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Magazines > MultiMedia & Internet@Schools > January/February 2004
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Vol. 11 No. 1 — Jan/Feb 2004
News of the Latest Products and Technology for K-12
NewsWatch
by Kathie Felix, News Editor

News of the latest products and technology for K-12 may be sent directly to Kathie Felix at 5746 Union Mill Rd., PMB 605, Clifton, VA 20124 or to kfelix@infotoday.com.

NEWS

State Ed Tech Budgets: Opportunities and Challenges

The average total of federal funding for educational technology increased from 2001-2002 to 2002-2003, but state budget cuts more than offset the gain, according to the first annual State Budget Survey conducted by the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA). In the majority of the 31 states responding to the survey, the state budget cuts averaged $3,469,280—from $13,862,160 in 2001-2002 to $10,392,880 in 2002-2003. Despite the state-level cuts, several states have been able to maintain the status quo and are building new partnerships inside and outside of their state departments to leverage resources. Some states are instituting regionally based professional development, seeking business partners, securing interagency loans/grants, and working collaboratively with other departments to move technology professional development into overall professional development offerings. As a result, growth is expected in areas such as virtual learning opportunities including Web delivery, e-mail, and video conferencing. SETDA, 703/533-3770 or http://www.setda.org/.

Emerging Technologies Report: Wireless

One of the greatest concerns about wireless networking is the obvious security challenge it presents, according to the "Emerging Technologies Report: A Guide to Wireless LANs in K-12 Schools," prepared by the Consortium for School Networking's (CoSN) Emerging Technologies Committee. Additional concerns include securing equipment from tampering
and theft, particularly laptops and mobile access points. The 24-page report examines the implementation of wireless LAN technologies in K-12 schools and identifies challenges, options, and lessons learned. Issues addressed include standards and compatibility, planning and implementation, security, and total cost of ownership (TCO). The report features profiles of wireless districts in the states of California, Georgia, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. Available at a cost of $19.95 for CoSN members and $24.95 for nonmembers, the report can be downloaded online at http://www.cosn.org/store/. Print orders will be charged a $5 fee for shipping and handling for up to five copies. CoSN, 202/861-2676 or http://www.cosn.org/.

LIBRARY NEWS

Librarian of the Year

Librarian Greg Lum of Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon, was named the 2003 National School Library Media Specialist of the Year by the Association of Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) and SIRS Mandarin, Inc. The award recognizes individual excellence in the library/media field through service to students, teachers, and the community at the K-12 level. Lum received the award at the Fall 2003 AECT Conference in Anaheim, California. The award included a $500 check, a personal and employer plaque, and a travel/registration allowance for the AECT conference of up to $500. Oregon Educational Media Association, (OEMA), jhayden@bendnet.com.

Sagebrush In-Hand

Sagebrush In-Hand v3.1 updates the hand-held computer program for libraries with new Lookup Title and Lookup Patron features that allow users to search for, verify, and cross-check patron and collection data. The upgrade includes previously released features that allow reduced inventory time, remote circulation, and remote in-house tracking using a built-in scanner and one-touch data synchronization. The software is compatible with Sagebrush Athena and Spectrum library automation systems; it is also available for the Sagebrush Accent system. In-Hand v.3.1 will be included with the purchase of new In-Hand computers; current In-Hand customers may upgrade for $95. Sagebrush, 800/533-5430 or http://www.sagebrushcorp.com/tech/inhand.cfm/.

CLASSROOM RESOURCES

ISTE Technology Guides

The book Electronic Briefcase for Administrators—Tools and Templates provides basic instruction on the software tools that can be used to complete everyday administrative tasks, as well as ready-made templates for immediate use. Organized around the International Society for Technology in Education's (ISTE) National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Administrators, the 35 templates included on an accompanying CD-ROM are designed to help leaders automate tasks and manage workloads. The price is $34.95 for ISTE members, $39.95 for nonmembers.

The book The Computer Lab Teacher's Survival Guide—K-6 Units for the Whole Year offers 10 units with multiple lessons keyed to standards, as well as objectives, guided practice, extensions, remediation, and suggestions for students with special needs. An accompanying CD-ROM includes PowerPoint presentations, quizzes, tests, worksheets, Web resources, and more. The price is $31.45 for ISTE members, $34.95 for nonmembers. ISTE, 800/336-5191 or http://www.iste.org/.

HELPING HANDS

Science Academy Scholarships

The PLATO Science Academy Scholarship Program, for middle and high school students, provides a 1-week, all-expenses-paid scholarship for 40 students that will allow them to participate in a customized science program at Space Center Houston in June 2004, working with astronauts and other NASA scientists. One student scholarship automatically will be given to any school district purchasing a qualifying amount of PLATO Learning science products between August 1, 2003, and February 28, 2004. Schools also may apply for the scholarship by filling out a nomination form and completing a brief essay. No purchase is necessary to be nominated for the scholarship. In addition, PLATO Learning is accepting applications from science educators interested in serving as chaperones for the Science Academy. Applications and complete details can be found online at http://www.plato.com/community/scienceacademy.asp/. PLATO Learning, 800/869-2000 or http://www.plato.com/.

 

 

 


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