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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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January 08, 2008

Table of Contents

ITI Cross Links: AskEraser—Privacy Potential
UNESCO Launches Technology Competency Standards for Teachers
Cool Links: Why Yahoo! Answers Is a Librarian's Worst Nightmare
Pinnacle Systems Introduces Free Video Editing With VideoSpin Software
AASL Releases Report on First Longitudinal Study
Learn360 Provides New Video Streaming Service
IMLS Issues Study on Youth Programs in Museums and Libraries

ITI Cross Links: AskEraser—Privacy Potential

We posted news of the launch of AskEraser last month (Ask.com Launches AskEraser). Now Information Today, Inc.'s NewsBreaks site editor Paula Hane has tapped search expert Greg Notess to look into and behind the news and provide some independent analysis. Read how it works, what exceptions obtain, why it's important, and, in general, what's the current state of web search privacy in Greg's January 3, 2008 NewsBreak, AskEraser—Privacy Potential.

Click HERE to link to the article.

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UNESCO Launches Technology Competency Standards for Teachers

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will launch the ICT Competency Standards for Teachers at the World Ministerial Seminar in London on Jan. 8.

The information and communication technology (ICT) standards were developed under UNESCO leadership in cooperation with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University of Virginia (Virginia Tech), and corporate partners Cisco, Intel, and Microsoft.

The competency standards are designed to help educational policymakers and curriculum developers identify the skills teachers need to harness technology in the service of education.

A fact sheet on the ICT Competency Standards for Teachers is available online as a PDF file at http://www.iste.org/Content/ContentGroups/News_Stories/2008/01january/07unescostandards/UNESCO_ICT_Fact_Sheet_Jan_2008.pdf.  

ISTE, www.iste.org.  


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Cool Links: Why Yahoo! Answers Is a Librarian's Worst Nightmare

This Slate article has been around for about a month, but we just got wind of it and are pointing it out to you now. (Sorry for the delay!) In "A Librarian's Worst Nightmare," subtitled "Yahoo! Answers, where 120 million users can be wrong," author Jacob Leibenluft reviews Yahoo's answer service, which has succeeded where Google's failed. As you can tell from his article title, he has little good to say about it.

Find out why by clicking through to the article HERE.

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Pinnacle Systems Introduces Free Video Editing With VideoSpin Software

Pinnacle Systems, Inc. , the consumer division of Avid Technology Inc., has announced a new video editing application, called VideoSpin, that it is offering as a free download . The VideoSpin application is for all consumers and will especially attract users who don't want to spend much time creating movies, according to the announcement. Since the public Beta version was launched in the Fall of 2007, VideoSpin has been successfully used by nearly 60,000 consumers attracted by its simplicity and ease of use. Users are able to quickly create entertaining videos and post them on the Web or email them to friends and family.

By leveraging the editing engine of its Pinnacle Studio software and making the editing process virtually foolproof, Pinnacle Systems intends to fill a gap in the video editing industry. Consumers of all ages and all walks of life can benefit from the VideoSpin editor, including fans of online video-sharing sites, teachers, seniors, and students as well as the millions of people with digital videos and photos accumulating on their PCs, the announcement states. Pinnacle Systems makes VideoSpin editing even more compelling by offering the complete package, not just a trial version, free.

With VideoSpin, users create movies by dragging and dropping their videos, pictures, and music from their PC's hard drive onto the timeline and adding a few transitions and titles if they wish. With the preview feature, users can check their movies after each change or they can wait until just prior to clicking on the “Make Movie” button. When the video is complete, it can be output in a common video format such as AVI, MPEG, RealVideo or Windows Media for viewing and sharing on a PC or a portable media device. Videos can also be attached to an email or uploaded directly to popular Web sites like YouTube or Yahoo! Video.

Individual discussions of each VideoSpin component and a complete, interactive tutorial on how the software can be used to make a video are available at www.videospin.com. VideoSpin users and potential users can view each step of the tutorial at their own pace, and can view expert tips by clicking on “tip!” when it appears.

