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November 08, 2011

Table of Contents

ASCD Announces Free Common Core Webinar Series for Educators
PBS LearningMedia to Offer Schools Initial Access to U.S. Department of Education's Learning Registry
Follett Challenge Winners Unveiled, Honored
iParadigms Announces Results of Plagiarism Study
Internet@Schools Xtra News: Free November/December 2011 Internet@Schools Content Now Available Online
Shmoop Launches AP World History Launches, Offering Access to Writing Instructors and Writing Programs

ASCD Announces Free Common Core Webinar Series for Educators

ASCD has announced it will conduct a series of three free Common Core webinars for educators of all levels in November. The webinars focus on supporting educators across the country as they implement the new standards.

The first webinar, Common Core 101 with John Kendall, will be presented on November 9, 2011, at 3:00 p.m. eastern time. During this presentation, John Kendall, author of recent book Understanding Common Core State Standards, will discuss what educators need to know about the new standards and their benefits and challenges. Kendall will also discuss how schools can best transition to the new standards, including developing short-term and long-term transition plans, activities, and documents.

Next, ASCD Director of Public Policy David Griffith and ASCD Common Core Standards Lead Strategist Efrain Mercado will present Common Core: Policy and Implementation on November 15, 2011, at 3:00 p.m. eastern time. During this presentation, Griffith and Mercado will discuss in depth the various effects adoption of the Common Core State Standards have on education policy from the Department of Education down to the school district level. They will also address common questions about standards implementation they have heard from educators in the field.

This webinar series concludes with The Common Core of a Whole Child Approach, presented by ASCD Managing Director of the Whole Child Initiative Molly McCloskey on November 22, 2011, at 3:00 p.m. eastern time. In this webinar, McCloskey will share the relationship between the Common Core State Standards and a school improvement approach that ensures each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. In addition, participants in this webinar will explore the best questions they should ask themselves as they raise their standards for students and staff and identify crucial alignment strategies to ensure success.

In March 2011, ASCD was awarded a $3 million grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support implementation of Common Core State Standards over a three-year period. ASCD's efforts include a series of meetings supporting the transition to the new common core standards in selected states. These meetings will disseminate information about the new standards, as well as gather feedback from educators about what they need to help bring the standards to life through effective classroom instruction. The first of these meetings was held in Little Rock, Ark., on October 11, and the next meeting will be held in Greensboro, N.C., on November 8. ASCD will live-tweet from this event using the hashtag #ASCDcore.

Based on the feedback from these meetings, ASCD will create and distribute teaching and learning tools and professional development resources that support educators' integration of the standards into classroom instruction.

Click here for more information on common core standards resources from ASCD. Click here to engage in the conversation about common core standards on ASCD Edge, the association's social media network. For more information on ASCD's other programs, products and services, or to join ASCD, visit

Source: ASCD,


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PBS LearningMedia to Offer Schools Initial Access to U.S. Department of Education's Learning Registry

PBS has announced that content shared through the U.S. Department of Education's Learning Registry will be accessible for free through PBS LearningMedia. An expansive collection of resources, including photos, video, and audio files from federal organizations like NASA, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives, will now be easier to find, access and integrate into educational environments.

PBS LearningMedia, which features a content library with over 16,000 digital assets, includes lesson plans, background essays, and discussion questions for PreK-12 educators that are designed and aligned to core standards. PBS' online media-on-demand service combines links to resources from the Learning Registry with original content from public broadcasting producers and programs like WGBH, NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, SID THE SCIENCE KID, and THE ELECTRIC COMPANY, all in one place and free. PBS LearningMedia's growing library of curriculum-based assets is designed to support classroom and student achievement across math, science, reading/language arts, social studies, health/physical education, as well as world languages.

PBS LearningMedia features a set of tools that allow teachers and students to utilize the content easily, including the ability for a teacher to create custom class pages and assign content to students, keyword searching and dynamic browsing through a curriculum hierarchy, and tagging, sharing, and saving content. Administrators also have the ability to implement state standards correlations, student management tools, analytics, online professional development, staff training, and a curriculum gap analyzer tool.

