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March 13, 2012

Table of Contents

Cool Links: Building Your Own Textbook
Lexia Learning Announces Plans for Lexia Reading iPad Version
Shmoop Launches Art History
School Improvement Network Announces LiveBook
Reading Assistant Software From Scientific Learning Corp. Now Available on SciLEARN Enterprise Platform
ASCD Offers New Institute Series and Free Webinars to Help Educators Implement Common Core Standards
Cool Links: Scholastic Launches Storia, a New Digital Platform
Internet@Schools Xtra News: Free March/April 2012 Internet@Schools Content Now Available Online

Cool Links: Building Your Own Textbook

We've published in Internet@Schools and here at Internetatschools.com online quite a number of articles and columns on the ebook (see Stephen Abram's recent Pipeline column, for instance, as well as Victor Rivero's Tools for Learning ebook update piece). Here's a brief piece from Edutopia that adds a lot to the discussion, in our opinion, largely owing to its focus on resources for "doing it yourself." First paragraph:

Textbooks are a multi-billion dollar industry -- an estimated $3.5 billion for the K-12 market alone. But the growing availability of digital content and open educational resources (OER) is giving schools the opportunity to bypass some of the traditional expenses of textbook purchasing. It's also giving teachers the opportunities to build their own textbooks.

Take a look for yourself; it's a quick, useful read. Building Your Own Textbook, at Edutopia

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Lexia Learning Announces Plans for Lexia Reading iPad Version

Lexia Learning has announced the anticipated launch of Lexia Reading for the iPad, available in late 2012. Currently in development, this app is the only research-validated literacy program available on the iPad, and will provide the full functionality of Lexia's data-driven, individualized learning program, Lexia Reading, according to the announcement.

Students using Lexia Reading for the iPad will have the same experience as with the computer-based version of the product. The software provides students an explicit, systematic, structured and individualized approach to developing foundational reading proficiency. Using Lexia's patent-pending embedded assessment functionality, detailed performance data is captured in real time. These norm- referenced performance measures predict student outcomes on year-end assessments, identify student skill gaps, and provide teachers and paraprofessionals with recommended materials for individualizing instruction.

Source: Lexia Learning, www.lexialearning.com

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Shmoop Launches Art History

Shmoop, a publisher of digital curriculum and test prep, has announced the arrival of a new addition to its AP test guide family. The AP Art History guide breaks down what you can expect to see on the test, and delves deeply into all material on which you are likely to be quizzed.


In this guide, you will:
--Learn the difference between Rococo and Baroque. And Barococo, which isn't really a thing.
--Determine whether Renaissance babies really had creepily muscular triceps. Hey, maybe they just spent a lot of time on the crib press.
--Figure out how many arches is too many arches. We're looking at you, McDonalds.
--See why AP Art History is like your high school yearbook, except with more naked people. Hopefully.
--Finally discover the truth about what consumptive-looking men have to do with Romanticism. Because nothing says "sexy" like tuberculosis.

Ready to get your Post-Post-Modernist Hegelian Painterly Abstraction on? Then take a gander at Shmoop's AP Art History. It's true that this test is a toughie, but if you don't ace it the first time, you can always Gauguin.
 
Source: Shmoop, www.shmoop.com

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School Improvement Network Announces LiveBook

PD producer School Improvement Network (SINET) has announced the May 1, 2012 release of LiveBook, a new online professional development tool.

LiveBooks are similar to ebooks in that they are published online and available digitally to readers. However, rather than a single, concluded piece of work, LiveBooks can be updated by their authors at any time, with revisions and additional chapters instantly added to the existing book. LiveBook readers can interact with each other and the author, sharing ideas, notes, and even influencing the development of the book.

School Improvement Network is developing a library of LiveBooks, which will be published in coming months and years. The first of these, Mapping to the Core by Heidi Hayes Jacobs, will be released along with the online professional development LiveBook platform on May 1, 2012. To learn more about LiveBook and School Improvement Network, visit www.schoolimprovement.com/products/livebook. To sign up for a free 30-day trial of SINET's professional development platform, PD 360, visit www.schoolimprovement.com.

Source: School Improvement Network, www.schoolimprovement.com

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Reading Assistant Software From Scientific Learning Corp. Now Available on SciLEARN Enterprise Platform

Scientific Learning Corp. has announced its new web-based Reading Assistant software, enabling students to practice reading on their own with one-on-one personalized feedback and guidance and also receive the benefit of direct instruction when it matters most. Reading Assistant software combines advanced speech recognition technology with research-based reading instruction to help students strengthen their reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Using the software, teachers can provide individualized, guided oral reading practice for every student, and allow students to read texts multiple times to strengthen their ability to read with speed and accuracy. In addition, when Reading Assistant becomes available on the new MySciLEARN on demand platform, planned for later this spring, teachers can extend learning by assigning further reading practice to be completed at home.

