[NetWatch] [MultiMedia Schools]
September 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

Research and Guidelines on School Use of the Internet
District technology leaders report that the Internet remains primarily a research tool, not a forum for interactive teaching, learning, communicating, or collaborating, according to a National School Boards Foundation study. Titled "Are We There Yet? Research and Guidelines on Schools Use of the Internet," the report examines the gaps between the possibilities and the realities of school technology use. The study is based on telephone interviews with technology decision-makers in 811 school districts, including 90 of the largest 100 districts. The report is available online. National School Boards Foundation, http://www.nsbf.org/ or 703/838-6722.

Education Telecasts Online
The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) will hold its first Internet & Education Web telecast, Internet Safety: An Update on the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and Schools, on September 18 from Noon­1:00 p.m., Eastern Time. The 60-minute interactive presentation conducted over the Internet will be combined with an audio conference call discussing key issues. This new professional development series will be held six times over the coming year. Future topics under consideration are Changes in the E-rate Program, Scientifically Based Research, Information Literacy, Emerging Technologies (such as wireless and broadband), Learning Management Systems, Virtual Schools, and Total Cost of Ownership. COSN, http://www.cosn.org/ or 202/466-6296.

* Net Libraries

NoveList Update
NoveList 4.1, the latest version of the online fiction readers' advisory service, expands the features available for individual readers and libraries. The new edition includes a personalization feature, the ability to create persistent links from a library home page to specific content within NoveList, enhanced searching capability, and browsable lists. The online service includes more than 36,000 subject headings to describe the more than 100,000 fiction titles listed in its database. The personalization feature allows individual users to create a personal log-in; save search criteria, search results and personal lists for future use; mark saved searches for alerts and attach a monthly e-mail with any new titles the search retrieves. EBSCO Publishing, http://www.ebsco.com/ or 800/653-2726.

Follett Upgrades
TitlePeek, a new online catalog enhancement service, enables users to browse the content of books on library shelves without leaving the computer. The new service is available as an annual subscription and requires the installation of v.5.05 of Catalog Plus or WebCollection Plus. With v.5.05 of WebCollection Plus, schools can enable more users to access their collection over the Internet; the service includes support of multiple copies of WebCollection Plus installed on a single Novell NetWare server.  Alliance Plus Online, a tool that improves original cataloging through access to more than 6 million MARC 21 records via the Internet, allows users to perform quicker, more efficient searches when they view up to 50 titles returned in a single search. Follett Software Company, http://www.fsc.follett.com/ or 800/323-3397.

Biography Reference Bank Expands
The names covered by Wilson's Biography Reference Bank will reflect all those in the company's name authority file—adding nearly 100,000 names to those searchable by the database. Each name links to at least one magazine or journal article cited by a Wilson database, many with the full text. Available exclusively on WilsonWeb, Biography Reference Bank delivers more than 450,000 entries on more than 208,000 people from antiquity through today. The reference bank features more than 30,000 illustrations and grows by approximately 1,000 profiles per year. The profiles link to citations from more than 4,000 periodicals and also link to mentioned Web sites. H.W. Wilson, http://www.hwwilson.com/ or 800/367-6770.

* Net Teaching

Web Sites Aligned with State Standards
Follett Software has added alignment to state standards to its database of 160,000 safe, educator-approved K-12 Web sites in the Find-It-All Collection. The collection indexes the Web sites by subject area, includes a connection to the day's current events, and features the subscription services Knowledge Links and One Search. Knowledge Links provides the entry to the Web sites; One Search simplifies research and allows students to consult multiple resources by searching all of the databases at once. One Search currently supports more than 75 online databases, including Gale, ProQuest, EBSCO, SIRS and Britannica. Recently added sources include eLibrary, Yahooligans, Animal Planet, and Winnebago Spectrum v5. A free 30-day trial is available at http://www.find-it-all.net/ or by calling 866/FindIt1. Follett Software Company, http://www.fsc.follett.com/ or 800/323-3397.

Math Literacy Week Curriculum Materials
Digi-Block, Inc. is offering suggested events and activities for each day of Math Literacy Week, to be celebrated October 7­11, 2002. The free online materials can be found at http://www.mathliteracy.com/. The online information includes classroom activities and worksheets, family night activities and handouts, facts about the state of math learning in the U.S., sample proclamations, and more. Digi-Block started Math Literacy Week to help increase awareness of the importance of math in our daily lives and to improve overall math learning. Digi-Block, Inc., http://www.digi-block.com/ or 888/834-4466.

AICPA Curriculum Materials
Standards-based curriculum materials designed to introduce high school students to accounting and business concepts are available online as a result of a partnership between the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Foundation and bigchalk, the K-12 online education network. This initiative is part of a longer-term campaign by the AICPA to increase interest and awareness in the accounting profession. The 15-part curriculum is available in .pdf format and can be found at http://www.bigchalk.com/aicpa/. The AICPA is the national professional organization of certified public accountants (CPAs), with more than 330,000 members in business and industry, public practice, government, and education. bigchalk.com, http://www.bigchalk.com/ or 800/860-9228.

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