Online Education News

UC-IRVINE DEVELOPS ONLINE COURSES TO PREPARE K-12 TEACHERS FOR THE CSET. The B'eing Co. (http://www.b' and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation ( have given a grant worth $350,000 to the University of California- Irvine to develop online courses that will address the urgent need to help prepare science and math teachers to pass the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET). Due to a lack of familiarity with the content or format of the exams, more than 40 percent of teachers do not pass the CSET test on their first attempt. The grant will be used to help create 10 science and three math instructor-facilitated online courses designed to cover the respective subtests of the CSET, which will be made available as a UCI Extension program. This initiative complements the “California Teach” plan, which hopes to graduate at least four times as many new math and science teachers by 2010. In addition, the courses will be used as part of the growing Open Educational Resource movement, thereby allowing self-learners to view and utilize the materials and resources online for free.

SUN LAUNCHES PORTAL TO INCREASE JAVA UNDERSTANDING. Sun Microsystems has launched its Java Teaching Innovations Portal ( to provide educators with project-oriented resources, which can be incorporated into existing technology education programs, designed to increase the understanding of Java technology. The Web site includes lesson plans and activities, special projects to complement existing Java curriculum, gaming activities that educators and students can download, and introductory presentations on how to incorporate Java curriculum and demonstrate its relevance to underrepresented populations.

C-SPAN CLASSROOM ROLLS OUT NEW WEB SITE, CONTEST. C-SPAN Classroom has launched a new Web site ( for middle and high school civics and government teachers that features free standards-based video content, lesson plans, and primary source materials designed to bring the subjects to life and engage students. Developed in collaboration with a team of social studies teachers, the site’s content consists of hundreds of C-SPAN video clips that are correlated to national and state standards and broken up into six categories: Principles of Government; US Constitution; each of the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches; and Political Participation. C-SPAN Classroom has also announced the return of its StudentCam contest, which invites middle and high school students to compete for $25,000 in prizes by submitting a short documentary that explores a current government-related issue. Contest information can be found at the StudentCam Web site,

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