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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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May 22, 2012

Table of Contents

CoSN Updates Tools to Help Education Leaders Evaluate the Value of Technology Investments
ASCD Announces New PD Online Courses
Gale Digitizes Popular 20th Century Weekly For Students and Scholars
Motion Picture Licensing Corporation Introduces Umbrella License for K – 12 Schools
Turnitin Study Reveals 10 Most Frequent and Problematic Types of Plagiarism in Student Writing
Panarea Digital Announces Launch of Nearpod
Catapult Learning and Teachscape Announce Partnership to Provide Professional Development Resources to Non-Public Schools

CoSN Updates Tools to Help Education Leaders Evaluate the Value of Technology Investments

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), as part of its K-12 Value of Investment (VOI) Initiative, is now offering refreshed Value of Investment (VOI) Methodology and Tools. Designed to help school leaders determine the costs and benefits of proposed projects, the VOI Methodology and Tools are proven resources for evaluating, articulating, selling and sustaining technology endeavors in districts nationwide.

"Many school systems lack the necessary cost-benefit analysis tools to properly evaluate and execute education technology projects," said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger. "These revamped, easy-to-use resources will enable school leaders to project benefits with an emphasis on realizing educational goals and outcomes in a cost-efficient way."

The updated VOI Methodology and Tools specifically include a Return on Investment (ROI) resource and cost/benefit tools that:

  • Estimate the financial impact of a proposed project;

  • Determine the total cost of ownership; and

  • Outline a project's qualitative benefits in support of a school's mission to educate and maximize student potential.

To simplify the evaluation process, the VOI methodology provides separate steps for determining ROI, evaluating costs and benefits of a single project and scoring multiple projects that compete for funding. In addition, the refreshed resources offer school and district leaders further guidance through a VOI Assessment Action Plan and a newly published "CoSN Value of Investment Project Evaluation Guide."

For more information on CoSN's Value of Investment Initiative, please visit

Source: Consortium for School Networking (CoSN),

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ASCD Announces New PD Online Courses

ASCD has announced the release of seven new PD Online courses for educators focused on differentiated instruction, Common Core State Standards implementation, and teaching students in high-poverty communities.

Four of the new courses focus on supporting differentiated instruction. Created by experts in differentiated instruction and featuring new video material with Carol Ann Tomlinson, the suite consists of:

  • Differentiated Instruction: An Introduction, 2nd Edition

  • Differentiated Instruction: Teaching with Student Differences in Mind

  • Differentiated Instruction: Creating an Environment That Supports Learning

  • Differentiated Instruction: Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom

Early this summer, ASCD will release two more courses in this suite titled Differentiated Instruction: Using Ongoing Assessment to Inform Instruction and Differentiated Instruction: The Curriculum Connection.

In addition, ASCD has released two new courses that use the Understanding by Design framework to help educators implement the Common Core State Standards. The Understanding by Design framework, created by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, enables educators to implement a standards-based curriculum that helps students better understand material and improve achievement. The courses feature hours of new video content from a popular Common Core State Standards seminar led by Wiggins and McTighe. The titles are:

  • The Common Core Standards and the Understanding by Design Framework: English Language Arts

  • The Common Core Standards and the Understanding by Design Framework: Mathematics

Finally, a new PD Online course from ASCD author Eric Jensen called "Teaching with Poverty in Mind," is now available. This course reviews current research on poverty and how it affects students' physical and mental health, and consequently their academic performance. The course also provides educators with schoolwide and classroom-level strategies for combating the negative effects of poverty in an academic setting.

For more information on ASCD's other programs, products, and services, or to join ASCD, visit

Source: ASCD,

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Gale Digitizes Popular 20th Century Weekly For Students and Scholars

The historical archive of Liberty Magazine, long considered one of the greatest magazines in America, is now available in a digital format from Gale. The Liberty Magazine Historical Archive, 1924-1950 is a complete digitization of the entire run of Liberty Magazine, nearly 1,400 issues, and contains over 17,000 fiction and non-fiction articles and thousands of advertisements all in a searchable, full-color format.

