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July 18, 2006

Table of Contents

Free Resources: Scholastic News Online's Desktop News
Negroponte Shows $100 Laptop at NECC
Final Report of the ALA Task Force on School Libraries
America’s Digital Schools: A Five Year-Forecast
CoSN Calls for Presentations for 2007 Conference in San Francisco
Inspiration Software and Fourier Systems Partner for Visual Learning and One-to-One Computing
Follett Introduces Enhancements To Destiny Resource Management Solution
Knowledge Adventure Partners With John Lithgow on 'Books by You' Software Program
InFocus Launches ‘Learn Big’ Projector Line
CoSN Announces Online One-to-One Computing Resources
Pearson Digital Learning Announces Waterford Early Learning Program Server 4.0
Inspiration Debuts InspireData
Discovery Education Introduces ‘One Place’ Digital Media Management Solution
Sunburst Introduces WriteBrain
Pearson Knowledge Technologies’ WriteToLearn Added to Apple Digital Learning Series
Thinkronize, FSCreations Partner to Provide Convenient Access to Remediation Content
Free Resources: Promethean Launches Collaborative Web Portal ‘Promethean Planet’
Thinkronize Adds Text-to-Speech Support to netTrekker
Sagebrush Corp. Creates New Data Management Tools to Integrate with Library Automation
Tom Snyder Productions Releases New Version of Scholastic Keys

Free Resources: Scholastic News Online's Desktop News

Scholastic News Online <http://www.scholastic.com/news> has announced the launch of Desktop News, a user-friendly interactive application that downloads news directly onto any computer. Desktop News operates as a homepage that delivers news to a computer's desktop, automatically checking for new content every five minutes. This tool was developed to connect kids with up-to-the-minute news as it happens so students, parents, and teachers can have instant access to the latest breaking news, both in school and at home.

Desktop News is available on both Macs and PCs, and teachers can download this feature onto every computer in the classroom or computer lab. In addition to breaking news articles, Desktop News delivers educational content such as Special Reports and regular news polls, which offer students a place to weigh in on relevant news stories and issues of the day.

To download Desktop News, visit http://www.scholastic.com/desktopnews.

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

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Negroponte Shows $100 Laptop at NECC

Nicholas Negroponte, chairman emeritus of the MIT Media Lab, presented the first public demonstration of the latest prototype of the $100 laptop at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in San Diego this month.

During his keynote presentation, Negroponte said that the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Project is alive and well, and is set to put laptops in the hands of millions of children around the world next year.

The laptop prototype runs on less than two watts, can be operated on human power, and doesn't require electricity. The unit uses a Wi-Fi mesh network that allows users to connect and share memory; it includes a dual mode display that can be viewed easily in natural and artificial light.

Negroponte is a founder of "Wired" magazine and author of the 1995 bestseller, "Being Digital," which has been translated into more than 40 languages.

The National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) is produced by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). A total of more than 11,800 registered attendees and 4,800 exhibit personnel attended this year's conference in San Diego, California. Events included an exhibit hall, nearly 300 concurrent sessions and dozens of additional showcases, galleries and poster sessions.

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

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Final Report of the ALA Task Force on School Libraries

In the July/August issue of MMIS, Katherine Lowe wrote about the work of the ALA Task Force on School Libraries and its preliminary report, in The Work of the ALA Task Force on School Libraries. In that article, we promised an online update on the Task Force's Final Report, which was due just as Katherine's article was to appear in print. Well, that final report has been completed, and Katherine Lowe has been kind enough to supply us with this story and links to the report itself.

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Recently, at the annual conference of American Library Association in New Orleans, the ALA Executive Board approved the Final Report of the Task Force on School Libraries. I was one of two school librarians appointed to this national Task Force, formed in response to the urgent need to support and maintain school library programs and certified school librarians across the nation.

