[NewsWatch] [MultiMedia Schools]
March/April 2000
Copyright © Information Today, Inc.
by Kathie Felix, News/Reviews Editor

News of the latest products and technology for K-12 may be sent directly to Kathie Felix at P. O. Box 2444, Merrifield, VA 22116 or to kfelix@infotoday.com.


National Conference on Teacher Quality
The U.S. Department of Education hosted the first National Conference on Teacher Quality in mid-January in Washington, DC. The 2-day session brought more than 1,000 K-12, university, and community leaders together to build partnerships for recruiting, preparing, and supporting new teachers. The participants convened into more than 160 teams to develop action plans for improving teacher education in their communities. U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley was clearly impressed with the surprisingly large turnout for the event, explaining at a press conference the Department’s quickly developed action plan to take care of nearly 500 unexpected attendees. As a follow-up, the U.S. Department of Education will host four regional teacher quality institutes this summer where teams will develop implementation strategies for their action plans to improve teacher education. U.S. Department of Education, 800/USA-LEARN or http://www.ed.gov/.

New School Technology and Readiness (STaR) Chart
The CEO Forum on Education & Technology has released a new STaR chart, a self-assessment tool for colleges of education. The chart was designed to help educational institutions evaluate their ability to prepare a new generation of teachers ready to help students succeed in the digital age. The information can be used by the colleges to examine their technological readiness, make plans to meet technology goals, determine funding priorities, and identify where funds are needed to fill training gaps.

In announcing the release of the new chart, CEO Forum co-chair John Hendricks, founder of Discovery Communications, challenged the schools to gather this information and make it public within a 6-month time frame. CEO Forum on Education & Technology, 202/393-2260 or http://www.ceoforum.org/.

School Library Media Month/National Library Week
April has been designated School Library Media Month by the American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association (ALA). National Library Week, also an ALA-sponsored celebration, is scheduled for April 9-15, 2000. Both observances share the same theme: Read! Learn! Connect @ the Library. National Library Week was created in 1958, after research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions, and musical instruments. American Library Association, 800/545-2433 or http://www.ala.org/.


New Interface for SIRS Mandarin
Visual Catalog, a new graphical interface, will be added to the Standard and Enhanced Search interfaces for the SIRS Mandarin M3 Library Automation System. The new system allows patrons to perform searches with both visual cues and text. Preconfigured queries are organized into a hierarchy of topics and subtopics that employs graphics, sound, and text. Patrons can launch software applications, link to the Internet, or explore a library’s resources without defining search criteria or employing exact spelling. Queries, graphics, sound, animation, captions, and descriptions can be easily modified. SIRS, 800/232-7477 or http://www.sirs.com/.

Chancery Offers Library of the Future Records
New and existing Library Pro 2 users now have access to Library of  the Future MARC records and digital data. The Library of the Future selections include the full text of more than 5,000 books, stories, poems, plays, children’s classics, historical and religious documents, and scientific works—all in digital format, catalogued as MARC records, and launched directly from the Library Pro 2 library management system. The records can be searched by title, author, era, century, genre, and other categories. Chancery Software Ltd., 800/999-9931 or http://www.chancery.com/.

Library Automation Directory
The 2000-2001 edition of the Directory of Library Automation Software, Systems, and Services, compiled and edited by Pamela Cibbarelli, is now available. Published biannually since 1983, the directory includes more than 300 pages covering software for library automation, information management, text retrieval, and citation management. Also listed are library automation consultants, retrospective conversion products and services, library automation resources on the Internet, database hosts, CD-ROM distributors, library automation books and serials, and more than 100 industry meetings and conferences. The price is $89. Information Today, 800/300-9868 or https://www.infotoday.com/.


Ground-Breaking Achievements
African-American Firsts in Science and Technology by Raymond B. Webster describes more than 1,000 pioneering achievements in fields such as mathematics, biology, medicine, and computing sciences. The book is arranged chronologically within eight subject chapters: “Agriculture and Everyday Life,” “Allied Health,” “Dentistry and Nursing,” “Life Sciences,” “Math and Engineering,” “Medicine,” “Physical Sciences,” and “Transportation.” The information includes data associated with the accomplishment, a description of the contribution, biographies and portraits or photographs, citations for published sources of additional information, and three indexes (year, occupation, and general). The price is $60. Gale Group, 800/877-4253 or http://www.galegroup.com/.

