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November 10, 2009

Table of Contents

Partnership for 21st Century Skills Releases MILE Guide
Math Solutions Announces Multimedia Professional Learning Resource, Supporting English Language Learners in Math Class
Netop Launches MyVision Classroom Management Software
PBS TeacherLine Partners With NASA to Develop Professional Development Resources on Global Climate Change
netTrekker, CyberSmart! Announce Partnership
netTrekker, BrainPOP Offer Expanded Digital Resources for Classroom and At-Home Use
Free Resources: PBS Teachers/Classroom 2.0 Webinar 'Helping Kids Understand Viruses and Vaccinations with Sid the Science Kid'
Moodlerooms Partners With Cisco Entrepreneur Institute

Partnership for 21st Century Skills Releases MILE Guide

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has released the Milestones for Improving Learning and Education (MILE) Guide, a hands-on tool designed to help districts and schools evaluate their integration of 21st century skills into current and future policies and practices.

 

The MILE Guide, released at the American Association of School Librarian’s National Conference, helps districts and schools determine where they are on the spectrum of ensuring students have the knowledge and skills required for success in today’s world. It includes a Self-Assessment tool that provides three benchmarks (early stage, transitional stage and 21st century) for how far along schools and districts are in terms of student knowledge and skills; education support systems; leading and teaching; policy-making; partnering; and continuous improvement/strategic planning.

 

In addition to the Self-Assessment tool, the MILE Guide includes a set of recommendations organized around five support system areas:

Assessment;

Professional development;

Curriculum and instruction;

Learning environments; and

Standards.

To provide districts and schools with a yardstick as to where they are in ensuring students graduate with the knowledge and skills required to be successful in today’s world, the MILE Guide provides key indicators for the early stage, transitional stage and 21st century stage.

 

For example, when looking at student knowledge and skills, an early stage indicator is that student work primarily demonstrates rote factual knowledge in core academic subjects, while a transitional stage indicator is that student work demonstrates mastery of core academic subject knowledge.

 

At the 21st century stage, two indicators are that all student work demonstrates mastery and understanding of core academic disciplinary knowledge and over 75 percent of student work demonstrates the ability to think critically, problem solve, create, innovate, communicate and collaborate.

 

After completing the self-assessment, districts and schools are encouraged to consider the included Implementation Guiding Recommendations, which were adapted from the State Implementation Guides. There are recommendations for each support system area, accompanied by specific examples from districts around the country.

 

For example, the guide recommends districts develop intensive teacher professional development programs that focus on enhancing skills and knowledge acquisition in the teaching of core subjects. 

 

The MILE Guide is available at www.21stcenturyskills.org/mileguide.

 

Source: The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, www.21stcenturyskills.org

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Math Solutions Announces Multimedia Professional Learning Resource, Supporting English Language Learners in Math Class

Math Solutions has announced a new multimedia professional learning resource, Supporting English Language Learners in Math Class. The new resource is designed to help schools struggling to meet the challenge of simultaneously improving students’ mastery of mathematics and advancing their academic language development.  

 

Math Solutions, a provider of K-8 Mathematics professional development services, courses and products, created this resource to help schools implement effective instructional practices that create sustainable math results for English language learners. 

 

Supporting English Language Learners in Math Class was developed for regular, or mainstream, classrooms with one or more ELL student and includes three main components: a DVD of teachers and students in action, a two-book series for grades K-2 and 3-5, and a facilitator’s guide to support wide-spread implementation of effective strategies.

 

Supporting English Language Learners in Math Class: A Multimedia Professional Learning Resource by Rusty Bresser and co-authors Kathy Melanese and Christine Sphar, can be purchased at www.mathsolutions.com/ell.

 

Source: Math Solutions, www.mathsolutions.com

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Netop Launches MyVision Classroom Management Software

Netop, a provider of  classroom management software, has announced the launch of  MyVision, a tool for teaching with technology designed to be extremely economical.

Created for teachers who need simple, basic controls over classroom  computers, MyVision is an entry-level classroom  management solution that works on both Macs and PCs. MyVision Basic  provides four essential tools for teaching with computers, so any  teacher can supervise student computer work, share engaging on-screen  demonstrations, instantly capture the attention of the class and  control student internet access. Available via low-cost online  subscriptions, MyVision Basic is intended for teachers who have previously not been able to afford standard classroom management software.

