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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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February 28, 2006

Table of Contents

MMISXtra News: Internet@Schools East Will Be Blogged, Wiki’d, and More!
Cool Links: So Long, Mr. Jeeves, Ask.com is Here
MMISXtra News: Internet@Schools West Call for Speakers is Out
Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use Publishes Cyberbullying Book
Free Resources: Free State-Specific Web Seminars on Standards-Aligned Assessment from ETS
Knowledge Matters Announces Upgrade in Virtual Business Curriculum
Free Resources: GrantsAlert.com Helps Teachers Find Funds
TI Every Day Math Initiative Brings NUMB3RS to FETC
Free Resources: Brainy Kids
ISTE Publishes NETS*S Resources for Student Assessment
Turning Technologies Announces TurningPoint 2006 Audience Response System

MMISXtra News: Internet@Schools East Will Be Blogged, Wiki’d, and More!

Our own Internet @ Schools East conference is coming up in March—the 23rd and 24th, to be specific—in Washington, DC, along with the Computers in Libraries conference. And you're invited. (Click HERE to register now!) The program is long since in place, but there are a few new developments:

* Together with the Computers in Libraries crowd, some of the organizers, speakers, and, we hope, attendees at Internet @ Schools are gearing up to blog the event. Among them, session speaker Alice Yucht.

* A Wiki—The Unofficial CIL Wiki—has been set up to collect and disseminate useful information about and for the two conferences and the attendees, with coverage of Washington, DC for visitors as a bonus. There's a link to the growing list of bloggers as well.

So … Please check out the program and join us!

—David Hoffman, Susan Geiger, conference co-organizers and moderators

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Cool Links: So Long, Mr. Jeeves, Ask.com is Here

We at MMISXtra are fans of Gary Price's ResourceShelf, where we often find worthwhile news and resources to pass along. Just today, Gary posted an article on ResourceShelf that's particularly noteworthy, covering not only changes at Ask Jeeves—now Ask.com—but also changes in his own professional life—he is now working for Ask.com. As he writes in this ResourceShelf piece:

… This post will not only fill you in on "what's new" at Ask Jeeves (so long and adios to Mr. Jeeves) but I also hope it helps answer a question many of you have asked since I told you about my new job. Why did I choose to take the job in the first place? In this case this post is both a news story and at the same time a brief look at some of Ask's services.

Read So Long, Mr. Jeeves, Ask.com is Here HERE!

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MMISXtra News: Internet@Schools West Call for Speakers is Out

Call for Speakers

Internet@Schools West
October 23-24, 2006
Monterey, CA
Deadline: March 24, 2006

We're seeking presenters for our Internet @ Schools West 2006 conference, to be held in Monterey, California, October 23-24, 2006. 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 the Internet Librarian 2006 conference.

If you are running an innovative program through your school media or technology center that's helping your students learn or your teachers teach, or if you are willing to share your practical tips, tools, or techniques about using technology and the Internet in schools, we want you! Please consider volunteering to speak at Internet@Schools West.

All speakers receive a full, complimentary registration to the Internet@Schools West and Internet Librarian 2006 conferences, plus great recognition from their peers. So think over your latest success stories or technology ventures and go to http://www.infotoday.com/Internet@Schools/CallForSpeakers.shtml to submit your proposal.

Thanks! We look forward to hearing from you soon. The deadline for proposals is March 24, so think quickly and send in your ideas!

David Hoffman

Editor, MultiMedia & Internet@Schools magazine

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Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use Publishes Cyberbullying Book

Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Challenge of Online Social Cruelty, Threats, and Distress, by Nancy E. Willard, is a new publication from the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use. The book provides timely, in-depth insight and practical strategies for school administrators, counselors/psychologists, school resource officers, teachers, and others on preventing and responding to cyberbullying and cyberthreats, according to the Center's announcement.

Cyberbullying is being cruel to others by sending or posting harmful material or engaging in other forms of social cruelty using the Internet or other digital technologies. It can cause great emotional harm to the target. Online communications can be very cruel and vicious, and they can be happening 24/7, the announcement notes. Damaging text and images can be widely disseminated and impossible to fully remove. Teens are reluctant to tell adults—for fear of overreaction, restriction from online activities, and possible retaliation by the cyberbully. There are emerging reports of youth suicide and violence related to cyberbullying.

