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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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May 15, 2007

Table of Contents

TeachingBooks.net Unveils Reader’s Theater Original Author Program
YALSA Offers Online Courses
Free Resources: CSLA’s School Library Learning 2.0 Online Tutorial
NextReads 2.0 Now Available from EBSCO Publishing’s NoveList
CoSN Webcast on Open Source Implementation
ITI Crosslinks: Thomson Gale Launches New Social Issues Site
ebrary Signs Five New Publishing Partners Including ABC-CLIO and Temple University Press
Interwrite Learning Unveils Workspace
Canvastic Extends Free Pilot Program for Technology Teachers and Schools

TeachingBooks.net Unveils Reader’s Theater Original Author Program

TeachingBooks.net has unveiled its new Reader's Theater Original Author Program, produced in conjunction with HarperCollins Children's Books The program allows educators and students to learn more about the effective literacy strategy of reader's theater directly from four children's book authors. Reader's theater is storytelling through narration, without the help of costumes or props. This interpretive reading activity allows students to take any piece of literature, analyze it and then adapt it into their own script. A valuable tool for any classroom, reader's theater combines reading, writing, speaking, and listening experiences in an engaging way.

TeachingBooks.net filmed award-winning authors Sharon Creech, Walter Dean Myers, Sarah Weeks, and Avi performing scripts from one another's books, including Love That Dog, Don't You Know There's A War On?, Bad Boy, and others. The Reader's Theater Original Author Program also features a mini-documentary with the four authors as they share insights and strategies for incorporating reader's theater into the classroom, and creating reader's theater scripts and productions in schools. The comprehensive program consists of nine movies for classroom use, a collection of approximately 200 ready-to-use scripts and authoritative online resources to support educators and students to engage in reader's theater activities.

For more information about TeachingBooks.net, or to sign up for a free 14-day trial, visit www.teachingbooks.net.

Source: TeachingBooks.net, www.teachingbooks.net

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YALSA Offers Online Courses

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is offering four online courses this summer: "Making the Match: Finding the Right Book for the Right Teen at the Right Time;" "Pain in the Brain: Adolescent Development and Library Behavior;" "Power Programming for Teens;" and "Using Electronic Databases with Teens."

"Making the Match" takes place from July 1 through August 10; all other classes take place July 1 to July 30. Registration is open for all courses; registration information can be found online.

The cost for each course is $135 for YALSA members, $175 for ALA members, and $195 for non-members. One course is the equivalent of a one day face-to-face workshop.

YALSA, 800/545-2433, ext. 4390 or www.ala.org/yalsa.

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Free Resources: CSLA’s School Library Learning 2.0 Online Tutorial

The California School Library Association's CSLA 2.0 Team has announced School Library Learning 2.0. This is a free online tutorial to guide you through the ‘tools of the trade' that your students use every day: blogs, photos and images, RSS and newsfeeds, tagging and technorati, wikis, online applications, podcasting and downloadable audio, and much more. The coolest thing about this tutorial is that it gives you permission to play with all these great tools, AND gives you great ideas on how to create compelling library and curriculum collaborations.

Feedback from a dozen ‘test drivers' has been overwhelmingly positive. This is a fun and fabulous way to learn together and strengthen your collective educational technology savvy. CSLA members who are looking for academic credit can register for Continuing Education Units through Fresno Pacific University.

Check it out at www.schoollibrarylearning2.blogspot.com

This "Summer 2.0 Fun" program runs from June 1 through September 1, 2007. Early birds and eager beavers can start right away. WEEK #1 is the introduction to the 9-WEEK course. Registration is in WEEK #2.

For more information, contact Connie Williams, VP-Communications, California School Library Association, CSLA2team@yahoo.com

Source: California School Library Association, www.schoolibrary.org/

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NextReads 2.0 Now Available from EBSCO Publishing’s NoveList

EBSCO Publishing has announced the release of NextReads version 2.0. This enhanced version of the email newsletter service delivers a more intuitive user experience while also offering a more extensive array of customization options to library administrators, according to the announcement.

New features of NextReads 2.0 include the following:

* Easier navigation via an updated console interface
* Enhanced Advanced lists that provide more information (e.g., theme labels), offer the option to search a library's catalog by Author/Title or ISBN, and provide the ability to mark titles for deletion
* A wide variety of new, redesigned templates to choose from
* A new online editor feature that makes it easier to edit or create custom newsletters
* Simplified linking makes it easy for library staff to link from newsletters to other library resources, or to additional content such as Book Discussion Guides or Author Read-Alikes (both available to existing NoveList customers)—without editing HTML

NextReads is a subscription-based email readers' advisory and library marketing service that provides libraries with more than 20 subject and genre-specific newsletters targeting the areas of greatest customer demand and interest. Newsletters contain recently-released titles as well as older titles that readers might have missed, all linked to the library's catalog. Available newsletters include fiction (Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, etc.), non-fiction (Armchair Travel, Biography and Memoir, Spirituality & Religion, etc.), and three newsletters for young readers (Picture Books, Kids' Books, and Young Adult Books). For more detailed information about the service or to sign up for a free trial subscription, visit www.NextReads.com.

Source: EBSCO Publishing, www.ebscohost.com

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CoSN Webcast on Open Source Implementation

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) offers a May 16 webcast titled "Implementing Open Source in K-12," the latest installment in the organization's 2006-2007 Internet & Education professional development webcast series.

