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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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January 20, 2009

Table of Contents

kidthing, NEA Extend “Dear Mr. President” Project
CoSN Webcast: How Technology Transforms Learning
Inspiration Software’s Free Webcasts
Discovery Education and 3M Announce Young Scientist Challenge
ITI Cross Links: New eLibrary Interface Shows the Path for ProQuest
Turning Technologies Announces ResponseWare Application Available on Apple App Store
MMIS Xtra News: Complete January/February 2009 MultiMedia & Internet@Schools Contents Now Available Online—Full Text, Text+Graphics, PDF
Adobe School Innovation Awards Program Call for Entries
Wright Group/McGraw-Hill’s Everyday Mathematics Now Features Assessment Management System
Pearson Launches Chancery SMS 6.7 Student Information System
Cool Links: Role of School Libraries Changing in the 21st Century

kidthing, NEA Extend “Dear Mr. President” Project

kidthing and the National Education Association (NEA) extended the submission deadline for the "Dear Mr. President" project to Jan. 27, 2009.

The collaborative project provides kids and classrooms with the opportunity to share their hopes, dreams, and ideas with President-elect Barack Obama. Children can submit their ideas in the form of letters or drawings to the 44th president.

kidthing and the NEA will assemble the top 50 submissions into the first "Dear Mr. President" digital book, to be unveiled on Presidents’ Day, Feb. 16, 2009. A limited edition print version will be sent to the White House. 

More information about the project can be found online at www.kidthing.com/DMP.

kidthing, a free digital media player for kids, provides a safe haven where youngsters can play and learn away from Web browsers and ads.

kidthing, www.kidthing.com.  

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CoSN Webcast: How Technology Transforms Learning

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) offers the fourth installment in its 2008-2009 Internet & Education Webcast series with "Long Tail Learners: How Technology Transforms Learning" on Jan. 21, 1-2 p.m., Eastern Time.

The 60-minute interactive presentation will explore the ways that individualized learning, user-generated content, social networking, online gaming, and virtual schools are transforming the education process.

Participation is free for CoSN members. The non-member registration fee is $59.

For information or registration, visit www.cosn.org/events/webcasts/2009.cfm.

CoSN, www.cosn.org.  

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Inspiration Software’s Free Webcasts

Inspiration Software offers a free Webcast on Jan. 29 titled "Using Visual Learning Techniques to Improve Academic Performance with Inspiration." The 45-minute Webcast begins at noon, Pacific Time. The session is designed for teachers working with students in grades 6-12.

Inspiration Software plans to offer two Webcast workshops per month during the 2009 school year.

Previously-broadcast Webcasts are archived for future viewing opportunities.

Inspiration Software, www.inspiration.com.  

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Discovery Education and 3M Announce Young Scientist Challenge

Discovery Education and 3M have announced a call for entries in the 2009 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge (YSC), for students in grades five through eight.  Ten finalists will be selected to receive an all-expense paid trip to New York City to compete in the final challenge in October.  The winner will receive $50,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds ($25,000 cash value), and the title of "America's Top Young Scientist."


Underlining the importance of communication skills in the science field, the competition challenges middle school students residing in the United States to create a one to two-minute video about a specific scientific concept that relates to innovative solutions for everyday life.  Evaluated by a panel of judges, all video entries for the 2009 competition will be assessed based on creativity, persuasiveness, classroom suitability, and overall presentation.  Videos will not be evaluated on production skills, and may be recorded on cell phones or simple digital cameras.  All video entries must be submitted online at www.youngscientistchallenge.com by May 20, 2009.


The video entry should use science to create an innovative solution to one of these everyday problems:

1) How can I play my music system for my own enjoyment, without disturbing the rest of the house?
2) What can I do to the soles of my shoes to make them better perform when I skate board?
3) What can I do to reduce the glare on my television when I'm playing video games?
4) What device or method can I create which might help lower my family's heating or cooling bills?

 

For more information on the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, including submission guidelines and examples of entry videos, go to www.youngscientistchallenge.com.

