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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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October 26, 2010

Table of Contents

Free Resources: The Hub and Discovery Education's HubForTeachers.com
Pearson Debuts Elementary School Apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Adobe Releases New Digital School Collection for K-12 Classrooms and Districts
Shmoop Introduces Site Licenses for Schools, Districts and Public Libraries
SMART Introduces New Class of Interactive Whiteboard Offering Student Collaboration Features
TregoED Launches Critical-Thinking and Decision-Making Tool for Grades 6-12
H.W. Wilson Announces 20th Edition of Children’s Core Collection

Free Resources: The Hub and Discovery Education's HubForTeachers.com

A new, free online resource designed to help teachers inspire students to create their own imaginative tales is now available at www.HubForTeachers.com. Created in partnership with The Hub, the new TV destination from Discovery Communications and Hasbro, Inc. that is dedicated to bringing kids and families together, and Discovery Education, HubForTeachers.com allows young students to read, enjoy, and analyze well-written stories, and provides them with the tools to create their own imaginative tales.


HubForTeachers.com offers teachers K-5 lesson plans on the four stages of writing (prewriting, drafting, editing, publishing), as well as information, resources and examples focusing on digital storytelling that leverage popular characters from Hub series. A behind-the-scenes feature introduces students to some of the professionals who create The Hub TV shows, with motivating quotes and images from directors, producers, writers, artists, and more.

In addition, The Hub Create a Story Contest invites teachers to organize elementary students into small groups and let them run with their imaginations. Using their new writing tools in conjunction with a few visual cues from Hub shows, students are encouraged to work as a team to develop an engaging, creative and well-written story. Contest prizes include recognition of the winning group on HubForTeachers.com, and a Hub prize pack for each winning student, with the group's teacher receiving a digital storytelling package that includes a green screen, Flip video camera, and software for classroom use.

For more information about this initiative, visit www.HubForTeachers.com.

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com; The Hub, www.hubworld.com

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Pearson Debuts Elementary School Apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Pearson has announced the release of Grammar Jammers, the first of Pearson's K-12 learning apps for school kids, created across a variety of mobile platforms. Grammar Jammers offers interactive animated videos to help make mastering the rules of grammar a fun, melodic, and memorable experience for learners anywhere, anytime.

Grammar Jammers is available now for download through the iTunes Store:

* Grammar Jammers free Primary Edition, grades K-5 : http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/grammar-jammers-primary-edition/id386384446?mt=8

* Grammar Jammers Elementary Edition ($2.99), grades 2-4 : http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/grammar-jammers-elementary/id386393185?mt=8

Grammar Jammers focuses on essential grammatical rules and usage, providing a framework for learning that supports students and offers rewards as they work through the content. Each level presents direct instruction through innovative animations followed by opportunities for students to apply their new knowledge and reinforce learning.

Rewards are given throughout the app, encouraging students to spend time with the program through the unlocking of interactive quizzes. Upon successful completion of an app, students are presented with an engaging and entertaining reward that utilizes the features of the touch screen and mobility of the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

For use in classrooms or at home for extra practice, Grammar Jammers tracks students' most recent scores, and provides instant feedback. If a question is answered incorrectly, the correct answer is provided and students progress to the next exercise.

Grammar Jammer apps were developed from a feature created for Scott Foresman Reading Street, a research-based program that provides comprehensive reading curriculum materials for pre-kindergarten through sixth grade classrooms. For a program overview of Reading Street, including a brief Grammar Jammers demo, visit http://www.readingstreet.com/techenglish.html.

Additional Pearson apps for school are in the queue for the 2010-2011 school year in the areas of literacy, science, and humanities.

Source: Pearson, www.pearsoned.com

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Adobe Releases New Digital School Collection for K-12 Classrooms and Districts

Adobe Systems Incorporated has announced the new Adobe Digital School Collection for K-12 students and educators, available for the first time for both Windows and Macintosh. The bundle includes the recently announced Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 and Adobe Premiere Elements 9 software, as well as Adobe Acrobat X. Adobe Contribute CS5 and Adobe Soundbooth CS5 software are also included in the collection.

This new cross-platform solution is an affordable multimedia toolkit for teaching and learning virtually any subject, according to the announcement. The Adobe Digital School Collection provides students and teachers the ability to create multimedia projects with photos, videos and audio; publish websites, blogs and podcasts; and create ePortfolios - all 21st century digital literacy skills needed for academic and professional pursuits.

