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May 25, 2010

Table of Contents

SIIA Announces CODiE Awards for Education Technology Industry
Siemens 'We Can Change the World' Challenge Announces 2010 Winners
Projector Reviews, Inc. Releases Classroom Projector Report
OverDrive to Release Ebook Reading Apps
Gale Announces New iPhone Application for School Libraries
H.W. Wilson Unveils New Features for Biography Databases Interface
Shmoop Adds 14 New Teacher's Editions,
SafetyWeb Launches Internet Safety Subscription Service

SIIA Announces CODiE Awards for Education Technology Industry

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, has announced the winners of the CODiE Awards for products and services in the education technology industry.

The award categories, and companies and products recognized, are as follows:

-- Best Classroom Management Solution, Agilix Labs, Inc., BrainHoney.com

-- Best Corporate Learning Solution, Little Planet Learning, TALON: Census Taking

-- Best Course Management Solution, Blackboard, Inc., Blackboard.com

-- Best Education Community Solution, Oracle Education Foundation, ThinkQuest

-- Best Education Game or Simulation, The JASON Project, JASON.org

-- Best Education Reference or Search Service, ABC-CLIO, ABC-CLIO EBook Collection

-- Best Education Solution, SchoolFusion, SchoolFusion Complete

-- Best Education Solution, Spectrum K12 School Solutions, EXCEED Student Achievement Manager

-- Best Education Solution for Mobile or Hand-held Device, PASCO Scientific, SPARKvue

-- Best Education Technology Solution for Productivity/Creativity, SoftChalk LLC, SoftChalk LessonBuilder

-- Best Educational Use of a Technology Device, PASCO Scientific, SPARKvue

-- Best Instructional Solution in Other Curriculum Areas, Inspiration Software, Inc., Inspiration

-- Best Instructional Solution for Special Needs Students, Digital Directions International, HELP Math program

-- Best K-12 Enterprise Solution, Spectrum K12 School Solutions, EXCEED Student Achievement Manager

-- Best K-12 Instructional Solution, The JASON Project, Operation: Infinite Potential

-- Best Mathematics Instructional Solution, Pearson, MathXL for School

-- Best Online Instructional Solution, Headsprout, Inc., Headsprout Reading Comprehension

-- Best Online Instructional Solution, The JASON Project, Operation: Infinite Potential

-- Best Postsecondary Course or Learning Management Solution, Pearson Education, Course Connect

-- Best Postsecondary Enterprise Solution, eThority, eThority Enterprise

-- Best Postsecondary Instructional Solution, SoftChalk LLC, SoftChalk LessonBuilder

-- Best Professional Development Solution, ASCD, PD In Focus

-- Best Professional Development Solution, National Center for Science, Literacy, Education and Technology, Water: Environmental Science

-- Best Reading/English Instructional Solution, Florida Virtual School, Conspiracy Code

-- Best Science Instructional Solution, ExploreLearning.com, ExploreLearning Gizmos

-- Best Social Studies Instructional Solution, Florida Virtual School, Conspiracy Code

-- Best Student Assessment Solution, CTB/McGraw-Hill, Acuity InFormative Assessment

"The CODiE Awards represent excellence in the business software, digital content and education technology industries.  By recognizing the best new technology products and services, SIIA proudly advances the important role participating companies play in the digital economy," said SIIA President Ken Wasch.  "CODiE Awards winners are a testament to the power of technology in delivering innovative solutions to businesses and consumers.  SIIA warmly congratulates all the winners and nominees of the CODiE Awards, whose innovation is essential for continuing America's leadership in the global knowledge economy."


For more information about the CODiE Awards, visit www.siia.net/codies.

Source: SIIA, www.siia.net

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Siemens 'We Can Change the World' Challenge Announces 2010 Winners

The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have announced the grand prize winners of this year's Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. The national Challenge encourages elementary and middle school students to develop plans to initiate environmental change in their schools and communities.

More than 13,000 students competed in this year's Challenge across elementary and middle school grades. Elementary classrooms, under the mentorship of their teacher, identified an environmental issue in their classroom or school, while middle school students worked in teams of 2-4 students, also under the guidance of a mentor, to identify an environmental issue in their community. Both levels then researched their issue using scientific investigation and created a replicable green solution using web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education.

Projects ranged from reducing lunchtime waste to saving local trees and encouraging eco-friendly gardens. A panel of environmental advocates and science educators selected winners based on the team's ability to create a positive, measurable solution to a local environmental problem and how well it can be replicated by other communities.

Middle School Winners:

Grand Prize Winners: Team "No1Idling" from Novi, Mich.

- Novi Middle School students Raj Raina and Yash Sathe, along with mentor Abhinav Raina, focused on reducing community pollution by raising awareness about the environmental impact of vehicle idling among area drivers.

Second Place Winners: Team "Drug Disposal Informants" from West Branch, Iowa

- West Branch Middle School students Kara Fountain, Allison Kusick, Gabby Salemink, and Megan Tadlock, along with mentor Hector Ibarra, focused on reducing the amount of pharmaceuticals polluting local water by encouraging the proper disposal of medications.

