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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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September 26, 2006

Table of Contents

Free Resources: TRAILS—Tool for Real-Time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills
MMIS Xtra News: Internet@Schools East Call for Speakers Reminder!
MMIS Xtra News: InfoToday Bloggers Prepare for Internet Librarian 2006
An Update on the New Sagebrush Corporation—Savia LLC
Free Resources: AASL Awards Applications Now Available
ITI Cross Links: NewsBank’s Readex Launches New Interface for Newspaper Collections
ITI Cross Links: ProQuest Information and Learning Launches New Version of Its Full-Image Newspaper Collection
TANDBERG Announces Connections Program Virtual Field Trip Schedule for 2006
Information Today, Inc. Announces Publication of Teaching Web Search Skills
Discovery Education’s COSMEO Plans New, Expanded Features and Content This Fall
Free Resources: Imbee.com’s ‘Building Internet Skills for Kids’ Program for Elementary, Middle School Educators
Zoomerang Launches Education Resource Center
WGBH Boston Video to Release WWI and WWII DVDs
H.W. Wilson’s Children’s Catalog on WilsonWeb
SRA/McGraw-Hill Upgrades TechKnowledge
Free Resources: Thomson Gale Materials to Celebrate, Educate During Hispanic Heritage Month
Digication Unveils Safe Social Network and E-Portfolio for Students and Educators

Free Resources: TRAILS—Tool for Real-Time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills

TRAILS (Tool for Real-time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills) is a federally funded project to create a tool for library media specialists and teachers to assess the information literacy skills of their high school students. TRAILS first went live in spring 2006 and was refined this summer. It is now available in its expanded form.

TRAILS is standards-based and freely available on the Web. Student privacy is assured, as the system does not collect any identifying information. The multiple-choice assessment items are based on the 9th grade Ohio Academic Content Standards and AASL's Information Power.

You are invited to try TRAILS at http://www.trails9.org to see whether it might be of use to you.

If you used TRAILS previously, you may find the new features useful:

* five refined information literacy categories, each with two new, 10-item assessments
* improved items on each of the 30-item general assessments
* capability to copy student codes to use in a new session
* capability for students to review their responses after a session is closed
* improved session management
* discussion list for account holders to get news and share ideas

TRAILS is a project of the Institute for Library and Information Literacy Education (ILILE) at Kent State University and is directed by the University Libraries. ILILE is funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the U.S. Department of Education.

Source: Institute for Library and Information Literacy Education (ILILE) at Kent State University, http://www.ilile.org

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MMIS Xtra News: Internet@Schools East Call for Speakers Reminder!

The deadline for submitting a speaking proposal for Internet at Schools East is approaching, so if you haven't sent something in already, it's time to submit your idea! Internet@Schools East 2007 will be April 16-17, 2007 in Washington, DC and is held in conjunction with Computers in Libraries 2007.

If you are running an innovative program through your school media or technology center or if you are willing to share your practical tips, tools, or techniques about using technology and the Internet in schools, then we hope you will volunteer to speak at Internet@Schools East!

All speakers receive a full, complimentary registration to the I@SE conference as well as to Computers in Libraries 2007, plus great recognition from their peers. So think over your latest success stories or technology ventures and go to http://www.infotoday.com/I@SE2007/CallforSpeakers.shtml to learn more and to submit a proposal.

Thanks! We look forward to hearing from you soon. Think quickly and send in your ideas by next Monday! And pass this message along and tell your professional colleagues and friends, too!

David Hoffman

Editor, Multimedia & Internet@Schools
Program Chair, Internet@Schools East

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MMIS Xtra News: InfoToday Bloggers Prepare for Internet Librarian 2006

Information Today, Inc.'s blog staff will be posting throughout Internet Librarian 2006 from October 23 - 25, 2006 in Monterey, Calif. This year is the 10th anniversary of the conference. Check http://www.infotodayblog.com often as the bloggers post the latest on Internet Librarian and the co-located Internet at Schools West, a conference geared specifically to K-12 school media & technology specialists. Register for the conferences at http://www.infotoday.com/il2006 or http://www.infotoday.com/Internet@Schools/. And don't forget to check out the group discounts.

