.0, Upgraded Integrated Search Tool

Sagebrush Corporation has announced an upgrade to their integrated research tool, Sagebrush Pinpoint. Pinpoint helps students access and use the best district resources for learning by gathering, evaluating, ranking, and reporting the most relevant results (as defined by the district) from multiple sources simultaneously. These sources include libraries, subscription databases, and the Web.

With the release of v2.0, Pinpoint users can search multiple libraries within a system and view results in a user-friendly format available in multiple languages.

Pinpoint enhancements in version 2.0 include:

* Streamlined and modernized server software - Pinpoint now installs with a standard InstallShield and runs as a Windows service, making it easier for users to operate and maintain.
* Virtual union compatibility - Users can search multiple Sagebrush Spectrum, Sagebrush Athena, and Sagebrush InfoCentre libraries, as well as libraries running non-Sagebrush systems, with a single search.
* Improved user interface - The new interface is more intuitive, more consistent with the other Sagebrush library products, including Sagebrush Accent and InfoCentre, allowing for seamless integration.
* Redesigned Search Results page - Users can scroll through the list of found titles (Results list, Full Title page, My List, etc.) while buttons and other navigation controls remain stationary and accessible.
* Dynamic online help - The new Movie button (found next to the Help button) launches a three-minute video introduction to Pinpoint to help students begin to use Pinpoint immediately and effectively.

Additional information on Sagebrush Pinpoint is available by visiting

Source: Sagebrush Corporation,

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Free Resources: Online Television Journalism Curriculum for High Schools

The National Television Academy, the organization behind the Emmy Awards, is offering free online curriculum materials designed to educate high school students about best practices in journalism.

New lessons in the curriculum package focus on intellectual property, editorial control and plagiarism. The materials integrate journalism and the use of technology into the language arts curriculum. They also weave connections between literature and the real world of journalism and address student civic responsibilities.

The curriculum is based in part on books written by Av Westin, former executive producer of the ABC news programs "World News Tonight" and "20/20." The materials, addressing multiple national standards, are designed for use on a regular basis throughout the school year or for a single class session.

The material may be downloaded free of charge at

The Academy also sponsors the annual National Student Television Awards of Excellence, designed to recognize high school students throughout the country in News, Arts & Entertainment/Cultural Affairs, Documentary, Public Affairs/Community Service/Public Service, Sports, Technical Achievement and Writing. In addition, members of the Academy's 20 chapters are available for school presentations.

Source: National Television Academy,

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Olympus Announces First Members of the Olympus Visionary Educator Program

Olympus America, Inc., has announced the names of the first educators to join the Olympus Visionary Educator Program. The Program is being launched to advance the use of digital imaging and promote visual literacy among students and teachers in all areas of the core curriculum. The initial seven members are:

* Dr. Suzanne Banas, Lead Teacher, Richmond Heights Middle School, Science Zoo Magnet, Miami, Florida
* Jeanne Biddle, Director of Technology, Scott County Schools, Georgetown, Kentucky
* Deborah Hargroves, Media Specialist, Windsor Forest Elementary School, Savannah, Georgia
* Lynn C. Israel, Technology Teacher Leader, and Beth Hartman, Art Teacher, Clara Barton School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
* Meg Ormiston, Professional Development Specialist, Burr Ridge, Illinois
* David Thornburg, Thornburg Center for Professional Development, Lake Barrington, Illinois

Olympus Visionary Educators will be using an Educator Kit with the latest Olympus digital camera, digital media cards, a reader/writer micro drive, and a digital photo printer. While each Visionary Educator's contributions are unique, Olympus relies on the program members to contribute in three key areas:

* Using Olympus digital cameras in creative ways to encourage visual learning in the classroom and beyond
* Encouraging other educators to integrate digital imaging in the classroom
* Teaching peers to use Olympus digital photographic equipment

Lynn Israel and Beth Hartman of the Clara Barton Elementary School in Philadelphia have been using Olympus cameras for over two years in the school's MG (Mentally Gifted) program. "We are honored to represent Olympus as Visionary Educators," said Ms. Hartman. "In our MG Program we teach children to use a camera the way a photographer would, to think about depth, perspective, and composition." Once they learn how to photograph, the students take their knowledge further. "The program uses photography to teach vital life skills," said Ms. Israel. "The children practice writing and speaking about their photographs. They also learn to use photography as a means of documenting an event or location."

Meg Ormiston, Professional Development Specialist, has recently completed a three-year, multi-million-dollar grant focusing on reading in the content areas with the support of digital tools. "I am honored to be selected as one of the founding members of the Olympus Visionary Educator Program," said Ms. Ormiston. "I absolutely believe in the power of the visual images in the classroom and, as I work with thousands of teachers each year, I share my passion."

Olympus plans to expand the Visionary Educator Program in the coming months, bringing on board more teachers who have achieved exemplary results in integrating technology in the area of visual learning.

Source: Olympus America, Inc.,

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ITI Cross Links: More on ProQuest's Black Studies Center

Last week, we cross-linked to's story, based on ProQuest's press annoucement, on ProQuest's new Black Studies Center. Now another Information Today, Inc. e-publication, NewsBreaks, has published an in-depth story on the Center, by ITI News Bureau Chief Paula Hane, and we'd like to point you to Paula's story for the additional information and insights it includes.

From her report: "The just-launched Black Studies Center is a digital resource developed by ProQuest's Chadwyck-Healey division in conjunction with the renowned Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture ... The collaborators call the ambitious product a first for the academic community; it creates a framework for undergraduate- and graduate-level Black Studies courses and fills information gaps that have stymied research and study."

Paula spoke to ProQuest vice president of publishing Suzanne BeDell, as well as to Dorothy Ann Washington, librarian at the Black Cultural Center at Purdue University, in reporting "ProQuest Centers on Black Studies." Click HERE to link to the story on ITI NewsBreaks.

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GTCO CalComp Releases InterWrite Software 6.0 Interactive Whiteboard Software

GTCO CalComp, Inc., has announced the release of InterWrite Software 6.0 for use with the company's InterWrite School Suite products - the InterWrite SchoolBoard, SchoolPad, or iPanel. The latest release of the software provides enhanced tools and student assessment features, plus new content. The InterWrite PRS student assessment system is now integrated into InterWrite 6.0, giving educators both interactive whiteboard software to deliver lessons and student assessment software. Teachers who currently have InterWrite PRS can now teach a lesson with InterWrite 6.0 Software and easily insert a PRS question into their lesson to instantly gauge the level of comprehension in their classes, according to the announcement.

InterWrite 6.0 also features more educational content from its expanding clipart image and background page galleries. New images include cell and organ diagrams, art and recreation, math manipulatives, additional maps, handwriting, money (including foreign currency) and more. Many InterWrite functions and tools have also been enhanced, including a new Page Sorter and Page Viewer feature that makes it easier for teachers to review lesson slides and the ability to insert live links directly into InterWrite lessons.

InterWrite software is included with the company's InterWrite SchoolBoard, SchoolPad, and iPanel products. InterWrite Software works with any computer application, allowing users to leverage their existing presentation or education software to enhance the way they teach and present, according to the announcement. It is available from GTCO CalComp or local resellers.

For more information about the InterWrite School Suite and the InterWrite Interactive Classroom, visit

Source: GTCO CalComp,

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