Currently, public television stations in 39 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands are offering the PBS LearningMedia service to their education communities. For more information on PBS LearningMedia for local schools and districts, visit

Source: PBS,

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Follett Challenge Winners Unveiled, Honored

Follett has announced the six winners of the $100,000 Follett Challenge, a competition to find the most innovative K-12 school libraries.

At the 2011 American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Conference, Follett representatives awarded a total of $100,000 worth of products and services from Follett to the winning schools, as selected by a panel of judges from nearly 125 submissions.

The Follett Challenge was designed to reward school libraries for applying technology, content and creativity in ways that engage students, foster literacy and promote critical thinking.  The winners (schools, districts, entry titles, entrant name/title, and award) are:

* Ocoee Elementary School; Orange County Public Schools; Ocoee, Fla.; "Creating A Culture of Literacy"; Isabel Chipungu, Media Specialist; $35,000.

* Eisenhower Middle School; North East Independent School District; San Antonio, Texas; "21st Century Learning Libratory"; Teresa Diaz, Librarian; $20,000.

* Flat Rock Middle School; Henderson County Public Schools; East Flat Rock, N.C.; "History Our Way"; Jenn Northrup, Media Coordinator; $15,000.

* Swan Valley High School; Swan Valley School District; Saginaw, Mich.; "Mastering the Art of Literacy at SVHS"; Kay Wejrowksi, Library Media Specialist; $10,000.

* Bennett School Library; Bennett School District; Bennett, Colo.; "A 21st Century Library At Its Best!"; Casey Veatch, District Librarian; $10,000.

* Randall Carter Elementary School; Wayne Board of Education; Wayne, N.J.; "Books and Beyond"; Laura Healy, Media Specialist; $10,000. (Note: This entry was the People's Choice Winner for best video submission based on public voting on the Follett Challenge web site.)

For Isabel Chipungu, media specialist at Ocoee Elementary in Ocoee, Fla., the realization that her Follett Challenge entry, "Creating A Culture of Literacy," was judged as the overall winner served as an affirmation of her belief in the role of libraries.

"Receiving this award is so exciting for our school community as it shows the world what we have been doing to implement a successful library media program at our school," Chipungu said.  "The Media Center is the heart of our school and we not only support reading and teach literacy skills, but we encourage and reward student success."

As part of her program, Chipungu, who works with grades kindergarten through fifth, produced a play based on Eric Carle's book, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," to help encourage academic engagement through the arts.  She combined that by weaving in school-wide reading challenges every nine weeks, along with using digital whiteboards, databases and storytelling to improve skills and keep learning fun.  Post-test data showed that 100 percent of the students made learning gains.

"This award means that we can add more relevant and exciting materials to our program and continue the momentum for years to come," Chipungu said.  "This achievement was the result of the whole school practicing our motto - ‘Focused on Learning & Achieving Success ... Everybody Everyday'."

For more information on the Follett Challenge, visit

Source: Follett Corporation,

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iParadigms Announces Results of Plagiarism Study

iParadigms, creator of Turnitin, has announced the results of a new plagiarism study which shows that secondary school students in the United States rely more heavily on social networks for content in their papers and less on cheat sites and paper mills compared to college students.

To see the findings in an infographic format, visit To read an in-depth analysis of the findings, download the free white paper at

The Turnitin study follows a recent report by the Pew Research Center that shows growing concern among college presidents about the issue of plagiarism. Of the 1,055 presidents surveyed, 55 percent believe that plagiarism is increasing in their institutions while just two percent believe it is decreasing. 

The new Turnitin study examined 128 million content matches from 33 million student papers that were submitted to Turnitin between June 2010 and June 2011. The study uncovered the most popular categories of content used in student papers.

