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October 23, 2012

Table of Contents

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) Announces Launch of the State Education Policy Center
Infobase Learning Adds New Video Feature to African-American History Online
Turnitin Releases Common Core Rubrics as Free Educational Resource
EBSCO Publishing Announces New Ebook and Audiobook Collections
Discovery Education, 3M Announce 2012 Science Competition Winners

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) Announces Launch of the State Education Policy Center

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the principal non-profit membership association representing U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders, has announced the launch of the State Education Policy Center (SEPC). The SEPC - available online at - is intended to provide up-to-date information regarding select technology-related education policies and practices to inform school reform and improvement efforts.

"The aggregation of these state policies is unique," stated Douglas Levin, SETDA Executive Director. "We believe it will benefit state, federal and local policymakers, researchers, private sector (corporate and philanthropic) investors and practitioners."

In addition to background information on each state, at launch the SEPC focuses on three topics:

  • K-12 broadband policy and practice

  • Online student assessment (formative and summative) policy and practice

  • Instructional materials policy and practice (with an emphasis on digital and open content).

SETDA and its membership are committed to updating content as policy changes are made in the states and in enhancing the coverage of state policies and practices over time.

The launch of the SEPC was supported in part by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Source: State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), 

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Infobase Learning Adds New Video Feature to African-American History Online

Infobase Learning has announced its latest update of African-American History Online, featuring a new "Focus on History through Video" feature on the home page that spotlights the video content contained in the database.

Each time the site reloads, the user will see a new video in the player, chosen from an editorially picked selection. Clicking on the "Go to Video Gallery" link below the video screen in that feature will take the user to a new gallery of all of the videos in the database. This new video gallery can be filtered by era, aiding students, researchers, and instructors who are searching for clips from a specific time period in African-American history. Among the notable new newsreel videos are "Booker T. Washington Is Enshrined in Hall of Fame," "Joe Louis and Bill Conn Sign for Title Bout," and "Torpedo Boats."

The new video player enhances the database by calling special attention to the important video coverage, which allows users to explore first-hand history by viewing footage from the time-and helps add context and depth to their understanding of events in African-American history. This new feature joins African-American History Online's content formats-including primary sources, images, general and topic-specific timelines, biographies, maps and charts, subject entries, and more-to explore, in a visual and thorough manner, the depth and breadth of the African-American experience.

For ordering, pricing, or other information, please contact our Online Sales Department at

Source: Infobase Learning,

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Turnitin Releases Common Core Rubrics as Free Educational Resource

Turnitin has made the writing rubrics developed to align with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) available free to educators worldwide through an open access license with Creative Commons. The license stipulates the rubrics may be shared and edited for non-commercial purposes. Previously, educators needed to be Turnitin customers using GradeMark to gain access to the rubrics.

There are six rubrics: grades 9/10 and grades 11/12 for argumentative, narrative and informative essay assignments. Instructors can register to access the rubrics at:
Common Core Writing Rubrics for Grades 9/10
Common Core Writing Rubrics for Grades 11/12

The CCSS-aligned writing rubrics were developed in partnership with the English Professional Learning Council, comprised of educators from Saddleback College, the University of California (Irvine), California State University (Fullerton), and the Orange County Department of Education. The rubrics were made available to Turnitin users in September.

Turnitin has hosted a series of free webcasts on implementing the Common Core rubrics. Register HERE to view the webcast titled "Bridging the Gap: Common Core Rubrics for Secondary and Higher Ed."

Source: Turnitin,

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EBSCO Publishing Announces New Ebook and Audiobook Collections

EBSCO Publishing has released two new ebook and audiobook featured collections for libraries: Election 2012 and Football 2012. Ebook and audiobook featured collections enable libraries to choose from a selection of featured titles covering a broad range of topics within a particular subject area.

Election 2012 is a featured collection that includes academic non-fiction and lighter materials with appeal to the general voting public and younger audiences. The Obama Administration is reviewed from numerous cultural, economic, and military perspectives, and titles covering previous elections and presidential terms in office are also included. The collection offers 72 titles for libraries looking to grow or add to their political collection.

Football 2012 includes a package of 75 fiction and nonfiction ebook and audiobook titles selected to appeal to patrons and students of different ages and varying levels of knowledge of American football. The collection covers all different aspects of football including biographies of key players, health and wellness information, titles on How To and general rules and guidelines of the sport. Football 2012 enables libraries to grow their permanent collection to include the popular sport of football.

Each collection was created by EBSCO's collection development team of librarians to ensure that the collections contain high quality content. These collections will be available for order via EBSCOhost Collection Manager.

eBooks on EBSCOhost offers more than 325,000 ebooks and audiobooks. EBSCO proactively acquires new content in critical areas, based on the dynamic needs of libraries. Earlier in the year EBSCO released EBSCOhost Collection Manager, a collection management tool that allows users to search, browse, build lists, and order ebooks quickly and easily. More information is available at

Source: EBSCO Publishing,

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Discovery Education, 3M Announce 2012 Science Competition Winners

Discovery Education and 3M have named 14-year-old Deepika Kurup from Nashua, N.H., winner of the 2012 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her innovative, cost effective and sustainable water-purification system. Her prototype, which harnesses solar energy to disinfect contaminated water, can help improve the lives of the 1.1 billion people around the world who lack access to clean drinking water[i]. Kurup, a ninth grader at Nashua High School, competed alongside nine other finalists yesterday during a live competition at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn. She was awarded the title of "America's Top Young Scientist," $25,000 and a trip from Discovery Student Adventures.

During the past three months, Kurup and the other finalists had the opportunity to work directly with a 3M Scientist as they created their personal innovations as part of a summer mentorship program. The 3M Scientists provided guidance to the finalists as they developed their ideas from a theoretical concept into an actual prototype that would help solve a problem in everyday life.

At the final competition, the finalists shared their completed innovations with a panel of judges, including Danny Forster of SCIENCE's Build it Bigger. In addition to presenting their prototypes, the ten finalists competed in two additional challenges in which they were asked to: 1) combine multiple 3M technologies to yield new solutions; and 2) build a machine designed to turn on a light bulb using science and engineering principles. Finalists were evaluated on their scientific knowledge, creativity and use of 3M technology.

The remaining nine finalists also received a variety of prizes from Discovery Education and 3M. The second, third and fourth place winners each received a $1,000 cash prize and a trip from Discovery Student Adventures to Costa Rica. These extraordinary students are:

  • Carolyn Jons , from Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, Minn., received second place for her innovative packaging method that inhibits mold growth and helps keep food fresh longer.

  • Anin Sayana from Bellarmine College Preparatory in Cupertino, Calif., received third place for his innovation that selectively targets chemotherapy-resistant cancer stem cells.

  • Anishaa Sivakumar from Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa., received fourth place for her innovation that would help treat patients suffering from macular degeneration.

The fifth through tenth place winners each received a $1,000 cash prize and a $500 gift card from Discovery Experiences, which offers first-hand, memorable adventures they see and learn about on Discovery's networks. These finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Aidan Dwyer , from Northport High School in Northport, N.Y.

  • Naren Gaurav , from Meadow Park Summa Middle School in Beaverton, Ore.

  • Brandon Gong , from Garden City Middle School in Garden City, N.Y.

  • Chase Lewis , homeschooled in Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Gabriel Mesa , from Canton Intermediate School in Canton, Conn.

  • Patrick Shea , from Routt Catholic High School in Jacksonville, Ill.

For more information on the 2012 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and to learn more about this year's finalists, go to

Source: Discovery Education,

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