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March 02, 2010

Table of Contents

Free Resources: Teachscape's ‘Module of the Month Club’ Professional Development Content
Capstone Launches Professional Development for Educators
Pearson’s Distributed Scoring Program to Mark "100 Million Scores" Milestone in 2010
Discovery Education Adds New Content from Scholastic Media, the Smithsonian Institution and Other Leading Publishers
BenQ Debuts First LED Pocket Projector with USB Reader
netTrekker Launches "Personalized Learning in Action" Video Contest

Free Resources: Teachscape's ‘Module of the Month Club’ Professional Development Content

Teachscape is continuing its Module of the Month Club (MOMC) series by offering teachers, administrators, and instructional leaders access to free professional development content. Each month registered members will have unlimited access to one selected module from the Teachscape XL library.

Teachscape XL consists of online teacher professional development resources, including an array of text, videos, and interactive elements. The platform is available as a searchable training library for use by educators. With MOMC, registered members can view selected content-rich modules from Teachscape XL, each of which contains classroom video and professional development resources that cover various instructional strategies.

The following modules are featured as part of the MOMC Spring 2010 schedule:

February 2010- Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback

March 2010- Adolescent Literacy: Addressing the Challenge

April 2010- Talking about Texts

May 2010- Linear Equations

June 2010- Teaching Strategies for Content Instruction

MOMC members will receive an email on the first of each month announcing the newly-selected online course and how to access it using a username and password provided by Teachscape. For complete details and to become a member of MOMC, visit www.teachscape.com/xl/module-of-the-month-club.html.

Source: Teachscape, www.teachscape.com

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Capstone Launches Professional Development for Educators

Capstone, a publisher of children's books in the U.S. education market, has announced the launch of a new professional development program for elementary and middle school educators. Presented by a cadre of nationally known speakers with more than 20 years of product experience, Capstone's professional development program incorporates best practices with research-based products on a range of dynamic topics, including:

  • Differentiated instruction for grades K-5
  • Literacy strategies for English Learners
  • Response to Intervention
  • Boys Read
  • Using nonfiction to entice struggling readers
  • Using fiction and nonfiction to entice struggling readers
  • Graphic novels in the classroom
  • Building classroom libraries
  • Technology in the classroom

Capstone's program will offer educators flexible options, such as onsite or online sessions, as well as customized education curriculum to target their specific needs. Attendees will leave with takeaways on the session's content, project ideas, recommended reading lists, and tactics to implement their new knowledge in their classroom.

For more information on Capstone's professional development, visit www.capstonepub.com/content/teacher_prodevelopment.  

Source: Capstone Publishers, www.capstonepub.com

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Pearson’s Distributed Scoring Program to Mark "100 Million Scores" Milestone in 2010

Pearson has announced that its distributed scoring program, which utilizes technology to securely score assessments anywhere at any time, will reach a landmark milestone in 2010 with assessment evaluators assigning their 100 millionth score.

Distributed scoring uses online services to break down physical barriers historically associated with scoring large-scale assessments, enabling experienced scorers to effectively score assessments from home. Through the program, Pearson is able to tap a large pool of qualified scorers, increase flexibility for scoring employees, and provide greater customization for scoring customers.

Six years ago, Pearson decided to make flexible scoring options a core component of its operational model due to a growing customer base and a keen interest in the continued recruitment of only top- quality scorers. Now, Pearson professional scorers throughout the nation score performance items, including writing, reading, and mathematics assessments; college entrance essays; and English language learner assessments, from their homes.

Currently, Pearson's database of qualified scorers contains about 56,000 diverse applicants representing every state, more than 22,000 of whom have a master's degrees or higher. Each of the distributed scorers must meet Pearson's qualifications and go through a similar screening process as on-site scorers, which includes an analysis of application data, a phone interview, and a process to verify credentials and eligibility.

For more information about Pearson's distributed scoring program or to learn how to apply for employment as a scorer, please visit www.pearsonedmeasurement.com and click on "Scoring at Home."

Source: Pearson, www.pearsonassessments.com

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Discovery Education Adds New Content from Scholastic Media, the Smithsonian Institution and Other Leading Publishers

Discovery Education has expanded its library to more than 150,000 digital assets through new agreements with Scholastic Media, the Smithsonian Institution, and other content providers and school systems.

Through an expanded partnership with Scholastic Media that provides educators and students with award-winning digital content, Discovery Education streaming users now have access to Maya and Miguel, a collection of 65 full length videos. WordGirl, a collection of 52 full length videos, will soon be added to the service. In addition, more than 100 new full length audio books from Scholastic Audio, a subsidiary of Scholastic Media, will be added to Discovery Education streaming in the coming months to augment elementary language arts lessons. Popular series like Goosebumps and Clifford the Big Red Dog, and children's literature classics like The Velveteen Rabbit and The Night Before Christmas will soon be available for instructional use. Discovery Education is already the exclusive educational streaming provider of the award-winning Magic School Bus series.


