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|by Kathie Felix, News/Reviews 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 email@example.com.
e-Learning: A World-Class Education
for All Children
In the waning days of the Clinton administration, U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley released a new national educational technology plan documenting progress made and outlining the challenges ahead for educational technology. The plan, "e-Learning: Putting a World-Class Education at the Fingertips of All Children," sets five national goals. Goal 1: All students and teachers will have access to information technology in their classrooms, schools, communities, and homes. Goal 2: All teachers will use technology effectively to help students achieve high academic standards. Goal 3: All students will have technology and information-literacy skills. Goal 4: Research and evaluation will improve the next generation of technology applications for teaching and learning. Goal 5: Digital content and networked applications will transform teaching and learning. The national plan and the U.S. Department of Education Educational Technology Progress Report are available at http://www.ed.gov/Technology/. U.S. Department of Education, 800/872-5327 or http://www.ed.gov/.
Schools Make Gains in Technology
More than 75 percent of schools say that the majority of their teachers use computers daily—compared with 69 percent a year ago, according to the "Technology in Education 2000" report released by Market Data Retrieval. Teacher technology use and skill level have increased significantly in the past year, although only 8 percent of K-12 schools say that the majority of their teachers are at an advanced skill level in terms of integrating technology into the curriculum. More than 45 percent of schools report that more than 50 percent of their teachers are at an intermediate skill level, able to use a variety of computer applications, but not adept at technology integration. On average, schools offer 19 hours of technology-related professional development. A total of 30 percent offer between 1-9 hours per year, while 10 percent offer 50 hours or more. Market Data Retrieval, 203/926-4800 or http://www.schooldata.com/.
NSBA Technology Survey Released
Although education technology leaders are split over the classroom use of computers and other products that contain advertising, they are strongly opposed to using school district Web sites as sales tools, according to a survey on educational technology issues released by the National School Boards Association (NSBA). While 51 percent of the survey respondents said it is acceptable for school districts to use technology products that contain advertisements in the classroom, 67 percent said school districts should not use their Web sites to sell products to the community. The survey also found that 96 percent of the respondents said that using computers for learning improves student academic achievement; 93 percent said minimum technology skill standards should be implemented for all teachers; and 76 percent feel teachers in their district are not adequately prepared to use technology in the classroom. When asked why teachers are unprepared to use technology, three reasons were cited, in the following order: teachers are often reluctant to learn new technologies, training is unavailable, and there is no money available in the district for training. NSBA, 703/838-6722 or http://www.nsba.org/.
School Librarians National Conference
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Tenth National Conference and Exhibition is scheduled for November 14-18, 2001, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The conference theme is "Coming Together as a Community of Learners." Four thematic strands have been selected for the educational programs: Focusing on the Learner, Using Technology to Create Learning Communities, Building Partnerships for Learning within the Community, and Assuring Accountability for Learning. AASL/American Library Association, 800/545-2433 or http://www.ala.org/aasl/indy/.
School Librarians Honored
Library media specialists and teachers at five schools have been named the recipients of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) ICONnect ICPrize for Collaboration Through Technology. The awardees are school library media specialist Betsy Barnett and teacher Pete Conrad of Eads (Colorado) High School; school library media specialist Susan L. Evans and teacher JoAnn Reynolds of F. Niel Postlethwait Middle School (Camden, Delaware); school library media specialist Courtney Kaczka and teachers Anne Oakes, Tanya Chiavola, Sharon Gue, and Sandy Mears of Townsend (Delaware) Elementary School; school library media specialist Sandy Kelly and teachers Jane Hermann, Liz Perry, Carolyn Platt, and Wendy Stack of Carlisle (Massachusetts) Public School; and school library media specialist Theresa Michelson and teacher Julie Erlinger of Urbana (Illinois) High School. The prize recipients received $1,000 toward the purchase of technology for their library media center or to support travel to attend a state or national conference. AASL/American Library Association, 800/545-2433 or http://www.ala.org/ICONN/.
Media Literacy Month
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) will celebrate its annual Media Literacy Day on March 21. The Academy's 18 chapters nationwide will celebrate the event in various ways at schools and television stations in their communities. NATAS provides a package of free media literacy curriculum materials—lesson plans and videotapes—to educators. National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, 212/586-8424 or http://www.emmyonline.org/.
What's on Television
CNN Newsroom takes a look at the weather on March 22 with a special series titled "Eye of the Storm." Related educational materials will be available on CNNfyi.com [http://www.CNNfyi.com]. During the March celebration of Women's History Month CNN Newsroom will feature interviews with newsmakers including Condelezza Rice, National Security Advisor to President Bush; Marion Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund; and Karen Hughes, Counselor to President Bush. Other stories scheduled for the month of March include a look at etiquette and its relationship to success in life and business. On April 15, CNN Newsroom offers Teen Finance, an in-depth look at the basics of finance for teens. Turner Learning/CNN Newsroom, http://turnerlearning.com or http://www.CNNfyi.com/.
Apple's Thin PowerBook
The new Titanium PowerBook G4 features PowerPC G4 processors with Velocity Engine running up to 500 MHz, a 15.2-inch (diagonal) wide display, slot-loading DVD drive, and 5-hour battery—all in a 1-inch-thick Titanium enclosure weighing 5.3 pounds. The superlight Titanium PowerBook G4 outperforms Pentium III-based notebook systems by up to 30 percent. The new system's features include 128 MB to 256 MB of SDRAM, expandable to 1 GB; AGP 2x Rage Mobility 128 with 8 MB SDRAM, built-in 10/100 Ethernet; USB, FireWire, VGA, and S-video output; and AirPort connectivity with integrated antennas. Pricing begins at $2,600. Apple Computer, Inc., 800/MY-APPLE or http://www.apple.com/.
