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May 11, 2010

Table of Contents

Free Resources: Federal Trade Commission's Advertising Literacy Campaign Targeting 'Tweens'
EBSCO Publishing Introduces Referencia Latina
Shmoop Launches More Than 400 Education Ebooks for Sony's Reader Store
MMIS Xtra News: Free May/June 2010 MultiMedia & Internet@Schools Content Now Available Online
Adobe Creative Suite 5 Ships With Discount Pricing and Instructional Resources Available
Pearson’s Assessment for Learning Group Launches Limelight
Online Training Videos for Inspiration 9 Now Available
Blackboard Releases Major Update of Blackboard Learn

Free Resources: Federal Trade Commission's Advertising Literacy Campaign Targeting 'Tweens'

The Federal Trade Commission has announced a new advertising literacy campaign to help older children understand the ads they see and become smarter consumers.

The campaign is targeted to "tweens" aged 8 to 12, and includes a game-based website at Admongo.gov, a curriculum tied to national standards of learning in language arts and social studies that teachers can use to "ad-ucate" students, a library of fictional ads that can be used as teaching tools, and activities for parents and kids to do together.  All these materials are free and in the public domain.

The online game at Admongo.gov allows kids to create an avatar and features four levels of play to help them think critically about advertising.  In "The Atrium," they identify the ads that are around them.  In the "Assemblimator," they learn how to take apart an ad, evaluate its claims, and figure out how ads try to persuade people.  In the "Planadtarium," they find out how ads are targeted, and in "The Adgitator," they build and target their own ads.  Throughout the game, players learn to ask the three critical questions about ads, no matter where they see them:  Who is responsible for the ad?  What is it actually saying?  What does it want me to do?

Source: Federal Trade Commission Office of Public Affairs, www.ftc.gov/opa/

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EBSCO Publishing Introduces Referencia Latina

EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) has released a new resource for its Spanish-speaking users. Referencia Latina is a definitive general reference resource for the rapidly growing native Spanish-speaking population in the United States covering issues in Latin America and Spain, as well as US and global affairs.

Designed to assist native Spanish-speaking users with their general research needs, Referencia Latina includes a 49,000-entry Spanish-language encyclopedia; 2,500 evidence-based, graphical health reports; as well as 50,000 images, most with Spanish-language captions. Referencia Latina also contains a Spanish-English dictionary, an atlas consisting of more than 330 Spanish-language maps, over 100 reference books, and dozens of general interest magazines.

With Referencia Latina, libraries are also able to provide their Spanish-speaking patrons with the most current articles from a dozen prominent newspapers from 10 Latin American countries such as Peru, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Venezuela, Argentina, and Costa Rica.

Referencia Latina provides users with a unique Spanish-language interface making content readily accessible for non-English speakers with limited online research experience. As the non-English speaking population continues to grow, EBSCO is dedicated to expanding its ethnic and multicultural coverage.

Source: EBSCO Publishing, www.ebscohost.com/

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Shmoop Launches More Than 400 Education Ebooks for Sony's Reader Store

Shmoop has announced that hundreds of its digital Learning Guides are available as ebooks in Sony's Reader Store, for downloading to Sony's popular Reader and other compatible digital reading devices.  More than 400 Shmoop ebooks for topics in literature, poetry, U.S. history, civics, music, and biography are now available.

Shmoop ebook titles include Learning Guides for The Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, World War II, the U.S. Constitution, and Madonna's "Like a Prayer." A shortcut to the full list of Shmoop ebooks is available on Shmoop's website at www.shmoop.com/sony-reader-ebooks/.


Source, www.shmoop.com

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MMIS Xtra News: Free May/June 2010 MultiMedia & Internet@Schools Content Now Available Online

Content from the May/June 2010 issue of MultiMedia & Internet @ Schools is now available at our website. There is free full text access to all the May/June 2010 reviews, the In the Spotlight story, and the cover story, Security in a Web 2.0-Based Educational Environment: Issues and Answers—Part 1.

Check out the full May/June 2010 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 May/June 2010 table of contents. They'll be available on a pay-to-view basis via Information Today, Inc.'s InfoCentral, powered by ProQuest. Check back soon.

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Adobe Creative Suite 5 Ships With Discount Pricing and Instructional Resources Available

Adobe Systems, Inc. has announced the immediate availability of the Adobe Creative Suite 5 product family which includes five new versions: Creative Suite 5 Master Collection, Creative Suite 5 Design Premium, Creative Suite 5 Web Premium, Creative Suite 5 Production Premium and Creative Suite 5 Design Standard along with the new Creative Suite 5 Student and Teacher Editions for individual home-use. Adobe is now extending significant software discounts for personal usage through the Creative Suite 5 Student and Teacher Editions along with more affordable educational license pricing offered to institutions.

Also available now are free, year-long curriculum guides for teaching design, web, and video using Adobe Creative Suite 5 software, as well as training resources from Total Training and Knowledge Network Solutions.

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. It allows them to work faster, craft great stories, collaborate more efficiently and visually communicate their ideas, according to the announcement. Curriculum guides, expert training, and workshops from Adobe and its partners help educators incorporate Creative Suite 5 into their curricula.

(See also our news announcement Adobe Announces Creative Suite.)

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

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Pearson’s Assessment for Learning Group Launches Limelight

The Assessment for Learning group (A4L) of Pearson has released Limelight, a new, 21st-century assessment for learning tool designed to strengthen the connection between teachers and students as they work together to achieve learning goals. Using state-of-the-art technology, Limelight illuminates each individual student's learning path for teachers, providing new insights into their abilities and the progress being made toward achieving academic success, the announcement states.

