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November 21, 2006

Table of Contents

Free Resources: ABC-CLIO Schools “Inquiry in History” Professional Development Series
Califone Introduces New USB Jackbox Language Technology
Online Version of AFI Education Program Launches on Discovery’s unitedstreaming
Free Resources: Curriculum Associates’ Free Professional Development Podcasts
Sagebrush Education Resources Offers State Alignments
Thinkronize Announces Addition of Canadian Resources to netTrekker
netTrekker Includes Teachers’ Domain
PBS TeacherLine Courses Help Teachers Incorporate Technology Throughout the Curriculum

Free Resources: ABC-CLIO Schools “Inquiry in History” Professional Development Series

ABC-CLIO Schools has announced a new series of professional development workshops for librarians: Inquiry in History: A Collaborative Approach. The program advocates a greater focus on partnering with social studies faculty to develop students' critical thinking skills and their ability to evaluate information sources.

ABC-CLIO Schools has arranged for accomplished school librarians to lead hands-on, engaging workshops about ABC-CLIO Schools' five-step inquiry framework, and strategies for supporting this framework within their own school library.

ABC-CLIO Schools' Presenters

Pam Berger: Publisher and Editor of Information Searcher and author of Internet for Active Learners (ALA Editions), Pam is an educational technology/library consultant with over 20 years of library involvement. Pam has extensive experience conducting workshops and seminars in the U.S. and abroad, and her recent work includes national school and public library development initiatives and university research projects.
Marjorie Pappas: Dr. Marjorie Pappas is currently a freelance virtual library science professor, writer, and consultant. Focusing on information literacy, digital libraries, and distance learning, she writes frequently for School Library Media Activities Monthly. She is also the co-author of Pathways to Knowledge and Inquiry Learning.
Alice Yucht: As a teacher, librarian, curriculum consultant, conference planner, professional development provider, writer, editor, life coach, developer of the popular FLIP it! framework for problem solving, and stand-up comic, Alice has been an educator for over 40 years. A popular speaker at professional conferences and workshops, Alice's pragmatic presentations are frequently cited for their mix of wit and wisdom about the realities of our professional lives and responsibilities.

Participants will leave the workshop with a grasp of how to incorporate this inquiry-based framework into their own school libraries, learning:

* how an understanding of historical inquiry helps them teach information literacy skills and collaborate with faculty at the same time
* how they can facilitate this program in their school library
* what historical inquiry is, which critical thinking skills students need most, and why social studies paired with information literacy is ideally suited to prepare the next generation of students for life and work in the 21st century

The workshop is free, and attendees will receive a complimentary two-month subscription to ABC-CLIO Schools' social studies subscription databases. The databases are authoritative online resources that integrate thousands of primary and secondary sources with lessons, activities, and current events articles.

In addition to the database subscriptions, participants will receive a free 150-page resource book to share with their social studies faculty. Developed in partnership with the National History Day Organization, the Triumph and Tragedy in History series seeks to challenge students with historical material that both celebrates and complicates their conceptions of our national heritage.

The workshops will be held in conjunction with state library conferences throughout the year. School librarians who are interested in the program can register by sending an e-mail to:

 Source: ABC-CLIO Schools,

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Califone Introduces New USB Jackbox Language Technology

Califone International, Inc. launched the USB Jackbox, the first jackbox with microphone inputs. The device enables the recording of vocal responses and allows as many as six students to listen to and practice their language skills simultaneously.

With the Jackbox connected to a classroom computer through a USB plug, students can practice language skills or listen to recorded books and online streaming videos as a group. In addition, the device can be used as students create podcasts or connect with others online through any VoIP application.

The Jackbox includes inputs for six headphones and six microphones. Volume control is offered through output and input knobs; an AC adapter ensures uninterrupted use.

The price is $65. The Califone one-year warranty includes coverage for school use. The unit is available individually and bundled with six of the company's Multimedia Stereo 3064 headsets.

Califone International, Inc., 800/722-0500 or


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Online Version of AFI Education Program Launches on Discovery’s unitedstreaming

An online version of the American Film Institute's (AFI) K-12 screen education program, "LIGHTS, CAMERA, EDUCATION!," is now available on Discovery's unitedstreaming service.

The program trains teachers to use filmmaking as a method to engage students in the learning process. The video-based modules profile teachers and students as they incorporate the techniques and collaborative process of filmmaking into the study of traditional academic subjects.

The online program follows the sequence of the five-part AFI Screen Education process. Instruction begins with "The Door Scene," an activity in which teachers are given a video camera and instructed to interpret and shoot a scripted scenario involving a person opening a door. The four additional parts of the curriculum are Script Development; Scriptwriting & Storyboarding; Production & Filming; Editing; and Exhibit, Review, Reflect.

Since its inception five years ago as a workshop-based program, AFI K-12 Screen Education has provided teachers with hands-on experience in scriptwriting, storyboarding, and shooting and editing. In the classroom, the program has been used across the curriculum, in subject areas including English, math, science, and social studies. The approach has been shown to be especially well-suited for special needs, gifted and talented, advanced placement, and English as a second language students.

The American Film Institute,

Discovery Education,

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Free Resources: Curriculum Associates’ Free Professional Development Podcasts

Curriculum Associates now offers free podcasts that cover current trends and happenings in education, as well as ways to incorporate Curriculum Associates products with current events training.

