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December 05, 2006

Table of Contents

ITI Cross Links: Google Shutters Its Answers Service
Cool Links: Google Launches Literacy Project
H.W. Wilson Expands Art Museum Image Gallery
EBSCOhost Offers “New Features” Area
Facts On File News Services Releases Issues & Controversies in American History Database
NCEE Offers Virtual Economics CD-ROM
Savia Announces Rewrite of Analytics Software to Integrate with Viewpoint
Pearson Prentice Hall Launches “United States History”
MMIS Xtra News: Complete November/December 2006 MultiMedia & Internet@Schools Contents Now Available Online—Full Text, Text+Graphics, PDF
COSN Launches State Chapters in GA, LA, NM

ITI Cross Links: Google Shutters Its Answers Service

Over at Information Today, Inc.'s NewsBreaks site, they're continuing to report on happenings of note at Google. Just today, Tara Calishain's story on the closing of Google Answers appeared:

Google announced on Nov. 28 that it is closing down the Google Answers service after more than 4 years of operation. (The announcement was posted on the Google Blog ... ) Given that Google is still at the top of the search engine heap and that Google Answers was, while popular, certainly not at the forefront of the search engine's public identity, it would seem that this announcement would not attract more attention than usual. But it has produced a huge amount of discussion and comment from all corners of the Web community. Why? ...

Find out more by reading all of Tara's story, Google Shutters Its Answers Service, at Information Today, Inc.'s NewsBreaks.

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Cool Links: Google Launches Literacy Project

We somehow missed this announcement and story a few weeks ago out of Frankfurt, Germany, at the Frankfurt Book Fair: Google has launched what it calls The Literacy Project. From the project Web site:

A resource for teachers, literacy organisations and anyone interested in reading and education, created in collaboration with LitCam, Google, and UNESCO's Institute for Lifelong Learning.

Find books, articles and videos about literacy, or start your own literacy or reading group!

Take a look, following the link above, and/or jump to this Reuters story about the project: Google Launches Literacy Project.

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H.W. Wilson Expands Art Museum Image Gallery

H. W. Wilson has added approximately 62,000 images to its Art Museum Image Gallery database, an art image reference source on the WilsonWeb database service.

The new images were drawn from more than 1,800 sources worldwide and include material from many of the world's most respected museums. Full bibliographic records accompany every image and all images are rights-cleared for educational use.

The new images build on Art Museum Image Gallery's coverage of ancient civilizations, American and European history, Medieval history, world religions, and icons from the history of art and architecture. The added content brings the total number of images on Art Museum Image Gallery to more than 155,000, spanning works from 3000 BC to the 20th century.

A free 30-day trial subscription is available to librarians.

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

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EBSCOhost Offers “New Features” Area

EBSCO Publishing introduced a new way for users to learn about EBSCOhost interface enhancements.

The EBSCOhost interface now includes a "What's New" section, a "New Features" link designed to inform users about newly released and upcoming updates. A "Try It!" checkbox next to individual items lets users incorporate the new tools into their research sessions. A "Coming Soon" box highlights features still in development.

The New Features functions permit users and administrators to learn about and try new interface tools at their own pace and level of interest. Included are upgrades and enhancements for searching and navigation based on customer feedback.

Designated administrators will continue to receive advanced notification of new features. Libraries will retain control of whether or not new features are added to their interface.

EBSCO Publishing, 800/653-2726 or http://www.ebscohost.com/.

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Facts On File News Services Releases Issues & Controversies in American History Database

Facts On File News Services has announced the release of Issues & Controversies in American History, a searchable, interlinked online subscription database written and researched especially for students and educators. Comprised of concise, balanced original articles, primary source documents, diaries, speeches, and interviews, the database is targeted to grades 7 and up. According to the announcement, it builds a deeper understanding of how key historical events have shaped our nation by taking students into the minds of key players and into the center of the battles they fought.

Key features include:

* discussion questions and activities
* extensive range of topics, from the birth of the nation through the 2000s
* photos, cartoons, maps, timelines, charts
* biographies, newspaper editorials, historical documents
* seamless linking directly from an article to all related content

Issues & Controversies in American History is now available as a subscription service For those who may benefit from assistive technology, Issues & Controversies in American History (as well as all other Facts On File News Services databases) is compatible with Browsealoud, a text-to-speech software program that will speak Web content out loud.

Source: Facts On File News Services, http://www.facts.com/

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NCEE Offers Virtual Economics CD-ROM

Virtual Economics 3.0, a CD-based program from The National Council on Economic Education (NCEE), provides more than 1200 activity-based economics and personal finance lessons for K-12.

The program includes a searchable database of economics, personal finance, and entrepreneurship lesson plans from NCEE's library of more than 80 publications and Web sites. The interactive features enable teachers to find lessons appropriate for specific grade levels. Every lesson plan is correlated to each state's content standards in economics.

