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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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December 26, 2007

Table of Contents

ALA To Announce Top Children/Teen Literary Awards Live Online
SirsiDynix Launches Symphony 3.2
CoSN Announces Annual School Networking Conference
Information Today, Inc. Publishes Book on Technology Training for Librarians
UNICEF, One Laptop per Child, Google Launch Initiative to Preserve and Share Stories Around the World
New Book from ISTE Explores K-12 Online Learning
World Book Encyclopedia 2008 Edition Released
Ask.com Launches AskEraser

ALA To Announce Top Children/Teen Literary Awards Live Online

The American Library Association (ALA) will provide a free live Webcast of its national announcement of the top books, video, and audiobooks for children and young adults—including the Caldecott, King, Newbery, and Printz awards—on Jan. 14 at 7:45 a.m., eastern time.

The Webcast will appear live online at www.unikron.com/clients/ala-webcast-2008. The ALA recommends bookmarking and using this url, in place of the ALA home page, for this event. The number of Webcast connections will be limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The award winners will be posted on the ALA Web site (www.ala.org) at 10:30 a.m., eastern time.

The Awards to be announced on Jan. 14 include:

--Alex Awards for the best adult books that appeal to a teen audience.

--Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video.

--Coretta Scott King Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of books for children and young adults that reflect the best in artistic and literary expression of the Black experience in a pluralistic society.

--John Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature.

--Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults.

--May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award recognizing an author, critic, librarian, historian, or teacher of children’s literature who presents a lecture at a winning host site.

--Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults.

--Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book translated from a foreign language in a foreign country and subsequently published in English in the United States.

--Odyssey Award for excellence in audiobook production for youth.

--Pura Belpre Award recognizing a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

--Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

--Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children.

--Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.

--Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished book for beginning readers.

ALA, www.ala.org.  

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SirsiDynix Launches Symphony 3.2

SirsiDynix announced the general release of the Symphony 3.2 customizable integrated library system.

The program is available for current and prospective customers, including SirsiDynix Horizon and Unicorn sites upgrading to the new system.

Symphony 3.2 incorporates open industry-standard technologies and offers features such as:

--an open n-tier architecture,

--software-as-a-service (SaaS) options,

--user experience portal and search solutions,

--comprehensive integrated library management and productivity solutions,

--Java-based staff clients for all modules,

--fully documented application programming interfaces (APIs) that support customizability and integrability,

--Unicode support,

--advanced business intelligence and reporting tools,

--support for SIP2 and NCIP, and

--embedded and full Oracle database support.

Symphony also includes expanded capabilities for group/family/proxy circulation, new credit structure within patron accounts, support for mail delivery of books, support for the Web Reporter advanced reporting tool (scheduled for first quarter 2008), new portal capabilities, and Web-based staff clients. A full suite of professional services (implementation, training, support, data, and consulting) is available with the system.

SirsiDynix, www.sirsidynix.com.  

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CoSN Announces Annual School Networking Conference

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) will hold its 13th annual conference March 9-11 in Washington, D.C. The conference theme is Visionary Leadership: Scaffolding 21st Century Learning with Technology.

Keynote speakers include:

Andreas Schleicher, Head of the Indicators and Analysis Division, Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCED).

Richard Hersh, Ph.D., Co-Director, CLA and CWRA Projects, Council for Aid to Education.

Daniel Pink, best-selling author of A Whole New Mind.

The conference strands include:

Leadership for Transformation: Exploring the Critical Role of Leadership.

Accountability and Assessment (Benchmarking, Formative & Summative/High Stakes): Using Data to Personalize Instruction.

Innovative Use of Emerging Technologies: Identifying Cutting Edge Technologies and Innovative Applications in K-12.

Content and Integration: Leveraging Technology to Advance Student Learning.

Professional Development for Technology Leaders: Building Your Professional Capacity.

Supporting Research for Technology Implementation: Examine What the Research Tells Us About How Technology Can Improve Student Achievement.

Business and Operations: Using Technology to Improve Operational Effectiveness and Efficiency.

CoSN, www.cosn.org.  

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Information Today, Inc. Publishes Book on Technology Training for Librarians

Information Today, Inc. (ITI) has announced publication of a new book, The Accidental Technology Trainer: A Guide for Libraries , by Stephanie Gerding.