The Task Force was charged with providing an overall assessment of the current state of school library services in America; identifying the most critical issues and trends affecting school libraries and school library media specialists; evaluating various options for responding to those issues; and making recommendations regarding practical strategies that the ALA can undertake to support and strengthen school library services nationwide. The group held its first meeting in June 2005 at the ALA conference in Chicago and completed most of its work online using e-mail and wikis. Task Force chair Barbara Stripling, Director of Library Services for the New York City Public Schools, presented an interim report at ALA's Mid-Winter Meeting in San Antonio last January.

The ALA Executive Board has accepted the Final Report and voted to develop a plan for implementation by their fall Board meeting in October. ALA Immediate Past-President Carol Brey-Casiano has been charged with the responsibility to oversee the development of the plan.


You can read the report by clicking HERE.

Click HERE to download the complete text of the Report to the ALA Executive Board of the School Libraries Task Force. (Word document hosted at the Massachusetts School Library Media Association Web site.)

Katherine Lowe is a member of the ALA Task Force on School Libraries. She is president of the Massachusetts School Library Media Association (MSLMA) and recently retired as director of the Boston Arts Academy/Fenway High School Library & Boston Symphony Orchestra Education Resource Center. She may be contacted at kathylowe@verizon.net.

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America’s Digital Schools: A Five Year-Forecast

More than half of all student-used computing devices will be mobile by the year 2011 and online learning will grow at a compound annual rate of 26 percent over the next five years, according to a new study of the top 2,500 U.S. school districts sponsored by Discovery Education and Pearson Education.

The study, "America's Digital Schools 2006," is based on data provided by superintendents, curriculum directors and technology directors representing a total of more than 11 million students nationwide.

The research also shows that: more than 87 percent of schools offering 1:1 computing report substantial academic improvement where results were tracked; superintendents rank low total cost of ownership (TCO) as the most important factor in 1:1 computing implementations; and many school districts are unaware of a looming bandwidth crisis resulting from the growing number of student computers and applications.

The preliminary results of the survey, which were presented in March 2006 at the Florida Educational Technology Conference, are available online at http://www.ads2006.org/.

One free copy of the report will be provided to every educator who participated in the study. The report is available to non-participating educators at a discounted price of $599.

Districts, state departments and other groups interested in a special presentation of the report for staff members should contact info@ads2006.org.

America's Digital Schools 2006, http://www.ads2006.org/.

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CoSN Calls for Presentations for 2007 Conference in San Francisco

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) seeks presentations for its 12th annual school networking conference, to be held March 28-30, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, CA.

Presentations that focus on the implementation of emerging technologies to enhance learning and teaching in K-12 education are sought in the following subject areas:

Visionary Leadership: What role does it have in technology implementation?

Leadership Skills: What's essential for technology decision-makers to help lead accountability and learning?

Assessment and Accountability: What is the role of the district-level technology leader in assuring accountability for results?

Individualized Student Learning: How is technology being leveraged to advance student learning, and what can our parents and stakeholders expect?

The Total Cost of Technology: How can school districts keep up with the challenge of ever-changing technologies and ever-shrinking budgets?

The Use of Data: Does data-based decision-making lead to learning transformation?

The Role of Students: What role do students have and are we really listening to their wants and needs?

Accessible Technologies: Can accessible technologies help students learn better?

The Impact of Technology Use: What is the value of investment?

Best Practices From Around the World: What can we learn from our international colleagues?

Proposals must relate to the conference theme "Bridging Individualized Learning and High Stakes Accountability." The deadline for proposal submissions is August 1, 2006.

CoSN, 866/267-8747 or http://www.cosn.org/.

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Inspiration Software and Fourier Systems Partner for Visual Learning and One-to-One Computing

Inspiration Software and Fourier Systems, Inc. have announced a partnership and collaboration through which Inspiration Software will develop a Windows CE version of its flagship product, Inspiration, that will ship preloaded on all Fourier Systems' Nova5000 portable wireless computing devices, beginning in the 2006-2007 school year.

