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February 05, 2008

Table of Contents

Scholastic Launches Children’s Book Search Tool: Teacher Book Wizard
SMART-created Lesson Activities on Curriki Web Site
Video Professor, Inc. Releases “Protect Yourself Online: Viruses, Scams and Social Networking”
Free Resources: “The Festival of Authors” in Teen Second Life
CDW-G Announces ‘21st-Century Classroom’ Site
MMIS Reviewer Deployed to Iraq
Pokémon Learning League Adds Internet Safety Program
Sebit LLC Announces Adaptive Curriculum
Knowledge Adventure Announces Web Chameleon
Non-profit MIND Research Institute Brings Visual Math Education Programs to Southeast States
Holt McDougal Releases Redesigned One Stop Planner: Teacher One Stop
Free Resources: Vernier Spring LabQuest Workshops
School Specialty Media Introduces Learn360 Online Video Streaming Service
Discovery Education Introduces MediaShare Media Management and Content Collaboration Service For Schools
Pearson Launches enVisionMATH

Scholastic Launches Children’s Book Search Tool: Teacher Book Wizard

E-Scholastic, the online division of Scholastic, has announced the launch of Teacher Book Wizard ( The new website enables teachers, librarians, and parents to search a database of over 50,000 books to find the right match for every child, according to reading level, interest, subject, and genre. Teachers and librarians can also download free lesson plans related to specific books and purchase many titles at teacher discounted prices through’s Teacher Store.


The BookAlike feature helps educators find book recommendations based on a title that their students already know and enjoy. They can also search for titles that are at, above, or below the original book’s reading level.


Teacher Book Wizard offers other tools, including:

· Choice of Reading Level Systems: Choose among the four most common reading level systems: Grade Level Equivalent, Lexile Framework, Guided Reading, and DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment).

· Leveled Search: Search for books by reading level, type, and genre to find titles for all students’ needs and interests.

· My Book Lists: Create and save children’s book lists to print, email, and share with students, parents, teachers, or librarians. Lists are customizable for classes or for individual students.

· List Exchange: Join the online community to share book lists and to see book lists from authors, experts, and teachers that can be saved, used and modified.

· Quick Search: Search by title, author or keyword to find book-specific teaching resources and books by topic.

· Classroom Library Evaluation: Build a better classroom library with the online Scholastic Classroom Books Evaluation Protocol. This research-based tool assesses current classroom libraries to ensure they include the right books— and right mix of books— for students.


Parents can take advantage of the same tools that teachers use to find appropriate and interesting books for their children, as well as share book lists with teachers and other parents.


Source: Scholastic Corporation,

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SMART-created Lesson Activities on Curriki Web Site

SMART Technologies announced the addition of 100 SMART-created lesson activities to the Curriki global education and learning community, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing free education materials.

The SMART lesson activities are cross curricular and cover subjects such as biology, chemistry, English, geography, history, language arts, math, science, and social studies. All lesson activities are developed with or correlated to state curriculum standards in the United States and provincial curriculum standards in Canada.

The interactive lesson activities for Notebook collaborative learning software include embedded Adobe Flash multimedia files and colorful and descriptive graphics.

Curriki’s use of open-source content allows users to comment, edit, and group together curricular materials to create a lesson. Teachers can adapt or revise lesson plans to suit classroom needs.

Curriki: The Global Education & Learning Community is building an Internet site that offers a complete course of open-source instruction and assessment for K-12. Founded by Sun Microsystems in 2004, Curriki now operates as an independent nonprofit.

SMART Technologies,  

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Video Professor, Inc. Releases “Protect Yourself Online: Viruses, Scams and Social Networking”

Information Today, Inc. (ITI) has announced that “Protect Yourself Online: Viruses, Scams and Social Networking,” a Video Professor lesson featuring content from Net Crimes and Misdemeanors: Outmaneuvering Spammers, Stalkers, and Con Artists—a book by cybercrime expert Jayne A. Hitchcock—has been released by video tutorials producer Video Professor, Inc.

Hitchcock, the target of a cyber-stalker who fought back and won, went on to become a leading victim’s advocate. The author of two editions of Net Crimes & Misdemeanors, she has helped pass laws related to online harassment in over a dozen states. As president of Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA), Hitchcock works to provide support and guidance to victims of cybercrime as well as education and training to internet users and law enforcement personnel.