Among the points made in the announcement and discussed in the book are the following:

Cyberthreats are either direct threats or distressing material that raises concerns that the person may be considering committing an act of violence against others or self. It is highly likely that young people who are distressed and contemplating an act of violence are posting clues to this distress and their potential actions online.

Responding to cyberbullying and cyberthreats is emerging as one of the more challenging issues facing educators as young people embrace the Internet and other mobile communication technologies. While much, but possibly not all, of this activity is occurring off-campus, the impact on the well-being of students and the school climate can be significant. As this book outlines, there are many effective ways that schools can, and must, respond to address these serious concerns.

Author Nancy E. Willard has spent over a decade focusing on issues of Internet use management in schools. Her underlying objective is to empower young people with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to make safe and responsible choices when using the Internet-and to encourage adult involvement to ensure that they do.

For more information, visit http://cyberbully.org.

Source: Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use, http://csriu.org

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Free Resources: Free State-Specific Web Seminars on Standards-Aligned Assessment from ETS

Educational Testing Service (ETS) is hosting free Web seminars that examine using standards-aligned assessment to drive instruction and improve student achievement. These seminars are designed for teachers, as well as school and district administrators.

Topics covered in the one-hour "Webinars" include What Makes a Good Test Item, How to Build a Formative Assessment, and Creating Cycles of Continuous Student Achievement: Using the "Focus on Standards" School Improvement Model.

Upcoming Webinar dates include:

Texas - February 28

California - February 28, March 9

Ohio - March 8

Indiana - March 8

New York - March 15, March 22

Hawaii - March 2, March 7, March 16, March 23, March 30

To obtain information on Webinars scheduled for your area, call 866/ETS-LEARN.

Source: Educational Testing Service, http://www.ets.org/.

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Knowledge Matters Announces Upgrade in Virtual Business Curriculum

Knowledge Matters, Inc., has announced the release of Virtual Business Management (VBM) 2.0, its latest upgrade in a suite of business curriculum software.

The standards-based program adds a multiplayer capacity to the original version allowing teams to "steal" each other's customers and employees while motivating cooperative thinking and team strategy. Currently used in 3,000 schools in the U.S. and abroad, Knowledge Matters' Virtual Business programs are designed to give students interactive learning experiences as virtual business owners, managers, and supervisors.

To mimic real-life management situations, VBM developers worked in conjunction with a major food distributor to embed variables in the simulation that test players' abilities to score ever-higher profits running a distribution company. New features in the upgrade include:

- employee strikes and collective bargaining
- industrial accidents and lawsuits
- more finite control over truck routes
- consequences of different forms of business ownership
- more realistic resumes
- performance warnings and pay raises
- better visual cues (like steam rising from angered workers heads)
- new surprises that hinder operations (like road construction)

According to the announcement, Knowledge Matters, Inc., set out to harness the appeal and complexity of computer games to teach and assess specific curricular content. Games such as Sim City, Roller Coaster Tycoon, and Zoo Tycoon transfix players with convincing virtual environments designed to entertain, but are not geared to specific, measurable, teaching goals. Educational simulations currently available use decision-tree software that presents fairly transparent "either/or" choices. Knowledge Matters' simulations require the comprehensive thought processes of entertainment games and are based on curriculum teachers use, the announcement states.

Played at increasing levels of complexity, VBM offers assessment options that include printable lesson worksheets, projects, and performance journals to help the teacher evaluate student performance. VBM 2.0 supports courses in introductory business, management, supervision, entrepreneurship, marketing, business math, and others.

Knowledge Matters' family of Virtual Business programs are correlated to three national standards and 25 state standards as well as included in textbooks by Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, the announcement states.

Source: Knowledge Matters, Inc., http://www.knowledgematters.com

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Free Resources: GrantsAlert.com Helps Teachers Find Funds

GrantsAlert.com provides educators with free access to up-to-date announcements of corporate, foundation, state and federal education funding opportunities. All of the information on the site is specifically education-focused.

