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Magazines > MultiMedia Schools > March/April 2003
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Vol. 10 No. 2 — Mar/Apr 2003
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

First AASL National Board Certifications

Ninety-five members of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) achieved National Board Certification, becoming the first AASL members to receive certificates in the area of library media. The list of AASL National Board Certified library media specialists is posted online at http://www.ala.org/aasl/news/2002aaslnbcts.html/. The AASL is the first national professional organization to work directly with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) in support of members and others in the profession interested in Board certification. A total of 435 school library media specialists were National Board Certified, including the 95 AASL members representing 22 states. NBPTS, 800-22TEACH or http://www.nbpts.org/. AASL, http://www.ala.org/aasl/.

Looking at Wireless

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has released "Cutting the Cord: Wireless Comes of Age," its third white paper on topics of interest to school leaders. The eight-page report cites a Peak Group study that identifies portability and the ability to extend the network as the top school benefits of wireless and mobile computing. The CoSN paper provides an examination of the costs and benefits of wireless and mobile technologies, offers a glossary of terms and information on products and services, presents case studies, and lists resources. The white paper does not look at any possible health issues resulting from the use of wireless technologies with student populations. As this column went to press, a preview version of the document was available online in .pdf format. CoSN, 202/861-2676 or http://www.cosn.org/.

National Educational Computing Conference 2003

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) will hold the 24th annual National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in Seattle, Washington, from June 30 through July 2, 2003. Registration materials, including workshop information and a schedule of events, are available online. ISTE, 800/280-6218, http://www.iste.org/ or http://www.neccsite.org/.


Library News

Senior High School Library Catalog

The 16th edition of Wilson's Senior High School Library Catalog includes approximately 6,000 new books and a new section of Web resources. The Catalog delivers a core list of recommended fiction and nonfiction books for 9th through 12th grade reading levels, along with review sources and other professional aids for high school librarians and media specialists. The nearly 8,000 analytical entries allow searching of stories, plays, and other materials featured in anthologies and collections. The new Catalog provides 5 full years of service, with the addition of 2,400 new books featured in paperbound supplements mailed to subscribers annually from 2003 through 2006. Libraries that subscribe to both the WilsonWeb electronic edition and the print edition will pay half price for the print version. H.W. Wilson, 800/367-6770 or http://www.hwwilson.com/.


Classroom Resources

Technology in PreK- 2nd Grade

Multidisciplinary Units for PreKindergarten Through Grade 2 is the second book in the International Society for Technology in Education's (ISTE) National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS•S) Curriculum series. The book shows how to improve learning outcomes for very young children using age-appropriate educational technologies and standards-based curriculum. Included are lesson plans and activities, as well as essays examining pedagogical and classroom management issues unique to this age group. Also featured is a complete curriculum with thematically organized literature, Web, video, and software resources; multiple assessment rubrics for every unit; multidisciplinary and constructivist approaches to teaching and learning; and NETS and content standards for every unit. The table of contents and an excerpt are posted online. The cost is $31.45 for ISTE members or $34.95 for non-members. ISTE, 800/336-5191 or http://www.iste.org/.

Digital Design Curriculum Guide

Macromedia's "Digital Design: Foundations of Web Design" provides
a year-long project-based curriculum that teaches the full process of professional Web design and development. The kit, developed with educators from the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, includes teacher activity plans, introductory presentations, student concept guides, technical "how-to" guides, assessment guidelines, and standards correlations. The curriculum develops four key skill areas: design, Web authoring tools, communication, and project management. In the first semester, student projects range from online logos to electronic portfolios. In the second semester, students work in teams to extend their business communication and organization skills while building Web sites for school and community clients. The program covers professional Web development tools, including Macromedia Flash, Dreamweaver, and Fireworks. The cost of the curriculum binder is $300. Macromedia, 800/470-7211 or http://www.macromedia.com/resources/education/curriculum/digitaldesign/.


Useful Tools

Gateway's Tablet PC

The new tablet PC from Gateway is an ultra-thin, ultra-lightweight unit measuring less than 1 inch in thickness and 3 pounds in weight. The unit features an Intel Pentium III-M 866 MHz Ultra Low Volt Processor, 256 MB SDRAM memory (expandable to 1024 MB), 40 GB hard disk drive, Intel 830 MG Graphics, and a 12.1-inch XGA TFT display suitable to a variety of environments. Also included are the latest multimedia and I/O ports for connecting to external devices for music playback, data downloads, and sharing presentations. Offered as the result of a co-branding agreement with Austin-based Motion Computing, the tablet PC includes all the supporting peripherals to make it a complete solution, including integrated WiFi 802.11b wireless, the FlexDock desktop docking station, two digitizer pens, a mobile keyboard with touchpad, and an external DVD-CD-RW combo drive. The price is $2,799. Gateway, 800/221-9616 or http://www.gateway.com/.

Deploy! and Clone

SD Deploy! is a utility tool for Palm handhelds that allows users to clone the configuration of a Palm to other Palms using the SD expansion slot. Users can configure a Palm with preferences, application, data files, and entries in the Date Book, Address Book, Memo Pad, and Note Pad. The Deploy! software can copy the master image onto an SD card that can be inserted into as many hand-held devices as required, eliminating the need for a desktop or HotSync cradle. Key features of the software include the ability to erase the HotSync name on all destination devices as the image is installed and the option to prepare the device so that the user can adjust the stylus entry and set the date and time when the unit is turned on next. SD Deploy! works with any Palm with an SD expansion slot and Palm OS 4.0 or greater. In addition, the Master Palm and the destination device must have the same configuration, OS, and model number. The SD Deploy! software comes on a 16 MB SD Card. The price is $199 for a single license; volume discounts are available. Grant Street Software, 866/787-4778 or http://www.grantstreetsoftware.com/.

KidzMouse

KidzMouse now offers its specially designed computer mouse for children in Sesame Street character designs including Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Ernie. The licensed characters join the original three character designs—MollyMouse, BenjieBee, and CoolBug—with features designed specifically for young computer users. The KidzMouse is approximately half the size of a standard computer mouse and features a rounded shape designed for small hands. A squeezable "head" replaces the traditional mouse buttons, allowing youngsters to activate the mouse by squeezing anywhere on the head. Priced at $23.95, the KidzMouse products are PC- and Mac-compatible with USB and PS/2 adapters. KidzMouse, 888/503-5439 or http://www.kidzmouse.com/.


Awards Programs

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), the organization that produces the Emmy Awards, has launched an awards program recognizing excellence in high school television projects. In 2003, the Academy will offer its first-ever Awards for Excellence for Outstanding High School Television Productions in six categories: News; Arts and Entertainment/Documentary; Public Affairs/Community Service/Public Service; Sports; Technical Achievement; and Writing. The Academy is asking students to submit their entries on CD-ROM or online as a video attachment compatible with RealMedia players. Schools without access to these platforms can submit their entries
in other formats, but should first contact the Television Academy for approval and instructions. Each entry requires a processing fee of $25. The deadline for entries is April 3, 2003. The winning schools will receive the Award of Excellence; the individuals involved in the winning productions will receive certificates. The winners will be invited to Washington, D.C., in June at the Academy's expense for a National Recognition Luncheon. General information and the complete rules for the awards program are available online. NATAS, 212/586-8424 or http://www.emmyonline.org/.

 


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