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April 23, 2013

Table of Contents

Renaissance Learning Releases Annual 'What Kids Are Reading' Report
Gale Announces National Geographic Kids
ITI Crosslinks: Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Makes Its Debut
Internet@Schools Xtra: Deadline Extended, Call for Speakers for Internet@Schools at Internet Librarian 2013
Mimio Hosts Live Webinar Series on Fostering Collaborative, Concept-Focused, Interactive Learning
Scholastic Announces Largest Educational Technology Product Launch in the Company’s History
Gale Partners with the Associated Press to Digitize Holdings
YUDU Media Enhances Features of Its Digital Publishing Platform

Renaissance Learning Releases Annual 'What Kids Are Reading' Report

Renaissance Learning has released its fifth-annual What Kids Are Reading report. The report highlights the top 40 books read by students in grades 1-12. In addition to students’ top picks, the report looks at what motivates students to select certain titles. For a look at Common Core State Standards exemplars, required reading from 1907 to now, and top book selections overall, download What Kids Are Reading and the infographic.

“The classics are still the classics, but popular culture has a clear impact on the books that students select,” said Eric Stickney, director of educational research at Renaissance Learning. Stickney noted that when movies based on books are released, such as The Lorax or The Hunger Games, those books spike on the list. “However, with the rise of these books, we also see a steady decline in the text complexity levels of required reading during the last 100 years – approximately a three grade-level decline.”

Based on Accelerated Reader Quizzes taken by 8.6 million students in the 2011-2012 school year, What Kids Are Reading gives educators, parents, and administrators critical insight on reading. The report finds that while popular culture clearly influences title choices, other factors, such as the Common Core State Standards exemplars, are also beginning to influence students’ reading choices.

The report includes insight from guest essayists, who share their thoughts on what kids are reading and why:

· Avi, author of Nothing But the Truth, said, “I believe there are two powerful ways to motivate young people. The first is that they see their own parents, guardians, and siblings reading…The second most powerful motivator is to read to young people.”

· Christy Levings, executive committee member, National Education Association, said, “Not unlike adults, [students] used recommendations from friends and classmates as a major source of finding new things to read.”

· Doreen Cronin, author of Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type, said, “The books kids read largely depend on which part of the world is calling to them, confusing them, scaring them, or making them laugh.”

· Donald Driver, author of Quickie Makes the Team, said, “Kids read what they read to have fun! No other activity invites kids to use their imagination quite like reading does.”

· Dr. Roger Farr, chancellor’s professor emeritus at Indiana University, said, “High-interest books motivate students to read. When books that engage adolescent readers feature interesting topics…students will read.”

Learn more and download the What Kids Are Reading report at

Source: Renaissance Learning,

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Gale Announces National Geographic Kids

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has announced the launch of National Geographic Kids, the fourth resource in the National Geographic Virtual Library product line. This new resource contains material appropriate for younger audiences, and content that is not duplicated in other available National Geographic Virtual Library products.

National Geographic Kids includes the complete issues of National Geographic Kids magazine from 2009-present, 500 downloadable images, and 200 National Geographic Kids books, including reference books as well as nonfiction books on history, biography, science and technology and the National Geographic Readers, which cover wildlife, pets, nature and other topics. The interface also contains user-friendly design elements, which makes finding content more intuitive for younger audiences. National Geographic Kids is also accessible via the National Geographic Virtual Library interface, allowing for easy access and reference with the other resources in the product line.

The content in National Geographic Kids supports the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The books included in National Geographic Kids provide elementary and middle school students with opportunities to practice the foundational reading skills required to achieve fluency and comprehension. The CCSS also encourage students to gain an understanding of other cultures, and the National Geographic series Countries of the World and Holidays Around the World assist with that. National Geographic Kids also offers students an opportunity to engage with complex text – the English Language Arts CCSS emphasize the need to provide all students with consistent opportunities to confront and comprehend grade-level complex text. In addition, National Geographic Kids provides high-quality informational texts suitable for primary, upper elementary and middle school English language arts, social studies and science classrooms.

