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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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June 21, 2011

Table of Contents

Cool Links: Eight Tech Trends for Librarians (and Teachers too!)
ITI Cross Links: EBSO Acquires H.W. Wilson--Leaves Bronx Lighthouse Behind
CoSN Releases New EdTechNext Report on eContent
Britannica Announces New Ebook Service for Schools, Libraries
OverDrive Announces Media Console App for Windows Phones
Arcademic Skill Builders Introduces Score Tracking and Learning Management System Features Releases Mobile Flashcards

Cool Links: Eight Tech Trends for Librarians (and Teachers too!)

Dave Saltman writes for the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Harvard Education Letter, producing, among other things, some of those popular "list" kinds of articles. The concept can be overdone, but his are great, including "Eight Tech Trends for Librarians (and Teachers too!)."

We suspect you are already familiar with the trends (virtual libraries, online research guides, online alternatives to books ...) and trend leaders (Joyce Valenza, Doug Johnson, Chris Harris ... ) he mentions, but his article could add to your outreach and promotional efforts as you approach admin. and staff colleagues with ideas to boost learning that include the library and library staff.

Click HERE to link to Saltman's article at the Harvard Education Letter.

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ITI Cross Links: EBSO Acquires H.W. Wilson--Leaves Bronx Lighthouse Behind

We recently posted the EBSCO/H.W. Wilson merger announcement here, but want to point you now to the full report on the acquisition that ONLINE Magazine's Marydee Ojala has written, over at Informatin Today, Inc.'s NewsBreaks. Marydee's lead paragraph:

H.W. Wilson reference books and indexes resided on library shelves long before people imagined an alternative universe in which reference materials were delivered in electronic format. Founded in 1898 by Halsey William Wilson, this historic company started with the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature and now creates some 80 research databases. Last week, the company was acquired by EBSCO Publishing ( and will become a division of the larger company. Both Tim Collins, president of EBSCO Publishing, and Harry Regan, president and CEO of Wilson, stressed their belief that both companies believe this action will benefit customers, largely because of the quality of the databases and meticulous attention to indexing.

Link to her in-deptth story, "EBSO Acquires H.W. Wilson--Leaves Bronx Lighthouse Behind," HERE, over at Informatin Today, Inc.'s NewsBreaks.

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CoSN Releases New EdTechNext Report on eContent

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has released an EdTechNext Report, titled "eContent - The Accelerating Shift from Print to Digital," which explores the transformative role of eContent in today's K-12 classroom. The report also examines its educational impact and highlights how one school district has successfully leveraged eContent and mobile device strategies.

Education technology leaders seeking how to strategically utilize eContent will find this report valuable. The latest in CoSN's EdTechNext series, the report is a resource that outlines new ideas for education leaders to help them effectively integrate eContent into schools, and is part of CoSN's efforts to advance thought leadership on this issue.

The report details the benefits of eContent, including increasing student engagement, achievement and the use of cloud computing, as well as helping district leaders to mitigate the impact of budget constraints. According to the report, budgets can be better managed if districts take simple measures such as expanding the use of free and credible digital resources and creating more engaging learning environments.

The CoSN report also provides technical and educational considerations for education technology leaders to help them develop an effective eContent plan. For example, district leaders must identify the most appropriate technologies and implement proper protocol to ensure content accuracy, credibility and state or district approval. In addition, the report provides industry perspectives on eContent and how eContent is reshaping teaching and learning.

CoSN's EdTechNext Reports are a series of "mini-reports" developed to keep educators up-to-speed on the latest trends in educational technology. They provide a brief introduction to new and emerging technologies and insight on their educational value. CoSN's EdTechNext Reports are only available to members of CoSN. To learn more about the reports or to become a member of CoSN, visit

Source: CoSN,

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Britannica Announces New Ebook Service for Schools, Libraries

Britannica has announced a new ebook service available to schools and libraries from Britannica Digital Learning. Through it, students in elementary school through college can easily access hundreds of high-quality books on the subjects they're studying. 

The service, at, facilitates access to Britannica's expert-written single-volume titles for research, papers, homework and projects. More than 300 non-fiction digital books are now available. They cover the full range of curriculum, including math, science, language arts, social studies and health.

Each ebook contains the entire text of the print edition and illustrations - many of which are high-definition and full-color. Tables of contents, indexes and glossaries are hyperlinked and fully searchable.

Ebooks are whiteboard-ready, making them useful both in small classrooms and large lecture halls. Schools do not have to spend additional funds on reading devices; these ebooks can be accessed 24/7 by students, teachers, and library patrons through any web connection. All titles in a school's or library's holdings can be searched with a single keyword. Password-protected notes can be saved and the material can be printed. 

