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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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March 27, 2012

Table of Contents

Cool Links: Gale Aims to Transform the Online Library Experience with Gateways
Internet@Schools Xtra News: Call for Speakers for Internet@Schools at Internet Librarian 2012 Now Posted
New Agreement Adds Britannica to List of Content Providers for EBSCO Discovery Service
Teachscape Announces iPad App for Teachscape Reflect Live Classroom Observation Software
10,000 Teachers Share Views on the Teaching Profession in New Primary Sources Report
Internet@Schools Xtra News: Complete March/April 2012 Internet@Schools Contents Now Available Online—Full Text, Text+Graphics, PDF
Discovery Education Expands Digital Textbooks to Include Middle, High School

Cool Links: Gale Aims to Transform the Online Library Experience with Gateways

Gale Cengage has a new idea it's trying out in the public library realm that we should observe. It's Gale Gateways, "designed to represent the unique way in which a community interacts with its public library." From the announcement:

Gale Gateways bring together thematic products and services to provide an organized approach to help patrons find and use information. Unlike anything else on the market, Gale Gateways will help libraries demonstrate their value and worth to their community. ... "With Gale Gateways we wanted to recreate a patron's in-library browsing experience ‘virtually,' while also helping library staff better serve their patrons," said Nader Qaimari, senior vice president, marketing, Cengage Learning.

Read more about this HERE in the full announcement on Gale Cengage's website. And/or explore What is a Library Gateway from Gale? on the site.

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Internet@Schools Xtra News: Call for Speakers for Internet@Schools at Internet Librarian 2012 Now Posted

Call for Speakers

Deadline: April 12, 2012

The Internet@Schools track at Internet Librarian 2012 is a two-day track created especially for library media and technology specialists and other educators who are using the internet and technology in K-12 schools. Sponsored by Internet@Schools magazine, the track covers technology, tools, trends, and practical topics, and takes place during the first two days of Internet Librarian in Monterey, California. That's October 22 and 23, 2012.

You Are Invited...  If you are running an innovative program through your school library or media/technology center that is helping your students learn or your colleagues teach, or if you are willing to share your practical tips, tools, or techniques about using technology and the internet in schools, we want you! Please volunteer to speak at the Internet@Schools track at Internet Librarian.

Submit a proposal by clicking HERE. Include the following brief details of your proposed presentation on the form: title, abstract, a few sentences of biographical information that relate you to the topic, and full contact information (title, address, e-mail, phone & fax). All proposals will be reviewed by the organizers and notification regarding acceptance will be made in a few weeks.

All speakers receive a full, complimentary registration to Internet Librarian 2012, plus great recognition from their peers. So think over your latest success stories or technology ventures and submit your proposal today.

Source: Internet@Schools, www.infotoday.com/Internet@Schools/default.asp

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New Agreement Adds Britannica to List of Content Providers for EBSCO Discovery Service

Encyclopedia Britannica has agreed to join the list of content providers for EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS). The agreement between EBSCO Publishing and Britannica Digital Learning adds metadata to the EDS Base Index and allows full text searching of Britannica's Britannica Online School, PreK-8, Public Library, 21st Century Explorer and Academic Editions. 

Institutions subscribing to EDS will be able to search Britannica's Online School, PreK-8, Public Library, 21st Century Explorer and Academic Editions, and if their school or library subscribes to Britannica Online they'll be able to retrieve Britannica's articles and other educational resources in their entirety.

The wide array of topics covered in these databases will greatly enhance the search experience for EBSCO Discovery Service users, the announcement states. They include language arts, history and society, travel and geography & science and technology. Britannica content includes encyclopedias, atlases, timelines, learning materials, magazines, websites, videos, national statistics, the classics, biographies and news.

