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|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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Great American Smokeout Online
November 16 has been designated as the date for the 24th Annual Great American Smokeout, the American Cancer Society’s nationally recognized day when smokers are urged to prove to themselves that they can be smoke-free for life if they can quit tobacco for a day. A series of online activities in support of the day have been developed to encourage kids to take control of tobacco’s effect on their lives. The tools for youngsters at the Y2Kidz.org Web site include information that deflates popular tobacco advertising myths and provides the facts on the contents of cigarette smoke—arsenic, ammonia, carbon monoxide, tar, and nicotine. A Stuff the Puff Bulletin Board allows youngsters to sound off about ad myths, peer pressure, and smoking’s social consequences. The Great American Smokeout Pledge is available online for students to sign and distribute, promising to lead a smoke-free life. Virtual postcards are also available to send to legislators to encourage increased education about the dangers of tobacco—and to send to loved ones who smoke to encourage them to kick the habit. Studies show that more than 80 percent of the 47 million adult Americans who smoke started lighting up before age 18. Seven out of 10 high school students have tried cigarettes, and more than one-third are regular smokers. According to the American Cancer Society, there are 3,000 new adolescent smokers every day. American Cancer Society, 404/320-3333 or http://www.Y2Kidz.org/.
Social Factors and Scholastic Performance
“Student Assessment and Student Achievement in the California Public School System,” a new study from the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST), points to a direct relationship between social factors of race, poverty, and English-speaking ability and the scholastic performance of California students. The positive aspects of this new research reveal a decreasing drop-out rate, more students taking challenging courses, and higher college entrance exam scores. The researchers emphasize that changes in state accountability systems will hopefully lead to a more accurate monitoring of student achievement.
A complete copy of the report—Technical
Report 519 by Joan L. Herman, Richard S. Brown, and Eva L. Baker—may be
downloaded at http://www.cse.ucla.edu/CRESST/Reports/TECH519.pdf.
Connected Classroom Conferences
The Connected Classroom Conferences scheduled nationwide allow Internet-using educators to connect with others integrating technology in education. The presenters include classroom teachers, technology coordinators, school librarians, and administrators who help other educators learn the skills needed to master the Internet in the classroom. The conferences are held in a variety of cities—from Boston to Las Vegas. Upcoming dates include Las Vegas, Nevada (October 17-18, 2000), Anaheim, California (November 8-11, 2000), Houston, Texas (November 30-December 1, 2000). Classroom Connect, 800/638-1639 or http://www.classroom.com/conferences/.
Early Childhood: Preschool-Grade 2
EduPuppy.com offers a comprehensive, pre-screened database of relevant early childhood education links to content, resources, theories and practice, literacy, developmentally appropriate practice, special education, standards, and more. A HotList feature allows users to create custom Web pages and “HotUnits.” Visitors may sign up to receive issues of the site’s free newsletter, EduPuppy Weekly, at http://www.edupuppy.com/edupuppyweekly.cfm/. Eduhound, Inc., 203/269-3536.
Knowledge Loom Launches Technology
The Knowledge Loom [http://knowledgeloom.org] now spotlights resources about best practices for effective technology leadership, including information on research-based practices and the schools that have put them into action. Interactive online panel discussions with content providers at the Appalachia Educational Lab will be featured from October 1-31. The free site is presented by The Northeast & Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University, with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Lab at Brown University, 800/521-9550 or http://www.lab.brown.edu/.
National Public Radio (NPR) has joined with bigchalk.com to create and distribute original, Internet-based content for the education community. This fall, the two entities will launch an educational Web resource featuring NPR content and audio combined with lesson plans, student activities, and opportunities for classroom collaboration. Initially, the site will bring NPR election coverage from Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Talk of the Nation, with future content expanding to include a range of news and current affairs topics. NPR, http://www.npr.org/ or bigchalk, http://www.bigchalk.com/.
Online Professional Development from
Tom Snyder and PBS
Tom Snyder Productions will work with PBS this fall to create online professional development modules for educators. The modules will focus on integrating technology into the curriculum as part of a new technology certificate program designed to help new teachers meet local, state, and national technology teaching standards. The online program will provide content to colleges and universities to enhance and augment professional development opportunities for in-service, as well as course content for pre-service teachers. The modules will include topics such as the use of technology to promote teamwork, discussion and critical thinking; developing dynamic learning activities in the one-computer classroom; and teaching students about contemporary issues through discussion, debate, and problem-solving activities. Tom Snyder Productions, 800/342-0236 or http://www.tomsnyder.com/.
