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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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August 03, 2010

Table of Contents

Free Resources: CSLA's Updated Suite of 2.0 Tutorials
CoSN Releases New EdTechNext Report
Archipelago Learning Announces Common Core State Standards Update for Study Island
MMIS Xtra News: Complete July/August 2010 MultiMedia & Internet@Schools Contents Now Available Online—Full Text, Text+Graphics, PDF
Facts On File Announces Launch of World Geography and Culture Online
Discovery Education Expands Content Relationships to Provide New Curriculum-Aligned Digital Media
TLC Debuts Textbook Management and Asset Tracking
PBS TeacherLine Converts to Moodle to Support Schools in Customizing Online Course Content

Free Resources: CSLA's Updated Suite of 2.0 Tutorials

The California School Library Association (CSLA) 2.0 team is has announced - just in time for lesson planning for next year - the newest update in its suite of 2.0 tutorials.

Teen learning [http://teenlearning.csla.net/] has been updated to include a beautiful new look with new links, and has moved to Edublogs so that it is readily available at school. It now emphasizes not only 2.0 learning, but 2.0 digital good citizenship.

There are sections that show alignment with the Draft California Model School Library Standards, and it includes links to the Teacher's Manual, a sample parent letter and much more.

The CSLA invites school librarian educators to take a look and pass the word along to colleagues in the classroom ... to "take the lead and help your students become 2.0 savvy teens!"

Also, check this out: "Circulate This! Stories from the School Library. Available on iTUNES or via csla.net/audio.

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

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CoSN Releases New EdTechNext Report

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has released an EdTechNext report, titled "Managing Learning: Next-Generation Learning Systems," which details how K-12 educators and administrators are using cutting-edge Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) to transform teaching and learning. The report outlines the evolution of Content Management Systems (CMS) and Learning Management Systems (LMS) into next-generation LCMS, and explores how these systems are being used in schools and school districts today.

As the report highlights, teachers traditionally used CMS to manage course content, ranging from documents and presentations to multimedia resources. Today CMS are leveraged to engage parents and education stakeholders through social networking tools, blogs and discussion forums. Similarly, LMS were traditionally designed to support administrators in managing students, and are now being used by teachers to create collaborative tools, including wikis and blogs. Next-generation LCMS combine the best features of CMS - content repository and authoring tools - with the LMS delivery platform that is flexible for virtual learning environments.

According to the report, the benefits of LCMS include integration of informal, social and formal learning into blended learning environments; improved delivery of virtual education, e-learning and home schooling; an online hub for professional development; improved student and teacher productivity; and improved data aggregation and use. The report provides examples of how these next-generation LCMS are being used today, as well as important technical considerations for education technology leaders thinking about integrating and upgrading these systems.

This CoSN EdTechNext report is one in a series of "mini-reports" developed by the association to keep educators up to speed on the latest trends in educational technology. Each report provides a brief introduction to new and emerging technologies and insight on their educational value. CoSN's EdTechNext reports are only available to CoSN members. To learn more about the reports or to become a member of CoSN, visit www.cosn.org.

Source: Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), www.cosn.org

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Archipelago Learning Announces Common Core State Standards Update for Study Island

Archipelago Learning has announced the availability of the first of their products built directly from the National Governors Association's and the Council of Chief State School Officers' Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

The Study Island Kentucky state edition includes online instructional content, supplemental resources, video lessons, a digital writing portfolio, online assessment development, and animated games. Kentucky became the first state to officially commit to adopt the CCSS, and since that time, additional states, including Maryland, Michigan, Hawaii, Missouri, New Mexico, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Ohio, and Utah have also announced their intent to move to the new standards.

The new Study Island Kentucky edition includes an extensive online integrated professional development module, with teacher videos, lesson plans, activities, and supporting materials to enable a smooth and effective transition to the new standards. Kentucky customers will be able to concurrently access both the prior Kentucky standards as well as the new updated Common Core State Standards from within the Study Island product, to provide districts and schools with complete flexibility.

Updates to other Study Island state editions will be made available based on each state's specific time frame for implementing the CCSS.