The Protect Yourself Online tutorial helps consumers guard against viruses, phishing scams, cyberstalking, online harassment, and identity theft. It covers safety measures to take when making purchases online, warning signs of identity theft and credit card fraud, and the top ten online scams. Three hours of in-depth, self-paced instruction is designed to keep internet users and their children safe while participating in social networking, auctions, banking, shopping, dating, and other popular online activities. For more information, visit


Net Crimes & Misdemeanors: Outmaneuvering Spammers, Stalkers, and Con Artists ( ISBN 978-0-910965-72-9) gives advice on dealing with spam, viruses, hack attacks, identify theft, and other online dangers. The book presents real-life stories, tips, techniques, and pointers to the laws, organizations, and Web resources set up to aid victims. Net Crimes & Misdemeanors is a CyberAge Book from Information Today, Inc. and is available in bookstores through Independent Publishers Group (IPG) and directly from the publisher at For more information, visit



Source: Information Today, Inc.,


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Free Resources: “The Festival of Authors” in Teen Second Life

The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (PLCMC),, and Chicago Public Schools Department of Libraries and Information Services are producing and hosting “A Festival of Authors,” a virtual literary celebration that will take place Saturday, February 2, from 10 am to 2 pm PST (1 pm – 5 pm EST), in Teen Second Life. This event will showcase selected authors of young adult literature for a teen audience in an exhibition that provides author information and links to podcasts, videoclips, and a wealth of author website links. There will also be avatar appearances by noted authors Marc Aronson (10 am PST/1pm EST), Barry Lyga (11 am PST/2pm EST), and Carol Baldwin (12 pm PST/3pm EST) on the teen grid.


Teen Second Life ( is a 3D virtual world where teens can learn valuable 21st century skills and build a variety of developmental assets as they engage with their peers from all over the world, communicate in multiple media formats, and express their identities through their own virtual appearances.


For details, visit this blog site: [Note to adults - A similar exhibition will be taking place on the main grid of Second Life at the same time. See the blog site for more information.]



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CDW-G Announces ‘21st-Century Classroom’ Site

CDW Government, Inc. (CDW-G) has announced its 21st-Century Classroom solution to deliver comprehensive technology products and professional development services to the K-12 market. The solution is highlighted by new partnerships with key educational technology companies, including Futurekids, Inc., 8e6 Technologies, Promethean, and RM Educational Software, that broaden CDW-G’s offerings.


CDW-G’s 21st-Century Classroom solution includes:

* Professional development – the cornerstone of every educational technology program, which helps teachers understand the technology and how it integrates into classroom learning

* Interactive software – proven curriculum resources to engage students

* Audio/visual components – interactive whiteboards, digital cameras, and projectors bring learning to life

* Networking and security – technology that provides for collaboration yet ensures crucial data, as well as student, faculty and staff information, is protected


The site also includes lesson plans for teachers to take technology from a standalone classroom to a fully integrated learning tool.


Visit to see the full capabilities of the CDW-G 21st-century classroom.


Source: CDW-G.


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MMIS Reviewer Deployed to Iraq

John Drag, Jr., a reviewer for MultiMedia & Internet @Schools magazine and principal of the Broward Community Charter School West in Coral Springs, Florida, will be working near Baghdad International Airport in Iraq for the next 12 months.

Drag will be serving as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army at Camp Liberty West, located near Baghdad. He has been in the military for more than 20 years, serving as an officer stationed in Germany and as a member of the Army Reserves.

A reporter from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel recently followed Drag as he talked with his students about his upcoming deployment. An article about his school good-byes can be found online at,0,1158052.story.  

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Pokémon Learning League Adds Internet Safety Program

Pokémon USA, Inc., has announced that its Internet Safety Program, co-developed with the Virginia Department of Education, is now available to all schools, districts, and families through Pokémon Learning League subscriptions. Pokémon Learning League,, is a suite of animated, interactive standards-based lessons in math, science, language arts, and life skills.


Based on customer demand from teachers and parents, Pokémon extended its online offering with the addition of the Internet Safety Program. The two-week unit consists of three lessons in online safety and media literacy, upper and lower elementary lesson plans and unit quizzes, tips for parents and guardians, printable Internet Safety certificates for students, and a printable poster to remind students how to stay safe online. Teacher's Guides are provided to help educators integrate the Pokémon Learning League lessons into classroom planning. 

