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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.
Maine's Technology Plan
The state of Maine has developed a comprehensive plan for school technology integration. The plan, developed by the Taskforce on the Maine Learning Technology Endowment and supported by Governor Angus King, includes a recommendation to begin the project by providing portable wireless computers to Maine's 7th and 8th grade students and teachers. A start date of Fall 2002 has been mentioned for the project. More information can be found in a PDF file posted at http://www.state.me.us/governor/news/previous_articles/PressReleases/MLTE.pdf/.
The State of Maine, http://www.state.me.us/governor/.
National Board Certification for Media
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is conducting pilot programs nationwide in preparation for theDecember release of the Certificate for Library Media Specialists. The Certificate involves four portfolio entries that measure classroom-based abilities and six Assessment Center exercises that measure content knowledge. The Library Media Standards (and an overview of the standards) can be found on the Board's Web site. The members of the NBPTS Library Media Standards Committee are Sharon A. Coatney, David Loertscher, Jacquelyn E. Crook, Paula Galland, Ann Gilreath, Sara Kelly Johns, Cindy Jolley, Bob Kaplan, Erlene Bishop Killeen, Lena Freeman Murrill, Mary Lou O'Connor, Karen Whetzel, Cynthia Wilson, and Nancy Zimmerman.Katherine Bassett of the Ocean City, New Jersey, school district, New Jersey State Teacher of the Year 2000, is serving as Teacher in Residence for the certificate. Karen Price of the Pittsburgh school district is the certificate developer. NBPTS, 800/22-TEACH, http://www.nbpts.org/.
Gender Differences Similar Across Racial/Ethnic
A new report on the gender gap in education and work across racial/ethnic groups found more similarities than differences. The report from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Policy Information Center, "Differences in the Gender Gap: Comparisons Across Racial/Ethnic Groups in Education and Work," found that on most measures gender differences did not vary much from one racial/ethnic group to another. In addition, the report notes that average gender differences in educational achievement are usually small, and there is typically a large overlap in the distribution of male and female scores. Data in the report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress found that females in all racial/ethnic groups scored higher, on average, than males in reading, writing, and civics. There was an advantage in science at some levels for Hispanic and white males. In mathematics, however, essentially no differences between males and females were found. Copies of the report are available by mail at a cost of $10.50. In addition, the report can be downloaded from http://www.ets.org/research/. ETS, 609/734-5694 or http://www.ets.org/.
Mandarin M3 Updates
New features in the Mandarin M3 Library Automation System include a new session save feature in the Inventory module that allows librarians to save an inventory session for future retrieval. The module also provides new reporting capabilities, including a statistical list and an option to track items that are shelved without being returned. An enhanced Barcode Label Printing Utility and improved printing capabilities have also been added. New reports sort equipment items by building location and list items scanned in circulation on a selected day by call number. More than 100 preloaded reports are now available. SIRS Mandarin Inc., 800/232-7477 or http://www.sirs.com/.
Gale Boosts Classic Periodical Database
The periodical content of the General Reference Center Gold, available within the InfoTrac interface, has been increased by 45 percent. The classic database now includes the full text of more than 1,600 magazines and journals, including The Washington Post. Full text of the Post dates to 1996, with indexing back to 1982. The Post joins the full-text offerings from The Christian Science Monitor and Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service already included in the product. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal are indexed in the database. General Reference Center Gold also has added new business/vocational periodicals designed to serve students in high school Advanced Placement programs. The Gale Group, 800/877-GALE or http://www.galegroup.com/.
3M Donates $1.5 Million to Schools
For the second year, 3M, in partnership with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), will offer the 3M Salute to Schools programto middle and high schools to help reduce the loss of valuable library resources. The $1.5 million program will provide 100 schools with up to two 3M Detection Systems for the entrance/exit of their library media centers, a supply of 3M Tattle-Tape Security Strips for marking materials, and materials processing accessories—a security package with an average value of about $15,000. Individual donations will vary, depending on the specific needs of the library, such as the size of the collection and the physical layout of the media center. Grant recipients will be announced at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in June in San Francisco. Last year, 3M donated $1 million for the 3M Salute to Schools program; AASL selected the 70 winning schools from more than 500 applicants. AASL/ALA, 800/545-2433, ext. 4383 or http://www.ala.org/aasl/ or http://www.3M.com/library.
10 Schools Named to the Connections
The SMARTer Kids Foundation has selected 10 schools in the U.S. and Canada to participate in the 2001-2002 Connections program: Grand Ridge School, Grand Ridge, Florida; Old Fort Elementary School, Old Fort, North Carolina; Del City Elementary School, Del City, Oklahoma; Bells Elementary School, Bells, Texas; Helen M. Knight Intermediate School, Moab, Utah; Bowcroft Elementary School, Calgary, Alberta; Windsor Park School, Calgary, Alberta; Blossom Park Public School, Gloucester, Ontario; St. Mary's School, Carleton Place, Ontario; and Lakefront Consolidated Elementary School, Tangier, Nova Scotia. Each school will receive a SMART Board 580, Floor Stand 570, SMART Board software, an NEC VT440 projector, and teacher training to integrate the technology into the curriculum. The program will follow students through grades 5 and 6, ending with student representatives and their teachers meeting for a week in Calgary in May 2002. Throughout the program, the students will collaborate on projects and communicate with each other by e-mail. The Connections program has worked with more than 500 students in its 3 years of operation. SMARTer Kids Foundation, 403/228-8565 or http://www.smarterkids.org/.