Customers have the option to purchase or subscribe to National Geographic Kids as a stand-alone product or coupled with the full National Geographic Virtual Library line. For more information on National Geographic Virtual Library or to request a trial, please visit

Source: Cengage Learning and Gale, or

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ITI Crosslinks: Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Makes Its Debut

Information Today, Inc.'s News Editor, Paula Hane, has an in-depth story in ITI's NewsLinks on the new Digital Public Library of America, including how its launch was affected by the awful Boston Marathon bombing. From the top of her story:

Everything seemed to be on schedule for the long-planned Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) to make its public debut with a 2-day series of events on April 18-19 at the Boston Public Library. Then, disaster struck Boston on Monday, April 15—a very public and destructive bombing attack occurred during the Boston Marathon on the street in front of the Boston Public Library. The event, which was to be convened by the DPLA Secretariat at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and co-hosted by the Boston Public Library, was quickly canceled.

The DPLA Launch was to have included a brief working day on Thursday, April 18, followed by a formal reception featuring presentations and a series of interactive exhibits showcasing content from many partners, including the Digital Hubs and Europeana. On Friday, April 19, the DPLA was to convene a focused half-day plenary meeting highlighting the DPLA’s progress and potential.

Dan Cohen, DPLA executive editor, posted a notice of cancellation on the site but noted that, “[W]e have already begun to plan an even larger event for the fall, one that will highlight our continued growth and emergence from the beta phase, and that also can serve as our first annual DPLAfest."

However, the site said that the new DPLA beta site of its portal and discovery platform would have a virtual launch as scheduled on April 18. I checked at noon EDT and found “The page you are looking for is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.” Even a press release from Europeana received a few minutes later linked to the same message. But within a half-hour, the new site was available—see the screenshot—a press release was issued, and, Cohen posted a message, “Welcome to the Digital Public Library of America.”

Read Paula's entire story HERE on ITI's NewsLinks page.

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Internet@Schools Xtra: Deadline Extended, Call for Speakers for Internet@Schools at Internet Librarian 2013

Deadline Extended!

Call for Speakers

Internet@Schools track at Internet Librarian 2013

October 28-29, 2013

Monterey, California

New Deadline: April 26, 2013


You still have time ... but not much!!!
We're STILL on the lookout for good proposals for the Internet@Schools track at Internet Librarian 2013, the 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 Internet Librarian at the Monterey Conference Center in Monterey, California. That's October 28 and 29, 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 Internet Librarian.

Think over your latest success stories or technology ventures, go HERE and submit your proposal today. If your proposal is chosen to be presented at Internet Librarian 2013, you will be able to register for the full conference at the special Speaker Rate of $199, or for the two-day Internet@Schools track at the Speaker Rate of $79—a 60% discount off the full price of registration.

Thanks! We look forward to hearing from you. The extended deadline for proposals is April 26, 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

Carolyn Foote

Librarian, Westlake High School

Austin, Texas

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Mimio Hosts Live Webinar Series on Fostering Collaborative, Concept-Focused, Interactive Learning

Mimio is helping customers make optimal use of its technologies through a series of free professional development webinars. Each of the live 30-minute webinars is presented on two different days to better accommodate educators’ schedules. The majority of the webinars are hosted by school teachers and instructional technology specialists who have gained expertise with Mimio’s collaborative technologies.

Mimio Goes Mobile

This webinar examines the creation of engaging blended learning environments using mobile and project-based collaborative learning tools and content. Paul Gigliotti, a high school social studies teacher and adjunct professor in Cleveland, will be the presenter. He will share strategies for using the MimioPad wireless tablet, the MimioMobile application for iPad, the MimioTeach or MimioBoard interactive whiteboard systems, the MimioProjector and also iPads. The webinar is scheduled to take place on Friday, May 3 at 4:30 p.m.