In addition, MyVision Free, which offers the most fundamental tools  for teaching with technology, is now available to all schools as a  free download. With MyVision Free, teachers can supervise student  computer use, monitor Web browsing, assess student progress, identify  students who need extra help and improve classroom time on task.  MyVision Free provides a subset of the features in MyVision Basic and  may be upgraded seamlessly at any time.

The classroom management software solution is launching  after the completion of a successful beta test that began in  September 2009.

MyVision is the first in a series of products to be  offered by Netop’s Education Solutions team, which was formed when  Netop acquired GenevaLogic in July 2008. For more information or a free 30-day trial of MyVision, go to www.netop.com/myvision. Through a special introductory offer  available until Dec. 31, 2009, a one-year subscription to MyVision  Basic is available at the discounted price of $149. The regular  annual subscription price is $199. To purchase MyVision Basic, go to  www.netop.com/buymyvision.

Source: Netop Solutions A/S, www.netop.com

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PBS TeacherLine Partners With NASA to Develop Professional Development Resources on Global Climate Change

Climate change is the focus of upcoming online professional development courses and teaching resources from PBS TeacherLine and The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). PBS TeacherLine has been awarded funding from the NASA Global Climate Change Education grant, totaling nearly $600,000, to help educators engage students in critical lessons on climate change, while teaching science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts.


Since NASA scientist James Hansen's Congressional testimony on global warming 20 years ago, intensive study of climate change has led the international scientific community to describe the warming of Earth's climate system as "unequivocal," citing increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, rising sea levels and widespread melting of snow and ice. Public awareness and concern about climate change also has grown, driving green technology initiatives in businesses and schools across the United States.


K-12 schools have an important role to play in the environmental education effort. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) contends that environmental education on issues like climate change is critical because "student knowledge of environmental concepts establishes a foundation for their future understandings and actions as citizens." Schools are also responsible for helping cultivate the next generation of professionals in STEM-related fields, who may someday contribute solutions to environmental challenges.

The grant funding for Teaching Climate Change: K-12 Online Professional Development from PBS and NASA focuses primarily on the development of two new online teacher professional development courses focused on climate change and aligned with content-area standards for middle and high school teachers. Both courses are intended to strengthen teachers' knowledge of the science of climate change, enable teachers to use STEM instructional techniques to investigate climate change with their students, and facilitate the integration of data, models and other resources from NASA into classroom instruction. Through current missions such as Terra, Aura and SORCE, NASA is generating valuable data for the study of climate change, including measurements of atmospheric temperatures, sea ice thickness and extent, solar radiation, sea surface height, and aerosol concentrations. Additionally, NASA offers a number of relevant classroom resources and data collections like Visible Earth, My NASA Data and S'COOL.

 

The grant will also fund the creation of a series of 10 online self-paced learning modules containing resources from PBS and NASA. These modules will be offered free of charge through the PBS Teachers Web site (pbsteachers.org). The modules would be used by teachers to enhance their knowledge of climate science and to access classroom activities for teaching climate change. 

The online professional development courses and resources will be available by the summer of 2012. For more information about PBS TeacherLine, visit www.pbs.org/teacherline.

 

Source: PBS TeacherLine, www.pbs.org/teacherline

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netTrekker, CyberSmart! Announce Partnership

netTrekker has announced a partnership with CyberSmart! Online Workshops through which schools can now purchase any of the five CyberSmart! Online Workshops along with their netTrekker subscription.

 

Research shows that teachers have moderate to low confidence levels in their use of online resources to support 21st century learning, according to the announcement. CyberSmart! Online Workshops, facilitated professional development, address this issue by giving educators a hands-on experience in 21st century skills to meet the learning needs of today's students. Educators engage in the same kinds of learning they are expected to encourage in the classroom, paving the way for effective use of netTrekker's standards-aligned digital resources and technology tools, the announcement states. netTrekker connects educators to high-quality, standards-aligned digital resources and technology tools specifically designed for engaging students in a learning experience that supports their unique needs. All netTrekker resources are hand-selected by expert educators.

 

CyberSmart! Online Workshops offer anytime/anywhere scheduling and now be customized and packaged with a netTrekker subscription.