Free GRE Test Prep Materials
Beginning September 1, 2001, Educational Testing Service (ETS) will send free official test preparation materials to every registrant for the GRE General Test, Writing Assessment, or Subject Tests worldwide. Individuals registering for the computerized GRE General Test or Writing Assessment will be sent a free CD-ROM of ETS's POWERPREP 2.0 software, which originally sold for $45. A downloadable version of POWERPREP will be available at no charge to test registrants and non-registrants from the GRE Web site, http://www.gre.org/, beginning August 15, 2001. Individuals registering for one of the GRE Subject Tests will be sent a free print copy of the corresponding preparation materials as part of their registration. Beginning September 1, 2001, Subject Test preparation material will be offered at no cost through downloadable PDF files. ETS, 609/921-9000 or http://www.ets.org/.
Student News Bureau Training Videos
A new video series has been released to help schools enrolling in the CNN Student Bureau (CNNSB) program. The four-tape set, available at no cost to enrolling schools, provides an overview and basic training guide for the CNN Student Bureau, the official CNN student newsgathering and reporting program. The video series begins with an explanation of school certification, how to submit stories, and what CNN producers want to see. Sample stories from CNNSB schools throughout the country are included. Also examined in the series: The Team Approach to News Production, Field Production, and Post-Production. The CNN News Bureau gives high school and college students from around the world the opportunity to practice their journalistic skills with the guidance of professional editors and reporters. More than 60 schools have been certified since the program launched in 1998. Nearly 600 schools around the world—including classrooms in 48 U.S. states and 37 countries—have applied to participate. Student work is published on the daily classroom program CNN Newsroom, on the broader CNN networks, and on CNNfyi.com, the news and educational site for students and teachers. Turner Learning, 404/827-2754 or http://turnerlearning.com/.
Think & Go Phonics
The new Think & Go Phonics learning tool, an interactive talking teaching tool, promotes phonemic awareness to help children learn how to read. Designed for grades preK-2, the device teaches the alphabet, letter sounds, spelling, and word creation with six learning modes. Students press letters to hear their sounds and to spell three-letter words. A guiding voice helps students work independently or in small groups. The product includes a 110-page teacher's activity guide with 34 games designed for individual or small group activities. Also included are activity materials such as game boards and pieces, flash cards, bingo boards, number cubes, and headphones. $70. LeapFrog SchoolHouse, 800/833-7430 or http://www.LeapFrogSchoolHouse.com/.
Twist & Shout for Math
Two new titles have been added to the hand-held Twist & Shout line of learning tools developed to teach and quiz math to a musical beat. Twist & Shout Addition and Subtraction, designed for grades 1-4, features three games that teach addition tables from zero to 12 and introduce subtraction. Twist & Shout Multiplication provides practice on multiplication tables from zero to 12 to help youngsters in grades 2-6 attain automatic recall of basic multiplication facts and begin to understand division concepts. Both titles feature three "Learn and Quiz Wildcard" games, two skill level quiz modes, an interactive LCD display, teacher's activity guide, and headphones. $40—single pack. $160—classroom five-pack. LeapFrog SchoolHouse, 800/833-7430 or http://www.LeapFrogSchoolHouse.com/.
Technology Planning and the Instructional
The second edition of Technology Planning for Effective Teaching and Learning by Dr. Steven Baule provides guidelines, staff development plans, assessment forms, specifications, and policies designed to help reconcile all points of view within a school or a district. The book examines the organization of the planning team, vision statements, information gathering, planning, funding, policy issues, and the evaluation and assessment of the technology plan. Appendices provide checklists, timelines, questions to ask, and sample goal and vision statements. Dr. Baule is director of Information Technology for the New Trier Township High School District in Northfield/Winnetka, Illinois. 160 pages, $39.95. Linworth Publishing, 614/436-7107 or http://www.linworthpublishing.com/.
iBook Storage Cart
Laptop Storage Carts—now available for 10 or 20 iBook units—can store, move, and charge iBook laptop computers in a single location. The carts are loaded horizontally from both sides. Features include a specific area for the iBook AC power adapter, a place to route cords, and two external power and telephone outlets. AirPorts, projectors, printers, and other hardware can be placed on the top shelf for use in a classroom or training setting. Locking hardware keeps iBooks safe and secure. Vented sides on the cart allow for airflow around the laptops. The carts have large handles and 5-inch single-wheel rubber castors. Pricing begins around $1,000. Anthro Corporation, 800/325-3841 or http://www.anthro.com/.
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