In the book, Gerding addresses a range of issues for library staff who find themselves newly responsible for technology training, be it in computer labs, classrooms, or one-on-one with library users. With a goal of helping trainers become more effective and efficient, she covers key training principles, skills, methods, tools, and techniques, and tackles such topics as learning styles, workshop planning and design, and dealing with unexpected or difficult situations. In addition to drawing on her own experience, Gerding includes training tips and insights from 16 savvy library tech trainers. 

"Librarians have become navigators on the sea of the Internet, and The Accidental Technology Trainer is a tool as useful as a compass," according to Susan Hildreth, State Librarian of California. Hildreth said the book "will strengthen those professional training skills that are essential for successful 21stcentury librarians."

The Accidental Technology Trainer includes the following chapters:

1. Being an Accidental Technology Trainer
2. Discovering Training Principles
3. Identifying Library Technology Training Skills
4. Knowing Your Library Learners
5. Learning Interactively
6. Creating and Maintaining Interest
7. Planning Technology Training
8. Organizing and Designing the Workshop
9. Dealing With Difficult Library Training Situations
10. Examining Best Practices in Library Technology Training
11. Keeping Current and Sharing Resources

Additional features include an introduction by the author, training and workshop templates and handouts, a listing of resources mentioned in the book, and an index. To help readers keep current, a companion webpage—periodically updated by the author—provides links to recommended websites, plus new resources and articles of interest.

Stephanie Gerding is an independent consultant and author specializing in training, technology, and fundraising for libraries. She began her library career as an accidental technology trainer in 1996, training the staff of an academic library on its first email system. She trained thousands of librarians through her work for the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, and has managed statewide library training programs at New Mexico and Arizona State libraries. She has written for Public Libraries and Computers in Libraries magazines and served as newsletter editor for various library associations. She is the author of Grants for Libraries (2006) and co-author of the Library Grants Blog.

The Accidental Technology Trainer: A Guide for Libraries (272 pp/softbound/$29.50/ ISBN 978-157387-269-0) is published by Information Today, Inc. (ITI). It is available in bookstores and direct from the publisher by calling (800) 300-9868 [outside the U.S. call (609) 654-6266]; faxing (609) 6544309; emailing custserv@infotoday.com; or visiting the ITI Web site at www.infotoday.com.

Source: Information Today, Inc., www.infotoday.com

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UNICEF, One Laptop per Child, Google Launch Initiative to Preserve and Share Stories Around the World

UNICEF, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), and Google have announced the launch of "Our Stories" (www.ourstories.org), a joint initiative to preserve and share the histories and identities of cultures around the world by making personal stories available online in many languages.

Using laptops, mobile phones, and other recording devices, children will record, in their native languages, the stories of elders, family members, and friends. These stories will be shared globally through the Our Stories website, where they can be found on a Google Map.

By making these stories accessible around the world, the Our Stories project hopes to contribute to a better understanding of our shared humanity across countries and cultures, across religious traditions, across languages, and across generations.

"Information technologies can help young people around the world learn more about each other," said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman. "Our Stories will promote dialogue across borders and cultures and give young people a voice on a wide range of issues."
 
Low-cost XO laptops by One Laptop per Child will serve as a foundation to help build this digital archive of personal stories by providing children in developing countries with easy-to-use technology to record their stories and interviews.

The Our Stories website will initially include stories collected by Brazil’s Museum of the Person and stories recorded for UNICEF by young people in Ghana, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Our Stories has taken inspiration from the StoryCorps project in the U.S. founded by MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay.

More stories from more countries will be added to the site every month in an effort to preserve an oral history of humanity in the 21st Century.

Leading figures have already lent their voices to the project: Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Queen of Jordan and UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children, and Ishmael Beah, UNICEF Advocate for Children Affected by War and best-selling author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier , have all recorded messages welcoming users to the site and encouraging them to share their stories.

Listen to a story at www.ourstories.org.

Source: UNICEF, www.unicef.org

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New Book from ISTE Explores K-12 Online Learning

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has announced the publication of a new book, What Works in K-12 Online Learning, which explores the growing phenomenon of education delivered primarily via the Internet. Driven by a number of factors, the increase of K-12 enrollments in online courses presents both great promise and some real challenges. The book serves as a research-based guide to what works from more than two dozen contributors with real-world experience.

