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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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June 04, 2013

Table of Contents

Free Resources: PBS LearningMedia Now Offers 30,000 Digital Resources for Educators
Turning Technologies Releases Triton Data Collection System for Testing Environments
Atomic Learning Adds Summer PD Tips Feature to Blog
Knovation Forms, Expands Partnerships with Three Education Content Developers
Infobase Learning Relaunches The World Almanac for Kids Online
Gale Launches Air & Space and Smithsonian Magazine Archive
SIIA Announces Top Innovators in Education Technology
Netop Introduces Version 8 of Vision and Vision Pro
New ASCD Common Core Academy Supports School Leadership Teams Across the United States
Skyward Launches Course Learning Center for Student Management Suite

Free Resources: PBS LearningMedia Now Offers 30,000 Digital Resources for Educators

PBS LearningMedia has announced that it now offers more than 30,000 digital resources available for free to PreK-12 educators nationwide. The new resources address nationwide curriculum gaps in digital media and bolster the service’s offerings in math, science, English/language arts, social studies and the arts.

New content features include interactive games, videos and lesson plans from PBS and PBS KIDS programs, including CONSTITUTION USA, DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD, SHAKESPEARE UNCOVERED, and custom-created interactive math and literacy content for middle school classrooms. Highlights include:

• CONSTITUTION USA: Videos, lesson plans, interactives and images from the PBS program. The new content allows students to explore the meaning and relevance of the U.S. Constitution for all Americans.

• DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD: Videos showcasing the hit PBS KIDS preschool series’ social-emotional curriculum to help early learners build the social skills necessary for school and life.

• MAKERS: Women Who Make America: A collection of videos from the critically acclaimed program with lesson plans that explore the pioneering contributions of women.

• SHAKESPEARE UNCOVERED: Video segments, informational texts, discussion questions and suggestions for extension activities to enhance students’ reading, viewing and appreciation of Shakespeare’s works. This content is deigned for students in grades 8 -12.

• Middle School Math and Literacy Collections: New interactive math and literacy collections targeting subjects not widely covered in the digital space.

  • Online lessons for blended learning: The Walmart Middle School Literacy Initiative produced by WGBH offers blended, cross-curricular lessons that enhance the literacy skills of struggling readers and writers in grades 5-8.

  • Digital learning objects: Created in partnership with the Gates Foundation, these objects explore complex math topics such as understanding integers, making math fun and relatable.


PBS LearningMedia is designed to meet the critical needs of educators in 21st century classrooms and was recently honored with the 2013 SIIA CODiE Award for Best K-12 Solution and Best Educational Reference Solution.

Source: PBS LearningMedia, www.pbslearningmedia.org

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Turning Technologies Releases Triton Data Collection System for Testing Environments

Turning Technologies has announced the full public availability of Triton Data Collection System. Triton combines the front end ease of paper testing with the back end ease of computer-based testing, addressing common concerns of both methods. It is a simple, secure and reliable data collection system designed to meet market needs from standardized assessments to enterprise-wide exams, evaluations and certification testing.

Triton Data Collection System consists of three components: Triton Web, Triton Receiver with Proctor Application, and the ResponseCard NXT clicker. Utilizing current test booklets, participants enter and submit test answers via ResponseCard NXT clicker with Turning’s patented, secure radio frequency (RF) data transfer technology. The Proctor Application is stored on a single, USB Triton Receiver for simple plug and play technology, eliminating the need for IT setup. Collected data is encrypted, backed up and stored in three locations, including a central administration Triton Web portal that manages all testing elements.

The system replaces paper bubble sheets with ResponseCard NXT clickers, offering immediate data collection via a secure, closed radio frequency network. Triton provides the ability to control the test environment, delivering test security, standardization of test administration and on-demand results. In its history of usage, Triton has experienced a 100% success rate in data collection and transfer with 100% accuracy of item response data. No participant data has ever been lost. Both proctors and participants provided positive endorsements of the solution and comparability studies revealed no statistical difference between paper testing and clicker testing.

Triton Data Collection System solves many common issues plaguing traditional testing including test irregularities, scanning errors, prolonged waiting periods for results and a desire to “go green.” In addition, it is apparent that institutions are struggling to adapt facilities and ensure network reliability for computer-based testing. Triton securely transfers encrypted data to third parties with redundant backup, thus saving time and assuring reliable results without manipulation for participant and instructor confidence. Sensitive evaluations can also be conducted in a secure manner with an easy, instantaneous process, positively impacting return rate.

In addition to summative testing, the ResponseCard NXT clicker can be used for everyday, formative assessments in conjunction with TurningPoint polling software. TurningPoint directly integrates with PowerPoint on both PC and Mac platforms for polling during presentations and polls with any application using a floating toolbar. Presenters can use interactive presentations created with TurningPoint to gauge participant understanding of material in real-time, gather valuable opinions anonymously or tracked, collect demographic information, create team or individual competitions, vote and tally results instantly and take attendance among other benefits.

