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October 30, 2007

Table of Contents

"Standards for the 21st-Century Learner" Launched During AASL National Conference
Follett Releases InfoCentre 3.0
Facts on File Adds Videos to Four History Databases
Free Resources: 7 Things You Should Know About …
ISTE Offers Book on Differentiating Instruction with Technology
“Current Issues in Health” Now on WilsonWeb
New Book From ISTE Explores Education Potential of Web 2.0, Social Networking
The ClassMate Reader Portable Reading System
Free Resources: Updated Online EdTech Grant Funding Directory
New Follett Destiny Release Helps Administrators Monitor Server Health
CTB/McGraw-Hill Launches TerraNova 3
Collaboration Feature Added to Hotmath.com
CoSN Seeks Award Nominations

"Standards for the 21st-Century Learner" Launched During AASL National Conference

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has announced the launch of its "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner." The announcement was made at the AASL National Conference & Exhibition in Reno, Nevada. During the October 25 Opening General Session , AASL president Sara Kelly Johns unveiled the publication, and all attendees received a free copy.

"The new standards were developed by some of the best minds in the school library field," Johns said. "AASL hopes that these standards will provide a foundation for a strong library media program in every school, where our students will research expertly, think critically, problem-solve well, read enthusiastically and use information ethically. Our students will succeed."

Early in 2006, acting in accordance with the AASL strategic plan, the AASL Board of Directors voted to establish the Learning Standards Rewrite Task Force, whose charge was to develop new AASL standards for student learning in the 21st Century. The task force included co-chairs Cassandra Barnett and Gail Dickinson, Eugene Hainer, Melissa Johnston, Marcia Mardis and Barbara Stripling.

The task force began with an intensive face-to-face meeting and worked virtually and during conferences over the next several months. To ensure that the new standards reflect the best of our thinking as a profession, the task force gathered input and feedback from the membership and other library media professionals throughout the whole process. Drafts were posted on the Web site for comment, AASL held an open forum for discussion of the draft during the 2007 Midwinter Meeting and a wiki was utilized for further input from the field.

A complimentary PDF version of the standards is available for download on the AASL Web site at http://www.ala.org/ala/aasl/aaslproftools/learningstandards/AASL_Standards_2007.pdf. For those wishing to purchase multiple copies, they will be available through the ALA Online Store.

Source: American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org

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Follett Releases InfoCentre 3.0

Follett Software Company has announced the release or InfoCentre 3.0. The latest version of InfoCentre makes it easier to deal with grade and homeroom circulation, lost copies and fines, the announcement states. It also gives users access to powerful optional services from Follett Software.

The new version of InfoCentre automatically creates Grade and Homeroom lists based on the values in a school’s patron records. Users can then specify grade or homeroom values simply by picking them from a list. Version 3.0 also lets users keep track of previously lost books that have been returned or paid for, and lets them quickly see the estimated fine for an overdue copy. Additional features include the following:

* Follett Remote Support: Users can now update InfoCentre’s circulation records with circulation transactions logged with Follett Remote. Follett Remote lets users continue to perform many tasks offline if they lose their Internet connection or their InfoCentre server becomes unavailable. Users can circulate library materials or textbooks, conduct transactions in classrooms or bookmobiles, and take inventory with a workstation that has no Internet connection.
* Support for WebPath Express: WebPath Express is an Enriched Content Subscription from Follett Software Company that provides over 73,000 K-12 relevant, safe, and age-appropriate Web sites. These quality sites are hand-picked by educators and verified for factual accuracy and objectivity. New sites are continually added, and are updated and monitored routinely to ensure content remains appropriate. After updating InfoCentre with WebPath Express, patrons can find and view these Web sites simply by searching the library's catalog.
* Misshelved Copy Management: The new Misshelved Copies report makes it easier to identify misshelved copies. Once books are inventoried in the order that they appear on the shelf, the report automatically identifies copies inventoried out of call number order. To help users locate misshelved items on the shelf, InfoCentre also lists the copies shelved immediately before and after each misshelved item.

Source: Follett Software Company, www.fsc.follett.com/

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Facts on File Adds Videos to Four History Databases

Facts On File has announced the introduction of videos into four of its history databases , American History Online, Modern World History Online, American Women’s History Online, and African-American History Online.

The videos, a mixture of black-and-white and color, include many clips from old newsreel footage. They offer a full-screen option, links to related records, and explanatory captions, and they require no downloads. They appear in search results under an “Images & Videos” tab as well as under the new “All Results” tab. There is also a new “Images and Videos” section on the home page under the “Browse” section. Users can browse by topic, time period, or editor’s highlights.

