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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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November 27, 2007

Table of Contents

Free Resources: Merriam-Webster's Visual Dictionary Online
ITI CrossLinks: Internet2 and Libraries
Knowledge Adventure Joins WeAreTeachers as an Affiliate Partner
WilsonWeb Offers Senior High Core Collection
Free Resources: CoSN's Small District Tech Leader Wiki
Interactive Solutions Releases MediaWorks 6.2
Apex Learning Announces New Exam Preparation Courses
Open Learning Exchange Launches Global Content Library to Support U.N. Goal of Universal Basic Education by 2015

Free Resources: Merriam-Webster's Visual Dictionary Online

Thank you ResourceShelf once again for this, from the ResourceShelf posting November 22, 2007—Thanksgiving Day. (Posted between bites of turkey?):

Merriam-Webster Launches Visual Dictionary Online, Free!

Is your world composed of an ever-increasing number of whatchamacallits and thingamajigs? Have we got a site for you! Announcing the newly-launched Visual Dictionary Online … featuring thousands of stunning images …

 HERE is the full ResourceShelf posting, and HERE is Merriam-Webster's Visual Dictionary Online site.

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ITI CrossLinks: Internet2 and Libraries

We ran an article on Internet2 in the September/October 2006 issue of Multimedia & Internet @ Schools (Internet2, K-12, and Librarians) and we'll be publishing another feature on the subject in 2008. But if you want a current update right now (!), you won't do better than to read this piece from our sister publication Computers in Libraries, from the November/December 2007 issue: "Internet2 and Libraries—Serving Your Communities at the Speed of Light," by James Werle and Louis Fox, the associate director and director, respectively, of the National Internet2 K20 Initiative.

In the article, Werle and Fox provide useful background, loads of information, and more than one "example of how a few of the more than 50,000 innovative and forward-looking public, school, and academic libraries are beginning to use their access to Internet2 to thoughtfully integrate advanced-networking-enabled applications into the lives of their libraries."

Click HERE to link to their article.

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Knowledge Adventure Joins WeAreTeachers as an Affiliate Partner

Knowledge Adventure has announced it is now an affiliate partner of WeAreTeachers, a new online teaching, learning, and business network, to boost marketing opportunities for its instructional products.

WeAreTeachers provides a knowledge marketplace where teachers can use personal profiles that they create to price and sell their own content such as lesson plans or video-based instruction. These network members can also make qualified recommendations of vendor-offered products and services found in the WeAreTeachers Knowledge Marketplace online catalog. Educator members make a profit when recommended items are purchased by another member through the recommender’s WeAreTeacher personal marketplace. Additionally, all members have access to Web 2.0 technologies including blogs, forums, and video communications, which can be used to share ideas and opinions.

 Scheduled for a launch in the fall of 2007, WeAreTeachers will provide educators with tiered-level access to its knowledge marketplace, offering the choice of free or subscription-based participation.

Source: Knowledge Adventure, www.knowledgeadventureschool.com

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WilsonWeb Offers Senior High Core Collection

The new edition of Senior High School Library Catalog is available in print and on WilsonWeb with a new name, expanded subject coverage, and new features.

The new name is Senior High Core Collection, 17th Edition: A Selection Guide. The database includes 6,500 works in the main volume and more than 2,400 in three annual supplements scheduled for release 2008 – 2010.

The entries focus primarily on books; special sections cover periodicals and electronic resources. The material includes review sources and other professional aids for librarians and school library media specialists.

The most highly recommended (Short List) titles are marked. Analytic entries cite items in collections and anthologies.

New features include wider coverage of the arts, sports, Islam and the Middle East, biography, cultural diversity, and other topics.

The WilsonWeb version includes the print edition and additional content.

H.W. Wilson, www.hwwilson.com.  

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Free Resources: CoSN's Small District Tech Leader Wiki

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) offers a free Small School District Technology Leadership wiki created with support from the U.S. Department of Education.

