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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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July 24, 2012

Table of Contents

ITI Crosslinks: The Challenging Landscape of Ebooks in Libraries 
Learning.com Introduces Complete Solution to Help Educators Align with Common Core State Standards
SIIA Vision K-20 Survey Finds Technology Progress in U.S. Schools and Universities
Turnitin and Desire2Learn Release Milestone Integration
Cengage Learning and Desire2Learn Deliver Interoperability of Digital Content and Solutions
Edmodo Annouces Topics for Free EdmodCon Virtual Educator Conference
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Promethean Unveil the First Complete Set of Common Core Aligned Interactive Whiteboard Lessons for K-12 Educators
School Improvement Network Announces Upgrades to Observation 360

ITI Crosslinks: The Challenging Landscape of Ebooks in Libraries 

Information Today, Inc.'s newsbureau chief Paula Hane recently delved into a Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project report and an ALA/Information Policy & Access Center report, both of which focused on ebooks in libraries. From her story:

The overall growth in digital content of all kinds, and in particular, the growing importance and acceptance of ebooks, has clearly presented great opportunities for libraries, as well as plenty of challenges. Many libraries are coping with decreasing budgets while at the same time experiencing increased demand for content and services. Challenges include limited availability of ebooks from publishers, increasing demands for tech support with ebook readers and mobile devices, cumbersome borrowing processes, and minimal discoverability of ebook content. Two recent reports shed some light on the current situation, providing interesting statistics and perspectives.

Pew Report on Libraries, Patrons, and Ebooks

On June 22, 2012, the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project released the Report, "Libraries, Patrons, and E-books," as part of a series of research activities funded by a $1.4 million 3-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study the role of libraries in users' lives and in their communities. The research is being done in several stages. ...

And:

ALA Report

ALA and the Information Policy & Access Center (University of Maryland) issued a complementary report on June 19, 2012, which confirms the ebook statistics of the Pew report and provides a broader perspective on library funding: "Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study, 2011-2012." ...

Read Paula's entire story, "The Challenging Landscape of Ebooks in Libraries," HERE over at the Information Today, Inc. website.

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Learning.com Introduces Complete Solution to Help Educators Align with Common Core State Standards

Learning.com has announced that it now offers over 200,000 standards-aligned digital learning objects and assessments from a growing catalog of premier third-party providers and fellow educators. Learning.com's new project-based learning approach to Common Core provides districts with a model of integrated multi-day projects that require students to apply 21st century skills to solve core curriculum challenges, the announcement states. The expanded Learning.com offering includes ready-to-use assignments, suggested technology lessons available for students who need additional skills to complete the projects, and rubrics for evaluation of the final product.

The new tools available on Learning.com help educators utilize assessment data to differentiate instruction, ensuring that the right curriculum is prescribed to the right student. Districts also can create customized digital curriculum units and make them easily accessible to teachers and students.

Source: Learning.com, www.learning.com

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SIIA Vision K-20 Survey Finds Technology Progress in U.S. Schools and Universities

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) has released the full report from the 2012 Vision K-20 Survey, its fifth annual national survey to measure U.S. educational institutions' self-reported progress toward building a framework that embraces technology and e-learning. The comprehensive report surveyed over 1,600 educators and education administrators, and suggests that K-20 institutions are maintaining current levels of technology growth despite difficult budget conditions. The preliminary findings were presented at the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference in June.

Overall Results
--More than 75 percent of both K-12 and postsecondary participants rate the importance of technology integration and its ideal level very highly.
--This year the postsecondary response to the survey increased greatly. Twenty nine percent of postsecondary respondents were from two-year institutions and 71 percent were from four-year institutions. 
--Overall, 24 percent of all participants reported their institution at high levels of technology integration.

The final 2012 report is available at www.siia.net/visionk20/.

The 2012 Vision K-20 Survey was developed to provide benchmarks against which educators and administrators can measure their institutional progress in using technology to provide 21st century tools, anytime/anywhere access, differentiated learning, assessment tools, and enterprise support.