Video coverage includes the following:

* American History Online: More than 500 historical videos cover events and topics such as the presidency, World War II, and American culture. Watch cable cars pick up passengers in 1901, view a series of congressional hearings sparked by the Immigration Reform and Control Act, and watch newsreel footage and the famous newscaster Edward R. Murrow’s reporting of the Battle of Iwo Jima.
* Modern World History Online: More than 300 historical videos cover events such as the cold war, World War II, and space exploration. Watch film footage of Fidel Castro or of Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev during their “Kitchen Debate”; see what an atomic bomb explosion looks like; listen to newscaster commentary as Yasir Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin, and Shimon Peres shake hands at the Oslo Accords; and much more.
* African-American History Online: More than 70 historical videos cover themes such as civil rights, politics, sports, and the arts. Watch film footage of civil rights protests and marches, great sports moments, important congressional meetings, and more. Listen and watch as opera singer Marian Anderson performs at the Lincoln Memorial—and as the Harlem Globetrotters play a game at Madison Square Garden.
* American Women’s History Online: More than 60 historical videos cover events such as working women, women in politics, and changing women’s fashions. Watch women laborers wrap coil in a factory, listen to Olympia Snowe and Pat Schroeder discuss women in Congress, see Lana Turner modeling a new hair style, and much more.

Source: Facts on File, www.factsonfile.com

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Free Resources: 7 Things You Should Know About …

Here's one thing you should definitely know about from EDUCAUSE (We learned about it from ResourceShelf):

The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative's (ELI's) 7 Things You Should Know About… series provides concise information on emerging learning technologies and related practices. Each brief focuses on a single technology or [practice and describes:

·        What it is
·        How it works
·        Where it is going
·        Why it matters to teaching and learning

Use ELI's 7 things You Should Know About … briefs to:

·        Enhance faculty development activities
·        Open a dialogue with senior administrators about emerging technologies and their implications for you institution
·        Stay up-to-date on emerging technologies

The above is from EDUCAUSE's ELI Web site. It's well worth a visit and a bookmark. Just a few of the subjects/technologies/phenomena covered are Twitter, Wikipedia, RSS, Facebook II, and Google Earth. Click HERE to go ELI's 7 things You Should Know About ….

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ISTE Offers Book on Differentiating Instruction with Technology

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) released “Differentiating Instruction with Technology in K-5 Classrooms.” The book, written by Grace E. Smith and Stephanie Throne, explains how to use technology to differentiate instruction by student interest, ability, learning profile, content, process and product.

The content provides a variety of practical instructional strategies to accommodate a broad range of learning styles, abilities and curriculum content. The material includes activities, templates and ready-to-use lessons mapped to curriculum content standards.

A chapter dedicated to applying technology to specific subjects—art, music, physical education and foreign language—is included. The final two chapters focus on using technology to assess student learning and manage the differentiated classroom.

"Differentiating Instruction with Technology in K-5 Classrooms" is priced at $26.55 for ISTE members or $37.95 for non-members. Information about the book, including the table of contents and a free downloadable excerpt is available at www.iste.org/bookstore.  

ISTE, www.iste.org.  

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“Current Issues in Health” Now on WilsonWeb

H.W. Wilson launched “Current Issues in Health” on WilsonWeb. The database offers editor-selected collections of articles on current subjects.

The material is designed to meet the educational and research needs of school and public libraries, including the needs of vocational students preparing for careers in health care. The database offers more than 60 topics to start and will grow by 20 topics annually.

"Current Issues in Health" covers topics such as alternative medicine, cloning, eating disorders, euthanasia, food safety, travel and health, and more. Each topic is examined in approximately 30 full text articles selected to ensure unbiased coverage. The articles come from a range of sources, including peer-reviewed journals and popular newsstand magazines.

PDF page images deliver the illustrations, charts, graphs and other visual content needed for research. Links to primary sources and Web sites are included.

Free 30-day trials are available.

H.W. Wilson, www.hwwilson.com.  

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New Book From ISTE Explores Education Potential of Web 2.0, Social Networking

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has announced the publication of Web 2.0: New Tools, New Schools, a book intended to reveal how Web 2.0 can transform teaching and learning..

