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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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November 11, 2008

Table of Contents

CoSN Launches “Green” Initiative
Apply Now: "Aspirations in Computing" Awards for High School Girls
The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Political, Social, and Military History
NewTek Launches TriCaster DUO Portable Live Production for the Classroom
Turning Technologies Unveils ResponseWare Web
The Library Corporation Announces New ILS Platform
NSBA Survey Indicates School Districts Want the New Administration to Address 21st Century Skills
Elluminate, Inc. Announces Increased Support for Anytime, Anywhere Learning and Collaboration

CoSN Launches “Green” Initiative

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) launched a Green Computing Leadership Initiative designed to help schools identify ways to reduce waste, save energy and promote sustainability.

The new initiative provides K-12 technology leaders with a number of resources, tips and tools to help schools and school districts reduce their carbon footprints. The program focuses on three major topic areas—technology energy use, green computing purchase and disposal, and reducing waste and saving natural resources.

The project includes a new Web resource--http://www.cosn.org/greencomputing--that provides information on topics ranging from making responsible computer purchases with consideration for disposal, to using computers to reduce waste and preserve natural resources. The online material features a technology energy use calculator that helps educators estimate kilowatt-hour use and related costs for current and planned computing and network infrastructure.

Additional resources include tips for reducing power consumption and general information to help school leaders set achievable goals and become exemplars for their school or district.

The Green Computing Leadership Institute is made possible with support from Cisco, Dell, Faronics, Gartner, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Pearson, SAS, Smart Technologies and Toshiba.

CoSN, www.cosn.org.  

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Apply Now: "Aspirations in Computing" Awards for High School Girls

Applications are now being accepted for the National Center For Women & Information Technology/Bank of America Award for Aspirations in Computing.

The awards program recognizes high school girls in the U.S., with preference given to students who are high school juniors or seniors during the 2008-2009 academic year.

Applicants must have a demonstrated outstanding aptitude and interest in IT/computing, demonstrated leadership ability, a good academic history, and post-secondary education plans.

Up to five winners will be selected from each of the greater metropolitan areas of Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Jacksonville, FL; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; and San Francisco, CA. Up to 10 winners will be selected from other U.S. locations.

Each award winner will receive $500, a new laptop and a trip to the awards showcase in Charlotte, NC on March 7, 2009.

Application materials can be found online at www.ncwit.org/award. Applications must be received by Dec. 1, 2008.

National Center for Women & Information Technology, www.ncwit.org.  

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The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Political, Social, and Military History

The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict provides a general reference work encompassing all aspects of the contentious Arab-Israeli relationship from biblical times to the present, with an emphasis on the era beginning with World War I.

The encyclopedia offers more than 750 alphabetically organized entries in three volumes, images and maps, and a documents volume of primary sources.

The material explores the social, cultural, and religious factors that have shaped Arab-Israeli relations for thousands of years. Also examined are historic events such as the founding of modern Israel, the building of the Suez Canal, the Six-Day War, the Camp David Accords, the assassinations of Anwar Sadat and Yitzhak Rabin, the rise and fall of Yasser Arafat, the 2006 Palestinian elections, and the Israeli-Hezbollah War in Lebanon.

The four-volume, 1,553-page encyclopedia is available as an eBook or in a print edition.

ABC-CLIO, www.abc-clio.com.  

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NewTek Launches TriCaster DUO Portable Live Production for the Classroom

NewTek Inc. has announced the release of TriCaster DUO, a portable live production device that is specifically designed for elementary and middle school video production. NewTek launched this latest addition to the TriCaster family of products at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) International Student Media Festival in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

 

TriCaster DUO, which will be available exclusively through Academic Superstore and www.NewTek.com, allows students to learn the process of live television production. Using TriCaster DUO, students have the opportunity to create multicamera school newscasts and also webcast school assemblies, sporting events and other school activities.

 

 

TriCaster DUO allows students to mix three cameras, titles, and video clips while simultaneously distributing their show to video and the Web. A curriculum covering the basics of live newscast production is included with TriCaster DUO so instructors can quickly teach their students about producing live television.

 

 

The product is available exclusively to educational facilities in North America for $2,995. For more information, visit www.NewTek.com.

Source: NewTek Inc., www.NewTek.com

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Turning Technologies Unveils ResponseWare Web

Turning Technologies LLC has announced the availability of ResponseWare Web, its next-generation response system. ResponseWare Web is a web-based polling application that allows participants to submit responses to interactive PowerPoint questions via internet-connected devices including Apple iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones, other cell phones and mobile devices, laptops, or a standard desktop computer. Turning is working with telecomm carriers to accelerate access to the new product. Currently, ResponseWare Web is certified on the AT&T wireless network.

For use with Turning Technologies’ flagship interactive PowerPoint product, TurningPoint, ResponseWare Web allows students and participants to respond via the internet through standard web browsers. The web application immediately transfers their responses to a TurningPoint interactive polling slide typically presented to the audience via an LCD projector.

Turning’s web-based response solution allows alphanumeric entry for single response, multiple response, fill-in-the-blank and essay questions via a cell phone style input or a QWERTY style keyboard. The diversity of response types increases communication options and allows users to easily submit questions electronically during an interactive polling session to the presenter. ResponseWare Web also displays the question and answer choices on the device while polling.

In education settings, ResponseWare Web enables mobile learning, creating the ability for students to respond to interactive questions both inside and outside of the classroom. Students already accustomed to instant connectivity will now be able to use those same smart devices to communicate their understanding of course materials and concepts. In addition, they will find the anonymous ability to ask questions and seek further insights as a powerful learning technique.

