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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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December 11, 2007

Table of Contents

Premier Assistive Technology Releases Premier Presentation Capture Software
Free Resources: H.W. Wilson Foundation's Scholarship Grants Program
Ed Tech in Teacher Ed Programs for Initial Licensure
PISA 2006: U.S. Student Performance in an International Context
Free Resources: ABC-CLIO's “Chronicling Despair and Hope in Darfur”
Interwrite Learning Announces Winners in Interactive Makeover Video Contest
Oregon’s Digital Learning Initiative Taps Monterey Institute for Technology and Education’s National Repository of Online Courses
Pearson Announces Release of Person Inform v.4.2

Premier Assistive Technology Releases Premier Presentation Capture Software

Premier Assistive Technology has announced the release of the Premier Presentation Capture software. This software package allows instructors to easily record their presentations and transfer them into video podcasts.

For environments where digital tools are employed (SMART Board, PowerPoint presentations, etc.), Premier Presentation Capture records all elements of a digital presentation into compact media files, which can later be played on a computer or other multimedia players, including Premier VPod or an Apple iPod.

The Presentation Capture software creates compact multimedia files that can later be placed on a server. Students can then review the material at anytime. The video files are compatible with both Macintosh and Windows-based operating systems.

Once a lecture or presentation has been captured, students can replay and review the information as many times as necessary by simply opening the particular lecture, and forwarding to the desired section. This alleviates any errors, such as writing down the wrong information, or missing notes, because the students get to see the complete original presentation.

Premier Presentation Capture is part of the Premier VideoCast Studio, which contains the following:
• Premier Presentation Capture: Capture both audio and video presentations, and turn them into video podcasts. Premier Presentation Capture is compatible with all types of interactive "digital" white boards, including SMART Board and Promethean.
• Premier VideoCast Software: Turn documents on your computer into portable multimedia files that can be optimized in today's hand-held media players.
• VPod Video Converter: The video converter is a batch video converter that converts virtually all video file types, making them compatible with Premier Assistive Technology's Key to Access VPod.

The suggested retail price for Premier VideoCast Studio is $199.95. For more information, go to Premier Assistive's website at www.readingmadeeasy.com and select Educational Solutions.

Source: Premier Assistive Technology, www.readingmadeeasy.com

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Free Resources: H.W. Wilson Foundation's Scholarship Grants Program

The H.W. Wilson Foundation has announced the continuation of its support of education in library and information science with a new round of scholarship grants.

This year’s scholarship program, the 13th consecutive grant effort, will deliver funding of $10,000 to each of 57 schools. The total $575,000 will be distributed across four years, from 2008 to 2011.

The major goals of the program are to attract potential librarians to the field and to support qualified students.

The effort allows each school to distribute its grant in accordance with its own scholarship criteria. The total sum may be divided to accommodate each institution’s particular needs.

Library schools receiving accreditation during any of the program years will receive grants the year following accreditation.

The grants will be distributed on the following timeline:

2008
Catholic University of America
Dalhousie University
Dominican University
Drexel University
Long Island University
McGill University
Pratt Institute
Southern Connecticut State University
State University of New York at Buffalo
University of Kentucky
University of Michigan
University of Toronto
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

2009
Emporia State University
Florida State University
Indiana State University
Louisiana State University
Queens College, City University of New York
Rutgers University
Syracuse University
Texas Women’s University
Universite de Montreal
University of Alabama
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Denver
University of Missouri-Columbia
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Valdosta State University

2010
Kent State University
San Jose State University
Simmons College
State University of New York, Albany
University of Alberta
University of Arizona
University of British Columbia
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Texas
University of Rhode Island
University of South Carolina
University of Texas at Austin
University of Western Ontario
Wayne State University

2011
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
North Carolina Central University
St. John’s University
University of Hawaii
University of Illinois
University of Iowa
University of Maryland
University of Oklahoma
University of Pittsburgh
University of Puerto Rico
University of South Florida
University of Southern Mississippi
University of Tennessee

H.W. Wilson, www.hwwilson.com.

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Ed Tech in Teacher Ed Programs for Initial Licensure

Teacher education programs for initial licensure are oriented toward preparing teacher candidates to use educational technology, according to a report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

The report details findings from a survey titled “Educational Technology in Teacher Education Programs for Initial Licensure.”

The survey indicates that about half of all institutions with teacher education programs for initial licensure offered three or four credit stand alone courses in educational technology in their programs. In addition, many institutions also teach ed tech within methods courses (93 percent), within field experiences of teacher candidates (79 percent), and within content courses (71 percent).