Today, the next generation of Web sites gives power to site visitors, providing a new level of customization, interaction and participation. Many Web sites now allow users to upload, categorize, and share content easily. Weblogs and podcasts allow anyone to publish or broadcast on any topic. Wikis provide information that is constantly updated by users. Open-source software is free and customizable. These new technologies are changing our relationship to the Internet.

Web 2.0: New Tools, New Schools, by Lynn Schrum and Gwen Solomon, provides a comprehensive overview of the emerging Web 2.0 technologies and their use in the classroom and in professional development. Topics include blogging as a natural tool for writing instruction, wikis and their role in project collaboration, podcasting as a useful means of presenting information and ideas, and how to use Web 2.0 tools for professional development. Also included are a discussion of Web 2.0 safety and security issues and a look toward the future of the Web 2.0 movement.

Web 2.0: New Tools, New Schools includes these features:

* A complete explanation of Web 2.0 tools, including weblogs, wikis, folksonomies, RSS feeds and podcasts.
* Web 2.0 tools and their use in the classroom.
* Web 2.0's role in professional development.
* What administrators should know about Web 2.0.

Web 2.0: New Tools, New Schools is available online for $24.45 for ISTE members and $34.95 for nonmembers. More information about the book, including the table of contents and a free, downloadable excerpt, is available at http://www.iste.org/bookstore.

Source: ISTE, www.iste.org

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The ClassMate Reader Portable Reading System

Don Johnston, Inc. announced a partnership with HumanWare of Quebec, Canada, to distribute the ClassMate Reader, an assistive tool for K-12 students with reading difficulties.

The ClassMate Reader is a lightweight handheld device about the size of a portable gaming system with a large LCD screen. The unit enables students to listen to an audio version of textbooks and study materials while following the highlighted text on screen.

The system promotes phonetic recognition and fluency mastery and boosts the efforts of teachers working with dyslexic students.

The ClassMate Reader integrates several features found in more expansive PC-based software, including text-to-speech, highlighting, a dictionary, text and voice notes, and audio book navigation. The unit’s study features assist in retrieving information through the use of text notes, highlighting and bookmarks.

The ClassMate Reader is compatible with electronic formats including NIMAS (National Instructional Material Accessible Standard) supporting the 2004 IDEA regulations, DAISY, Bookshare.org, and text, wav, MP3 and audio files.

A removable SD flash memory card or USB memory stick can be used to store books and electronic texts. A standard USB connection enables the transfer of files from a PC.

The ClassMate Reader is priced at $439 per unit. Bulk purchase discounts are available.

Don Johnston, Inc., www.donjohnston.com.  

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Free Resources: Updated Online EdTech Grant Funding Directory

Bridge Multimedia and the National Center for Technology Innovation (NCTI) announced the launch of the fourth edition of EdTech Online (www.EdTechOnline.org). The Web site offers the latest information on federal grants funded by the U.S. Department of Education that support educational technology.

The free Web site links to data on current and upcoming grants that focus on increasing the technological capacity in K-12 public schools. The material includes updated information on federal grant program summaries and strategic objectives, appropriations, contact information, and direct links to the government agencies offering specific grants.

The revised Web site highlights current and upcoming grants for the 2007-2008 academic school calendar and offers two new resources. “Grants at a Glance” provides a thumbnail look at available technology funding and “No Child Left Behind Titles I-IX” offers an overview of the various components of education law.

National Center for Technology Innovation, www.nationaltechcenter.org.


 

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New Follett Destiny Release Helps Administrators Monitor Server Health

Follett Software Company has announced Destiny version 8.0. The latest version of the Destiny Resource Management Solution brings a number of new functions to users, from monitoring server health to sharing library books ratings to more efficiently transferring textbooks from school to school.

Destiny Version 8.0 features a number of improvements, including new Server Health Reports that give technical administrators a snapshot of the performance of all their Destiny modules. Reports include request response times, browser reports, bandwidth reports and server uptime, among others, enabling more accurate system monitoring and troubleshooting.

The new version of Destiny Library Manager lets students, teachers, and librarians write reviews of books and post them in the bibliographic record for other patrons to read, encouraging students to respond to literature and share their written work. Improvements to Destiny Textbook Manager let districts view textbook availability across all schools to meet transfer request needs and route transfer requests made to schools.