As the voice of the educational technology industry, SIIA developed a vision for K-20 education that ensures all students have access to a technology-enabled teaching and learning environments capable of preparing them to compete globally and lead the world in innovation. A successful pilot survey was initiated in 2008, with follow-up surveys conducted in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 to support the initiative.

The Vision K-20 Survey request was distributed to educators and administrators with the help of many partner organizations, including: Tech & Learning, Campus Technology, eCampus News, eSchool News, University Business, Education Week, The Big Deal Book, CoSN, Curriki, edWeb, Education Talk Radio, iNACOL, EDUCAUSE, The League for Innovation, Today's Catholic Teacher Magazine, Educause, SmartBrief Education, Naviance, APU, C. Blohm & Associates, Adobe, Collins Consults and Measured Progress. SIIA also recognizes the lead partner, MMS Education, for their work on the Vision K-20 Survey analysis and report.

For more information on the 2012 Vision K-20 Survey results, contact lharman@siia.net or lgreenback@siia.net.

Source: Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), www.siia.net

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Turnitin and Desire2Learn Release Milestone Integration

Turnitin and Desire2Learn have announced significant usability and functionality enhancements to the integration of Grademark with Desire2Learn Learning Suite 10. This enhanced integration of Turnitin's online grading tool provides Desire2Learn users with richer grade collection capabilities in Grademark and the ability to transfer grades to Desire2Learn Learning Environment.

Instructors employing the new integration with Turnitin can now save up to 50 percent of their grading time when evaluating student writing by using the GradeMark drag-and-drop QuickMark comments, grading rubrics, and voice comments. U.S. customers will also have access to ETS e-rater grammar checking technology and writing handbooks that are integrated with Turnitin. All customers will experience additional flexibility and an easier interface with the Desire2Learn Learning Suite 10 integration.

A recent webcast unveiling the integration to key Turnitin and Desire2Learn customers is available on the Turnitin website at http://pages.turnitin.com/WebcastD2L_archive.html.

Source: Turnitin, www.turnitin.com; Desire2Learn, www.desire2learn.com/

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Cengage Learning and Desire2Learn Deliver Interoperability of Digital Content and Solutions

Cengage Learning and Desire2Learn have announced availability of enhanced interoperability of Cengage Learning's digital content and solutions within the Desire2Learn platform.

Made possible through Cengage Learning's standards-based, web-services architecture - MindLinks - via a Desire2Learn extension, the integration provides Desire2Learn users with direct access to Cengage Learning's digital content and core curriculum solutions. Institutions utilizing the Desire2Learn teaching and learning platform will immediately see an extension of their existing investment in their LMS platform. The most recent launch of the platform, Desire2Learn Learning Suite 10, focuses on providing users with a simple and intuitive user experience while providing deep feature richness. This enhanced integration with Cengage fits with this approach and continues to enhance the system's usability with streamlined access, automatic sign-on and Gradebook exchange for Cengage Learning's MindTap platform, as well as the placement of embedded links at the activity level for CourseMate products within the Desire2Learn platform. For all CourseMate titles, the integration includes the ability to directly link through Desire2Learn to individual assets, including student activities and the eBook.

The new integration provides drag and drop functionality and an enhanced user experience via the Desire2Learn Course Builder. A new content selector provides a "tree" structure which allows instructors to efficiently select content instead of manually placing multiple links within a course. In addition, while building or developing a course, instructors will be able to see in real-time a representation of exactly how the selected content will appear.

Desire2Learn is part of the Cengage Learning MindShare Alliance Partner Program. For more information on the Partner Network, visit www.desire2learn.com/partners.

Source: Cengage Learning, www.cengage.com, and Desire2Learn, www.desire2learn.com/

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Edmodo Annouces Topics for Free EdmodCon Virtual Educator Conference

Edmodo, a free and secure K-12 social learning platform, has announced the presentation topics selected for EdmodoCon, the company's second annual virtual educator conference. EdmodoCon invites teacher attendees and presenters to engage with each other and discuss how to build better learning experiences through their Edmodo teacher network.