 

Source: netTrekker, www.nettrekker.com

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netTrekker, BrainPOP Offer Expanded Digital Resources for Classroom and At-Home Use

netTrekker has announced it is now offering its users seamless access to curriculum-based animated digital content from BrainPOP. With BrainPOP's animated educational resources fully accessible from within the netTrekker search tool, subscribers have the option to upgrade their netTrekker accounts to include all BrainPOP products - BrainPOP Jr. (K-3), BrainPOP and BrainPOP Español.


By having access to BrainPOP content through the netTrekker search tool, educators can easily find and add to their lesson plans a variety of digital resources that meet specific state standards and students' individual learning needs. Teachers can use BrainPOP's animated movies and corresponding quizzes, games, vocabulary pages, and activities to introduce new topics in the classroom, engage students and help reinforce complex subject matter. All BrainPOP resources are supported by BrainPOP Educators, a free professional community for teachers, offering innovative lesson plans, video tutorials and other tools.

The partnership between netTrekker and BrainPOP also provides students access to digital education resources outside the classroom. Using netTrekker at home, students can search for information to use in reports, projects, and assignments. In addition, BrainPOP gives students access to content on classroom skills like notetaking.

Existing BrainPOP and netTrekker subscribers can integrate their BrainPOP resources into their netTrekker subscription for free by contacting their netTrekker Account Manager. Non-BrainPOP subscribers can enjoy a portion of BrainPOP content through netTrekker for free. Educators interested in learning more about the netTrekker and BrainPOP collaboration can sign up for a free 14-day trial at www.nettrekker.com.


Source: netTrekker, www.nettrekker.com

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Free Resources: PBS Teachers/Classroom 2.0 Webinar 'Helping Kids Understand Viruses and Vaccinations with Sid the Science Kid'

PBS Teachers and Classroom 2.0 are hosting a free webinar for educators on Nov. 17 about "Helping Kids Understand Viruses and Vaccinations with Sid the Science Kid." Webinar participants will learn strategies and resources they can immediately use in the classroom to teach students about the critical topic of viruses, how vaccinations work if their families choose to get them, and how to stay healthy. The featured speakers are Dr. Cyrus Rangan, from the L.A. County health department, and early childhood education expert Moisés Román. They served as advisors for a special new episode of the PBS KIDS series SID THE SCIENCE KID that focuses on the science behind germs, viruses and vaccines using age-appropriate vocabulary and concepts.

The new SID THE SCIENCE KID episode, "Getting a shot: You Can Do It!," provides teachers and with resources to handle questions children may have around getting sick, why their parents want them to get a flu shot, and what they can do to stay healthy, while teaching science concepts. Educators can access on-demand video clips from the episode along with supplemental educational resources such as lesson plans, online games and student activities through PBS Teachers.

What: Helping Kids Understand Viruses and Vaccinations with Sid the Science Kid
When: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Where: Online

How: 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.

 

In addition to the webinar, PBS Teachers offers the PBS Teachers Healthy Choices Activity Pack, which provides resources and lesson plans on health-related decisions, and a PBS Teachers Disease and Prevention Resource Roundup that includes a summary of related on-air and online resources.

 

For more information or to register for the webinar, visit www.pbs.org/teachers/webinar.

 

Source: PBSTeachers, http://pbsteachers.org

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Moodlerooms Partners With Cisco Entrepreneur Institute

Moodlerooms, Inc., provider of a learning management platform (LMP) with open-source Moodle at the core, has announced a partnership with the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute (http://ciscoinstitute.net). The collaboration has resulted in the first integration of Moodle and Cisco WebEx Training Center, a live or on demand web conferencing and training platform that engages learners with interactive, media-rich online instruction.

 

The integration, which will be available in the first quarter of 2010 exclusively through Moodlerooms, enables users to create, facilitate, record, and track WebEx sessions entirely within Moodle. The Cisco WebEx Training Center subscription allows for meeting or class sessions to be facilitated not only by voice through phone conferencing, but also face-to-face through video conferencing displaying up to six Web cams at one time.

 

Moodlerooms clients will be able to access WebEx using single sign-on capabilities, so there will be no need for users to sign in again. Scheduled sessions will appear in the Moodle calendar and are facilitated directly from within the Moodle course. Attendance is tracked in the Moodle grade book.

 

Moodlerooms has also provided the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute with other solutions and customizations for entrepreneur enablement and training, including the development of a new and flexible Moodle course format, content repository, and translation management system.

Source: Moodlerooms, Inc., www.moodlerooms.com

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