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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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September 02, 2008

Table of Contents

MMIS Xtra News: Internet@School East 2009 Call for Speakers Open
PSA Takes Ed Tech to the Campaign Trail
Champion of IDEAS Blue Level for Intermediate English Language Learners
Cool Links: Relaunches AskKids
Free Resources: ABC-CLIO's Online Presidential Election Classroom Resources
Innovation First & Autodesk Release Robotics Curriculum
Free Resources: Global Kids' Online Community and Game, “Hurricane Katrina: Tempest in Crescent City”
General Motors, Discovery Education Name Winners of 2008 LIVE GREEN Teacher Grants
Discovery Education, 3M Announce Finalists in National Science Competition

MMIS Xtra News: Internet@School East 2009 Call for Speakers Open

Call for Speakers

Internet@Schools East

March 30-31, 2009

Arlington, Virginia

Deadline: September 26, 2008


We’re now seeking presenters for the Internet at Schools East conference, to be held in the Arlington, Virginia, March 30 and 31, 2009. Sponsored by MultiMedia & Internet@Schools magazine, the conference covers practical and timely technology-related topics and technology-based tools and resources for K-12 media and technology specialists. It is held in conjunction with Computers in Libraries 2009.


If you’re a K-12 library media or technology specialist with information technology and the Internet on your mind, we’d like you to be a part of our 2009 Internet@Schools East conference. Are you running an innovative program through your school media or technology center that is helping your students learn or your teachers teach? Are you willing to share your practical tips, tools, or techniques about using technology and the Internet in schools? Then please consider volunteering to speak at Internet at Schools East.


All speakers receive a full, complimentary registration to the Internet@Schools East conference as well as to Computers in Libraries 2009, plus great recognition from their peers. So think over your latest success stories or technology ventures and go to to learn more and to submit a proposal.  


Thanks! We look forward to hearing from you soon. The deadline for proposals is September 26, (although we've been know to extend it in past!) so think quickly and send in your ideas! And tell your professional colleagues friends, too!


Program Co-Chairs:


David Hoffman

Editor, Multimedia & Internet@Schools


Susan Geiger

Library Media Specialist

Moreau Catholic High School

Hayward, California

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PSA Takes Ed Tech to the Campaign Trail

Four leading education and education technology associations launched a print and radio public service announcement (PSA) campaign that asks the presidential candidates to make K-12 student access to education technology and modern learning environments a national priority.

The campaign, "One Giant Leap for Kids," was developed by the Consortium for School Networking, the International Society for Technology in Education, the National Education Association, and the State Educational Technology Directors Association.

The program is designed to emphasize to the presidential nominees that making investments in technology today is critical to ensuring the ability of U.S. students to compete and succeed in the 21st century global workforce.

The campaign also includes an online petition in support of making 21st century education a public policy priority. The petition is available at the EdTech Action Network Web site,  

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Champion of IDEAS Blue Level for Intermediate English Language Learners

Champion of IDEAS Blue Level, the second part of Ballard & Tighe’s Champion of IDEAS program, is now available for intermediate English language instruction in middle and high schools.

Champion of IDEAS is a comprehensive, systematic, and standards-based English language development (ELD) program organized by language level, rather than grade level.

The program develops and refines social language proficiency and builds academic language proficiency through content-specific vocabulary and concepts, idiomatic and figurative expressions, and grammatical and linguistic structures. Students also refine their English academic skills in reading, writing, and research through the use of graphic organizers and specialized dictionaries.

The complete Champion program includes support materials, resources, and assessments, as well as student textbooks (Champion Reader), workbooks (Champion Writer), assessments (Champion Tester), and a library of literature books. A teachers’ guide with CD-ROM resources covers the instructional plan and provides detailed instructions on how to use all of the program components.

The Champion of IDEAS series is organized into three parts for middle and high school learners. The Red Level (released in Fall 2007) covers the beginning and early intermediate language levels. The Yellow Level, currently in development, is designed for early advanced and advanced English language learners.

