[NewsWatch] [MultiMedia Schools]
January/February 2000
Copyright © Information Today, Inc.
by Kathie Felix, News/Reviews Editor

News of the latest products and technology for K-12 may be sent directly to Kathie Felix at P. O. Box 2444, Merrifield, VA 22116 or to kfelix@infotoday.com.
 

NEWS

Apple, SIIA Join the Schools Interoperability Framework Initiative
Apple Computer and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) have joined educators and technology vendors working to develop an open-standard wire protocol for the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF). The SIF is a new technical blueprint for the seamless integration of multi-vendor software applications in K-12 schools and districts. The participation of both organizations strengthens the SIF mandate to guarantee an open and vendor-neutral protocol standard. Under the management of the SIIA, the group will release a working guideline for application interoperability that will be finalized after public review. SIIA, 202/452-1600 or http://www.siia.net/.
 

School Technology Report
Instructional computers continue to migrate into the classroom, according to the 1999 Technology in Education report from Market Data Retrieval. Public schools reported that 52 percent of the installed base is now located in classrooms, while 39 percent is placed in computer labs. Unchanged from last year: the nearly 8 percent found in libraries/media centers. Other locations account for nearly 1 percent. Hardware garners 69 percent of total technology spending, software gets 17 percent, and staff development is allocated 14 percent. School type affects multimedia computer availability. Senior high schools report an average of 8.9 students per multimedia computer, middle/junior high schools average 9.8 students per computer, and elementary schools average 11.2 students per computer. Market Data Retrieval, 800/333-8802 or http://www.schooldata.com/.
 

Schools Take Steps to Manage Costs of Tech Support
A survey of some of the nation’s most technologically advanced school districts indicates that nine out of 10 have adopted strategies to control the costs of supporting computer networks. One-third of these districts have adopted benchmarks or standards to measure how well they are doing. The survey was conducted by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and the National School Boards Association as part of a CoSN initiative. The initiative was designed to help school administrators understand the concept of Total Cost of Ownership to help them budget adequately for the long-term operation of computers and networks. CoSN, 202/466-6296 or http://www.cosn.org/.
 

K-12 School Networking Conference
The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) will hold its fifth annual conference at the Loew’s L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC, February 22-24, 2000. The conference—K-12 School Networking: Digital Divide or Electronic Equalizer?—will focus on Technology Leadership, Content & Integration, Emerging Learning Tools, and Professional Development in a Visual World. CoSN, 202/466-6296 or http://www.cosn.org/.
 

LIBRARY NEWS

Studying the School Library Media Center
With the help of a $5,000 World Book American Library Association (ALA) Goal Grant, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will conduct a national study to examine the effect of the school library media center on academic achievement. The research project, “Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning,” will focus on 10 states each year for 4 years. Ten additional states will be added each year for 4 years afterward. Nine schools (three each from upper elementary, middle school, and grades 10-11) from each of the 10 states will participate in the data collection. American Library Association, 800/545-2433 or http://www.ala.org/.
 

Follett Increases Funding for School Library Award
Follett Library Resources has added $3,000 to the National School Library Media Program of the Year Award, bringing the total award to $21,000 to be shared among three categories, beginning with the year 2000 award cycle. Awards of $7,000 will be made to a single school and a large and small school district for exemplary school library media programs that are fully integrated into the school curriculum. For the year 2000, completed applications must be received in the AASL office by January 6, 2000. AASL/ALA, 800/545-2433 or http://www.ala.org/.
 

SIRS Government Reporter Adds Archives Material
National Archives documents, a collection of visual resources highlighting major themes and pivotal events in U.S. history, are now included in the SIRS Government Reporter CD-ROM and Web databases. The documents include reproductions of primary sources illustrating key issues and prevailing public attitudes. The material is grouped into historical units that often include glossaries, brief biographies, and timelines to put the information into perspective. SIRS, 800/232-SIRS or http://www.sirs.com/.
 

Spectrum Union Catalog
The latest offering from Winnebago provides access to the complete holdings of a district or library consortium/alliance through a unified database. The Spectrum Union Catalog enables patrons to search the material records of one library or many libraries simultaneously, regardless of the automation system used by each. The program  continuously updates the status of materials for sites using Winnebago Spectrum CIRC/CAT and can be accessed from participating libraries, as well as from locations outside of the libraries—including classrooms—via the Internet or WAN. Winnebago Software Company, 800/533-5430 or http://www.winnebago.com/.
 

