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February 03, 2009

Table of Contents

Award-winning Authors Guest Blog on TeachingBooks.net
Evan-Moor’s TeacherFileBox.com Offers School-Site Subscriptions
FETC News: Capstone Press Unveils New Database for K-2 Students
ITI Cross Links: Adobe's New eLearning Suite
FETC News: Adobe Promotes Student Licensing Program
FETC News: Thinkronize Announces netTrekker d.i.’s New “My Portfolio” Tool
FETC News: AIM Education’s Learn360 Video Streaming Service Announces New Features
ITI Cross Links: OCLC Releases NetLibrary Media Center
FETC News: PBS Teachers Introduces 'Activity Packs' Widgets
FETC News: Hotmath Tutoring Plus Offers Schools Affordable Math Support
FETC News: Follett Digital Resources Introduces “Education-Friendly” Ebook Reader Software
FETC News: PBS Teachers Live! Webinar Series Offers Ideas on Using Digital Media to Enhance Student Learning in Core Subjects

Award-winning Authors Guest Blog on TeachingBooks.net

TeachingBooks.net, an online database of multimedia resources about books and authors that are used in K-12 classrooms, has launched a new blog: News from TeachingBooks.net. Blog articles reveal strategies that assist educators in integrating videos of authors and online audio book recordings into reading and library activities.

 

Adding an original, personal component to the blog are award-winning authors who reveal their writing process to the educational world through guest posts. National Book Award recipient Kimberly Willis Holt posted on January 28th, "Tales of the Bossy, Boy-crazy, No Fun Older Sister."

 

"Reading blogs is an excellent way for busy educators keep learning and to get quick, refreshing bursts of professional development—just enough to get your creative juices flowing," reflects TeachingBooks.net’s librarian and Web 2.0 Content Producer Danika Morphew-Tarbuck. "Guest blogging is really popular right now in the Web 2.0 community and I wanted to apply this concept in a way that could help educators connect with favorite authors and meaningful multimedia resources in a new way."

 

Holt’s blog posting, as well as other Web 2.0 Tools (including resource rating, comment submission, Twitter, a Facebook fan page and others), are being integrated by TeachingBooks to foster collaboration and community among colleagues who wish to learn together about using multimedia resources in literature studies.

 

Read the TeachingBooks.net blog, and explore additional Web 2.0 tools, at http://teachingbooks.net/web20

Source: TeachingBooks.net, http://teachingbooks.net

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Evan-Moor’s TeacherFileBox.com Offers School-Site Subscriptions

TeacherFileBox.com, a print-on-demand library of thousands of activities across the PreK–6+ school curriculum, marks its third year by offering school-site subscriptions that provide educators with the resources they need to support the varied needs of today’s students, according to the announcement. The site now hosts over 50,000 activities from over 500 Evan-Moor books, with more resources being added every day.

  

TeacherFileBox.com is offering district- and school-site subscriptions for a low annual fee, as well as the ability to pay by purchase order. Administrators can subscribe up to 25 users for $1,500 a year—$60 per user. Additional users may be added for $60 each.

 

To subscribe to TeacherFileBox.com, to preview the site, or to find out more, visit www.teacherfilebox.com.

Source: Evan-Moor Educational Publishers, www.evan-moor.com

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FETC News: Capstone Press Unveils New Database for K-2 Students

Capstone Publishers’ imprint Capstone Press, publisher of nonfiction books for beginning, struggling, and reluctant readers in grades preK-8, has unveiled PebbleGo, an animal database designed specifically for K-2 emergent readers. 

 

PebbleGo introduces early learners to database and research concepts with information on hundreds of animals. Each animal article includes multiple tabs of information, audio, and video clips, and educational games. Aligned to national curriculum standards, the database features word-by-word highlighting and read-aloud audio of carefully leveled and age appropriate text.

 

A free demonstration version of PebbleGo is available now online at www.PebbleGo.com. Customers who preview the database and complete a product survey will receive a free subscription to four Capstone Interactive Library titles.