Visit www.TritonDataCollectionSystem.com for more information.

Source: Turning Technologies, www.TurningTechnologies.com

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Atomic Learning Adds Summer PD Tips Feature to Blog

Atomic Learning has added summer professional development tips to its blog at http://blogs.atomiclearning.com, with an eye to helping K-12 educators who want to learn more about technology integration. These weekly ideas will help educators understand the basics of technology integration and provide new ideas to make utilizing technology in the classroom simple.

Atomic Learning recommends educators check with their school or district's staff development team to learn about the requirements needed for state licensing,as often professional development from the Atomic Learning website can often be used for these requirements, according to the announcement.

Educators who don’t have a login to Atomic Learning are invited to collaborate with school or district administrators to request information about how Atomic Learning solutions can help make tech integration easy at www.atomiclearning.com/k12/request-information.

Source: Atomic Learning, www.AtomicLearning.com

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Knovation Forms, Expands Partnerships with Three Education Content Developers

Knovation has announced that it has added Learnetic, VocabAhead and We Give Books as new content integration partners to its flagship solutions netTrekker and icurio. With new and existing content from these innovative education content developers, Knovation subscribers benefit from the digital learning experience provided through resources that are curated and continuously reviewed by educators, aligned to state and Common Core standards, intelligently tagged for flexible search and accessible in multiple formats, according to the announcement.

Already available as part of icurio’s premium content collection, Learnetic Math and Science will now be available with netTrekker, Knovation’s leading solution for curating digital educational content. Learnetic Math and Science is a full collection of over 200 digital math and science lessons covering all the key national standards for middle school. The integration will allow netTrekker subscribers to add single sign-on access to Learnetic’s comprehensive set of activities that can be used for a variety of instructional needs, including pre-assessing student readiness, reinforcing concepts taught, re-teaching concepts students are struggling with, catch up assignments for absent students, or review and extension work.

Knovation now also includes full content from VocabAhead with netTrekker and icurio, Knovation's flagship digital curriculum content solution for the design and delivery of personalized learning. VocabAhead provides a full-brain learning approach to understanding and mastering tough English words for standardized tests such as SAT, ACT and GRE. The combined effect of audio and visuals builds necessary multiple mental connections to ease the recall of the meaning.

Knovation has also added We Give Books as its newest content partner. We Give Books, a digital initiative created by the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation, provides online reading of children's picture books appropriate for children through age ten. Under the terms of their agreement, users of both icurio and netTrekker will initially have access to 75 books from the We Give Books collection. The books include a mix of fiction and nonfiction, a range of authors, and an equal balance between read-alouds and books for independent readers.

Source: Knovation, www.knovationlearning.com

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Infobase Learning Relaunches The World Almanac for Kids Online

Infobase Learning has relaunched The World Almanac for Kids Online, adding a new streamlined interface, powerful functionality, and new content.

The World Almanac for Kids Online goes beyond the framework of the best-selling World Almanac for Kids print edition, adding exclusive, online-only content along with content from award-winning Chelsea House and Facts On File sets and series—all supporting Common Core standards. Users will find new sections on Our Planet Earth, Space & Astronomy, American History, and Holidays & Celebrations—featuring hundreds of all-new articles, charts, diagrams, photographs, and fun facts—plus a wealth of up-to-date new material in existing sections. New sections on the Human Body, Plants, and Sports will be added soon. The revamped Homework Help section offers essential guidance for students on topics such as writing better papers, preparing for tests, reading maps and timelines, and more, as well as helpful teacher support in the form of time-tested curricular handouts and iPad-friendly videos.

Content highlights:

* Exclusive, online-only content as well as content from the best-selling World Almanac for Kids print edition and award-winning sets and series from Chelsea House and Facts On File

*Curriculum-oriented material supporting Common Core, state, and national standards

* Excellent resources for student reports and research from a trusted source

* Homework Help for students as well as an abundance of time-tested curricular handouts and instructor support materials—at the bottom of the home page

* New sections on Our Planet Earth, Space & Astronomy, American History, and Holidays and Celebrations, plus up-to-date new material in existing sections; new content is continually being added—new sections on Sports, the Human Body, and Plants are coming soon

* New "Today's Feature," an editorially picked spotlight that changes daily.

Functionality highlights:

* Improved kid-friendly search and browse options, including Search Assist and advanced search capabilities

* Google Translate, with 53 languages to choose from

* New mobile-friendly video format

* Direct URLs for each subject for easy one-click access

* Search widgets.

For ordering, pricing, or other information, please contact our Online Sales Department at1-800-322-8755 or OnlineSales@InfobaseLearning.com.

