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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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April 13, 2010

Table of Contents

Adobe Announces Creative Suite 5
H.W. Wilson Offers Free Access to CAREERS Database for National Library Week
Pearson Launches Redesigned Pearson Perspective Site
Chautauqua Institution Launches Web-Based Learning Experience
Maplesoft Releases Maple T.A. 6
Netop Announces Update to MyVision, New Volume Purchase Program
Cool Links: Circulate This--Stories from the School Library
Gale Celebrates National Library Week With Focus On Advocacy

Adobe Announces Creative Suite 5

Adobe Systems, Inc. has announced the Adobe Creative Suite 5 product family and its supporting educational resources. The company is offering new curricula, a certification program, and learning resources to better train students and faculty in the digital communication and collaboration skills vital to 21st century employment. For the first time, Adobe is extending significant software discounts for home usage with the new Creative Suite 5 Student and Teacher Editions along with the more affordable educational license pricing offered to institutions.

Creative Suite 5 products enable students and faculty to more easily create print, web, video, audio, and mobile content and incorporate it into their assignments, according to the announcement. It allows them to work faster, craft great stories, collaborate more efficiently, and visually communicate their ideas. For example, with the new Adobe Flash Catalyst component, building interactive content can be done without writing code. And integration with Adobe CS Live online services provide new ways to work together online and streamline the way projects get done (CS Live Services are complimentary for a limited time).

Research shows that today's students are producers, not just consumers, of digital media. Creating and sharing ideas, photos, and videos on social networks and personal blogs is part of their daily lives. It is how they communicate socially, and they want to incorporate these elements into their school work. Adobe Creative Suite 5 software and its accompanying educational training and pricing gives students and faculty the opportunity to learn how to effectively use Creative Suite 5 and create compelling projects that express their ideas.

New Educational Resources

To complement Creative Suite 5 software, Adobe will offer new educational resources including curricula, associate and expert certification for students and faculty, and faculty professional development.

Adobe has developed three different CS5 curricula designed to help teachers implement design, Web and video programs. These focus on the technical skills and design theory students need to be successful communicators in their fields: Digital Design: Foundations of Web Design; Visual Design: Foundations of Design and Print Production; and Digital Video: Foundations of Video Design and Production. The year-long curriculum guides will be available for free from Adobe, and will align to the standards set by The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) NETS for Students.

Educators and students can get certified for both entry-level skills as an Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) and professional level skills as an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE). Developed and deployed by Certiport and Adobe, these certifications validate a broad range of technical and communication skills when entering post-secondary schools or the workforce.

Adobe will also offer CS5 online training from Total Training and onsite, instructor-led workshops through Knowledge Network Solutions.

Included in Creative Suite 5

The Creative Suite 5 line-up includes Creative Suite 5 Master Collection, Creative Suite 5 Design Premium, Creative Suite 5 Web Premium, Creative Suite 5 Production Premium, Creative Suite 5 Design Standard, as well as 15 point products, associated technologies and integration with Adobe CS Live services. Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master Collection includes all of Adobe's Creative Suite tools with full version upgrades of stand-alone applications, including Photoshop CS5, Illustrator CS5, InDesign CS5, Flash Catalyst CS5, Flash CS5 Professional, Dreamweaver CS5, Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, and After Effects CS5. These tools are available separately or in one of the five Creative Suite editions.

The Adobe CS5 product family also enables the creation of content and applications for the releases of Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2, which are optimized for high performance on mobile screens and designed to take advantage of native device capabilities for a richer, more immersive user experience.

For more detailed information about features, please visit www.adobe.com/education/products/creativesuite/.

Pricing and Availability

Adobe Creative Suite 5 and its associated point products are scheduled to ship within 30 days with availability through Adobe Authorized Resellers, the Adobe Store and Adobe Direct Sales. Education pricing is available. For more information, visit www.adobe.com/education/products/creativesuite/.

For the education market, Adobe offers flexible volume licensing programs and low pricing. The new Creative Suite 5 Student and Teacher Editions for individual home-use are expected to start at US $299. For more detailed information about educational upgrade policies and pricing, please visit www.adobe.com/education/purchasing/.

Source: Adobe Systems Inc., www.adobe.com

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H.W. Wilson Offers Free Access to CAREERS Database for National Library Week

The H.W. Wilson Company has announced open access to its new Careers database for libraries nationwide, in celebration of National Library Week. The database is available free to all through April 17 at www.hwwilson.com/libraryweek.htm.

New in H.W. Wilson's Current Issues database series, Careers offers a wide array of information on diverse careers in a single vetted source, in articles selected by H.W. Wilson editors from thousands of magazines and journals. From jeweler to journalist, fashion designer to florist, librarian to lawyer, Careers covers qualifications, duties and responsibilities, pay scales, application processes, and future prospects.