Fourier Systems' Nova5000 is a lightweight instant on/instant off wireless computing device with a battery life that meets the needs of a full school day. The Nova5000 is Web-ready, and its flexible hardware design includes USB and Ethernet ports, microphone port, speaker, and four sensor sockets that support more than 65 science sensors for experimentation and data collection.

Inspiration was developed based on visual learning methodologies that help students think, learn, and achieve, the announcement states. Students in grades 6-12 use the software to develop an understanding of difficult concepts and build critical thinking skills.

"Providing students with personal computing devices allows teachers to integrate more project-based, hands-on instruction into the curriculum," said Tom Fitzgerald, chief executive officer, Fourier Systems, Inc. "Now, through our partnership with Inspiration Software, teachers using the Nova5000 can take one-to-one computing to the next level by integrating visual learning instructional strategies across the curriculum."

Source: Inspiration, http://www.inspiration.com; Fourier Systems, Inc., http://www.fourier-sys.com

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Follett Introduces Enhancements To Destiny Resource Management Solution

Follett Software Company has announced version 6.5 of its Destiny Resource Management Solution, featuring enhancements that make the product even better adapted to the specific needs of K-12 districts, according to the announcement.

Destiny v6.5 introduces a number of features to make it faster and easier to centralize the control of district educational resources, improving student outcomes and enjoying significant budget savings, the announcement states.

Improvements include the following:

* Destiny Library Manager: The flagship product in the suite lets K-12 districts offer complete library management services to all schools from a single installation via any supported Web browser. It also offers tools to help connect the library and the classroom. Destiny Library Manager now supports interlibrary loans more efficiently, adding the ability to automatically route materials and view the status of requests. It allows users to quickly search for materials between multiple district sites, encouraging greater collaboration between sites. Schools using Destiny now have the option to add their own subject tags to support the way they teach searching skills.

Districts can enhance Destiny Library Manager's functionality with a number of integrated services. One of these, WebPath Express, lets students search for information from a database of more than 100,000 links to K-12 relevant, educator-approved Web sites. WebPath Express may now be chosen as a separate search within Destiny Library Manager, allowing for more focused online searches.

* Destiny Textbook Manager: This system gives districts and schools total control of their textbook inventory, increasing accessibility and accountability. Textbooks can now be circulated to any student in the district from any site in the district, making it easier to track books issued to students who move within the district during the year. Users also now have access to a searchable online database of textbook records, making cataloging faster and more accurate.

* Destiny Media Manager: Destiny Media Manager is one of the first browser-based solutions that allows teachers to search for, reserve, and track all kinds of district instructional media, including software, videos, activity kits, manipulatives, and more. Users can now search district media and library collections at the same time in an integrated search, with a one hit list returned.

* Destiny Asset Manager: Follett recently expanded Destiny with Asset Manager, which provides browser-based tracking and management of all of a district's fixed and portable assets. The system optimizes access, availability, and use of assets, and improves asset accountability throughout the district. Destiny Asset Manager helps districts improve their control of vital assets such as laptops, PDAs, AV equipment, band instruments, maintenance equipment, and more.

* Destiny Resource Management Solution: Follett is also rolling out a number of enhancements to the general Destiny interface that unifies all the applications. For instance, the history of fines assessed to students is now easily viewed and summarized, and users can generate a fine cash-flow history report. Destiny also now supports integration with LDAP. These and other improvements are designed to make district-wide management of educational resources faster and less labor-intensive.

Source: Follett Software Company, http://www.fsc.follett.com

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Knowledge Adventure Partners With John Lithgow on 'Books by You' Software Program

Knowledge Adventure has announced it will release Knowledge Adventure Books by You, a software product designed to allow kids eight and up to create, edit, illustrate, and personalize books that "celebrate the storyteller in each child" and work to inspire improved reading and comprehension skills.

The software program includes the framework for students to select from four original chapter books that can be customized based on personal experience and input. Once they have selected their storyline, students put their imaginations, creativity, and literacy skills to work with the help of actor and author John Lithgow, who serves as a "story muse" to the students' creative process. Lithgow motivates and guides students through the book creation exercise by presenting a series of leading questions and supportive strategies.

