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FETC to Offer Gaming for Grown-ups

Tabula Digita will test educators' math skills when it holds its game-based algebra tournament at the 2009 conference.

THANKS TO TABULA DIGITA, educators at this month's Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) will have a chance to put their algebra and gaming skills to the test. For the second year in a row, the educational gaming vendor will host its DimensionM Multiplayer Tournament for educators at the annual K-12 education technology conference in Orlando.

DimensionM games combine a popular mission-based, 3D game format with content aligned to standards set by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics as well as several state standards. K-12 teachers, administrators, and IT staff will play Meltdown, one of the games available on Tabula Digita's DimensionM Evolver Pre-Algebra Multiplayer software. The educators will have to use their math skills to navigate through timed missions, quickly demonstrating a mastery of linear equations as they attempt to score the most points and move on to the next round.

In Brief

ON A MISSION Tabula
Digita's DimensionM math
games are played in 3D.

To participate in the tournament, FETC attendees can sign up at the Tabula Digita- FETC Tournament Center, located across from Room North 220 in the lobby of the Orange County Convention Center. They can also preregister on the DimensionM website, where they can download samples of the game.

Qualifying rounds will take place every half hour on Friday, Jan. 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the tournament center. Ten finalists will advance to the championship round, to be held on Saturday, Jan. 24, from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Each of the finalists will receive valuable prizes, with the winner taking home a site license for the DimensionM Evolver Multiplayer gaming software.

Tabula Digita's goal for the tournament is to give educators the opportunity to experience the excitement that students feel when they learn new concepts and skills using gaming technology, and to demonstrate that learning and applying abstract math concepts can actually be fun.

"Last year we had nearly 350 educators from 23 different states and Canada sign up for our inaugural tournament, and we expect an even larger turnout this year," said Ntiedo Etuk, CEO of Tabula Digita, in a recent statement. "It's important for educators to get firsthand experience with a teaching tool that students embrace and is proven to accelerate the understanding and comprehension of abstract concepts like algebra."

Green Spot

CALLING ALL ECO-HEROES

UNTIL MARCH 15, US middle school students can do their part to help save the planet by entering the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. Teams of two or three students must work together using webbased tools to create and implement a plan to help solve an environmental issue of their choosing. Teams must also collect data to measure their results, and make recommendations for replication.

A panel of environmental experts and science teachers will judge teams based on their creativity, their ability to devise a positive, measurable solution to an environmental issue using scientific methodology, and their explanation of how the solution can be replicated. The top team in every state in the country will be recognized, and three will be selected as national finalists. Prizes will be awarded to each member of the winning teams and their teachers, and include digital cameras and Discovery Adventure Trips. One of the finalists will win the grand-prize package, which for the students includes an appearance on Planet Green, Discovery's ecolifestyle network, and for their teacher a one-year membership to the National Science Teachers Association.

Discovery Education and the NTSA will provide standards-based lesson plans and multimedia teacher resources to accompany each stage of the challenge.

:: Awards and Contests

ABC-CLIO LAUNCHES HISTORY RESEARCH COMPETION. ABC-CLIO has announced a new annual research competition for middle and high school students called History Uncovered. For the inaugural competition, student teams must work with their teachers or school media specialists to research and select 10 people, events, or places that have shaped the course of history, using one or more of ABC-CLIO's eight online history databases. Each "Top 10" list must fall into one of the standardsaligned curriculum categories chosen by ABC-CLIO. Teams must submit their findings in electronic presentations such as online essays, videos, animations, or podcasts. Entries must be submitted by March 30, and a panel of judges will select five high school and three middle school grand-prize winners-- one from each category. Prizes include cash, digital whiteboards, and subscriptions to ABC-CLIO databases.

INSPIRATION INTRODUCES AWARDS PROGRAM. Inspiration Software recently announced the launch of the Inspired Visual Learning Awards, a new awards program that will recognize 15 educators and their students for their creative use of visual learning in the classroom. To be considered, educators must submit examples of classroom projects that were created by students using Inspiration, Kidspiration, or InspireData software. The winners will receive a variety of prizes, including money, Intel-powered Classmate PCs, and Inspiration Software learning tools. To apply, visit here before Feb. 27.

:: Industry News

IBM DEVELOPS NEW WEB 2.0 TOOL. IBM recently introduced a new Web 2.0 peer-to-peer learning tool that aims to make knowledge sharing more user-friendly and collaborative. The tool, called Pass It Along, integrates knowledge management, social networking, and Web 2.0 concepts to build communities of contributors, experts, and learners around niche topics. Using Pass It Along, users can access, share, and rate information; categorize information from other websites; and create learning networks. A free demo version of the tool is available here.

URBAN TECH EXPANDS WELLNESS PROGRAM. The National Urban Technology Center (Urban Tech) has announced that it will expand its holistic wellness program, Get Healthy Harlem, to include about 40 schools and 6,000 students in central Harlem and Bushwick, NY. During the program's first year, Urban Tech worked with 11 schools and 3,300 students in central Harlem. The expanded program, which begins this month, is called Get Healthy New York because it will eventually reach other boroughs of New York City. The program will continue to cover topics such as conflict resolution, STD/AIDS awareness, diet, and substance abuse prevention, and use interactive technologies to help increase student engagement.

MARSHAL AND 8e6 MERGE. Marshal, a provider of e-mail and web content security software, and 8e6 Technologies, a provider of web filtering technologies, have merged to form the new Marshal8e6. The new company will provide technologies in the form of software, appliances, and software as a service to combat both web-based and e-mail security threats, creating a comprehensive security solution for schools and organizations of all sizes.

This article originally appeared in the 01/01/2009 issue of THE Journal.

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