T.H.E. News Update :: June 4, 2008

News & Issues

Phoenix Mars Mission Comes to Students via iTunes U

The University of Arizona has brought video and animation relating to the Phoenix Mars Mission onto iTunes U, the education-focused portal hosted on Apple's iTunes. U Arizona is the lead on the mission, the first in a NASA program aimed at launching smaller missions to Mars designed to complement larger ones. The university is also offering a wide range of educational content targeted toward K-12 schools on its Web site.

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Case Study: Freedom Area School District's Virtualized Back-up Plan

The IT needs here at the Freedom Area School District just north of Pittsburgh, PA, are always shifting and growing. One thing that remains constant, however, is the need to back up our systems quickly, safely, and securely in the event of a mishap. More important, however, is the ability to restore that backup when and where we need it, regardless of the hardware we have at hand.

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Blackboard Defends Patent, Files More Claims

Blackboard this week defended its e-learning patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO in March rejected all of the claims in Blackboard's patent following a reexamination prompted by requests from open source advocate the Software Freedom Law Center and commercial rival Desire2Learn. But the patent rejection was not final, allowing Blackboard a window of time to respond to the decision.

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Students Get Web-based Planning and Time Management Service

Studiolo Systems has gone into beta testing with StudyRails.com, a Web application intended to help students improve their academic performance by optimizing their study habits. StudyRails provides step-by-step, personalized study plans, e-mail and cell phone study reminders and the blocking of social networking Web sites, software and games during study time.

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Districts Nab $800,000 in Teach Award Grants

Recipients in the final round of the 2008 Best Buy Teach Awards were announced today. In February, some 1,300 schools received grants of $2,000 or $10,000 in the program. Now, eight school districts in the United States have been awarded $100,000 each.

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Adobe Intros Acrobat 9, Launches Acrobat.com Beta

Adobe Monday announced details of its forthcoming major revision to the entire Acrobat family: Acrobat 9. The company also debuted a new Acrobat.com collaboration beta site and announced an updated Creative Suite (version 3.3), which will incorporate the upcoming Acrobat 9 Pro software.

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Channel One Network And i-SAFE Partner for Online Safety Awareness

Teen news and content provider Channel One has partnered with electronic safety firm i-SAFE in an effort to enhance and increase electronic safety awareness among teens. The organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding, committing to work together to provide video programming and curriculum-based tools to students through the Channel One News broadcast and the i-SAFE and Channel One Web sites.

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OLPC To Roll Out Laptops to Colombia

According to information released by the non-profit group One Laptop per Child, Caldas, a state in Colombia, has ordered 65,000 XO laptops in an effort to get laptops in the hands of school-aged children.

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Coming Up

Find more events and calls for papers and presentations 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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