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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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September 25, 2012

Table of Contents

ePals and Curriki Partner to Strengthen and Expand Open Educational Resources for Students and Teachers
Infobase Learning Announces the Launch of Chelsea House Biographies Online
Lexia Introduces Lexia Reading Core5 for Mastery of Common Core Skills through Grade 5
Follett Announces Joint Release of Destiny 10.5, FollettShelf Enhancements with New Follett Digital Reader
Shmoop Launches Calculus Guide
Internet@Schools Xtra News: Call for Speakers, Internet@Schools at Computers in Libraries 2013 Now Posted
Internet@Schools Xtra News: Complete September/October 2012 Internet@Schools Contents Now Available Online—Full Text, Text+Graphics, PDF
ASCD Announces Additional Common Core State Standards Institutes for Fall 2012 and Winter 2013
CoSN Announces 2012-2013 Back-to-School Tools for Ed Tech Leaders

ePals and Curriki Partner to Strengthen and Expand Open Educational Resources for Students and Teachers

ePals Corporation, an education media company and safe social learning network, has announced a partnership with Curriki.org, an online education community empowering educators, parents, and students through its collection of free Open Education Resources. With ePals connecting 800,000 classrooms across 200 countries, and Curriki reaching more than seven million users in 192 countries with upwards of 45,000 digital learning objects, together the two provide educators and learners around the world with unprecedented scope and access to rigorous and engaging global online content.

The partnership maximizes the power of technology to offer top-quality 21st century participatory teaching and learning experiences through a variety of sophisticated tools and features, according to the announcement. The recently launched all-new ePals offers advanced global classroom matching, and private, safe, customizable collaborative workspaces with wiki, blog and discussion thread features to facilitate ongoing peer communication and project-based learning. Curriki, which pairs education "curriculum" with the power of a "wiki," taps into the diverse expertise of educators globally for "best of breed" peer-reviewed and classroom-tested lesson plans, games, videos, simulations and other digital learning materials that can be continuously honed and improved through its open source environment.

In addition to facilitating global learning, and the diverse perspectives named as essential for workplace success by the Common Core standards, the ePals-Curriki partnership reinforces mastery of the collaboration, communication and independent learning aspects of the standards. And for educators, the networking platforms offered by both companies afford even greater opportunities for teachers to connect for professional learning communities and the sharing of best practices.

Educators who are interested in joining the network can visit http://join.epals.com/curriki

Source: ePals Corporation, www.epals.com

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Infobase Learning Announces the Launch of Chelsea House Biographies Online

Infobase Learning has announced the launch of Chelsea House Biographies Online, a new one-stop resource for all the biography needs of middle and high school students. This new database features a wealth of up-to-date, book-length biographies from Chelsea House, a publisher of biographies in the school and library market, covering a wide range of core-curriculum and high-interest subject categories. All biographies have been updated and shaped for this product, and content is updated weekly.

Chelsea House Biographies Online presents important, influential, and interesting personalities in the United States and the world-both contemporary and historical subjects, from world leaders and famed explorers to popular celebrities and key figures from various cultural backgrounds. The interface offers multiple browse options, Search Assist technology when searching by name, and dynamic search filters to narrow results. Each in-depth biography is broken down into easy-to-read chapters; most include a timeline, an image gallery, and sidebars offering additional facts about the subject's life and related experiences. The "Resources for Writing a Report" covers writing tips to assist student researchers.

Highlights:

  • In-depth biographies: book-length biographies (approximately 20,000 to 30,000 words each) providing accounts of the lives of key people across all eras and professions-an appropriate length for book reports and other assignments; new biographies added regularly

  • "Learn More About" sidebars: informative looks at related topics or interesting subjects

  • Timelines: event-by-event listings of major life highlights

  • Multiple browse views: browsable by collections such as Asian Americans of Achievement, Football Superstars, or Leaders of the Civil War Era; by occupation; by time period; by gender; or by A-to-Z listing

  • User-friendly search: two-tiered search results, organized first by name for biography results and then by in-text results for users looking for additional material; dynamic search filter options

  • "Resources for Writing a Report": useful writing tips-such as How to Write a Biography Report, How to Improve Your Writing, How to Use a Timeline, and more-in one easy-to-access location

  • Image galleries: carefully selected images with captions

  • Featured biographies at the top of the home page, changing with each month's new theme

  • iPad-friendly design

  • Google Translate tool

  • Search Assist technology

  • Persistent record links

  • Dynamic citations in MLA and Chicago Manual of Style formats, as well as a "How to Cite" link that includes information on APA style.