The Pokémon Learning League Internet Safety Program addresses key areas of media literacy as defined by education leaders, including online safety, cooperative learning, fostering responsible citizenship, and connecting classroom curriculum to students' activities outside school. Students learn how to access, understand, analyze, and evaluate media messages on the internet and other outlets.



The lessons combine sound educational practices with the popularity of Pokémon characters to engage students in essential life skills and core curriculum topics. Each lesson guides students through a three-step approach to learning: an animated, narrative tutorial (Watch), guided practice (Try) and an interactive challenge (Apply).

For more information on the Internet Safety Program, go to Teachers and parents can sign-up for a free one-month trial at

Source: Pokémon USA, Inc.,


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Sebit LLC Announces Adaptive Curriculum

Sebit LLC has announced Adaptive Curriculum, an online library of interactive math and science activities that offers teachers an online environment supporting the entire learning and teaching process through standards-based math and science education.

Developed by Sebit, Adaptive Curriculum targets learning in math and science for students in the middle grades. The expanding online learning system contains more than 200 Math and Science Activity Objects. Similar to learning objects, Activity Objects package educational content in math and science as single-topic, interactive segments that can be used in a variety of learning environments. Adaptive Curriculum allows students to participate in virtual experiments, scientific inquiry exercises and problem-based learning that helps them gain the knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary to excel in math and science.

To help teachers incorporate interactive content into their curriculum, Adaptive Curriculum also includes a flexible online environment, MyAdaptiveSpace, containing intuitive tools for managing instruction. Adaptive Curriculum offers teachers the ability to plan their lessons, assign Activity Objects to their students and track achievement through assessment reports.

Adaptive Curriculum Activity Objects may be adapted for various classroom scenarios. Teachers can use the interactive content as part of a classroom presentation with a projector or through an interactive whiteboard. Including both animation and interactive parts, Activity Objects can be paused to allow teachers to ask questions or to emphasize specific points during a presentation. Students can be encouraged to participate in the activities during a lesson by inviting them to complete an interaction on behalf of the class after a discussion. Activity Objects can also be given to students for homework or extra practice, or to challenge students with advanced skills. Teachers can assign activities to students based upon their needs and abilities, while drawing on valuable assessment data provided by embedded assessments and worksheets.

Adaptive Curriculum is offered on a subscription basis. Licenses for the entire online library start at $10 per student for the average middle school with 700 students, with flexible pricing plans available at the district level.


For more information, visit


Source: Adaptive LLC,


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Knowledge Adventure Announces Web Chameleon

Knowledge Adventure has announced Knowledge Adventure Web Chameleon , a web-based program that enables students to collaboratively or independently create and publish simple to sophisticated presentations, newsletters, websites, and other web projects.


Students use Web Chameleon to build webpages, or they can construct multiple pages to create a project or presentation. Using the program, students can artistically enhance their projects by incorporating media objects such as audio clips, video clips, images, shapes, text, and frames. Additionally, students can manipulate timing, fades, ticker tape, credit roll, and other flash-like effects to produce professional looking projects without having to learn or use HTML or Flash. Media objects can be made into buttons that allow the viewer to jump to other pages, play audio or video, or open other websites. When a project is ready for viewing, the student submits their project to the teacher who can simply click the publish button, generating a URL hosted by Knowledge Adventure. They then share the URL with appropriate individuals.


Students can log into Web Chameleon at any time from any computer that is connected to the internet. At any point during the project creation process, multiple users can collaborate on a project.


Pricing starts at $50 per year per student, and building licenses are available. For more information, visit


Source: Knowledge Adventure,

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Non-profit MIND Research Institute Brings Visual Math Education Programs to Southeast States

The MIND Research Institute’s visual math courseware programs for grades K-12 are now available in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

The ST Math software suite for grades K to 5 helps students develop a balance of mathematical reasoning, procedural skills development, and problem-solving abilities.

ST Math: Algebra Readiness provides a supplemental basal software program for middle and high school students.

The ST Math programs enable all students—especially English language learners and ESL students—to learn math concepts without the initial use of language, helping students below grade level in math to catch up with the curriculum.