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An Update on the New Sagebrush Corporation—Savia LLC

Editor's Note: While researching her soon-to-be-published November/December 2006 MultiMedia & Internet@Schools article "Library Automation in K-12, a 2006 Update—Part 2," Barbara Fiehn spoke with Sagebrush Corporation executives shortly after Follett acquired Sagebrush's library automation products. (See Follett Acquires Sagebrush Corporation's Library Automation Business.) Here's her brief report on what's happening to the rest of Sagebrush Corporation.

Sagebrush Books, Sagebrush Library Services, and Sagebrush Viewpoint have not disappeared from the market place. They form the core of a new company named Savia LLC.

Savia is focusing on the expansion of the Sagebrush Book and Library services. Their full-service book business includes a user-friendly Web site [re-launched on September 21; visit http://www.sagebrushbooks.com now and see!], dynamic state standard alignments, a long history of cataloging and processing for school libraries, and a staff of experienced MLS-degreed library professionals available to assist libraries with collection development. Savia plans to make Sagebrush Books better than ever, they report. The book company facilities in Caledonia, Minnesota, will remain in operation with the same staff as before the sale of Sagebrush Automation.

Savia is also focusing on the growing field of school data management with its information management product Viewpoint. This Web-based tool is designed to help educators manage and interpret student achievement data at the classroom, building, and district level within a secure environment. At the student level, Viewpoint offers management for IEP and 504 and Health AIP as well as Academic Improvement Plans for students needing targeted instruction to meet AYP. The Reports function provides aggregate and disaggregated data by student, class, school, and district.

The Savia leadership has enthusiastically embraced the new company focus and committed to providing outstanding service to book, library, and school customers.

Barbara Fiehn

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Free Resources: AASL Awards Applications Now Available

A total of more than $50,000 is offered through the 13 awards, grants, and scholarships that make up the awards program of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

The 2007 awards include:

AASL Collaborative School Library Media Award - Sponsored by the Sagebrush Corporation, $2,500

The AASL/Highsmith Research grant - Sponsored by the Highsmith Co., Inc., up to $5,000 based on research expenses

ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant - Sponsored by ABC-CLIO, up to $1,750

The Distinguished Service Award - Sponsored by Baker & Taylor, $3,000

The Distinguished School Administrator Award - Sponsored by SIRS/ProQuest, $2,000

The Frances Henne Award - Sponsored by Greenwood Publishing Group, $1,250

The Information Technology Pathfinder Awards, Elementary and Secondary - Sponsored by Follett Software Company, $1,000 to the school library media specialist and $500 to the library

The Innovative Reading Grant - Sponsored by Coughlan Publishing, $2,500

The Intellectual Freedom Award - Sponsored by ProQuest $2,000 to the recipient and $1,000 to the media center of the recipient's choice

The National School Library Media Program of the Year (NSLMPY) Award, School District and Single School categories - Sponsored by Follett Library Resources, $10,000 each category

The School Librarian's Workshop Scholarship - Sponsored by Jay W. Toor, President of Library Learning Resources, $3,000

An application and information about each award is available online at http://www.ala.org/aasl/awards/.

AASL/ALA, http://www.ala.org/ala/aasl/.

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ITI Cross Links: NewsBank’s Readex Launches New Interface for Newspaper Collections

Readex, a publisher of online historical collections and a division of NewsBank, Inc., has announced the release of a new interface for its Web-based America's Historical Newspapers collection, which includes Early American Newspapers, Series I, II, and III, 1690-1922. It enables cross-searching of the papers. Learn more HERE from the announcement picked up in Information Today, Inc.'s NewsBreaks Weekly News Digest for September 18, 2006.

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ITI Cross Links: ProQuest Information and Learning Launches New Version of Its Full-Image Newspaper Collection

ProQuest Information and Learning, exclusive distributor of NewspaperDirect products to libraries in North America, has announced the launch of PressDisplay 3.0. The latest version of PressDisplay adds features and functionality—including cross-searching of the entire archive of titles—to the collection of more than 300 titles in the online newspaper collection. Learn more HERE from the announcement picked up in Information Today, Inc.'s NewsBreaks Weekly News Digest for September 18, 2006.

