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April 07, 2015

Table of Contents

Free Resources: ABC-CLIO Solutions Opens Digital Resource Collections In April
Follett’s Destiny Upgrade Offers New Features, Including EasyBib Integration
CoSN’s Latest EdTechNext Report Released
Britannica Digital Learning Announces New Britannica School Release
Science Channel and Discovery Education Partner to Launch the 'Support Our Science' Initiative

Free Resources: ABC-CLIO Solutions Opens Digital Resource Collections In April

ABC-CLIO Solutions is providing complimentary access to its 15 online databases in April to celebrate School Library Month. All resources will be open to the public through April 30, 2015.

Students and educators will have full access to ABC-CLIO’s collection of online textbooks and databases that can be used for instruction on subjects, such as social studies, the language arts, and science. The digital resources offer more than 1 million primary sources and images, providing a guide for students as they explore key historical moments and develop critical thinking skills through primary source analysis, persuasive writing, and argumentation. Through online multimedia content, ABC-CLIO Solutions also helps facilitate flipped and blended learning environments and differentiated instruction through many customizable instruction activities for students and teachers.

April is also designated as Genocide Awareness & Prevention Month, and educators and students will have access to Modern Genocide: Understanding Causes and Consequences. This award-winning online textbook serves as a full, rich, and comprehensive resource vetted by a group of well-known, prominent individuals who make up its advisory board to ensure definitive expertise on the sensitive and complex subject of genocide. Users have complimentary access to in-depth coverage of the 10 most significant genocides in modern history and features to help guide students and teachers through this sensitive topic. The database fosters reflective discussions and assignments while meeting the academic curriculum and standards of many history and social studies courses.

To date, New Hampshire, Minnesota, California, and Texas have passed legislation to dedicate April for genocide awareness in order to educate the public and prevent future atrocities.

For more information about ABC-CLIO and its digital resources, visit abc-clio.com/ABC-CLIOSolutions.aspx.

Source: ABC-CLIO, abc-clio.com

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Follett’s Destiny Upgrade Offers New Features, Including EasyBib Integration

Follett has announced several innovative enhancements to Universal Search, the powerful content search and discovery tool available in the latest upgrade of Destiny Library Manager. New features include integration with EasyBib, an intuitive information literacy platform that provides students with citation, note-taking and research tools.

Integrating EasyBib within Universal Search will help students simplify the process of making citations and bibliographies, saving them time and effort with their research. For example, users can now effortlessly receive citations in MLA, APA, Chicago and other styles.

Other new features in Universal Search offer students the ability to manage research using a “Favorites” list and easily search for audiobooks and sound recordings, including an option to limit the search to Follett audiobooks only. In addition to the new search features, the Destiny upgrade provides the district with greater communication and enhanced capabilities for interlibrary loan (ILL) transactions. To take advantage of the latest enhancements, customers must upgrade to Destiny 12.5

For more information on Follett’s PreK-12 business, visit FollettLearning.com.

Source: Follett, follettlearning.com

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CoSN’s Latest EdTechNext Report Released

In schools nationwide, attractive new technologies are taking the shape of 3D – and their benefits are real. CoSN’s (Consortium for School Networking’s) newest report explores this transformation and how modern 3D technologies are opening new dimensions in learning.

The exploration is CoSN’s latest EdTechNext report – a periodic publication about forward-looking issues and emerging technologies in K-12.

“3D is capturing the attention of leaders in educational circles, and that focus needs to be on the ‘why’ – not the ‘wow,’” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “Educators should consider the real value of 3D for our students toward improving academic results, expanding scientific discovery, and enhancing both spatial thinking and task performance. These are just some of the advantages as the digital revolution gains further momentum from these technologies.”

Dimensions in Learning: Visualizing, Designing and Making in 3D explains the 3D learning families (visualizing, designing and making) across learning applications, in hardware / software and through current examples. Sony SmartEyeglass, for example, is an augmented reality concept that uses eyewear to present user-controlled notifications and information, such as text messages.

The report also provides key “3D definitions” and explains the processes of how the 3D learning families (i.e., cost, time and professional development resources) are being introduced in classrooms.

CoSN’s EdTechNext reports are supported by Amplify, BestBuy, CDW.G, Cisco, Comcast, Dell, ENA, Filewave, Google, HP, iBoss Security, iDentityAutomation, Ipswitich, itslearning, JAMF Software, Juniper Networks, Lenovo, Lightspeed Systems, McGraw Hill, Microsoft, Pearson, Presidio, Promethean, Qualcomm, SchoolDude, Sprint and Verizon.