To help get teachers up and running quickly, Adobe has published ready-to-use lesson plans and tutorials. They are available free online at www.adobe.com/education/k12/adsc/ and on the Adobe Education Exchange online community at http://edexchange.adobe.com, along with other resources contributed by educators who use Adobe software in their classrooms.

The Adobe Digital School Collection will be available for Windows and Mac platforms on Dec. 1, 2010, from authorized Adobe education resellers via volume licensing starting at US$149 MSRP. Additionally, the Adobe Digital School Collection will be available through Adobe's hardware partners Lenovo, HP and Dell. Further information is available at www.adobe.com/education/k12/adsc.

Source: Adobe Education, www.adobe.com/education

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Shmoop Introduces Site Licenses for Schools, Districts and Public Libraries

Shmoop has announced it now offers group rates on its subscription products Test Prep (for SAT, PSAT, AP Exams) and Teacher's Editions. Shmoop Site Licenses are available to all schools, districts, and public libraries. Shmoop will also give a group rate to homeschooling collectives. 

Shmoop Site Licenses allow schools and libraries to give all of their students, teachers, and patrons complimentary access to Shmoop's subscription products anywhere they have web access.  Every user chooses his or her own username and password, so there is no hassle for the school or library offering Shmoop services. For more information and to request a price quote, visit www.shmoop.com/school-district/.

Shmoop provides more than 600 free Learning Guides in 10 subjects: Literature, Poetry, Shakespeare, Bestsellers, U.S. History, Civics, Economics, Biography, Music, and Pre-Algebra. Shmoop Learning Guides contain analysis, questions, quotes, and multimedia for each topic.  Shmoop uses a conversational tone in combination with pop culture, trivia and humor to help make topics approachable and relevant to students.

Source: Shmoop, www.shmoop.com

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SMART Introduces New Class of Interactive Whiteboard Offering Student Collaboration Features

SMART Technologies has announced the SMART Board 800 series interactive whiteboard, a next-generation series that will provide the most natural and intuitive user experience yet on a SMART Board interactive whiteboard, according to the announcement. The new 800 series extends the company's interactive whiteboard product line to offer true student collaboration.

The SMART Board 800 series interactive whiteboard supports multiuser writing and common multitouch gestures currently recognized in Microsoft Windows 7 and Mac Snow Leopard. SMART Notebook collaborative learning software will support certain features, such as freestyle interactions, touch gestures and full object awareness upon the release of SMART Notebook 10.7 software -- expected by March 2011 -- which will allow SMART Board 800 series users to take full advantage of gestures within SMART Notebook lesson activities. Using SMART Notebook 10.7 software will enable freestyle interaction, where two students can work together on the same interactive lesson activity and perform different tasks simultaneously -- such as writing with digital ink and manipulating digital objects -- anywhere on the interactive whiteboard surface. Multitouch SMART Notebook lesson activities, specifically-designed for use on the SMART Board 800 series and available through the SMART Exchange website (http://exchange.smarttech.com/), enable enhanced collaboration, giving more students hands-on time at the interactive whiteboard. The 800 series, which includes the models 880 and 880i, and the widescreen 885, 885i and 885ix models, will begin shipping in North America on November 29, 2010 and globally on January 30, 2011.

SMART's DViT (Digital Vision Touch) technology enables many of the features offered by the SMART Board 800 series interactive whiteboard. DViT technology uses proprietary digital cameras and sophisticated software to recognize a finger touch, stylus, pointer or other object input on the interactive whiteboard surface. The digital cameras are positioned in each corner of the interactive whiteboard frame, and communicate input information back to a digital signal processor to determine the exact point of contact. The SMART Board 800 series interactive whiteboard is the first touch-enabled front-projection interactive whiteboard to utilize DViT technology.

Features:

* Multitouch experience -- Enables two users to interact with the interactive whiteboard simultaneously with no special tools or multitouch mode selection required

* Freestyle interaction -- Enables two users to work together, performing different tasks, anywhere on the board

* Smart ink -- Ink-smoothing algorithms make handwritten annotations look smother and more refined

* Touch gestures -- Accepts common multitouch gestures currently recognized in Microsoft Windows 7 and Mac Snow Leopard, including one- and two-finger gestures, such as pinching, zooming and tossing. Gestures will be available for use in SMART Notebook lesson activities after the release of SMART Notebook 10.7 software

* Object awareness -- Distinguishes between a finger, pen or other object to recognize what action the user is taking

* Multiuser Pen Tray -- Enables two users to pick up and use a pen tool and begin writing. Easy-to-use buttons on the Pen Tray make switching ink color, right-mouse clicks and accessing the on-screen keyboard easy

* Durable surface -- Surface is optimized for projection, producing no hot spots, and is compatible with dry-erase markers

* Modular design -- Pen Tray enables the quick and easy integration of accessories, such as the extended control panel

* Locking pen mode -- Locks the SMART Board interactive whiteboard in pen mode so students can write, draw and make annotations with a finger, pen tool or other object

* SMART product integration --Seamless integration with the full range of SMART hardware and software products, including SMART Notebook software version 10.6 or later. Full gesture recognition and multiuser functionality is available using SMART Notebook 10.7 software, expected by March 2011.