Little Green Readers
Just in time for Earth Day, Little Green Readers help newly emergent readers explore a mixture of environmentally related topics while developing reading skills. The new series introduces content in several science strands: recycling, habitats, science careers, energy, endangered animals, and pollution. Among the 32 titles in the series are Wetlands, Clean Air, Gorillas, and Power from the Sun. The 8- to 16-page readers are available in a variety of packages. A single copy set, with one copy of all 32 titles, is $96. A complete classroom set, with six copies of each title (102 books), is $540. Sundance Publishing, 800/343-8204 or http://www.sundancepub.com/.

Upcoming on Cable Television
The CNN Newsroom acknowledges Women’s History Month from March 10-31 with a series profiling women leaders, including Wilma Mankiller, the first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation, and Roxanne Spillette from Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Program will air daily at 4:30 a.m. Eastern time. In April, TNT Learning presents Don Quixote, the classic novel by Miguel De Cervantes, on April 9 at 8:00 p.m., Eastern and Pacific times. Free curriculum materials related to the program are available. Turner Learning, 800/344-6219 or http://www.turnerlearning.com/.

PowerPoint for Teachers
The book PowerPoint Workshop for Teachers by Janet Caughlin contains step-by-step lessons on using PowerPoint software to meet curriculum objectives, as well as a Mac/Win CD-ROM with templates and clip art that can be customized for use with any teacher or student presentation. The book includes specific lesson ideas from teachers around the country, including a look at an introduction to the skeletal system, a review of famous artists, and career explorations. Each teacher-tested activity includes a project summary, learning objectives, needed materials, and sample graphics of the completed presentation. The price is $30. Tom Snyder Productions, 800/342-0236 or http://www.tomsnyder.com/.


Sony Grant Program
The Year 2000 Sony grant program will award one 10-station Sony Symphony LLC-8000A Learning System with installation to one eligible U.S. school or college. The program is open to schools in the contiguous 48 states and Alaska with foreign language or ESL programs, including public and private K-12 state-certified schools, schools for the disabled, and public and private state-certified colleges. Grant applications are available online. The deadline for applications is March 31, 2000. The grant recipient will be announced in May 2000. St. Joan of Arc Catholic Elementary School in Aberdeen, Maryland, won the 1999 Sony Symphony Learning System grant for its language program that includes a foreign language requirement for all students in K-8th grade. Sony, 800/686-SONY, ext. 2000 GRANT or http://www.sony.com/education/.


A Better Mouse Pad
The Ergo Write mouse pad does double duty as an erasable whiteboard and a place for your mouse to skate. The size of a regular mouse pad, the Ergo Write has a special traction surface on one side that allows coverage of the entire computer screen with approximately 2 inches of mouse movement. The remainder of the pad area is a whiteboard that can be used for notes or drawings. The mouse pad comes with a dry-erase pen, pen clip, eraser cloth, and a 1-year warranty. The adhesive backing on the pen clip allows it to be attached to the mouse pad, keyboard, monitor, or any convenient location. The price is $8.95, plus $2.95 shipping and handling. Solve-It! Marketing Company, 800/771-8348 or http://www.solve-itmarketing.com/.

PrimeArray CD/DVD Servers
The Netserve family of CD and DVD-ROM network-attach servers features multiple direct-access CD or DVD drives and large internal hard drives that image CD and DVD content. The disc images, as well as media contained in the direct-access drives, are shared by the Netserve’s integrated thin client server over a 10/100 Ethernet network. Any computer on the network can access the CD and DVD information from the server without the need for proprietary software. Storage capacities handle 27, 54, 70, and 140 CD-ROM images. Prices start at less than $3,000. PrimeArray Systems, Inc., 800/433-5133 or http://www.primearray.com/.

Proxima Desktop Projector
The DP6850 from Proxima is a full-featured mid-range data and video projector with multiple inputs and picture-in-picture capability. The desktop unit features true XGA (1024x768) resolution with 1500 ANSI lumens, a 1.3:1 motorized zoom lens, an infrared remote with USB mouse control, and built-in laser pointer. The projector is PC and Mac compatible and works with video sources such as VCRs and DVD players. The price is less than $6,000. Education discounts are available and may vary by dealer. Proxima, 858/457-5500 or http://www.proxima.com/.

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