The 60-minute interactive webcast takes place at 1 p.m. on May 16. The presentation will explore open source applications (computer software that permits users to customize, change and improve a program) and its potential effect on K-12 teaching and learning.

The webcast will focus on ways school districts have successfully implemented open source programs to improve the curriculum and enrich the learning experience. The session will consider specific examples of the "best" open source applications in use (Moodle, OpenOffice, Audacity, & GIMP) and ways they are specifically integrated into the curriculum.

CoSN, 202-861-2676 or www.cosn.org.

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ITI Crosslinks: Thomson Gale Launches New Social Issues Site

Thomson Gale has introduced a new reference Web site called WiseTo Social Issues, a site dedicated to comprehensively exploring today's hottest and most divisive topics. Each of the more than 100 main topics includes free content written by experts, but users also have the ability to purchase a premium Expert Pass to access additional content for each of the topics ($7.99 for 30 days of access for one topic). Read the announcement HERE as it was picked up in Information Today, Inc.'s NewsBreaks Weekly News Digest for May 7, 2007.

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ebrary Signs Five New Publishing Partners Including ABC-CLIO and Temple University Press

ebrary has announced that it has partnered with ABC-CLIO, Temple University Press, Academica Press LLC, ME Sharpe Inc, and ALA Editions. These new publishing partners will allow their content to be available to libraries worldwide through the ebrary platform, under a variety of pricing and access models.

ebrary is a leading provider of econtent services and technology. The company helps libraries, publishers, and other organizations disseminate information to end users, while improving enduser research and document interaction. The company has developed a flexible econtent platform, which customers may use in a number of different, integrated capacities: ebrary customers may purchase or subscribe to ebooks and other content under a variety of pricing and access models, and they may license the ebrary platform to distribute, sell, and market their own content online. All options are delivered using a customizable interface and include the ebrary Reader with InfoTools software, which enable integration with other resources to provide an economical and efficient way to utilize information, according to the announcement. ebrary currently offers a selection of more than 120,000 ebooks and other titles from more than 260 leading publishers and aggregators.

Source: ebrary, www.ebrary.com

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Interwrite Learning Unveils Workspace

Interwrite Learning has unveiled Interwrite Workspace, an educational software application for creating, teaching, and assessing student performance using digital content.  Used in concert with an Interwrite Board, Pad, Panel, or student response system, Workspace provides teachers the means to interact with any form of digital content, while engaging their students in novel new ways. 

Interwrite Workspace comes with several new features, including:

* Interwrite Sims, a library of instructional animations that provide an engaging interactive learning experience
* Interwrite Images, a comprehensive library of educational clip art covering a diverse range of topics and grade levels
* Interwrite Lessons, an online library of searchable, state-aligned interactive lessons created by teachers
* Interwrite Multimedia, a family of integrated media tools—including Flash, video, and audio player—to increase interactivity of any existing media content
* More than 50 instructional tools that empower the teacher in their interactive classroom environment.  

Workspace provides teachers with 4,000 digital teaching resources from serious to fun, arts to sciences, to ones suitable for Kindergarten through 12th grade classrooms.  A new addition to Workspace is Interwrite Sims, a library of educational Flash files that can be embedded into any lesson. Workspace also includes access to Interwrite's online lesson library that includes hundreds of teacher created lessons. Using an online search tool, Workspace users can search by subject, grade, and/or state to find the material needed for the next class. All lessons are available free of charge to all Workspace users. 

Interwrite Images include an expanded number of educational images, organized by subject matter. They are located in the Gallery, so they can be accessed right from the Workspace toolbar (no Internet connection required).

Workspace retains the ease of use of its predecessor program, Interwrite Software Release 6.0.  Based on a floating toolbar interface, Workspace presents a range of tools for creating, controlling, annotating, displaying, and interacting with any digital content.  The properties for the currently selected tool are displayed and can be changed using the properties bar at the bottom of the page.  The Toolbar can be customized to include as many or as few tools as the teacher desires.

Workspace is available through Authorized Interwrite Resellers and will be included free with the purchase of any Interwrite Board, Interwrite Pad and Interwrite Panel. It is also available as a stand alone product for a suggested retail price of $249 (US). 

Source: Interwrite Learning, www.interwritelearning.com

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Canvastic Extends Free Pilot Program for Technology Teachers and Schools

Canvastic has announced the continuation of its free offer of a pilot license for Canvastic software, available for technology teachers, technology committee chairpersons, or any school employee who has purchasing power for software or recommends the purchase of software for their school or district.

Through the free two-month pilot program, schools can install Canvastic on every computer they own and test it with every student for up to 60 days.

Qualified school employees can access this free offer by completing an online tour on the Canvastic Web site at www.canvastic.com/techteacheroffer. (This URL must be accessed directly. The tour is not linked from anywhere else on the Canvastic Web site.)

Canvastic is a student- and teacher-focused software tool that can be customized for students' age and ability level. The interface is clean and clear with customized sets of options for graphic and text use. It grows with the user by presenting a customized interface dependent upon the student's level automatically.

Using Canvastic, students and teachers can write, graphically show, and present information in many different ways. Tools allow for the creation of maps, diagrams, reports, and graphs, as well as importing of pictures and text. The software provides for the integration of technology skills into any curriculum. (For more information on version 3.0 of Canvasic, see Canvastic Version 3.0 Ships.)

Source: Canvastic LLC, www.canvastic.com

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