(Some of the above features will be supported in SMART Notebook 10.7 collaborative learning software upon release, expected by March 2011.)

The SMART Board 800 series interactive whiteboard will be available in North America on November 29, 2010, and globally on January 30, 2011. The suggested education list price in the United States for the standard SMART Board 880 interactive whiteboard is US$1,999 and US$3,899 for the 880i interactive whiteboard system. The suggested education list price in the United States for the widescreen 885 model is US$2,419. The suggested education list price in the United States for the widescreen 885i interactive whiteboard system is US$4,399 and US$4,899 for the widescreen 885ix interactive whiteboard system. For purchasing information, specifications and a list of authorized SMART resellers, visit http://smarttech.com/.

Source: SMART Technologies, http://smarttech.com

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TregoED Launches Critical-Thinking and Decision-Making Tool for Grades 6-12

TregoED has announced the launch of SCAN, an online tool that builds critical thinking and decision-making skills. Designed for grades 6-12, SCAN helps students make well-developed arguments and solve complex problems.

SCAN challenges students to examine issues from different points of view using authentic scenarios and role-playing. The online tool includes built-in steps designed to focus online and in-classroom discussions. SCAN features over 100 current and historical scenarios for students to consider, including cyberbullying, the Great Depression, and school-related applications of the Bill of Rights. A majority of the lessons feature social studies and life skills, but teachers can easily apply SCAN across all content areas. Teachers and students can also create their own SCAN scenarios.

SCAN addresses many state standards related to problem solving and decision making. The tool also supports the Common Core standards and their emphasis on reasoning, use of evidence and collaboration - all key elements of critical thinking. Teachers can also use the lessons as engaging writing prompts in preparation for high stakes testing

TregoED provides online learning tools and workshops for students and educators to help them build the capacity for critical thinking and collaborative decision-making. The organization's analytic methods are modeled after Kepner-Tregoe's critical thinking strategies, which have been used by influential organizations and companies in 44 countries. For more information please visit www.TregoED.org.

Source: TregoED, www.tregoed.org

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H.W. Wilson Announces 20th Edition of Children’s Core Collection

The H.W. Wilson Company has announced the new 20th edition of Children's Core Collection (formerly Children's Catalog), an aid to collection development and maintenance, readers' advisory, and general reference. The new edition features more than 11,000 entries for fiction and nonfiction works, story collections, picture books, and graphic novels recommended for readers in preschool through sixth grade, as well as professional literature for the children's librarian. Entries provide practical information for acquisitions librarians and collection managers: complete bibliographic data, price, recommended grade level, descriptive annotations, and evaluative quotations from reviews when available. Titles deemed "essential purchases" are indicated with an asterisk.

The latest edition offers broad revisions in the areas of environment, science, and religion, as well as fiction and picture books. More than 7,000 of the entries are new. Users will also receive approximately 2,200 new listings in annual paperbound supplements (2011 through 2013) at no extra charge. Both literary quality and popularity of the works were taken into account in updating this guide.

Children's Core Collection is arranged in two parts. First, the Classified Collection features full entries in Nonfiction, Fiction, Story Collection, and Easy Books sections. ("Easy Books" consist chiefly of picture books of interest to children from preschool to grade three.) Nonfiction entries are arranged by Dewey Decimal Classification. Fictional works appear alphabetically by author, and works of individual biography by the name of the person written about. Part two is an author, title, and subject index to the Classified Collection.

In libraries for more than a century, Children's Core Collection is recognized widely as the definitive reference tool of its kind, consulted both in print format and as a WilsonWeb database.

On WilsonWeb, Children's Core Collection is continuously updated with new material and can be searched for "What's new?" at any time. WilsonWeb, the H.W. Wilson Company's reference database service, also allows searching in conjunction with other H.W. Wilson Core Collections, plus a host of other conveniences to aid in collection development, readers' advisory, and curriculum support.

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

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