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September 15, 2009

Table of Contents

Free Resources: Two Discovery Education Virtual Professional Development Events
Tabula Digita Introduces Latest Version of DimensionM Muliplayer Video Game for Math
Elluminate Announces Accredited Online Teacher Certification Program
Ginger Software Releases Context-based Text Correction Application
Discovery Education, Scholastic Media Renew Digital Content Distribution Relationship
Califone International Introduces the Diggiditto Document Camera
MMIS Xtra News: Free September/October 2009 MultiMedia & Internet@Schools Content Now Available Online

Free Resources: Two Discovery Education Virtual Professional Development Events

Discovery Education is hosting two free, virtual professional development opportunities for educators and administrators this fall—the Fourth Annual streamathon and the Fall 2009 Virtual Conference. Focusing on how to incorporate digital content and the latest educational technologies into classroom instruction, both events showcase best practices and highlight new techniques attendees can apply to their classroom lessons to improve student achievement.


The Fourth Annual streamathon has been scheduled for Sept. 23, 2009, from 9 a.m. EST to 9 p.m. EST. During the 12-hour streamathon, Discovery Education experts will present a series of sessions specifically designed to help educators learn how to integrate Discovery Education digital resources into classroom instruction. Among the topics slated for presentation are an introduction to Discovery Education services, tips and tricks for integrating Discovery Education streaming content into science, social studies, language arts, and math curriculum, and strategies for increasing student engagement through the integration of Discovery Education's digital media into classroom activities.

The streamathon provides school administrators, instructional technology specialists and professional development personnel new information about Discovery Education services they can incorporate into their own seminars, trainings and workshops.

In addition, educators worldwide are invited to join online and in-person on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009, for the Fall 2009 Virtual Conference. This October's virtual conference theme is Tech or Treat. The professional development seminars scheduled for this event will focus on providing attendees an overview of how Discovery Education content can be used in conjunction with the latest educational technologies including Audacity, Glogster, Google Earth, and other Web 2.0 applications.


The Fall 2009 Virtual Conference is scheduled to feature presentations from Discovery Education's Online Community Manager, Steve Dembo, and Discovery Educator Network Manager, Justin Karkow. Both speakers will offer unique perspectives on how teachers can leverage the latest innovations in educational technology to heighten student participation in classroom lessons.

 

Both professional development opportunities are presented by the Discovery Educator Network (DEN), a community of more than 100,000 active educators supported by Discovery Education. Through the DEN, members have access to a wide range of technology training, as well as a resource library of teacher-generated projects and tools.

The streamathon and the Fall 2009 Virtual Conference will be delivered via the internet to attendees worldwide. Educators and administrators interested in joining any portion of the Fourth Annual streamathon should register at http://links.discoveryeducation.com/streamathon09. To register for the Fall 2009 virtual conference, interested attendees should visit http://links.discoveryeducation.com/virtualcon.

 

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com

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Tabula Digita Introduces Latest Version of DimensionM Muliplayer Video Game for Math

Tabula Digita has announced the latest version of its math video game series DimensionM. With expanded math content, improved reporting functionality, and new multimedia features, DimensionM combines technological advances in video game design with new research in math curriculum and instruction to provide an educational tool designed to increase student engagement, time on task, and achievement scores.

 

The new DimensionM release includes more than 200 math skills, across elementary, middle, and high school curriculum packs. It also includes the addition of a fourth mission called TowerStorm; a new custom avatar creation feature; and a new open choice curriculum element that allows students to play against any other students in the network, even if they’re working on different math skills, and topics, or if they are at different grade or proficiency levels. The games adhere to National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and state standards.

 

Over the past six years the company has worked with researchers, solicited educator input, and employed advances in multimedia technology to implement upgrades and improvements to the series, culminating in this latest release of DimensionM.

