[NewsWatch] [MultiMedia Schools]
November/December 2000
Copyright © Information Today, Inc.
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 kfelix@infotoday.com.

NEWS

200 American Memory Fellows
With its year 2000 graduating class, the Library of Congress has named a total of 200 educators as American Memory Fellows. The program, now in its fourth year, offers teachers, librarians, and media specialists working with grades 4-12 the opportunity to learn the best ways to use electronic resources in the classroom. Although much of the year-long program takes place in the Fellows’ schools, the cornerstone is a Summer Institute held in Washington, DC. This year’s Institute was held for the first time entirely at the Library’s National Digital Library Learning Center. During the 5-day session, the educators worked in teams to develop original teaching units drawing upon the American Memory online materials. The lessons will be tested and refined by their authors and in the spring will be submitted to the Library for inclusion on the American Memory Learning Page. Applications for the 2001 American Memory Fellows program will be available December 1, 2000, from the Library’s Learning Page at http://memory.log.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/amfp/intro.html/. Applications must be postmarked by February 26, 2001. No applications will be accepted by fax or e-mail. Selection decisions will be announced the week of April 23, 2001. The Library of Congress, 202/707-6151 or http://memory.loc.gov/.

Technology Stats
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has released “Teachers’ Tools for the 21st Century: A Report on Teachers’ Use of Technology,” a document describing the use of educational technology in schools and classrooms. Written by Becky Smerdon and Stephanie Cronen, the seven-chapter report examines the availability of technology in schools and classrooms, teacher training and preparation for the use of technology, and the barriers to technology use encountered by educators. The material is currently available online as a PDF file at http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2000102/. A print edition will be available at a later date. NCES is the primary federal entity for the collection and analysis of data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. National Center for Education Statistics, 202/502-7300 or http://nces.ed.gov/.

A Critical Look at Computers
The Alliance for Childhood, a partnership of more than 75 educators, technology experts, researchers, and child development authorities, is challenging the increasing emphasis on computers in early childhood and elementary schools. The organization recently issued a report, titled “Fool’s Gold: A Critical Look at Computers and Childhood,” that examines technology in light of its potential harm to children. The report—as well as the group’s fundamental beliefs and concerns, position statement, and projects—appears online. The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) presents the “other side” of this issue in its online response to the Alliance report [http://www.cosn.org/]. Alliance member Jane Healy is scheduled to make a presentation at the February 2001 CoSN conference. Alliance for Childhood, http://www.allianceforchildhood.net/.
 

LIBRARY NEWS

Wilson Goes 24/7
H.W. Wilson customers now have 24-hour-a-day access to Internet and telephone technical support. Wilson interactive technical support on the Web provides answers to questions about WilsonWeb and WilsonDisc. Online [http://hwwtechnicalsupport.com/], customers can consult a database of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and can submit their own inquiries. Direct answers are posted by Wilson’s tech support reps by the next business day and are followed up with a phone call or e-mail message to make certain the issue has been addressed to the customer’s satisfaction. Wilson telephone technical support has been expanded to offer round-the-clock, toll-free service 365 days a year. Customers can call 800/367-6770 or e-mail questions to techmail@hwwilson.com. H.W. Wilson Company, 800/367-6770 or http://www.hwwilson.com/.
 

CLASSROOM RESOURCES

The Trail of Tears
During the month of November—Native American History month—CNN Newsroom’s Andy Jorday retraces the Trail of Tears, the forced march westward by Native American tribes, including the Cherokee and Choctaw. The program, airing November 13-16 on CNN, examines the relocation as an historical event and discovers what the march has meant to the tribes that endured it. Turner Learning, http://turnerlearning.com/.

Student Guide to PowerPoint
The book Multimedia Projects for PowerPoint provides students with step-by-step instructions for working with PowerPoint software while creating grade-appropriate multimedia presentations. The projects in the book focus on all curriculum areas for grades three and above. Projects include creating a business plan, producing a science report, writing an autobiography, creating a social studies presentation, writing a book report, and presenting a grammar lesson. Each includes a planning form to help guide students through the creative process. The student projects introduce new PowerPoint concepts systematically, beginning with writing text and moving into animation, edited sound, and personalizing presentations. $29 per book. Lab packs and site licenses are available. FTC Publishing, 888/237-6740 or http://www.FTCPublishing.com/.
 