What Works in K-12 Online Learning provides a comprehensive overview of effective online teaching and learning practices. Chapters cover a full spectrum of topics including virtual course development, online learning in elementary classrooms, instructional assessment and differentiating online instruction, professional development for teachers of virtual courses, and the challenges that virtual schools will face.

What Works in K-12 Online Learning includes the following features:

* A complete introduction to virtual courses
* Chapters addressing literacy/language, mathematics, social studies, physical education, and differentiated instruction
* An overview of professional development for online teachers

The book is intended for grade K-12 teachers, pre-service teachers, technology coordinators, school and district administrators, and teacher educators.

What Works in K-12 Online Learning may be purchased online for $26.55 for ISTE members or $37.95 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: The International Society for Technology in Education, www.iste.org

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World Book Encyclopedia 2008 Edition Released

World Book has announced the release of the 2008 edition of The World Book Encyclopedia. With more than 3,800 expert contributors ensuring articles are accurate and reflect current scholarship, the new edition includes thousands of new and revised articles across all disciplines, from the arts and science to politics and religion. 

The 22 volumes of The World Book Encyclopedia include expanded coverage of both the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as new entries on presidential hopefuls Rudolph Giuliani and Mitt Romney, which join existing biographies of other candidates. 

Beyond U.S. political figures, biographies of hundreds of world leaders, entertainers, explorers, and innovators join World Book, including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Canadian Liberal Party leader Stéphane Dion, and French president Nicolas Sarkozy.  Additional biographies include filmmaker Tim Burton and film director Peter Jackson, actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Harrison Ford, aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman, and sports figures such as tennis star Maria Sharapova, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and swimmer Michael Phelps.

Other updates include new articles on the dwarf planet Eris, the Black Death, ethanol, Google, and video art as well as the film series Star Wars.  Also included are expanded maps of Beijing, including sites for the 2008 summer Olympic Games.

The World Book Encyclopedia for 2008 is available in a new spinescape binding – World Book's multi-volume book spine design.  The Global City spinescape, chosen based on the voting of more than 50,000 book lovers earlier this year, combines images of world cities to illustrate that, for the first time in history, the majority of people on the planet now live in cities. 

The World Book Web, World Book's suite of online publications, includes all the articles in the print edition as well as thousands more from World Book's contributors and access to additional resources, including an online atlas, pop-up dictionary, student activities, multimedia resources, and editor-selected websites for additional exploration along with teacher resources and curriculum correlations for educators.

The World Book Encyclopedia 2008 (ISBN 978-0-7166-0108-1) is available now from World Book's school and library sales force at 800-975-3250 (U.S.) or 800-837-5365 (Canada) and from the school and library ordering site (http://www.worldbookonline.com/sales).

Source: World Book, Inc., www.worldbook.com

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Ask.com Launches AskEraser

Ask.com has announced the launch of AskEraser, the first product to give consumers privacy control over their online searches. When enabled by the user, AskEraser completely deletes all future search queries and associated cookie information from Ask.com servers, including IP address, User ID, Session ID, and the complete text of their queries.

An AskEraser link is featured prominently in the upper right corner of the Ask.com homepage and search results pages - clearly and constantly indicating to the user that their search activity will be erased from Ask.com servers. AskEraser remains on for searches conducted across Ask.com's major search verticals: Web, Images, AskCity, News, Blogs, Video, and Maps & Directions - and can be turned on or off by the user at any time.

Earlier this year, Ask.com also announced that it is implementing a new data retention policy to disassociate search history from IP address and User ID after 18 months. In addition, Ask.com has taken steps to further industry collaboration and dialogue on privacy issues. In July, Ask.com and Microsoft joined together in urging the online industry to develop global privacy principles for data collection, use and protection related to searching and online advertising. Since then, Ask.com has worked with other technology leaders, consumer advocacy organizations, and academics to make progress toward the development of these principles, as well as disseminating best practices to provide more privacy control for consumers.

AskEraser has now launched in the U.S. and in the U.K. - and will be deployed globally in 2008.

For the AskEraser user FAQ, visit http://sp.ask.com/en/docs/about/askeraser.shtml.

Source: About Ask.com, www.ask.com

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