Large majorities of institutions agreed (strongly or somewhat) that their program graduates possess the skills and experience to integrate technology into instruction and can construct project-based learning lessons involving educational technology.

Institutions reported a variety of barriers that impeded efforts to prepare teacher candidates to use educational technology within program coursework and field experiences.

Among the field experience barriers were competing priorities in the classroom (74 percent), available technology infrastructure in the schools (73 percent), and lack of training or skill (64 percent), time (62 percent), and willingness on the part of supervising teachers to integrate technology in their classrooms (53 percent).

The complete report is available online as a pdf file at http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2008040.  

NCES, http://nces.ed.gov.  

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PISA 2006: U.S. Student Performance in an International Context

U.S. student scores were below the international average in science and math literacy, according to the 2006 findings of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

U.S. students scored lower in science literacy than their peers in 22 jurisdictions (16 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD] jurisdictions and six non-OECD jurisdictions). Twenty-two jurisdictions (five OECD jurisdictions and 17 non-OECD jurisdictions) scored below the U.S.

On the mathematics literacy scale, 31 jurisdictions (23 OECD jurisdictions and 8 non-OECD jurisdictions) scored higher on average than the United States. Twenty jurisdictions (four OECD jurisdictions and 16 non-OECD jurisdictions) scored below the U.S.

In 2006, 57 jurisdictions participated in PISA, including 30 OECD jurisdictions and 27 non-OECD jurisdictions.

The National Center for Education Statistics offers an online report examining the PISA test performance of 15-year-old U.S. students and their international peers. The url is www.nces.ed.gov/surveys/PISA.

NCES, www.nces.ed.gov.


 

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Free Resources: ABC-CLIO's “Chronicling Despair and Hope in Darfur”

ABC-CLIO expands its free online resources with “History and Headlines: Chronicling Despair and Hope in Darfur.”

This special “Reel to Real” feature was developed to support discussions of the recently-released documentary “Darfur Now” directed by Ted Braun and narrated by actor Don Cheadle. The documentary chronicles the efforts of six individuals to find a resolution to the conflict that has plagued the western region of Sudan for nearly five years.

ABC-CLIO’s “Reel to Real” editions provide instructional resources that serve as jumping off points for teachers to lead students into a guided inquiry of events, conditions, and people covered in newly released films.

The Introduction section of “Chronicling Despair and Hope in Darfur” provides an overview of the conflict in Darfur and the debate over international intervention in Sudan. The “Need to Know” section provides access to ABC-CLIO reference materials, documents, timelines, map images, and video clips that help students to understand the events, people, places, and issues involved in this humanitarian crisis.

The site’s “Examine” section contains two essays designed to help students develop critical thinking skills and evaluate the issues in the Sudan from multiple perspectives. In the essay “Is the Crisis in Darfur Genocide?,” historian Robert O. Collins, Ph.D. examines the definition of genocide in contrast to the two most famous acts of genocide in world history—the Nazi Holocaust against Jews during World War II and the slaughter of the Tutsi by the Hutu of Rwanda in May 1994. The essay “Is Intervention in Darfur Necessary?” by Paulos Milkias, Ph.D. explores the issue of intervention.

The free collection “History and Headlines: Chronicling Despair and Hope in Darfur” will be available online until Feb. 1, 2008. The url is www.historyandtheheadlines.abc-clio.com/DarfurNow.  

ABC-CLIO, www.abc-clio.com.  

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Interwrite Learning Announces Winners in Interactive Makeover Video Contest

Interwrite Learning has announced the three winners of the company’s first video contest that recognizes teachers and students for their creativity and use of technology in the classroom. Participants of the contest were asked to create a short music video parodying the song of their choice. The winners’ videos did a superior job of demonstrating creativity, collaboration, and technology in the classroom.

The winners from each grade segment (K-5, 6-8 and 9-12) are as follows:

Grades K-5 winner:

Mr. Richard Colosi’s class at Canandaigua Primary School in Canandaigua, N.Y.

Grades 6-8 winner:

Mr. Jason Coogan’s class at Ilminster Intermediate in Gisborne, New Zealand
 
Grades 9-12 winner:
Mr. Jonathon Blackburn's class at J.M. Tate High School in contonment, Fla.
 
The winners were selected from more than 220 submissions from across the U.S., New Zealand, and Australia. The online consumer votes constituted 30 percent and the panel of judges determined 70 percent of the entrant’s final score.

All contest participants will receive a fifty dollar off coupon for purchase of the Interwrite Pad, as well as a certificate of participation. All contest finalists will also receive a certificate of participation and a free limited edition, lime green Interwrite Pad that is not available for resale.