Students' answers to the questions and the details they include are woven into the story in unexpected ways that make reading the story an involving experience. Students expand their vocabulary through new words that are introduced and defined. Once the writing process is complete, students can edit the book, add illustrations, design a book cover, and incorporate details about themselves in the "About the Author" section. The completed books included the students' own ideas, creativity, and imagination.

When finished, students can print their book in the classroom, save it as a PDF file for sharing via e-mail, or even publish a professionally printed and bound version to share with classmates, friends, and family. Book promotion options within the product will allow users to create a press release or posters to notify potential readers about their creation.

Knowledge Adventure Books by You is designed to provide a motivational experience that will develop better, more enthusiastic readers and involved families, according to the announcement. It will be available for purchase in late September in a teacher edition, lab pack, site license, and network version, for both Windows and Macintosh platforms. For more information, visit http://www.knowledgeadventure.com/booksbyyou/.

Source: Knowledge Adventure, http://www.knowledgeadventureschool.com

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InFocus Launches ‘Learn Big’ Projector Line

InFocus has announced the launch of Learn Big, a new portfolio of projectors intended for the education market. Learn Big projectors are designed to allow students to absorb content in a shared, immersive experience while educators are empowered to interact with the class, according to the announcement.

Learn Big IN32 and IN34: With brightness at 2000 and 2500 lumens and XGA resolution, these models offer a compact design in addition to ease of use, DLP (Digital Light Processing) from Texas Instruments and enhanced connectivity. The IN32 and IN34 also feature extensive connectivity including multiple computer inputs, serial interface, and monitor out capability.

Learn Big IN24 and IN26: Priced at $699 and $999, these SVGA and XGA resolution models are built on DLP imaging. With more than 3,000 hours of lamp life, their overall cost of ownership is the lowest in the category.

InFocus Learn Big projectors are now engineered exclusively with DLP, the most dependable imaging technology available, the announcement states. Additionally, their extended lamp life represents a better value for schools.

The Learn Big IN24 and IN26 are currently available. The IN32 and IN34 will be available later this summer for $1,099 and $1,299 respectively.

Source: InFocus Corporation, http://www.infocus.com

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CoSN Announces Online One-to-One Computing Resources

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), in partnership with the One-to-One Institute, launched a new Web site for educators interested in learning more about states and school districts that have one-to-one computing initiatives underway.

The site, http://www.K12one2one.org/, provides a public online directory of major U.S. K-12 institutions that give students and teachers one-to-one access to technology. The online material includes resources and research on one-to-one computing.

Originally known as the Ubiquitous Computing Evaluation Consortium, the site was initially developed by SRI International as a project funded by the National Science Foundation. Funding for that project ended in early 2006. CoSN and the One-to-One Institute have joined forces to maintain and update the content.

CoSN, 866/267-8747 or http://www.cosn.org/.

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Pearson Digital Learning Announces Waterford Early Learning Program Server 4.0

Pearson Digital Learning has announced the new Waterford Early Learning Program Server 4.0, the latest evolution of the Waterford Early Reading Program and Waterford Early Math & Science. With new activities, enhanced reporting, and expanded functionality, Waterford 4.0 is designed to provide a comprehensive solution to take young students from introduction to mastery of critical concepts in reading, math and science.

The Fall release marks the first time the Waterford Early Learning Programs will be available for the Macintosh platform, allowing schools to leverage their existing technology investments while offering access to a wider range of students. Schools may also choose to deploy Waterford's adaptive, computer-based instruction from the new Waterford Server 4.0 or from Waterford's individual programs via peer-to-peer networks.

In Waterford 4.0, reading content and activities are now organized into five instructional strands that align with the five components of Reading First: phonological awareness, phonics, comprehension and vocabulary, fluency, and language concepts. Spanning three levels, each strand is composed of Learning Objectives containing five to eight activities that are sequenced based on the latest reading research.