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TANDBERG Announces Connections Program Virtual Field Trip Schedule for 2006

TANDBERG, a provider of visual communication products and services, has announced the schedule for its 2006 Connections Program, a virtual field trip offering that empowers schools and teachers to "bring the world to the classroom" using interactive videoconferencing. TANDBERG will offer access to free virtual field trips to schools that use TANDBERG videoconferencing equipment, enabling students to experience cultural events in foreign countries, learn about scientific discoveries, or hear stories first hand from those that lived through historic moments. Virtual field trips help schools overcome lack of resources and funding or simple geographic barriers to provide interactive lessons that enhance existing curriculum and bring students what are potentially once-in-a-lifetime experiences, the announcement states.

The Connections Program 2006 schedule will offer students the opportunity to:

* Scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef and discover the impact coral reefs have on wildlife and the world.
* Speak directly to Pearl Harbor survivors about the events of December 7, 1941.
* Learn why people don't fall out of roller coasters when they go upside down, and even help construct a portion of a roller coaster track to demonstrate the physics behind roller coaster performance.
* Experience the secret lives of dolphins, amphibians and bats.

As part of TANDBERG's 2006 Connections Program, school children will use videoconferencing to take a virtual field trip to West Texas to learn about the history of cotton and the role cotton played in shaping early America. This virtual field trip, presented by a high school class in Stamford, Texas, as part of its own interactive video curriculum, will allow elementary students who may have never seen a cotton field to experience a part of history and learn why "cotton was king."

TANDBERG's free virtual field trips are offered on a monthly, first-come, first-served basis to current customers. To register for this exciting program, TANDBERG customers should visit http://www.tandberg.net/connections. For more information about TANDBERG videoconferencing in education, see http://www.tandberg.net/ind_focus/education/schools.jsp.

Source: TANDBERG, http://www.tandberg.net

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Information Today, Inc. Announces Publication of Teaching Web Search Skills

Information Today, Inc. (ITI) has announced the publication of Teaching Web Search Skills: Techniques and Strategies of Top Trainers, by leading trainer and search guru Greg R. Notess. In the book, the author augments his personal advice with examples, approaches, and techniques from a "who's who" of the search training world: Joe Barker, Paul Barron, Phil Bradley, John Ferguson, Alice Fulbright, Ran Hock, Jeff Humphrey, Diane Kovacs, Gary Price, Danny Sullivan, Rita Vine, and Sheila Webber.

"Greg Notess pulls together an impressive number of training tips, tapping not only into his own considerable knowledge base but also into the minds of the foremost Web search trainers on two continents," according to Marydee Ojala, Program Coordinator of WebSearch University.

Teaching Web Search Skills presents a variety of approaches to instructional design and methodology, lists a range of essential training resources, and features dozens of figures, search screens, worksheets, handouts, and sample training materials.

Teaching Web Search Skills includes the following chapters:

1. Web Searching and the Teaching Paradox
2. Understanding Our Audience
3. Choosing an Instructional Session Type
4. Online Tutorials: Friend or Foe?
5. Organization: Focus, Length, and Goals
6. Terminology
7. Content: Web Search Features
8. Content: Primary Concepts
9. Additional Content: Image Searching, News, Usenet, and More
10. The Search Engines
11. Creating a Framed Workshop Web Page
12. Presentation Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts
13. Tales from the Trenches: Anecdotes, Examples, and Exercises

Greg R. Notess, a reference librarian at Montana State University, has taught Web searching and other Internet topics since 1991. A three-time winner of the Gale Group Information Authorship Award, he is a columnist for ONLINE magazine and a popular conference speaker. Notess maintains the popular SearchEngineShowdown.com Web site, where he reviews, compares, analyzes, and comments on the rapidly changing Internet search environment.

Teaching Web Search Skills: Techniques and Strategies of Top Trainers (368pp/ softbound/$29.50/ISBN 1-57387-267-9) is published by Information Today, Inc. It is available in bookstores and direct from the publisher by calling (800) 300-9868 [outside the U.S., call (609) 654-6266]; faxing (609) 654-4309; e-mailing custserv@infotoday.com; or visiting the ITI Web site at http://www.infotoday.com.