Britannica is part of a growing list of publishers and other content partners that are taking part in EDS to bring more accessibility to their content. Partners include scholarly journal and book publishers including Elsevier, Wiley Blackwell, Springer Science & Business Media, Taylor & Francis Informa, Sage Publications, and thousands of others. Partners also include content providers, such as LexisNexis, Thomson Reuters (Web of Science), JSTOR, ARTstor, Credo Reference, World Book, ABC-CLIO, and many others.

Source: EBSCO Publishing, www.ebscohost.com

 

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Teachscape Announces iPad App for Teachscape Reflect Live Classroom Observation Software

Teachscape has developed an iPad application for its Teachscape Reflect Live classroom observation management and reporting system software. The application allows observers to quickly and accurately collect classroom evidence in an offline environment and then upload that data when a Wi-Fi connection is available, making it easier to conduct classroom observations in schools that are lacking stable internet connectivity.

Teachscape's new Reflect Live application for iPad devices features a simple user interface that makes it easy to start a new observation and upload the classroom observation data securely to the Teachscape Reflect Live system. Once the data has been uploaded, classroom observers can align the data with an instructional framework, and then score and review the lesson with the observed teacher. Teachscape Reflect Live comes pre-loaded with Charlotte Danielson's Framework for Teaching; however districts have the flexibility of loading any instructional rubric, as well as pre- and post-observation forms.

The app also takes advantage of the dictation feature included in the new iPad introduced earlier this month. Principals can dictate evidence into an observation without using the keyboard.

The Teachscape Reflect Live application is available at no additional cost to Teachscape Reflect Live users. To download the app from your iPad, go to http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reflect-live/id505717115?mt=8. To learn more about Teachscape Reflect Live, go to www.teachscape.com/products/reflect-live.

Source: Teachscape, www.teachscape.com

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10,000 Teachers Share Views on the Teaching Profession in New Primary Sources Report

Scholastic Inc. and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have released "Primary Sources: America's Teachers on the Teaching Profession," the second landmark report presenting the results of a national survey of more than 10,000 public school teachers in grades pre-K to 12. The survey is a follow-up to the original Primary Sources report released in 2010, which continues to be noted as the largest-ever national survey of America's teachers.

The 2012 Primary Sources report reveals teachers' thoughtful, nuanced views on both their daily practice and critical issues at the heart of education reform - from teacher evaluations to quality curriculum, from the Common Core State Standards to standardized tests, from family engagement to strong school leaders, from the changing face of their classrooms to teacher tenure and salaries, from job satisfaction to future career plans.  

Key findings reveal:

  • Challenges facing students are significant and growing:46% of veteran teachers say they are seeingfewer students prepared for challenging workthan when they began teaching in their current schools. 56% are seeingmore students living in poverty, and 49% are seeingmore students coming to school hungry.
  • Teachers welcome and are eager for more frequent evaluation of their practicefrom school leaders, peers and even students. Plus, they welcome feedback from a variety of sources.
  • Teachers are open to tenure reform:Eighty percent of teachers agree that tenure should be regularly reevaluated, and on average, teachers say thatconsideration for receivingtenure should happen after 5.4 years of teaching.
  • Teachers work an average of 10 hours, 40 minutes per workday, three hours and 20 minutes longer than the average required teacher workday nationwide.
  • Standardized tests do not reflect student skill:Only 45% of teachers say their students' take these tests seriously and perform on them to the best of their ability.
  • Family involvement is the highest ranked factor for improving student achievementwith 98% of teachers in agreement that it has a strong or very strong impact on student academic success. At the same time,47% of veteran teachers report lower parental participation in their schools.
  • The majority of teachers are satisfied in their jobs:Eighty nine percent of teachers are eithervery satisfied (42%) or satisfied (47%) in their jobsand only16% of teachers plan on leaving teaching.MetLife Foundation's recent survey of 1,000 teachers had similar findings, however, their tracking data indicates that the percentage of "very satisfied" is lower than in previous years.