The reading program features 40 new and enhanced reading activities, and a new dynamic sequencer that enables the program to digitally determine the next learning needs for a student based on his or her performance to date.

Waterford's math and science program's three levels are organized into four strands: daily activities, number concepts, abstract concepts, and science. Each strand includes learning objectives reflecting national and state standards. Waterford 4.0 adds three new science experiments to the program's science lessons. In mathematics, Waterford provides instruction, practice, application, assessments, and review to help students achieve competency in both number skills and abstract thinking before moving to higher math objectives.

Source: Pearson Digital Learning, http://www.pearsondigital.com

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Inspiration Debuts InspireData

Inspiration Software has launched InspireData, a new tool to visualize, investigate, and understand data. Aimed at students in grades 4-12, InspireData is designed to help them apply the strategies of visual learning to data analysis in science, mathematics, and social studies to develop deeper content knowledge, build stronger critical thinking skills, and develop data literacy, according to the announcement.

Originally funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, InspireData was developed by TERC and is published by Inspiration Software. TERC is a leading educational research and development lab committed to improving mathematics and science teaching and learning.

Using InspireData, students collect, explore, and interact with data in a visual dynamic inquiry process. Students learn new ways to work with data to question, explore, solve problems, and draw conclusions in science, mathematics, and social studies curriculum. The product supports data visualization with integrated table and plot views so students move instantly from data collection to data analysis, seeing the meaning of data and strengthening their analytical skills.

In the Table View, students collect and input data from projects or experiments in a familiar table format. To get started quickly, they can use one of the built-in tools and import capabilities, or use one of the more than 50 curriculum-based databases provided with InspireData. The integrated Plot View supports multiple plot types including Venn, stack, pie, and axis. Students can also represent data as it moves over time with animated Time Series. With the Slide Show tool, students capture the sequence of their analysis to present data and conclusions.

InspireData comes with resources to help teachers integrate visual learning into instruction. The accompanying "Classroom Projects" book includes subject-specific lesson plans for science, mathematics, and social studies and provides ideas on uses for InspireData, as well as recommended projects and experiments. In addition, more than 50 curriculum-based databases as well as plot examples are included in the product.

Educators interested in previewing InspireData can download a free, fully functional 30-day trial copy from the Inspiration Software Web site at http://www.inspiration.com/freetrial.

Under regular pricing, single copies of InspireData are $79. Through a special introductory offer available until December 31, 2006, there is a $10 rebate offer redeemable online for all single license U.S. purchases. Until June 30, 2007, schools or districts that currently own five or more licenses of Inspiration can save 10 percent on InspireData volume license orders of 20 or more at a time.

Source: Inspiration Software, Inc., http://www.inspiration.com

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Discovery Education Introduces ‘One Place’ Digital Media Management Solution

Discovery Education has introduced One Place, a digital media management product that offers quick access to online digital media from one integrated access point. One Place is designed to help educators manage their online educational content more effectively, so they spend less time navigating multiple interfaces and more time delivering educational content to the classroom.

Available for the upcoming back-to-school season, One Place is designed to help educators and administrators take advantage of a rich array of online educational resources. One Place is integrated with a growing list of K-12 online service providers, including Discovery Education's unitedstreaming, Health Connection, and Science Connection; Tekdata; MediaNet; WRC Media; World Book; Atomic Learning; and Maps.com. Schools can also add other online services of their own choosing.

According to the announcement, educators and administrators using One Place will be able to:

- Increase efficiency by using a single username and password for all digital resources.
- Save time by gaining universal access to all local and licensed digital content.
- Upload, manage, and distribute local or licensed digital content through one interface.
- Customize the One Place main interface to suit their school's needs.
- Stream live feeds of local content.
- Share teaching materials.
- Increase return on investment for online subscription services.


For more information about One Place, visit http://www.discoveryeducation.com.

