[NetWatch] [MultiMedia Schools]
September 2000
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.

Calling All Teachers!
TopTutors.com is recruiting credentialed K-12 teachers to provide personalized online one-to-one interactive tutoring, including two-way real-time audio. The company’s training program enables teachers to use the Internet effectively as an educational tool and to develop customized curriculum from online resources. Tutors are provided with a broad array of exclusive educational materials and academic assessment capabilities. The company offers flexible schedules to meet the needs of teachers
and students who are located throughout the U.S. TopTutors.com, 310/393-6900, info@TopTutors.com, or http://www.TopTutors.com.

The Education Destination
The Intel Education Destination is a free, noncommercial online toolbox developed for and by teachers and technologists. It provides the most current information and resources to plan, implement, manage, and facilitate teaching and learning with technology. The Education Destination is one segment of the online Intel Innovation
in Education program, part of a global multi-million-dollar effort to help realize the possibilities of science and technology in education. Intel, http://www.intel.com/education/destination/.

The edConnect Membership
Edmark’s edConnect features software management solutions, online resources, offline activities, a software collection, and lesson planning assistance. The package’s Software Collection features Edmark products with activities for early learning, language arts, reading, math, science, and critical thinking, many of which are
available in Spanish, German, French, and Portuguese. The edConnect Software Manager delivers software directly to schools, via the Internet, for network use. The edConnect Planning & Resource Center identifies appropriate Web resources, Edmark software, and offline activities and lesson plans that support curriculum needs. The edConnect memberships will be sold to schools and districts, not individual teachers. Edmark, 800/362-2890 or http://www.edmark.com/.

Lightspan for Administrators
Lightspan has created a School Leaders section for administrators, technology coordinators, superintendents, and other education leaders. The section’s Current Host area features an active school leader for 4-8 weeks as the host of discussions on essential issues, ways to increase effectiveness, and use of the Web. The Tools for School Leaders section presents Your School Online, Your Class Online, Discussion Boards, Classroom Conferencing, Mailing Lists, Web Trip Maker for creating Web Quests and Web Tours, and Professional Development areas. Additional community tools to be spotlighted in the coming year include Listmaker, Live Web Tours, PartnerFinder, Collaborative Research Center (a field trips engine), and Your Project Online. The Annotated Links to Resources section includes topics and issues for school leaders, with Web links and links to topic discussion boards. Lightspan, 888/4ALLKIDS or http://www.lightspan.com/.

Connected University Expands
The online Connected University will offer three American Museum of Natural History “Seminars on Science” curriculum courses. The courses—Diversity of Fishes, Study of Spiders, and Why Are There No More Woolly Mammoths?—are the first subject-specific courses available via Connected University. These courses also mark the first time the museum has developed educational courses for teachers specifically for an online learning program. The American Museum of Natural History also will co-develop corresponding science curriculum topics for Classroom Today, an interactive Web site that provides online curriculum and activities used by teachers as part of daily lesson plans. Classroom Connect, 800/638-1639  or http://www.classroom.com/.

* Net News

Who’s Online?
More than 32 million parents and 25 million children ages 2-17 are online in America, according to a new survey developed by Grunwald Associates in partnership with the National School Boards Association. The statistics show that the number of children online has tripled since 1997, with a nearly 40 percent jump in the last year. In addition, the number of parents online has increased 165 percent since 1997, including—for the first time ever—at least as many moms online as dads.  Grunwald Associates, 650/525-1930 or http://www.grunwald.com/.

Technology Sophistication Stats
Schools that are small, rural, and have a low percentage of minority students are more likely to rank high in technology sophistication, according to the new Tech Sophistication Index (TSI) developed by Market Data Retrieval. The index identified a notable difference in TSI rankings between public schools with high-minority and low-minority populations. Public schools with high technology sophistication scores tend to have a low percentage of minority (including African-American and Hispanic) students. While 33 percent of schools with a low percentage of minorities have high TSI rankings, only 14 percent of schools with more than 50 percent minority populations have the highest TSI score. Market Data Retrieval, 800/333-8802 or http://www.schooldata.com/.

Distance-Learning Grants Available
A total of $20 million in grants and $200 million in loans is available for FY 2000 distance-learning and telemedicine projects serving rural America. The funding will be provided in three categories: $13 million for grants, $130 million for loans, and $77 million for combination grants and loans ($7 million in grants paired with $70 million in loans). Applications for FY 2000 loans or combination loans and grants may be submitted at any time up to September 30, 2000, and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. The closing deadline for stand-alone grant applications has passed. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, http://www.usda.gov/rus/dlt/dltregs.htm/.

