June 21, 2006

T.H.E. Newsletter: June 21, 2006
June 21, 2006
WEEKLY SECTIONS
  • New Report Sets Direction for 21st Century School Design

    Schools in the 21st century should feature more diverse learning environments, greater technology, and be more integrated with their communities, recommends a new report on school design issued last week by the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) and KnowledgeWorks Foundation. The 70-page Report from the National Summit on School Design provides recommendations to help designers and educators make better decisions about some of the $30 billion spent annually on new or renovated school facilities. In recognizing the historic opportunity created by a multibillion dollar national school construction boom, the report states that American education is at a “watershed moment in school design” when “the definition of the American school is evolving into something entirely new.” According to the report’s findings, critical components of that success must involve: designing schools to support a variety of learning styles; enhancing learning by integrating technology; fostering a “small school” culture; creating schools as centers of the community; engaging the public in the planning process; making healthy, comfortable, and flexible learning spaces; and considering non-traditional options for school facilities and classrooms.

    For the full story, visit http://www.archfoundation.org/aaf/aaf/News.36.htm

  • Pennsylvania Unveils Latest Statewide Public Cyber School

    Families across Pennsylvania were given a new option in public education with the announcement of the Agora Cyber Charter School. This public cyber school, which will serve students in grades K-10, is currently accepting enrollments from new students and hiring certified teachers from across the state. The Agora Cyber Charter School is the only public cyber school in Pennsylvania using both the curriculum and school management services by K12 Inc. As a K12 certified school, Agora Cyber Charter School’s teachers, students, and parents will have access to not only the complete K12 learning program, but also to K12’s team of education, curriculum, and school management experts. Agora Cyber Charter School teachers will have the benefit of receiving K12’s specialized teacher training designed to equip them to meet every challenge and become excellent cyber school educators. Additionally, students who enroll in Agora receive a computer system on loan from the school, access to the K12 Online School, lessons, assessments, books, materials, planning and progress tools, Internet reimbursement, access to the school community, and much more.

    For the full story, visit http://www.k12.com/agora/pdf/Agora_Cyber_Charter_School_PR.pdf

  • Raytheon Launches High-Tech Externship Program for Teachers

    Raytheon Co. has launched a teacher externship program at its Network Centric Systems (NCS) facility in Marlborough, MA. Developed in partnership with Leadership Initiatives for Teaching and Technology (LIFT2), the externship provides teachers a unique opportunity to learn about the latest trends in technology. With exposure to critical industry applications, including science, technology, engineering, and math through real-world projects, the externship helps teachers prepare for enriched classroom instruction. At Raytheon, a teacher’s experience includes hands-on, full-time work in the company’s engineering department supporting numerous NCS customer solutions, including satellite communications. At the externship’s conclusion, candidates will apply skills learned on the job toward developing a curriculum to help cultivate a technology pipeline for the future. Raytheon’s first externship candidate is Wayland High School (MA) physics teacher and Science Department Head Kenneth H. Altshuler.

    For the full story, visit http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/micro_stories.pl?ACCT=149999&TICK=RTN&STORY=/www/story/06-16-2006/0004381930&EDATE=Jun+16,+2006

  • Delaware Selects BASI Series to Assess Students at Two Detention Centers

    Pearson Assessments recently announced that the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families (DSCYF) selected the BASI (Basic Achievement Skills Inventory) series of tests to assess learning outcomes of students in their school programs. The BASI tests are a versatile, multilevel, norm-referenced series of achievement tests that measure math, reading, and language skills for children and adults. The department provides educational services to approximately 350 students in 10 juvenile justice and mental health school programs at two detention centers. Previously, the assessment instrument they had been using could only be administered individually, requiring a lot of teacher time. Now, when new students arrive at the centers, teachers will administer the computer-based version of the BASI series in an orientation classroom with individual computers for each student. This lets teachers and administrators get an immediate readout on each student’s learning outcomes.

    For the full story, visit http://www.pearsoned.com/pr_2006/061306.htm

  • Connecticut State Ed Commissioner Named Greenwich Superintendent

    Connecticut State Education Commissioner Dr. Betty J. Sternberg has been appointed the new superintendent for the 9,000-student Greenwich school district. The 25-year-veteran of Connecticut’s Department of Education and an outspoken critic of the No Child Left Behind Act, Sternberg, 56, is the district’s first permanent woman superintendent, and was the first woman appointed commissioner of education. As superintendent, Sternberg will receive a $210,000 salary her first year. Her contract also includes a $30,000 annuity, up to a $15,000 performance incentive, a $1,000 monthly car allowance, a $4,000 annual professional development stipend, a $2,000 monthly housing allowance, and a one-time $25,000 moving allowance for relocating to the Greenwich area. “My goal as a superintendent will be to develop a model school culture that will close the achievement gaps raising the achievement of all students while raising, at a faster rate, the achievement of those whose achievement has historically been lower,” Sternberg told The Greenwich Citizen.

