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June 22, 2010

Table of Contents

The Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use Publishes Cyber-Secure Schools in a Web 2.0 World
Elluminate Announces Elluminate Live! V10
ePals Announces Winners of 2010 Teacher Ambassador Contest
IMLS Launches National Campaign to Promote 21st Century Skills and Community Engagement
Epson Announces an Ultra-Bright Projector for Under $1,000
Discovery Education Introduces U.S. Geography App for iPhone, iPod Touch
ABC-CLIO Ebooks Now Available Through Gale Virtual Reference Library
Califone International Launches Assistive Listening System for Differentiated Learning
SIIA Releases Trends Report on K-12 and Postsecondary Education Technology

The Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use Publishes Cyber-Secure Schools in a Web 2.0 World

The Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use has announced the publication of a downloadable book entitled Cyber-Secure Schools in a Web 2.0 World. This ebook focuses on three critical issues for schools: creating change in technology adoption; effective internet use management; and Web 2.0 in schools-legal issues. Cyber-Secure Schools in a Web 2.0 World also contains extensive templates for district internet use policies, regulations, and a student agreement that incorporate the provisions necessary to address the challenges of managing Web 2.0 interactive technologies in schools and to allow the educational and professional use of these technologies to flourish.

Author Nancy Willard is a nationally recognized authority on issues related to effective internet use management in schools, youth risk online, and legal issues related to use of technologies. Nancy wrote an analysis of legal issues related to school internet use policies that was published online in 1995 and in Brigham Young University's Education and Law Journal in 2000. Her book for administrators and safe school personnel, Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Challenge of Online Aggression, Threats and Distress (Research Press) and a book for parents, CyberSafe Kids, Cyber Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn to Use the Internet Safely and Responsibly (Jossey-Bass), were both published in 2007.

Cyber-Secure Schools is available on the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use site at http://csriu.org/professionals. Individuals may purchase an "Individual Use" copy. District may purchase a "District Use" copy that grants permission to reproduce the book for staff and modify/use the policies, regulations, and agreement.

Source: Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use, http://csriu.org/

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Elluminate Announces Elluminate Live! V10

Elluminate has announced the release of the newest addition to its family of web, audio, video, and social networking solutions optimized for education and training, Elluminate Live! V10. This new version of Elluminate Live focuses on accessibility, providing a richer, more interactive online teaching and learning environment for all participants, including those with disabilities, the announcement states.

The new release is also designed to offer greater performance and usability. For more information, you can view an Elluminate Live! V10 Sneak Peek webinar recording by following the links from https://sas.elluminate.com/site/external/event/description?instance_id=20642. Version highlights include:

* Greater access for users with blindness or low vision

* Improved user interface for screen readers, resulting in an easier-to-use environment for everyone

* Enhanced whiteboard, application sharing, and audio tools for higher-quality collaboration

* Increased engagement and session awareness with new Activity Window

* Better proxy-detecting capabilities for users with stringent security infrastructures

V10 adds to existing Elluminate Live! accessibility support for many disability types: visual, hearing, mobility, and cognitive. For example, those who are deaf or hard of hearing already use integrated closed captioning in live and recorded sessions and multi-stream video for ASL. Breakout rooms are available for one-on-one tutoring, and fully interactive recordings enables users to review sessions as often as needed.

Elluminate's history of accessibility began with low-bandwidth connectivity and cross-platform support, adding comprehensive functionality designed to enable an increasingly wide range of users to fully engage and participate. For Elluminate Live! V10, an ongoing Accessibility Taskforce, which included a cross-functional Elluminate team, members of the educational accessibility community, and educators and students with disabilities, collaborated on product functionality and testing. The company also made a significant investment in training, testing tools, hardware, and software to ensure accessibility remains a core component of the Elluminate platform.

Source: Elluminate, Inc., www.elluminate.com

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ePals Announces Winners of 2010 Teacher Ambassador Contest

ePals, Inc., has announced the winners of its 2010 Teacher Ambassador Contest. With entries ranging from cultural understanding and global peace solutions to natural disasters and the Winter Olympics, the winning projects and corresponding student work are featured on the ePals website and can be downloaded for replication in any classroom.

View the winning entries at: www.epals.com/projects/info.aspx?divid=TeacherContest2010-Results.

The winners of the 2010 Teacher Ambassador Contest are:

- Cheryl Arnett from Craig, Colo., U.S.A., and Rawya Shatila from Beirut, Lebanon

- Thomas Beckett from Wong Tai Sin, Hong Kong

- Mike Fitzgerald from St. Louis, Mo., U.S.A.

- Marsha Goren from Petach Tikva, Israel

- Jeff Horwitz from St. Louis, Mo., U.S.A.