For ordering, pricing, or other information, please contact our Online Sales Department at OnlineSales@InfobaseLearning.com.

Source: Infobase Learning, www.infobaselearning.com

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Lexia Introduces Lexia Reading Core5 for Mastery of Common Core Skills through Grade 5

Lexia Learning has introduced Lexia Reading Core5, a technology-based reading program developed specifically to meet the Common Core State Standards. When it becomes available in 2013, the program will provide structured, sequential, scaffolded instruction in the five areas of reading for students of all abilities in grades pre-K-5. Built upon Lexia's research-proven methodology, Lexia Reading Core5 is the most comprehensive reading skills software available, according to the announcement.

Lexia Reading Core5 is a technology-based reading program with supporting printed instructional materials that provides all students-from emerging readers to on-level and advanced students-the explicit instruction needed to accelerate mastery of skills. Students work independently, at their own pace on activities based on the Common Core State Standards. If a student struggles with the task, he or she is presented with a scaffolded approach to the skill. If the student continues to struggle, he or she receives skill-specific, direct instruction in the software, and if necessary, explicit, teacher-led instruction using Lexia's scripted lesson materials. This personalized approach to skill development enables at-risk students to close the gap more quickly, and enables on-level or advanced students to continue to progress with limited support from their teacher.

As students work in the program, Lexia's proprietary Assessment Without Testing technology gathers norm-referenced performance data-without stopping the flow of instruction to administer a test-and adjusts each student's learning path accordingly. Teachers and administrators receive real-time reports on individual student progress toward mastery of Common Core State Standards, as well as student-specific action plans to provide intervention and improve performance on year-end assessments.

Lexia's research, upon which Lexia Reading Core5 is based, has been nationally recognized and proven effective in seven peer-reviewed, research-based outcomes studies published in scientific journals such as The Journal of Reading Research and the Bilingual Research Journal, the announcement states.

Lexia Reading Core5 will be available via browser and on the iPad in July 2013. Existing Lexia Reading customers (prior to May 31, 2013) will be automatically transitioned to the new product at their current subscription rate.

Source: Lexia Learning, www.lexialearning.com

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Follett Announces Joint Release of Destiny 10.5, FollettShelf Enhancements with New Follett Digital Reader

Follett School and Library Group (FSLG), a division of Follett Corporation, has announced the joint release of Destiny 10.5, FollettShelf and Follett Digital Reader that will provide a simpler and richer Follett eBook mobile reading experience from computers, laptops, notebooks, tablets, and smartphones.

The joint release, another move by Follett to help its customers adopt and manage digital content as well as to move from digital reading to digital learning, will be made available to select customers through the Follett First Look member-based program. FollettShelf, the cloud-based virtual bookshelf, has the ability to integrate with Destiny, which includes Destiny Library Manager, Destiny Textbook Manager, and Destiny Asset Manager. FSLG includes Follett Software Company, Follett Library Resources, Follett Educational Services and Follett International.

The joint release is designed to improve the foundation of Follett's eBook platform, helping to better manage the check-in/check-out process, and provide improved access to books and notes, whether online or offline.

For customers using FollettShelf, the latest enhancements include a more intuitive and user-friendly experience, with ease of access to eContent for patrons and ease of management for educators.

Destiny customers will be able to take advantage of new capabilities in version 10.5 for a more seamless Destiny Library Manager integration with FollettShelf. Moreover, the Follett Destiny mobile app - introduced with Destiny 10.5 - is available for Destiny Library Manager, Destiny Textbook Manager and Destiny Asset Manager school-based staff to perform basic circulation functions anywhere, anytime. Plus, major enhancements have been made to both Destiny Textbook Manager and Destiny Asset Manager, including a new Dashboard that will show data instantly and graphically in one, easy-to-view display, providing the ability to make better, informed decisions on inventory.

Additionally, the new version of Destiny Textbook Manager will allow schools to track eTextbook licenses and assign them to students, allowing districts to accurately report and manage their eTextbook content with the same level of efficiency as their physical textbooks.

Through the new Follett First Look program, a select group of customers will be working closely with Follett to provide timely and relevant feedback by using the platforms and content in a way that replicates their normal processes.

Source: Follett School and Library Group, www.follett.com

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Shmoop Launches Calculus Guide

Shmoop, a publisher of digital curriculum and online test prep, has announced the launch of its new Calculus Guide. Shmoop relates real-life situations to advanced calculus concepts, including derivatives, limits, and differential equations. Your eyes may be bugging out of your head reading these terms now, but give Shmoop a chance and they'll pop ‘em back into their sockets. Further features include:

--Hundreds of examples, exercises, and sample problems. The best way to learn is by example.

