by Kathie Felix, News Editor
News of the
latest Net-related 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.
Internet Filters Block Health Information
The blocking of health information increases sharply when Internet
filters are set at higher levels, while access to pornographic content decreases
only marginally, according to a report released by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The study, "See No Evil: How Internet Filters Affect the Search for Online
Health Information," tested the six most commonly used filters at the "least," "intermediate," and "most" restrictive
settings. At the least-restrictive level, the filters incorrectly blocked
an average of 1.4 percent of health sites. When set at the most-restrictive
level, the filters blocked 24 percent of health sites. The blocking of sites
on sexual health issues such as condoms and safe sex was higher at all levelsfrom
9 percent at the least-restrictive setting to as much as 50 percent of all
sites at the most-restrictive setting. The amount of pornographic content
blocked was found to increase only slightlyfrom 87 percent at the least-restrictive
configuration to 91 percent at the most-restrictive level. An earlier Kaiser
study indicated that 70 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds have used the Internet
to look up health information, including 40 percent who have researched sexual
issues such as birth control or sexually transmitted diseases. An executive
summary of the filtering study is available online or by calling the Foundation's
publication request line. Kaiser Family Foundation, 800/656-4544 or http://www.kff.org/.
The Mothers of America's eMarch
The Mothers of America online organization has kicked off an international
campaign to "rally the support of parents worldwide to take a stand against
the misuse of the Internet by people who put up, maintain, and profit from
online pornography." The 3-year-old organization has planned safety-focused
activities for 2003, including the building of an online safety petition. The
goal of the petition project is to collect the e-signatures of at least 1 million
parents and concerned individuals by Mothers Day 2003. The organization proposes
that Microsoft develop a new Windows operating system for kids for all child-safe
computers as part of its default operating system and that computer manufacturers
develop child-safe computers with password protection for all access to the
Internet. Mothers of America provides an online kid-safe search engine, as
well as news and information on child safety for parents. Mothers of America,
719/884-1146 or http://www.mothersofamerica.com/.
Online Teacher Training
The PBS-backed National Teacher Training Institute (NTTI) is celebrating
its 13th year of existence. Created at Thirteen/WNET, the New York public television
station, NTTI offers online tutorials, tested lesson plans, and access to other
teachers through e-mail networks. The Institute's Web site features ideas,
models, and methods to help make the most of classroom technology. NTTI also
sponsors 26 regional institutes hosted by public television stations across
the country. Each regional institute conducts workshops and publishes classroom-ready,
technology-based lessons for participating teachers to share with their schools
and districts. NTTI, email@example.com or http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/ntti/.
iLearningOnline interactive (iloli) is a classroom-based online instructional
reading and math assessment program aligned to state standards. The product
provides grade level assessment of reading comprehension and math proficiencies.
Ongoing diagnostics allow teachers to measure student learning and track progress
during the academic year. Instant test scoring and reporting by learner and
class provide performance information that enables teachers to target instruction.
iloli is available in three packages: elementary, middle school, and high school.
The annual subscription fee provides unlimited usage per school. Harcourt
Interactive Technology, 800/531-5015 or http://www.harcourt.com/.
One Million Book Reviews on WilsonWeb
More than 1 million reviews on more than 700,000 books are now searchable
with the expansion of Book Review Digest to Book Review Digest Plus. The material
draws content from thousands of periodicals and includes full-text reviews,
excerpts, and citations for general fiction and nonfiction reference works,
books for children, and textbooks. Searches can be performed by keyword, book
title, article title, author, source, and more. Master records for each book
link to reviews from various publications. A library holdings indicator linking
to the library's OPAC lets users know if they'll find cited books and periodicals
on the shelves. Book Review Digest Plus is available on WilsonWeb. Book Review
Digest remains available on CD-ROM and in print. H. W. Wilson, 800/367-6770
SIRS Discoverer WebFind for students in grades 1-9 provides a database of
Internet resources selected for their research value, interest level, credibility,
age-appropriateness, and reliability. The chosen sites represent leading universities,
government agencies, and respected organizations. Each site is assigned topics
derived from the SIRS Discoverer database and a site summary written by SIRS
editorial staff. Users can retrieve Web sites using keyword and subject heading
searches. WebFind takes users to a separate browser window to view and research
selected sites. When the site viewing is complete, the user is returned to
the search interface. Discoverer WebFind can be purchased as a supplement to
SIRS Discoverer or as a stand-alone product. SIRS, 800/232-SIRS or http://www.sirs.com/.
Consulta, an online resource developed for Spanish speakers, combines the
resources of Gale and Océano Grupo Editorial, the Spanish-language reference
publisher. The product contains more than 100 Gale and Océano reference
titles, including more than 60 full-text journals and more than 1,000 primary
source documents. In addition, more than 6,200 full-color photographs, maps,
and artwork are offered. As with other Gale Resource Centers, the Basic, Advanced,
Name, Timeline/Chronology, and Image Gallery search paths are available. Consulta
features several bilingual Spanish dictionaries, including English-Spanish
and Spanish-English translations, French-Spanish and Spanish-French translations,
Spanish definitions, and Spanish synonyms and antonyms. Gale, 800/877-4253
Readers' Guide Online
The entire retrospective content of Readers' Guide to Periodical Literatureback
to its 1901 debutis now searchable online via WilsonWeb. The two-phase
release of Readers' Guide Retrospective: 1890-1982, now complete, makes nearly
a century of Readers' Guide content available. The full release of Readers'
Guide Retrospective delivers nearly 3 million citations from 500 leading U.S.
magazines, including reporting on historical events when they occurred; interviews
and profiles of a century of headliners and history-makers; contemporary criticism
of works of art, literature, film, and stage; and notes of illustrations, photos,
charts, and other graphics accompanying articles. Searches can be performed
by keyword, subject heading, dates, journal, author, article title, ISSN, article
type, and more. When combined with Readers' Guide Full Text or other Readers'
Guide databases, more than 110 years of article citations are accessible for
electronic searching. H. W. Wilson, 800/367-6770 or http://www.hwwilson.com/.
Best Web Sites for Principals
The book 101 Best Web Sites for Principals from the International
Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) provides pointers to resources on
topics such as data-driven decision making, finance, professional organizations,
and research and key issues. Each entry includes a URL, a Web site description,
and specific links to other information. The book features quick reference
charts at the beginning of each chapter and appendices to help new Internet
users get online, find an Internet service provider, use a Web browser, and
trouble shoot common problems. The table of contents and an excerpt of the
text can be found online. The price is $26.95 for ISTE members, $29.95 for
non-members. ISTE, 800/336-5191 or http://www.iste.org/.
FileMaker On the Web
FileMaker, Inc., the developer of FileMaker Pro software, has launched a
K-12 Web site that offers free ready-to-use materials for educators and administrators.
The site also provides lists of conferences and events featuring expert speakers;
news updates about FileMaker in classrooms, schools and districts; and special
offers on FileMaker products for K-12. FileMaker, 800/325-2747 or http://www.filemaker.com/education/.
Tutor.com has launched Live Homework Help en Español in its California
state program. An approved supplemental educational services provider in 15
states, the site offers live homework help access to subject experts. Additional
programs include online homework help via 70 public libraries across the country
and all 100 public libraries in
the state of Maryland, as well as a partnership with the Princeton Review that
provides an after-school tutoring program designed to help students excel at
standardized exams. Tutor.com, 212/528-3101 http://www.tutor.com/.