The first two podcasts (sometimes referred to as webcasts or online broadcasts), located online at, focus on writing. The first podcast discusses how helping young writers to know their audience will enhance their writing abilities and strategies. The second podcast focuses on sharing writing and encouraging constructive comments.

The podcasts provide related materials, such as suggestions, tips, hints, and books that educators may find helpful. Future topics will include assessing English language learners and early childhood outcomes, as well as experiences gained from attending major educational conferences.

Educators may subscribe to the new podcast series through iTunes v.6 or later, and other podcast software. In addition, a "Listen Now" button on the Curriculum Associates Web site provides direct access to the content.

Curriculum Associates, 800/225-0248 or

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Sagebrush Education Resources Offers State Alignments

The online Sagebrush Education bookstore at now aligns titles to state curriculum standards in all 50 states for the core subject areas of Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science.

The state standards alignments are offered for fiction and nonfiction works; the titles are dynamically aligned to the specific standards of each state.

Users can find aligned titles in three ways:

1) Drilling down from the state standard into the lowest, most finely-detailed benchmark of a standard,

2) Drilling up from an individual book listing, and

3) Using the Curriculum Search feature to define specific search criteria up front, in addition to grade level, price, binding type, interest level, reading program, and more.

All applicable state standards from 1995-2005 in the four core areas are available online in full text format and include the most current copyrights and classic titles.

Sagebrush Books, 800/255-3502 or

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Thinkronize Announces Addition of Canadian Resources to netTrekker

Thinkronize, the developers of netTrekker, has announced the addition of 2,000+ Canadian Web sites to its array of content. A team of Canadian educators who are specialists in their content areas worked with Thinkronize to identify and evaluate high quality resources that specifically support Canadian teachers and students. The new Canadian content is primarily focused on social studies, history, geography, and Canadian studies.

The latest release of netTrekker will be showcased at the upcoming COCA Conference on November 21st, in Niagara Falls, Ontario, where central Ontario K-12 Computer Consultants will be gathering for their annual fall conference. For a limited time, Canadian educators can enjoy special savings with a new Buy 2, Get 1 Free promotion that Thinkronize is offering for new subscribers.

Source: Thinkronize,

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netTrekker Includes Teachers’ Domain

netTrekker now includes access to Teachers' Domain, the result of a partnership between Thinkronize, the developer of the netTrekker educational search products, and WGBH Educational Foundation, the producer of Teachers' Domain.

A digital library of nearly 1,000 multimedia resources for classroom use and independent study, Teachers' Domain includes award-winning public television programming produced by WGBH. This library offers access to classroom-ready video clips and interactive activities from programs such as NOVA, ZOOM, and A Science Odyssey. Teachers' Domain also includes multimedia resources from NASA, the National Park Service, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Smithsonian Institution, and other sources.

These materials, related to science curriculums, have been adapted for use in the classroom. Teachers will find correlations to state and national education standards, lesson plans, discussion questions, background essays created to increase teachers' content knowledge, and customization features developed to help introduce the multimedia into lessons.

netTrekker offers a database of more than 180,000 safe, educator-approved, standards-aligned resources. The netTrekker product line includes the netTrekker classic and netTrekker d.i. search products for education.

Thinkronize, 877/517-1125 or and

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PBS TeacherLine Courses Help Teachers Incorporate Technology Throughout the Curriculum

PBS TeacherLine, a provider of facilitated, online professional development for preK-12 educators, is promoting the technology integration component of its online courses in a recent announcement. The courses give teachers the knowledge and skills to integrate technology into the curricula, promoting 21st century learning and increased student achievement, according to the announcement.

All PBS TeacherLine courses—covering reading, math, science, instructional strategies, instructional technology, and curriculum mapping—embed technology resources in the course content. Educational technology provides the means to engage students in core subjects while helping them gain skills to communicate, collaborate, and create, the announcement states. Technology integration is threaded throughout the six key elements of 21st century learning as outlined by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. When used effectively, technology can help students expand their horizons culturally, socially, and academically as well as help them gain essential job skills.

Courses offered by PBS TeacherLine provide educators with information in the subject areas while incorporating technology integration, differentiated instruction, and assessment into coursework. For example, during the course Teaching Reading Fluency, teachers not only learn an array of practical, research-based strategies to help students gain reading fluency, they also explore how technology fosters students' reading fluency. In another course, Understanding Numbers and Operations: Addition and Subtraction, participants together explore a variety of approaches for teaching computational skills by observing students, exploring lessons plans, and examining Web resources. A course project requires teachers to design, implement, and assess a numbers and operations lesson that combines technology, manipulatives, and effective instructional approaches.

In addition to content area courses, PBS TeacherLine offers the ISTE (International Society for Technology In Education) Capstone Certificate Program, a series of research-based, online professional development courses that enable teachers to demonstrate their mastery of ISTE's National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS*T). While participating in the PBS TeacherLine ISTE Capstone courses teachers build a community of educators supportive of technology integration that they can call on after the courses are completed whenever they need assistance.

Some of the most popular PBS TeacherLine courses that focus on instructional technology are:

--Teaching With WebQuests
--Searching and Researching on the Internet
--Publishing on the Web
--Teaching and Learning with Graphic Organizers, Featuring Inspiration

Source: PBS/PBS TeacherLine,

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