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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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June 06, 2006

Table of Contents

Free Resources: World Book’s “Hurricanes!” Feature
MMISXtra News: Preliminary Program for Internet@Schools West Posted
Cool Links: University of Wisconsin-Stout Online Classes for Librarians
2006 ISTE Outstanding Teacher and Leader Awards
Curriculum Associates Offers Free Online ELL Professional Development
ETS and Great Source Team Up on Co-branded Criterion Online Writing Evaluation
SIGTel Online Learning Award Winners
Numonics Launches Intelliboard 77
Free Resources: The Miller Center Presidential Speech Collection
GTCO CalComp Announces InterWrite PRS Software Version 4.0

Free Resources: World Book’s “Hurricanes!” Feature

World Book has introduced a new feature to help students and their parents better understand these storms. The online feature, "Hurricanes!," is available through the World Book Online Reference Center for schools and libraries (http://www.worldbookonline.com) and consumers (http://www.worldbook.com).

World Book's hurricane feature offers a comprehensive overview of hurricanes, including how they originate and travel as well as their impact on both the coastal and marine ecosystems. The feature also explores 10 of the most significant hurricanes over the past 70 years, culminating with last year's Hurricane Katrina. Also provided is information about the operation of the hurricane warning system, as well as advice about protecting lives and property during hurricanes. Each section of the feature is supported by charts, graphs, maps, and other images that reinforce and add information to the topic.

The hurricane feature also provides students with a variety of editor-reviewed links allowing them to explore further, including links to universities and government agencies. Additionally, students can test their knowledge through an interactive quiz on hurricanes.

The "Hurricanes!" feature is one of dozens World Book Content Spotlight features, available at no charge at http://www.worldbook.com. Content Spotlight features are designed to bring alive topics for students, prompting them to explore areas that they may not have known they had an interest in. The information is presented in an age-appropriate, balanced format using text as well as media to heighten the experience, according to the announcement.

Source: World Book, Inc., http://www.worldbook.com

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MMISXtra News: Preliminary Program for Internet@Schools West Posted

If you're a K-12 library media specialist looking for the best new ways to use technology and the Internet on behalf of your students and colleagues, then our Internet@Schools West conference on October 23 and 24, 2006, in Monterey, California, is for you!

The 2006 program features three keynotes. We join the Internet Librarian attendees to hear author and former K-12 librarian J. A. Jance on opening morning; cybercrime expert Jayne Hitchcock kicks off day two for Internet@ Schools West; and Web search guru Gary Price closes our conference.

BUT don't go home after you've heard those keynoters and our session speakers at this 2-day conference! Add another day to your conference experience by joining Internet Librarian to attend the Learning & Training or Social Computing tracks or any other Day 3 Internet Librarian sessions on October 25. You'll get the double benefit of our own Internet@Schools West K-12 focus plus a sampling of perspectives from working librarians in academic, public, corporate, and special libraries as well. It's a deal!

Click HERE for a look at the preliminary program, HERE for registration information. And watch MMISXtra for more information on bargain group pricing for educators.

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Cool Links: University of Wisconsin-Stout Online Classes for Librarians

Summer is good professional development time, especially when you can do it on your own schedule. Our own MMIS Media Center columnist Mary Alice Anderson has written about online teaching and learning in the magazine—see her upcoming July/August 2006 column for her latest. Mary Alice walks the walk, of course, as she's one of the instructors who offer a number of useful online courses, some of which start TODAY, for K-12 LMS's and other educators through the University of Wisconsin-Stout School of Education.

Follow THIS LINK to see what's available:

Here are some of the class titles, just to get you into it:

* TEACHING INFORMATION LITERACY WITH PRIMARY SOURCES
* ADVOCACY AND EMERGING ISSUES FOR MEDIA SPECIALISTS
* SCHOOL LIBRARY AND CLASSROOM COLLABORATIONS
* CHILDREN'S LITERATURE IN THE READING PROGRAM (grades K-5)
* YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE IN THE READING CLASSROOM (grades 6-12)

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2006 ISTE Outstanding Teacher and Leader Awards

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) named Rick Robb of Clarksville, Maryland, USA, as the ISTE 2006 Outstanding Teacher and Lindy McKeown of Ipswich, Queensland, Australia, as the ISTE 2006 Outstanding Leader.