 

Today, educational video games are no longer viewed as experimental, but rather, are accepted as mainstream supplemental tools, fueled in part by studies from the University of Central Florida and others showing that games like the DimensionM series can improve students’ mathematics understanding and skills, and significantly raise scores on district-wide math benchmark exams, according to the announcement.

 

Just as Tabula Digita’s video games have advanced, so have their implementation models. Educators don’t necessarily need gaming experience to customize the DimensionM software to fit precisely into their math programs. The games can be used to supplement classroom curriculum, enhance after-school efforts and support math clubs. They can also be used as an intervention tool for struggling students while keeping advanced students challenged. Further, the DimensionM games offer instant, year-round, real-time progress reporting that keeps teachers in touch with student achievement levels.

 

The new DimensionM Multiplayer video game series is available on both Windows and Macintosh platforms. There are several purchase options available for schools and districts to consider when purchasing the new DimensionM games. Visit www.DimensionM.com for more information.

 

Source: Tabula Digita, www.tabuladigita.com

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Elluminate Announces Accredited Online Teacher Certification Program

Elluminate, Inc., has announced it has partnered with the University of California at San Diego to offer an accredited, 20-hour program for K-12 educators, including teachers, instructional designers, content developers, administrators, and others, who want to develop the skills needed to be effective online instructors. Designed for both individuals and academic organizations, the Elluminate Teacher Certification Program is available to anyone as a public or private course, online or onsite. Upon successful completion of the course, attendees earn two academic or continuing education credits.

 

Taught by Elluminate trainers in Elluminate Live, the program offers multiple perspectives, including instructor-led presentations, small group collaboration, and in-class cooperative learning. In addition, participants share ideas, techniques, lesson plans, learning content, and best practices via LearnCentral, the new social learning network sponsored by Elluminate.

 

For educational professionals, the program is available online through the University of California San Diego Extension, where registration is now open. For academic institutions or organizations, the Teacher Certification program is available online or onsite directly from Elluminate by contacting consulting@elluminate.com.

 

For more information on the Elluminate Teacher Certification Program, follow this link: http://www.elluminate.com/sales/datasheets/TCP%20datasheet%20final.pdf.

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

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Ginger Software Releases Context-based Text Correction Application

Ginger Software, Inc., has announced the availability of Ginger, a software program offering context-based error correction for writers of all ages. Ginger uses patent-pending technology to automatically correct misused words, grammar, and spelling mistakes in Microsoft Word and Outlook. Ginger empowers students to dramatically improve their written communication, the announcement states. 

Ginger supports all writers, including those with learning difficulties such as dyslexia, and students who are English language learners. Unlike standard spell checkers, Ginger corrects multiple mistakes within a sentence simultaneously, providing a faster, more efficient way to work. When the context is ambiguous, Ginger provides carefully selected alternatives, each paired with a sample expression so the user can consider the differences and make an informed choice. Moreover, Ginger analyzes the context of each sentence to remedy mistakes, including correctly spelled words that are used improperly.

Ginger Premium offers the same features as Ginger, plus text-to-speech and progress reporting. Text-to-speech enables users to hear sentences before and after correction, as well as alternative corrections and their definitions. Each word is highlighted as spoken, and personal settings allow students to change the speed, volume, and voice used. Reports contain statistical analysis of the most frequent errors, and list mistakes by type, including faulty spelling, misused words or grammar errors, as well as words that are repeatedly misspelled. Through the reports, teachers can identify student needs, track their progress, and evaluate instruction methods.

Ginger and Ginger Premium run within Microsoft Word and Outlook for Windows, and require an Internet connection. The programs are compatible with Microsoft Word 2003 and 2007 running under Microsoft Windows. In the near future, the company will release versions that support writing in many more applications, including Internet Explorer.


Ginger and Ginger Premium are both offered through an annual subscription, which includes updates and upgrades released during that period. School subscriptions start at $145 for three workstations, with volume and multiple year subscription discounts available. 