Careers also features a "Job-Finder's Toolbox" with annotated links to more than 50 career-related websites, including many popular job-search and industry specific sites.

Source: H.W. Wilson, www.hwwilson.com

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Pearson Launches Redesigned Pearson Perspective Site

Pearson has announced the redesign of its advanced remediation and enrichment solution Perspective. Perspective ties high-stakes student assessment to classroom instruction by providing students with supplemental resources based on their assessment scores. Grounded in an extensive usability study, student observation, and user feedback; the redesign features improved navigation for users as well as significant improvements to its Learning Locator feature.

Perspective now features a contemporary palette and makes use of graphical elements to focus student attention in a manner that is more in-tune with student understanding of website navigation. Rather than being directed in a single path, students are able to explore and discover elements on their own within the Perspective site.

Perspective's Learning Locator feature, which provides students with educational resources tied to their assessment performance, has been enhanced as well. Now, when students enter their Learning Locator codes, the materials they receive are presented using a student-friendly "stop light" methodology which prioritizes resources with red, orange, yellow, green color-coding. Students immediately recognize those areas that should receive priority and those areas that may be considered enrichment or should receive less focus.

Pearson designers, usability scientists, and product developers worked with students, teachers, and parents over the course of several years to fully understand how users interacted with Perspective. Through interviews, direct observation, and other design research methods they learned what site changes would have the greatest impact in encouraging student participation and facilitating learning while balancing the needs of various users.

For more information on Perspective, visit www.pearsonperspective.com.

Source: Pearson, www.pearson.com

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Chautauqua Institution Launches Web-Based Learning Experience

The Chautauqua Institution has announced the launch of In Depth, a uniquely Chautauquan Web-based learning experience, and has invited the public to join. The 6-9 month program will provide participants an opportunity for deeper learning and more substantive conversations about important topics of our day, according to the announcement. Explore a subject "in depth" with expert-recommended readings and audio/video programming. Interact with the experts and engage with fellow participants via email, online discussions, webinars and video events. The program is designed to enable participants to build a community of engagement that extends beyond the nine-week Chautauqua season.

For 2010, the In Depth program will explore the Institution's Week Six (August 2-6) theme, "Excellence in Public Education." Serving as the guide through this examination of the issues is Dr. Sharon Robinson, president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Each week, beginning on April 7 with the launch of the In Depth website, Robinson will provide participants with materials, suggested readings and conversation prompts that expand upon the issues to be explored by Week Six lecturers as well as those issues that fall outside of the lecturers' topics. Participants will be encouraged to engage one another through the website and during two special events hosted by Robinson: a webinar in early May and the In Depth "main event"-a workshop on the Chautauqua grounds during Week Six. 

To join the In Depth community, or for more information, please visit http://chqindepth.org

Source: The Chautauqua Institution, www.ciweb.org

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Maplesoft Releases Maple T.A. 6

Maplesoft, a publisher of software products for technical education and research, has announced the release of Maple T.A. 6, the next version of its testing and assessment tool. Maple T.A. 6 enables significant levels of integration with course management systems, as well as internationalization tools and increased performance, offering a smooth, streamlined experience for instructors and students working in these environments, the announcement states. Maple T.A. is an easy-to-use web-based system for creating tests and assignments, and automatically assessing student responses and performance.

The new product includes a connector to the Moodle open-source course management system, which lets users access Maple T.A. directly from their Moodle courses. A new web services application programming interface (API) provides tools to allow an institution to integrate Maple T.A. with virtually any course management system, including custom-built solutions. In addition, the Maple T.A. Connector for Blackboard Software has been updated to work with Maple T.A.6.

Maple T.A. 6, in addition to international language support for question content available in earlier versions, now provides a translatable interface so that menus, messages, help, and other text seen by instructors and students can appear in the local language. No programming knowledge is required to create or configure the translation.

The new release also provides significant increases in performance when large amounts of data are involved, and more flexible and efficient tools for managing question content.

Source: Maplesoft, www.maplesoft.com

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Netop Announces Update to MyVision, New Volume Purchase Program

Netop, a provider of classroom management software, has announced an update to MyVision, its tool for teaching with technology. Now both MyVision Basic and MyVision Free will support mixed platform environments, allowing teachers to manage students working on both Macs and PCs simultaneously. In addition, the company debuted a new volume purchasing program for MyVision Basic, making the economically priced classroom management software even more affordable for teachers and schools, the announcement states.