    Share Your Success
    Whether your district just appointed a new superintendent or your school finally hired that new tech coordinator, we want to know! Please share your staff and faculty successes with us by sending the person's name; title; school, district, and location information; any relevant educational and occupational background; and a high-resolution color image of the person to cwerner@101com.com


SMART Technologies Inc. has introduced the SMART Board 600i interactive whiteboard system, which combines a SMART Board interactive whiteboard (the 660 or 680 model) and the new Unifi projector with built-in audio. Both projector and interactive whiteboard are easily and securely mounted on a wall, significantly reducing installation time. Built into the pen tray of the SMART Board is a projector control module that brings together three simple buttons to power up the system, adjust the volume, and access the on-screen interface. The 20-watt audio system is built into the projector base, providing clear sound, even to those at the back of the room. Compatible with Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X operating systems, SMART Board software 9.5 (included) supports the creation, presentation, and management of digital content. A connection module, which can be mounted in any number of positions around the SMART Board, provides several readily accessible input and output connections for such devices as a DVD, VCR, or document camera. The 600i system can also operate without being connected to a computer, so users can take notes on the interactive whiteboard or write over an image or video from an external source. Pricing: The SMART Board 600i system begins shipping this fall at a suggested list price of $5,599 for the 680i model and $5,249 for the 660i model. Notprofit education institutions in the United States and Canada may qualify for a grant through the SMARTer Kids Foundation of Canada equivalent to 25 percent of the suggested list price.


Barracuda Networks Inc. has released its Barracuda Spyware Firewall, which lets schools and libraries enforce Internet and Web usage policies required to obtain funding support for network and Internet technologies under the E-Rate program. The Barracuda Spyware Firewall is a network gateway appliance that was originally designed to protect networks from spyware using multiple layers of defense. One layer is URL filtering to prevent user visits to Web sites hosting spyware. This functionality was later extended to block objectionable content across 57 content categories, including pornography, violence, and Internet chat sites. Incorporating requirements from schools and district customers, Barracuda Networks has added capabilities to the Barracuda Spyware Firewall in Version 2.2 to complete a content filtering feature set required to comply with its customers’ policies. These capabilities include: image safe search integration, dynamic application-blocking rules, and custom application-blocking rules. Pricing: Free upgrade for current customers; for new users, pricing starts at $1,999 with no per user licensing fees.



http://access.newspaperarchive.com
NewspaperARCHIVE.com is giving public libraries and K-12 schools free access to tens of millions of newspaper pages in its historical newspaper database. This new program, called Access NewspaperARCHIVE, will allow students and library patrons to view, save, and print full-page newspapers from around the world dating from 1759 to 1977. The free subscription will exclude titles within the institution’s local state and those after the year 1977; however, an upgraded subscription level that includes these titles will also be available.


http://www.biz4ed.org
DeHavilland Associates, an educational outreach consulting firm, has launched the Business/Education Partnership Forum, a free online resource center for anyone involved in business/education partnerships, as well as for those interested in the role of business in supporting K-12 education. The Business Education Partnership Forum provides news, information, resources, and networking opportunities to businesses, districts, schools, nonprofit organizations, as well as state and national associations in the field.

For a complete listing of up-to-date conference information, visit T.H.E. Conference Calendar, T.H.E. Journal 's comprehensive conference database, at: http://www.theconferencecalendar.com

Call for Papers!!!

THE Journal is currently looking for the following types of articles as we prepare for our 2006 issues:

  • School Perspectives —discuss a specific topic, trend, or concern about education technology.

  • Wishlist/Shortlist —a simple list of the technology (e.g., wireless, laptops, etc.) you're looking at to solve a challenge in your school/district, and an accompanying “shortlist” of vendors you're looking at to solve those challenges.

If you have a potential article, or questions about the above topics, please e-mail editorial@thejournal.com

THE Institute and AOL @ SCHOOL Offer New Online Course for Educators
“Internet Literacy – Making the Most of the Web,” is a new online course for educators interested in using the World Wide Web in teaching and learning. Designed for elementary and secondary school teachers, the course provides tools for educators to integrate technology into their curricula to improve student achievement and meet NCLB requirements. The cost is $79 per person; course moderation and graduate credit are additional options. “Internet Literacy – Making the Most of the Web," is designed to be useful both for educators new to using technology in teaching and learning and for tech-savvy veterans.
For complete course details and to register, go to http://www.thejournal.com/institute/course510.cfm.

Four Integrating Technology Courses from T.H.E. Institute
T.H.E. Institute is offering four online professional development courses to help educators comply with NCLB requirements and use technology more successfully in the classroom. The cost is $149 per course, which includes a $10 per person per course administration fee for documentation of clock hours and a certificate of completion. Course moderation and graduate credit are additional options; volume discounts are available. Anyone who enrolls in a course will receive individual access to the netTrekker site, as well as free individual access to United Learning's unitedstreaming site. In addition, special pricing is available for educators in districts that have purchased Glencoe/McGraw-Hill's TechCONNECT.

Integrating Technology in the Classroom Courses: Social Studies — Available Now; Science — Available Now; English/Language Arts— Available Now; Mathematics — Available Now

For more information, log on to http://www.thejournal.com/institute/IntegratingTech.cfm.

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THE Newsletter is a bulletin comprised of recent announcements that affect the education community. Our goal is to keep our readers well informed with the most up to date news. In addition, we hope our audience will share with us their opinions regarding educational technology issues so we may be certain we are covering the topics that are of most interest to them. Please direct any questions or comments about THE Newsletter to editorial@thejournal.com

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