[NetWatch] [MultiMedia Schools]
January/February 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

Internet Teaching
Internet access has become the norm in K-12 education, with nine in 10 public school teachers using the Internet as a resource, according to a recent report from Quality Education Data. This is an increase over the year 2000, when 86 percent of teachers used the Internet for their class work. The QED report, Internet Usage in Teaching 2001-2002, also found that 97 percent of America's public schools are connected to the Internet, 84 percent of all public school classrooms are connected to the Internet, 74 percent of students spend 1 hour or more per week hands-on at school with the Internet, and 96 percent of students who use the Internet weekly use it for research. Quality Education Data, 800/525-5811 or http://www.qeddata.com/.

Online Education Technology Resources
One year after its launch, NetDayCompass.org, a free online directory for K-12 school leaders, has quadrupled its number of resources, added a personalized Research Desk, and expanded its range of topics to include timely information to address current school needs. Currently, NetDayCompass.org has more than 1,700 resources that have been reviewed and cataloged for easy access by educators. Users can locate resources by searching in one of five categories--technology planning, infrastructure, funding, classroom support, and real stories-best practices--or by conducting a "word search" for the desired resources. NetDayCompass.org, http://www.NetDayCompass.org/.

* Net Libraries

Portals to the World
The Library of Congress has launched Portals to the World, a guide to Internet resources dealing with the countries and regions of the world. The online project offers links to electronic resources aligned by country or geographic regions, with links sorted in a wide range of broad categories. Each country portal is designed to cover topics of interest to specialists and the general public, including business, commerce, economy, culture, education, government, politics, law, history, libraries, and archives. When the project is completed in 2003, there will be a portal page for every nation of the world. The Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/rr/international/portals.html/.

Online Collections Updated
Gale Group's Discovering Collection and Junior Reference Collection have been updated, featuring new interfaces, more functions, and more precise search results. Discovering Collection, originally launched as a series of CD-ROMs, is now available online to help high school through undergraduate students complete classroom assignments in all aspects of literature, social studies, world and U.S. history, science, and multiculturalism. The Junior Reference Collection, aimed at a middle-school audience, mirrors the Discovering Collection's curriculum-based approach. The new interfaces on both products present students with results tabs organized by type of document--Reference, Primary Documents, or Multimedia elements--making it easy to narrow a broad search. A timeline search lets students view by year, range of years, or event. Gale Group, 800/877-4253 or http://www.galegroup.com/.

* Net Teaching

The Changed World
Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, countless resources have been developed to help teachers in the classroom. A few of them are highlighted here.

The Library of Congress, in collaboration with the Internet Archive, webArchivist.org, and the Pew Internet & American Life Project, has released a collection of digital materials called the September 11 Web Archive [September11.archive.org or]. The Archive preserves the Web expressions of individuals, groups, the press, and institutions in the United States and from around the world in the aftermath of the attacks in the United States. Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/.

CNNfyi.com, the CNN educational Web site for classrooms, is offering resources relating to the September 11 attacks for use by teachers and parents. The site is running up-to-date news stories, accompanied by free lesson plans that include discussion questions and activities for use by teachers and parents, links to other online resources, and a map of events. CNNfyi.com, http://www.cnnfyi.com/.

NetDayCompass.org has added a special category to its site, Children in Crisis, to provide teachers with a comprehensive list of resources on how to discuss national tragedies with children. The material includes research and news articles, support groups, charitable organizations, and other resources. NetDayCompass.org, http://www.NetDayCompass.org/.

* Net Learning

Change the World
President Bush has launched the Friendship Through Education Consortium, an entity committed to creating opportunities to facilitate online and offline interactions among the youth of the world, inside and outside of classrooms, to build a culture of peace where the dignity and rights of all human beings are respected. The effort focuses initially on expanding links between U.S. schools and those in Islamic countries, including Egypt, Indonesia, Qatar, Pakistan, Turkey, Bahrain, and Afghan refugee camps. The Consortium's duties include finding friendship schools in Islamic nations, helping to provide safe and secure Internet-based communications among students, assisting with translations, and facilitating classroom projects. Friendship Through Education, http://www.FriendshipThroughEducation.org. White House Fact Sheet: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/10/20011025.html/.

If I Made the Movies
Students 16 years old and younger are eligible to enter the "If I Made the Movies" essay contest sponsored by New Moon Publishing. The contest, part of New Moon's 2002 Turn Beauty Inside Out campaign, will focus on how girls and women are portrayed in film. Entrants should select a recent movie (released within the last 5 years) and write a 600 word or less essay on how they would change it to send girls and women a more positive message. Essays can be e-mailed to newmoon@newmoon.org or can be submitted in writing (must be postmarked by February 28, 2002). The winning essays will be included in a presentation to filmmaking executives in May 2002 in Hollywood. New Moon Publishing, Attn: TBIO Essay Contest, P.O. Box 3620, Duluth, Minnesota 55803; or http://www.newmoon.org/.

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