The publications are available to CoSN members.

Source: CoSN, cosn.org

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Britannica Digital Learning Announces New Britannica School Release

Britannica Digital Learning has completed a series of user-suggested enhancements to its flagship education product Britannica School designed to increase interactivity and make the product more engaging and useful to students and teachers.

Britannica School is an online, interactive learning resource for students and teachers in grades K-12. With extensive, up-to-date information sources, it’s specially designed for differentiated instruction and provides three distinct content levels, allowing students to move easily to material at a higher, more rigorous level or a lower reading level as needed. Its content is reliable, age-appropriate, updated continuously and closely correlated to all curriculum standards, including the Common Core State Standards.

The contents of Britannica School support every subject, making it easy for teachers in language arts, math, science, social studies and the arts to coordinate and collaborate on lessons. Unlike an app that displays a different layout or content on a mobile device, Britannica School’s responsive design allows the entire site to work equally well on any device – PC, tablet, laptop or smart phone.

The recent changes to the product include:

• Redesigned and enhanced home pages for the elementary, middle school and high school sections of the site to promote self-guided discovery and inquiry. New features such as Word Wall, Geography Explorer, Behind the News, and quotations are easily accessible for students to explore, making it easier for them to learn on their own.

• Content Collector. A feature that provides a valuable way for students and teachers to save, retrieve, and share material on a topic in one location. It’s a time-saver for teachers preparing lesson plans and for students completing assignments, projects and reports.

• Access to new and revised articles. Britannica School is updated continuously by the 100+-member editorial team; approximately 1,200 items covering relevant, timely topics are added every month. These updates are now more visible and accessible from the home pages.

• Enhanced searching functionality to increase the ease with which users can find information on the site, including the addition of an “At a Glance” feature, “Popular Searches,” and an “Advanced Search” option for high-school-level articles.

• Linking to other Britannica sites. Users who subscribe to other Britannica resources, such as ImageQuest or Pathways: Science can access them directly from the Britannica School home page.

Free trials are available to schools, districts and consortia. Interested educators can call 1-800-621-3900 or go to info.eb.com for more information.

Source: Britannica Digital Learning, info.eb.com/

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Science Channel and Discovery Education Partner to Launch the 'Support Our Science' Initiative

Science Channel and Discovery Education have announced the launch of SUPPORT OUR SCIENCE (S.O.S.). Through a combination of digital content, customized educator support and professional development, student engagement activities, Science Channel content and hands-on digital tools and resources, this on-going effort is designed to ignite students’ curiosity while providing educators with the means to build skills and knowledge in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

In partnership with The Planetary Society, Girls Inc., and Maker Ed, SUPPORT OUR SCIENCE’s first initiative will offer two deserving elementary or middle schools in Houston, Texas, and Atlanta, Ga., areas the opportunity of a lifetime with a comprehensive STEM program for their school communities. Additionally, a third school will be awarded a high-octane STEM assembly through a nationwide sweepstakes that kicks off May 1. Parents, teachers, and community members have an opportunity to enter a school of their choice by submitting an entry via ScienceChannel.com/SupportOurScience.

In collaboration with the Houston Independent School District and Fulton County Schools, Science Channel and Discovery Education will provide one school in each city with a customized STEM education program. Each STEM program will be customized to meet the goals and needs of the schools, and could include:

· Access to thought-provoking, engaging Science Channel programming for use as a learning catalyst for educators and schools to start their own science ‘conversation.’

· Robust professional development provided by Discovery Education experts to support educators’ integration of digital STEM resources into classroom instruction.

· Dynamic, digital resources like Discovery Education Streaming, Discovery Education Science Techbook and recently introduced, Discovery Education Math Techbook.

· Hands-on science activities, like Discovery Education STEM Camp – a dynamic series of standards-aligned curricula that engages students in STEM lessons and which can be used as part of summer camps, after-school STEM programs or wherever support is needed.

· State-of-the-art STEM lab with science and technology resources including computers, tablets, science tools, etc.

· A STEM attitudinal study to measure program impact.

Science Channel continues to provide entertaining programming that highlights the idea that science is everywhere. From the everyday and hypnotic processes of HOW IT’S MADE, to programs that ask the big questions such as THROUGH THE WORMHOLE WITH MORGAN FREEMAN. The programming slate focuses on STEM content all the while trying to inspire the next generation of dreamers, doers and disrupters.

Source: Discovery Education, discoveryeducation.com

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