Additional features include a 500-term glossary, 51 interactive multimedia demonstrations of key concepts, and printable lesson plans and activities.

A full demo is available online at http://ve.ncee.net/. Click on the "Full Demo" button at the top of the Web page.

The single copy price is $99.95. Multiple purchase discounts are available.

NCEE, 800/338-1192 or http://www.ncee.net/.

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Savia Announces Rewrite of Analytics Software to Integrate with Viewpoint

Savia, LLC., a provider of information management technologies for K-12 districts and schools (See An Update on the New Sagebrush Corporation—Savia LLC), has announced a complete rewrite of its Analytics software to provide seamless integration with Viewpoint, a data warehouse and data management system. This rewrite provides one easy to use system that optimizes performance and provides better overall administration functions and data security, according to the announcement.

Sagebrush Viewpoint is a data warehouse and data management system that includes a fully integrated suite of data analysis and reporting tools. With the rewrite, Analytics has been written to work with multiple browsers on both Mac and PC platforms, provide simple drag and drop reporting mechanisms, all with the easy-to-use interface found in Viewpoint. Educators and administrators are able to access, analyze, print, and share student information as well as instantly aggregate and disaggregate data on groups and subgroups based on variables, including demographics and test results via a guided Q & A format and at-a-glance reports.

In an effort to continue evolving to meet educators' needs for access to data to drive instruction, Viewpoint Analytics has added new and improved functionality to the user interface including filtering, column sorting, and the ability to expand and collapse cell structure. All reports now reside in one reports menu. Educators can also filter data to create and save flexible groups of students to better track student achievement.

Administrators now have the capacity to save, print, and export reports, as well as to publish reports to users of Viewpoint based on their role. Administrators can add a user once and populate all aspects of the system, easily maintain a user's role within the system, create customized report configurations and set-up, and test metadata configurations. Administrators can also customize cube registration, define cube hierarchy and measures exceptions by role, and configure cube-mapping functions.

Source: Savia, LLC, contact: Karen Mortensen, kmortensen@sagebrushbooks.com

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Pearson Prentice Hall Launches “United States History”

Pearson Prentice Hall has announced the launch of its new United States History program. According to the announcement, the program personalizes the study of U.S. history and teaches students about the important events of the past through the stories of real people, the individuals who have contributed in large and small ways to the building of the nation.

Innovative features include the American Issues Connector system, which encourages students to explore fundamental themes that have been debated throughout American history and that continue to affect our nation today, such as "America's Role as Global Peacekeeper," and "Civil Liberties and National Security." Students are introduced to these important issues in full-page features, revisit them in every chapter, and track them over the span of U.S. history.

The StudentEXPRESS CD-ROM features Witness History audio and video clips, integrating primary sources, stories, music, and voices throughout the program; and Geography Interactive helps students understand the impact of geography on history.

United States History offers a comprehensive system that allows all students to master standards-based concepts, and supports teachers by providing differentiated instruction, the announcement states. It also offers leveled study guides, providing on-level, adapted, and Spanish versions to support all students.

United States History's authors are Emma J. Lapsansky-Werner, Professor of History and Curator of the Quaker Collection at Haverford College; Peter B. Levy, Professor in the Department of History at York College of Pennsylvania; Randy Roberts, Professor of History at Purdue University; and Alan Taylor, Professor of History at University of California-Davis and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for William Cooper's Town.

A sample chapter is available at http://www.phschool.com by typing nek-0012 into the webcode box.

Source: Pearson Prentice Hall, http://www.phschool.com/

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

The November/December 2006 issue of MultiMedia & Internet @ Schools magazine is all there now at our Web site http://www.mmischools.com. In addition to the free November/December 2006 reviews and the free full text cover story (Web 2.0 and Its Technologies for Collaborative Library Communication), which have been available since the beginning of the month, now the remaining features, columns, and other November/December content have been processed. They're available in a variety of formats -- Full Text, Text+Graphics, and Page Image PDF -- on a pay-per-view basis, courtesy of Information Today, Inc.'s InfoCentral and ProQuest Archiver.

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

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COSN Launches State Chapters in GA, LA, NM

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) recently launched state chapters in Georgia, Louisiana and New Mexico.

The new chapters were founded by local Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) organizations in each state: the Metro Atlanta CIO Council, the Louisiana Chief Technology Officers' Association and the New Mexico Chief Information Officers (NMCIO).

The state chapters are designed to meet the needs of school district education technology leaders in a local and immediate manner. For information on starting a CoSN chapter in your state, call 866/267-8747, ext. 120.

CoSN, 202/861-2676 or http://www.cosn.org/.

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