Ed Tech Community Supports Katrina Victims

Kinetic Books Co. (http://www.kineticbooks.com) will donate its comprehensive digital textbooks and virtual labs to facilitate free online physics classes for up to 1,000 high school students displaced by Hurricane Katrina, as well as those who were displaced by Hurricane Rita. The company is offering to supply curricula to schools that have instructors but lack textbooks or lab equipment. In addition, the company is looking for instructors, even displaced teachers, to work with students over the Internet, using videoconferencing and chat technologies. Students or administrators interested in participating in the program can contact Kinetic Books at displaced@kineticbooks.com. Interested instructors should write to instructors@kineticbooks.com.

Educational partners Learning Today Inc. and Let’s Go Learn Inc. (http://www.letsgolearn.com) are providing K-5 Gulf Coast region students displaced by Hurricane Katrina an opportunity to stay ahead of their studies by giving them free access to their Web-based curricula, assessment, and instructional management systems solutions throughout the 2005-06 school year. The effort will assess each student’s reading and math skills and deliver individualized learning programs to the student, which can then be accessed from any computer with high-speed Internet. For more information, call (954) 584-5250 or visit http://www.learningtoday.com.

To help faculty and students displaced by Katrina continue their educational experience, Blackboard Inc. (http://www.blackboard.com) is providing affected schools with free ASP hosting for its eLearning programs throughout the fall of 2005. In addition, the company announced that it was able to restore service for many of its existing customers in the area in a relatively short amount of time—sometimes within 24 hours. Blackboard hopes that its assistance will also help students and their families connect and locate with others from within their communities via their respective school’s Blackboard education site. For more information, call (800) 424-9299, ext. 2594, or e-mail katrinarelief@blackboard.com.

In an effort to help schools affected by Hurricane Katrina continue to deliver quality education to displaced students in grades 1-12, the American Education Corp. (http://www.amered.com) is offering online access to its A+nyWhere Learning System (A+LS) formative assessments, free of charge. The offer attempts to fill the void left in many affected schools whose records were destroyed, but also extends to all public and charter schools or other organizations responsible for providing educational support to displaced students regardless of whether they are AEC customers. For more information, visit http://www.aplusanywhere.com.

This article originally appeared in the 11/01/2005 issue of THE Journal.

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