An online Grant Writers' Directory offers access to experienced grant writers. Educators writing their own grants will find helpful background information on the Grant Writer Resources page.

The site also includes links to information on after-school funding, community funding, education grant information and Web sites, grant writing, grants for teachers, K-12, and K-20. In addition, users can register for Grants Alert e-mail updates.

Source: GrantsAlert.com, http://www.GrantsAlert.com/

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TI Every Day Math Initiative Brings NUMB3RS to FETC

The program for the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) includes a closing session focused on the Texas Instruments "We All Use Math Every Day" initiative, based on the popular CBS television series "NUMB3RS." Actor David Krumholtz, who plays mathematical genius Charlie Eppes on the program, is scheduled to attend.

FETC, to be held March 22-24 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, offers more than 200 concurrent sessions, 79 professional development workshops, and an opening session featuring keynote speaker Dr. Rudolph Crew, the innovative superintendent of the Miami-Dade County public school system. The conference also includes an Exhibit Hall with displays of the latest technology and education resources from 500 companies.

"We All Use Math Every Day" is an education program developed by a partnership made up of Texas Instruments, in association with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the producers of "NUMB3RS."

The program offers math exercises, classroom materials, and additional information related to the television program at http://education.ti.com/educationportal/. The Web page also links to a blog by Dr. Mark Bridger, a professor at Northeastern University's math department, who provides information and insight about the NUMB3RS television program (http://www.atsweb.neu.edu/math/cp/blog/).

The partnership is also sponsoring an online sweepstakes for teens and their math teachers. Prizes include a trip to Hollywood and a visit to the NUMB3RS set, funding toward college costs, and a walk-on role on NUMB3RS for a teacher. Students ages 13-19 are eligible to participate by logging in, identifying their current math teacher, and answering math questions at http://www.cbs.com/. The sweepstakes ends March 15; winners will be randomly selected and notified by March 20.

NUMB3RS, broadcast Friday nights at 10 p.m. on CBS, is a drama about an FBI agent (Rob Morrow) who recruits his mathematical genius brother (David Krumholtz) to help the Bureau solve challenging crimes. Inspired by actual cases, the series shows how the interaction of police work and mathematics can provide unexpected revelations—and answers—to the most perplexing questions. Judd Hirsch appears as the father of the two crime-solvers.

More information:

FETC, http://www.fetc.org/.

Texas Instruments, http://education.ti.com/educationportal/.

CBS Television, http://www.cbs.com/primetime/numb3rs/index.shtml/.

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Free Resources: Brainy Kids

Brainy Kids <http://www.dana.org/kids> is a comprehensive Web site offering children, parents, and teachers selected science-related links to games, labs, science fair ideas, educational resources, and lesson plans. The links are reviewed regularly by the staff of The Dana Foundation, a private philanthropic organization with particular interests in neuroscience, immunology, and arts education, and producer of the site.

Additionally, The Dana Foundation's site includes many additional resources, including:

* "Sourcebooks" for secondary school teachers and students—one on the brain and one on immunology:

Immunology: http://www.dana.org/books/press/immunologysrcbk/

* Books from the Dana Press: two recent books whose authors are also excellent resources:

A Well-Tempered Mind: Using Music to Help Children Listen and Learn
A Good Start in Life: Understanding Your Child's Brain and Behavior from Birth to Age 6: http://www.dana.org/books/press/danabook/start/

* Arts education books: The Dana Press will soon be publishing a new arts education book that will be available free to arts organizations, schools, and the general public. Two previous arts education books:

Planning an Arts-Centered School: http://www.dana.org/books/press/artshandbook/
Acts of Achievement: http://www.dana.org/books/press/achievement/

* A free newsletter, Arts Education in the News, features reprints of several key articles on arts education, from North American newspapers: http://www.dana.org/books/press/artsnews/

* "Gray Matters" radio programs: Audiocasts and podcasts of the radio programs produced by the Dana Foundation: http://www.dana.org/books/radiotv/ and http://www.dana.org/broadcasts/podcasts/

Source: The Dana Foundation, http://www.dana.org

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ISTE Publishes NETS*S Resources for Student Assessment

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has published a new book, NETS*S: Resources for Student Assessment, by M.G. (Peggy) Kelly, Ed.D., and Jon Haber. The book is a comprehensive guide for measuring students' ability to use technology effectively for learning. Although many kids today are surfing the Web, instant-messaging their friends, blogging, and gaming, some still may not be developing the technology skills necessary for educational, career, and civic success in the 21st century, the ISTE announcement states.

