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Magazines > MultiMedia Schools > March/April 2003
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Vol. 10 No. 2 — Mar/Apr 2003
NetWatch
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 kfelix@infotoday.com.

NetNews

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 levels—from 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 slightly—from 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/.


NetTeaching

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, ntti@thirteen.org or http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/ntti/.

iloli

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/.


NetLibraries

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 or http://www.hwwilson.com/.

WebFind

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

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 or http://www.gale.com/.

Readers' Guide Online

The entire retrospective content of Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature—back to its 1901 debut—is 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/.


NETTOOLS

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/.


NetLearning

Homework Help

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/.

 


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