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September 13, 2011

Table of Contents

Free Resources: A Discovery Education Day of Instructive Webinars on 21st Century Learning Tools
Cerebellum Corp. Releases ‘Teaching Systems: Nutrition’
CoSN Launches Nationwide Search for Innovative K-12 District Leaders to Develop Best Practices on Using New Media to Invigorate Learning
Orchard Now Releases Correlation to Common Core Standards
Alexander Street Press Announces Dramatists Guild Fund’s ‘The Legacy Project’
Maps.com Announces New Features in Maps101
Don Johnston Announces Bookstream for Ebook Delivery
K5 Learning Launches K-5 Online Math and Reading Program
Internet@Schools Xtra News: Free September/October 2011 Internet@Schools Content Now Available Online

Free Resources: A Discovery Education Day of Instructive Webinars on 21st Century Learning Tools

Discovery Education will provide educators across the country with an interactive opportunity to learn creative and effective ways to integrate 21st century technology into classroom instruction. On Wednesday, Sept. 14 from 9 AM to 8 PM ET, the 6th annual Discovery Educator Network (DEN) streamathon will provide participants with 11 hours of information-packed sessions on how to easily integrate the newest online technologies into their curriculum, including Discovery Education streaming's  interactive resources that capture student attention, whether they are visual, auditory, read/write, or kinesthetic learners. Educators can participate for the full 11 hours or enter and exit the streamathon as their schedule permits, and for those who can't view the sessions live, the entire event will be archived on the streamathon website for later use. The DEN is an active community of tech-savvy educators passionate about teaching with digital media, sharing resources, collaborating and networking.

The streamathon will cover a variety of topics related to 21st century learning tools, including:
--Bend it, Break it, Bust it Loose: 10 easy ways Discovery Education streaming can change the way you teach
--Reaching All Learners with Discovery Education
--Connecting Language Learners to the Curriculum through Digital Media

Students can get involved in the streamathon too. At 1 PM ET, there will be a student-focused session featuring special guest Jean Craighead George, author of My Side of the MountainJulie of the Wolves and many other classic stories for children. During the session, George will share her expertise with students and answer questions live. This session will also show a number of cool things students can do with Discovery Education streaming.

To register for the event, educators can visit http://links.discoveryeducation.com/streamathon.

WHO:
--Jean Craighead George, author of My Side of the Mountain, Julie of the Wolves and many other children's books
--Members of the Discovery Educator Network
--Educators and students from across the country

WHEN/WHERE:
Wednesday, Sept. 14 - 9 AM to 8 PM ET
To view the full schedule, register for the event and view the streamathon, visit http://links.discoveryeducation.com/streamathon.

CONTACT:
Alana Carchedi, Discovery Education
Alana_Carchedi@discovery.com240-662-2572

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com

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Cerebellum Corp. Releases ‘Teaching Systems: Nutrition’

Cerebellum Corporation has developed the Teaching Systems: Nutrition series for grades 6-12 to teach students about healthy living and essential nutrition topics using a unique and humorous approach. Available at the end of September, the series is based on state standards and the USDA's updated nutrition guidelines.

Teaching Systems: Nutrition offers a comprehensive review of the most important topics in nutrition including micro and macronutrients, nutritional disorders, sustainability, nutritional labels, the food spectrum and more. The material is presented in Standard Deviants fashion, utilizing a fun, engaging approach aided by humorous on-screen graphics. A supplemental digital workbook that includes lesson plans, graphic organizers, key terms and practice problems to reinforce the video topics is provided with each module.

The complete Teaching Systems product line combines entertaining video with digital workbooks to reinforce difficult topics in core curriculum subjects. Each program is based on state standards and provides a unique approach to classroom learning. The Teaching Systems programs have received accolades for the multicultural cast of young actors, clean and organized graphics and upbeat delivery of information.

Teaching Systems: Nutrition (single SRP: $49.98, complete series SRP: $359.98) includes: Cells & Macronutrients, What Your Body Does With Food, The Food Spectrum, Micronutrients: Vitamins, Minerals & Water, Preventing Nutritional Disorders, Eating in Context, Where Does Your Food Come From and The Savvy Eater. This series will be available on September 26, 2011. To learn more about this series, visit www.cerebellum.com.

Source: Cerebellum, www.cerebellum.com

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CoSN Launches Nationwide Search for Innovative K-12 District Leaders to Develop Best Practices on Using New Media to Invigorate Learning

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has announced that it is conducting a nationwide search for a dozen leading-edge school district leaders to share their experiences, challenges and best practices for innovative uses of new media in K-12 education. The effort is part of CoSN's Participatory Learning in Schools: Leadership and Policy initiative, which is supported by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media and Learning Initiative.

