[NetWatch] [MultiMedia Schools]
November/December 2002
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

Teachers on the Web

The Web is becoming the nation's blackboard, according to a study released by Web site building services provider Homestead Technologies. According to the company's 2002 ClassroomWeb Site Study, 42 percent of teachers already have a Web site, while 71 percent believe that most will have a Web site to assist with their teaching within 5 years. Among the teachers currently working with their own Web site, communication with students was listed as the most popular use (73 percent), followed by communication with parents (51 percent). The study also examined how teachers benefit from their Web sites. Responding teachers said that a classroom Web site saves them time (52 percent), helps them meet technology standards (41 percent), enables them to teach about technology (27 percent), and increases interest in their jobs (21 percent). The survey results are available online. Homestead Technologies, http://www.homestead.com/.

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 kathiefelx@aol.com.

* Net Libraries

Biography Resource Center 2.0

The new version of Biography Resource Center features the streamlined interface used on other Gale products. The Version 2.0 interface presents a series of tabs similar to file folders that allow users to select information by type: classic reference such as biographical essays and magazine articles (all full text and updated daily), thumbnails with just the facts, or Web sites (a total of 9,000 selected links throughout the Resource Center). A Name Search option provides a quick search, and an Advanced Search option allows Boolean searches by keyword, source, or full text. A Biographical Facts Search focuses on life details such as occupation, gender, and birth/death date or place. The Biography Resource Center covers more than 220,000 notable individuals from around the world, throughout history, and across all discipline areas. An additional 1 million thumbnail biographies are included. Gale Publishing/The Thomson Corporation, 800/877-4253 or http://www.gale.com/.

EBSCOhost Web 6.0

The EBSCOhost interface includes new features such as a spell-checker; new print options; a folder for marking items across searches to print, e-mail, or save; and new Thesauri for CINAHL, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO. Additional features include an updated graphical user interface and three new options for Advanced Search, which has replaced the Guided and Expert search screens. EBSCOadmin also has been upgraded to support the new EBSCOhost 6.0 features. Training documentation for EBSCOhost customers is posted online. EBSCO Publishing, 800/653-2726 or http://www.ebsco.com/.

* Net Teaching

Online Science

The Holt Online Learning science series for grades 6-12 includes online books such as the Holt Science and Technology Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science textbooks for middle grades, as well as Holt Science Spectrum: A Physical Approach; Modern Biology; Modern Chemistry; and Holt Physics. The online books, with interactive features, are divided into four sections: Book Pages (exact duplicates of the print editions), Quick Concepts (interactive sections to reinforce text learning), Practice and Review, and Web Links. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 800/992-1627 or http://www.hrw.com or http://www.harcourt.com/.

Free Online Professional Development Tools

Tom Snyder Productions has launched a new free Web site to help teacher training and professional development. Among the free resources on the site are grant funding information for hardware, software, and professional development; support materials, articles, and Web sites for technology coordinators; links to tutorials for hardware and software tools; teacher-created walk-throughs for effective integration of specific software titles such as Microsoft PowerPoint, TimeLiner, and Inspiration; and links to subject-specific hot lists. Tom Snyder Productions, 800/342-0236 or http://www.tomsnyder.com/profdev/.

Free Online Course Delivery Platform

Jones Knowledge is donating its baseline Jones e-education online course delivery and management platform to schools and students. The source code for this software is scheduled to be freely available by the end of the year to the world's educational institutions. The company will continue to support existing customers using a more advanced version of the platform—Jones e-education v.4.0—but currently intends to no longer develop or accept new contracts for this edition of the software. The company is not donating the version 4.0 source code because third-party products were integrated into the software and it cannot be freely offered to the open market. Jones Knowledge, 800/453-5663 or http://www.jonesknowledge.com/.

* Net Learning

World Atlas

The online subscription World Atlas from Facts On File for grades 6 and up has been updated with new content and features and a redesigned interface. Country, state, and province information—including the vital statistics, governments, history, and chronology sections—has been updated through 2002. The Flags section now includes a printable large color version and a large outline version of the country and state flags. Printable locator maps are available for each region, country, state, and province; neighboring countries can be accessed. Each page of each record—maps and text—links to a printable format. A Graphing Tool and a Locator Tool have been added. The atlas includes reproducible maps and statistical data on hundreds of nations, territories, regions, and states. Facts On File, 800/322-8755 or http://www.factsonfile.com/.

New Online Learning Products

Apex Learning has launched a series of new online products for the 2002-2003 school year. Evaluation Tools offers teachers diagnostic tests aligned to 10 Advanced Placment (AP) topic outlines; the tests include instant grade reports. Three new Advanced Placement courses are available: Biology, Spanish Language, and Psychology. In addition, eight new general studies courses are available: American Literature, Chemistry, Geology, HTML/Dynamic HTML and Scripting, Intermediate Algebra, Precalculus, U.S. Government, and U.S. History. All schools offering online courses will receive a new "School Readiness Kit" with the tools and resources needed to administer their program. APEX Learning, 800/453-1454 or http://www.apexlearning.com/.


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