News of the Latest Products and Technology for K-12
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 $3,469,280from
$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/.
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), email@example.com.
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/.
ISTE Technology Guides
The book Electronic Briefcase for AdministratorsTools 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 GuideK-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
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
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/.