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com

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ITI Cross Links: New eLibrary Interface Shows the Path for ProQuest

Searcher magazine editor Barbara Quint has another K-12-relevant NewsBreak we’d like to direct you to. She’s reported the news on ProQuest’s eLibrary interface in a January 15, 2009 story over at infotoday.com. From her NewsBreak:

 

The eLibrary service (www.proquestk12.com/productinfo/elibrary.shtml) leads ProQuest’s outreach to the K–12 and community college market. As such, it is in the frontline of the company’s dealings with the Millennials and "Neo-Millennials," which Barb Beach, vice president of publishing at ProQuest, loosely defines as "the generations born since 1980 and even more since 1990 … the people born after Internet browsers were invented." These people live in a fluid information environment that differs vastly from previous generations. A new interface platform launched by eLibrary throughout this year will introduce special features such as Smart Content and Content Creators that support the multimedia, multisource eLibrary content and user experience. According to Beach, it may also serve as a precursor for the massive platform changes that ProQuest has promised will integrate its overall future services.

 

Click HERE to read Barbara’s full story in Information Today, Inc.’s NewsBreaks.

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Turning Technologies Announces ResponseWare Application Available on Apple App Store

Turning Technologies LLC has announced the availability of ResponseWare on the Apple App Store. ResponseWare is a polling application that allows students to submit responses to interactive questions using their iPhone or iPod touch. The application immediately transfers their responses to a TurningPoint interactive polling slide which presents the class with a dynamic chart of the aggregate response data and stores student response data for later evaluation.

 

ResponseWare 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 using their mobile devices will now be able to communicate their understanding of course materials and concepts immediately to their teacher using those same tools. In addition, they will find the anonymous ability to ask questions and seek further insights as a useful learning technique.

 

Turning’s first release of ResponseWare was in September 2008. With the popularity of both iPhone and iPod touch  across the country, Turning sought to take advantage of the enhanced functionality available with application installations and further develop an improved user experience for students.

 

ResponseWare is available free from Apple’s App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/.

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

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MMIS Xtra News: Complete January/February 2009 MultiMedia & Internet@Schools Contents Now Available Online—Full Text, Text+Graphics, PDF

The January/February 2009 issue of MultiMedia & Internet @ Schools magazine is all there now at our Web site http://www.mmischools.com. In addition to the free January/February 2009 reviews and the free full text cover story (Global Projects and Digital Tools That Make Students Global Learners), which have been available since the beginning of the month, now the remaining features, columns, and other January/February content have been processed. They're available in a variety of formats -- Full Text, Text+Graphics, and Page Image PDF -- on a pay-per-view basis, courtesy of Information Today, Inc.'s InfoCentral and ProQuest Archiver.

For access, see the January/February 2009 issue contents HERE, click on any article, and follow the links.

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Adobe School Innovation Awards Program Call for Entries

Adobe Systems Inc. has issued the call for entries to the 2009 Adobe School Innovation Awards program. The awards program honors creative and innovative technology design projects from high school students in the US and Canada. With the theme "The World is Your Stage," students can submit entries using Adobe applications in three categories: Web Design and Development, Film and Video, and Graphic and Print Design. Category award winners will be named, in addition to a grand prize winner for best overall submission.

 

The purpose of the School Innovation Awards is to engage students in learning and to encourage them to communicate what they know and care about in the community. 

 

Full-time students age 14-19 years in grades 9-12 from accredited public or private high schools in the US and Canada (except Quebec) are invited to submit through the Adobe School Innovation Awards web site. Students can visit www.adobe.com/go/innovationawards for rules and program details. Submissions will be accepted through May 8, 2009.

 

Winners will be selected by a panel of Adobe judges based on their originality and effectiveness in communicating project objectives. The best of the best winner will receive Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection and be recognized by Adobe in their community. The winning student’s teacher receives a trip to the 2009 National Education Computing Conference (NECC) in Washington D.C., and the winning student’s school will be awarded a site license of Adobe Creative Suite 4. 