  

The full version of PebbleGo is set for release in April and will be available on a subscription basis. For more information, go to www.PebbleGo.com.

Source: Capstone Publishers, www.capstonepub.com

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ITI Cross Links: Adobe's New eLearning Suite

From Paul Riismandel’s article on the Streamingmedia.com web site:

 

Online audio and video are vital assets for enhancing and driving teaching in education and elearning. But digital media alone does not an online course make. Lessons come together when there is interactivity—quizzes, exercises, and branching—to go along with the lecture or presentation. The problem for many teachers and instructional designers is figuring out how to create a rich multimedia courses online without having to become application developers.

With the release of its new eLearning Suite, Adobe is attempting an integrated approach to the development of online learning and multimedia similar to the company’s Creative Suite family of applications for web design and media production. … Bringing together venerable tools like Flash, Captivate, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and Connect, the eLearning Suite is intended to make it easier for educators to develop online learning exercises and applications without having to dig deeply into programming ActionScript, and to publish course modules to the desktop, mobile devices, browsers and even live class online classes.

Read the entire article by clicking HERE, linking to Information Today, Inc.’s Streamingmedia.com site.

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FETC News: Adobe Promotes Student Licensing Program

Adobe Systems Inc. has announced that its new Adobe K-12 Student Licensing Program offers students, teachers and staff at K-12 institutions in the U.S. and Canada the opportunity to purchase Adobe creative software at up to 80 percent off the original software price. Students and faculty at schools that have existing Adobe cumulative licensing agreements and have signed up for student licensing are eligible for this discount.

 

Students can purchase Creative Suite 4 Design Standard for US$199, Creative Suite Web Standard for US$199, Creative Suite 4 Production Premium for US$299 and Photoshop Elements 7 and Premiere Elements 7 for US$99.

 

To purchase Adobe software or for schools and districts interested in signing up for student licensing, please visit: http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/openoptions/pdfs/cs4_k12_stu_licensing_datasheet_ue_final.pdf.

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

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FETC News: Thinkronize Announces netTrekker d.i.’s New “My Portfolio” Tool

Thinkronize has announced netTrekker d.i.’s "My Portfolio" tool, which is designed to allow educators to create, organize, and share content for standards-based instruction with fellow teachers within their school or district.

 

"My Portfolio" helps individual teachers and district curriculum staff through the ability to create project-based learning activities and units for standards-based instruction. Educators use its customized features to scaffold, save, and share digital content, including resources found in netTrekker d.i. and from third parties. They can add content to their portfolios— templates, timeline and famous person search results, and images—and then, like a digital file cabinet, create folders for organization.

 

Created by Thinkronize, Inc., netTrekker d.i. is an educational search tool that transforms digital content into safe, valuable, custom-designed resources for educators and students. It provides access to more than 300,000 digital resources that have been evaluated by a team of expert educators for superior quality and academic appropriateness, organized by grade and readability level and aligned with state standards.

 

Source: Thinkronize, www.thinkronize.com

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FETC News: AIM Education’s Learn360 Video Streaming Service Announces New Features

Educational video publisher AIM Education, Inc. has announced new features that enhance its online Learn360 video streaming service for K-12 schools, including a personalized "My Learn360" homepage for teachers. The page is filled with tools that teachers can use to help them complete tasks faster and strengthen communication with students and colleagues, the announcement states. From the new page, teachers can now take advantage of  an assignment and quiz creation tool; the ability to upload and share any of their own documents and media; a classroom blog creating tool; more activities and teacher’s guides; a personalized calendar; and a podcasting tool.

 

Learn360 uses the latest technologies to deliver the highest quality K-12 content via the internet, including delivery by LAN or WAN networks for school districts, at a flat price, according to the announcement. Learn360 provides administrators, educators and students with a growing library of full-length educational videos, thousands of video clips, audio files, and still images that they can access over the internet at www.Learn360.com. 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 available in three formats that educators can choose from for viewing and downloading: Flash, Windows Media and QuickTime. 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. Users can easily add links to their own content in any digital video or audio format, incorporating it into the management system.