MIND Research Institute,  

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Holt McDougal Releases Redesigned One Stop Planner: Teacher One Stop

Holt McDougal ( - formerly Holt, Rinehart and Winston and McDougal Littel) has released a redesigned and multi-functional Teacher One Stop that promises to save teachers time when planning their lessons, according to the announcement. The Teacher One Stop is a new product similar to Holt’s One Stop Planner (OSP) that was originally launched in 2002. The One Stop Planner became an industry standard for the supplementary and teacher resources that accompany classroom textbooks. In its earlier version, the One Stop Planner gave teachers all the materials they needed on one CD to complement their curriculum.


The new Teacher One Stop, containing documents, tools, and multimedia, comes on a DVD. It builds on the OSP strengths and adds numerous technologies, search capabilities, and new resources.


Teacher One Stops include the ability to edit, adapt, search, and expand the collection of Holt resources that come with a particular curriculum. This includes the ability for teachers to add their own resources or save the adaptations they make to existing materials where they are stored in a “My Resources” folder. This is helpful for differentiated instruction and customized learning plans. Teachers can also alter resource descriptions, adding new state standards or notes to make it easier to locate specific resources in the future.


Teacher One Stops will be available for every Holt program starting with Holt Elements of Literature and Holt Elements of Language in March, 2008. The Teacher One Stop is the companion product to the soon-to-be-released, ThinkCentral, which will be launched in February. These complementary products allow teachers to pick the format that is more convenient for them to use when locating and editing supplementary resources: either on the DVD with the Teacher One Stop or through a web-based destination with ThinkCentral.


Holt McDougal is a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.


Source: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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Free Resources: Vernier Spring LabQuest Workshops

Vernier Software & Technology offers free hands-on workshops designed to help educators learn ways to integrate computer and handheld data collection technology into any science or math curriculum. The four-hour sessions provide opportunities to explore the use of data collection technology in chemistry, biology, physics, math, middle school science, physical science, and earth science classrooms.

Participants will learn how to collect data using Vernier’s LabQuest, a data collection tool for use in the lab and in the field. The sessions will also focus on collecting data using computers, TI graphing calculators, and Palm OS handheld devices. Each workshop includes lunch or dinner and a training manual.

Educators have the option of earning two (quarter) Graduate Science credit hours through the Portland State University Center for Science Education. The approximate cost is $70 per credit hour. To earn the course credit, a follow-up project using electronic sensors is required.

Workshop dates and locations include:

Feb. 23 – Tampa Bay, FL

March 1 – Phoenix, AZ
March 3 – Phoenix, AZ
March 4 – Tucson, AZ
March 4 – Nashville, TN
March 5 – Chattanooga, TN
March 6 – Birmingham, AL
March 8 – Marietta, GA
March 11 – Colorado Springs, CO
March 12 – Columbia, SC
March 13 – Denver, CO

April 2 – Springfield, MA
April 3 – Hartford, CT
April 5 – Bridgeport, CT
April 7 – White Plains, NY
April 9 – Newark, NJ
April 10 – Philadelphia, PA
April 10 – Little Rock, AR
April 12 – Memphis, TN
April 12 – Wilmington, DE
April 14 – Jackson, MI
April 14 – Baltimore, MD
April 15 – Washington, DC
April 15 – Baton Rouge, LA
April 16 – Loudoun County, VA
April 24 – Reno, NV
April 24 – Newport News, VA
April 26 – Richmond, VA
April 26 – Sacramento, CA
April 28 – Oakland, CA
April 28 – Raleigh, NC
April 29 – San Jose, CA
April 29 – Greensboro, NC

May 3 – Santa Barbara, CA
May 5 – Pasadena, CA
May 6 – Costa Mesa, CA
May 8 – San Bernardino, CA

Vernier Software & Technology,  

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School Specialty Media Introduces Learn360 Online Video Streaming Service

School Specialty Media announced at the Florida Educational Technology its new online Learn360 video streaming service for K-12 schools. Learn360 achieves a superior standard of quality for video streaming with a flexible back end built specifically for educators, the announcement states.


Available now for an annual subscription, Learn360 offers a growing library of full-length educational videos, thousands of video clips, audio files, and still images accessed over the Internet at The site enables users to add their own content and includes robust administrative features. All full-length videos and video clips are aligned to state standards. Anybody in a district, including students, can access the site anytime from anywhere there is Internet access.