Source: Turning Technologies, LLC,  www.turningtechnologies.com

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The Library Corporation Announces New ILS Platform

TLC has announced plans for a new ILS platform called LS2 and, additionally, the release of its first module, the LS2 PAC.

LS2, known as "Indigo" during its project phase, is a new development platform for TLC and a new unified ILS that will include Web, client, and mobile interfaces. The development platform combines powerful and flexible open-source technologies into a single unified tool set that allows TLC to bring quality products to market quickly at lower cost to libraries. The first module to be released, LS2 PAC, is designed to work with either of TLC's current integrated library systems, Library Solution or CARL X.

LS2 PAC offers experiences similar to those found in the best Web 2.0 applications, according to the TLC announcement. Popular features include:
* Tagging
* List Sharing
* User Reviews
* RSS result feeds
* RSS indexing from popular or local Web sites
* Predictive Results, which completes search terms as you type
* Faceted Results
* Integrated searching of subscription databases
* Item Mapping, which shows the item location on a map of your library.
* Genre Browsing
* and Book River, an eye-catching representation of book jackets in the library's collection

Development on additional LS2 modules has begun, including plans for a LS2 Kids interface and LS2 Circ, a Web-based circulation module.

Source: TLC, www.tlcdelivers.com

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NSBA Survey Indicates School Districts Want the New Administration to Address 21st Century Skills

Finding ways to assess 21st century learning skills should top the list of education technology priorities for the next Administration and Congress, according to the more than 500 school leaders who responded to a survey issued by the National School Boards Association at the organization’s annual technology and learning conference, T+L.

More than 50 percent of the district leaders surveyed agreed that their top education technology priority for the new Administration and Congress should be assessing 21st century skills. An additional 43 percent called for supporting increased professional development around educational technology, while 38 percent wanted an increased focus on S.T.E.M. subject areas (science, technology, engineering, and math).

School districts noted that their biggest challenge is funding for technology (50 percent), closely followed by integrating technology into the classroom (40 percent). The tight economy is also impacting school districts’ technology programs. Sixty-four percent of districts indicate that they have delayed hardware purchases or upgrades. While the economy has had a negative impact on school districts, two positive factors have emerged: twenty-nine percent of responding districts have explored or adopted open source technologies; and 20 percent have explored "green" IT initiatives as ways to offset costs and save school district money.

Survey respondents listed a variety of ways that school districts are addressing 21st century learning opportunities, including: using new assessment tools to measure 21st century skills (43 percent); raising math, science, and technology standards (38 percent); focusing on career tech readiness programs (34 percent); and offering more Advanced Placement courses and tests (33 percent).

A new question addresses the use of data in school districts. Respondents indicated that instructional decisions are being driven by data in a variety of ways, the largest being professional development to ensure data is accurately interpreted (nearly 67 percent). Other instructional decisions driven by data include allocation of district resources (65 percent), staffing as a reflection of building needs (49 percent), and teacher customization of assignments based on student ability (nearly 45 percent). Fifty-six percent indicated they had student information systems that provide for easy analysis of data.

Survey respondents also note that technology continues to increase educational opportunities for children (93 percent). Students are more engaged in learning (92 percent), curriculum has been enhanced for students with special needs (60 percent), critical thinking skills are increased (58 percent), and students possess a stronger ability to communicate (55 percent). When asked about devices that could best engage students, respondents reported interactive boards (51 percent) were most effective followed by laptops (44 percent), overhead projection (24 percent) and individual response clickers (21 percent).

The digital divide continues to be an issue for school districts, with 70 percent of respondents saying that home access to the internet is a problem for low-income students. Districts are working to alleviate some of this divide by providing access in before- or after-school programs (51 percent) and supporting access for students at community centers or libraries (40 percent).

Survey results may be found on the NSBA Web site at www.nsba.org.

Source: National School Boards Association, www.nsba.org

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Elluminate, Inc. Announces Increased Support for Anytime, Anywhere Learning and Collaboration

Elluminate, Inc. has announced that the Elluminate Learning Suite now includes Elluminate Live! V9 and Elluminate Publish! V2, adding functionality that enables educators to reach and engage more learners, promote a culture of collaboration across the enterprise, facilitate formal and informal learning, and ensure accessibility and flexibility for all users, according to the company. The new products extend the reach of and expand access to current academic infrastructure, such as integrating video podcasts into a learning management system or enabling the use of existing audio conferencing within a real-time, online session.

 

Elluminate Live! V9 enhancements include the following:

• Simultaneous multipoint video displayed in up to six live video windows with synchronized instructor-controlled viewing

 

• Instant in-session invitations sent via email or instant messaging to get people in the right place at the right time for ad-hoc collaboration, even those on a mobile phone

 

• Integrated vendor-neutral teleconferencing that can be used on its own or in conjunction with Elluminate’s no-fee VoIP. All audio is included in the interactive session recording, ensuring that all participants’ contributions to the learning experience are captured.

 

In addition, Elluminate will offer affordable reservation-less teleconferencing from Premiere Global Services for purchase to provide further convenience and flexibility to its customers.

 

Elluminate Publish! V2 now includes multimedia movie production that enables users to convert Elluminate Live! session recordings to video podcasts, which capture shared applications, whiteboard content, chat transcripts, closed captioning, and all audio, including telephony. Users can view these interactive recordings on portable devices without being connected to Elluminate. For example, a student can view a missed lecture on an iPod or iPhone while on the subway.

Source: Elluminate, Inc., www.elluminate.com

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