The wiki is designed to help with systematic planning at the local level for district- and school-based technologies. The content and resources are mapped to the nine skill areas defined in CoSN’s published monograph, “What It Takes: Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO.” The chief technology officer (CTO) designation applies generically to the main person or persons responsible for technology leadership and decision-making in the school system.

The wiki, located at www.cosn.org/wiki, includes resources, best practices, case studies, and online help pages. Technology leaders are encouraged to contribute their own best practices, tips, strategies, case studies and resources, as well as to start or contribute to the discussions taking place online.

The CoSN wiki project was created to develop a set of resources that fit the needs of school districts with student populations of 2,500 or fewer. According to CoSN, nearly 75 percent of the 14,000 U.S. school districts have student populations of that size.

A wiki is an online database powered by software that enables the creation, editing, and linking of Web pages. Wiki is a Hawaiian word for fast.

CoSN, www.cosn.org.

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Interactive Solutions Releases MediaWorks 6.2

MediaWorks 6.2 updates the budget multimedia authoring package previously known as MovieWorks Deluxe with Intel Mac and Windows Vista compatibility.

The program’s video, sound, animation, and paint/photo editors enable the creation of presentations and movies for computer, CD, DVD, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, YouTube, and other Web entities.

A Getting Started document and 15-day trial version are available online.

MediaWorks is priced at $79.95; installers for Mac OS X and Windows are included on a single CD. Lab packs are available.

Interactive Solutions, www.mediaworkssoftware.com.  

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Apex Learning Announces New Exam Preparation Courses

Apex Learning has announced the development of a new line of distinctive exam preparation solutions that are specifically aligned to each state’s test blueprint and designed around its unique exam architecture.

Apex Learning creates assessments specifically aligned to each state’s test blueprint and mirrors the statewide test in terminology, testing format, item types, and weighting. Additionally, activities on the exam’s architecture and test-taking strategies are included to decrease students’ anxiety.

While initially focusing on three states – California, Florida, and Arizona – all of which require students to pass the CAHSEE, FCAT and AIMS, respectively, in order to graduate, Apex Learning plans to eventually offer exam preparation courses for numerous states.

In addition to the targeted practice and instructional feedback for students, each exam prep solution includes extensive reporting and instructional management capabilities to enable educators to configure the digital learning environment according to individual classroom and student needs.

Source: Apex Learning, www.apexlearning.com/

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Open Learning Exchange Launches Global Content Library to Support U.N. Goal of Universal Basic Education by 2015

Open Learning Exchange, an international educational organization, is seeking to ensure Universal Basic Education (UBE) by 2015 by creating a global network of country-based centers that provide free and open access to basic educational content, including a "Billion Kids (digital) Library." Following a successful pilot center in Nepal, Open Learning Exchange has announced plans to expand its network of country-based Centers in the lesser developed regions of the world.

Founded in April 2007, and supported by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Open Learning Exchange supports the development of local centers that ensure universal availability of free, open, and high-quality curricula for educators and students. These centers, working closely with their governments and with grassroots support and financial assistance from Open Learning Exchange, stimulate innovative approaches to teaching and learning and participate as members of the global Open Educational Resource network. In addition to the Billion Kids Library, OLE's online Course Development Studio enables educators and learners throughout the world to translate, share, re-mix, and co-create educational courses that meet their local needs.

The Billion Kids Library is a unique repository of open educational resources and, together with the Course Development Studio, is projected to have the largest number of users of any digital library. The Library will be an ever-evolving tool for educators worldwide to share their curricula.

Open Learning Exchange will host Open Learning Exchange '08, its first annual conference about universal basic education in London, early next year at the London School of Economics. The conference will offer solutions to the escalating educational inequities around the world by presenting successful organizational and technological approaches for achieving the UN's Millennium Goal of providing all children access to education by 2015. For more information about Open Learning Exchange, visit www.ole.org.

Source: Open Learning Exchange, www.ole.org

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