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January 23, 2007

Table of Contents

Discovery Education Launches Education Science Connection
SafeSchools.com Announces Release of Online Safety Primer: What Every Educator Needs to Know
ABC-CLIO Releases Latest Database, Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society
Pew Internet & American Life Project Releases ‘Social Networking Websites and Teens: An Overview’
Free Resources: ISTE's Online EdTech Career Center
HP EdTech Grant Reviewers Needed
CDW-G and Discovery Education Announce Win a Wireless Lab 2007
GTCO CalComp Announces InterWrite 3.0 Software for Macs

Discovery Education Launches Education Science Connection

Discovery Education has announced the launch of Discovery Education Science Connection, a comprehensive supplemental multimedia toolkit that provides quality content in a flexible online format. With No Child Left Behind requiring all states to test students in science at least once each year in grades 3-5, 6-9, and 10-12 starting in the 2007-2008 school year, Science Connection is designed to help educators prepare students for high-stakes assessments with content that is directly tailored to state standards and allows for inquiry-based and explorative approaches to learning.

Designed specifically for middle-school educators, Science Connection is organized into three areas—Physical Science, Life Science, and Earth and Space Science—for easy integration into science curricula. Through Science Connection, students can access resources that encourage exploration, stimulate critical thinking, and deepen understanding, according to the announcement.

Selected features include the following:

Interactive Content:

- Interactive video with two-way interaction that invites students to click on "hotspots" during a selected video clip to gain additional information and to reinforce a learning point.
- Open-ended "Science Sleuths" mysteries that students can solve using clues and resources such as interviews, photos, articles, and graphics.
- Virtual labs that allow students to explore inquiry and science process skills using topics such as noise pollution and conditions for plant growth in real-world contexts.
- Integrated science simulations from Discovery Education's Discovery School Science CD-ROM Collection that allow students to explore situations from a variety of science perspectives.

Multimedia Resources:

- Video programs created exclusively for Science Connection.
- Dynamic reading passages from Discovery Education's Discovery School Science Collection book series that include science timelines and interviews with leading scientists.

Formative Assessment:

- Formative assessment tools developed by Discovery Education ThinkLink Assessment to help educators identify each student's baseline understanding, followed by recommendations from the assessment to individualize instruction to meet student learning needs.

Discovery Education Science Connection is available for a free 30-day trial. To sign up, visit www.discoveryscienceconnection.com.

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

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SafeSchools.com Announces Release of Online Safety Primer: What Every Educator Needs to Know

SafeSchools.com, a provider of school-focused safety training, has announced the release of Online Safety Primer: What Every Educator Needs to Know, the first of four online safety training courses. The Online Safety Series covers the various means of communication as well as the growing dangers that can entrap students when they're online, including cyberbullying, predators, and threats of violence.

The SafeSchools.com programs include a training and tracking system along with their content. SafeSchools.com uses the approach of presenting a scenario and giving descriptions of possible outcomes from which a school employee can choose. The program then tracks progress, assessment scores, and completion, allowing schools to maintain current records of their safety training.

SafeSchools.com offers a variety of other social behavior courses addressing issues including: Bullying, School Violence, Sexual Harassment, Conflict Management, and Child Abuse. All courses are authored by leading experts in their field and are delivered in a way that is proven to boost long-term retention of the material, according to the announcement.

SafeSchools.com offers all courses online or in CD-ROM formats and can be found at http://store.safeschools.com. For more information or a free 30-day preview of any SafeSchools courses, call 800-434-0154 or email info@safeschools.com.

Source: SafeSchools.com, http://www.safeschools.com

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ABC-CLIO Releases Latest Database, Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society

ABC-CLIO has announced the launch of its newest database, Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society. Combining authoritative research sources, inquiry-based teaching and study tools, and integrated current events aligned to social studies standards and curriculum, the new database helps users develop an understanding of how society shapes and is shaped by controversy, according to the announcement.

Produced in conjunction with leading scholars and educators, the database is designed to model critical thinking skills on controversial issues. The interface leads researchers through the intricacies of 150 current political, social, environmental, and criminal justice topics. Users can approach their research by broad reference category, subject, or single issue. Over 9,000 reference pieces are provided, including historical and interpretive essays, brief factual entries such as biographies, statistical data, and primary sources such as photos, audiovisual files, and documents. This material is intended to provide building blocks for discussions, debates, and assignments.