As part of this latest undertaking of the Participatory Learning in Schools: Leadership and Policy initiative, CoSN will identify districts throughout the country that are leading the way in the use of social media, Web 2.0 and student-owned mobile devices. Each school district selected will be asked to assemble a team of senior level administrators to form "cadres" and participate in an online community of practice (CoP) to foster peer-to-peer sharing of ideas, best practices, challenges - all with the goal of discovering new ways to leverage new media to reenergize, rethink and reimagine teaching and learning. Some of the cadres' collaborative work will take place on Access4ed.net, CoSN's online community of practice for district leaders and leadership teams focused on innovative approaches to providing access to technology in K-12 schools and school districts.

"Web 2.0, new media and mobile applications are part of students' every day life outside of the classroom, and more and more, we're seeing school districts using these technologies inside of the classroom to increase engagement and maximize achievement," said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger. "Leading-edge educators are figuring out how to do this through trial and error, but also and most importantly, through proven success. Our goal is to have a window into the effective uses of these tools and ensure that other educators have an opportunity to learn from and understand in greater detail how these innovative districts and their administrators are succeeding."

If you wish to apply, please submit an application here.

To learn more about the initiative, visit: www.cosn.org/web20/ or contact Ariadna Mahon-Santos for additional details.

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

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Orchard Now Releases Correlation to Common Core Standards

Educational Options, Inc. (EdOptions) has announced the release of the Common Core Standards correlation for its online elementary and middle school product line, Orchard Now. With this correlation, educators can be assured that Orchard Now's instructional activities, assessment, and practice cover the skills and knowledge found within the standards.

Orchard Now offers a customized learning environment with activities, practice, and assessment for schools to address the needs of all students. Students are placed into individualized, state standards-aligned, learning paths based on assessment results. Orchard Now automates data collection, analysis, and reporting for easy progress monitoring and RTI implementation.

The Common Core Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The initiative provides teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn regardless of where they live.

Subjects covered in the standards include Language Arts and Mathematics. Language Arts standards address the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening, language, and media and technology. In Mathematics, the standards cover a "solid foundation in whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals" for K-5 students, and "a coherent and rich preparation for high school mathematics" for middle school students, while high school standards "prepare students to think and reason mathematically."

Source: Educational Options, Inc.,  www.edoptions.com

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Alexander Street Press Announces Dramatists Guild Fund’s ‘The Legacy Project’

Filmakers Library, an imprint of Alexander Street Press, has announced the addition of The Dramatists Guild Fund's new interview series, The Legacy Project, to its catalogue of video titles.

The Legacy Project, acquired by Filmakers Library, is an intimate portrait of legendary American dramatists through interviews conducted by emerging playwrights.

The series, featuring conversations with ten eminent writers of American theatre-including Stephen Sondheim, Lanford Wilson and John Kander-is currently available for purchase as a 10 DVD box set. Later in the year, the collection will also be available online in streaming video through Alexander Street's Academic Video Online Store at http://academicvideostore.com

When the online access launches later this year, educators will be able to assign the Legacy Project interviews to students to watch as easily as they assign texts for reading. Delivering video using this new medium means that the series will reach a wider audience and be that much more useful for teaching and research.

The Legacy Project series will also eventually be available to subscribing libraries and educational institutions through Alexander Street's Theatre in Video collection. Theatre in Video is an online collection containing more than 250 of the world's most important plays, together with more than 100 video documentaries.

The Dramatists Guild Fund is the public charity division of the Dramatists Guild of America, an association that has acted as a public advocate for dramatists for over 80 years.

A preview of the series is available on the Alexander Street YouTube channel. For more information on The Legacy Project or to order the DVD set, visit http://alexanderstreet.com/filmakers.htm. Qualified faculty and library staff may request trial access and pricing information for Theatre in Video by emailing sales@alexanderstreet.com.

Source: Alexander Street Press, http://alexanderstreet.com/

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Maps.com Announces New Features in Maps101

Maps.com has announced new interactive features in Maps101, enabling students to see who makes up the population of their local area, or compare and contrast major cities, counties and states.

The Bing Maps launch with nine data layers covering all 50 states. Users can compare up to 4 layers or locations at any one time, using the color coded legend to compare and contrast. The maps also include full Bing functionality, meaning that using the built in layer transparency settings, teachers and students can pinpoint specific places or geographic features on the map which may help to interpret the data. For example, a highly populated area could be related to its location close to a water source or transport link.

The development comes as a result of consultations between subscribers and Maps101's content development team. "Census data can provide relevance to students in history, geography, civics, and earth science among others. Our teachers wanted a visual tool that would enable them to quickly and simply display the information to the class," said Rob Burns, Marketing Director for the Maps.com group, who publish Maps101.

"This serves to strengthen our cross-curricular functionality and adds yet more value to a Maps101 subscription," he continued. More data layers covering data such as income and home ownership are set to be added.  "This type of tool adds relevance and meaning to benchmark data that students are hearing about every day in the news media."

Maps101 subscribers can access the census maps from the home page using their school or district login. Free trials are also available for educators from the siteClick here to watch a video demo.