Winners will be awarded with a complete Interwrite Makeover consisting of:

Interwrite Board , an interactive whiteboard that features the Interwrite Workspace software.
Interwrite Pad , a wireless pad that gives teachers the ability to teach interactive lessons from anywhere in the classroom.
Interwrite Cricket , a clicker for students that combines radio-frequency technology with a friendly look and feel to make real-time student assessment practical for any classroom setting.
Mitsubishi XD206 DLP projector that integrates seamlessly with the Interwrite Boards and Pads with an RS–232c port for 3rd party control.
FrontRow Pro Digital  sound system.
SP Controls, Inc.’s Pixie wall mounted modular control system.
Brewer Technology and Learning will provide one full day (up to six hours) of professional development to each of the winning schools in order to help teachers learn to use the Interwrite Makeover equipment as tools to enhance and accelerate the learning process.

In addition to receiving the $15,000 interactive classroom makeover, each winner will be given a celebration party for the entire school and a $1,000 cash prize.

For more information on Interwrite Learning’s interactive learning solutions and to see the winner’s videos, visit www.interwritelearning.com/contest.

Source: Interwrite Learning, www.interwritelearning.com

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Oregon’s Digital Learning Initiative Taps Monterey Institute for Technology and Education’s National Repository of Online Courses

The Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (MITE) has announced that the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) has signed with MITE to provide online course materials, including text, audio, streaming video, and iPod downloadable content to 205 high schools and 125,000 high school students statewide. Educators and students can access the course materials via the ODE’s dedicated server or online at HippoCampus.org.

The Oregon State Board of Education recently adopted new high school diploma requirements to ensure that high school graduates are better prepared for work, higher education or training, life, and citizenship. The state-wide license to access 33 courses in MITE's National Repository of Online Courses (NROC) is one avenue the state has chosen to help achieve its goal. 

 NROC is an Open Educational Resource project of MITE supported by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and institutional membership. NROC is a library of high-quality online courses for students and faculty in higher education, high school, and Advanced Placement, suitable for advanced learners, credit recovery, home schooling, and general student use. The library includes courses in algebra, U.S. history, biology, American government, physics, environmental science, calculus, and more. NROC content is publicly available to individuals at HippoCampus.org. NROC supporting members like ODE have access to additional resources, services, and secure assessments.

The ODE’s information technologists first worked with MITE to install all of the NROC content into Moodle, an open source management system for online applications, and now is offering educators training on use of the digital tools. To date, 20 schools and about 2,000 students have begun using the NROC online content. Usage is expected to increase to 50,000 or 60,000 students by June 2008.

Source: Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (MITE), www.montereyinstitute.org

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Pearson Announces Release of Person Inform v.4.2

Pearson has announced the launch of the newest update to Pearson Inform, its achievement data analysis and decision support tool for K-12 schools. With its new Academic Intervention Plan feature, Pearson Inform 4.2 significantly expands its capabilities for planning individualized and group student instruction.

Building on the product’s support for identifying and monitoring intervention groups, the new feature allows educators to develop intervention plans for any group of students who need instruction outside of the regular academic program, such as remediation activities for struggling students or enrichment academics for gifted students. With this new feature, Pearson Inform now fully supports the Response to Intervention (RTI) framework and helps school districts meet state and federal mandates and reporting requirements.

When paired with a student information system, such as Pearson’s PowerSchool Premier, Pearson Inform gives educators a quick view into individual student performance, enabling them to measure progress, plan for improvement, intervene when necessary, and improve overall district and school performance. With access to a wealth of student data, educators can develop individualized learning plans that include performance history, concept mastery status, intervention activity history, assignment of new intervention activities and programs, educator comments, targeted concepts, and suggestions for parents. District leaders, principals, and teachers can create and store Academic Intervention Plans, as well as numerous other reports, analyzing multiple formative and summative assessment results by year, subject, grade, demographics, and more.

Once the plans are put into action, district leaders, principals, instructional specialists and teachers can monitor student progress in an intervention group, individually, in subsets, or as a whole. Teachers can view the plans for individual students and make comments or add additional information that will be included with the Academic Intervention Plan in historical data and can be shared with other educators and parents.

The Academic Intervention Plans in Pearson Inform 4.2 are available to teachers and administrators online or they can be printed and included with grant reports or shared with individual students’ parents at conferences.

For more information about Pearson Inform 4.2, visit www.pearsonschoolsystems.com/products/inform

Source: Pearson, www.pearson.com; Pearson School Systems, www.pearsonschoolsystems.com

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