Users who want more capabilities can click on the Get More shortcut button at the top of the VideoSpin screen. This will open a special browser window with a catalog page of available upgrades, including additional codecs, transitions, and Pinnacle Studio consumer video editing software. VideoSpin users who move up to Pinnacle Studio will enjoy advanced features with the same familiar interface as VideoSpin.

Designed for Windows XP with SP2, or Vista systems, the VideoSpin application will be available for download by the end of January at no charge from www.videospin.com.

Source: Pinnacle Systems, Inc., www.pinnaclesys.com

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AASL Releases Report on First Longitudinal Study

The American Association of School Libraries (AASL) released the results of its first longitudinal survey for school library media specialists, titled School Libraries Count!

The survey, conducted January – March 2007, gathered data in areas such as library staff, collections, technology, class visits, and budgets. The data will be used to develop tools to help library media specialists advocate at the local, state, and national levels.

The School Libraries Count! survey and report can be found online at http://www.ala.org/ala/aasl/slcsurvey.cfm.  

The survey will be conducted annually and will result in a longitudinal series that will provide data on the health of the nation’s school library media programs. The second survey is scheduled to open at the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia in January.

AASL, www.aasl.org.  

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Learn360 Provides New Video Streaming Service

Educational video publisher School Specialty Media offers its new online Learn360 video streaming service for K-12.

Learn360, located online at www.learn360.com, offers high quality video streaming with a flexible streaming system built specifically for educators. A variety of customization options are available for schools, districts, and various teaching styles at an affordable annual subscription price.

Available now, Learn360 provides a growing online library of 1,400 on-demand full-length educational videos, thousands of video clips, audio files, and still images.

The site includes standards for every state; the videos and video clips are aligned to state standards.

School Specialty Media, www.learn360.com.  

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IMLS Issues Study on Youth Programs in Museums and Libraries

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has announced the release of Museums and Libraries Engaging America’s Youth: Final Report of a Study of IMLS Youth Programs, 1998-2003 . The study, which is part of IMLS’s initiative, Museums and Libraries Engaging America’s Youth, examined Institute-funded programs for youth aged 9-19 and surveyed nearly 400 museum and library programs about their goals, strategies, impact, and outcomes.

The year-long study was conducted for IMLS by the Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI), a nonprofit learning research organization based in Edgewater, MD, that focuses on understanding informal learning. Workshops were held at IMLS offices with a Youth Action Committee and representatives of select grants to develop a set of case studies to illustrate effective practices. Companion publications in the Nine to Nineteen: Youth in Museums and Libraries series include a practitioners’ guide and a policy brief set for release in 2008.

Museums and libraries bring unique assets to youth development, according to the study. They include dedicated, knowledgeable staff; authentic objects, artifacts, and information resources; opportunities for personalized, hands-on learning; support for cognitive and social development; and experiences to help parents, families, and caregivers make learning fun and rewarding. According to the study, the most effective youth programs:

--include long-term, trusting, supportive relationships between and among youth, staff, and other adults;
--partner with community-based organizations and other cultural institutions;
--substantively involve youth in program design and decision making; and,
--regularly assess or evaluate, using what’s learned to improve the program and strengthen other youth development efforts.

IMLS has a long-standing commitment to funding grants and sponsoring research on the subject of how both preschool and school-age children learn, and how museums and libraries support such learning. Grants are awarded through two programs: discretionary and state programs. Between 1998 and 2003, through its discretionary grant programs, IMLS funded an estimated $25 million in grants that engaged youth aged 9–19 in productive educational activities that improved their skills and relationships. For the same period, through its state program, IMLS funded an estimated $214 million in programs to support youth services.

To read the complete study, please go to http://www.imls.gov/pdf/YouthReport.pdf.

Source: The Institute of Museum and Library Services, www.imls.gov

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