Liberty Magazine, subtitled "A Weekly for Everybody," was a general interest magazine founded in 1924 by Joseph Patterson, publisher of the New York Daily News, and Robert McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune and often regarded as the world's greatest publisher. The magazine's high-quality and originality of art, stories and features led to an ongoing circulation of 3 million weekly. The magazine's prominence attracted original contributions from the greatest artists, writers, celebrities and statesmen of the age, including Walt Disney, F. Scott Fitzgerald, H.G. Wells, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mahatma Ghandi, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Babe Ruth and many more.

Gale licensed the magazine's content from the Liberty Library Corporation, owned by Robert Whiteman, who has collected and organized the content over many years.

The Liberty Magazine archive includes content from almost all genres - human interest stories, mysteries, westerns, love stories, humor stories, biographies and autobiographies of the rich and powerful - both famous and infamous, and some of the greatest World I & II stories. Liberty Magazine charted the moods, attitudes, lifestyles, fads, and fortunes of America through its three most significant decades. With approximately 100,000 pages, this easy-to-access collection offers primary source material for American studies, political studies, social and cultural studies, business history, global studies and international relations.

The Liberty Magazine Historical Archive, 1924-1950 will join the family of illustrated weeklies that Gale has made available digitally, including The Picture Post Historical Archive, 1938-1957 and The Listener Historical Archive, 1929-1991. It will be cross-searchable on the Gale NewsVault platform.

For more information on The Liberty Magazine Historical Archive, 1924-1950, visit For any questions or to set up a free trial, please contact Kristina Massari at

Source: Cengage Learning/Gale,  or

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Motion Picture Licensing Corporation Introduces Umbrella License for K – 12 Schools

The Motion Picture Licensing Corporation, an independent copyright licensing agency, is introducing its Umbrella License for K - 12 schools and districts to supplement any existing license to show movies. Bridgeton Public Schools in Bridgeton, NJ and Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach, CA are among the charter clients for this License, which allows schools to show movies and other programs in a copyright compliant manner.

The License gives schools the performance rights to show movies, popular children's programs, educational documentaries, and other audiovisual content for entertainment purposes on their campuses. Studios and producers covered by the license are 20th Century Fox as well as 390 children's, independent, specialty, and documentary producers including Scholastic Entertainment, Hit Entertainment, Discovery Channel, A&E, The History Channel, Sony Pictures Classics, and others that are not represented by any other licensing company. Once licensed, movies can be obtained from any legitimate source. For example, movies can be rented, streamed or downloaded and shown without any further reporting.

Under Federal Copyright Law, a public performance license is required to show copyrighted material for any and all entertainment purposes. This includes entertainment in the classroom, before and after-school programs, holiday parties, parent-teacher organization events, assemblies, or any other activities. The legal requirement applies equally to for-profit and non-profit schools, regardless of whether an admission or other fee is charged.

A school can even be considered a contributory infringer for allowing unlicensed exhibitions to occur on its campus, even if the party responsible for the programming does not have a direct relationship with the school.

The Motion Picture Licensing Corporation was established more than 25 years ago by motion picture executives to provide public access to the work of the creative community without copyright infringement.

Source: Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC),

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Turnitin Study Reveals 10 Most Frequent and Problematic Types of Plagiarism in Student Writing

Turnitin has announced the results of a new survey of nearly 900 instructors that classifies the most frequent and troubling forms of plagiarism. According to instructors, blatant plagiarism-submitting another's writing word-for-word as one's own-is the most prevalent and troublesome type of plagiarism seen in the classroom.

The survey asked higher and secondary education instructors to rank the frequency and problematic nature of 10 distinct types of plagiarism as defined by the Turnitin Plagiarism Spectrum. The Spectrum uses digital terminology to identify the types of plagiarism and assigns a severity level for each form based on the degree of student intent.