Other improvements in Destiny 8.0 include:

• Homeroom and Grade Level Circulation Report: Destiny Library Manager now provides circulation reports by homeroom and grade level, allowing media specialists to determine which patrons and classes have the highest circulation rates, and identify books with the highest circulation.
• Tracking for Textbook Kit Items: Destiny Textbook Manager now includes support for managing textbook kit and component items, helping districts make sure that resource kit items like workbooks, CDs and manipulatives stay with the textbooks they support.
• Customizable OPAC Interface: Destiny’s Visual OPAC can now be configured to display larger text, simpler icons, and book cover images to appeal to elementary-level students or emerging readers.
• Faster, Easier Global Changes: Users of any Destiny module can now make global changes to a particular category of items; they can then assign these changes to barcode labels, spine/pocket labels, transfers, updating copies individually or globally, and Report Builder Limiter functions.

Source: Follett Software Company, www.fsc.follett.com/

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CTB/McGraw-Hill Launches TerraNova 3

CTB/McGraw-Hill has announced the release of TerraNova , Third Edition (TerraNova 3) , an up-to-date, research-based norm-referenced assessment. TerraNova 3 gives educators a comprehensive tool to measure and monitor student progress relative to local, state, and national standards, the announcement states. 

Now available with 2007 norms, TerraNova 3 was developed using a nationally representative sample of children in grades K–12, and aligns with state and national standards in all the content areas. It reflects state NCLB assessments in item format and content, helping educators accurately measure students’ skills relative to standards.

TerraNova 3 delivers actionable reporting information. By integrating assessment and reporting options, it translates data into information that teachers and education leaders can use to improve instruction. Using visual displays and familiar language to explain student results, TerraNova 3 clarifies complex information and makes it easier to interpret data and target instruction, according to the announcement. Reports can be delivered in standard or customized formats.

Created with rigorous psychometric standards, TerraNova 3 delivers assessments that are valid, reliable, and fair, the announcement states. The assessment construction standards were designed to ensure that each item measures what is intended. The assessment also measures a wide range of skills and proficiency levels and assesses higher levels of cognitive processing and deeper depths of knowledge.

TerraNova 3 is available in numerous options to suit district needs including: Multiple Assessments, which combine multiple choice and constructed response items; Complete Battery with multiple choice items only; and Survey, a more streamlined version for use with limited testing times.

For more information, visit www.CTB.com/TerraNova3.

Source: CTB/McGraw-Hill, www.ctb.com

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Collaboration Feature Added to Hotmath.com

Hotmath, Inc. has added a new instant messaging feature to its Web site at www.hotmath.com. Hotmath.com displays hint-step explanations for the actual, odd-numbered homework problems used in more than 200 math textbooks used in U.S. middle schools, high schools, and colleges. Math Instant Messaging allows students to study together in real time over the internet.

Hotmath’s Math Instant Messaging allows students to collaborate on homework assignments online. Students use a pointer and “texting” while viewing Hotmath hint-step explanations of textbook homework problems. They can communicate via instant messaging and a shared pointer to move through teacher-prepared problem explanations.

The guided context of Hotmath for homework discussions helps students work through homework problems at a faster rate, according to the announcement. Students move a pointer to a location in a troublesome hint or step, and then use a text-window to ask or answer a question.

Hotmath offers hint-step explanations of questions found in today’s popular math textbooks. The company also offers practice tests for state exit exams, as well as Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, and Algebra 2.

Source: Hotmath, Inc., www.hotmath.com

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CoSN Seeks Award Nominations

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) is accepting online nominations for three awards—the Withrow Award for Educators, the TEAM Award and the Excellence in Public Service Award. The awards are given annually to an individual, a school district team, and a public servant exemplifying leadership and innovation in education technology.

The Withrow Award for Educators honors a Chief Technlogy Officer/district technology leader who has been a champion for education technology in a U.S. K-12 school district or consortium of districts. The award is named for Frank Withrow, a pioneer in education technology.

The TEAM Award recognizes a team of educators who have successfully used education technologies to enhance or transform learning and achievement.

The Excellence in Public Service Award honors public services that have supported the strategic use of information technologies to improve learning.

The deadline for nomination submissions is November 30, 2007. The awards will be presented during CoSN’s 13th Annual K-12 School Networking Conference, March 9-11, 2008 in Washington, DC.

Additional information about each award and online nomination forms can be found at the urls listed below.

Withrow Award for Educators - http://cosn.org/about/awards/withrow.cfm.  
The TEAM Award - http://cosn.org/about/awards/team.cfm.  
The Excellence in Public Service Award - http://cosn.org/about/awards/excellence.cfm.  

CoSN, http://www.cosn.org/.  

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