  

Learn360 is available now as an annual subscription through AIM Education, Inc. 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 see a sample video clip from Learn360 or sign up for a free 30-day trial by visiting www.learn360.com.


Source: AIM Education, Inc., www.learn360.com

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ITI Cross Links: OCLC Releases NetLibrary Media Center

From Information Today, Inc.’s Weekly News digest:

 

OCLC has released the new NetLibrary Media Center, a full-featured desktop application that allows library patrons to easily search, manage, transfer, and listen to downloadable eAudiobooks. The free software application allows users to connect to NetLibrary and then download and begin listening to eAudiobooks with just one click…

 

Read the full story HERE by linking to the ITI NewsBreaks.

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FETC News: PBS Teachers Introduces 'Activity Packs' Widgets

PBS Teachers has introduced PBS Teachers Activity Packs, a growing library of web-based widgets that contain links to high-quality PBS education resources and activities focused on a specific curricular theme for multiple grade levels.

 

More than 30 Activity Packs are available free-of-charge for educators to "grab" for classroom use, or to post on their classroom and school web sites or favorite social networking sites. PBS Teachers plans to grow the library of theme-based widgets to continually provide fresh content.

 

Activity Pack themes cover a wide range of subject areas, including reading/language arts, science, social studies, health, and art. Some currently available themes are:
 

-Arts Everywhere

-China

-Forensic Science

-Great American Authors

-Healthy Choices

-Money in America

-Mysteries of the Universe

-Unsung Heroes in African American History

-Technology & Ethics

-Volunteerism

 

PBS Teachers is one of the few digital education content providers offering syndicated content to educators through widgets. Increasingly popular among internet users, a web-based widget is a small chunk of code that displays content from an online source, and can be inserted into a blog, web page, or social networking page with a simple copy and paste. The Activity Packs provide a new and more accessible way for teachers to connect PBS' educational resources and activities to curriculum lessons and enrich the learning environment, the announcement states.


The Activity Packs are accessible from the PBS Teachers web site (www.pbsteachers.org), a portal for preK-12 educators to access PBS' educational services and a searchable library of more than 9,000 local and national standards-based teaching activities, lesson plans, on-demand video assets, and interactive games and simulations. PBS Teachers is also home to education blogs Learning.now (pbs.org/learningnow), with education technology expert Andy Carvin, and Media Infusion (pbs.org/mediainfusion), which focuses on practical ways to integrate multimedia resources and technology into the classroom.

 

Teachers can sign up for free membership in PBS Teachers and have access to free webinars and PBS Teachers Connect, an online learning community where preK-12 educators collaborate with their peers, discuss digital media integration, and save online instructional resources for later use.


To explore the library of PBS Teachers Activity Packs, visit www.pbsteachers.org.

Source: PBS, www.pbs.org

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FETC News: Hotmath Tutoring Plus Offers Schools Affordable Math Support

Hotmath, Inc. has debuted Hotmath Tutoring Plus, a new service that combines step-by-step problem solutions from actual math textbooks with live online math tutoring, offering schools an economical way to boost student support and improve achievement in mathematics.

Hotmath Tutoring Plus links to a live math tutor only after a student first has reviewed the problem solutions and review lessons. This enables schools to stretch their funding, while providing students with an improved level of support, according to the announcement. In addition, a student is more likely to seek help when he or she knows that in addition to online support, a tutor is available if needed. Schools can use Hotmath Tutoring Plus to assist students in afterschool programs, remediation classes, and credit recovery programs.

The first level of support available to students through Hotmath Tutoring Plus includes step-by-step solutions to odd-numbered homework problems in popular math textbooks. The service covers textbooks used by more than 90 percent of today's middle school, high school and college classrooms


If a student needs additional help, the second level of support offered through Hotmath Tutoring Plus is live online math tutoring. For questions on homework, or help when studying, the student can click the "Ask-a-Tutor" button 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to discuss the problem with a math tutor. Communication takes place online through an interactive whiteboard where visual aids such as drawings, graphs and mathematical steps can be displayed.