Study Island's online instruction, practice, assessment, and productivity tools are built directly from state standards and the new common core standards, and are constantly updated. The web-based program combines content in math, reading, writing, science, and social studies with interactive games and rewards that engage students, reinforce accomplishments and create a culture of academic success, according to the announcement. In addition, Study Island's elearning professional development workshops are available to help educators effectively transition to the new common core standards and optimally use Study Island's curriculum, assessment and reporting features and functionality. The goal is to speed student acquisition of fundamental academic skills and conceptual understandings, and to do so via a methodology that ensures learning mastery is sustainable and achieved in a fun and engaging manner that motivates continued student learning throughout their academic careers.

Study Island is available for purchase by schools, districts, and learning centers, as well as parents and students. More information along with pricing for individuals and quantity discounts for educational institutions is available at the Study Island website at www.studyisland.com.

Source: Archipelago Learning, www.archipelagolearning.com

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MMIS Xtra News: Complete July/August 2010 MultiMedia & Internet@Schools Contents Now Available Online—Full Text, Text+Graphics, PDF

The July/August 2010 issue of MultiMedia & Internet @ Schools magazine is all there now at our website www.mmischools.com. In addition to the free July/August reviews and the free full-text cover story (E Is for Explosion: E-Readers, Etextbooks, Econtent, Elearning, E-Everything), which have been available since the beginning of the month, now the remaining features, columns, and other July/August content have been processed. Some are free to view. Others are available in a variety of formats -- Full Text, Text+Graphics, and Page Image PDF -- on a pay-to-view basis by way of Information Today, Inc.'s InfoCentral and ProQuest Archiver.

For access, see the July/August 2010 issue contents HERE, click on any article, and follow the links.

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Facts On File Announces Launch of World Geography and Culture Online

Facts On File has announced the launch of World Geography and Culture Online, an online resource for studying the geography and cultures of the world. A new and improved version of Facts On File's World Atlas, this reference site takes a global approach to facilitate the study of countries, places, peoples, and geography concepts and skills. The online database makes it easy to study all aspects of a country or U.S. state-from its geography and physical features to its government, people, and society-providing both facts at a glance and in-depth coverage, the announcement states.

Features include:

* Country entries: descriptions of more than 200 countries, with information on geography, people and culture, weather and climate, history, government, and society; maps and flags; facts and figures; images; and news articles

* U.S. state profiles: descriptions of all 50 states and Washington, D.C., with political, outline, elevation, and locator maps; city and geographical features maps; flags; facts and figures; government information; biographies; timeline; and images

* Maps: more than 1,300 political, elevation, and outline maps; regional geographic and thematic maps; city, state, and physical features maps; and more

* Compare countries: a tool that compares up to 10 countries

* Compare U.S. states: a tool that compares up to 10 U.S. states

* Rank countries

* Rank U.S. state

* News articles, updated regularly, that are accessible from country records and can be filtered by date range or by topic

* Dynamic full citations in both MLA, 7th Edition and Chicago Manual of Style formats

* Gazetteer

* Geography concepts and principles

- Flags and images

- Geography glossary

* Conversion calculator

* "Did You Mean...?" search feature

* Link to "Most Viewed" records

* Site map

* Save-to-folder function

* Persistent record links.

Source: Fact On File, www.factsonfile.com

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Discovery Education Expands Content Relationships to Provide New Curriculum-Aligned Digital Media

Discovery Education has announced new agreements with several leading organizations, including BBC, Smarterville/Reading Rainbow, and CBS News, to further expand the content libraries of Discovery Education's curricular services. With this additional content, the library of digital media available to educators will feature more than 200 producers from around the world.

Through a new agreement between Discovery Education and BBC, the eight-part series, Oceans, will be available on Discovery Education streaming after airing on Planet Green this fall. Seeking to provide a better understanding of the state of our seas, the Oceans film team underwent a series of underwater scientific expeditions, led by a team of adventurers, including Paul Rose, Dr. Lucy Blue, Tooni Mahto, and Discovery Education's Chief Spokesperson for Environmental Education, Philippe Cousteau.

To immediately aid educators in engaging students in grades 6-12 on the issue of the unfolding environmental crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, Disaster in the Gulf: A Race Against Time has been added to Discovery Education streaming. Produced for the Discovery Channel by Scott Sternberg Productions, this video offers a behind-the-scenes look at the engineering efforts to stop the recent oil spill.

Also being added to Discovery Education streaming are 60 new Espresso Education titles. Aimed at students in grades K-5, Telling Tales offers visually entertaining animations that take language arts classics and gives them a modern spin, while the iMath series contains short, visually engaging math sequences for middle school students conveyed through familiar topics like fairground rides, athletics, swimming, and more. Lastly, the iDesign & Technology series shows the real life application of design and technology in industrial commercial settings - ideal for high school students and STEM career building activities.