New Mac Operating Systems
Mac OS X, the newest Mac operating system, will ship on March 24 for a suggested retail price of $129. Mac OS X features include an open source, UNIX-based foundation called Darwin; Apple's new Quartz graphics engine based on the PDF standard for graphics and broad font support; OpenGL for 3-D graphics and gaming; integrated QuickTime for streaming audio and video; the Classic API that runs most existing Mac applications "as is"; the Carbon API for "tuned-up" Mac applications with the full Mac OS X features; the Cocoa API for advance object-oriented applications; the full Java 2 API; and the Aqua user interface, an entirely new user interface. Mac OS 9.1, the latest update of Mac OS 9, also has been released. Designed to ensure a smooth transition to Mac OS X, Mac OS 9.1 is priced at $99 and is available as a free download for Mac OS 9 customers. Apple Computer, Inc., 800/MY-APPLE or http://www.apple.com/.
Gateway Education Services
Gateway has announced three new service options for educators. The Gateway Personalized Help Desk offers a personalized support phone numberanswered by a Gateway technician who can field extremely specific questions from end users. The technician will have immediate access to user identity, equipment configuration, and service history. Pricing varies, based on the number of systems—ranging from $15 to $19 for each PC per year. The Gateway Escalation Advisor, designed for larger school districts and universities that already employ dedicated information technology professionals, offers a senior-level support expert as the primary point of contact for a direct line to advanced tech support. The Escalation Advisor can provide access to the engineering lab, dispatch repair service, and pre-approve parts ordering. Monthly reports will help pinpoint recurring problems so that preventive measures can be taken to reduce future downtime. The cost is $5,000 per client for a year of service. The Gateway e-Support Web site continues to host new features. Clients can now enter their serial number to obtain complete system configuration information, parts lists, and warranty status. The parts lists provide hot links to driver updates and fixes. Gateway, 800/846-5211 or http://www.gateway.com/.
Staff Development Awards
The National Staff Development Council (NSDC) has awarded honors to 15 individuals who have contributed to the quality of staff development through their writings, research, service, or other activities: Distinguished Service—Thomas Swenson; Contribution to Staff Development—Kati Haycock and M. Hayes Mizell; Outstanding Book Award—Thomas R. Guskey, Linda Darling—Hammond, and Gary Sykes; Best Dissertation Research Award—Patricia Roy; Mentor of the Year—Kathryn Blumsack; Outstanding New Staff Developer—Laura L. Gschwend; Outstanding Affiliate Newsletter Award—Brenda Stallion Barkley; Outstanding Department Newsletter Award—Ellen McLaughlin, Doris Ridder, and Wayne Henley; and Exemplary Use of Technology—Donald Helfgott and Mona Westhaver of Inspiration Software, Inc. The 10,000-member National Staff Development Council, based in Oxford, Ohio, acts as a network to connect its members with information, strategies, and best practices that demonstrate high expectations and high performance for both students and staff. NSDC, 513/523-6029 or http://www.nsdc.org/.
Palm Grants Awarded
The first Palm Education Pioneers have been named by Palm, Inc. and SRI International in a joint program developed to provide Palm computers for teachers and their students and to evaluate uses of Palm handheld computers in K-12 classrooms. The 15 Round I winners are: Foothill Middle School in Walnut Creek, California (6th grade math and science students); St. Vincent Ferrer School in Cincinnati, Ohio (6th grade language, math, and productivity); Memorial High School in Campbell, Ohio (social studies); Northline Elementary School in Houston, Texas (astronomy); Kennedy Krieger High School in Baltimore, Maryland (special needs students); Beaver High School in Beaver, Utah (chemistry); The Lamphere Schools in Madison Heights, Michigan (5th grade art, science, and creative writing); Hommocks Middle School inLarchmont, New York (special education); Fulmore Middle School in Austin, Texas (algebra); Shead High School in Eastport, Maine (marine science); Merced High School and Livingston High School in Atwater, California (environmental science); Kellogg Middle School in Shoreline, Washington (environmental science and social studies); Slaton High School in Slaton, Texas (environmental science); Immaculata School in Hendersonville, North Carolina (elementary school environmental science); and Eliot Middle School in Altadena, California (environmental science). Palm, Inc., 408/326-9000 or http://www.palm.com/.
The Computer Clubhouse
The East Side San Jose Boys & Girls Club is the site of the first Intel Computer Clubhouse, a community-based "invention workshop" designed to bring technology to underserved youth. The Clubhouse encourages youngsters to "learn by doing" and to develop meaningful skills that will open up new possibilities for the future. Adult mentors will work with the young people aged 8 to 18 as they explore their own ideas, develop skills, and build confidence while using technology to design computer-based products. Clubhouse projects include computer-generated art, music, and video; scientific simulations; original animations; kinetic sculptures and robots; Web pages; and computer games. Additional sites are scheduled to open soon in Chandler, Arizona; East Palo Alto and Sacramento, California; Washington, DC; Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico; Beaverton and Portland, Oregon; Tacoma, Washington; and Qiryat-Gat, Israel. A global network of 100 Intel Computer Clubhouses will open worldwide by 2005. Intel Corporation, 408/765-3328 or http://www.intel.com/education/.
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