[NetWatch] [MultiMedia Schools]
November/December 2001
Copyright © Information Today, Inc.
by Kathie Felix, News/Reviews 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.

* Net News

Teens Online
The Internet has become an increasingly important feature of the learning environment for teenagers. Research by the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that teens use the Internet as an essential study aid outside of the classroom and that the Internet increasingly has a place inside the classroom. Here are some of the study's findings: 94 percent of students ages 12-17 who have Internet access say they use the Internet for school research and 78 percent say they believe the Internet helps them with schoolwork. A total of 71 percent of online teens say that they used the Internet as the dominant source for their most recent major school project or report. Other findings: 41 percent of online teens say they use e-mail and instant messaging to contact teachers or classmates about schoolwork, 34 percent of online teens have downloaded an online study aid, and 18 percent of online teens say they know of someone who has used the Internet to cheat on a paper or test. Pew Internet & American Life Project, 202/296-0019 or http://www.pewinternet.org/.

* Net Libraries

New Facts on File Databases
Ancient History: An On-line Encyclopedia provides a complete look at ancient Africa, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Mesoamerica in one database with fully hyperlinked subject and timeline entries, biographies, maps, charts, and more. Based on 10 of Facts On File's most comprehensive print products, the online encyclopedia spans the period from the early Hominids 3-5 million years ago to flourishing cultures in 600 C.E. Literature & Language: An On-line Encyclopedia presents thousands of author biographies, as well as information on literary movements from the Literary A to Z series and reference works such as the Dictionary of British Literary Characters, the Banned Books set, and Bibliography of American Fiction.Information on techniques and terms is included, as is the full-textof reference titles such as The Facts On File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, Shakespeare's Language, and the Medieval Wordbook. Facts On File, 800/322-8755 or http://www.factsonfile.com/.

Literature Resource Center 3.0
The Gale Group has released online a new edition of its Literature Resource Center. The new edition includes a redesigned interface; biographical, bibliographical, and contextual information from the Contemporary Authors and Dictionary of Literary Biography databases; and full-text criticism from the Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC) Select database. Also included are more than 285,000 full-text journal articles from more than 133 literary journals; 38,000 critical essays; 4,329 work overviews, plot summaries, and explications; more than 5,000 links to authoritative related Web sites; more than 122,000 author biographies; 2,500 author portraits; and Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature with 10,000 definitions of literary terms. The Literature Resource Center is available fully integrated with the MLA Bibliography. The Gale Group, 800/877-GALE or http://www.gale.com/.

* Net Teaching

Lucas Educational Foundation Teacher Programs
The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) has released a new series documenting the importance of comprehensive teacher preparation programs. The series, available online [http://www.glef.org/tphome.html/], includes articles, strategies, and resources for program reform, as well as four short videos profiling exemplary programs where student teachers practice in real classrooms, connect with mentor teachers, and develop technological expertise. Among the programs profiled are a 5-year graduate program at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education; Colorado State University's Project Promise, a 1-year program for career changers; and Generation www.Y, where elementary, middle, and high school students help veteran and prospective teachers use technology in their lessons. The George Lucas Educational Foundation, 415/507-0399 or http://www.glef.org/.

HyperStudio Resources for Teachers
The HyperStudio Web site [http://www.hyperstudio.com/] offers free resources online, including free professional development materials, downloadable HyperStudio updates, HyperStudio user tips and tutorials, clip art, list serves and Web rings, sample student and teacher projects, and more. Among the professional development materials is the "Workshop-in-a-Box" program that provides everything educators need to lead effective HyperStudio workshops, including one workshop CD-ROM of HyperStudio, as well as workbooks and demo CDs for each attendee. Knowledge Adventure, 800/545-7677 or http://www.KnowledgeAdventure.com/.

The newly launched version of the Inspiration Software Web site provides a wide array of information for teachers. Included are visual learning methodologies and ways instructors can integrate them into the classroom, sample diagrams and lesson plans, the Flashes newsletter with stories on how educators have used visual learning techniques in the classroom to meet learning goals and state and national standards, sample lesson plans, and training aids for Inspiration and Kidspiration software. Inspiration, 800/877-4292 or http://www.inspiration.com/.

Online Lesson Plans
The Discovery Channel School has added 27 new online lesson plans, partnered with 22 new science, math, and social studies videos. Correlated to national standards, the videos for media specialists and teachers explain topics such as Test Tube Babies, Patterns and Symmetry, and Probability and Odds. Also new are special collections on Bioethics (genes and environment), Biomes (coasts, deserts, forests), Measure for Measure (weight, length, temperature), and Size and Scale (space, time, perspective). All of the videos include printed Teacher Guides. Video clips can be sampled online. DiscoverySchool.com, 888/892-3484 or http://teacherstore.discovery.com/.

* Net Learning

American History
The American History subscription Web site for middle and high school students provides curriculum-based content, a teacher-customizable environment, and a reference database. Features include "This Day in History," "Living History," and a biweekly feature story designed to put history into perspective. The site includes more than 11,000 entries organized by topic and category and keyword-searchable biographies, maps, primary source documents, statistics, video clips, court cases, and more. ABC-CLIO, 800/368-6868 or http://www.abc-clio.com/.

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