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August 02, 2011

Table of Contents

Free Resources: PBS LearningMedia
Cerebellum Announces Exclusive U.S. Distribution of Two Award-winning Science Series
EBSCO Publishing Delivers eBooks and Audiobooks on EBSCOhost Alongside Databases and Other Digital Content
School Improvement Network Releases PD 360 v 5.0
CoSN Releases Horizon Report: 2011 K-12 Edition Toolkit
Lexia Announces Lexia Reading v 8.0
e2020, Inc. Offers eLibrary Search Tutorial System Add-On to Virtual Classroom and Virtual Tutor Products
Shmoop Literature Guides and Biographies Now Available Through Discovery Education streaming PLUS
Cool Link: Twittered Up Re: Education

Free Resources: PBS LearningMedia

PBS and WGBH, and their  producing partners WNET and KET, along with 31 other PBS member stations, have launched PBS LearningMedia (pbslearningmedia.org), a free service for all teachers, students and families nationwide. In addition to a rich public media library, PBS LearningMedia has content contributed from other publicly funded organizations, including the National Archives, the Library of Congress and NPR, as well as content funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Education, to deliver thousands of resources for use in the classroom and with home-schoolers.

Delivering access to a robust digital library aligned to Common Core State Standards and available to all preK-16 classrooms, PBS LearningMedia is the next generation in digital media platforms with high-quality content drawn from more than 1,500 public media producers, 350 local stations, such as WGBH's NOVA science series among many others, and a growing list of other contributors. 

Teachers and students have immediate access for their lessons and homework to more than 14,000 research-based instructional resources - including videos, interactives, images, audio files, mobile apps, lesson plans, and worksheets. Combining dynamic and engaging instructional content with professional development support, PBS LearningMedia empowers educators to create media-rich curriculum lessons that meet the needs of 21st century learners. Through PBS LearningMedia, teachers can:

* quickly and easily find relevant resources, localized to their needs, to differentiate instruction for a diverse range of learners;

* personalize the site by tagging resources and share ideas, recommendations and comments on how they've used media assets in their teaching with their professional learning networks via email or social media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter; and

* develop "class pages" -- curated content lists -- for student viewing, feedback and instruction on interactive white boards and school-based intranets and other networking tools.

Currently, PBS LearningMedia is co-branding with 34 local PBS stations, including Alabama Public Television, Blue Ridge PBS, Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corporation, Idaho Public Television, Illinois Public Media, Iowa Public Television, KACV-TV, KAET - Phoenix, KCTS Television, KET (Kentucky Educational Television), KLRN, KNME-TV, KNPB, KSPS-TV, Louisiana Public Broadcasting, New Hampshire Public Television, PBS SoCal, Rhode Island PBS, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, WNET New York Public Media, UNC-TV, Vegas PBS, WGBH Educational Foundation, WGCU Public Media, WGVU, WHRO, Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, WJCT, Inc., WOSU Public Media, WPSU/Penn State Public Broadcasting, WQED Multimedia, WSIU Public Broadcasting, WTCI, and WVPT.

This fall, PBS LearningMedia will also be available as a custom solution, developed and distributed in partnership with state education departments or local school districts. The platform offers a flexible infrastructure designed for customization and seamless media integration into existing services. Texas PBS is the first to offer a custom integration service, bringing the full collection of PBS LearningMedia through the "Project Share" service, a collaboration with the New York Times and Epsilen, to all Texas educators this summer.

Source: PBS, www.pbs.org

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Cerebellum Announces Exclusive U.S. Distribution of Two Award-winning Science Series

Cerebellum Corporation is releasing the Kids @ Discovery: Creepy Creatures and Daily Planet: Environment Series in August 2011. Produced by Exploration Production Inc. and previously seen on Discovery Canada, this is the first time that each series is available for purchase in the U.S. market.

Kids @ Discovery: Creepy Creatures is a seven-program science series that teaches elementary students about the environment and the many creatures, from reptiles to bloodsuckers, that exist in it. Each episode is presented in a fast-paced and entertaining way, designed to captivate the attention of younger students.