Launched late last year, MyVision is a new entry-level classroom management software offering from Netop designed for teachers who need simple, basic controls over classroom computers. MyVision Basic provides four essential tools for teaching with computers, so any teacher can supervise student computer work, share on-screen demonstrations, capture the attention of the class, and control student internet access. Available via low-cost online subscriptions, MyVision Basic is designed for teachers who have not been able to afford standard classroom management software previously.

MyVision Free, offering the most fundamental tools for teaching with technology, is 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, according to the announcement. MyVision Free provides a subset of the features in MyVision Basic and may be upgraded seamlessly at any time.

With Netop's new volume discounts for MyVision Basic, the regular annual subscription price of $199 is discounted by $25 each when two or more teachers purchase MyVision Basic together, and even deeper discounts are available for subscriptions of 10 or more, and 25 or more.

For more information or a free 30-day trial of MyVision, go to www.netop.com/myvision.

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

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Cool Links: Circulate This--Stories from the School Library

The California School Library Association has released an audio journal, "Circulate This: Stories from the School Library," which is packed with powerful stories about school libraries. See http://csla.net/audio to listen.

High School Teacher Librarian/CSLA Past President Connie Williams and songwriter/storyteller/public radio producer Joe McHugh collaborated on an audio journal project to capture stories from teachers, school administrators, children's authors, legislators, parents, and students about how school libraries and librarians make a difference in the lives of children. Connie orchestrated and arranged the project, Joe interviewed and captured the stories.

According to Connie Williams: "We have created an audio magazine in which we tell the stories of the importance of school libraries and teacher librarians via interviews with teacher librarians, library staff, teachers, community members, parents, administrators, and most importantly, students. The format is along the lines of a 'This American Life' type of audio journal with a narrator, who sets the tone, describes the dilemma, and sets the stage for each interview. Each is short but dramatic and powerful. The intent is to distribute the audio journal widely on radio and across the Internet - go 'viral' - as well as create CDs to hand to legislators and decision-making administrators. Teacher librarians and others are able to download the journal and burn CDs to distribute to their local administrators and parents."

Joe McHugh, a Washington State storyteller and audio producer, says, "Stories are effective because they deal in specifics, not generalities, and the best, in terms of persuasion, are told by those who have first-hand knowledge of what they are talking about."

Many came forward to tell their stories. Among those presented here are stories from Dr. Doug Achterman, Glen Warren, David Burt, Winny Duffy, Heather Keaton, April Wayland, Manuel Perez, Dr. Leslie Farmer, Donald Gill, Jeanne Nelson, Anne Birchfield, Hannah Jackson, Kathy Green, and Sophie.

Connie Williams, a National Board Certified Teacher and library leader, noted: "California schools are in deep trouble, with the state budget in tatters and education taking the brunt of the cuts. This impacts school libraries all over the state. The California School Library Association has been exploring a variety of venues and strategies to bring school libraries out of these depths and into the limelight so that the services provided by strong school libraries can be in the forefront of any school reform." The good news is that the State Board of Education has requested Model School Library Standards.

This project was sponsored by donations from long-time school library advocates DEMCO, Follett Software, and Gale Cengage.

Source: The California School Library Association (CSLA), http://csla.net

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Gale Celebrates National Library Week With Focus On Advocacy

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, will be celebrating National Library Week with a focus on library advocacy. In the spirit of the celebration, Gale will provide free access to four online resources for use by any library throughout the entire week. The week of free access is being made available through a widget that libraries can easily download to their library homepage. The free resources include the following:

* Career Transitions - A new electronic resource offering a comprehensive guide to career change.

* Global Issues in Context - An electronic resource that offers global news and perspectives on issues and events of international importance.

* GREENR (Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources) - A new electronic resource offering authoritative reference content on the environment, energy, economic development and natural resources.

* Grzimek's Animal Life - An interactive, media-rich online resource, with information on more than 4,000 species.

Free access runs through National Library Week, April 11 to April 17, 2010. Library patrons should look for the widget on their library's homepage, which provides single-click access to these online resources. Librarians can access the widget by visiting www.gale.com/NLW2010 after April 10, 2010.

Gale also reminds library users that National Library Week is a great time to download the AccessMyLibrary (AML) mobile application for the iPhone - making access to library research just a click away on a mobile phone. AccessMyLibrary, a library advocacy program, is a major portal from the internet to libraries, allowing Web searchers to find what they need by connecting them to their local library.

Gale's new mobile application helps iPhone users find their local library and then access the vast array of information that the library has purchased on their behalf. The web-product connects information seekers to trustworthy library information, as well as quick, authoritative answers.

The Gale iPhone application can be downloaded at the iTunes store. AccessMyLibrary, Gale's platform for library discovery, can also be accessed through the internet at www.accessmylibrary.com.

Source: Gale-Cengage, www.gale.com

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