Web Sites                               Secondary                  Higher                        Difference

Social & Content-Sharing       31.1%                        26.1%              5%

Homework & Academic         22.3%                          22.0%              0.3%

Cheat Sites & Paper Mills       14.1%                         19.6%              -5.5%

News & Portals                       12.3%                        16.6%              -4.3%

Encyclopedia                          11.2%                        12.4%              -1.2%

Other                                       9.0%                         3.2%                5.8%

Wikipedia remained the most popular source for both secondary and higher education. Eight sites appear on the top ten list of both secondary and higher education.

Secondary                                          Higher Ed

1          Wikipedia                 7.99%              Wikipedia                             10.74%

2          Yahoo Answers          7.55%             Yahoo Answers                         3.90%

3             3.37%             Slideshare                                3.87%

4          eNotes                      2.90%                             57%

5          Slideshare                 2.38%                             3.11%

6          Scribd                       2.38%             Coursehero                               3.01%

7          Oppapers                  1.93%             Scribd                                       2.95%

8          Amazon                     1.85%                            1.60%

9          Essaymania                1.83%             eNotes                                     1.58%

10        123helpme                 1.71%             Amazon                                    1.21%

For more information on how to engage students during the writing process and reduce the use of unoriginal content or improper citation in student writing, visit

Source: iParadigms,

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Internet@Schools Xtra News: Free November/December 2011 Internet@Schools Content Now Available Online

Content from the November/December 2011 issue of Internet@Schools is now available at our website. There is free full text access to the cover story, What’s New in Online Teaching and Learning? Solution Providers Improving Student Achievement, plus to all the November/December reviews.

Check out the full November/December 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 November/December 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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Shmoop Launches AP World History

Shmoop, a publisher of digital curriculum and test prep, has announced the launch of Shmoop AP World History at As the twelfth major subject area guide available on the site, AP World History offers a wealth of information about our storied - and sometimes sordid - past.

Shmoop's new section simplifies and summarizes the key people and events as much as possible, providing students with the whos, whats, and wheres they need to conquer the AP World History exam.
Each chapter is broken down chronologically, and each time period covers the key themes that students need to know to ace the AP exam. Have your nagging questions finally answered:
--How many different uses were there for Egyptian eye makeup?
--What do the Industrial Revolution and Thomas the Tank Engine have in common?
--How much of a mark did Genghis Khan leave on today's population?
--Was Napoleon taller than what the history books indicate?
--Samurai v. medieval knight - who would have kicked whose butt?
Shmoop also provides timelines and lists of key terms for each subsection, giving the reader an overview of everything that has ever happened, globally and historically speaking. Most of the juicy stuff, anyway. 

Help students become masters of their own domain with Shmoop's guide to AP World History.
Source: Shmoop,

Back to Contents... Launches, Offering Access to Writing Instructors and Writing Programs, an online tutoring company offering live online writing instruction, launched in the summer of 2011 and provides one-to-one instruction from highly-experienced tutors in subjects ranging from general academic writing to college admissions essay help and even novel and screenplay writing. utilizes an innovative online classroom enabling the student to connect with his or her instructor via the internet. Virtual sessions are held in the comfort of the student's home from the family computer. Students and instructors brainstorm ideas, sketch outlines, improve sentence structure and grammar, and talk through and revise written drafts using a shared whiteboard. Innovative voice technology replicates the experience a student might have at the kitchen table with a traditional in-person tutor. 

Instructors tailor each writing course to the student's needs and create customized lesson plans and assignments to fit the student's skill level, goals, and learning style. Subjects include general academic writing support for English and history, as well as unique creative writing programs including screenwriting, poetry, novel writing, and writing for television. 

The Executive Director Anindita Basu Sempere says access to unique topics and exceptional instructors are what set her company apart. "Students have the unique opportunity to work with expert instructors including a faculty member from an elite college who has written episodes for well-known sitcoms, a former Associate Provost of Admissions at an Ivy League university, and a recipient of the prestigious Stegner Fellowship in Poetry at Stanford," said Sempere.



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