Internet Resource Directory
The 2000/2001 edition of The Internet Resource Directory for K-12 Teachers and Librarians by Elizabeth Miller is now available. The new directory offers more than 1,500 entries (440 new and updated this year), as well as expanded chapters. The computer science chapter now covers tools, tips, and templates for teachers to use in creating interactive Web pages for use as worksheets, hotlists, and WebQuests. Templates are examined that allow teachers to produce their own interactive online quizzes and online games, including flash cards, matching games, memory games, and word search puzzles. Information on science, social studies, and links to lesson planning, literature, and national education standards have been expanded. 462 pages. $27.50. Libraries Unlimited, 800/237-6124 or http://www.lu.com/.
The Education Policy Analysis Archives, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal freely accessible online, considers the future of ERIC in an article titled “Information Needs in the 21st Century: Will ERIC Be Ready?” by Lawrence M. Rudner. The piece, in Vol. 8, No. 44 of the journal, begins, “Ubiquitous for 35 years, the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) is known for its database and recently for its range of Web-based information services. I contend that federal policy with regard to ERIC must change and that ERIC will need massive restructuring in order to continue to meet the information needs of the education community.” The article can be accessed in its entirety at http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v8n44.html/. EPAA/Arizona State University, 602/965-9644 or http://epaa.asu.edu/.
Internet Educator Awards
The Second Annual Classroom Connect Internet Educator of the Year awards program is underway. The criteria for the Internet Educator of the Year 2001 award include the successful integration of the Internet into the 1999-2000 curriculum, the submission of an exemplary plan for future integration of the Internet into the 2000-2001 curriculum, the demonstration of a significant effect upon learners in any grade PK-12, and the demonstration of an effect on others outside of the classroom and school. The first place winner—an educator who exemplifies effective teaching using Internet technologies—will receive a $5,000 cash award, $5,000 in Classroom Connect products, a trip for two with EF Educational Tours, a laptop Compaq computer, and Site Central software from Knowledge Adventure. Nominations and entry requirements are available online. All entries must be submitted by November 1, 2000. Classroom Connect, 800/638-1639 or http://www.classroom.com/.
Centrinity Launches Unified Messaging
Centrinity Inc. now offers FirstClass Unified Messaging (FirstClass UM), a unified technology that allows educators and administrators to manage all of their electronic messages—e-mail, voice and fax—from any location. FirstClass UM is designed to improve productivity by consolidating all messaging media—e-mail, voice mail, and fax—in a single e-mail inbox, regardless of the user’s location, communication device, or connection path. The inbox is accessible via computer through a client or Web browser, phone, cell phone, or personal digital assistant (PDA). Centrinity Inc., 888/808-0388 or http://www.centrinity.com/.
Education Marketplace Online
Edudex, the new online marketplace for instructional video and software materials, offers more than 50,000 products from more than 150 suppliers. By fall 2000, the company expects to have more than 70,000 products available at its site. Edudex focuses on the needs of educators and librarians in middle/junior and senior high schools, colleges and universities, and public libraries. Site features are customized to meet the unique information, ordering, and resource requirements of educators. Edudex.com, 877/301-3100 or http://www.edudex.com/.
Museums in the Classroom
The subscription site, Riverdeep.net, has added MuseumNetwork.com resources to its online content. The added liberal arts and science content includes a bimonthly column titled “Museum Educator” that focuses on creative ways to use museum resources to entertain and educate K-12 students, weekly online virtual exhibitions and museum tours that include interactive activities and lesson plans, and weekly news and reviews from the museum world. Online events such as Webcasts from and online tours of “living museums” such as the Mark Twain House and Gettysburg will also be presented. MuseumNetwork’s proprietary database of information and content covers approximately 36,500 museums, 3,500 calendars, and 10,000 Internet links to museum sites. Riverdeep, 800/564-2587 or http://www.riverdeep.net/.
Michigan Virtual AP Academy
Michigan students and teachers will have unlimited access to the online Advanced Placement (AP) Exam Review and online classroom materials through the Michigan Virtual Advanced Placement Academy, a partnership of Michigan Virtual University and Apex Learning. Part of the Michigan Virtual High School, the academy will provide a selection of accredited online AP courses, an online exam review, the technology platform for online delivery of course materials and instruction, supplemental online materials for use by teachers in the classroom, online teacher training, and communication support to build statewide awareness of the availability and benefits of the online program. The agreement also provides more than 3,000 individual course scholarships over the next 2 years to be distributed to both public and private school students. The Michigan Virtual University was created with a grant awarded by the Michigan legislature to develop both the online high school and AP Academy. Michigan Virtual University, 517/336-7733 or http://www.mivu.org/.
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