HELPING HANDS

Inspiration Awards
The Inspired Teacher Scholarships will award $500 to 20 inspired educators in public or private K-12 schools who champion visual learning. The scholarships are designed to support ongoing professional development in educational technology and to encourage the inclusion of visual learning methodologies in the classroom. Award recipients are compensated for attendance at a conference, graduate course, or training event where visual learning is highlighted. Applications, available online, are due on or before March 1, 2001. Award recipients will be notified by March 31, 2001. Inspiration Software, Inc. 503/297-3004 or http://www.inspiration.com/.

IRA Awards
Nominations are being accepted for the 2001 International Reading Association (IRA) Presidential Award for Reading and Technology. The award honors educators who have made an outstanding contribution to the field of reading education through the use of technology. There will be one grand-prize winner, regional U.S. winners, one winner from Canada, and one winner from outside North America. Individuals may nominate themselves or others who are using technology creatively to help students develop literacy capabilities. All nominees must be full-time educators or administrators with a valid teaching credential who work directly with students ages 5-18 for all or part of the working day. Nomination forms are available online. Nominations must be received by November 15, 2000. The award is sponsored by TLC School, a division of the Learning Company. International Reading Association, 302/731-1600 or http://www.reading.org/.

Proxima Grants
The Proxima Education Grant Program provides $1,000 and a Proxima multimedia projector to the four educators who develop the best program results on the effectiveness of multimedia projection use in the classroom that leads to measurable results. To enter, educators must submit a proposal that details a plan to use a multimedia projector in the classroom to increase learning and/or behavioral results. The proposals must include specific components: needs, goals, and an implementation plan; specific strategies to promote learning; specific outcomes for students; the unique characteristics that projection technology brings to the project; creative assessment strategies; and a timeline. Detailed proposal requirements are available online, as are examples of previously submitted proposals. Entries must be submitted by e-mail as an attachment, as indicated on the online entry form. Proposals must be received by December 1, 2000. Winners will be notified by December 20, 2000. InFocus, 888/PROXIMA, grant@proxima.com or http://www.proxima.com/grant/.

SMARTer Kids
The SMARTer Kids Foundation is accepting applications for its 2001-2002 Connections program, a project that teams fifth and sixth grade students and teachers in schools across the U.S. and Canada. The school teams use technology to work on joint projects in an interactive learning environment. The selected teachers will be trained on topics such as integrating technology into the curriculum and will return to their schools to train their colleagues in the same areas. In the spring of 2002, a group of sixth grade students and their teacher will participate in a Calgary Student Visit, with all associated costs, including airfare, accommodations, meals, local transportation, and admissions to Connection-sponsored activities, covered by the SMARTer Kids Foundation. The Foundation also donates technology to each of the participating schools. A total of eight schools are involved in the 2000-2001 program, six from the U.S. and two from Canada: Peebles Elementary, New Iberia, Louisiana; Campbellton Elementary School, New Haven, Missouri; Taylor Elementary School, Hobbs, New Mexico; Caledonia School, East Cleveland, Ohio; West Elementary School, Wheatland, Wyoming; Oakview Elementary School, Centralia, Washington; Elizabeth School, Cold Lake, Alberta; and W.O. Mitchell Elementary School, Calgary, Alberta. Applications are available online at http://www.smarterkids.org/connections/appform.htm/. Applications must be received by November 20, 2000. Applicants will be notified of their status by December 5, 2000. SMARTer Kids Foundation, 403/228-8565 or http://www.smarterkids.org/connections/.
 

USEFUL TOOLS

Digital Media Remote
The Keyspan Digital Media Remote allows users to control audio, video, and presentation programs on a PC or Macintosh. The remote has two components: a credit-card-size infrared remote and an infrared receiver unit that connects to the USB port on a Windows or Macintosh computer. The receiver unit can sit on a tabletop or can hang on the edge of an open portable system. For the Windows 98 platform, the remote includes “key maps” for controlling QuickTime, RealPlayer, WinAMP, leading DVD players (ATI, Mediametrics, RealMagic), Lotus Freelance, and Microsoft PowerPoint. For the Macintosh, the remote ships with key maps for QuickTime, Apple DVD, CD and audio players, SoundJam, RealPlayer, PowerPoint, and the Finder. A utility is provided that allows users to define key maps for additional applications. The price, previously $79, has been reduced to $49. Keyspan, 510/222-0131 or http://www.keyspan.com/.
 
 
 
 

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