Source: Information Today, Inc., http://www.infotoday.com

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Discovery Education’s COSMEO Plans New, Expanded Features and Content This Fall

Discovery Education has announced that its COSMEO online homework help service for K-12 students (http://www.cosmeo.com/) will soon be offering content that directly matches topics covered in the most widely-used math and science textbooks, and later this fall, social studies textbooks.
COSMEO, which is correlated to grade level and state curriculum standards, provides homework help for all key subject areas—science, math, social studies, English, health, art and music—and includes more than 30,000 teacher-approved video clips that make complex topics more interesting to investigate and easier to understand. The homework help subscription service, available at http://www.cosmeo.com, also provides more than 15,000 interactive quizzes; 20,000 high-resolution images and clip art; hundreds of interactive brain games; online reference materials and more.

Since its launch in March 2006, COSMEO has added many new features. Those coming this fall include:

* Textbook-aligned video content for the most widely used science and social studies textbooks, and content aligned to every page of top math textbooks.
* A comprehensive reference center complete with Merriam Webster's online dictionary, the Columbia Encyclopedia, almanacs, and periodicals.
* 5,000 new educational video clips, including Discovery exclusive educational video vignettes tied to upcoming Discovery Networks programs, including Discovery Channel's Discovery Atlas and MythBusters, and Discovery Kids Channel's Year on Earth.
* New brain games, including an interactive periodic table of elements, Pendemonium grammar games, and the COSMEO Music Academy.
* Instant polls that allow kids to share important facts, figures, and kids' opinions.

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

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Free Resources: Imbee.com’s ‘Building Internet Skills for Kids’ Program for Elementary, Middle School Educators

Imbee.com, from Industrious Kid, Inc., (See ITI Cross Links: My Homework's Done--Can Imbee on My Blog?) has announced its "Building Internet Skills for Kids" program, designed for educators who want to incorporate secure, age-appropriate, Internet-based activities into their classroom. Imbee.com enables teachers to build their students' Internet skills, allowing them to safely express themselves, explore online creativity, and communicate with their classmates within a classroom friendly, parent-approved environment, the announcement states.

The Building Internet Skills for Kids program provides elementary and middle school educators with free classroom membership, student/parent registration, basic "how to" instructions for using imbee.com's interactive features, and free lesson plans.

Imbee.com's interactive features keep parents, kids, and educators plugged-in and engaged, enabling teachers and kids to create a class or subject blog, customize study-related themes and personal identities, or create their own image environment with photo album creation and sharing.

Sign up for a free Imbee.com account and the Building Internet Skills for Kids program at http://www.imbee.com/teacher. For more information, visit http://www.imbee.com/teacher/brochures.

Industrious Kid, Inc., created Imbee.com to address the reality that 76 percent of kids between the ages of 8-14 now have access to the Internet, and more than half go online each day (Refinery, Inc., May 2005). In addition, 82 percent of kids who have household access to the Internet are routinely online by the seventh grade, and more than half have already created some form of Internet content (Pew Internet/American Life Project, October 2005). The Building Internet Skills for Kids program is designed to let teachers lead students to productive and beneficial uses of the Internet, with parental oversight and approval.

Source: Imbee.com/Industrious Kid, Inc.; http://www.imbee.com; http://www.industriouskid.com

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Zoomerang Launches Education Resource Center

Zoomerang, an online survey tools producer and part of MarketTools, Inc., has launched the Education Resource Center (ERC), providing practical tips and best practices to educators interested in revitalizing their academic initiatives. The ERC offers tools to help teachers and administrators gain feedback from students and parents, and faculty and staff, helping to drive curriculum decisions and increase student performance.

With the launch of Zoomerang's ERC, educators can get information on crafting the most effective survey to fit their needs, in a timely manner, while alleviating financial pressures, the announcement states. The new ERC is available at no charge to Zoomerang customers and visitors alike at http://www.educationsurveyresources.com.

According to the announcement, the ERC helps educators gain feedback critical to:

* Drive curriculum decisions and increase student performance
* Incorporate faculty input into the decision-making process while increasing teacher satisfaction
* Eliminate paper processing, allowing educators to spend more time on classroom development

Zoomerang recommends these tips and best practices for conducting education surveys online:

* Keep the survey short and focused to increase response rates
* Use closed ended questions whenever possible
* Keep rating scale questions consistent throughout the survey
* Send survey invitations Monday through Thursday

Zoomerang has also announced a price cut for its services. It is now offering educators 40 percent off the regular zPro price, and 50 percent off any Sample survey respondent purchase. For September, for educators who have paper surveys, Zoomerang will enter the survey into an online version, for free (a $500 value). For more information about special pricing for educators, go to http://info.zoomerang.com/solutions/educators.htm.

