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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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December 18, 2012

Table of Contents

NoodleTools Provides Its Show Me Information Literacy Modules Free
Free Resources: EBSCO Publishing's Points of View Debate Blog
Infobase Learning Adds MVD Films to Access On Demand!
National Geographic Learning Announces Reach for Reading Announces EasyTech for PARCC/Smarter Balanced
Shmoop Gives AP Biology an Extreme Makeover

NoodleTools Provides Its Show Me Information Literacy Modules Free

In an effort to support teachers and students in the art of evaluating information, NoodleTools has made its Show Me Information Literacy Modules freely available at:

With a mix of vibrant images, visual annotation and text, the modules are designed by educators to engage students in information literacy and the research process. What constitutes credible information? How does source type contribute to relevance, authority and point of view? How do I evaluate and cite born-digital images and online sources?

Over twenty full modules are available, addressing source and website evaluation, digital literacy skills, plagiarism prevention and ethical writing. There are three progressive levels to choose from (Starter, Junior and Advanced) for elementary through university students.

Show Me is already used by the thousands of schools subscribed to NoodleTools Premium - a school-edition product - where it is embedded at the point of need. NoodleTools Premium teaches information literacy on the go, as students build citations, notecards and reports.

NoodleTools is an online classroom environment for the research process, designed by educators for educators. Online tools - including citation, source evaluation, note-taking, outlining, document annotation/archiving, and real-time collaboration - are paired with expert assistance. Teachers and librarians say that NoodleTools intuitively supports the way they naturally teach and develops students' critical thinking skills. NoodleTools has three differentiated levels, supporting elementary through university students.

For more information and to subscribe, visit

Source: NoodleTools,

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Free Resources: EBSCO Publishing's Points of View Debate Blog

During the recent election season, EBSCO Publishing's Points of View Debate Blog experienced unprecedented traffic, with discussions fueled by a variety of topical themes and questions surrounding the politically-charged campaigns.

The blog is available as a free service from Points of View Reference Center, EBSCO's database containing a balance of materials from all viewpoints. Points of View Reference Center includes more than 1,300 essays, full-text articles from leading political magazines, newspapers, radio and TV news transcripts, primary source documents and reference books. Created to increase students' level of engagement in the world around them, the Points of View Debate Blog offers the ability to read about and research topics, use the provided field to comment on and debate the issues with peers, share with Twitter and Facebook links and learn from each other through civil discourse.

Using the blog as a teaching tool at the high school, junior college and college level, instructors can encourage students to submit their own topics for discussion. EBSCO editors select a new topic monthly and publish related entries throughout the month. Every thread is monitored and moderated to insure a safe, instructive environment. Through the blog, students learn to formulate intelligent opinions, exchange views with other students, keep pace with current events, and hone their persuasive writing skills.

Recent topics include:

  • 2012 Presidential Election
  • Arab Spring
  • Debt Crisis
  • Education
  • Gun Control
  • Gun Violence
  • Israel
  • Military Tribunals
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • Presidential Elections
  • School Discipline
  • School Violence

For more information about the Points of View Debate Blog and Points of View Reference Center, visit

Source: EBSCO Publishing,

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Infobase Learning Adds MVD Films to Access On Demand!

Infobase Learning has announced the addition of films from MVD Entertainment Group to Access Video On Demand, its streaming video subscription product for public libraries.

Founded in 1986, MVD Entertainment Group (previously known as Music Video Distributors, Inc.) is one of the largest producers of music DVDs, with three major divisions: MVD Visual, which produces music DVDs; MVD Audio; and MVD Distribution. The MVD films added to Access Video On Demand include fascinating documentaries on popular musicians, including live and studio performances and rare interviews. Highlights of these newly added titles include Bruce Springsteen: Under the Influence, Tammy Wynette: Greatest Hits Live, Alicia Keys: From Start to Stardom (Unauthorized), and The Rolling Stones: Under Review, 1967-1969, to name just a few.

Access Video On Demand's digital delivery system allows librarians and patrons to conveniently view the MVD films anytime, anywhere, as full-length videos or predefined segments that make it easy to find specific topics quickly. Users watching MVD titles on the Access Video On Demand streaming video platform can also take advantage of the extensive range of features, such as powerful browse and search options, including new Search Assist technology; Google Translate and interactive transcripts; and, for subscribers, easy access through the Special Collections tab.

