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April 11, 2006

Table of Contents

Cool Links: The Exploratorium’s Solar Eclipse Webcast
Holt Science Texts to Include New Scientist.com
COSN Publishes Technology Leadership Monographs
Clip Art Station Launches with Thousands of Photos for K-12
PLATO Offers Inspired Education Award
Free Resources: @rt Room
VBrick Adds Internet Streaming to Traditional Videoconferencing
MMIS Xtra News: Complete March/April 2006 MultiMedia & Internet@Schools Contents Now Available Online—Full Text, Text+Graphics, PDF

Cool Links: The Exploratorium’s Solar Eclipse Webcast

The Exploratorium in San Francisco does some cool things on its Web site, so we checked out the site the day before the (March 29) solar eclipse. Sure enough, they had it covered, with scientists on the scene in Turkey, squarely in the path of totality.

We couldn't be there, of course, and we'd hazard neither could you nor your students. But never mind, because the Exploratorium not only did a live Webcast, but archived it for later viewing on their Web site.

They say:

On March 29, 2006, a total solar eclipse will occur when the new moon moves directly between the sun and the earth. The moon's shadow will fall on the eastern tip of Brazil, speed eastward across the Atlantic, through northern Africa, across the Mediterranean, and into Turkey, where an Exploratorium team will be waiting.

Our crew will transmit a live eclipse Webcast, as well as a telescope-only feed, from a Roman amphitheater in Side, Turkey. Weather permitting, we'll witness the spectacular moment of totality, when the moon completely blocks the sun, and the sun's glorious corona (the outer part of the sun's atmosphere) is revealed.

We've sampled the Webcast via the archive, and it's really quite dramatic. Click HERE to access it from the Exploratorium's Web site.

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Holt Science Texts to Include New Scientist.com

Teachers using science textbooks published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston will have free access to online science resources from New Scientist magazine.

Schools implementing the new Holt science curriculum will have two years free access to NewScientist.com, which includes the full content of the weekly science and technology magazine. The free online resources will be accessed through a link from the Holt Web site.

NewScientist.com includes news updates throughout the day, a 15-year archive of magazine content, special reports, blogs and other resources, including search and browse capabilities and access to RSS feeds and podcasts.

The NewScientist.com link is available to users of Holt Biology, Holt Chemistry, Holt Physics, Holt Physical Science, Holt Science Plus, Holt Science Spectrum, Holt Environmental Science, Holt Earth Science, Modern Biology, Modern Chemistry, and the Holt Science and Technology series.

Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 800/992-1627 or http://www.hrw.com/ or http://www.harcourt.com/.

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COSN Publishes Technology Leadership Monographs

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) released its 2006 Compendium, the annual collection of monographs by leaders from the education technology community.

The six monographs explore key leadership issues important to K-12 district technology professionals, including: Measuring the Value of One-to-One Computing, Open Technologies in K-12 Schools, Not Just Fun and Games, You've Got the Data… Now What?, Assessment Goes Online, and The Emerging Role of the District CTO.

The Compendium includes case studies, interviews with experts, and in-depth reviews of the latest legislation, policy, and research findings relevant to education technology leaders, particularly those at the school district level.

The publication is provided free of charge to CoSN members as a member benefit; it is available for purchase by non-members through the CoSN online catalog.

Consortium for School Networking, 866/267-8747 or http://www.cosn.org/.

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Clip Art Station Launches with Thousands of Photos for K-12

The newly-launched Clip Art Station (http://www.clipartstation.com/) offers a library of more than 2,000 categorized photographs designed to meet the needs of K-12 educators.

During the month of April, one of the largest libraries of mathematics clip art is slated to be added to the collection. Additional photos will be added on a continuous basis.

The subscription-based library covers a range of alphabetized topics corresponding with common K-12 curriculum, including animals, bugs, fish, flowers, fossils, fruits and vegetables, holidays, and modes of transportation. Clip Art Station also includes an array of colonial and historical images supplied by the Library of Congress.

Each subject area provides multiple images, all of which can be viewed, downloaded, and printed in a variety of sizes and resolutions.

One week of unlimited access to Clip Art Station is available for $5.95; one month of access is $14.95. A year's subscription is priced at $29.95 for single users; site access can be purchased for an entire school for $399.95.

Tool Factory, 800/220-8386 or http://www.toolfactory.com/.

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PLATO Offers Inspired Education Award

PLATO Learning is accepting applications from high schools in states west of the Mississippi River for its 4th Annual Inspired Education Award.