In addition, Discovery Education has struck agreements with several other organizations, offering educators and students who use Discovery Education streaming access to more than 230 new full-length programs. Focusing on literacy and language arts, Discovery Education streaming users will soon be able to access the award-winning Reading Rainbow series. Colorful animation and fun music entertain and reinforce journeys through some of the most engaging and thought-provoking stories for young readers.

Discovery Education also will soon be adding 34 Dr. Lodge McCammon songs to the digital service's content library. These engaging standards-based songs provide an opportunity for students to learn challenging new concepts in science, social studies, and mathematics through music. The songs can also be used to encourage students to create digital stories and music videos.

Finally, CBS News and Discovery Education will offer Discovery Education streaming Plus users the 20th Century series. A historical compilation of documentaries, the 20th Century series combines actual footage from disparate archival sources with testimonies from eyewitnesses.

Discovery Education also has partnered with Visual Classroom to add The Language of Science, an 18-title series providing English language learners the tools needed for academic success, to Discovery Education Science for Elementary. Produced exclusively for Discovery Education, each title will be available in both English and Spanish, allowing K-5 Spanish speakers to toggle between both languages to ensure comprehension of concepts and retention of key academic vocabulary terms related to earth and space, life and physical science topics.

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com

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TLC Debuts Textbook Management and Asset Tracking

The Library Corporation (TLC) has debuted a program that gives its Library•Solution for Schools customers the ability to solve two important problems faced by many school districts: How to manage textbooks, and how to track school assets. TLC's Textbook Management and Asset Tracking is a web application that can manage the task of distributing and accounting for textbooks as well as assets such as calculators, computers, and even padlocks, the announcement states.

Textbook Management and Asset Tracking gives its users the ability to quickly and easily add new titles, update the conditions of school-owned items, and assign materials to students and faculty. It features a dashboard-style interface that displays material conditions, district-wide inventories, and statuses and locations of school textbooks and assets. The program can produce reports for an entire district or individual schools to show all items checked out to students at any given time.

TLC's Textbook Management and Asset Tracking will enable districts to comprehensively oversee materials, identify additional or limited inventories, and save time and money, according to the announcement.

Textbook Management and Asset Tracking is offered as an optional add-on for TLC's Library•Solution for Schools. The integrated library system includes the LS2 Circulation module, a web application that provides extensive circulation functionality and reporting to school libraries of any size.

For more information, visit www.tlcdelivers.com.

Source: The Library Corporation, www.tlcdelivers.com

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PBS TeacherLine Converts to Moodle to Support Schools in Customizing Online Course Content

PBS TeacherLine has announced it has converted to Moodle for its online course management system. The conversion provides schools with more flexibility in licensing, customizing and delivering PBS TeacherLine's online professional development courses to their teachers.

PBS TeacherLine offers more than 130 graduate-level courses in reading/language arts, math, science, instructional strategies, and instructional technology to educators through its national online service, local PBS station providers, or site licenses for its course content. The organization's decision to use Moodle signifies a milestone in the growth of open technologies in education, according to the announcement.

As open technologies have matured with more robust user support, schools and districts are increasingly implementing open source course management systems such as Moodle to meet the growing demand for elearning opportunities for students and teachers. According to statistics from Moodle, nearly 50,000 education sites have registered use of the course management system, up from less than 5,000 sites five years ago. Open technologies allow education leaders to provide broader access to online learning for their students and staff, and to enjoy greater scope of use, interoperability, and customization over proprietary solutions.


PBS TeacherLine's course licensing program enables schools, districts, and education service agencies to expand their staff professional development programs cost-effectively. Now provided on the Moodle course management system, PBS TeacherLine's licensed courses offer administrators more control over the course design, schedule, workloads, assignments, and facilitation. School leaders can modify the course content based on educators' preferences, learning styles, and needs to create customized professional development opportunities for their staff.

Using digital media, and technologies such as audio, video, interactives, and online discussions, PBS TeacherLine courses provide an engaging, collaborative learning environment for teachers to enhance their knowledge and skills. Teachers learn practical, research-based strategies that they can apply immediately to their classrooms to increase student achievement.

Source: PBS TeacherLine, www.pbs.org/teacherline

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