Each user will acquire the tools to analyze materials, to evaluate conflicting data, and to form well-reasoned conclusions on challenging social questions. With Issues, everyone from students to general researchers will find what they are looking for, learn to ask better questions, and draw more informed conclusions, the announcement states.

Source: ABC-CLIO, http://www.abc-clio.com

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Pew Internet & American Life Project Releases ‘Social Networking Websites and Teens: An Overview’

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released its latest research report, Social Networking Websites and Teens: An Overview. According to the report, more than half (55%) of all of online American youths ages 12-17 use online social networking sites.

The survey also finds that older teens, particularly girls, are more likely to use these sites. For girls, social networking sites are primarily places to reinforce pre-existing friendships; for boys, the networks also provide opportunities for flirting and making new friends.

A social networking site is an online place where a user can create a profile and build a personal network that connects him or her to other users. In the past five years, such sites have rocketed from a niche activity into a phenomenon that engages tens of millions of Internet users. The explosive growth in the popularity of these sites has generated concerns among some parents, school officials, and government leaders about the potential risks posed to young people when personal information is made available in such a public setting.

The data memo, written by Senior Research Specialists Amanda Lenhart and Mary Madden, is based on a survey conducted by telephone from October 23 through November 19, 2006, among a national sample of 935 youths ages 12 to 17. The survey asked about the ways that teenagers use social networking sites and their reasons for doing so. Among the key findings:
· 55% of online teens have created a personal profile online, and 55% have used social networking sites like MySpace or Facebook.
· 66% of teens who have created a profile say that their profile is not visible to all internet users.
· 48% of teens visit social networking Websites daily or more often; 26% visit once a day, 22% visit several times a day.
· Older girls ages 15-17 are more likely to have used social networking sites and created online profiles; 70% of older girls have used an online social network compared with 54% of older boys, and 70% of older girls have created an online profile, while only 57% of older boys have done so.

"There is a widespread notion that every American teenager is using social networks, and that they're plastering personal information over their profiles for anyone and everyone to read," says Amanda Lenhart. "These findings add nuance to that story - not every teenager is using a social networking Web site, and of those that do, more than half of them have in some way restricted access to their profile."

Teens say social networking sites help them manage their friendships:
· 91% of all social networking teens say they use the sites to stay in touch with friends they see frequently, while 82% use the sites to stay in touch with friends they rarely see in person.
· 72% of all social networking teens use the sites to make plans with friends; 49% use the sites to make new friends.
· Older boys who use social networking sites (ages 15-17) are more likely than girls of the same age to say that they use social networking sites to make new friends (60% vs. 46%).
· Just 17% of all social networking teens say they use the sites to flirt.
· Older boys who use social networking sites are more than twice as likely as older girls to say they use the sites to flirt; 29% report this compared with just 13% of older girls.

"Both boys and girls rely on social networks to keep close tabs on their current friends, but older boys are much more likely to use them to meet new friends and flirt in the comfort of an online environment," says Mary Madden. "Older boys are really the ones taking advantage of the true ‘networking' features afforded by the sites."

Access the report from the Pew Web site at http://www.pewinternet.org.

Source: The Pew Internet & American Life Project, http://www.pewinternet.org/.

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Free Resources: ISTE's Online EdTech Career Center

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) now offers an online career center focused on educational technology positions.

ISTE member job seekers can use the online service at no cost to search for jobs and post resumes. Employers can post jobs for a fee (ISTE member and non-member pricing is available).

The career center also includes a link to ISTE's Educational Technology Jobs Network, a page that offers job board links for job seekers and employers.

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

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HP EdTech Grant Reviewers Needed

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), in partnership with HP Philanthropy and Education, is looking for grant reviewers for the 2007 HP Technology for Teaching Grant Initiative.

Reviewer applicants should have knowledge and experience in applying technology to teaching in ways that make a positive difference to student learning in K-12 or higher education. Reviewers may apply in both the K-12 and higher education sections, but will be eligible to review in only one area. A separate registration and application is required for each area.