Ballard & Tighe,  

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Cool Links: Relaunches AskKids

The ResourceShelf folks recently briefly noted the relaunch of the AskKids search engine and interface, something we’ve been anticipating for quite a while now. Here are two useful "all about it" links, one to the ResourceShelf note, the other to an in-depth look at the Search Engine Watch blog. And here the link to AskKids for you to check out yourself.

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Free Resources: ABC-CLIO's Online Presidential Election Classroom Resources

ABC-CLIO offers a new free online History & the Headlines resource, "Presidential Elections: In History & Today." The material includes historical background on elections paired with classroom activities and ideas for research projects.

The site helps students explore a variety of topics, including how and why voting rights have expanded since the 1787 Constitutional Convention, how one significant event can change a candidate’s future (using an excerpt from the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debate), the background of the 2008 presidential and vice presidential candidates (using the site’s in-depth biographies), and the role of the media in the election.

The material is designed to support election study across the curriculum with more than 25 project ideas, each with a set of related references, primary sources, and more. To keep track of the constantly changing events in Campaign 2008, educators can sign up to receive email updates to support classroom discussions and assignments.

The material will be available online through Election Day, Nov. 4, at


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Innovation First & Autodesk Release Robotics Curriculum

Innovation First, Inc. and Autodesk, Inc. offer a new curriculum now included in the VEX Robotics Design System Classroom Lab Kits.

Based on Autodesk Inventor software and the VEX Robotics Design System, the curriculum is designed to encourage students and educators to explore the world of robotics. Students build problem-solving and team-building skills as they work together to create robots that perform challenges.

The new curriculum incorporated into the VEX Classroom Lab Kit provides a flexible custom solution for robotics education that can be applied at multiple grade levels, including middle school, high school, and beyond. Designed to comply with STEM education standards, the curriculum contains a set of 17 units, each with its own lesson, concept, and activitiy. The units focus on VEX Robotics designs and digital prototyping, a practice that enables students to design and refine their robots before building them.

The VEX Robotics Design System can be used to create both autonomous and radio-controlled robotic devices. The VEX Classroom Lab Kits, priced at $699, provide a VEX robot kit with all of the basic accessories and batteries, as well as the free curriculum. The curriculum is available separately at a price of $199.

One full license of Autodesk Inventor software is included with the Classroom Lab Four Robot Bundle Package. Two full Autodesk Inventor licenses are included in the Classroom Lab Eight Robot Bundle package.

Bulk pricing discounts are available.

Autodesk Inventor/VEX Classroom Lab Kits,

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Free Resources: Global Kids' Online Community and Game, “Hurricane Katrina: Tempest in Crescent City”

To mark the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, youth leaders for Global Kids, Inc. have created an online community and game in conjunction with Game Pill, Inc., AMD, and Microsoft Corp.’s Partners in Learning where young people can engage in and experience the ongoing relief efforts in New Orleans.


Global Kids and Game Pill, an online game developer, have created a socially conscious game and website, "Hurricane Katrina: Tempest in Crescent City" ( This is the second game developed by Global Kids youth following Ayiti: The Cost of Life (, which educates players about the obstacles to education faced by children in developing countries. Ayiti has been played worldwide over 1.5 million times and serves as a new model for games that address serious issues to increase youth awareness and involvement.


Hurricane Katrina: Tempest in Crescent City is a comprehensive social networking website featuring an educational "game" experience where participants are encouraged to act in support of New Orleans residents.  The site provides links to a variety of relief groups as well as information about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina including multiple timelines, analysis of media coverage, and supporting articles for all information presented. The site also features multiple curricula about Hurricane Katrina including Global Kids’ own workshops for teachers to use as educational tools. Visitors who join the site become part of a social online community and contribute to forums about Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the continuing reconstruction.


The site was developed during the past school year by Global Kids Youth Leaders from Brooklyn’s Canarsie High School, who selected the topic of Hurricane Katrina. They worked with Game Pill to create an educational game within a social networking site that focuses on the local heroes that emerged during the disaster while educating its players about the essentials of disaster readiness.


Hurricane Katrina: Tempest in Crescent City was developed through Global Kids’ Playing for Keeps (P4K) program, which receives support from AMD and Microsoft’s U.S. Partners in Learning Mid-Tier Grants Initiative.