Daily Planet: Environment Series is a 12-program series that documents the powerful activities that take place when humans and the earth's elements cooperate or collide, from weather patterns to natural disasters to mining. The series provides a supplementary resource for STEM curricula by exploring the scientific aspects of current topics and events though the use of interviews, field pieces and real-life experiments.

Kids @ Discovery: Creepy Creatures titles (single SRP: $39.95) include Insect Eaters, Bloodsuckers!, Creepy Creatures, Dino World, Predators, Reptiles and The Scoop on Poop! Daily Planet: Environment Series (single SRP: $39.95) include Winter, Eco-Environment, Fire, World of Water: Watercrafts, The Cold, Weather Patterns, Natural Disasters, World of Water: Vessels, World of Water: Taking the Plunge, Natural Garden, Mining and EcoHouses. Both series are available on August 8, 2011. To learn more about these series, visit www.cerebellum.com.

Source: Cerebellum, www.cerebellum.com

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EBSCO Publishing Delivers eBooks and Audiobooks on EBSCOhost Alongside Databases and Other Digital Content

EBSCO Publishing's collection of more than 300,000 eBook and audiobook titles (formerly from NetLibrary) are now integrated on EBSCOhost. EBSCOhost now provides content from the most in-demand publishers available via new acquisition models including expanded ownership plans to serve the needs of libraries and their patrons. EBSCO is also paving the way for new models such as short-term leases, subscription models and expanded Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) which will be introduced within the next few months.

eBooks and audiobooks on EBSCOhost include the same features as EBSCOhost databases along with specific features directly related to eBooks and audiobooks. Users can opt to select the library's eBook and audiobook collections from among the Choose Database page and search the multiple content types together-merging results from EBSCOhost databases, eBooks and audiobooks-and eliminating silos of information. The EBSCOhost platform offers libraries better collection development, reporting and access options while providing eBook and audiobook users with a more robust and integrated search experience.

EBSCOhost provides access to content from hundreds of leading publishers. including Taylor & Francis Group, Brill Academic Publishers, IOS Press, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., M.E. Sharpe, Inc., Maney Publishing, University of Toronto Press, SAGE Publications, Inc., ABC-CLIO, AudioGO and many more. The growing list of publishers provides content in more than 30 languages with thousands of titles added each month.

The ownership model allows library administrators to determine how many simultaneous users they want to offer for each eBook purchased and to decide which model works best: unlimited users, three users or one user. The unlimited user model allows libraries to provide first-class service to patrons by purchasing eBooks with unlimited simultaneous access-so patrons will never experience turn-aways or holds for titles. The three user model is an option for titles that are in high demand while the one user model provides patrons access to eBooks one user at a time.

Later this year, EBSCO will introduce additional options including short-term lease and subscription models. For a percentage of the cost of a one user model, libraries can provide access to an eBook title through a short-term lease-available for one day, seven days, fourteen days or twenty-eight days. In addition to lease options, eBook anthologies that contain high-interest titles in several different subject areas will be available to libraries on a subscription basis. eBooks on EBSCOhost will also allow a library to select titles based on the library's collection development initiatives and purchase only the titles that patrons use through Patron Driven Acquisition options.

Patron Driven Acquisition will enable libraries to build a collection with guaranteed usage. EBSCO's PDA program helps libraries preserve their budgets while maintaining control over the collection development process. With Patron Driven Acquisition, librarians can create a list of titles using their own specific criteria, and then expose the bibliographic records to end users without purchasing the titles. As titles are accessed by the user, the titles are purchased-guaranteeing that only eBook titles with usage are acquired. Titles are only triggered for purchase when "meaningful use" occurs including:

  • Viewing an eBook for more than ten minutes
  • Viewing more than ten pages of an eBook
  • Printing, emailing, or copying & pasting a portion of an eBook page
  • Downloading an eBook

For more information go to www.ebscohost.com/ebooks.