Grant reviewers will be selected as pre-screeners, full reviewers or both, depending on experience and availability.

New pre-screeners will participate in a two-hour orientation/training Web conference during the week of February 5. Returning pre-screeners will participate in a one-hour update teleconference/training during the week of February 12. Pre-screeners will work from approximately February 19 through March 5, 2007.

New final screening reviewers will participate in a two-hour orientation/training Web conference during the week of March 5. Returning final screeners will participate in a one-hour update teleconference/training the week of March 12. Full proposal/final screening reviewers will work from March 19 to April 2, 2007.

Pre-screening reviewers will receive up to $450 in compensation, depending upon the number of reviews assigned and completed. Reviewers assigned to full reviews will receive up to $225, based upon the number of reviews and assigned and completed. Reviewers who complete both pre-screening and full reviews are eligible for up to $675.

Grant review program details and applications are available online at www.iste.org/hpteach/. The applications are due by Monday, January 22, 2007. Applicants will be informed of their status by email no later than January 29, 2007.

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

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CDW-G and Discovery Education Announce Win a Wireless Lab 2007

CDW Government, Inc. (CDW-G) and Discovery Education have announced the fifth annual "Win a Wireless Lab" sweepstakes. CDW-G and Discovery Education have sponsored the annual program since 2003.

 The sweepstakes runs from January 3, 2007 to May 1, 2007. Public and private school teachers, administrators, and school and district technology specialists are eligible to enter by filling out an online form at http://www.discoveryschool.com/cdwg. Winners will be selected randomly from all eligible entries received for each drawing.

Each of the five grand prize winners will receive a mobile wireless lab valued at approximately $50,000, including:

* 20 notebook or Tablet PCs computers from HP, Lenovo or Toshiba
* 3 Wireless access points from D-Link or NETGEAR
* 1 Bretford mobile cart
* Computrace security software
* 1 video projector from Epson, Mitsubishi or NEC Solutions
* 1 laser jet printer from Epson, HP or Lexmark
* APC power supply
* 1 networked collection of Discovery School CD-ROMs

In addition to the five grand prize winners, CDW-G and Discovery Education will award:

* Five first prizes, each consisting of a Polyvision Interactive Whiteboard
* Five second prizes, each consisting of an InFocus projector
* Ten third prizes, each consisting of an Acer or Sony notebook
* Ten fourth prizes, each consisting of a Sony or Canon digital camera
* Ten fifth prizes, each consisting of a gift certificate to purchase multimedia products from Discovery Education

Winners will be announced in July 2007. CDW-G and Discovery Education provide on-site training to all Win a Wireless Lab grand prize winners. A complete list of rules is available online at http://school.discovery.com/cdwg/.

Source: CDW-G, http://www.cdwg.com; Discovery Education, http://discoveryeducation.com

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GTCO CalComp Announces InterWrite 3.0 Software for Macs

GTCO CalComp has announced the release of InterWrite Software version 3.0 for Macs, for use with its InterWrite Interactive Classroom products, which includes the InterWrite SchoolPad, InterWrite iPanel, and InterWrite SchoolBoard. The latest Mac version is compatible with the new Intel Macs and comes with new educational content in the InterWrite Image Gallery. Mac users will also now be able to instantly ask questions and perform assessments with InterWrite PRS, which now can be easily integrated with the latest InterWrite 3.0 Software for Macs.

The new version of InterWrite Software for Macs offers several new features, including the following:

-Intel Mac compatibility
-Support for InterWrite PRS sessions
-Compatibility with the company's new wide-format InterWrite SchoolBoard
-Additional pictures for the Image Gallery
-Support for a multi-color gradient-style pen
-Linux support
-Localized GUI for the following languages: Spanish (Mexican), Spanish (European), Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (European), French, Italian and German

InterWrite Software is an interactive software program designed to be used with the InterWrite SchoolBoard, SchoolPad, and iPanel. Available in Windows, Mac, and Linux versions, it contains interactive content and resources for many subject areas including math, science, geography, language arts, and more. To learn more about the InterWrite Interactive Classroom, visit www.gtcocalcomp.com.

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

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