Robb was nominated for the award by the Maryland Instructional Computer Coordinator's Association (MICCA). For more than 26 years, he has been a part of a cutting-edge technology community that melds business applications and educational environments.

McKeown was nominated by the Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education (QSITE) for her 26 years as a champion of the use of technology in all levels of education.

Both awardees receive complimentary ISTE memberships and $1,000 toward travel to the 2006 National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in San Diego, CA, where they will be recognized at the keynote session and receive commemorative plaques.

ISTE, 800/336-5191 or http://www.iste.org/.

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Curriculum Associates Offers Free Online ELL Professional Development

Vocabulary Strategies for the English Language Learner, a free online professional development course developed and led by Elia Corona, an English as a second language training specialist, can be accessed at http://www.catraining.com/ under the Topics in Education banner.

The one-hour online training course is divided into two lessons. The first examines the concept of academic language proficiency, explains the challenges English language learners face when building academic proficiency, and offers strategies to help students improve their academic language and vocabulary skills. The second lesson contains downloadable activities and games that can be implemented with a whole class, small groups, or individual students.

The material includes text and audio instruction, downloadable handouts for additional reading, and a lesson review.

Vocabulary Strategies for the English Language Learner is the sixth in a series of free courses offered by Curriculum Associates. Other programs in this series cover differentiated instruction, integrating the curriculum, motivating students to learn, test preparation strategies, and classroom discipline.

Curriculum Associates, 800/225-0248 or http://www.cainc.com/.

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ETS and Great Source Team Up on Co-branded Criterion Online Writing Evaluation

ETS and Great Source Education Group have announced a collaboration intended to help students improve their writing skills. Great Source, a division of Houghton Mifflin Company, will market and distribute subscriptions to a co-branded version of ETS's Criterion Online Writing Evaluation.

 The Criterion service, part of ETS's System 5 suite of K-12 products and services, is an online learning tool that uses automated scoring technologies to evaluate student essays online. The service helps instructors more quickly evaluate student writing skills by scoring essays that students submit and providing annotated diagnostic feedback in real time about the use of grammar, usage, mechanics, style, and organization and development, according to the announcement. Teachers set the parameters for each assignment and can provide feedback on student essays in the form of pop-up notes or comments posted on a private message board.

 The co-branded version of the Criterion service will complement Great Source's Write Source program, and include custom prompts, level-specific handbooks, traits support, and graphics directly aligned with Write Source textbooks. Starting this August, schools and districts that purchase subscriptions through Great Source will get Write Source's new features coupled with the Criterion service's existing program to advance writing progress.

 For more information and an online tour of the Criterion service, visit http://www.ets.org/criteriontour.html.

Source: ETS, http://www.ets.org; Great Source Education Group, http://www.greatsource.com

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SIGTel Online Learning Award Winners

Jodie Prazak of Piitoayis Family School and Jennifer George of Prince of Wales School, both of Calgary, Alberta (Canada), are the first place winners of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2006 SIGTel Online Learning Awards. The awards recognize creative educators worldwide for their pioneering use of telecommunications networks to provide innovative learning opportunities for K-16 students.

Second place went to the team of Susan Gorenke of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Joelle Maples of South Doyle Middle School, both of Knoxville, Tennessee (U.S.). Third place was awarded to Jennifer Wagner of Crossroads Christian Schools in Corona, California (U.S.).

Recognized as Highly Commended were:

April Chamberlain of Paine Intermediate School in Trussville, AL (U.S.)

Steve Feld of John F. Kennedy High School in New York, NY (U.S.) and Lynette Ardis of Thomas Hepburn Community School (England)

Kristin Hokanson, Upper Merion Area School District, King of Prussia, PA (U.S.), Michael Baker, South Side School District, Hookstown, PA (U.S.), Tracey McGrath, Philadelphia School District, PA (U.S.)

Darren Kuropatwa, Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute, Manitoba (Canada)

Julie Lindsay, International School Dhaka, Dhaka (Bangladesh) and John Turner, Presbyterian Ladies' College, Burwood, Victoria (Australia)

Al P. Mizell Nova Southeastern University, North Miami Beach, FL (U.S.)