Flexible, Affordable, Educational Tech Solution for All

Attendees will learn about an array of cost-effective interactive teaching technologies that fit the various needs of the 21st century classroom. Presenters are Lindy George, an instructional technology specialist at Collier County Public Schools in Naples, Fla., and Maribeth Lowe, instructional technology specialist and special education and earth science teacher at Greene County Public Schools in Stanardsville, Va. They will highlight products such as MimioTeach and MimioBoard, MimioPad, MimioMobile, the MimioVote handheld assessment tools and the MimioView document camera.

George will host the event on Friday, April 19 at 4 p.m., and Lowe will lead the discussion on Tuesday, April 30 at 10 a.m.

Teaching Scientific Concepts

This presentation will describe the analysis and design process involved in the development of lessons that teach contents in physical, biological, and earth and space science. Mimio’s instructional designer Carol Sella will show how to use the new MimioScience content to effectively teach scientific concepts to students.

The webinar will occur on Tuesday, May 7 at 7 p.m. and Friday, May 17 at noon.

Teaching Students to Think Like Scientists

Teachers now need to employ instructional skills and concepts that meet the new the New Generation Science Standards and enable students to reason scientifically across the variety of natural sciences taught in schools. Marta Leon, Ph.D., director of instructional development at Mimio will show attendees how the MimioScience curriculum meets the new standards and how they can help their students to think like scientists.

The webinar will take place on Tuesday, May 14 at 7 p.m. and Friday, May 10 at noon.

MimioReading & Adaptive Instruction

Attendees will learn how to teach reading comprehension in an adaptive learning environment. Mimio’s leader of instructional implementation, Janet Webb, will show attendees how to use the scientifically proven MimioReading comprehension curriculum with interactive MimioClassroom products such as MimioPad, MimioMobile, MimioTeach, MimioBoard and MimioProjector to create a diverse learning environment.

Haney will host the event on Tuesday, June 4 at 7 p.m. and Reedy will lead it on Friday, June 14 at 10 a.m.

Educators can visit Mimio’s blog at a few days before the webinar dates in order to register for the events and see more information about presenters. Every registrant will receive a link to the recording of the webinar shortly after the live presentation.

Source: Mimio, 

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Scholastic Announces Largest Educational Technology Product Launch in the Company’s History

Scholastic Education has unveiled a suite of reading and math products that, it says, “meet students where they are and propel them forward with powerful technology, engaging content and empowering support for teachers.”

· MATH 180 -- an intervention program designed to get middle school students Common Core-ready by rebuilding the foundations of mathematics.

· iRead – a digital program for grades K-2 that ensures mastery of foundational reading skills for students of all backgrounds and reading levels.

· System 44 Next Generation – a new version of the foundational reading program for our most challenged readers in grades 3-12.

· READ 180 on the iPad–tablet access for teachers and students to the most successful personalized learning technology built for the Common Core.

· Common Core Code X (Code X) – a comprehensive, tablet-ready ELA curriculum that challenges middle school students to read, think, analyze, synthesize, question, cite evidence, debate, and write every day.

· nextpert -- digital professional learning that transforms instruction for the Common Core.

According to Scholastic's announcement, together these programs provide solutions for district and school leaders’ greatest concerns: preparing all kids for success with iRead for K-2 skills mastery; accelerating reading skills and comprehension for older struggling readers with System 44 and READ 180; making middle school English language arts class engaging and challenging with Code X; and, with MATH 180, building confidence and understanding for kids who struggle with math – often the same kids who need READ 180. Recognizing that the teacher is the most important factor in student learning, Scholastic is also offering nextpert, a digital, professional learning platform that provides teachers with 24/7 support and access to online courses and learning resources that help them transform instruction for the Common Core.

Embedded in the Scholastic suite of educational technology programs is:

· Smart, adaptive technology that gathers data through every interaction and uses it to personalize learning and provide actionable intelligence to the teacher.

· Professional learning support that builds teacher capacity in an era of heightened accountability.