Using NETS-based strategies and tools, NETS*S: Resources for Student Assessment provides detailed guidelines for creating and choosing reliable tests of technology literacy for various grades, as well as case studies and best practices at the site, district, and state levels.

Covering best practices in both embedded assessment and standardized, performance-based testing, the book demonstrates that technology assessment can be a powerful tool for enhancing student performance when thoughtfully integrated into larger curricular goals.

NETS*S: Resources for Student Assessment offers the following features:

* Detailed NETS*S performance rubrics designating technology competency targets for Grades 2, 5, 8, and 12
* Models for creating classroom assessments of student technology use as well as case studies of large-scale assessment initiatives
* Comprehensive survey of technology assessment concepts and options

The book is intended for K-12 teachers; campus-, district-, and cabinet-level administrators and policy makers; teacher educators and staff developers; education researchers; and technology coordinators.

Material presented in NETS*S: Resources for Student Assessment assumes a basic knowledge of the NETS for Students and education technology.

NETS*S: Resources for Student Assessment may be purchased online for $35.95 for ISTE members and $39.95 for nonmembers. More information about the book, as well as a free downloadable excerpt and the table of contents are available at http://www.iste.org/store.

The National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) Project was initiated by ISTE's Accreditation and Professional Standards Committee. The primary goals of the NETS Project are to enable stakeholders in PK-12 education to develop and implement national standards for technology-literate students and the educational uses of technology that facilitate school improvement. The NETS Project developed the standards for students and teachers highlighted in NETS for Students and NETS for Teachers, and facilitated the Technology Standards for School Administrators Project.

Source: International Society for Technology in Education, http://www.iste.org

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Turning Technologies Announces TurningPoint 2006 Audience Response System

Turning Technologies has announced its TurningPoint 2006 Audience Response System now enables teachers, speakers, and other users to instantly measure their audiences' knowledge and opinions in the aggregate.

With TurningPoint, teachers, lecturers, and trainers can test students of any age to ensure the transfer of knowledge, the announcement states. Users can tailor their lessons and address audience/class opinions voiced through feedback.

TurningPoint 2006 has a wide range of audience response devices, with both credit-card size response units and "virtual keypads" for PCs, desktops, or PDAs available. For smaller groups, there are three handheld units: ResponseCard IR, using line-of-sight infrared (IR) technology effective up to 90 feet; ResponseCard XL, an IR unit that includes a self-paced testing mode; and ResponseCard RF, a radio frequency device that registers responses up to 400 feet away.

vPad Audience Response Software, the virtual keypad alternative, loads onto computers or PDAs. The onscreen interface offers both keypad response and a text messaging option for submitting questions as well as for essay or fill-in-the-blank testing. Connection is made via either a wired or wireless IP network.

TurningPoint Software audience response technology offers complete integration with Microsoft Office, according to the announcement, making use of the entire MS Office suite:

Microsoft PowerPoint—Any PowerPoint slide can be "response-enabled" so students can provide immediate and measurable feedback.
Microsoft Excel—Enables response information to be tracked and reported easily.
Microsoft Word—For creation and exporting of question lists into PowerPoint.
Microsoft Outlook—Allows seamless sharing of collected information via e-mail.

Users can configure TurningPoint 2006 systems of any size to meet specific budget requirements. Depending on the market and the options selected, complete systems ready to collect data from an audience of 32 participants can be purchased for $1,500 to $3,500.

For more information, visit Turning Technologies at http://www.turningtechnologies.com.

Source: Turning Technologies, LLC, http://www.turningtechnologies.com

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