Source: Global Kids, Inc.,

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General Motors, Discovery Education Name Winners of 2008 LIVE GREEN Teacher Grants

General Motors and Discovery Education have announced the 40 winners of the 2008 LIVE GREEN Teacher Grants. Each of the 40 winning middle or junior high school educators will receive a $1,000 grant to implement new, inventive classroom lessons on the environment or renewable energy initiatives.


The LIVE GREEN Teacher Grant program recognizes outstanding educators who are implementing innovative ideas, inspires teachers to improve science instruction, and empowers educators to offer students hands-on exposure to real-world environmental and energy topics, according to the announcement. To view the complete list of LIVE GREEN Grant winners, visit

In applying for the LIVE GREEN Grants, applicants submitted an essay online explaining how they will advance their students' learning about sustaining resources. A panel of judges from Discovery Education and several partner organizations judged each submission on content, originality/creativity and adherence to contest parameters. The 40 winning essays demonstrated vision, imagination and a unique way of presenting environmental and energy concepts to students.

In addition to receiving a $1,000 LIVE GREEN Teacher Grant, each winner is invited to participate in an online professional development program connecting them with leaders in the sustainability community and providing them with additional resources to support green initiatives in their school. The three-part webinar series is scheduled to kick off in mid-September. Grant winners also will receive a free video flip camera to record their experiences integrating environmental themes and lessons into their curriculum.

For more information, visit

Source: Discovery Education,

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Discovery Education, 3M Announce Finalists in National Science Competition

Discovery Education and 3M have announced the names of 10 middle school students and five science teachers selected as finalists in the 2008 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge (YSC).


The 10 student finalists will compete in the nation's Capital from October 4-6, 2008, for the chance to win a $50,000 U.S. Savings Bond ($25,000 cash value) as well as the title of "America's Top Young Scientist of the Year." NASA will host the competition finals at the Goddard Space Flight Center, located near Washington, D.C., where students will demonstrate their science prowess in a series of team-based, interactive challenges focused on this year's theme, "The Science of Space." Meanwhile, the teachers will contend for a specially selected set of prizes and recognition as "America's Top Science Teacher of the Year."

The following top student and teacher finalists (in alphabetical order):

Student Finalists:

- Avni Bavishi from Hoffman Estates, Ill.

- Margaret Botros from Wichita, Kan.

- Shyamal Bush from Folsom, Calif.

- Megan Gleason from Tucson, Ariz.

- Michael Koehler from Allison Park, Pa.

- James Kruse from Brighton, Minn.

- Peter Ku from Princeton Junction, N.J.

- Mathew McGuthry from Richmond Hill, Ga.

- Melissa Rey from Chesterfield, Mo.

- Jack Uesugi from Wahiawa, Hawaii


Teacher Finalists:

- Edward Evans from Welch, W.Va.

- Lania Ho from Melbourne, Fla.

- Paul Kuhlman from Avon, S.D.

- Steve Latshaw from Westlake Village, Calif.

- Philip Pack from Kingston, Pa.


In its 10th year, the YSC introduced a new entry mechanism for students, challenging their ability to innovatively use everyday technology to communicate basic scientific concepts. From camcorders to cell phones, YSC competitors chose any technology available to create two-minute videos demonstrating their understanding of scientific concepts surrounding "The Science of Space" theme, including the Doppler Effect, a Parabola, Why Earth's Sky Appears Blue, Orbital Paths, Magnetic Fields, the Bernoulli Principle and the Venturi Effect. Entries were evaluated on students' ability to understand and effectively communicate the meaning of their chosen concept, not on the sophistication of their video production. The competition was open to all middle schoolers across the country.

This year, Discovery Education and 3M added a teacher component to the competition which follows the same premise as the student challenge. With the goal of finding the nation's top science teacher, the YSC empowered teachers to make their own videos explaining space-related concepts, including Newton's Laws of Motion, Acceleration, Aeronautics, Centrifugal and Centripetal Force, and Scope and Scale.


For more information on all the finalists, please visit:

Source: Discovery Education,

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