· Content kids crave that opens doors to college and careers.

· Proven, research-based instructional practices that build understanding and fluency in math and reading.

MATH 180

Designed for struggling students in grades 6 and up, MATH 180takes a cutting edge approach to mathematics instruction by focusing on:

1) The Core within the Core: Carefully curated by Common Core architects, MATH 180 focuses on mastery of the essential skills and concepts necessary to unlock algebra and advanced math.

2) Growth Mindset: Working with Carol Dweck’s Mindset Works organization, MATH 180 is carefully designed to help shift students’ attitudes about math from a fixed mindset to the belief that their efforts will lead to success.

3) Force Multipliers for Teaching: Guided by Deborah Ball, the country’s most respected voice on effective teaching practices, MATH 180 provides powerful resources and tools that help teachers become “Force Multipliers.”

MATH 180's blended learning approach ensures that student and teacher time is optimized at every moment. The unique instructional design pairs sophisticated technology and smart data to help teachers elicit thinking and build conceptual understanding, while adaptive software accelerates students’ learning by delivering the instruction and practice they need at the moment they need it.


Taking a new approach to K-2 reading instruction, iRead helps schools close the literacy achievement gap before it begins with a personalized learning progression for every child, embedded assessment that ensures children are taught to mastery, the best thinking from cognitive science and gaming theory, technology that complements what teachers do best, and an engaging, supportive environment for children and their families.

Set in Beastie Hall, a virtual school built entirely of books, iRead delivers explicit instruction and systematic skill practice to master reading inside an exciting digital environment created by leading experts in game design and motivation. Adaptive technology continually monitors performance and meets every student at his or her level by customizing pacing, instructional load and content. And the technology provides organized, actionable data to help teachers track student progress and address skill gaps.

System 44 Next Generation

For students in grades 3 through 12 who have not yet mastered these foundational phonics and decoding skills, Scholastic now offers System 44 Next Generation. The result of Scholastic’s collaboration with Dr. Marilyn Jager Adams of Brown University and Dr. Ted Hasselbring of Vanderbilt University, System 44 Next Generation combines the best practices in phonics, reading and writing instruction with cutting edge adaptive technology to help students master the skills required for success with the Common Core.

The program’s adaptive software presents phonics in a unique way, specifically designed for older students who are able to grasp complex systems even as they struggle with reading. Presenting the English language as a clear, finite system made up of 44 sounds and 26 letters, System 44Next Generation provides direct instruction and intensive, adaptive practice beginning with letter-sound correspondence and progressing through fluent word recognition. The program has been proven effective by multiple independent studies, including a recent randomized study from Saginaw, Mich., demonstrating that System 44 is effective in raising reading achievement for students with learning disabilities. As with the other programs, System 44 generates rich data to help teachers group students for direct instruction so they can advance quickly through the program.

READ 180 for the iPad

Students who master the foundational skills, move seamlessly from System 44into READ 180, which accelerates students to grade level and beyond.

As school districts shift toward the use of tablet devices in classrooms, Scholastic is excited to announce the completion of an ambitious effort to make READ 180, used every day by 1.5 million students across the country, available on the iPad.

READ 180 is designed for students who are two or more years below grade level in reading and leverages adaptive technology to individualize instruction for students and provide powerful data for differentiation to teachers so students can accelerate their learning and catch up to their peers. Built for the Common Core, READ 180 for the iPad will provide all students with an explicit and accelerated path to college and career readiness.

Schools that use READ 180 Next Generation, will have access to READ 180 on the iPad for free.

Common CoreCode X

To help ensure students are ready for the Next Generation assessments coming in the 2014-15 school year, Scholastic has developed a rigorous English language arts curriculum for middle school called Code X.

Tablet-ready and designed to ensure that students become deep readers and measured writers,Code X is built around a series of workshops that challenge students as they work toward each workshop’s culminating performance task. In those performance tasks, students are asked to read, think, analyze, synthesize, question, cite evidence, argue, debate, and write every day.

