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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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October 27, 2009

Table of Contents

Cool Links: iPods Become Learning Tools at Shady Hills Elementary
Turning Technologies Launches New ResponseCard RF LCD Keypad
Encyclopaedia Britannica Added to Learn360 Service
Moodlerooms Facilitates Survey to Collect Feedback About Learning Management System Needs
ePals Launches ePals LearningSpace
Free Resources: Discovery Education's Re-launched 'New Teacher Survival Central'

Cool Links: iPods Become Learning Tools at Shady Hills Elementary

A story in the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times that we heard about through ResourceShelf (thanks, Gary Price and Co.) focuses on how a local elementary school has embraced the "kids' technology" and is pressing iPods into service for teaching and learning in multiple ways. Read the article to see not only what they're doing but to learn who was behind the effort initially. Well, we'll tell you the answer to that last question now: It was library media and technology specialists! From the article:

 

The way that Shady Hills puts them into play has garnered attention across Florida. Media specialist Tracy Bonnett and technology specialist Jerry Marsh recently presented their program at the Florida Association for Media in Education annual conference, getting several inquiries about how to duplicate their model.

 

"Tracy and Jerry … gave us great resources for free podcasts, showed us exactly how they were using it with their students and teachers, and provided us with time within the workshop session for hands-on learning using their iPods," Denise Gomez, a media specialist at G.W. Carver Elementary in Coral Gables, said in an e-mail. "These iPods, with the right material, could reach and entice those struggling students that might normally tune out during your average lesson."

 

The idea of reaching students at their level appealed to Lynn Johnson, media specialist at Pacetti Bay Middle in St. Augustine …

 

(Note: The newspaper's readers have posted comments voicing mixed reactions to the story. So it's also worth reading some of the comments.)

 

Click HERE to read the whole story, "IPods become learning tools at Shady Hills Elementary," from the St. Petersburg Times.

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Turning Technologies Launches New ResponseCard RF LCD Keypad

Turning Technologies LLC has announced the newest addition to its ResponseCard keypad product line, ResponseCard RF LCD. The new "clicker" device provides students with additional feedback during interactive polling via a small LCD screen. The LCD screen offers visual confirmation of selected response, channel setting, and battery life.

 

The credit card sized keypad allows students to submit responses to interactive polling questions delivered through any of Turning Technologies’ suite of student response solutions, including TurningPoint, TurningPoint AnyWhere, and ResponseCard AnyWhere. Educators can use this information to engage students in learning and assess comprehension.

 

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

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Encyclopaedia Britannica Added to Learn360 Service

Educational video streaming service Learn360 has announced a partnership with Encyclopaedia Britannica to bring over 25,000 educational research articles to Learn360 customers via Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. This agreement allows Learn360 to be the exclusive online digital streaming service to provide the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia to the educational market. Also included in the Learn360 service are video clips, photos, audio clips, podcasts, learning-based activities and quizzes.

 

Encyclopaedia Britannica has a rich history as a leader in education dating back over 240 years, and its brand represents quality and accuracy for information on all fields of knowledge, the announcement states.

 

Learn360 is a division of AIM Education Inc., which includes Sunburst Visual Media, a producer for K-12 health and guidance programs for over 30 years.

 

Source: Learn360, www.learn360.com

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Moodlerooms Facilitates Survey to Collect Feedback About Learning Management System Needs

Moodlerooms, Inc., is inviting administrators and instructors using any learning management system to participate in its survey about learning management needs. The purpose of the survey is to get a deeper insight into the challenges that learning management system users face and develop strategies for improving user experience and the effectiveness of online learning.

 

A provider of an enterprise learning management platform with open-source Moodle at its core, Moodlerooms plans to take all feedback it receives into consideration when planning for future developments.

 

The survey is not limited to Moodlerooms customers. Anyone interested in providing feedback and suggestions can participate in the quick survey at http://tinyurl.com/LMSNeeds. The survey will be open through October 30, 2009.