--Three quizzes per chapter. Because it's about time you had yourself tested.

--Shmoop's "In the Real World" section will fill you in on how calculus is used in STEM fields.

--Graphs galore to help visualize calculus terms and functions.

Check out Shmoop's Calculus Guide and start making sense of the world.

Source: Shmoop, www.shmoop.com

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Internet@Schools Xtra News: Call for Speakers, Internet@Schools at Computers in Libraries 2013 Now Posted

Call for Speakers

Internet@Schools track at Computers in Libraries 2013

April 8 and 9, 2013

Washington, DC

Deadline: October 12, 2012

The Internet@Schools track at Computers in Libraries 2013 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 Computers in Libraries in Washington, DC. That's April 8 and 9, 2013.

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 Computers in Libraries.

Topics could include ... but certainly aren't limited to ... mobile learning, the flipped classroom, web-based professional development, implementing Common Core standards, social media in K-12, digital textbooks, virtual education, cloud computing and its impact on education, and more.

All speakers receive a full, complimentary registration to Computers in Libraries 2013 conference, plus great recognition from their peers. So think over your latest success stories or technology ventures, go to https://secure.infotoday.com/forms/default.aspx?form=ise-speakers, and submit your proposal today.

Thanks! We look forward to hearing from you. The deadline for proposals is October 12, so think quickly and send in your ideas! And tell your professional colleagues friends, too!

Internet@Schools track organizers

David Hoffman

Editor, Internet@Schools magazine

hoffmand@infotoday.com

Carolyn Foote

Librarian, Westlake High School

Austin, Texas

technolibrary@gmail.com

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

The September/October 2012  issue of Internet @ Schools magazine is all there now at our website www.InternetAtSchools.com. In addition to the free September/October reviews and the free full-text cover story (TOOLS FOR LEARNING: Content Collaboration--25 Resources for Accessing (and Sharing) It All), which have been available since the beginning of the month, now the remaining features, columns, and other September/October 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 September/October 2012 issue contents HERE, click on any article, and follow the links.

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ASCD Announces Additional Common Core State Standards Institutes for Fall 2012 and Winter 2013

ASCD has announced additional two-day and one-day Common Core Institutes for fall 2012 and winter 2013. These new institutes are part of the association's ongoing effort to support educators at all levels nationwide as they implement the Common Core State Standards.

The two-day professional development institutes, "Lead the Change to Common Core State Standards: Get Essential Tools for School & District Leaders," will provide attendees the opportunity to work with their colleagues and develop an action plan for implementing the new standards at the school, district, and regional levels. Attendees will receive rubrics to guide implementation, strategies to drive improvement of instruction, and walk-throughs on how to provide feedback and start a collaborative dialogue with fellow educators.

Superintendents, principals, and other school-based administrators are invited to attend these two-day institutes in one of six cities on the following dates:

  • November 29-30, 2012, in Denver, Colo.

  • December 3-4, 2012, in New York, N.Y.

  • December 6-7, 2012, in Orlando, Fla.

  • January 24-25, 2013, in Charlotte, N.C.

  • February 4-5, 2013, in San Diego, Calif.

  • February 7-8, 2013, in San Francisco, Calif.

The "Leading the Change to Common Core State Standards: Get Essential Tools for School & District Leaders" series will be led by nationally known education experts Judy Carr and Sue Beers. Carr, an ASCD author, has extensive experience working with schools, districts, state agencies, and education organizations on a variety of professional development and curriculum projects. Beers, also an ASCD author, has worked with the Council of Chief State School Officers and other organizations nationwide to assist educators with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

In addition to the two-day institute offerings, ASCD will host one-day institutes focused on implementing Common Core State Standards in the context of either English language arts/literacy or mathematics. The English language arts-focused institutes will address how educators can teach informational reading and writing across the curriculum and how to instruct students on close reading of multiple kinds of texts. The mathematics-focused institutes will show attendees how to unpack the standards and group them into manageable teaching units and how to shift instruction to align with new assessments.

Educators can attend these one-day, subject-focused institutes in one of eight cities on the following dates:

Implementing the Common Core State Standards-English Language Arts (ELA) Focus

  • December 3, 2012, in Tampa, Fla.

  • December 4, 2012, in Orlando, Fla.

  • December 6, 2012, in Little Rock, Ark.

  • January 23, 2013, in Hilton Head, S.C.

  • January 24, 2013, in Charlotte, N.C.