Source: Infobase Learning, www.infobasepublishing.com/

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Gale Launches Air & Space and Smithsonian Magazine Archive

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has announced the availability of Air & Space and Smithsonian Magazine Archive, the first resource in the line of Gale - Smithsonian Institution collections. Launched as part of a partnership agreement announced earlier this year, the new archive will include the complete back files of both magazines as well as Gale’s advanced research tools, and will support cross-curricular and interdisciplinary studies in schools and in academic spaces.

Air & Space and Smithsonian Magazine Archive presents decades of in-depth coverage and unique insights into innovation, history, science, technology, space exploration, aviation, the arts and culture. It marks the first time the content of both magazines is available in one searchable digital archive. Air & Space and Smithsonian Magazine Archive will offer the complete magazine experience, showcasing every cover, article, image and advertisement from each publication, coupled with state-of-the-art graphing and term-clustering research tools.

Whether pursuing general topical information or looking to develop deeper knowledge in a given subject area, Air & Space and Smithsonian Magazine Archive offers a host of content for students, researchers and faculty worldwide:

* Smithsonian Magazine (1970-present) covers fascinating topics such as Titanoboa - the largest snake ever to live on Earth, how the mind makes memories, the assassination attempt on Teddy Roosevelt, secrets of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate, and insights into Black Holes.

* Air & Space Magazine (1986-present) encompasses every era of aviation and space exploration with stories that range from the Wright Brothers to the design of NASA’s next lunar lander, as well as other topics including a look inside the International Space Station, biofuels in aviation, navigating in space and the next generation of stealth aircraft.

To help celebrate the Gale-Smithsonian partnership and the launch of the first archive, Dr. Valerie Neal, a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, will speak at a luncheon event at the American Library Association (ALA) annual meeting taking place in Chicago, IL, June 28-July 1. Former NASA Astronaut and current painter Alan Bean, the fourth man and first artist to walk on the moon, will also visit the Gale booth (#600) during the meeting.

For more information on Air & Space and Smithsonian Magazine Archive, please visit http://gdc.gale.com/products/smithsonian/ or stop by the Cengage Learning booth (#600) at the ALA annual meeting.

Source: Cengage Learning and Gale, www.cengage.com or www.gale.cengage.com

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SIIA Announces Top Innovators in Education Technology

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) has recognized four education technology solutions with five key awards for their originality, innovation, and industry promise.

During SIIA's bi-annual Innovation Incubator Program, held in connection with the SIIA Ed Tech Industry Summit, simCEO and See.Touch.Learn. were voted by 350 attendees as being the Most Innovative and Most Likely to Succeed, respectively. Citelighter was voted runner-up for Most Innovative, and scrible was voted runner-up for Most Likely to Succeed. Citelighter also earned the Educator’s Choice Award based on votes from educators across the country.

The Innovation Incubator Program supports innovation in the education technology industry by raising the profile of promising new technologies while connecting these innovators with captains of industry for mentorship, expert advice, investment opportunities, and partnerships to support growth.

Applicants were assessed for the Innovation Incubator Program on a broad range of criteria, including the education focus, end-user impact, market need for the innovation, representation of K-12/postsecondary market levels, and the level of originality and innovation. Ten finalists were selected for the program.

More about the winners:

Most Innovative:
simCEO, Jetlag Learning
simCEO creates online learning simulations where students compete and interact with one another - instead of a program - to make the environment and the learning more dynamic. Students apply skills in real-world environments without right/wrong answers. Our first solution, simCEO targets entrepreneurship and financial literacy where students create their own company then buy/sell shares in each other's companies. Teachers keep the simulation dynamic through news articles.

Educator’s Choice and Most Innovative Runner-Up:
Citelighter, Citelighter Inc
Citelighter is an academic research platform that allows students to save, organize, and automatically cite content. Once completed they can open Citelighter in a Google doc to have their research next to their writing. As students undergo a critical thinking process (research, organizing, writing) we capture their behaviors and present it back to their teachers so they can see how and where their students need help. This appears like strands of DNA, but they are strands of thought.

Most Likely to Succeed:
See.Touch.Learn., Brain Parade, LLC
See.Touch.Learn., an iPad visual learning & assessment system, improves the social interaction & communication skills of special needs students. Parents & teachers are turning away from traditional, static picture cards towards See.Touch.Learn.'s easy-to-use & effective personalized picture card learning tool. With stunning images, a community of content created by thousands of users, plus their own personal content, teachers & parents can deliver highly personalized instruction & assessments.