 

To download a free trial of Ginger or Ginger Premium, visit www.gingersoftware.com.

Source: Ginger Software, Inc., www.gingersoftware.com

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Discovery Education, Scholastic Media Renew Digital Content Distribution Relationship

Discovery Education and Scholastic Media have announced the continuation of their relationship providing digital content to more than half of schools nationwide through Discovery Education streaming. This agreement means Discovery Education is the only streaming media service to offer The Magic School Bus series to the K-12 market. The series consistently ranks among the highest viewed assets on Discovery Education streaming.


In addition to The Magic School Bus, under the new agreement, Discovery Education streaming's users continue to have access to more than 50 Scholastic titles from series including Dear America, Horrible Histories, and I Spy.

 

Discovery Education also is continuing its relationship with Scholastic subsidiary Weston Woods. Currently, 150 Weston Woods children's literature titles are available as part of Discovery Education streaming's content library, including Chrysanthemum, How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, and Rikki Tikki Tavi. Coming this fall, Discovery Education will add an additional 20 Weston Woods video titles to its collection. Discovery Education also features 135 audio books from Weston Woods in a variety of world languages, including Japanese, French, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish.

 

Scholastic Media is the latest media partner to renew its distribution agreement with Discovery Education. In July, PBS Distribution LLC, a joint venture between the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and its Boston-based affiliate WGBH, renewed its agreement. At the same time, Discovery Education struck new content partnerships with the Chicago Sun-Times and Educational Publishers LLP, a joint venture between Pearson Education and BBC Worldwide.


For more information about Discovery Education streaming or any other products and services from Discovery Education, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com

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Califone International Introduces the Diggiditto Document Camera

Califone International, Inc., has announced the introduction of the Diggiditto Document Camera, allowing educators and students to create and view full multimedia presentations.


The USB-powered camera comes mounted on a flexible pedestal, which may be detached for handheld operation. The camera has a 2-megapixel resolution with auto focus, and adjusts to lighting conditions. In addition, it features 3x optical zoom, image stop, rotation and movement as well as annotation capabilities, audio-visual recording, and a horizontal/vertical mirror. The Diggiditto is equipped with an internal microphone to record speech and music.

In addition, the Diggiditto's software features image recognition capabilities. Once an image has been saved, placing the same image under the camera will automatically prompt the Diggiditto to reopen the saved image. And, with its ability to link audio and video recordings to a file, teachers can create single-click, multimedia tutorials which will be automatically replayed. This allows active sharing of high-resolution documents and images during videoconferences and student led presentations.

 

The image can be projected through a computer on to a television or electronic whiteboard in real-time. Split-screen viewing allows comparison of saved and live images. And in situations where changing from the digital projector to the black or white board is cumbersome, teachers can write on the document itself.

 

The Diggiditto is compatible with electronic whiteboards and other conference or teaching devices. It is available with a portable support stand, foam-lined storage case, program CD, and manual. MS Windows 2000/XP/Vista is required. The Diggiditto Smart Document Camera is available for $599.


For more information, visit www.califone.com.

Source: Califone, www.califone.com

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MMIS Xtra News: Free September/October 2009 MultiMedia & Internet@Schools Content Now Available Online

Content from the September/October 2009 issue of MultiMedia & Internet @ Schools is now available at our website. There is free full text access to all the September/October 2009 reviews, the In the Spotlight story, and the cover story, The Collaborative Mind: Tools for 21st-Century Learning.

Check out the full September/October 2009 table of contents HERE, including the additional features and columns, available in synopsized form. If you're a subscriber to the print publication, you'll be receiving your issue soon! If not, well, SUBSCRIBE HERE!

Later this month, once all the issue articles have been processed electronically, you can access any of them in Full Text, Text+Graphics, or Page Image PDF format from the September/October 2009 table of contents. They'll be available on a pay-per-view basis via Information Today, Inc.'s InfoCentral, powered by ProQuest. Check back soon.

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