For ordering, pricing, or other information, please contact

Source: Infobase Learning,

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National Geographic Learning Announces Reach for Reading

National Geographic Learning (NGL), part of Cengage Learning and a provider of quality educational materials for the PreK-12, higher education, adult education and ELT markets, has announced the availability of Reach for Reading, a new, comprehensive K-5 Common Core reading program. This program features authentic, multicultural literature paired with exclusive content from National Geographic and real-world accounts from the National Geographic Explorers. Reach for Reading was constructed by a team of industry-leading authors, including Nancy Frey, Patricia Edwards and Deborah Short, among others.

The program was built around Common Core Standards, which were implemented as a way to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students across the country are expected to learn and were designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that young people need for success in college and careers. Reach for Reading goes above and beyond simple compliance of the standards and thoroughly applies the shifts of the Common Core to the program. It is built on three basic principles that will help each classroom achieve reading success. These principles include:

* Common Core State Standards - The implementation of Common Core Standards requires a shift in teaching practices to engage students. Reach for Reading addresses these necessary shifts by providing more informational text; shared responsibility for literacy across content areas; an emphasis on academic language and vocabulary; increased text complexity; text-dependent questions; and argumentation and text-based evidence.

* National Geographic Content - In addition to the National Geographic informational texts and the extensive research conducted by National Geographic explorers included in this program, students will also have access to exclusive National Geographic videos and a complete digital library with images from National Geographic. These world-renowned features from National Geographic will keep students engaged and interested in the material.

* Content-based Instruction - Each unit within Reach for Reading is based on a science or social studies theme that develops students' knowledge of the content areas. The reading selections have a balance of National Geographic exclusive informational text and multicultural literature that work together to build a coherent body of knowledge within and across grades.

Built into the program is a digital learning path called, myNGconnect, which provides students and teachers with the opportunity to bring content to life. This feature provides students with eEditions of the texts, vocabulary games, a word builder app and a vocabulary notebook, among other features. It also provides instructors with a teacher site that hosts a digital library, lesson planner and interactive whiteboard activities.

For more information or to take a virtual tour of National Geographic Learning's Reach for Reading program, please visit

Source: National Geographic Learning (NGL),

Back to Contents... Announces EasyTech for PARCC/Smarter Balanced

In an ongoing effort to better prepare educators and their students for the new computer-based Common Core assessments, has announced EasyTech for PARCC/Smarter Balanced.

For today's students to be successful with the Partnership for the Assessment of College and Career Readiness (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia, they need 21st century and digital literacy skills, according to the announcement. These critical skills enable students to utilize technology in project-based problem solving and answer technology-enhanced and technology-enabled questions. The EasyTech curriculum has been reorganized to align with the material found on the new assessments, which include fundamental computer skills, keyboarding, word processing, charts and graphs, communicating and presenting, and research and evaluation.

"PARCC and Smarter Balanced are right around the corner, and we know that digital literacy skills are crucial to student assessment success," said Keith Oelrich, CEO of "EasyTech for PARCC/Smarter Balanced is designed specifically to support the implementation efforts of districts and schools eager to ensure their students have the 21st century skills necessary to succeed on the tests."

Available to all EasyTech users at no additional cost, EasyTech for PARCC/Smarter Balanced marks another milestone for's digital literacy curriculum. EasyTech is a complete digital literacy curriculum that not only covers technology skills, but enables educators to integrate those skills into core subjects to better prepare students for the future. Fully interactive and standards-aligned, EasyTech supports teachers and equips students with the skills they need to grow, compete and succeed in a global tech-based economy, the announcement states.

To learn more about EasyTech, visit


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Shmoop Gives AP Biology an Extreme Makeover

Shmoop, a publisher of digital curriculum and online test prep, has announced that it has taken the AP Biology Guide and made it... prettier. However, it hasn't just gotten a superficial, exterior overhaul. Shmoop's Guide is now jam-packed with tasty new tidbits, helpful hints and remarkable resources.

Shmoop's new and improved Guide:
--Has been upgraded to the new College Board AP format to be implemented in the 2012-2013 school year.
--Places a strong focus on the "Four Big Ideas of Biology." Have you ever asked, "Hey, what's the big idea?" Shmoop will tell you. Plus, Shmoop gears its content toward understanding rather than memorization. So no more practicing your lines in the mirror.
--Includes two lab sections for each "big idea," helping students increase the depth of their understanding.
--Offers a complete study guide, including practice exams, diagnostics and drills, all using the new four-answer choice format.

Check out Shmoop's AP Biology Guide, and discover that a plant cell isn't just a fern's mobile phone.

Source: Shmoop,

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