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August 04, 2009

Table of Contents

Free Resources: Lesson Plans--Human Population
Discovery Education Enhances Curricular Resources and Integration Tools
Barnes & Noble to Adopt MetaMetrics’ Lexile Framework for Reading
H.W. Wilson, Follett Library Resources Announce Agreement to Distribute WilsonWeb Databases
MMIS Xtra News: Complete July/August 2009 MultiMedia & Internet@Schools Contents Now Available Online—Full Text, Text+Graphics, PDF
New Round of Enhancements for WilsonWeb Database Service
Gale Announces the Transformation of Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia

Free Resources: Lesson Plans--Human Population

A recent post on Gary Price's Resource Shelf tipped us off to this website and collection of Human Population lesson plans from the Washington, DC-based Population Reference Bureau. From the Bureau's site, check out these examples:

Grade level: middle to high school
Time required: one week
Subjects: social studies, geography, and world history

Population Growth

  • Q&A: Has the world's population changed much over time? 
  • Teacher's Guide

Future Growth

  • Q&A: When could world population stop growing?
  • Teacher's Guide


  • Q&A: How densely populated is the planet? 
  • Teacher's Guide


  • Q&A: Why does it take so long to slow or stop population growth? 
  • Teacher's Guide

There are lots more. Check them out HERE.

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Discovery Education Enhances Curricular Resources and Integration Tools

Discovery Education has announced enhancements and upgrades to a wide range of its digital services. Among the new upgrades are a universal search function that allows users to find content across Discovery Education's streaming, Science, Health, and MediaShare services. Other enhancements include the addition of Flash video to Discovery Education's media player, a more robust student experience, and the introduction of a variety of new asset types to Discovery's library of digital media, including an increase in math resources.

The increased search capabilities allow users of Discovery Education services to search through digital assets using one search engine, putting the combined resources of Discovery Education streaming, Science, Health, MediaShare, and the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) at any educator's fingertips. In addition, the new search function offers state-of-the art filtering and recommendation functionality, providing users related content and digital assets.

Discovery Education also has upgraded the media player in all its digital services to support Flash video. The addition of Flash video eases the management of classroom technologies by supporting one type of video file for both Mac and Microsoft platforms.

In addition, Discovery Education has added a number of new content types to Discovery Education streaming Plus that will further engage language arts and mathematics students, according to the announcement. Discovery Education's Skill Builders now offer  hands-on experiences. To reinforce essential language arts and mathematics concepts, more than 100 games, including Supernova Sentence Puzzles and Leon's Math Dojo, have been added. Also, more than 150 Spanish-language reading passages that help ELL students comprehend core concepts in life, earth and space, and physical science have been added to Discovery Education Science.


Finally, Discovery Education has added a number of teacher tools that help educators assign digital quizzes, writing prompts, and assignments to either individual students or groups of students. Using their own logins, students can access digital class work as assigned by their teacher as well as search through multimedia resources for their own projects, from anywhere, at any time.


Source: Discovery Education,

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Barnes & Noble to Adopt MetaMetrics’ Lexile Framework for Reading

Barnes & Noble, Inc. has announced that it will offer customers the ability to search for books by Lexile measure both in stores and at Barnes & Recognized as the most widely used reading measure, a Lexile helps young readers develop literacy skills by selecting materials that match both their reading level and interests. The company said that later this fall, customers of Barnes & Noble stores and Barnes & will be able to search for specific books by Lexile measure. 


Developed by MetaMetrics, Inc., The Lexile Framework for Reading is used at the school level in all 50 states and by more than 150 publishers. A Lexile measure, which is represented by a number followed by the letter "L" (such as 850L), is a true measure of a child’s reading ability that may not necessarily correlate with a grade level. The Lexile measure helps parents to select reading materials that match their child’s individual needs and interests. Each year, tens of millions of Lexile measures are reported from reading assessments and programs, representing about half of U.S. students. More than 115,000 books and 80 million articles now have Lexile measures.


Barnes & product pages now display the Lexile measure for all titles currently in the Lexile Book Database. In addition, Barnes & Noble will add Lexile measures to up to 5,000 books from its own publishing imprints, including Sterling Publishing, SparkNotes, and Barnes & Noble Publishing.