* Net Learning

ABC-CLIO Web Sites
Three new subscription Web sites provide more than 25,000 social studies resources—from biographies, maps, events, and statistical information, to photographs, glossary terms, audio and video clips, and daily news updates. Geography: World, aligned with national geography standards, includes more than 20,000 resources that change daily as information and top news events are added. Geography: States provides students in grades 6-12 with more than 6,500 resources on the 50 states and the District of Columbia. American Government features 9,000  resources, 1,500 biographies, and more than 2,000 images aligned with American government textbooks. Each site includes a Reference, Student, and Educator section that provides comprehensive information in a number of formats. Subscription prices begin at less than $500 per year. ABC-CLIO, 800/368-6868 or http://www.abc-clio.com/.

AHA! Collaborative Learning
Three collaborative learning adventures offer sixth-twelfth grade students and teachers around the world an opportunity to work in virtual teams to use the Internet to solve real-world problems. Wolf Recovery, an Internet-based biology/ecology unit, examines a virtual U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service species recovery plan for the gray wolf in the northeastern United States. Nutrition Counselor, a biology/health unit, allows classroom teams to work with virtual teammates from around the world to diagnose patients’ needs and recommend appropriate nutritional regimens. The Great Global Warming Debate, an earth science unit, allows teams to represent United Nations countries in a debate on the effects of global climate changes and to propose solutions to mitigate the potential negative effects on U.N. member nations. $49—home use. $129—up to 30 students. $499—up to 150 students. $879—up to 300 students. AHA Interactive, 877/407-8054 or http://www.ahainteractive.com/.

The Quest Channel
Year-round access to Classroom Connect’s Quest Interactive Expeditions is now available on the subscription-based Quest Channel. The site will provide access to two live Quests a year, as well as previous Quests, including AfricaQuest, GalápagosQuest, AsiaQuest, AmericaQuest, and IslandQuest. Students will have opportunities throughout the year to interact with the Quest Team and to collaborate with students around the world, as well as with leading historians and scientists. $295—1 year subscription. Classroom Connect, 800/638-1639 or http://www.classroom.com/.

* Net Libraries

EBSCO’s Reading Room provides teachers and students with Web-based access to class-specific reference materials. Teachers can use the program to locate, customize, and assign reference materials that students can use both at home and at school. Reading Room allows teachers to make EBSCOhost content applicable to subject-specific curriculum instruction. Students can access the reference material through EBSCO’s School Resource Net. EBSCO, 800/653-2726 or http://www.esrn.com/.

H. W. Wilson’s redesigned Web site offers enhanced navigation and site search capabilities, daily dynamic content, and quick access to information on all of the company’s electronic and print products. The new features of the site include online technical support, providing comprehensive interactive help for all WilsonWeb and WilsonDisc users, and the first 50 pages of each of the 59 volumes of the Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature Retrospective. In addition, the demo area has been expanded and enhanced, allowing librarians to sample the company’s software and databases at no cost. H. W. Wilson, 800/367-6770 or http://www.hwwilson.com/.

SIRS NetSelect allows access to Internet resources and full-text articles on almost any subject from a single search environment. The topics—spanning social issues, sciences, and the arts and humanities—integrate information from SIRS Researcher, SIRS Government Reporter, SIRS Renaissance, and SIRS Discoverer. The Web sites have been selected and evaluated by SIRS editorial experts; a summary written by SIRS staff is available for each site. After searching with NetSelect, users can return to SIRS Knowledge Source to continue their research. For Mandarin M3 users, integrated access streamlines searches across the library card catalog and SIRS full-text databases. SIRS, 800/232-7477 or http://www.sirs.com/.

The History Resource Center: US integrates history’s most important original documents, classic references, scholarly journals, newspapers, and magazine articles within a single interface. The site features the Directory of American History, thousands of current and archived newspaper and magazine articles, encyclopedia articles, biographies, rare documents, multimedia maps and images, and descriptive chronologies. Content is included from Macmillan Reference, Charles Scribner’s Sons, Primary Source Microfilm, ABC-CLIO’s history databases, and the Institute for Scientific Information’s Arts and Humanities Index. Free trials are currently available. The Gale Group, 800/347-4253 or http://www.galegroup.com/historyrc/.

* Net Tools

Computer Curriculum Corporation has launched SuccessMaker Internet (SMi), a complete curriculum with full reporting and assessment capabilities. The customizable learning solutions are correlated to national standards and objectives to deliver measurable achievement. The SMi management system can be hosted by CCC’s server, offering educators, students, and parents access from any location. The SMi Results Manager system tracks student work and progress over the Internet, regardless of logon location. Computer Curriculum Corporation, 888/222-4543 or http://www.ccclearn.com/.

Grolier’s New Book of Popular Science Online, for students in grades 6-12, explores major areas of science and technology with 400 articles and 4,400 photos, graphics, and maps. New information in the 2000 Edition includes an extensive astronomy section, an all-new chemistry section, major revisions to all
computer articles, science activities, and new articles on careers in the sciences. Free trials are available. Subscription rates vary by number of users. Grolier Educational, 888/326-6546 or http://www.grolier.com/.

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