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March 12, 2013

Table of Contents

Cengage Learning Launches Partnership with the Smithsonian Institution to Bring Smithsonian Treasures into the Library and Academic Space
Cool Links: Creating Classrooms We Need: 8 Ways into Inquiry Learning
CoSN Releases Results of First National K-12 IT Leadership Survey
ASCD Releases Two New PD In Focus Videos, Three New PD Online Courses
PBS KIDS PLAY! Co-Publisher Tribal Nova Adds Streaming Music Service to Reinforce Lessons for Young Learners
Mentoring Minds Announces 'Motivation Reading'
Internet@Schools Xtra News: March/April 2013 Internet@Schools Content Now Available Online

Cengage Learning Launches Partnership with the Smithsonian Institution to Bring Smithsonian Treasures into the Library and Academic Space

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, and the Smithsonian Institution have announced a licensing agreement to distribute Smithsonian assets into the library and academic space.

The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums, 9 research centers and more than 140 affiliate museums around the world. The complex houses nearly 137 million objects, works of art and specimens and its facilities see nearly 30 million visitors per year. Under the agreement, Cengage Learning will have access to the complete archives of Smithsonian Magazine and Air and Space magazine, as well as collections covering American history, science, world cultures and more.

As part of this partnership, Cengage Learning will have rights to develop Smithsonian branded products created for the library and academic markets utilizing Smithsonian assets. Immediate plans in the library space include the creation of a digital archive of the complete back files of both Air and Space magazine and Smithsonian Magazine, and will incorporate new issues on an ongoing basis. The product will take advantage of Gale’s application for digital primary sources, with tools to support new forms of discovery and use of Smithsonian content.

Source: Cengage Learning and Gale, or

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Cool Links: Creating Classrooms We Need: 8 Ways into Inquiry Learning

From the Mindshift blog, a post by Tina Barseghian that's well worth reading and pondering. Here's from the opening:

If kids can access information from sources other than school, and if school is no longer the only place where information lives, what, then happens to the role of this institution?

“Our whole reason for showing up for school has changed, but infrastructure has stayed behind,” said Diana Laufenberg, who taught history at the progressive public school Science Leadership Academy for many years. Laufenberg provided some insight into how she guided students to find their own learning paths at school, and enumerated some of these ideas at SXSWEdu last week.

... followed by eight thoughtful ideas. And then a link to Laufenberg's TED talk "How to Learn? From Mistakes."

See the entire blog post, Creating Classrooms We Need: 8 Ways into Inquiry Learning, at Mindshift HERE.

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CoSN Releases Results of First National K-12 IT Leadership Survey

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has released the results of its first annual CoSN K-12 IT Leadership Survey, as the association kicks off its 2013 Annual Conference. The survey polled district technology leaders nationwide to capture technology trends, challenges and priorities surrounding K-12 technology leadership. The results will help K-12 decision makers better understand how education leaders are leveraging technology to enhance teaching and learning, how these practices have changed over time and how current choices will affect the future of elementary and secondary education. Sponsored by Education Networks of America (ENA) and conducted in partnership with MCH Strategic Data, the survey was distributed to 2,500 district IT leaders in late fall 2012 and received more than 250 responses from across the country.

According to the survey’s findings:

  • 80% of school district technology leaders predict flat or declining IT budgets for the upcoming year.

  • The top challenges facing IT leadership include budget and resources (76%), the transition from teacher- to student-centered culture (66%) and the breaking down silos within districts (40%).

  • The top three priorities for district technology leaders in the current school year are: 1) implementing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies (43%); 2) preparing for the 2014-2015 Common Core State Online Assessments (35%); and 3) increasing broadband access (24%).

Additional key results from the survey:

  • Nearly 43% (majority) of districts refer to technology leaders as “Chief Technology Officer” (CTO) or “Chief Information Officer” (CIO).

  • 58% of district technology leaders report directly to the district superintendent.

  • More than 60% of district technology leaders have six or more years of experience in their current positions (more than double the average tenure of a district superintendent).

  • 80% of district technology leaders head both administrative and instructional technology.

  • K-12 CTOs salaries lag behind the business sector. 65% of the CTOs report a salary of less than $100,000 while the average reported salary in the business sector for a CTO is over $190,000.

  • More than 80% of respondents recognize CoSN, and more than 50% of respondents recognize CoSN’s Certified Education Technology Leadership (CETL) Program.

“The K-12 technology landscape has shifted more dramatically in the last few years than in the entire previous decade. This report provides great insight that helps all district leaders embrace these changes and create a technology blueprint to meet their current and future needs,” said Lil Kellogg, Vice President, ENA.