The award program is designed to help increase student achievement and technology literacy at a high need high school. The award grants one school a complete educational technology program, including hardware, software, and support.

School applicants must operate in a district with a student population between 10,000 and 500,000, serve students in grades 9-12, have 70 percent or more of their school population eligible for free and reduced lunch, and serve a city with a population of 200,000 or greater that is in a state west of the Mississippi.

The award winner will receive a complete implementation of PLATO courses valued at approximately $100,000. The award includes: 20 Dell wireless notebooks and one caching server that the school may keep permanently, subscriptions to PLATO courses for three school years, installation of the hardware and technology at the school, a professional development package that includes eight professional development days from PLATO education consultants, consulting to conduct a school-based action research program to evaluate the effectiveness of the new program, and technical support throughout the use of the courses (a maximum of three school years).

Applications are available online. All applications must be received by April 11, 2006.

PLATO Learning, 800/447-5286 or http://www.plato.com/community/.

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Free Resources: @rt Room

Did you or your students try Artopia a few weeks back when we posted it as a Free Resource? It runs the gamut of artistic endeavors from painting to music, sculpture, theater, dance, and more. Now here's another art activities resource, @rt Room, which is more exclusively focused on visual media. This one was pointed out to us by Marylaine Block through her Neat New Stuff site and e-mail alert.

From the @rt Room Web site, "About Us":

The artist Mark Rothko once said, "Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risks." It is in this spirit that the @rt Room was created.
Like art rooms in schools everywhere, this virtual art room is meant to be a "special" place. Within its "walls," kids are offered opportunities to create, to discover, to imagine, to invent, to learn, and to make their thoughts become things. In short, the @rt room is a place for kids to explore their inner and outer worlds.
The @rt room is designed around the idea of "activity" centers that encourage kids to create, to learn and to explore new ideas, places and things on their own.

It's full of games and activities, creative-thinking starters (@rt Sparkers), lots of links, and more. It's fun!! Or, as they'd probably say on the @rt Room site, @wesome.

Get there from HERE.  

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VBrick Adds Internet Streaming to Traditional Videoconferencing

VBrick Systems, Inc., a provider of video over IP network solutions, has announced the addition of Internet streaming capabilities to traditional videoconferencing, thereby enabling The Ultimate Gift author Jim Stovall to share his insights with students and fans globally.

Author Jim Stovall provided his inspirational perspective on living with total blindness - as well as insight into his book and upcoming feature film The Ultimate Gift- via a live conference March 6, 2006. Students in eight middle/junior high schools nationally participated via videoconference, while additional students and fans watched and listened to the streamed event via the Internet. The event is part of Berrien County (Michigan) Intermediate School District's (BCISD) "Authors Specialist and Knowledge" (ASK) program.

The Jim Stovall event reflects Internet streaming's central role in expanding information access to students, educators, organizations, and citizens via video and audio content according to the VBrick announcement. Video streaming enables anyone with Internet connectivity to view live, dynamic content via a browser on PCs or mobile devices. Internet streaming bolsters videoconferencing, which traditionally restricts communications to sites with compatible videoconferencing infrastructures, high-bandwidth connections, and in-house technical expertise.

The Ultimate Gift traces a young man's year-long journey through which he learns life's true meaning. ASK student participants have spent the semester reading The Ultimate Gift, as well as writing and peer reviewing book-themed assignments. Videoconference and video streaming capabilities have provided the students with the opportunity to interact with the author. For more information on The Ultimate Gift, visit http://www.remc11.k12.mi.us/dl/ASK/Partnerships/JimStovall.htm

VBrick's video streaming solutions work with IP standards-based videoconferencing equipment. VBrick's VB6000 WM Appliance for Windows Media provides video streaming and management capabilities that enable organizations to quickly launch streaming video.

Source: VBrick Systems, Inc., http://www.vbrick.com

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MMIS Xtra News: Complete March/April 2006 MultiMedia & Internet@Schools Contents Now Available Online—Full Text, Text+Graphics, PDF

The March/April 2006 issue of MultiMedia & Internet @ Schools magazine is all there now at our Web site http://www.mmischools.com. In addition to the free March/April 2006 reviews and the free full text cover story (Bookbinders: Fusing Technology, Image, and Literature), which have been available since the beginning of the month, now the remaining features, columns and other March/April content have been processed. They're available in a variety of formats -- Full Text, Text+Graphics, and Page Image PDF -- on a pay-per-view basis, courtesy of Information Today, Inc.'s InfoCentral and ProQuest Archiver.

For access, see the March/April 2006 issue contents HERE, click on any article, and follow the links.

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