Walter McKenzie, Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough Amesbury, MA (U.S.)

Michelle Speight, Calgary Board of Education, Calgary, Alberta (Canada), plus numerous partners and contributors.

The award winners are invited to present a Web poster session about their project at the National Educational Computing Conference 2006 in San Diego, CA. They also receive a standard ISTE and SIGTel membership.

Complete information on the awards appears online at http://www.iste.org/sigtel/award/.

ISTE, 800/336-5191 or http://www.iste.org/.

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Numonics Launches Intelliboard 77

The new Intelliboard 77 interactive whiteboard combines educational content software with electromagnetic digital technology.

All computer controls are transferred to the board's multimedia pen, turning the pen into a computer mouse. The pen features left and right mouse click functions and enables the navigation of any Windows or Macintosh program, Internet browser, CD, or DVD connected to a computer.

The new whiteboard features a 77-inch diagonal screen size, hard laminate surface, durable construction, and a limited lifetime warranty. Smaller screens—62-inch and 47-inch—are also available.

The Intelliboard software suite provides an array of educational content software, including free access to the Encyclopedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, a secondary level clip art library with more than 2,000 images and accompanying text, and Virtual WhiteBoard software for capturing notes, drawings, and creating lessons.

Numonics Corporation, 215/362-2766 or http://www.interactivewhiteboards.com/ or http://www.numonics.com/.

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Free Resources: The Miller Center Presidential Speech Collection

Thanks once again to Gary Price's ResourceShelf for this tip:

The University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs—Scripps Library & Multimedia Archive is the repository for a remarkable collection of U.S. presidential speeches. The audio files, as well as the full-text "transcripts" of pre-F.D.R. speeches, are wonderful multimedia educational artifacts. Here's some information, straight from the Miller Center's Web site:

The Scripps Library, through cooperation with various presidential libraries, has been collecting some of the more important presidential speeches of the past 60 years. These speeches are available in their entirety in full audio. When possible, we have also provided transcripts of the speeches. Recently we have expanded our collection to include the full text of some of the more important presidential speeches from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Click HERE to access the speeches.

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GTCO CalComp Announces InterWrite PRS Software Version 4.0

GTCO CalComp has announced the release of InterWrite PRS Software version 4.0 for Windows and MAC OS X, for use with the company's InterWrite PRS Systems. InterWrite PRS 4.0 supports InterWrite PRS-RF, the newest addition to the company's line of student response systems, as well as existing InterWrite PRS infrared systems.

When used with InterWrite PRS-RF, the latest PRS software gives teachers the broadest range of question types. The tool enables instructors to ask advanced numeric questions that include positive and negative numbers, decimal points, and fractions, in addition to multiple choice, rank order, multiple correct and even short answer question types. The new PRS software also allows teachers to instantly create rosters with its self-registration feature, and gives educators more flexibility in how they structure their classes with the new Self-Paced and Homework modes. InterWrite PRS 4.0 software supports both the infrared and radio-frequency models of PRS. 

Features of the newly released InterWrite PRS 4.0 Software include the following:

* Support for the new radio-frequency PRS RF clicker devices.
* Capability for Multiple Question Types, including numeric with decimal points, fractions, and positive and negative numbers; multiple choice; true false; rank order; multiple correct; and short answer.
* Capability to handle large classrooms up to 2,000 students with one receiver hub.* Support for self-paced testing, allowing students to scroll through a series of questions and answer at their own pace.
* New Homework Mode feature, allowing students to prepare answers at home, return clickers to the teacher with their answers saved, and then download students' answers into PRS.
* Non-PRS grades can now be added to the PRS Gradebook.
* Letter Grade and Percentage Grade displays have been added to the Gradebook.

InterWrite PRS software, available for both the Windows and Mac OS X operating environments, is included free with the company's new InterWrite PRS RF and existing infrared (IR) systems. Software updates are free to existing users and can be downloaded at http://www.gtcocalcomp.com/supportprs.htm. In addition, customers can receive free training for InterWrite PRS via online video tutorials or live online training sessions conducted via WebEx at http://www.gtcocalcomp.com/interwriteprsrf.htm.

Source: GTCO CalComp, http://www.gtcocalcomp.com

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