The survey, which was conducted online in July 2011 by research firm Harrison Group takes a deep dive into the classroom and teaching profession in four key areas:

1)     Raising Student Achievement

2)      Measuring Learning  and Teaching

3)      Tackling Challenges Facing America's Students

4)      Keeping Good Teachers in the Classroom 

Due to the size and scope of the study, Primary Sources allows for analysis of teachers' views by grade taught, geography, income-level, years of experience and more. In addition, the questionnaire tracked teachers' answers to several questions from the original Primary Sources: America's Teachers on America's Schools.

Primary Sources: America's Teachers on the Teaching Profession is the continuation of an ongoing dialogue with America's teachers. To download the full report and answer a subset of the survey questions, please visit www.scholastic.com/primarysources.

Source: Scholastic, www.scholastic.com

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Internet@Schools Xtra News: Complete March/April 2012 Internet@Schools Contents Now Available Online—Full Text, Text+Graphics, PDF

The March/April 2012  issue of Internet @ Schools magazine is all there now at our website www.InternetAtSchools.com. In addition to the free March/April reviews and the free full-text cover story (TOOLS FOR LEARNING: Into the Zone--Media Literacy and Security), which have been available since the beginning of the month, now the remaining features, columns, and other March/April content have been processed. Some are free to view. Others are available in a variety of formats -- Full Text, Text+Graphics, and Page Image PDF -- on a pay-to-view basis by way of Information Today, Inc.'s InfoCentral and ProQuest Archiver.

For access, see the March/April 2012 issue contents HERE, click on any article, and follow the links.

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Discovery Education Expands Digital Textbooks to Include Middle, High School

Discovery Education has announced an expansion of its digital textbook series to include middle school social studies and high school science subjects. A complete digital solution that replaces traditional textbooks, the Discovery Education Middle School Social Studies Techbooks and the High School Science Techbooks inspire students' curiosity and promote critical thinking through differentiated digital resources including interactive explorations and uniquely compelling video, images and informational text, the announcement states.

Launching in classrooms for the 2012-2013 school year, the Discovery Education Social Studies and Science Techbooks provide engaging resources designed to meet the needs of individual learning styles. Through the inquiry-based 5E model of instruction (engage, explore, explain, extend and evaluate) used across the Techbooks' platform, students develop a deeper understanding of the content and concepts, according to the announcement. Updated in real-time, the Techbooks provide teachers the opportunity to incorporate cutting-edge thinking and current issues into their curriculum. The Techbooks also include an assessment component that measures students' progress and recommends individualized resources that reinforce classroom instruction.

Recognizing that not all school districts have the funds to provide every student with their own device, the Discovery Education Science and Social Studies Techbooks are cloud-based and platform agnostic to work with whatever hardware a district has - iPads, tablets, mobile devices, laptops or desktops. In addition, the model lessons embedded throughout the Techbooks provide teaching strategies for differing technology levels - whether whole group, small group, or 1-to-1. The Techbooks are also a substantially less expensive option per student than traditional textbooks, with additional savings derived from a lack of textbook replacement or inventory costs. 

Included with the Techbooks, Discovery Education experts provide comprehensive, customized professional development to teachers and administrators to ensure they are knowledgeable and confident when implementing the Techbooks in their classrooms. The professional development and support expands beyond the classroom walls to parent and community nights and teacher membership in the Discovery Educator Network professional learning community.

The Discovery Education High School Science Techbooks feature interactive glossaries, explorations, informational text, and hands-on and virtual labs and include the following subjects: biology, chemistry, earth and space science, and physics.

The Discovery Education Middle School Social Studies Techbooks feature dynamic, multimedia reference libraries; interactive maps, explorations and activities; primary source documents; informational text; and model lessons for every concept and include the following subjects: United States history, world history, and world geography and cultures.

Discovery Education launched its digital textbook series in the fall of 2011 with Techbooks for K-8 Science. The K-8 Science Techbooks are currently available in 36 states and provinces and have been adopted for use in classrooms across Texas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana and Oregon.

For more information about the Discovery Education Science and Social Studies Techbooks, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com

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