- Todd Kellaher from Palmer, Mass., U.S.A.

- Reinhard Marx from Sundern, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

- Nadina Carmen Nicolici from Drobeta Turnu Severin, Mehedinti, Romania

- Bill Reilly from Delmar, N.Y., U.S.A.

- Suman Sood from Kolkata, W. Bengal, India

Educators from more than 32 countries and territories submitted video entries to the 2010 Teacher Ambassador Contest. Participants were asked to enter their collaborative projects, showcasing how they use the ePals Global Community and digital tools to impact student learning. Submitted videos were required to address how the specific project altered students' perceptions of other cultures, and to answer the following questions:

- How have you used ePals in your classroom as a collaborative learning tool?

- In what ways has this collaborative learning experience impacted students or student learning in your classroom?

- How has using ePals and other technology tools changed your classroom and your approach to learning?

In addition, entrants were asked to submit digital forms of student work, demonstrating how students honed digital skills, formed a better understanding of the world around them, and developed peer connections on a global scale.

Winners will be highlighted throughout the ePals Global Community as well as during various presentations by ePals during ISTE 2010, in Denver, Colo., June 28-30, 2010.

Source: ePals, Inc., www.epals.com

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IMLS Launches National Campaign to Promote 21st Century Skills and Community Engagement

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has announced a national campaign aimed at engaging museums, libraries, and civic leaders in meeting the 21st century learning needs of their communities.

The national campaign, Making the Learning Connection, is intended to help communities assess their needs and contribute to a shared vision for 21st century learning. It includes an eight-city workshop tour, a national contest, new online tools and resources, and a series of interactive webinars.

The eight-city tour kicks off on June 21 at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. The tour will provide an opportunity for museum, library, and other community leaders to discuss the 21st century learning landscape of their city and explore strategies for furthering 21st century learning goals.

The Making the Learning Connection campaign is part of IMLS' continuing initiative to engage libraries and museums, community stakeholders and policymakers to meet the educational, economic, civic, and cultural needs of communities. This campaign builds upon the release of Museums, Libraries and 21st Century Skills, which provides an online self-assessment for libraries and museums to encourage a strategic approach to 21st century learning and a report for library and museum practitioners and policymakers.

Workshop participants will leave each session with a better understanding of the role museums and libraries play in the learning landscape. Each workshop will end with a defined set of action steps to ensure museums, libraries, and community stakeholders continue to collaborate in order to meet the 21st century learning needs of their community.

In the coming months, IMLS will announce the other workshop tour stops, dates for webinars, and contest details.

Source: Institute of Museum and Library Services,  www.imls.gov.

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Epson Announces an Ultra-Bright Projector for Under $1,000

Epson America has introduced the first in a new series of high-brightness, low-cost projectors. The Epson VS400 provides presenters with XGA resolution and 4,000 lumens color and white light output for ultra-bright presentations and vibrant color.

Featuring the latest 3LCD, 3-chip technology, the Epson VS400 delivers true-to-life color and detail for presentations, the announcement states. 3LCD technology provides an energy efficient light engine to create images, and in contrast to 1-chip DLP technology, 3LCD requires, on average, 25 percent less electricity per lumen of brightness.

The Epson VS400 also provides presenters with features such as Epson's E-TORL lamp technology which enables the lamp life to last up to 3,500 hours in economy mode. A built-in closed captioning decoder makes presentations accessible to hearing impaired viewers with no added cost. The VS400 also offers control features like  Direct Power On and Off which allows an installed projector to be powered with a wall switch and Instant On/Off which enables presenters to avoid delays when starting and finishing presentations by instantly powering on and off the projector with no cool-down time.  In addition, the A/V Mute Slide instantly turns off the sound and images to create a quick pause in the presentation, conserving lamp life and energy, and helping to save costs.

The Epson VS400 will be available in July 2010 for $999. The VS400 comes with a standard two-year limited warranty that includes two elite technical support services - two-year Epson PrivateLine phone support where projector owners can directly access an expedited support telephone line by using a phone card that is included with the product, and a two-year Road Service projector replacement program that includes projector exchange in two business days. For additional information, visit www.epson.com.

Source: Epson America, Inc., www.epson.com

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Discovery Education Introduces U.S. Geography App for iPhone, iPod Touch

Discovery Education has announced the launch of the U.S. Geography by Discovery Education App for iPhone and iPod touch on the App Store for download globally.

Conceived and developed in conjunction with Phunware, the U.S. Geography by Discovery Education App delivers a fun and educational solution to engage students in learning about United States geography, according to the announcement. Through videos, knowledge-based challenges, and games aligned to national education standards, plus a leaderboard-driven competition, Discovery Education's first app immerses students in U.S. geography concepts in a new and exciting way.

