January 4, 2006

January 4, 2006
  • ICT Fights to Restore High Speed Network Funding for California Schools

    The Silicon Valley-based Institute of Computer Technology (ICT) is working with an ad hoc coalition of technology industry trade groups and state education associations to secure renewed funding for the K-12 High Speed Network (http://www.k12hsn.org). The network is a state program that provides network connectivity, Internet services, teaching and learning application coordination, and videoconferencing support for California's K-12 community—reaching 74 percent of California schools and 89 percent of school districts. The network has been running on a $21 million budget annually, but the state Legislature has cut all funding this year, which has required the network to tap unexpended balances to keep the basic connectivity operational for California school agencies. The network has had to place all “last mile” connectivity projects and content expansion efforts on hold pending funding being provided in the 2006-07 state budget.

    For the full story, visit http://pdfserver.emediawire.com/pdfdownload/328110/pr.pdf

  • Star Wars: Episode III Leads 2005 E-Book Bestseller List

    The International Digital Publishing Forum released its annual industry list of top selling e-books this week. The list reflects the great diversity of e-book titles reaching the reading public. Dan Brown dominated the list with The Da Vinci Code , Angels & Demons and Digital Fortress in the top five. The honors for bestselling e-book of 2005, however, went to George Lucas' screenplay for Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith . Michael Crichton's State of Fear rounded out the top five bestselling digital books.

    For the full story, and a list of the top 30 best-selling e-books of 2005, visit

  • Schools Ask Parents to Pay Up Before Kids Log On
    — From USA TODAY

    Heather Sutherland was excited to learn her public school system was using laptop computers to teach elementary students such as her daughter. Until, that is, she found out parents were expected to pay the nearly $1,500 cost.

    The public school system in [Fullerton, CA] is pushing the frontiers of computer technology in the classroom with a program that puts a laptop computer into the backpacks of children as early as first grade. It is pushing the boundaries of financing, too, by asking parents to pay $500 a year for three years so each of more than 2,000 elementary and middle school children can have their own Apple iBook G4 laptop.

    For the full story, visit http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-01-02-laptop-elementary_x.htm

  • US Chamber of Commerce to Begin Ranking School Performance

    The largest US Chamber of Commerce said this week that it would start ranking school systems' performance as part of efforts to raise a work force that could better compete in the global economy.

    The chamber, which in recent years has crusaded for legal reform, will now urge education reform by ranking the performance of state school systems and some local school systems, according to US Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue. More details will be announced within six weeks.

    For the full story, visit http://today.reuters.com/investing/financeArticle.aspx?type=economicNews&storyID=2006-01-04T183351Z_01_N04288801_RTRIDST_0_ECONOMY-CHAMBER-SCHOOLS.XML

  • Nine Schools, One District Recognized as Co-nect National Demonstration Schools

    A select group of nine schools and one school district that have demonstrated outstanding achievement in test scores, teaching and learning, assessment practices, school organization, school community, and effective use of technology, have been named as Co-nect National Demonstration Schools. Pearson Achievement Solutions (http://www.pearsonachievementsolutions.com), a newly formed organization that recently acquired Co-nect (http://www.co-nect.net), recently made the announcement.

    This year's winners of the annual distinction were selected from over 200 schools nationwide and include: Daughtrey Preparatory School of Arts and Sciences in Bradenton, FL; Centennial Place Elementary School, Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary School, East Lake Elementary School, Grove Park Elementary School, Frank L. Stanton Elementary School, and Walter Francis White Elementary School in Atlanta, GA.; Joseph C. Caruso Elementary School in Keansburg, NJ; and Helms Community Learning Center in Houston, TX. In addition to the individual schools, Co-nect awarded a district designation, recognizing Chandler Unified School District in Chandler, Ariz. as a National Demonstration School District.

    The selected schools were awarded $250, a personalized plaque and banner, and asked to serve as reference sites for other schools and districts interested in observing Co-nect's research-based professional development practices in action.

Voyager Expanded Learning (http://www.voyagerlearning.com) has launched its latest reading intervention program, Passport Reading Journeys, which incorporates rich literature focused on science and social studies topics, as well as action-packed video segments and Web-based software to engage teens who struggle with reading. Students enrolled in the program travel through a series of 15 two-week reading “expeditions,” and participate in Web-based activities designed to build vocabulary/comprehension skills and improve reading fluency. In addition, teachers can monitor student progress through benchmark assessments using Voyager's data management system, and district administrators can view real-time data at the student, classroom, school, or district level to inform decision-making.

RISO Inc. (http://us.riso.com) has introduced the RZ990 , the world's fastest printer-duplicator with print speeds of 180 pages per minute, making the machine 50 percent faster than any other traditional 600 dpi, 11-inch x 17-inch digital duplicator on the market. Like other all printer-duplicators within the RZ series, the RZ990 incorporates the RISO i Quality System that allows two-way communication between the printer-duplicator and its supplies via integrated RF tags embedded in the ink bottle and master roll. The RZ990 is also engineered with a newly designed soundproof system, making it remarkably quiet despite its speed, and enabling it to fit easily into any environment. Pricing: $22,995.

CyberMatrix Corp. (http://www.cybermatrix.com) has released version 5 of CyberMatrix Class Scheduler, a Windows-based software program that helps students and school administrators quickly schedule student classes. The most important upgrades in version 5 are its new visual scheduling feature and its bulk scheduling tool. Payment and invoicing features have also been added to help manage the costs associated with classes in private schools. Pricing: $100 for a single license; multi-seat and site licenses are available. Non-profit organizations are eligible for a 10 percent discount.


A free, searchable e-book containing the text of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream has been released by askSam Systems. The text of the play is available in a searchable hypertext-linked askSam database, and the individual scenes are divided into separate documents in the database, allowing users to easily search and locate scenes pertaining to specific topics. The askSam version also lets teachers and students search, browse, and analyze the text either online or by downloading the searchable e-books with the free askSam viewer.

Visual Link Spanish has dedicated part of its Web site for junior high and high school Spanish teachers to use portions of its online Spanish software in their classrooms. The site's online lessons include interactive verb conjugation drills and tutorials that correspond to verb lessons taught in class. Teachers also have access to crossword and word-search generators, and receive overhead worksheets, culture stories, vocabulary practices, and student tracking of the verb lessons. In addition, students can login to the lessons and practice at school or at home.

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 good story that is related to any of the above topics, please e-mail an abstract to mmiller@101com.com

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 http://www.thejournal.com/netTrekker. 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 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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Copyright 2006 101communications LLC., 9121 Oakdale Ave., Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311. THE Newsletter may only be redistributed in its unedited form. Written permission from the editor must be obtained to reprint the information contained within this newsletter. Contact Matt Miller at mmiller@101com.com

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