Source: EBSCO Publishing, www.ebscohost.com

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School Improvement Network Releases PD 360 v 5.0

School Improvement Network has announced the release of PD 360 version 5.0. This latest version will provide teachers with an even more versatile platform designed to meet the needs of teachers and administrators today, according to the announcement. 

New in PD 360 version 5.0, Common Core 360 will provide a guide for states, schools, and districts implementing the Common Core Standards. It includes Common Core-specific video segments featuring teacher-leader conversations and classroom examples of implementation.

Video segments and resources will be released in two phases. In phase one, Common Core 360 will provide an overview video on vision, history, and a crosswalk of the Common Core Standards, including basic instructional segments around understanding how the Common Core Standards impact and energize teaching.

In phase two, Common Core 360 will provide a video series featuring master teachers embedding the Common Core Standards for ELA and/or math over an entire school year. These videos will model rich data team meetings, mastery in curriculum mapping, engaging pedagogy, rigorous lesson planning, and insightful formative assessments, all aligned to Common Core Standards.

To facilitate authentic and easy collaboration, version 5.0 will now provide a way for users to upload their own videos to share useful resources with other educators. With expanded administrative tools, greater tracking and reporting ability, more robust community and group functions, and the new thereNow classroom video integration, PD 360 5.0 is home to the extensive research-based professional development necessary for teachers in today's twenty-first century schools, the announcement states.

Anyone can join the online PD 360 community and receive a free 30-day trial of PD 360 by visiting www.schoolimprovement.com and clicking on the free trial button.

Source: School Improvement Network,  www.schoolimprovement.com

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CoSN Releases Horizon Report: 2011 K-12 Edition Toolkit

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has released The CoSN Horizon Report: 2011 K-12 Edition Toolkit, which is designed as a companion piece to The NMC Horizon Report: 2011 K-12 Edition. Produced by the New Media Consortium (NMC), the Report details emerging technologies likely to have a significant impact on teaching and learning around the globe. The Toolkit is geared toward education leaders who wish to learn more about and further the dialogue on the emerging technologies identified in the Report and their potential to re-imagine K-12 education. The Toolkit and Report are both made possible through a grant from HP's Office on Global Social Innovation. 

The Report includes a rich set of topics, examples and resources regarding the two most important emerging technologies for 2011; two technologies on the two- to three-year horizon; and two additional technologies on the four- to five-year horizon. Now in its second year, the companion Toolkit is designed as a roadmap for education leaders responsible for exploring and implementing new technologies. The Toolkit includes the following components:

* Presentation Template - PowerPoint presentation overview of the Report, with a suggested script for use in group discussions.

* Discussion Facilitator's Guide - Template and questions to stimulate group thinking about the Report and emerging technologies.

* Discussion Activities - Set of expanded activities to engage stakeholders in dialogue to identify local instructional and educational challenges and consider whether emerging technologies might have the potential to address them.

* New in 2011! Video Clips - Video overview of the Report, its approach and the challenges and trends identified in it, as well as six shorter videos featuring education leaders discussing each of the emerging technologies identified in the Report and featuring their thoughts on each technology's promise for enhancing teaching, learning and creative expression. All videos were produced by JDL Horizons, LLC.

The Toolkit, Report and other supporting materials may be downloaded for free at www.cosn.org/horizon.

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

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Lexia Announces Lexia Reading v 8.0

Lexia has announced Lexia Reading version 8.0, a technology-based reading curriculum that is designed to predict student performance on year-end, grade-level assessments and offers prescriptive recommendations for the intensity of instruction needed to improve each student's performance. Lexia Reading's system of differentiated practice, embedded assessment and targeted instruction is the industry's first integrated curriculum tool to offer norm-referenced, predictive performance measures without administering a test. The scalable, research-proven software advances reading skills development for all students in pre-K through grade 4, and helps intensify and accelerate learning for at-risk students in grades 4-12, according to the announcement.

