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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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August 18, 2009

Table of Contents

Free Resources: NASA K-12 Teaching Materials
Inspiration Software Launches New Site License Program
Free Resources: PBS Teachers Fall/Winter Webinars
Califone International and RM Educational Software Form Strategic Partnership for Podcasting
Cool Links: The K-12 Web Archiving Program
Siemens Foundation We Can Change the World Challenge, Year 2, Begins

Free Resources: NASA K-12 Teaching Materials

From NASA's site for educators comes this "finder" tool for NASA K-12 Teaching Materials. From the site:

Looking for Classroom Materials?

NASA's Education Materials Finder will help teachers locate resources that can be used in the classroom. Users may search by keywords, grade level, product type and subject. With hundreds of publications and Web sites indexed, the finder is the best way to locate NASA educational resources.

Click HERE to link directly to the "finder," or HERE to find out more about NASA for Educators.

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Inspiration Software Launches New Site License Program

Inspiration Software has announced the launch of a new site license program. The company’s Site License Program for Inspiration and Kidspiration was designed for schools and districts that want to provide visual thinking and learning support in every classroom. A convenient, single, perpetual license purchase covers all student, teacher, and administrator use at a school, the announcement states.

 

Pricing is based on school enrollment at the time of purchase, eliminating the expense and hassle of ordering more licenses when more computers are purchased. In addition, this site license includes Teacher Take Home privileges, so they can use the visual learning software at home for lesson planning, grading, and training, as well as free online professional development materials.


Schools and districts, ranging in size and grade levels can now make the most of their budgets by choosing from Inspiration Software’s purchasing options to ensure that their students and teachers have access to the company’s visual learning tools, according to the announcement.

For more information about Inspiration Software’s new Site License Program, visit www.inspiration.com/sitelicenses to find a local education dealer.

Source: Inspiration Software, Inc., www.inspiration.com

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Free Resources: PBS Teachers Fall/Winter Webinars

PBS Teachers and Classroom 2.0 host a series of free webinars for educators on digital media and technology in education. The new fall line up of PBS Teachers LIVE! webinars includes topics on science, digital storytelling, geography, social studies, education in the digital age, and online professional development and teaching resources. The series features leading education experts, authors, or PBS producers discussing timely and relevant curriculum-related topics, and sharing ways to use digital media to create rich learning experiences for students.

 

The full schedule is listed below and is available online. All webinars start at 8 p.m. ET and are moderated by Steve Hargadon, founder of Classroom 2.0. Teachers can participate in the webinars after signing up for free membership in PBS Teachers. Membership provides preK-12 educators with access to the PBS Teachers online community, all of PBS's educational services, and a searchable library of more than 9,000 free local and national standards-based teaching activities, lesson plans, on-demand video assets, and interactive games and simulations.

 

PBS Teachers was recently named a "Landmark Website for Teaching and Learning" by the American Association of School Libraries for exemplary dynamic content and curricular relevance. For more information on PBS Teachers LIVE!, visit www.pbs.org/teachers/webinar.

 

The first fall webinar is "Transforming Schools: P.O.V.'s 'The Principal Story'" on Sept. 1, 2009, at 8 p.m. with special guests Kerry Purcell, one of the principals featured in the film; David Mrazek, one of the filmmakers; and Eliza Licht, director of community engagement and education for P.O.V./American Documentary. "The Principal Story," airing on Sept. 15, paints two dramatic portraits of the challenges facing America's public schools-and the great difference a dedicated principal can make. The film takes the viewer along for an emotional ride and examines what effective educational leadership looks like in the 21st century. The speakers will discuss the making of the film, the critical work involved in transforming schools, and the wide array of high-quality educational resources available from P.O.V. to support educational leadership and reform.


PBS Teachers LIVE! Fall/Winter Schedule (as of Aug. 13, 2009)

September 2009

-Sept. 1: Transforming Schools: P.O.V.'s "The Principal Story"

        Speakers: PBS producers and educators

        Curriculum Connection: all subjects

-Sept. 21: Dig into Early Science Instruction With "Dinosaur Train"

        Speakers: PBS KIDS producers, scientists and educators
  Curriculum Connection: science

October 2009

-Oct. 7: Teaching About Place with Ken Burns' "National Parks: America's Best Idea

        Speakers: PBS producers and curriculum experts

        Curriculum Connection: geography, social studies, science

-Oct. 22: Welcome to the New PBS Teachers Web site

        Speakers: PBS Teachers staff
    Curriculum Connection: all subjects

November 2009

-Nov. 10: Education in the Digital Age: FRONTLINE's "Digital Nation"

        Speakers: PBS producers and educators
   Curriculum Connection: all subjects

December 2009

-Dec. 10: PBS TeacherLine: Online Professional Development for Educators

        Speakers: PBS TeacherLine staff and educators
   Curriculum Connection: all subjects

January 2010

-Jan. 26: Middle Level STEM Education featuring digital education resources from "Design Squad," "Fetch" and "DragonflyTV"

        Speakers: PBS producers and educators

        Curriculum Connection: science, technology, math

 

Source: PBS Teachers, pbsteachers.org

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Califone International and RM Educational Software Form Strategic Partnership for Podcasting

Califone International, Inc., and RM Educational Software, Inc., have formed a strategic partnership to promote the use of podcasting for both teaching and learning.