Britannica plans to add hundreds of additional ebook titles in the next few years. The first 15 pages of each title are available free at Pricing, titles and more are available at 800-621-3900. 

Source: Britannica,

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OverDrive Announces Media Console App for Windows Phones

Readers at 15,000 public, school, and corporate libraries can now download eBooks and audiobooks directly to their Windows phone with the free OverDrive Media Console app. This new app enables users to find a library that offers digital books, and then download and enjoy EPUB eBooks, as well as MP3 audiobooks, on their device. Libraries offer bestselling titles, such as "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen and "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand, which can now be borrowed and enjoyed on Windows Phone devices, such as LG Quantum, Samsung Focus, and HTC Trophy.

The OverDrive app for Windows Phone is now available for download from Windows Phone Marketplace. To see if your local library is a member of the OverDrive network, visit OverDrive Search.

OverDrive's Windows Phone app provides untethered access to EPUB eBooks and MP3 audiobooks from the library. The app's "Get Books" feature makes it easy to find a local library, and then browse for titles, check them out with a library card, and download directly to Windows Phone devices. Digital books from the library will automatically expire in the app, so there are never late fees. Users will also benefit from enhancements, such as an orientation lock and custom bookmarks.

OverDrive provides digital distribution services for more than 15,000 libraries, retailers, and schools worldwide with support for Windows, Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Sony Reader, NOOK, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone.

Source: OverDrive,

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Arcademic Skill Builders Introduces Score Tracking and Learning Management System Features

Arcademic Skill Builders, a free online resource offering educational video games, has announced the release of a new subscription-based option, which includes score tracking features and a Learning Management System (LSM) for educators. The games, which are now visited by 1.7 million students every month, have significantly expanded in scope, content and functionality.

With the new score tracking features, subscribers can now track student scores automatically through a database. Upon tracking, Arcademic publishes a leader board with a "top scores" list for each of the games, along with "game achievements." For example, these achievements equate with "trophies" and highlight students who answered a certain number of questions correctly during game play. These recent additions dramatically increase student motivation and also result in higher game usage at home since their individual success is acknowledged and rewarded with "prizes" that are displayed on their homepages to highlight their hard work.

In addition to score tracking, Arcademics is also offering educators a back-end Learning Management System (LMS), which allows teachers and parents to instantly observe reports on student performance, which detail areas of growth (accuracy and rates), most missed problem questions, charts illustrating increased success for all subject topics, and provide a comparison of student performance with longitudinal averages.  The LMS also permits teachers to immediately provide differentiated instruction by assigning custom content to students. For example, one group of students could be high achievers and receive advanced multiplication problems while another group of students could be assigned remedial content to practice; all students would still play each other in the same game while practicing content customized to their needs and skill level. Ultimately, this lends to retaining the benefits of social learning and motivation, while still offering the individualized attention that students require, according to the announcement.  The LMS is a technological solution that places the power of Response to Intervention (RTI) strategies in the hands of teachers for use on a day-to-day basis. 

All Arcademic Skill Builders games will remain free of charge to users. A beta version of the new subscription-based option, complete with the score tracking and LMS features, will be available free of charge to educators for a test period until early fall 2011. Teachers who help Arcademics test this new beta version and provide feedback will receive 50% off the first year's subscription. Upon commencement of the 2011-2012 school year, the subscription-based model will cost $199 per year for an average classroom of 30 students; discounts may apply for larger groups.

Source: Arcademic Skill Builders,

Back to Contents... Releases Mobile Flashcards has announced the release of Mobile Flashcard - a feature that aids students in comprehending and retaining information and ideas, directly from their mobile device. Helpful in keeping kids engaged in education during the summer, the offering extends the personalized, online Flashcards learning experience to a mobile generation that thrives on 24/7 access to information - illustrated by the 30M downloads of's mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry.

Available today on Android and shortly on iPhone,'s Mobile Flashcards offer students the ability to create fun, tailored study programs that they can access anywhere, anytime - featuring quizzes and games - by simply providing terms. Features include:

  • Synchronization of personalized settings with previously launched desktop Flashcards, creating a blended online and mobile experience
  • Synchronization with online content from desktop Flashcards, including expert-created decks by grade-level and subject, preparation for SAT and other standardized tests, and shared decks from's user community
  • Audio pronunciation
  • Preparation for SAT and other standardized tests

Mobile Flashcards now complement's latest learning features, including the Spanish Channel, Quotes, and desktop Flashcards, which are currently available on the site. The new suite of features is designed to make learning fun for students, keeping them engaged in their education, even during the summer when they aren't being prompted by a teacher. Mobile Flashcards are now available at


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