Maps101 is an online, subscription-based resource for multiple subjects. Content includes maps, videos, lesson plans, educational games, and atlases for use in History, Earth Science, Geography, Languages and more. Teachers, students and parents of subscriber schools receive unlimited access from any internet connected computer.

Source: Maps.com, www.maps.com

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Don Johnston Announces Bookstream for Ebook Delivery

Don Johnston, Inc., has announced a new online service called Bookstream, giving educators the option to deliver ebooks through the cloud to students' iPads, smartphones, and laptops. Bookstream makes it easy for educators to hop on the internet, upload ebooks and share them with students for anytime reading, the announcement states. It was designed to help educators comply with IDEA 2004 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) that require schools to deliver core curriculum in accessible formats to support students with disabilities.

For districts that are just beginning to build an accessible curriculum, Bookstream includes access to thousands of ebooks and fully supports Bookshare's more than 110,000 digital files. It will read any book in ePub format without DRM restrictions. Teachers can also upload and share their own quizzes and worksheets with students.

Ebooks read through Bookstream are 508 compliant as outlined in the Federal Rehabilitation Act. They are accessible to any assistive technology with a web browser, such as Don Johnston's Read:OutLoud text reader, or the JAWS screen reader for individuals with visual impairments. Bookstream embeds text-to-speech that can be streamed on any Mac or Windows computer.

From now until December 30, 2011, U.S. schools can take advantage of introductory pricing on Bookstream that gives school districts two years of access for the price of one. First year costs are regularly $1749 with an annual maintenance fee of $529 per site. Districts may also qualify for discounts depending on the number of sites they purchase.

For more information, follow these links: Bookstream, Accessible Instructional Materials and all of Don Johnston's reading products.

Source: Don Johnston, Inc., www.donjohnston.com/

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K5 Learning Launches K-5 Online Math and Reading Program

K5 learning has launched its online enrichment program in reading and math for kids in kindergarten to Grade 5. K5 Learning is a new kind of online study program that delivers personalized learning in bite-size chunks to kids in the comfort of their own homes, according to the announcement.

Parents who sign up receive a 14-day free trial and free reading and math assessments of their children's abilities in eight sub-skills. Using the results as a starting point, K5 Learning's program allows each child to work at their individual skill levels and at their own pace through over 3,000 animated and interactive tutorials. Kids work independently and parents receive progress reports.

K5 Learning deals with the pain points parents face when looking for supplementary learning tools, including:

  • The lack of structure on education websites that requires parents to constantly organize and supervise studying.
  • The emphasis on entertainment over education in game-based education programs.
  • The cost and inconvenience of individual tutoring and after-school study centers.

K5 includes four curricula based programs with interactive tutorials, activities and quizzes that are aligned with national standards:

  • K5 Reading helps kids become strong readers. The program covers phonics, phonemic awareness, sight words, vocabulary and reading comprehension.
  • K5 Math builds a deep understanding of math concepts. The program covers numbers and operations, geometry, measurement (including time and money) and algebraic thinking.
  • K5 Spelling is an advanced vocabulary program which improves language skills one word at a time. It features adaptive instruction, automatic word generation and a 150,000+ word database.
  • K5 Math Facts helps kids develop instant recall of basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. Progress on each and every math fact is monitored until mastery is obtained.

K5 Learning's programs follow a number of principles that are key to its success. They follow:

  • A linear teaching approach - ensuring that learning progress is made in a logical fashion. Kids cannot repeat fun activities or try activities that are too hard.
  • The interface and instructions are easy to use and follow for children of all ages.
  • Tutorials, activities and quizzes are brought to kids in bite-size chunks. Research shows that "little and often" helps children commit learning to long-term memory.
  • Adaptive technologies that benchmark and track each individual child's level and progress. Kids don't repeat activities they perform well at and do repeat activities that they don't do well at.

As part of its launch, K5 Learning is offering parents a 14-day free trial and free assessments in eight sub-skill levels in reading and math.

Source: K5 Learning, www.k5learning.com/

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Internet@Schools Xtra News: Free September/October 2011 Internet@Schools Content Now Available Online

Content from the September/October 2011 issue of Internet@Schools is now available at our website. There is free full text access to the cover story, Electronic Resources and Etextbooks in the High School Curriculum: Creating a Flexible, Inclusive, Dynamic 21st Century Classroom, plus to all the September/October reviews.

Check out the full September/October 2011 table of contents HERE, including the additional features and columns, available in synopsized form. If you're a subscriber to the print publication, you'll be receiving your issue soon! If not, well, SUBSCRIBE HERE!

Later this month, once all the issue articles have been processed electronically, you can access any of them in Full Text, Text+Graphics, or Page Image PDF format from the September/October 2011 table of contents. They'll be available on a pay-to-view basis via Information Today, Inc.'s InfoCentral, powered by ProQuest. Check back soon.

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