Source: Zoomerang/MarketTools; http://www.zoomerang.com and http://www.markettools.com/

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WGBH Boston Video to Release WWI and WWII DVDs

WGBH Boston Video debuts World War I: Killing Fields and World War II: The Home Front on DVD on October 24. Each boxed set contains a Masterpiece Theatre drama and a People's Century documentary chronicling the lives and times of those affected by the World Wars.

World War I: The Killing Fields includes the Masteriece Theatre episode, "All The King's Men," the story of Sandringham Company, led by Captain Frank Beck and composed entirely of servants, grooms, and gardeners from the King's Norfolk estate. On August 12, 1915, the unit marched into battle and seemed to vanish. The video brings the details of what really happened to the screen for the first time, revealing the true story of England's "vanished regiment."

In the People's Century documentary, "Killing Fields," soldiers from all sides remember the trenches and the tactics of World War I.

World War II: The Home Front provides the "Monsignor Renard" episode of Masterpiece Theatre, a story of the German occupation of France during World War II told through the experiences of a priest torn between the peaceful teachings of his church and the violent necessities of the emerging Resistance.

The People's Century documentary, "Total War," includes eyewitness stories of World War II from Britain, Germany, Russia, Korea, Japan, and the United States.

The running time for World War I: Killing Fields is approximately 2.75 hours; the running time for World War II: The Home Front is approximately 4.5 hours. Both are priced at $29.95.

WGBH Boston Video, 800/949-8670 or http://shop.wgbh.org/.

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H.W. Wilson’s Children’s Catalog on WilsonWeb

All content from the upcoming 19th edition of Children's Catalog is now available on WilsonWeb.

Children's Catalog presents an up-to-date core collection of fiction and non-fiction works, story collections, picture books, graphic novels, and magazines recommended for readers in preschool through 6th grade.

The selections, chosen by a panel of librarians and specialists in children's services, encompass topics that complement classroom curriculum and books that encourage independent reading among children. Analytical records list titles in collections or anthologies. Also included is a selection of professional resources for educators and librarians.

The Children's Catalog database provides more content than the print edition, including all of the content of the 19th edition, as well as an archive from the previous edition. Recommended titles are added daily.

Searches offer a wide range of parameters. Entries link to full text book reviews, review excerpts and citations, and holdings information from a library's OPAC. The database can be configured to automatically e-mail information to educators on new resources in their specialty as titles are added to the database.

The online Children's Catalog features more than 5,000 new titles since the debut of the previous edition, including new coverage of graphic novels, Web resources and periodicals. With WilsonWeb, users can search more than 10,000 titles in all, including new listings of books on science, technology, and the social sciences.

The new print edition of Children's Catalog will highlight more than 8,500 titles in total; approximately 2,200 additional titles will be listed in three annual supplements (2007-2009) at no extra charge. The print version will be published in October 2006.

H.W. Wilson, 800/367-6770 or http://www.hwwilson.com/.

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SRA/McGraw-Hill Upgrades TechKnowledge

The latest edition of TechKnowledge, the online interactive technology literacy program for students in PreK-6th grade, offers a variety of new features.

The upgrade streamlines teacher administration tasks. As students are promoted to the next grade level, TechKnowledge saves progress data from the previous year. In addition, the curriculum enrollment and student management processes have been simplified.

Among the new or enhanced features are: simplified teacher/class relationships, batch processing of end-of-year student promotion, access to historical progress data, updated tools that simplify changes to student groups, enhanced class progress reports, and progress reports correlated to curriculum standards. The program's User Guides have been updated to show the best ways to access these features.

TechKnowledge is designed to help students learn about computer basics, keyboarding, word processing, drawing and graphics, presentations, spreadsheets, databases, electronic references, and the Internet.

SRA/McGraw-Hill, 888/772-4543 or http://www.SRAonline.com/.