The U.S. Geography by Discovery Education App is designed for middle school students, but is fun and informative for all ages, the announcement states. The app features a collection of videos, interactive gameplay, and global competition and sharing. With multimedia content hand picked by Discovery Education curriculum experts and aligned to national learning standards, the app allows users to explore seven U.S. geographic regions (Pacific, Mountain, Southwest, Midwest, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and New England) across six categories, such as bodies of water, culture, and major cities. The U.S. Geography by Discovery Education App also features related stories from Discovery News. Covering everyday news through the lens of science, Discovery News is updated frequently to coincide with current events.

The U.S. Geography by Discovery Education App is currently available for purchase for $4.99 from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore, and will be available for the iPad later this summer.

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com

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ABC-CLIO Ebooks Now Available Through Gale Virtual Reference Library

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has announced a partnership with ABC-CLIO to distribute select titles from ABC-CLIO's ebook collection through Gale Virtual Reference Library, Gale's ebook platform providing access to thousands of authoritative reference works.

Directed toward users of public and academic libraries, nearly 250 ebooks have been selected from a variety of disciplines including history, humanities, current events, and general interest.  These titles introduce resources from ABC-CLIO and Praeger to Gale's collection, expanding upon Gale Virtual Reference Library's existing list of ABC-CLIO imprint ebooks from Greenwood, Linworth Publishing, and Libraries Unlimited.

A library's Gale Virtual Reference Library ebook collection is cross-searchable with its other Gale resources, including many periodical solutions and resource centers, providing an even greater search results.

Source: Gale-Cengage, www.gale.com

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Califone International Launches Assistive Listening System for Differentiated Learning

Califone International, Inc., has launched its newest product designed specifically for educational use, the Califone Assistive Listening System.

The Assistive Listening System enables educators to provide any number of designated students with a listening device to clearly hear the teacher or other amplified audio. In smaller areas, the system combats inadequate classroom acoustics and high levels of ambient noise, thereby increasing engagement and achievement, according to the announcement. For larger settings, such as auditoriums, or for outdoor uses, such as field trips, listeners can receive extra audio support.

Though kit sizes vary, the core system includes a 900 MHz transmitter for the presenter that can be fitted with either a headset or mini condenser microphone, and any number of wireless receivers (with connecting headphones) for listeners. Each receiver features dual headphone plugs so it can be shared with a classmate. 

This system also is helpful for those who need translation support, such as non-English-speaking parents at back-to-school nights. Listeners can choose between a lightweight headphone or a single ear headphone attached to the receiver. The receivers and transmitters can be worn with a lanyard around the neck or at the waist with a belt clip.

The Assistive Listening System comes with a charger and carrying case, and is available in a variety of packages so technology directors and educators can select the solution that best fits their specific needs.

For more information, visit www.califone.com.

Source: Califone, www.califone.com

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SIIA Releases Trends Report on K-12 and Postsecondary Education Technology

The Education Division of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) has announced the release of its most recent report on the K-12 and postsecondary education technology markets - officially titled the SIIA Trends Report for Education Technology.

Authored by various members of the education industry, the report highlights industry shifts and emerging trends as they relate to five main topics: K-12 learning management systems, postsecondary learning management systems, online learning, state of the states, and mobile computing.

The 2010 Trends Report for Education Technology provides members with access to key trend analyses for these five topics:

- David Longdon and Michael Jay describe trends in a report on K-12 Learning Management Systems that paint a picture of environments that augment the teacher and social learning interactions between children.

- In a report on Postsecondary Learning Management Systems, Mitchell Weisburgh looks at how the LMS has changed in postsecondary institutions, how the market is changing, and what we are likely to see in the future.

- Sue Collins and Peter Levy highlight five key trends in Online Learning that are important to members of the education technology community, spotlight some important movements to watch, then note barriers and challenges for those attempting to navigate this wealth of opportunity.

- In a State of the States report, Dr. Jim Rosso summarizes the general economic health and education direction of the states; comparing both the states' economic viability and directions in K-12 and postsecondary education, in addition to results in English Language Learners (ELL) and Pre-K education.

- In a report on Mobile Computing, Tom Greaves and Richard A. Milewski write about the rapid change in desktop computers to various types of academic mobile computing devices, representing both a concern and an opportunity for educational software publishers.

SIIA's 2010 Trends Report for Education Technology is available to members at no charge and for $149 to non-members through the association's website at www.siia.net/estore.


Source: Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), www.siia.net

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