Customers who do not already know their Lexile measure can visit MetaMetrics’ "Find a Book" website (, where a utility offers a starting point to estimate their reading ability. The website then guides users through a few steps, including a chance to pick their interests and refine their book search results by age level and Lexile range, ultimately providing a customized list of books with Lexile measures that can be purchased directly at Barnes &  


For more information on the Lexile Framework, visit


Source: MetaMetrics, Inc.,

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H.W. Wilson, Follett Library Resources Announce Agreement to Distribute WilsonWeb Databases

H.W. Wilson and Follett Library Resources have announced they agree to distribute WilsonWeb databases to school libraries worldwide. Through its large direct sales force and ecommerce Web site TITLEWAVE, Follett Library Resources will sell subscriptions to resources on WilsonWeb, including:


* Art Museum Image Gallery

* Biography Reference  Bank

* Biography  Reference Bank, Select Edition

* Cinema Image Gallery

* Current Biography Illustrated (1940 - Present)

* Current Issues: Reference Shelf Plus

* Current Issues: Health

* Current  Issues: Environment

* OmniFile Full Text,  Mega Edition

* OmniFile Full  Text, Select Edition

* Readers' Guide Full  Text, Mega Edition

* Readers'  Guide Full Text, Select Edition

* Science Full  Text Select

* Children's Core  Collection

* Fiction Core Collection

* Graphic  Novels Core Collection

* Middle & Junior High School Core Collection

* Nonbook  Materials Core Collection

* Senior High School Core  Collection


Follett Library Resources expands its broad assortment for PreK-12 libraries with the addition of the WilsonWeb databases. In addition to distribution through Follett Library Resources, the databases will be available direct from the H.W. Wilson Company.


Source: H.W. Wilson,

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

The July/August 2009 issue of MultiMedia & Internet @ Schools magazine is all there now at our Web site In addition to the free July/August 2009 reviews and the free full text cover story (Online Professional Development 2009), which have been available since the beginning of the month, now the remaining features, columns, and other July/August content have been processed. Some are free to view. Others are 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 July/August 2009 issue contents HERE, click on any article, and follow the links.

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New Round of Enhancements for WilsonWeb Database Service

H.W. Wilson has announced a new round of enhancements for the interface and the features of several of its most popular databases. The latest platform improvements make content available to a wider range of users, provide new customization options, and add tools to the "My WilsonWeb" personal user accounts within WilsonWeb. Improvements to specific WilsonWeb databases include the Cinema Image Gallery, Biography Reference Bank, and Current Issues databases.


WilsonWeb platform enhancements encompass the following:


The ReadSpeaker text-to-speech converter—added to WilsonWeb full-text periodical databases with the prior platform update—now works on WilsonWeb biography databases as well, including Biography Reference Bank. Users can now also select male or female voice. ReadSpeaker text-to-speech makes WilsonWeb content accessible to users with low vision, dyslexia, physical handicaps or other challenges to standard reading, as well as those who would like to download articles to iPods or other portable devices for listening as they relax, commute, or exercise.


"My WilsonWeb"--space for individual user accounts within WilsonWeb--now lets users create folders for organizing saved content, and store personal notes such as plans and reminders of the significance of articles. "My WilsonWeb" interface customization options have also been expanded: users can now pick and choose the fields they want to display in article records. Additionally, you can now print, email, save, auto-format citations, and export records all from within your "My WilsonWeb" account.


WilsonWeb's article translation tool now converts articles published in German, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese into English. WilsonWeb also translates English-language articles into Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Arabic and Dutch.


The interface language translator has expanded to include most standard buttons, links and fields. A special dropdown menu converts the interface from the default English into German, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese.


Accessibility enhancements for the visually impaired include a "Skip Links" feature that lets electronic readers ignore links that repeat at the top of each page. There's also a new Text Size zoom feature that lets users increase the interface text size beyond their browser's settings.


Administrators can now add icons for each User Class they create, personalizing WilsonWeb for their various clientele.


Database-specific enhancements include:


Cinema Image Gallery now has an additional display option. Film records that feature multiple images can now be viewed as a "slideshow," saving users the trouble of opening and closing each image.


Current Issues databases (Current Issues: Reference Shelf Plus, Current Issues: Health, and Current Issues: Environment) include new "Comment(s)" links, inviting users to share their own information and insights on the issues with other users of these databases worldwide.


WilsonWeb biography databases--including the acclaimed Biography Reference Bank and Current Biography resources--now feature an image of the profile subject (if available) and a handy "Back to Main Biography Page" link on the subject's "Most Recent Articles" and "Books About" and "Books By" pages.


Other WilsonWeb enhancements are listed at

Source: H.W. Wilson,

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Gale Announces the Transformation of Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has announced the transformation of Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia into an interactive, media-rich online interface. This new digital version will be available this fall.


Based on the 17-volume encyclopedia, this digital resource is part of the next generation of resources from Gale. The knowledge portal will include information on more than 4,000 species, covering topics such as evolution, habitat, behavior, ontology, conservation status and more. Continuously updated, the image-rich content will provide an educational experience, where users will not only find answers to specific questions, but will also have the opportunity to explore, discover, and learn, the announcement states.


Other features include:

* Up-to-date information written and reviewed by expert’s from around the world

* Curriculum correlation, to connect content to the national science curriculum

* Option of two interface designs to best meet the needs of individual users


For a video preview, to sign up for a free trial, or to register for a Webinar, visit

Source: Gale,

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