 

Source: Adobe Systems Inc., www.adobe.com

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Wright Group/McGraw-Hill’s Everyday Mathematics Now Features Assessment Management System

Wright Group/McGraw-Hill has announced that the latest edition of Everyday Mathematics features the Assessment Management System (AMS), an online tool that allows teachers to track individual and group progress toward Grade-Level Goals as identified in the research-based program.

 

Available at EverydayMathOnline.com, the AMS is integrated with the complete Everyday Mathematics eSuite, which includes an ePlanner, eGames, the Interactive Student Reference Book, Family Letters, and more. Based on assessment data, teachers can link to the Differentiation Handbook and assign remedial or enrichment activities.

  

As students complete work in class and reach assessment opportunities in Everyday Mathematics, teachers have the option to collect data from those assessments using the AMS, which includes:

·       Ongoing Assessment: Recognizing Student Achievement

·       Progress Check: Oral and Slate

·       Progress Check: Written Assessment

·       Open Response Questions

 

Teachers can select the "Detailed Scoring" button next to each question, or for the entire assessment, to more thoroughly assess specific students. Students are scored as "making adequate progress," "not making adequate progress," or "not assessed." Teachers can give the student a specific number score when they use Detailed Scoring. Notes about the individual student also can be entered into the "Comments about Student" field.

 

As teachers collect and enter student data, a number of reporting options become available. Both class and student reports exist allowing teachers to obtain information about both student performance and the program scope and sequence.

 

Reports are organized by a combination of class or student, and lesson or grade-level goal. Teachers can use links within the reports to do the following:

·       Jump quickly from report type to report type

·       Drill down for more detailed information

·       Step back out for more of an overview

Source: Wright Group/McGraw-Hill, wrightgroup.com

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Pearson Launches Chancery SMS 6.7 Student Information System

Pearson has announced the release of the latest version of its Chancery SMS student information system. Chancery SMS is designed to specifically meet the complex needs of large school districts for critical day-to-day operational, administrative, and instructional needs.

 

Chancery SMS 6.7 includes several key enhancements to five major functional areas including permanent records; health immunizations; elementary school attendance; security; and its customization framework. This latest version also includes support for Microsoft's .NET 3.5 development environment.

 

Key feature enhancements in Chancery SMS 6.7 include the following.

 

Permanent Records

A new permanent record structure in Chancery SMS uses detailed historical course grading information to calculate cumulative GPA and earned credits rather than summary data.

 

Health Immunizations

The new Immunization and Examination Setup page includes an updated "tabbed" interface to increase overall usability and a new student immunization page which allows all administered dose information to be entered and edited from a single screen.

 

Elementary School Attendance

Homeroom attendance has been updated to better reflect the different attendance patterns assigned to each homeroom.

 

Security

Security enhancements allow district administrators to setup and manage passwords for all users in the district. Administrators can also automatically generate passwords and distribute them to users via email. Additionally, administrators can define password expiration dates and the number of unsuccessful login attempts allowed before a user is locked out of the system.

 

For more information on Chancery SMS 6.7 and its recent enhancements, visit http://www.pearsonschoolsystems.com/products/sms/

 

Source: Pearson, www.pearson.com

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Cool Links: Role of School Libraries Changing in the 21st Century

All right, it’s not news to you that the role of school libraries is changing in the 21st century, but it’s nice to know that there are stories about this fact in the general press that reach the general public—your students’ parents.

 

Here’s a link to one such story in a community newspaper for Coppell, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. In it, Debra Wilson, head librarian for the Coppell ISD, makes some points parents and administrators need to hear … that usage in the school libraries continues to grow; that they "are now a digital library serving the student of today"; that they have the Gale Virtual Library [information ebooks] and One Search, "which are both heavily used by students."

 

Check it out; it’s a quick, feel-good read. (Thanks once again to Gary Price and his ResourceShelf team for tipping us off to this story.)

Click HERE to read "Role of School Libraries Changing in the 21st Century."

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