To view the complete report, please visit:

Source: Consortium for School Networking (CoSN),

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ASCD Releases Two New PD In Focus Videos, Three New PD Online Courses

ASCD has announced the release of two new PD In Focus videos and three new PD Online courses. These new resources address a variety of important topics, including instructional leadership, formative assessment, and Common Core State Standards implementation.

 The PD In Focus online application is a web-based professional development tool from ASCD that provides hundreds of hours of videos, related resources, activities, and insight from important voices in education today.

 ASCD’s more than 100 PD Online courses use multimedia and digital content to meet the individualized professional development needs of almost any type or size of learning group, ranging from individual learners to statewide deployments and integration with university programs.

The new videos added to the PD In Focus tool are

  • ASCD Master Class: Student Achievement with Yvette Jackson and Veronica McDermott

  • ASCD Master Class: Instructional Leadership with Mike Schmoker

The new courses added to the PD Online catalog are

  • Formative Assessment and the Common Core Standards: English Language Arts/Literacy

  • Formative Assessment and the Common Core Standards: Mathematics

  • Including Students with Disabilities in the Common Core

To learn more about ASCD’s professional development offerings, visit For more information on ASCD’s other programs, products, and services or to join ASCD, visit

Source: ASCD,

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PBS KIDS PLAY! Co-Publisher Tribal Nova Adds Streaming Music Service to Reinforce Lessons for Young Learners

PBS KIDS PLAY! now features a streaming music service, free to all subscribers, to help reinforce curriculum lessons for students in preschool, kindergarten and first grade. Tribal Nova, co-publisher of PBS KIDS PLAY! with PBS KIDS, added music to the program for its positive, long-lasting impact on student motivation and learning.

PBS KIDS PLAY, a cross-curricular adaptive learning program, features PBS KIDS characters and interactive games to provide a highly engaging educational environment that helps students develop academic, social and creative thinking skills critical for school success. The initial 25 music tracks come from the popular PBS KIDS program DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD and Web-original series FIZZY’S LUNCH LAB, with songs from more PBS KIDS series slated to join the line-up later this year.

The short, 60- to 90-second songs feature simple lyrics that are appropriate for students in preschool through first grade. The songs featured on PBS KIDS PLAY! are designed to aid memory recall, reinforce key developmental and language themes, and encourage body movement for healthy development. Initial themes address social-emotional skills and nutrition, with titles such as, “When You Feel So Mad That You Want to Roar,” “Calcium Yum Yum,” and “Hydration Nation.” More music tracks on other educational themes will be added on an ongoing basis.

Students can access the music tracks through a doorway in their “Home Room,” which leads to a new “Music Room.” There they can play songs in a streaming music player by simply clicking an icon. Teachers and parents will find the music tracks in the new music tab under “Activity Search” in the Parents’ and Teachers’ Centers.

Source: Tribal Nova,

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Mentoring Minds Announces 'Motivation Reading'

Mentoring Minds has announced "Motivation Reading," a resource that integrates critical and creative thinking, engages students in rigorous and relevant learning experiences and builds higher levels of reading ability, according to the announcement. Mentoring Minds' team of education professionals brings more than a decade of experience developing affordable, effective learning tools that help children think critically to this new edition of "Motivation Reading," built from the ground up to align to the Common Core.

The "Motivation Reading" Student Edition includes 25 reading units in literary and informational text genres, such as journals, letters and biographies. Designed to support the higher order thinking skills delineated in the Common Core, each unit is composed of a reading passage, multiple choice questions, critical thinking questions, a journal entry, a creative thinking activity and homework as well as suggested parent activities.

The teacher edition provides in-depth explanations of all the components of the student edition and is packed with instructional strategies that promote reading comprehension and reinforce instruction. In addition to completely unpacking the aligned Common Core standard, each unit provides teachers with correlations to both Depth of Knowledge and Revised Bloom's Taxonomy. All 25 units have a vocabulary focus as well as suggested assessments and intervention activities.

Source: Mentoring Minds,

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Internet@Schools Xtra News: March/April 2013 Internet@Schools Content Now Available Online

Content from the March/April 2013 issue of Internet@Schools is now available at our website. There is free full text access to the cover story, Effective Web-Based Common Core Tools ... And They're Free!, plus to all the March/April reviews.

Check out the full March/April table of contents HERE, including the additional features and columns, available in synopsized form. If you're a subscriber to the print publication, you'll be receiving your issue soon! If not, well, SUBSCRIBE HERE!

Later this month, once all the issue articles have been processed electronically, you can access any of them in Full Text, Text+Graphics, or Page Image PDF format from the March/April 2013 table of contents. They'll be available on a pay-to-view basis via Information Today, Inc.'s InfoCentral, powered by ProQuest. Check back soon.

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