Annual school subscriptions for Hotmath Tutoring Plus start at 75 cents per student, plus $19 per hour for live online math tutoring. Individual subscriptions to Hotmath start at $49 per year plus $20 for each 50 minutes of live online math tutoring.

For more information on Hotmath and the company's services, visit www.hotmath.com.

Source: Hotmath, Inc., www.hotmath.com

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FETC News: Follett Digital Resources Introduces “Education-Friendly” Ebook Reader Software

Follett Digital Resources has announced it has developed and will be releasing new proprietary software that it says will provide a superior ebook experience more responsive to the needs of library customers and their increasing use of ebooks.

The new offline Follett Digital Reader will become available for downloading and installation on customers’ computers on February 9. Users will be alerted and directed to the Follett ebook web site, www.follettebooks.com/readersupport, for the installation. The new Follett Digital Reader will replace the Adobe technology customers currently use to download and read a Follett eBook.

By creating a new digital reader, the company says it now has the ability to develop and introduce additional functionality for ebooks that will meet the specific needs of K-12 and public libraries. Customers downloading ebooks with the new Follett Digital Reader will find a more engaging, "right-sized" reader with the following enhanced capabilities:

- A selection of eBook Library views (thumbnails and cover flow) for browsing your downloaded eBook collection

- Two different page views (single and facing)

- Search tools, including "find text" and "find next" functionality

- Publisher pre-defined copy/paste and print capabilities

- Zoom in/out function to customize your views (by percentage, fit to page, height and width)

- Pre-defined bookmarks to jump to relevant content when set by the publisher

- Note-taking tools with highlighting

To be able to download purchased Follett eBooks, customers must install the new Follett Digital Reader on all computers on their networks that can access and download eBook content from Follett. On March 2, existing eBook collections will be switched to the new format. The online viewer for Follett eBooks is not affected by this transition in any way. To find out more about customer and technical requirements for the new Follett eBook Reader, please visit: www.follettebooks.com/readersupport.

Source: Follett Digital Resources, www.follettdigital.com

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FETC News: PBS Teachers Live! Webinar Series Offers Ideas on Using Digital Media to Enhance Student Learning in Core Subjects

PBS Teachers has introduced a series of free monthly webinars designed to help preK-12 educators learn new ways to integrate online instructional resources in the classroom and engage students in curriculum lessons. The PBS Teachers Live! webinar series features leading education experts, authors, and PBS producers who will discuss timely and relevant curriculum-related topics, and share their knowledge and ideas on using digital media to create rich learning experiences for students. Classroom 2.0, the online social network founded by Steve Hargadon for teachers interested in Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies, is partnering with PBS Teachers to host the webinars.

PBS Teachers Live! webinars will cover technology integration topics and a wide range of subjects, including science, math, reading/language arts, social studies, history, and art. Some of the webinar topics are: Changing Views of History, Changing Views of Race; Teaching and Learning with Digital Natives; Remixing Shakespeare for 21st Century Students; Using 21st Century Resources to Celebrate Earth Day; and Effective Integration of Math and Science.

 

The inaugural webinar is Changing Views of History, Changing Views of Race with speaker Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., on Jan. 28 at 8 p.m. EST. Dr. Gates will discuss how Americans' understanding of President Lincoln and African American history and culture continues to evolve, and ways to approach this topic with students. Dr. Gates is the host of the documentary Looking for Lincoln, which premieres in February. The program addresses the controversies surrounding Lincoln about race, equality, religion, politics, and depression by carefully interpreting the evidence from those who knew him and those who study him today.


PBS Teachers is a web portal designed for preK-12 educators to access PBS' educational services and a searchable library of more than 9,000 local and national standards-based teaching activities, lesson plans, on-demand video assets, and interactive games and simulations.

 

 

For more information and to register for the webinars, go to pbsteachers.org. Registration entitles educators to free membership in PBS Teachers and access to all its services, including PBS Teachers Connect, an online learning community where preK-12 educators can collaborate with their peers, discuss digital media use, share ideas, and save online instructional resources in their online profile.

Source: PBS, www.pbs.org

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