The full study, entitled "The Plagiarism Spectrum: Instructor Insights into the 10 Types of Plagiarism," is available at 

Key findings of the study include:

  • One of the most frequent types of plagiarism noted by instructors is the mixing-and-matching of cited and plagiarized materials in students' writing.
  • Instructors say that paraphrasing from multiple sources to make content fit together seamlessly without attribution is among the least problematic for them-even though this type of plagiarism is high in severity and is encountered fairly frequently.
  • Educators are challenged to deal with more blatant forms of plagiarism where student intent to plagiarize is clear.

"Nearly every school has an academic integrity policy, yet instructors tell us that blatant, intentional plagiarism is still frequently encountered," said Chris Harrick, vice president of marketing at Turnitin. "This study helps educators identify the nuances between the various forms of plagiarism and gives them some insights to effectively address plagiarism with their students."

Source: Turnitin,

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Panarea Digital Announces Launch of Nearpod

Panarea Digital has announced the launch of Nearpod, a mobile computing tool that allows teachers to transform the digital classroom into an engaging and collaborative learning experience, according to the announcement. Now available for free on the App Store, Nearpod allows teachers to create and share interactive lessons, receive feedback on student device use, assess learning in real time, and personalize instruction for students who are logged into the Nearpod Student app. 

Teachers use Nearpod to create their own lessons or choose from its growing collection of complete multimedia presentations based on content from recognized sources, such as Khan Academy and TED Education. All Nearpod presentations include short lesson plans and can be aligned to the Common Core State Standards, featuring multimedia content and activities appropriate for any grade level. After class, the Nearpod Reporting Tool provides teachers with analysis of individual and group achievement.

Teachers who participated in Nearpod's extensive field test report increased engagement and achievement across the K-20 spectrum. Gonzalo Garcia, chief information officer at South Kent School in Connecticut, said, "We're always searching for innovative pieces to fit in our technologically progressive puzzle. Nearpod is a great addition to our digital classroom toolbox. The faculty loves it, especially for its interactivity aspect; teachers can see when students are logged in and make sure their class is truly engaged."

Some educators report that Nearpod is driving the growth of mobile learning in their schools. "Nearpod has made the decision to implement iPads in our school a no-brainer," said Bryan L. Miller, head of Educational Technology, Pine Crest School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. "We even purchased additional iPads so we can give the students the chance to interact with this revolutionary app."

The Nearpod Teacher app can be downloaded at The Nearpod Student App can be downloaded at

Nearpod currently runs on iOS devices. Versions for Android and Windows will be released in the near future. To learn more about Nearpod and register for free, visit

Nearpod, a product of Panarea Digital, was developed by a team of entrepreneurs interested in mobile technology and its implications across education. The company's focus is to develop software and interactive content for mobile devices, in ways that improve teaching for students of all ages.

Source: Nearpod,

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Catapult Learning and Teachscape Announce Partnership to Provide Professional Development Resources to Non-Public Schools

Catapult Learning and Teachscape have announced an agreement enabling Catapult Learning to offer Teachscape's observation and evaluation system to its non-public school customers.

The Teachscape observation and evaluation system consists of tools and software including:

  • TeachscapeWalk-a mobile applicationfor conducting quick classroom walkthroughs for formative assessment and instructional planning purposes
  • Teachscape Reflect Live - a tablet-based observation management and reporting tool that combines observation scheduling, live observation, document/artifact management and reporting
  • Teachscape Reflect Video - a platform for storing and sharing videos from any source that includes commenting and scoring tools to support self-reflection, PLCs, and teaching observation. Camera kits are also offered by Teachscape.

 In addition, the Teachscape Professional Learning Suite is available through Catapult Learning to support the observation and evaluation data with research-based multimedia content libraries that help teachers and instructional leaders deepen their understanding of academic content and develop effective strategies for improving teaching and learning.

Source: Catapult Learning,, and Teachscape,

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