Code X provides teachers who are confident with the instructional shifts of the Common Core with rich texts and resources to enhance their understanding and teaching, and it ensures that the less confident or newer teachers have professional learning tools and day-by-day instruction to implement the new standards comprehensively, thoughtfully, and effectively.


In Fall 2013, Scholastic will launch nextpert, a professional learning platform that gives teachers tools and at-their-fingertips support to help them transform their instruction for the Common Core. A new approach to digital professional learning, nextpert sets teachers up for success in the classroom, on their evaluations, on Next Generation assessments, and in preparing students for achievement in work and in life.

The system includes lessons and assessment-building tools, 24/7 access to online courses and resources tied to individual goals, peer collaboration tools, and easy access to on-demand expert mentoring.

For more information about Scholastic Education’s new programs, visit

Source: Scholastic,

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Gale Partners with the Associated Press to Digitize Holdings

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has announced an agreement with the Associated Press (AP) to digitize their corporate archives, including millions of pages of news copy (some never-before published), bureau records, correspondence, the personal papers of reporters and more. This agreement follows on the large-scale partnerships Gale has signed with the Smithsonian Institution and theNational Geographic Society.

This agreement covers a variety of materials and includes content that has never been published. Covered under the agreement are the notes and observations of AP journalists, potentially giving widely reported events a new perspective, while also providing valuable insight into the stories that were not reported. In addition, the agreement encompasses records from dozens of U.S. and foreign bureaus, and special collections such as photographs, manuscripts, sound recordings and oral histories.

Throughout the course of this multi-year project, Gale will work with an advisory board of professors and subject matter experts to guide the development of the digital products, with the first products available within the next year. The products will be a valuable asset for academic libraries, including students and faculty in journalism and history, as well as high school and public libraries, and will offer opportunities for new research angles on popular topics.

Source: Cengage Learning and Gale, or

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YUDU Media Enhances Features of Its Digital Publishing Platform

YUDU Media has released several new and enhanced features on YUDU Education, a technology tool that allows publishers to convert textbook content to digital form, as well as add rich media elements to accommodate the interactive focus of today’s teachers and students.

YUDU Education’s cloud publishing platform allows publishers to maintain their distribution channels and important educator relationships while providing users with maximum ease of access across multiple platforms, including tablets, smartphones, desktops and laptops. Publishers who recently signed up for the app include and Edco and Rhinegold Publishing.

One of the publishing tool's most popular new features is called Freehand Highlighting. This allows students to highlight a page, change nibs and alternative colors on a particular page of their tablet. These edits and markings can then be translated and viewed on a desktop computer.

Another new feature allows both teachers and students to easily add notes through an improved user interface. In addition, YUDU Education has made its Desktop Page-Turning and Activation of Features easier to use, giving the option to activate via a mouse.

The educational publishing platform also added HTML overlays -- in Lightbox --making all of the interactive content accessible via a feature on each page, so, from a publisher’s perspective, they can feed us PDF content simply, yet still have interactivity on the page where it’s really useful., according to the announcement.

The educational publishing tool’s additional new features include: Amazon in-app purchasing, where textbooks that can be sold via publisher websites are also now available via the Amazon store on Kindle devices (The app is still free to download, and users can purchase the books from within the app); and a custom order of editions in the app option, so rather than placing books in the order that they are published, publishers can arrange them by theme within the app.

In addition to the new features, YUDU Education has enhanced some of its original features, including allowing users to capture page clippings (text and images); conduct keyword searches; bookmark pages; and, use a pinch-and-zoom feature to optimize viewing on various devices. YUDU Education also delivers reader analytics, providing publishers with powerful strategic insights and enhancing their ability to remain responsive to emerging educator and student needs. Publishers can analyze data at the page, image or video level to determine how readers access information. They can also conduct opt-in surveys to gather additional insight.

Source: YUDU Media,

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