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Magazines > MultiMedia Schools > November/December 2003
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Vol. 10 No. 6 — Nov/Dec 2003
by Kathie Felix, News 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


Student Achievement Data for All

A collaboration involving the U.S. Department of Education, the Broad Foundation, Standard & Poors, and Just for the Kids will provide a two-phase program designed to improve public education in the U.S. Phase one will fund a basic data analysis package for all 50 states under a No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Web site. The package will identify trends in student test results at the school, district, and state level; compare a state, school, or district's data against benchmarks; show student test results disaggregated by every NCLB-mandated student subgroup and grade level; and compare schools and districts within a state to identify performance levels with a variety of user-selected criteria. Phase two will provide a 50-state roll out of Standard & Poor's full School Evaluation Service for 2 years. This service will allow parents to view all student test result data included in phase one and will provide additional financial, demographic, school environment, and spending information on school districts, as well as a Return on Resources analysis examining student achievement and school district spending in terms of learning environment, demographics, and finances. The U.S. Department of Education has announced that state participation and full reporting of data through this initiative constitutes complete reporting compliance as required by NCLB. The Broad Foundation,


Gale Online Resources

Gale, available with no subscription fee, provides information, lesson plans, activities, and other classroom resources. Special sections have been designed specifically for media specialists, teachers, administrators, students, and parents. In addition, the company has launched two free e-newsletters. The monthly It's Galementary! for K-5 media specialists and teachers provides information on current trends, news, and products. Curriculinks for grades 6-12 provides a different "Decade in Focus" feature each month, "Sci-Try" science experiments, and expert articles on grade-appropriate issues. Gale, 800/877-4453 or

CNN Student News

The CNN Student News Web site, developed for use with middle and high school students, now provides streamlined navigation and more in-depth teaching tools, including daily updates of curriculum resources and program transcripts, learning activities correlated to national standards, and daily classroom discussion questions. To help educators find lessons on recent events, a new section archives 1 month of daily programs. The site continues to offer a streamed version of the full 10-minute CNN Student News program. CNN/Turner Broadcasting System,

Web Strategies

Web Searching Strategies—An Introductory Curriculum for Students and Teachers provides classroom-ready tools for finding, evaluating, and citing Internet-based resources. The author, Sam Miller, is an 8th grade science teacher and teacher preparation program liaison with more than 3 decades of education experience. The first section of the book focuses on independent investigations for high school students and teachers. The second section provides teacher-guided lessons for grades 5-8. The price is $22.45 for members of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) or $24.95 for non-members. ISTE, 800/336-5191 or

Net Libraries

Gale's Virtual Library

The Gale Virtual Reference Library integrates e-reference books in a database interface. Libraries can select from an initial collection of more than 50 reference sources—such as encyclopedias, almanacs, and series—to create a customized integrated online information service. Gale manages the selected collection, showing patrons only the titles the library has purchased, linked from the library's OPAC through MARC records. The virtual reference library is accessed from a common menu that integrates all of the library's Gale databases, including eBooks, resource centers, periodical databases, and electronic journals from Ingenta. For archiving purposes, a copy of each eBook will be delivered at the time of purchase, as either an FTP delivery or a CD-ROM. Gale, 800/877-4253 or

L.A. Times Archive in ProQuest Collection

The Los Angeles Times has been added to the ProQuest Historical Newspapers collection. The Times back file dates from the newspaper's founding in 1881 through 1922. Each available issue is digitized from cover to cover and includes news stories, editorials, photos, graphics, and advertisers. Search and browse functions are available. Articles and full-page images are available as PDF files. The Los Angeles Times offers a window on the history of Western expansion and immigration and chronicles the development of Los Angeles, California, and the Pacific Rim, as well as the West's major industries, including film and entertainment. Free trials are available. ProQuest, 800/521-0600 or


The Smithsonian Online

The Smithsonian Institution's Web site,, features content from 16 Smithsonian museums, the National Zoo, and the Institution's research centers. The site includes separate areas for educators, families, and students; nearly 1,000 educational resources searchable by grade, subject, and museum; interactive student activities; and free classroom resources such as lessons, activities, and teaching tools aligned with national education standards. Special sections examine topics such as Apollo 11, Secrets of the Smithsonian, and Smithsonian Kids. Smithsonian Institution,

Free Math Homework Help

Online homework help for College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM) textbooks will be available for free through July 15, 2004, on the Hotmath Web site. CPM is a grade 6-12 mathematics program that stresses the use of problem-solving strategies in class and for homework. The CPM textbooks are used in middle school math through pre-calculus classes. The Hotmath Web site shows tutorials with hints, questions, and explanations for homework problems. The site is normally available by subscription; CPM has subsidized the fee as a service to CPM-using schools, parents, and students. Hotmath,

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