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Magazines > MultiMedia Schools > November/December 2003
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Vol. 10 No. 6 — Nov/Dec 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

Space Day 2004

Space Day, a year-long educational initiative for grades 4-8 co-chaired by Senator John Glenn, is designed to inspire the study of science, technology, engineering, and math through the topics of space, flight, and exploration. The project's Design Challenges program (developed by the Challenger Center for Space Science Education) encourages students to actively collaborate to create solutions to the challenges of living and working in space. This year's challenges include Space Trek (students create an electronic journal to chronicle their expedition), Galactic Gear (students build a multipurpose tool that can be used to explore and/or survive in our solar system), and Extreme Explorer (students build a vehicle to help explore a region of the solar system). Design Challenges teams that submit solutions by March 5, 2004, will receive a certificate of appreciation signed by Senator Glenn. The Space Day program culminates in a global celebration on May 6, 2004. An awards program in Washington, D.C., on that day will recognize 21 stellar Design Challenges teams. Space Day, http://www.spaceday.com/.

K-12 School Networking Conference

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) will hold its 9th annual
conference at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, on March 2 and 3, 2004. The theme of the conference is "Personalization and Empowerment: No Child Left Behind and Technology." On March 4, education technology leaders are invited to join CoSN and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) for Washington Advocacy Day. The day provides an opportunity for educators to tell the story of educational technology to their senators and representatives and to explain how policies and programs established in Washington help improve teaching and learning at home. Also scheduled for March 4 is the International Research-Policy Symposium, a session that unites key research and policy decision makers with technology leaders to examine the research agenda for education technology around the world. CoSN, 202/861-2676 or http://www.cosn.org/.

USEFUL TOOLS

Dana Wireless

The Dana Wireless offers WiFi (802.11b) connectivity and software
applications for Internet access. The Palm OS-powered unit is bundled
with DataViz's Documents To Go Professional and allows mobile users
to work with Microsoft Office documents such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on a wide display more than three times larger than that of
a standard Web-enabled hand-held device. The Dana Wireless also includes AlphaSmart's Internet Solutions Pack with widescreen DanaWeb browser, Mark/Space Mail e-mail client, and a 3-month trial subscription to VeriChat,
a widescreen instant messaging (IM) client. The unit weighs 2 pounds and includes an integrated full-sized keyboard. The retail price is $429. AlphaSmart, Inc., 888/274-0680 or http://www.alphasmart.com/.

eLunchroom

eLunchroom, a point of sale automation solution for K-12 cafeterias, upgrades COMPanion's MacLunchroom. eLunchroom supports Windows 2000 and XP and Mac OS X. The program includes features such as free and reduced lunch program management, customizable reports (government compliance, transaction, etc.), re-certification letters, an integrated word processor (all reports and letters can be edited), auto-update technology, a Web interface for student and parent access to account information, multi-level security,
and database management at each site or at one central location servicing an entire district (wide area network). COMPanion Corporation, 800/347-6439 or http://www.companioncorp.com/.

ACTIVote

ACTIVote, a wireless Palm-sized student input device that aggregates
student opinion and provides instant feedback for the ACTIVboard Collaborative Classroom System, is now available for use with computers using Macintosh OS X or OS 9.2 systems. A wireless response system with hand-held keypads, the ACTIVote device operates by radio communication with the ACTIVboard interactive whiteboard. The six button keypad is delivered in a hard case that includes 32 voting devices. Promethean, http://www.activboard.com/.

Library News

ALA Seeks Nominations for Library Awards

Nominations are being sought for the American Library Association's (ALA) 2004 Recognition Awards and Grants. Among the awards and grants are the ALA Information Today Library of the Future Award ($1,500), the EBSCO ALA Conference Sponsorship ($1,000), the Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award ($1,000), the Grolier Foundation Award ($1,000), the Paul Howard Award for Courage ($1,000), SIRSI's Leader in Library Technology Grant ($10,000), the H.W. Wilson Library Staff Development Grant ($3,500), and the World Book ALA Goal Grant ($10,000). Details of the awards, the application process, and the award/grant applications are available on the ALA Web site. Unless otherwise noted, the application deadline is December 1, 2003. ALA/Awards Office, 800/545-2433 or http://www.ala.org/.

Helping Hands

Hewlett Foundation Award

The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) has received a grant of $150,000 from the Hewlett Foundation to support research and development of a Universal Learning Edition for English Language Learners (ELL). The funding will extend CAST research to support English language learners in grades 4-5 by embedding in digital versions of curricular materials a variety of scaffolds designed specifically for native Spanish-speaking students. This approach will be piloted in selected California classrooms. CAST is a nonprofit organization founded in 1984 with the mission to expand educational opportunities for all individuals, especially those with disabilities, through the development and innovative uses of computer technology. CAST, 888/858-9994 or http://www.cast.org/.

Classroom Resources

Laptop Schools

Nevermind the Laptops: Kids, Computers, and the Transformation of Learning by Bob Johnstone presents the story of the first laptop schools. The book examines the early obstacles to learning with laptops, the issues surrounding teacher training, and the story of the teachers who continue to help students make things happen with technology. The book is priced at $23.95 plus $5.95 postage and handling. SchoolKiT International, 425/454-3373 or http://www.schoolkit.com/.


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