November 16, 2005

T.H.E. Newsletter: November 16, 2005
November 16, 2005
  • Cisco, NCWIT Launch Nationwide Initiative to Address Gender Gap in IT

    Cisco Systems Inc. has announced that it is joining forces with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) to increase awareness of education and career opportunities for girls and women in science, technology, math, and engineering. The initiative introduces a comprehensive digital library ( designed to give students, parents, and educators the tools to learn more about careers in high-tech fields and the importance of girls' participation.

    For the full story, visit

  • FLVS Receives Best Practices Award from US Distance Learning Association

    The Florida Virtual School (FLVS) received the 21st Century Best Practices Award from the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA). The newly minted 21st Century Best Practices Award, the highest award USDLA bestows upon distance education organizations, recognizes distance learning organizations for their innovation and excellence. FLVS, a nationally recognized eLearning model and the first statewide public virtual school established in the country, received the 2005 award for its leadership in promoting and growing online learning. FLVS was also acknowledged for its entrepreneurial, innovative approach to virtual education. In addition, FLVS math teacher Nathan Putney was also honored with a USDLA Gold Award for Exemplary Online Teaching.

    For the full story, visit

  • Curriculum Associates Offers Free Online Course for Motivating Students

    Curriculum Associates, a leading publisher of research-based supplemental curriculum materials and tools for today's diverse classrooms, is now offering teachers a free online professional development course with techniques that generate enthusiasm for learning within students. The e-training course, “Motivating Students to Learn,” consists of three lessons: an explanation of the theory behind motivation; an outline of five areas or practices that enhance motivation with audio quotes from teachers and students; and teacher-tested activities, games, and lesson plans designed to increase motivation. The lessons also include text and audio instruction, downloadable examples, handouts and checklists, reading assignments, and lesson reviews with open-ended questions that enable teachers to assess their current skills as well as their understanding of the lesson. The course is available at

  • Idaho Adopts GIS Statewide License to Develop Teaching Programs

    There is an ongoing struggle among teachers to meet testing requirements while incorporating critical-thinking activities pertaining to their subjects. Idaho responded to this dilemma by adopting a statewide geographic information system (GIS) license. Teachers and schools will use the technology in a wide range of subjects to create real-world activities involving analysis and problem solving as well as other core subject topics.

    For the full story, visit

  • Wi-Fi Is Making Waves in Macedonia
    —From BBC World

    Over the past few years, the idea of connecting to the Net without a cable in sight through Wi-Fi has become pretty standard fare in the developed world. But the technology is also offering developing nations a chance to reach remote areas without laying down expensive new telephone cables or relying on decaying old ones, as BBC World reporter David Reid found out when he visited Macedonia. Once part of the former Yugoslavia, a country that was better known as a potential ethnic trouble spot, it's now rapidly becoming a Wi-Fi hotspot.

    For the full story, visit

NetSupport Inc. recently launched a Web-based live chat and remote PC support tool for education IT professionals. With NetSupport 24-7, help-desk professionals can offer live assistance on demand from anywhere without the worries of software pre-installation or complicated upfront licensing plans. This means that help-desk support staff can handle more incidents more quickly; reducing phone-assisted or on-site support costs while ensuring high levels of service. The secure solution combines high-speed PC remote control with a bevy of features, including real-time hardware and software inventory, screen annotation, full text and audio chat/messaging facilities, and the ability to push Web pages and remotely launch applications. To view a virtual tour or register for NetSupport 24-7, visit

ZIP-scan Inc. ( has announced a revolutionary portable OMR scanner that gives educators the ability to grade quizzes and tests at their desk, and provides students with immediate grade feedback. Test results are automatically entered into ZIP-scan's Test Wizard software program and can be directly imported into popular gradebook programs. Test summary reports, individual student reports, and analysis reports can then be created in Adobe Acrobat Reader format for viewing and printing. Making the personal scanner more appealing to schools, the ZIP-scan can be shared between multiple users since its Test Wizard software provided with each unit has an unlimited user license. In addition, the test forms can be printed on copiers or laser printers and used forever with no royalty cost. Price: $1,995.

Circuit Systems ( has just released the perfect application for educators and administrators always on the go: Fone Folio, an innovative Windows application that lets users view Windows files on their cell phones. With one click, users can move Microsoft Office and Corel documents securely from their PC to Circuit Systems' secure file server, and then view the files on a Java- or WAP-enabled cell phone. All data is encrypted for privacy and security, and compressed for fast access on your cell phone. In addition, Fone Folio supports bold, italic, underline, color, justification, vertical alignment, bullets, embedded tables, and text wrap. Price: $5.99 a month. provides free lessons for students (or anyone) looking for help in speaking English fluently. The site's “click, listen, and repeat” feature allows students to click on any of its 5,000 audio files, listen to a native English speaker, and repeat after the audio segment. There is also an interactive conversation tool on the site that enables students to engage in a practice conversation by using the hundreds of conversation dialogs in the database. In addition, students can upload a voice recording to be analyzed by a native English speaker who will then provide personalized feedback.
America's master of horror, Stephen King, has joined students to write a serial story for “The Weekly Writer” section of the Weekly Reader's Web site. King penned the opening lines of a scary tale titled “The Furnace,” which was posted online in late September, and now students are encouraged to submit their entries on the site in order to continue the story. Over the next year, children's authors R.L. Stine and Jane Yolen have also agreed to participate in the project.

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:

Call for Papers!!!
Please take a second to look at some of the topics we'll be covering in our fall 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 good story that is related to any of the above topics, please e-mail an abstract to [email protected]

T.H.E. Offers Educators Individual netTrekker Subscriptions
T.H.E. Journal has announced an exclusive partnership with Thinkronize, developers of netTrekker, the trusted search engine for schools, which allows educators worldwide to purchase individual (single-user) subscriptions to netTrekker, which previously was available only on a site license basis to schools and districts. With this initiative, T.H.E. and Thinkronize have combined to better serve their customer's needs by personalizing the way educators use the Internet. Educators can purchase individual subscriptions for netTrekker through the T.H.E. Journal's Web site at The suggested list price for a one-year subscription is $49.95.

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

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

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