CLASSROOM RESOURCES

Studying the School Library Media Center
With the help of a $5,000 World Book American Library Association (ALA) Goal Grant, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will conduct a national study  to examine the effect of the school library media center on academic achievement. The research project, “Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning,” will focus on 10 states each year for 4 years. Ten additional states will be added each year for 4 years afterward. Nine schools (three each from upper elementary, middle school, and grades 10-11) from each of the 10 states will participate in the data collection. American Library Association, 800/545-2433 or http://www.ala.org/.
 

Follett Increases Funding for School Library Award
Follett Library Resources has added $3,000 to the National School Library Media Program of the Year Award, bringing the total award to $21,000 to be shared among three categories, beginning with the year 2000 award cycle. Awards of $7,000 will be made to a single school and a large and small school district for exemplary school library media programs that are fully integrated into the school curriculum. For the year 2000, completed applications must be received in the AASL office by January 6, 2000. AASL/ALA, 800/545-2433 or http://www.ala.org/.
 

SIRS Government Reporter Adds Archives Material
National Archives documents, a collection of visual resources highlighting major themes and pivotal events in U.S. history, are now included in the SIRS Government  Reporter CD-ROM and Web databases. The documents include reproductions of primary sources illustrating key issues and prevailing public attitudes. The material is grouped into historical units that often include glossaries, brief biographies, and timelines to put the information into perspective. SIRS, 800/232-SIRS or http://www.sirs.com/.
 

Spectrum Union Catalog
The latest offering from Winnebago provides access to the complete holdings of a district or library consortium/alliance through a unified database. The Spectrum Union Catalog enables patrons to search the material records of one library or many libraries simultaneously, regardless of the automation system used by each. The program  continuously updates the status of materials for sites using Winnebago Spectrum CIRC/CAT and can be accessed from participating libraries, as well as from locations outside of the libraries—including classrooms—via the Internet or WAN. Winnebago Software Company, 800/533-5430 or http://www.winnebago.com/.
 

USEFUL TOOLS

Technology Guide
The 1999 school year edition of the Scholastic Technology Guide features information from 700 newly added companies, as well as improved listings for cross-referencing products and companies, including educational software, teacher software, administrative software, hardware, Internet, and telecommunications. The guide’s more than 5,000 listings are also available online at http://www.schooltechguide.com. The information is free to qualifying educators and is available to others at a cost of $19.95. Scholastic, 800/724-6527 or http://www.scholastic.com/.
 

Universal Student ID Cards
MyCard@School links existing student activity and data resources through a universal photo identification card that can be used for every school need, from buying school  lunches to checking out library books. As the program expands, parents will be able to link the card to credit or debit cards for school-related purchases and get secure home access to personalized adminstrative data and links to library, grade, and assessment data information. The Schools Interoperability Framework-compliant card combines five software components compatible with the networks most schools already have in place. Components include modules for card design and production, data integration utilities to link administrative applications, reporting or data view modules, a security check, and a secure log-in method for Windows workstations. School-Link Network, 800/969-6304 or http://www.myschool-link.com/.
 

HELPING HANDS

Microsoft Training Opportunities
During the 1999-2000 school year, Microsoft will help more than 100 academic institutions begin to participate in the Academic Professional Development Center program,  an effort that brings technology training courses directly to local communities. The program helps faculty and staff gain the skills and certification necessary to begin teaching Microsoft Authorized Academic Training Provider (AATP) courses to students and to provide training and certification for information technology staff at colleges and universities. Microsoft, 800/508-8454, apdc@msprograms.com, or http://www.microsoft.com/aatp/apdc.htm/.
 

Grant Funding Guide
Going for the Grants: A Hands-On Approach to Funding Technology in Your Classroom offers step-by-step instructions for obtaining funds for educational resources. The  free 12-page guide for teachers and administrators includes a comprehensive resource list of funding institutions, periodicals, Web sites, books, and pamphlets about planning and grant writing. PASCO Scientific, 800/772-8700, ext. 240 or http://www.pasco.com/.
 

SMARTER Kids Grants
The SMARTER Kids Foundation will award $20 million in grant funding during the 1999/2000 school year, as a result of a partnership with NEC Technologies, Visual  Systems Division. The program, open to accredited, not-for-profit public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S., awards qualifying NEC products, including data projectors and multimedia displays. To apply, educators must complete an application outlining the way they intend to use NEC products in the classroom. Online applications are available. Applications must be received by August 31, 2000; grants must be used by September 30, 2000. SMARTer Kids Foundation, 403/228-8565 or http://www.smarterkids.org/.
 
 
 
 

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