Most Likely to Succeed Runner-Up:
scrible, scrible
scrible makes online reading and research apps for students/instructors and publishers. Our Web app lets you annotate webpages in your browser and then save, share and manage them in the cloud. Our Student Edition adds academic features (citations, reports, etc.). Instructors use scrible for collaborative e-reading exercises. Our Classroom Edition will empower them to teach critical reading skills using online reading/research assignments. Our annotation tools help publishers make content interactive.

The other Innovation Incubator finalists were:
- Globaloria, World Wide Workshop
- mAuthor, Learnetic S.A.
- Naiku, Naiku, Inc.
- ParentSquare, ParentSquare
- Shmoop, Shmoop University, Inc.
- zondle, zondle

Video of all the Incubator presentations will be available soon. For more information about the Innovation Incubator Program, visit www.siia.net/etis/2013/incubator.asp.

Source: SIIA Education Division, www.siia.net/education

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Netop Introduces Version 8 of Vision and Vision Pro

Netop has announced the release of version 8 of its Vision and Vision Pro classroom management programs. The first in a series of new features designed to support smart devices, version 8 of Vision and Vision Pro enables teachers to demo from their PC to any web-enabled student device, including iPads, Androids, Chromebooks, Macs, and PCs.

The new demo feature in version 8 means that educators can now use their Vision or Vision Pro classroom management software solution across all web-enabled smart devices, saving teachers time by making it faster and simpler to integrate student devices into classroom instruction.

Students benefit from using current technology for learning, are more focused and engaged during the teacher’s demonstration, and retain more information by seeing exactly what the teacher is doing on their device.

The newest version of Vision and Vision Pro comes at a critical time for educators charged with incorporating student devices into instruction. In a recent survey of over 3,700 teachers, 57% reported that their school would be investing in iPads in the classroom. Additionally, 25% said that screen sharing was their most pressing need when it comes to utilizing student devices during class. For complete survey results, visit www.netop.com/ipads.

Version 8 of Vision and Vision Pro is available at no extra charge to existing customers who have a current Advantage program as of April 23, 2013. Netop offers affordable campus licensing options for those new to Vision and Vision Pro. For more information, visit www.netop.com/classroom-management-software/products/netop-vision.htm.

Source: Netop, www.netop.com

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New ASCD Common Core Academy Supports School Leadership Teams Across the United States

ASCD is bringing its inaugural ASCD Common Core Leadership Team Academy to Chicago August 5–8, 2013. This intensive four-day professional leadership experience offers groups of administrators, teacher leaders, and nonprofit and higher education partners an accelerated plan for putting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) into routine practice.

Sessions will be led by ASCD Faculty members Judy Carr, Tim Westerberg, and Denise Alterio. In groups, attendees will explore crucial resources and collaboratively plan how to

  • Implement key shifts across English language arts, literacy, and mathematics.

  • Redesign curriculum maps and scope-and-sequence documents.

  • Engage teachers in design and critique of the CCSS.

  • Construct coteaching models to support all students in high performance of the CCSS.

  • Develop and provide collaborative PD for implementation of the standards.

  • Use walk-throughs to collect evidence about student learning.

  • Use data at every level to improve instruction and student performance.

Education leaders who attend individually will be paired with two to four participants of similar professional backgrounds.

Visit www.ascd.org/CCLTA to learn more and to register. For more information about ASCD and our programs, products, and services, visit www.ascd.org.

Source: ASCD, www.ascd.org

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Skyward Launches Course Learning Center for Student Management Suite

Skyward has announced the release of its Course Learning Center, a new module that is fully integrated with its Student Management Suite. The Course Learning Center provides teachers and students with a simplified way to manage daily classroom activities and improve collaboration.

The growth of online and cloud-based applications in schools has increased IT administrators’ time while creating headaches for users with multiple logins and access points, leading many education leaders to seek a fully integrated solution that meets a wide range of needs.

The Course Learning Center helps teachers engage students and improve performance through a central hub for instructional management and communication. The new module streamlines teacher access to the tools they need, enabling them to manage course resources, classroom discussions, digital lockers, assessments and grades in one location. Students can access the center to upload assignments, get teacher feedback on their work, and participate in conversations through discussion boards. Teachers and students will access the module through their existing Skyward portal for greater convenience.

The center gives teachers complete control over instructional management, from sharing valuable content online, providing timely feedback to students, and distributing files online to students, and more. Students are able to access materials online, such as learning resources, teacher responses and study guides while also being able to submit files through their Digital Locker. Parents can access the center as well, helping them stay up-to-date on their children’s coursework, assignments, academic progress and other important information.

In addition to supporting course management, schools will also have the ability to use the Course Learning Center to manage their Professional Learning Communities (PLC). Teachers will be able to discuss instructional strategies and implementation with their colleagues, and share instructional content and resources.

For more information on the Skyward administrative software and IT consulting services for K-12 districts, visit www.skyward.com.

Source: Skyward, www.skyward.com

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