The company's relationship with the Smithsonian Institution brings new videos to Discovery Education streaming users. Easily integrated into middle and high school social studies curricula, these digital resources bring historical figures to life, providing background and needed context to events in American history.

In addition, video resources highlighting the role of food in history and in students' daily lives, are now available from Ancient Lights Educational Media in Discovery Education streaming, Discovery Education Science for Elementary and Discovery Education Science for Middle School. Discovery Education will soon offer digital content about postpartum and newborn care in Discovery Education Health through a new partnership with Milner-Fenwick, Inc.

Discovery Education has also partnered with Infinitec, Inc., to offer educators and administrators access to ten key training resources that address response to intervention, assistive technologies, student behavior, and more. These professional development videos covering critical instructional issues will soon become available through Discovery Education streaming and Discovery Education streaming Canada. 

Also, more than 30 "continuity of learning" activities, created by Milwaukee Public Schools and Oakland Intermediate School District (in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Education), are available to Discovery Education streaming subscribers. These activities allow educators to insert their own curriculum, and direct learning to wherever students happen to be, keeping pupils engaged in the learning process during periods of absence or school closure.
Additionally, in January Discovery Education announced the debut of Discovery Channel's 11-part epic natural history series, LIFE, on Discovery Education streaming Plus in late March, following the U.S. premiere of the series on television. Full-length episodes, clips and classroom resources aligned to state standards will be available to educators and students the day after each episode premieres on Discovery Channel. Teachers' guides and ancillary materials for three targeted grade bands (3-5, 6-8, and 9-12) will promote critical thinking among students and support educators in taking a cross-curricular instructional approach.

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com

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BenQ Debuts First LED Pocket Projector with USB Reader

BenQ has announced the launch of a pocket projector with integrated USB reader - the BenQ GP1. Although weighing only 1.4lbs., the GP1 offers high-end features: 120% NTSC, 100AL, integrated speaker, and 20,000+-hour lamp life. The GP1's integrated USB reader enables users to run movies, pictures, and office applications directly from a USB thumb drive without the need for notebook attachment.

Its palm-sized design makes the GP1 useful in pairing with other pocket devices such as iPods, Smartphones, PDAs, and digital cameras to bring a greater dimension of enjoyment to these everyday devices that would otherwise only display content on their tiny screens. Connectivity includes D-Sub, Composite, and USB inputs, and PC audio output. A detachable iPod docking station is available as an option.

The 10-80" image via a 1.92 throw ratio is adjustable with digital zoom and preset picture PC and A/V modes, which include four customizable user modes.

The GP1 is priced at $499.

Source: BenQ Corporation, www.benq.us/

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netTrekker Launches "Personalized Learning in Action" Video Contest

netTrekker has launched a new video contest, "Personalized Learning in Action," that gives educators an opportunity to win one of two $1,500 scholarships to attend this year's ISTE 2010 conference in Denver in June.

Entries will be accepted until April 16, 2010. The contest is open to netTrekker customers as well as non-customers. A special 30-day free trial is offered to non-customers to enable teachers and students to access and use netTrekker as part of their video submission. The contest encourages educators, with the help of their students, to create video clips illustrating how they use netTrekker (along with other resources) to engage students in a personalized learning experience.

netTrekker enables educators to safely connect to thousands of high-quality, standards-aligned digital resources and tools to support students' learning needs. All netTrekker resources are hand-selected by expert educators to keep every search safe, focused and relevant, and cover the entire school curriculum, according to the announcement.

Videos entries will be featured on netTrekker's YouTube channel and its online educational community, www.nettrekkervillage.com/, where other educators can comment and vote on the clips. Educators can earn extra contest points by sharing their video with peers, colleagues, and parents using social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Entries will be judged on meeting the requirements, on creativity, and incorporating personalized learning within their classrooms using netTrekker. Winners will be selected by a committee of netTrekker management and content editors and will be notified during the week of April 19, 2010.

Examples of personalized learning in action might include:

Showing how netTrekker is used to research and build lesson plans;

Demonstrating how students are using netTrekker in the classroom for project research;

Building and sharing lesson plans that incorporate differentiated instruction elements for students with special needs; or

Assigning projects to students that extend their learning experience beyond the walls of the classroom and into their home lives.

Two winners of the "Personalized Learning in Action" contest will receive $1,500 towards registration at ISTE 2010, travel, accommodations, and meal expenses. Additional prizes, including five BrainPOP classroom subscriptions and 20 BrainPOP hats will be awarded to runners-up.

Each year ISTE attracts the top educational technology companies worldwide. Nearly 500 of these companies will be present with displays and educational demonstrations where attendees can get up close and personal with the best technology available today. Attendees can also learn what other education and technology leaders are using to achieve their goals of enhancing student learning through technology.

Full details about the video contest along with links to submit a video are available at www.nettrekker.com/pages/video-contest. For schools not subscribed to netTrekker, a no-obligation 30-day free trial can be obtained by visiting www.nettrekker.com/pages/video-contest/extended-free-trial.

Source: netTrekker, www.nettrekker.com

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