Students can preview vocabulary, listen to a modeled fluent reading of a passage, and read the passage orally. Using speech recognition technology, Reading Assistant "listens" to each student as he or she reads aloud. The software provides real-time corrective feedback at the moment it is most effective, allowing the student to self-correct and learn from errors. Clickable glossary words with definitions available in English or Spanish build vocabulary, and "Think About It" questions and quizzes at the end of each selection help build comprehension. Teachers receive assessment reports and can listen to audio samples of their students as if they had been sitting next to them while they read.

Reading Assistant's new web-based platform is deployed as a web-based product from a single server at the district level and is easily implemented for one student or thousands of students, in a variety of learning environments including computer labs, classrooms, before- and after-school programs, and summer school programs.

Source: Scientific Learning Corp., www.scientificlearning.com

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ASCD Offers New Institute Series and Free Webinars to Help Educators Implement Common Core Standards

ASCD has introduced two new institute series and free webinars to help educators nationwide implement the new Common Core State Standards.

Beginning Tuesday, May 8, in Salt Lake City, Utah, ASCD will launch a series of six institutes focusing on supporting implementation of the new English language arts (ELA) standards. A parallel series of six institutes will commence on May 15 in Jacksonville, Fla., and focus on the implementation of the new math standards. Both institute series will end in early June. To see the complete list of cities and dates for all of ASCD's Common Core institutes, visit the series homepage.

All of ASCD's Common Core institutes will be led by national experts who will introduce strategies and plans for determining readiness, new curriculum and assessment tools, and instructional shifts for the new ELA and math standards. Institutes focused on implementing ELA standards will engage participants in activities to understand the language of the standards and processes to support the close reading of multiple kinds of texts. In addition, attendees will learn the fundamentals of writing scope and sequences for schools or districts and how to cluster standards to integrate appropriate strands of language arts.

Participants in the institutes focused on implementing the new math standards will also engage in activities to understand the language of the standards. In addition, they will learn the resources and processes available to support shifting classroom norms and instruction based on the Standards for Mathematical Practice. Attendees will also learn how to cluster standards and write scope and sequences for schools or districts.

Upon completion of the either the math or ELA institutes, participants will have the knowledge to

* Analyze the current status of their class, school, or district's Common Core Standards implementation.

* Identify and determine key priorities for curriculum, assessment, and instruction based on differences in emphasis between Common Core Standards and local curriculum or state standards.

* Practice clustering and unpacking standards.

* Develop an intentional plan for implementing the Common Core at the appropriate district, building, or classroom level.

* Increase knowledge of changes of key concepts in ELA and math and explore available resources to address these.

In addition to the institutes, ASCD is also offering a series of free webinars focusing on the Common Core State Standards. The first webinar, scheduled for Tuesday, March 13, at 3:00 p.m. eastern time, is titled "Creating Communities of Support for Implementing the Common Core State Standards." Presented by ASCD Faculty member Judy Carr, this webinar will provide educators with a framework within which they can collaborate and create communities that support successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Register for "Creating Communities of Support for Implementing the Common Core State Standards."

This webinar series continues Wednesday, April 3, at 3:00 p.m. eastern time with "Common Core: Assessment Shifts," presented by ASCD Faculty member Sue Brookhart. Attendees at this webinar will learn how to develop formative and summative classroom assessments that will prepare teachers and students for the new demands of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, support student learning, and align to the Common Core standards. Register for "Common Core: Assessment Shifts."

Subsequent webinars will focus on connecting concepts such as text complexity, leadership, the Understanding by Design framework, and differentiated instruction to the successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards. See more information about all of ASCD's free webinars.

Source: ASCD, www.ascd.org

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Cool Links: Scholastic Launches Storia, a New Digital Platform

As reported in Publishers Weekly:

After more than 18 months of development, Scholastic has begun beta tests for Storia, its proprietary e-book platform for selling and distributing its trade titles as well as digital editions of titles from other children's houses. The beta test features 1,300 titles with the vast majority published by Scholastic; Deborah Forte, executive v-p and president of Scholastic Media, said she expects Storia to have about 2,000 titles when it makes its official debut in the fall.

Scholastic is promoting Storia to teachers and parents and has designed the app to appeal to two different age groups. ...

Read the full story at HERE at the Publishers Weekly website.

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Internet@Schools Xtra News: Free March/April 2012 Internet@Schools Content Now Available Online

Content from the March/April 2012 issue of Internet@Schools is now available at our website. There is free full text access to the cover story, Tools for Learning: Into the Zone--Media Literacy and Security, plus to all the March/April reviews.

Check out the full March/April 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 March/April 2012 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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