Third Place Winners: Team "Lex Green Clean" from Lexington, Mass.

- Jonas Clarke Middle School students Rani Iyer and Isha Laad, along with mentor Vidhya Iyer, encouraged their community to adopt a more eco-friendly alternative to dry cleaning, called wet cleaning, to reduce the use of toxic chemicals.


Elementary School Winners Grades 3-5:

Grand Prize Winners: Team "Planet Blue and Green" from Watsonville, Calif.

- Mount Madonna School's fifth grade class and their teacher, Jessica Cambell, limited the consumption of non-biodegradable materials as a means to reduce marine debris.

Second Place Winners: Team "Joberts5" from Bloomfield Township, Mich.

- Birmingham Covington School's fifth grade class and their teacher, Pauline Roberts, focused on reducing the amount of trash generated during school lunch.

Third Place Winners: Team "Green Allowance" from Glendale, Calif.

- Mark Keppel Elementary School's fifth grade class and their teacher, April Faieta, taught other students how to save as much energy and water as possible by using an interactive website.


Elementary School Winners Grades K-2:

Grand Prize Winners: Team "Zero Waste Lunch Experts" from Addison, Ill.

- St. Philip the Apostle School's second grade class and their teacher, Amanda Wallace, focused on reducing the amount of waste created each day during school lunches.

Second Place Winners: Team "Hunter EcoHeroes" from Raleigh, N.C.

- Representatives from Hunter Elementary School's kindergarten, first and second grade classes and their teacher, Smith Raynor, helped reduce waste in the cafeteria and make recycling a habit in their school.

Third Place Winners: Team "LAA2" from Lakeland, Fla.

- Lincoln Avenue Academy's second grade class and their teacher, Mijana Lockard, decreased the amount of water waste created by students at their school.


The middle school grand prize winners will receive a comprehensive prize package, which includes a $10,000 Savings Bond, an appearance on Planet Green (the 24-hour eco-lifestyle television network), a chance to present their program at the United Nations, and a Discovery Adventure trip to Yellowstone National Park. The elementary school grand prize winning classrooms will receive an on-site video shoot of the class that will be turned into a commercial to run on one of Discovery's networks, a $5,000 grant for their school, and an opportunity to be featured on a jumbotron in Times Square in New York City.

In addition to the above, each team's advisor will receive free registration and hotel accommodations at an upcoming NSTA national or area conference, a one-year membership to NSTA and a 12-month subscription to Discovery Education Science digital content library.

The Challenge expands to high schools in Fall 2010. Currently teams can register and start tackling a global energy-related issue. Starting on August 17, 2010, teams can enter their progress and complete their online applications. For more information on the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, go to www.wecanchange.com.

Source: Siemens Foundation,  www.siemens-foundation.org

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Projector Reviews, Inc. Releases Classroom Projector Report

Projector Reviews, Inc. has released its latest Classroom Projector Report. Projector companies Epson, Optoma, and Dell highlight the new report, an analysis of digital projectors for the K-12 education market available at ProjectorReviews.com, an online resource for digital projector reviews, research, and commentary. Comparing more than 60 projectors, the Classroom Projector Report offers reviews, discussion of classroom defining features, and full feature-benefit comparison charts. ProjectorReviews.com presents its first "Best-in-Classroom" awards to recipients Epson, Optoma, BenQ, Casio and Dell. The free report is available at www.projectorreviews.com/classroom-projector/index.php.

The awards for "Best in Classroom" were based on a combination of performance and features that make those projectors representative of the best classroom projectors, the announcement states.

Section Two of the report includes a comprehensive chart comparing more than 60 projectors from 13 manufacturers. It lists a series of related projectors for each manufacturer. Each series consists of several similar projectors, perhaps differing in resolution or networking features. The chart includes extensive product specifications, as well as commentary from the ProjectorReviews.com staff.

Source: Projector Reviews, Inc., www.projectorreviews.com

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OverDrive to Release Ebook Reading Apps

OverDrive, a distributor of ebooks, audiobooks, and digital content for libraries, schools, and retailers, has announced that it will release a series of apps that will combine ebooks, audiobooks, and interactive and multimedia content into one user-friendly application. The apps will be available for both mobile and desktop operating systems, including Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry. Users will benefit from a single software solution for all OverDrive-supplied content, as well as on-the-go access to ebooks from OverDrive-powered library and retail catalogs, the announcement states.

Android devices will be the first to experience OverDrive's app with integrated ebook reading features. The app will enable wireless downloads of premium, copy-protected ebooks, as well as enhanced accessibility and usability features such as text-to-speech. This and other mobile apps are being developed under a license agreement with Adobe and using the Adobe Reader Mobile 9 SDK. All OverDrive apps will support EPUB, PDF, and ebook content protection functionality, including library lending and expiration.