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

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Sunburst Introduces WriteBrain

WriteBrain, from Sunburst Technology and DigitalXperts, offers a comprehensive Web-based writing program for grades 2-8. The material is correlated to the writing standards of all 50 states.

Students build writing skills with WriteBrain's research-based process of text production that includes word processing, writing strategies, self-evaluations, peer and teacher assessments based on six trait rubrics, and collaborative writing.

The program features more than 150 educational writing prompts that cover 11 genres of writing, a range of differentiated instruction, formative assessment tools, and research-supported best practices and strategies. WriteBrain complements any language arts curriculum, as well as instructional interventions in the classroom.

The program is available as an annual subscription on a building-level basis only, beginning at $2,000 per building for as many as 500 users.

Sunburst Technology, 800/321-7511 or http://www.sunburst.com/.

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Pearson Knowledge Technologies’ WriteToLearn Added to Apple Digital Learning Series

Pearson Knowledge Technologies has announced that WriteToLearn is included in the Apple Digital Learning Series for middle and high school language arts. Designed to accompany Apple Mobile Learning Labs, the Apple Digital Learning Series provides a collection of value-priced curriculum solutions designed to enhance student information access and productivity and increase achievement in key curriculum areas.

With WriteToLearn, students practice essay writing and summarization skills. Their efforts are measured by Pearson's state-of-the-art Knowledge Analysis Technologies engine, which automatically evaluates the meaning of text by examining whole passages. Students receive immediate, specific feedback on their work, while teachers assess student efforts individually or as a class.

WriteToLearn is compatible with browsers running on Mac OS 9.2, Mac OS X version 10.0 or higher, and Windows 2000/XP or higher. It requires a Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.1 or higher or Netscape Navigator 7.0 or higher browser.

For more information about the Apple Digital Learning series, visit http://www.apple.com/education/solutions/adls/. For more information about WriteToLearn, visit http://www.writetolearn.net.

Source: Pearson Knowledge Technologies, http://www.pearsonkt.com

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Thinkronize, FSCreations Partner to Provide Convenient Access to Remediation Content

Thinkronize, developer of the netTrekker suite of educational search products, and FSCreations have partnered to provide educators with instant access to reinforcement content for their students. The newest version of FSCreations' flagship product, ExamView v5.2, now features an item remediation summary that allows teachers to instantly link to remediation content provided by netTrekker. Any netTrekker classic or netTrekker d.i. customer who purchases ExamView will now have access to this functionality.

Teachers can now access netTrekker content from the ExamView item remediation summary, which indicates subject areas that may need additional reinforcement. For example, if a teacher wanted to find out how well her students performed on a recent history exam, she would generate a report through the ExamView Test Manager. The report might indicate that more than half of her students answered a question about Abraham Lincoln incorrectly. At this point, she could choose to see an item remediation summary, which would list a number of keywords, such as "Gettysburg Address" and "Reconstruction." Each keyword is linked directly to a corresponding netTrekker results page, which would allow her to browse through the material provided to find relevant resources to conduct a review session with her students.

The teacher could also use the ExamView Learning Series, state-aligned question items, to create assignments that are based on state standards. She could then generate reports that link directly to the state standard remediation items in netTrekker.

Source: Thinkronize, http://www.thinkronize.com; FSCreations, Inc., http://www.fscreations.com

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Free Resources: Promethean Launches Collaborative Web Portal ‘Promethean Planet’

Promethean has announced the launch of Promethean Planet, a free collaborative Web portal designed to help K-12 educators, administrators, and parents maximize the use of interactive learning technologies.

Intended as a comprehensive online source for educators, Promethean Planet provides searchable information to help educators maximize the use of interactive technology in the classroom. These high-quality resources include detailed maps and scientific diagrams. Graphic organizers have also been incorporated in various formats.

Searchable lessons organized by grade and subject, videos, and Weblinks are ready to download for use with Promethean's Activstudio and Activprimary lesson-development software. Best practices are highlighted in the monthly "Teacher Feature" that will focus on how educators are optimizing teaching with interactive technology in their classrooms.