 

By creating podcasts, students can display and extend their creativity using audio as a means of self-expression, according to the announcement. In addition, teachers can use podcasts to communicate regularly with parents by posting school updates on their website. They also can publish lesson guides in a podcast format to help students who may have missed sections, or who need reinforcement when completing homework assignments.

 

RM Podium and the Califone MP3 Player are useful in special needs and ELL classrooms, where students may need additional reinforcement or teacher guidance outside the classroom, the announcement states. Recording a podcast in a language learning environment can illustrate to the teacher how well a student's pronunciation, diction and understanding have progressed over time.

Visit www.rmeducation.com/podium/overview for more information about RM Podium and to download a free 30-day trial.

The Califone MP3 Player includes dual headphone jacks, a built in microphone and a volume playback level restricted to 85dB, making it useful for learning centers, language labs, and libraries. The company's 8100-HP headphones are included with the MP3 Player, which is made with rugged ABS plastic for durability and classroom safety.

For more information on the full line of Califone products designed for the education market, visit www.califone.com.

Source: Califone, www.califone.com

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Cool Links: The K-12 Web Archiving Program

From a scan of ResourceShelf listing in early August, we pick up on The K-12 Web Archiving Program, from the Library of Congress. From the Program's website:

 

If you were a student, which websites would you want to save for future generations? This is the challenge we posed to students and their teachers. For the 2008/2009 school year, Internet Archive, the Library of Congress and California Digital Library collaborated on a program that explores archiving the Web from the perspective of students in elementary, middle and high school.

 

We hope that stimulating students to think about history in the context of their own lives will provide them an opportunity to actively engage in selecting the matter of history in the future, and help students begin to grasp the tremendous challenges presented by a world in which information can be both generated and annihilated in a heartbeat.

 

Using the Archive-It service, students from ten different schools selected born digital content from the Web to create "time capsules" to represent their world. By allowing students to identify sites that will be preserved for the long-term, the program gives teens and younger students a chance to identify and document their cultural history and the world that's important to them. Unlike time capsules of tangible objects, which usually remain hidden for decades or centuries, the resulting Web collections are immediately visible and publicly accessible here, with full text search for study and analysis.

 

For the 2009/2010 school year we hope to broaden the program's outreach to additional schools around the country.

 

Click HERE to link the K-12 Web Archiving Program website.

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Siemens Foundation We Can Change the World Challenge, Year 2, Begins

The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) are partnering again this year to educate, empower, and engage students and teachers nationwide to become "Agents of Change" in improving their communities through the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. The second year of this national sustainability challenge - now expanded to include elementary school students - encourages students in kindergarten through eighth grade to team up with their classmates to create replicable solutions to environmental issues in their classroom (grades K-2), school (grades 3-5) and community (grades 6-8).

 

Year two of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge was launched during United Nations International Youth Day in New York City. The grand prize winning team from the inaugural year of the challenge, Team Dead Weight from West Branch, Iowa, presented their project to an audience of peers, UN representatives, and media as part of the day's theme, "Sustainability: Our Challenge. Our Future." Team Dead Weight's winning project focused on the environmental hazards of lead wheel weights in tires.

 

Teachers, students, and mentors can log on to www.wecanchange.com now to register for the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, which officially opens for entries on August 19, 2009. Student and teacher/mentor prizes, which vary according to grade level, include savings bonds, school grants, exciting trips, TV appearances, and much more. Fostering learning, team work, and problem solving around sustainability, the website offers resource guides for standards-based lesson plans and teacher materials to accompany each stage of the challenge. These materials are created by Discovery Education and the NSTA.


The deadline for elementary level entries is January 31, 2010 (finalists and winners announced in March 2010); and the deadline for middle school entries is March 15, 2010 (state winners announced in April 2010 and national winners announced in May 2010). 

The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge will expand to high school students in fall 2010. For more information, visit http://wecanchange.com/.

Source: The Siemens Foundation, www.siemens-foundation.org

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