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T.H.E. SmartClassroom :: January 17, 2008

Focus

Web Technology Boosts Writing Performance at Alhambra USD

Can a computer really grade a composition?

Ask the initially skeptical teachers at Alhambra Unified School District just east of Los Angeles. Coordinator of Instructional Technology Linda Benafel introduced Vantage Learning's online writing program MY Access! in the 2005/2006 school year. Seventh-grade test scores on the California Standards Test writing assessment immediately zoomed nearly 50 percentage points, from 22 percent of students scoring proficient or above in 2005/2006 to 70 percent in 2006/2007....

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Ed Tech News

Macworld Expo: Apple Launches MacBook Air, Time Capsule

At the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage Tuesday to introduce the company's latest technologies. As rumored, Apple launched a new, super-slim version of the MacBook laptop computer, known as the MacBook Air. Jobs also introduced a new version of the AirPort Extreme Base Station known as Time Capsule, which combines an 802.11n router with a wireless backup storage solution....

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Blackboard To Buy Out NTI

CMS/LMS developer Blackboard announced this week its intent to acquire NTI Group. NTI is a provider of mass notification and emergency alert systems used in higher education and K-12. Both companies have already approved the acquisition, and the deal is expected to close this quarter, pending regulatory approval....

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Office 2008 for Mac Arrives

At the Macworld Conference & Expo, Microsoft has officially released Office 2008 for Mac, the latest version of the company's ubiquitous office productivity suite. Office 2008 was originally supposed to have shipped last summer but instead arrives today in three versions, including a new education edition. The company is providing guided tours of the latest edition at the Macworld convention through Thursday....

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UK Agency Funds New Approach to Use of Digital Media

A UK government and corporate consortium has announced a project to develop the next generation of digital learning software for schools. The £1.9 million R&D initiative, titled Project SILVER, will research the visualization of knowledge in the collaborative e-learning environment and develop a toolkit for educational use. The software platform will be independent of any specific subject domain and will allow teachers to add their own content....

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Newsgator Declares RSS Readers Free

Newsgator, one of the earliest entrants into the RSS and aggregated content reader business, has decided to offer its latest generation of client tools for free. That includes NetNewsWire 3.1, a Mac reader; FeedDemon 2.6, a PC reader; and NewsGator Go! for Windows Mobile 2.0, a mobile reader. The company is also offering a free version of NewsGator Inbox, which delivers RSS feeds to Microsoft Outlook folders....

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Events Calendar

Find more events at THE Journal's online Conference Calendar.

THE Journal Opportunities

Share Your Best Practices

T.H.E. Journal is currently looking for the following types of articles for future issues and for our eNewsletter, T.H.E. SmartClassroom:

  • School Perspectives - discuss a specific topic, trend, or concern about education technology.
  • Case Studies - have you implemented technology and learned a lot from the experience? If so, share your efforts about what worked -- and what didn't.

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

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