Promethean Planet features an online forum where teachers can interact with other teachers and share experiences and lesson materials. Online technical support from Promethean is also available.

Promethean Planet supports Promethean's Activclassroom, which offers teachers thousands of standards-based resources as part of the Activstudio lesson development software. Student centered lessons take place on Activboard interactive whiteboards. Full class participation is provided through handheld Activote formative assessment devices.

Registration, membership, and access to the online resources and forum at Promethean Planet is free to all administrators, educators, teachers, and students. For further information on Promethean Planet, visit the site at http://www.prometheanplanet.com.

Source: Promethean, http://www.prometheanworld.com

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Thinkronize Adds Text-to-Speech Support to netTrekker

Thinkronize has announced that netTrekker d.i. <http://www.nettrekker.com> is now available with text-to-speech support, making the product's 180,000 educator-selected resources more accessible and adaptive for special needs students. The Read Aloud feature automatically reads text back to the user with the click of a button.


Students highlight sections of text within the netTrekker d.i. product interface, on a netTrekker d.i. search result, or any definition provided by the Dictionary/Translation Hot Key. The highlighted text is then read aloud. The feature is included in every subscription to netTrekker d.i..

netTrekker d.i. with Read Aloud support, now eligible for IDEA funds, ultimately reduces the strain of reading for those who may have visual impairments, have learning disabilities, or who find it hard to concentrate for long periods of time, according to the announcement.

In addition to text-to-speech support, netTrekker d.i. works to assign each prescreened resource a readability measure based on Lexile ratings and eight other popular methods. Also, an entire section of netTrekker d.i. is filled with customized ELL content to help teach English as a second language, addressing a growing need in K-12 education today.

Source: Thinkronize, http://www.thinkronize.com

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Sagebrush Corp. Creates New Data Management Tools to Integrate with Library Automation

Sagebrush Corporation has announced the launch of two data management modules to make understanding library data easier at the school and district level - Sagebrush InfoCentre District Reports Manager and Sagebrush InfoCentre Patron Manager. These two modules allow for ease of use and better district accountability, according to the announcement.

District Reports Manager allows administrators to access data for all of the district's libraries to create detailed reports on circulation, collection, and patrons. These reports allow administrators to analyze the district's libraries and their contributions to student achievement, identifying strengths and weaknesses for future planning.

The District Reports Manager creates consolidated reports in accordance with state requirements as part of overall accountability. The system offers graphic charts and reports, as well as drill down capabilities with the ability to analyze sub-groups.

Patron Manager provides seamless synchronization of student information system data with patron information in the library management system InfoCentre for more efficient management of the entire library system. The software consolidates SIS data at the student level and automatically sends the relevant patron information to the library automation software. The module is available on industry standard .NET and SQL platforms ensuring reliability and support.

District Report Manager and Patron Manager are available in one-year subscriptions, $1,595 for District Report Manager and $2,495 for Patron Manager. The two products are also bundled for $3,495.

Source: Sagebrush Corporation, http://www.sagebrushcorp.com

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Tom Snyder Productions Releases New Version of Scholastic Keys

Tom Snyder Productions has announced it is releasing an updated version of Scholastic Keys. The software, which provides elementary students with a kid-friendly interface and educational enhancements for Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, now includes built-in, easy-to-implement lesson plans with activity files to further help teachers integrate technology into their language arts, math, science, and social studies curricula.

Scholastic Keys helps teachers incorporate technology skills and enhance lesson plans while maximizing the school's investment in Microsoft Office, according to the announcement. Now the software will come with a collection of lessons, as well as a variety of templates, drawing tools, and hundreds of graphics, sound effects, text-to-speech reader, and movies to provide an early introduction to using Microsoft Office.

For more information on Scholastic Keys, visit http://www.scholastickeys.com.

Source: Tom Snyder Productions, Inc., http://www.tomsnyder.com

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