 

Source: Moodlerooms, www.moodlerooms.com

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ePals Launches ePals LearningSpace

ePals, Inc., has announced the launch of ePals LearningSpace, a controlled but flexible online workspace that provides administrators greater management of social media use throughout the school system. Through the platform, educators can conduct project-based learning opportunities, differentiate instruction, and design curriculum in real-time.


ePals LearningSpace brings together a suite of Web 2.0 tools - blogs, wikis, digital lockers, forums, and more - to help educators prepare students for the 21st century workforce. At the same time, administrators are provided with critical visibility and control over how these tools are used throughout the district.

 

Collaborative groups can be created to support activities across classrooms, schools, and districts. For example, using the platform a middle school science class can create a group to conduct a water conservation project, and a high school English department can create a group to write and share curriculum. ePals LearningSpace weaves in two products from ePals - ClassroomMatch and SchoolMail - for connecting with the ePals Global Community.


ePals provides safe and secure Web-based communication and collaboration tools to districts and schools around the world. The architecture of ePals LearningSpace enables the use of security technologies including monitoring, language filtering, and role-based permissions tools. It is COPPA compliant.

ePals LearningSpace users can create, manage, and organize a digital learning history, edit documents, and store a wide range of media. Administrators and educators can track and view all activity for a given project, group, or individual student, regardless of the publishing tool used.

Students, educators, and administrators also can safely connect and collaborate with peers around the world through the ePals Global Community, with millions of educators and students in more than 200 countries and territories.

 

Eligible for purchase through e-Rate funding, ePals LearningSpace is built on the ePals Distributed Learning Platform, which allows users to re-use core functions, integrate legacy systems, and incorporate appropriate 3rd-party applications. This platform is the underlying technology for the recently announced International Baccalaureate virtual community.


For more information about ePals LearningSpace, visit http://learningspace.epals.com/.


Source: ePals, Inc., www.epals.com

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Free Resources: Discovery Education's Re-launched 'New Teacher Survival Central'

Discovery Education has joined forces with Elmer's Products, Inc., SMART Technologies, and The Clorox Company to re-launch New Teacher Survival Central, an online destination featuring an array of classroom resources designed to welcome, support, and reward educators new to the teaching profession.

Offering tips, tools, and suggestions for easing into the teaching field, New Teacher Survival Central provides educators with essentials such as classroom management techniques, ideas for connecting classroom activities to the curriculum, lesson plans, peer-networking resources, and tools to create engaging learning centers.

New for the 2009-2010 school year, New Teacher Survival Central features an area dedicated to the elementary classroom, It's Elementary. This section includes special content for educators who are not only new themselves to teaching, but are busy with students who are new to school as well. It's Elementary provides resources for teachers looking to create environmentally friendly classrooms in the "Green Scene," including tips and facts about recycling, curriculum ideas and student projects. And it features "Learning Curve," where new elementary teachers can find resources related to bullying, food allergies, learning styles, and more.

In the Technology 101 area of the website, educators can access practical information on how educational technologies promote student engagement in learning and what tools are available for use in the classroom. Free K-12 student resources are highlighted for teachers in the Tech Tools for Students section of the site.


Homeroom Headquarters provides advice on creating a positive classroom environment, communicating with parents, and managing students. New educators also will find videos covering a broad array of topics such as lesson planning, community and parental involvement, and using technology effectively.

Highlighting the blogs, tutorials, curricular resources, and educational media outlets veteran teachers rely on each day, the Best of the Web section provides a library of internet tools to both new and seasoned educators.

New Teacher Survival Central is offering monthly prizes from Elmer's Products, Inc., SMART Technologies, The Clorox Company, and Discovery Education. One first-year educator will be chosen to win a grand-prize package featuring a trip with Discovery Student Adventures. The winner will join up to 20 other teachers on a scouting trip for the next Discovery Student Adventures location. Current Discovery Student Adventure destinations include the Arctic, Australia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Italy and Greece, New Zealand and Fiji, and South Africa. In addition, veteran teachers are encouraged to spread the word to new teachers about New Teacher Survival Central, as the educator who refers the grand-prize winner will win a trip to the Discovery Education professional development conference of his or her choice.

 

Visit New Teacher Survival Central at www.discoveryeducation.com/newteacher.

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com

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