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Free Resources: Thomson Gale Materials to Celebrate, Educate During Hispanic Heritage Month

From September 15 to October 15, 2006, Thomson Gale will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by offering free or trial access to a wealth of resources, educational activities, and authoritative information about the history, influence, and achievements of the Hispanic culture. Also included with these resources is information on Thomson Gale's Opposing Viewpoints print series and its Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Both versions of this online library of current event topics include issues facing today's Hispanic culture, such as immigration.

Visitors to the Thomson Gale Web site will find activities, biographies, links, music, a quiz, a timeline, and featured Thomson Gale titles to complement classroom learning and assignments about Hispanic history, culture and people:

Activities - Partake in Hispanic customs and celebrations with activities designed around important holidays and events at http://www.gale.com/free_resources/chh/activities/
Biographies - Read articles on notable Hispanics at http://www.gale.com/free_resources/chh/bio/
Featured Titles - Celebrate the rich and diverse heritage of Hispanic America with these timely titles from Thomson Gale and its imprints at http://www.gale.com/free_resources/chh/featured_titles/
Links - Explore suggested reading and links to other credible Web sites at http://www.gale.com/free_resources/chh/links/
Music - Discover the influences of some of the most popular Hispanic music genres at http://www.gale.com/free_resources/chh/music/
Quiz - Test your knowledge of Hispanic Heritage at http://www.gale.com/free_resources/chh/quiz/
Timeline - View an historical timeline of events, beginning in 1492, that helped shape the Hispanic culture and the United States, at http://www.gale.com/free_resources/chh/timeline/

Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, visitors will be given a free trial of two of Thomson Gale's Spanish-language databases, Consulta and ¡Informe! . Consulta is a Spanish-language collection of references, magazines and primary documents that can be searched using an English or Spanish menu. With full-text articles from the most popular Spanish-language magazines, ¡Informe! is specifically designed to meet the research needs of Spanish-speaking users and researchers looking for quality Spanish reference material.

Source: Thomson Gale, http://www.gale.com/

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Digication Unveils Safe Social Network and E-Portfolio for Students and Educators

Digication has announced the availability of Digication Spotlight, an online digital portfolio and safe social network for school communities and alumni across the nation. Available for free, Digication Spotlight targets the education community, and presents an opportunity to showcase their work, expertise, and personality to teachers, other students, colleges, and others. It is designed as an academic network for K-12 and higher education where teachers, students, and alumni can create "Spots" to post their original writing, art work, photos, movies, music, important papers, upcoming events, and interesting ideas.

Users can access the intuitive Web-based publisher by visiting http://www.digication.com and immediately have access to all the tools necessary for creating and managing their personal or group-based Web site or Web portfolio.

Digication Spotlight "Spots" can contain information to be spotted by friends and colleagues such as:

* Community Acknowledgement - Spotlight showcases student creativity and success in a manner for the entire academic community to share.
* Accreditation - Spotlight provides a platform for archiving and publishing student work for accreditation purposes aligned to defined standards.
* Student and Teacher Organizations/Clubs - Spotlight empowers users to build an organization's Web site to display information about notices and upcoming events.
* Academic/Professional Advancement - Spotlight allows you to showcase the results of a research project or grant for colleagues to review.

"The design of Digication Spotlight allowed me to develop a professional looking, easy-to-navigate Spot to organize and showcase student work (http://spotlight.digication.com/artmonkey)," said Tiffany Doran, an art teacher at Smithfield High School in Rhode Island. "The main areas I have focused on with the Spot are class assignments for the different courses we offer, and senior portfolios. I have found the students love to see their work online and can't wait to show their friends and families. Digication Spotlight has generated a tremendous amount of positive publicity and feedback for the Art Department, and we have even received commendation from college admissions counselors."

Digication Spotlight is part of the Digication Suite of products, which combine elements of social networking and learning management systems to create a secure, private community that can learn and grow both inside and outside the classroom, according to the announcement. Also available as part of the suite, Digication Campus provides educators with a Web-based classroom that facilitates a collaborative educational experience.

Digication Spotlight is available for free to the first 1,000 users at any U.S. accredited institution, and can be signed up for as an individual or as part of an institution by visiting http://www.digication.com.

Source: Digication, http://www.digication.com

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