With Limelight, teachers can embed classroom-based assessments into their daily instruction to generate results that individualize learning for students. The online system produces high-quality data conveyed in straightforward reports that can inform real-time instruction in the classroom. Limelight also seamlessly integrates with current teaching technology such as interactive white boards and wireless response systems.

Limelight offers teachers a practical system for creating assessments - both online and in print - in as little as two minutes for immediate classroom use and provides fast access to reports of relevant and timely data. 

Limelight's key features include:

  • Modularity - To meet the changing assessment needs of school districts, Limelight offers multiple test item banks; different types of assessments such as user-created, computer-adaptive, and pre-constructed; and varying delivery methods like pencil-and-paper, online, and integration with learning response devices.
  • Computer-Adaptive Testing (CAT) - Computer-adaptive testing, which changes an assessment based on an estimation of a student's ability after each response, helps to personalize classroom evaluations. With CAT, teachers have access to the most accurate, reliable information about an examinee because, unlike traditional pencil-and-paper tests, respondents do not all answer the same set of questions. This secure, online testing option can individually pace assessments and provide scores almost immediately.
  • Diagnostic Tests for Reading and Math - Online, reliable assessments afford educators the ability to assess and analyze data and intervene and re-test students when necessary. Teachers can use these analytical evaluations to understand students' prior knowledge and skills, better determine strengths and weaknesses to individualize learning, and place students at appropriate instructional levels.
  • Integration with Classroom Teaching Equipment - Limelight closely integrates with classroom teaching technology such as interactive white boards and wireless response devices. For example, a teacher can incorporate Limelight questions into a daily classroom lesson by having students respond anonymously via personal response devices, immediately receiving feedback to help inform instruction and encouraging greater class participation.
  • Test Bank - Limelight's test banks offer tens of thousands of standards-aligned questions that enable teachers to implement interim, benchmark, diagnostic and classroom assessments.
  • Alignment with New Common Core Standards - When the final Common Core State Standards are released, Limelight's assessment items will align to those standards, allowing for the measurement of corresponding knowledge and skills.
  • Reporting and Tracking Capabilities - Visually appealing, easy-to-understand reports track student performance and facilitate data-driven decision making.

For more information about Limelight and the Assessment for Learning group of Pearson, visit www.PearsonLimelight.com.

Source: Assessment for Learning group (A4L) of Pearson, www.PearsonLimelight.com

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Online Training Videos for Inspiration 9 Now Available

Inspiration Software, Inc., has announced that more than 70 training videos are available to teachers at the hundreds of schools and districts around the country that have purchased volume licenses for the newest version of the visual learning software Inspiration 9.

These videos, available at www.inspiration.com/inspiration9training, were developed in collaboration with Atomic Learning, a producer of educational resources designed to help teachers, students and learners embrace technology. The library of online videos developed specifically for Inspiration 9 provides teachers with training tools for learning how to use all of the visual learning software's powerful capabilities at their own pace. Beginning with a series of overview videos that introduce both using visual learning in the classroom and the tools in Inspiration, these short - some less than a minute - online tutorials provide step-by-step instructions for using the software, including Inspiration 9's new Presentation Manager and visual view, Map View. This robust library of online training resources is available free to teachers in schools and districts with current Inspiration Software Site Licenses, Cumulative Volume Licenses or Comprehensive Licenses.

Among the new capabilities in Inspiration 9 is the Presentation Manager, used by students to create organized and compelling presentations to present and communicate their knowledge and work. The Presentation Manager automatically creates bulleted slides and graphics from a student's diagram, mind map or outline. Students use this as the starting point to build their oral presentation and handouts and then add slides, speaker notes, talking points, graphics, video and sound to emphasize their points. Inspiration 9 ships with numerous ready-made, professional-quality themes to quickly develop a visually appealing presentation, or students can create their own themes to personalize their presentations. Once their presentation is complete, they can play it directly from Inspiration or from any computer using the free Inspiration Presenter.

Source: Inspiration Software, Inc., www.inspration.com

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Blackboard Releases Major Update of Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Inc. has announced a major update for its flagship software with the launch of Blackboard Learn Release 9.1, which integrates a range of social learning tools and drives student engagement. The release also introduces new features for K-12 teachers and learners - including lesson planning and standards alignment - and former WebCT clients.

Building on the new interface and social learning tools like blogs and journals introduced in Release 9.0, the new release deepens the platform's ability to integrate collaboration tools like wikis and multimedia content from web sources including YouTube, Flickr, and Slideshare to create a more engaging and visually impactful course experience.

Release 9.1 can also be enabled for interactive mobile learning opportunities through Blackboard Mobile Learn - native mobile applications for the most popular mobile platforms - and integrates Blackboard Connect technology to let students choose how they receive course notifications and updates, including through messages to their mobile devices.

To make the platform more instructionally focused for K-12 schools and districts, the release introduces integrated lesson planning and standards alignment and reporting. And when standards evolve based on curricular changes, a new standards mapping tool can save districts time by automating updates within the learning platform.

Release 9.1  is available now as a free upgrade for Blackboard customers. For more information about Blackboard Learn, please visit http://blackboard.com/Teaching-Learning/Learn-Platform.aspx.

Source: Blackboard Inc., www.blackboard.com

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