As students work independently on Lexia Reading's systematic, structured skills development activities, the software records each response and adjusts each student's experience on the program according to his or her demonstrated skill level. This embedded assessment, known as Lexia's Assessment Without Testing technology, provides real-time data on students' specific skill gaps, as well as norm-referenced predictions of each student's percent chance of reaching the end-of-year benchmark. The program then identifies and prioritizes students for small group or individual instruction, providing educators with targeted instructional strategies and structured lesson plans to help each student improve performance on grade-level assessments.

Lexia Reading version 8 also features the launch of a new iPhone app, which will allow administrators and teachers to view student performance data on their iPhone. With the power of a norm-referenced database in their pocket, educators will have point-of-use access to key data to inform instruction, increase intensity and improve student performance.

In addition, Lexia Reading includes seven new "Lexia Lessons" for use on Interactive Whiteboards. Available on both the SMART and Promethean platforms, these integrated, structured lesson plans for educators focus on seven of the most difficult foundational reading skills, and complement the more than 75 paper-based lessons in the program which support all of the major skill development areas.

Source: Lexia Learning, www.lexialearning.com

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e2020, Inc. Offers eLibrary Search Tutorial System Add-On to Virtual Classroom and Virtual Tutor Products

e2020, Inc. has announced its new eLibrary feature program, a keyword search tutorial system that gives students access to more than 4,600 Common Core state standard aligned lessons (language arts, math, science, social studies, and electives) for grades 6-12.

Offered as a stand-alone feature, or as an optional add-on to the e2020 Virtual Classroom and Virtual Tutor products, eLibrary helps self-directed students pursue additional, individualized, self-paced learning activities to enhance and strengthen previously presented information. Students log in and use the keyword search tool to find all lessons available at all levels associated with the keyword entered. Lesson descriptions are provided, with grade level, lesson objectives, and lesson elements available. Students select which part of the lesson they wish to view/complete.

A provider of rigorous eLearning solutions, e2020, Inc., provides districts with self-paced digital instruction for grades 6-12. Aligned to Common Core, state, and national standards, e2020, Inc.'s solutions offer a web-based learning model featuring on-demand video lectures for every course, providing customizable settings to allow districts to individualize instruction for every student.

Source: e2020, Inc., www.education2020.com

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Shmoop Literature Guides and Biographies Now Available Through Discovery Education streaming PLUS

Discovery Education has announced that Literature Guides and Biographies from Shmoop, a digital curriculum company that makes fun, rigorous learning and teaching materials, are now available in Discovery Education streaming PLUS.

Shmoop's Literature Guides and Biographies are written by Ph.D. students from Stanford, Harvard, UC Berkley, and other top universities. Shmoop is known for its sense of humor and knack for pop culture. For example, Shmoop introduces students to The Great Gatsby by comparing the novel to the television shows "Real Housewives" and "The Sopranos."

Among the classics brought to life by Shmoop's Literature Guides and now available through Discovery Education are:
--William Shakespeare's King LearMacbeth and Romeo and Juliet
--Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations
--Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
--Various 20th century masterpieces, including The Grapes of WrathThe Great GatsbyOur TownCatch-221984, and A Wrinkle in Time.

In addition, Shmoop Biographies highlight a combination of authors and presidents including:
--Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Earnest Hemingway, and Ralph Ellison
--Franklin D. Roosevelt, George Washington, John Kennedy, and Thomas Jefferson

Discovery Education streaming PLUS is designed to support educators as they integrate digital content into school curriculum. A comprehensive digital teaching resource, Discovery Education streaming Plus features a collection of more than 150,000 of the newest learning objects, all designed for easy integration into a curriculum and correlated to state and national standards and assessments.

For more information about Discovery Education streaming PLUS, or any other products and services from Discovery Education, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com

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Cool Link: Twittered Up Re: Education

Victor Rivero's edtechdigest.com just passed along a link to a great list of influential education and ed tech Twitter Tweeters and their Twitter handles that you should consider following. Kind of a "best of the best" list. Victor found the list at EducationNext. Link to Victor's edtechdigest.com post, "Twittered Up Re: Education" HERE and start following.

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