There are nearly 8 million Edmodo users in all 50 states, in every country in the world and spanning six languages. Educators value Edmodo's offering of interactive discussions with their students and the ease in which they can assign homework and quizzes and facilitate collaboration with other schools and districts on both a domestic and international level.  EdmodoCon offers educators a central forum to share ideas and reinforce new ways to remove the constraints of classroom-only learning.  This approach is in keeping with Edmodo's commitment to providing a free, safe, and collaborative social platform for education.

Presenter Agenda: Edmodo selected nine teacher presenters to lead discussions on the following topics:

  • iPads in the Classroom
  • Building a Global Community
  • Using Edmodo to Enhance Language Arts Curriculum
  • Flipping the Classroom
  • Teaching Digital Citizenship
  • Making PD Fun and Relevant with Edmodo
  • Edmodo for Young Learners
  • 1:1 Computing and the Limitless Classroom
  • Game Based Learning

About EdmodoCon 2012: Wednesday, August 8, more than 4,000 attendees worldwide will connect online for a one-day professional education workshop.  EdmodoCon airs from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. PT.  Participants may register for EdmodoCon through EventBrite or Edmodo's website.

Source: Edmodo, www.edmodo.com

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Promethean Unveil the First Complete Set of Common Core Aligned Interactive Whiteboard Lessons for K-12 Educators

A collaboration between Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Promethean has resulted in two completely developed, ready-to-use collections of Common Core interactive whiteboard lessons for reading and mathematics.

These new lessons integrate content from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt with interactive and touch-screen technology from Promethean to create learning activities that promote problem solving, critical thinking, and class discussion. This is the first complete set of interactive Common Core aligned whiteboard lessons available to K-12 educators.

Two collections have been released - mathematics for grades K -12 that follow Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's programs, GOMath! and On Core Mathematics, as well as reading for K-6 based on HMH's Journeys series. All lessons are designed to run on any interactive whiteboard. However, it is Promethean's presentation software ActivInspire that delivers the interactivity.

The new lessons promote more hands-on activities. On an interactive whiteboard, students engage in on-screen modeling of concepts, use visual and tactile manipulations to reinforce their understanding of math concepts, or work together to solve digital math equations.

Every lesson has embedded assessment activities and with a simple connection to a hand-held device, such as any of Promethean's Learner Response Systems (ActivExpression, ActivEngage ActiVote), teachers can track the comprehension, measure understanding and modify instruction if necessary.

For more information about the new On Core Lessons for Common Core Math, please visit www.prometheanworld.com/HMH.

Source: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, http://hmhco.com, and Promethean, www.prometheanworld.com

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School Improvement Network Announces Upgrades to Observation 360

School Improvement Network has announced that Observation 360, one of the tools in the newly released Teacher Effectiveness System, has received a new set of features to address the changing needs of administrators and help get students college and career ready.

Observation 360 provides a number of key benefits that make this happen:

  • Create personalized professional development plans for each teacher in your system, thanks to Observation 360's seamless integration with thousands of on-demand professional development videos, tools, resources, and communities

  • A workflow management system that allows administrators to easily view and track dozens or hundreds of teachers' professional development plans, charting their progress using a simple, intuitive interface

  • Complete integration with any teaching framework (Harvey Silver, Charlotte Danielson, Robert Marzano, etc.)

  • Multi-measure reports that help instructional leaders track teachers' progress

  • Paperless mobility with functionality on Apple, Android, and PC

  • Year-end reports automatically compiled when observations are completed

  • Accurate evaluations thanks to weighted rubrics to help identify essential classroom functions

The newly updated Observation 360 will be available for purchase before fall, 2012. Current licensed Observation 360 users will be migrated to it beginning July 11th.

Source: School Improvement Network, www.schoolimprovement.com

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