OverDrive distributes best-selling and new release digital books to more than 10,000 libraries, schools, and retailers worldwide. To find libraries and booksellers that are members of OverDrive's network, visit http://search.overdrive.com. OverDrive also operates the Digital Bookmobile (www.digitalbookmobile.com), a high-tech 18-wheeler traveling North America on behalf of public libraries to raise awareness about free library downloads.

Source: OverDrive, www.overdrive.com

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Gale Announces New iPhone Application for School Libraries

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has announced the launch of AccessMyLibrary School Edition, a mobile application for the iPhone.

In December 2009, Gale launched its first iPhone application, helping iPhone users find their local public library. The new K-12 version allows students to find their local school library - (grade schools, middle schools and high schools) and access the vast array of Gale resources the school library has purchased on their behalf. Students can use the application to locate their school and then will be required to authenticate for the school year, using a password provided by the school.

"With this new AccessMyLibrary iPhone application, the school library is available anytime remotely, helping to make library resources even more easily accessible," said John Barnes, Gale's executive vice president of strategic marketing and business development. "This application is making research accessible to students in the way they prefer to learn, taking advantage of the latest technology. Students are able to access their school's Gale databases in order to finish homework, work on a project or do research."

Using sources including magazines, journals, and newspapers, students can research a variety of topics including:

* Environment - unearth facts on conservation and sustainability

* Biographies - discover the stories of remarkable people of yesterday and today

* Career choices - uncover interesting career paths and industries

* Literature - read commentary, criticism and context on literary works and their authors

* Science - find current, credible research and experiments that allow for first-hand experience

* History - explore past events and their impact in shaping the world of today

The AML School Edition app can be downloaded at the iTunes store. The iPhone application is free, and the content is paid for by the school that is accessed. Also available at the iTunes store, is the AML public library application.

Source: Gale-Cengage, www.gale.com

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H.W. Wilson Unveils New Features for Biography Databases Interface

H.W. Wilson has added new features to the interface for its biography databases. Users of Wilson's Biography Reference Bank, Current Biography Illustrated, Junior Authors, and World Authors databases are now offered a richer, more engaging search experience, with the recent addition of special spotlight profiles, new images, and a colorful new interface design, according to the announcement.

Links to editor-selected "Featured Biography," "Born on This Date," "Topic of the Month," and "Recently Added" entries join the coverage, profiles, and searching features.

The links appear on both the advanced search and basic search screen, and are accompanied by images of the subjects. The features vary, depending on the database selected.

Other enhancements have been added to the master records of biography subjects. Links to pertinent additional information-Most Recent Articles, Reviews and Criticism, Books About, Books By, and others-now display more prominently near the top of the biographies. Thumbnails of all images available on the subject are now also laid out across the top. They expand into full-size images as you mouse over them.

For more on these and other WilsonWeb database enhancements, visit www.hwwilson.com.

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

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Shmoop Adds 14 New Teacher's Editions,

Shmoop has announced that it has added 14 new Teacher's Editions, including its complete civics teaching guide. Shmoop now offers a total of 32 Teacher's Editions for literature, U.S. history, and civics. They include:

--Civics: Teacher's Editions for all 11 Civics Learning Guides, a thorough high school U.S. Government curriculum. The new Teacher's Editions include Teaching the Constitution and Teaching Church and State.

--Literature: Teacher's Editions for three Learning Guides: Teaching Romeo and Juliet, Teaching Macbeth, and Teaching Of Mice and Men.

Sample state standards-based classroom activities:

--Students explore several quotations in an attempt to unravel the original meaning of the First Amendment.

--Students examine and debate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's "Wise Latina" quotation.

--Students analyze public opinion on controversial issues like gay marriage.

Each Shmoop Teacher's Edition includes:

--Free Activities & Assignments, aligned with California state standards.

--Free related cross-disciplinary readings from literature and history.

--(For $5.95 per Unit) Quizzes, Essay and Discussion Questions.

For more information about Shmoop's teacher resources, visit www.shmoop.com/teachers/.

Source: Shmoop, www.shmoop.com

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SafetyWeb Launches Internet Safety Subscription Service

SafetyWeb has launched an internet safety subscription service, SafetyWeb.com, designed to help parents protect their children online by monitoring the web for red flags in their kids' and teens' online activity. SafetyWeb scours the web for publicly available information about what their kids are doing and saying online.

SafetyWeb also helps parents deal with cyber bullying by providing tools to respond when the service finds potential threats occurring online against their child. Parents have around-the-clock access to reports and immediate alerts when inappropriate behavior is detected, giving families an opportunity to intervene.

According to the announcement, SafetyWeb aids in safeguarding kids' and teens' online activity by:

  • Scouring the web for risky activity, including making parents aware of the videos and photos their kids are sharing publicly, cyber-bullying, potential internet addiction and more.
  • Notifying parents when their kids loosen their privacy settings on social networks and when their kids make positive choices about their privacy online.
  • Flagging postings of questionable content that could harm their kids' future.

Source: SafetyWeb, Inc., www.safetyweb.com

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