Each video for Learn360 is hand-selected, analyzed for quality, and recorded from high-quality masters in three formats that educators can choose from for viewing and downloading: Flash, Windows Media, and QuickTime. This provides users the capability to view videos at DVD quality. Still images are jpg and audio files are MP3 format. Districts can seamlessly customize the site to provide their educators with access to other media that they already own within Learn360. It works with their existing media service. Users can add links to their own content in any digital video or audio format, incorporating it into the management system.


Proprietary content for Learn360 is provided by School Specialty Media’s Sunburst Visual Media product line. Content is also provided through partnerships with National Geographic, PBS, Goldhil Entertainment, Standard Deviants, Mazzarella Companies, Monterey Media, Rock the SAT, Lou Reda Productions, Allegro Productions, Twin Sisters, and more. The subscription price includes access to all content, including premium National Geographic and PBS brands, and optional local hosting, with no additional fees. School Specialty Media will add content on an ongoing basis as it develops or licenses new materials.


After extensive use throughout the Fall by many K-12 schools in the state of New Jersey, Learn360 is available to schools now as an annual subscription through School Specialty Media. The service is for both Macintosh and Windows users with Internet access. Learn360 can accommodate users at all Internet access speeds, but a minimum of a DSL connection is recommended. The subscription allows administrators, educators and students on-demand access on both school and home computers via the Internet. The price for Learn360 is customized for schools, districts, regional media centers, or states.

Educators can also see a sample video clip from Learn360 or sign up for a free 30-day trial by visiting


Source: School Specialty, Inc.,

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Discovery Education Introduces MediaShare Media Management and Content Collaboration Service For Schools

Discovery Education has introduced MediaShare, its new web-based media management service. Discovery Education MediaShare allows administrators, media specialists, and teachers to upload, correlate, manage, and distribute user-created or licensed digital content.

A 24-7 content collaboration solution, Discovery Education MediaShare enables content uploads to either locally hosted servers or to Discovery Education servers, allowing teachers, parents, and students to access digital content from anywhere. Once content is uploaded, administrators can set sharing permissions to ensure users have the correct level of access to digital assets.

With Discovery Education MediaShare, users also can map content to state curriculum standards, and index and search digital content based upon user-assigned criteria. A handy reporting feature capable of generating reports on uploads and downloads as well as content metadata helps administrators monitor the usage of various assets. Any type of digital content can be shared and managed through MediaShare - videos, audio files, podcasts, PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, Excel files, and more.

Source: Discovery Education,


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Pearson Launches enVisionMATH

Pearson has announced the launch of enVisionMATH, a program offering a curriculum that combines visual animation and next-generation technologies to engage and entertain students while providing a comprehensive foundation in math skills.
Debuting at the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando, enVisionMATH was developed by Scott Foresman and top math experts in conceptual development, problem-solving, and visual learning instructional strategies in collaboration with classroom teachers.

enVisionMATH is a research-based program that blends visual animations and graphic text centered on conceptual understanding and helping students develop their reasoning ability for problem-solving — the critical foundation for higher level math they will need to succeed in college and in their careers, according to enVisionMATH author Dr. Randy Charles, Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics, San Jose State University, and past Vice President of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics.
Teachers can personalize enVisionMATH instruction for all students regardless of learning style or special needs. The program also has specific components – including the visual and interactive learning components – designed for those students who are learning basic English at the same time they are learning math.
Published in both English and Spanish, enVisionMATH’s visual learning design includes a Visual Learning Bridge in each lesson, with step-by-step visuals that bridge the gap between the interactive learning activity and guided practice.
The standards-based curriculum includes daily differentiated instruction. The program is organized into 20 focused topics at each grade level using a teaching system that places all of the materials for each topic in one place. Animated topic tutorials, video topic openers, whiteboard-ready resources, eTools and online editions help students of all learning styles and abilities access content and allow teachers to customize instruction. With assessment and prescriptions embedded throughout enVisionMATH, teachers can individualize instruction for students, ensuring they grasp each concept before moving on to the next lesson.
For more information or to see a demo of enVisionMATH, go to
Source: Pearson,

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