  • February 4, 2013, in San Diego, Calif.

  • February 6, 2013, in Fresno, Calif.

  • February 7, 2013, in San Jose, Calif.

Implementing the Common Core State Standards-Mathematics Focus

  • December 4, 2012, in Tampa, Fla.

  • December 5, 2012, in Orlando, Fla.

  • December 7, 2012, in Little Rock, Ark.

  • January 24, 2013, in Hilton Head, S.C.

  • January 25, 2013, in Charlotte, N.C.

  • February 5, 2013, in San Diego, Calif.

  • February 7, 2013, in Fresno, Calif.

  • February 8, 2013, in San Jose, Calif.

To view a complete list of ASCD's upcoming professional development institutes, go to www.ascd.org/institutes. For more information about ASCD's Common Core resources, visit www.ascd.org/commoncore

Source: ASCD, www.ascd.org

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CoSN Announces 2012-2013 Back-to-School Tools for Ed Tech Leaders

With the 2012-2013 school year officially underway, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has announced new, refreshed and exclusive tools for education technology leaders. These resources were developed to assist chief technology officers (CTOs) and other school leaders in their efforts to enhance 21stcentury teaching and learning through the use of technology.

1) Identify the ‘Essential' Skills

The Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO helps ed tech leaders and their supervisors identify the skills required to be viable education leaders. Comprising three primary professional categories, the "Framework" addresses 10 specific skill areas in outlining the necessary responsibilities and knowledge toward becoming a successful CTO.

2) Measure Your Leadership Skills

Since its launch in March 2012, CoSN is now regularly administering a Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL) Certification Exam - the only national certification program that enables ed tech professionals to demonstrate their skills. A component of the CETL Certification Program, the exam is based on the Framework of Essential Skills of K-12 CTO and comprises two parts administered using an Internet-based testing system.

3) ‘Empowering' Superintendents

As part of its Empowering the 21st Century Superintendent initiative, CoSN offers an online "Superintendent Self-Assessment" aimed at measuring the readiness of superintendents to lead their districts around five key educational priorities.

4) Calculating the Value of Ed Tech Investments

Designed to help school leaders determine the costs and benefits of proposed projects, CoSN's recently updated Value of Investment (VOI) Methodology and Tools, including a Return on Investment (ROI) tool, are proven resources for evaluating, articulating, making the case and sustaining district-wide technology endeavors.

5) Updating ‘Acceptable Use Policies'

CoSN's Acceptable Use Policies in the Web 2.0 and Mobile Era Guide helps district leaders develop, rethink or revise Internet policies to address the use of mobile devices and Web 2.0 in today's growing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment. The guide was developed as part of CoSN's Participatory Learning in Schools: Leadership & Policy initiative.

6) Protect Against the Next Cyber Attack

Through its Cyber Security for the Digital District Leadership Initiative, CoSN developed an updated set of tools, including a Cyber Security Self-Assessment Checklist, a Planning Protocol, and a Rubric and Security Planning Template, to help education leaders effectively manage and analyze their network's security statuses against industry best practices. The results enable districts to make informed, cost-effective plans to strengthen security and mitigate crises.

7) 2012 Horizon K-12 Report & Toolkit

The New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report: 2012 K-12 Edition and the accompanying CoSN Horizon Report: 2012 K-12 Edition Toolkit are now available online. Currently in its fourth annual edition, the report examines the potential impact and use of emerging technologies in K-12 classrooms. The toolkit allows educators, policymakers and other stakeholders to continue a robust conversation around the contents in the Report.

8) Monthly Internet Discussions

Participate in CoSN's 2012-2013 Education Technology Leadership Webinar Series to hear district, state and industry leaders from across the globe discuss the advancing digital landscape in an hour-long Internet format. Here is the complete 2012-2013 Webinar schedule:

  • September 20, 2012 - "The New Education Digital Divide: Home Access for Low Income Families"

  • October 16, 2012 - "Digital Libraries: Innovative Strategies for Digital Migration"

  • November 13, 2012 - "Effective Practices of Blended Learning: Flipped Classrooms and Online Learning"

  • January 15, 2013 - "Digital Inclusion: An International Perspective"

  • April 23, 2013 - "Securing Your Network Against Cyber Attacks, Phishing and Scams"

  • May 21, 2013 - "Horizon Report 2013"

9) Connect to CoSN Anytime, Anywhere!

In addition to the CoSN website, stay constantly afloat of current and upcoming activities, news and trends by following CoSN on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

To learn more about the resources or to become a member of CoSN, visit www.cosn.org.

Source: Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), www.cosn.org

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