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Magazines > MultiMedia & Internet@Schools > November/December 2004
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Vol. 11 No. 6 — Nov/Dec 2004
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

How Teachers Use Technology

NetDay, in partnership with BellSouth and the National Education Association (NEA), has released the results of a national survey of educators' personal and professional use of technology and the Internet. According to the survey, teachers said they are increasingly more comfortable with technology, but need better training and a greater voice in technology decisions. A total of 75 percent of the teachers surveyed feel strongly that their work conditions mostly encourage technology use. While 68 percent of teachers reported that their primary location for doing school-related computer work is their classroom computer, 25 percent said they spend 50 percent or more of their home computer time on school-related work, averaging 1­5 hours a week. NetDay, 949/609-4660, http://www.netday.org and BellSouth Foundation,
http://www.bellsouthfoundation.org/.

Profiling Educational Technology Integration

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) has released free tools for assessing the readiness and use of technology integration. The resource package, Profiling Educational Technology Integration (PETI): Resources for Assessing Readiness and Use, contains a group of materials validated through pilots in five states and peer-review examinations. The tools include a framework for assessing educational technology; a matrix linking questions and indicators to NCLB goals; district, building (administrator and teacher), and classroom observation tools; methodologies and protocols; sample reports; and a corporate matrix listing the organizations and corporations that provided information on how PETI can be implemented. The materials can be accessed at http://www.metiri.com/SETDA/PETI/. SETDA, 703/533-3770, http://www.setda.org/.

Library NEWS

New Books from AASL

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced the release of three new publications. Portfolio Guide for the School Library Media Specialist by Gail Dickinson covers instructional and future uses of portfolios, how to maintain a professional portfolio, and the National Board professional portfolio process (31 pp., $8). A Student's and Parent's Guide to Evaluating Libraries in Independent Schools by the Independent School Section of AASL considers three critical areas
in library evaluation—facilities, resources, and services (pamphlet, $7 per pack of 25). Program Standards: School Library Media Specialist Preparation by AASL examines the process of preparing a curriculum folio for review by representatives of AASL as part of the accreditation process conducted by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (52 pp., $10). AASL/ALA, 800/545-2433, http://www.ala.org/aasl/.

Wilson Launches Science Full Text Select

Science Full Text Select, a combination of the full-text content of all of the Wilson science databases, provides articles from a total of 320 sources. The material includes visual content such as charts, diagrams, and illustrations in PDF page images. Also provided are daily content additions, summaries in 50- to 150-word abstracts, and up-to-date subject headings. H.W. Wilson, 800/367-6770; http://www.hwwilson.com/.

Useful TOOLS

Pearson Launches Progress Assessment Series

Pearson Education has released two formative assessment products designed to forecast student growth toward state performance standards. PASeries Reading and PASeries Mathematics are the first two products in the Progress Assessment Series (PASeries) product line. Designed to help educators in grades 3 through 8 measure student progress and tie assessment to classroom instruction, the products use the Lexile scale for reading measurement and the Quantile scale for mathematics to evaluate student progress. The packages include a screening test for placement and progress-monitoring tests for each grade to measure growth and forecast performance on statewide tests. PASeries tests are designed for completion in one class period, either on paper or online, with quick electronic reporting of results. Pearson Education, http://www.PearsonProgress.com/.

Califone Emergency Response Kits

The Califone Emergency Response Kit 1000, best suited for rural schools and open areas, features two small, lightweight Keep-In-Touch radios with a 2-mile range. The Emergency Response Kit 2000, best suited for urban school use, provides ControlCom radios that work more effectively in buildings up to eight stories high and have the ability to bounce sound around corners. Both kits contain a portable megaphone with an emergency siren and a 1,000-foot range, a professional security wand with a headphone jack for silent screening, and a carrying bag. An optional supplemental megaphone with a 500-foot range and emergency whistle is available. Califone, 800/722-0500, http://www.califone.com/.

Helping HANDS

Inspired Teacher Scholarships

Inspiration Software has launched the Inspired Teacher Scholarship Rookie Awards. This year, five of the 30 Inspired Teacher Scholarships are designated for educators just beginning to use visual learning instructional strategies with their students. The Inspired Teacher Scholarship program is in its seventh year of supporting professional development activities for educators who champion the integration of visual learning and technology into the curriculum. A total of 30 scholarships, each with a value of $750, will be awarded in the spring of 2005. Applications, due January 27, 2005, are available online at http://www.inspiration.com/scholarship/. Inspiration Software, Inc., 800/877-4292, http://www.inspiration.com/.

HOBO Energy Challenge

iScienceProject has launched a free nationwide energy contest for K-12 teachers and students. Designed to promote energy awareness, the contest offers students a hands-on learning experience with HOBO data loggers as they look for examples of energy waste in their schools. Participating classrooms receive a free HOBO Loaner Package with everything needed to start investigating energy usage—a data logger, software, and contest activities. Classrooms that investigate and document at least one example of energy waste win a complete HOBO data logger system ($200 value). An entire classroom set of HOBO data loggers ($1,000 value) will be awarded to the elementary, middle, and high school classrooms that make the greatest effort to investigate energy waste. The deadline for contest entries is April 30, 2005. More information is available online at http://www.iscienceproject.com/
energy_challenge/energy_challenge.html/
. iScienceProject, 800/564-4377, http://www.iscienceproject.com/.

 


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