April 19, 2006

T.H.E. Newsletter: April 19, 2006
April 19, 2006
  • IBM, CSTA Partner to Boost High School Students’ Computer Science Skills

    IBM and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) will collaborate to accelerate computer science and technology skills among high school students, marking the first time that CSTA has partnered with an IT vendor to co-develop customized courseware for secondary school audiences. IBM and CSTA will provide more than 36,000 teachers with free access to computer science resources in an effort to improve teachers’ expertise and help students acquire necessary skills for jobs in the 21st century. With just a few clicks, teachers can access a series of lesson plans, guidebooks and topic overviews to incorporate concepts of computer programming and Web design into everyday math and science classes. These tools help teachers introduce basic programming and Web design principles into everyday computer science, math, and science classes. One additional resource being provided through this partnership is a professional development module that can be used by teachers to improve their own teaching strategies. These new resources can be downloaded directly from the CSTA site at http://www.csta.acm.org.

    For the full story, visit

  • HomeworkNow.Com, Broadband iTV Partner to Launch Local School Information TV Channels

    HomeworkNow.com LLC, operator of the largest school-to-home information network in the world, and Broadband iTV Inc., a leading developer of interactive television applications, have entered into a partnership agreement that will feature HomeworkNow school-to-home content—including school announcements, homework assignments, school sports, and other student and school communications—over local digital cable systems. The partnership also enables local schools to develop and manage their own interactive television channels. School TV channels will be aired in an interactive format, utilizing video-on- demand technology, to make information available to the viewer at any time.

    For the full story, visit

  • Thinkronize Donates netTrekker home to Underserved NYC Children

    Thinkronize Inc. has donated 1,000 annual subscriptions of its netTrekker home search engine to underserved New York City children. The donation, valued at $120,000, is being made through Computers for Youth (CFY), a national nonprofit organization that helps low-income children succeed in school by improving their learning environment at home. Now, CFY’s next 1,000 computers will include subscriptions to netTrekker home. CFY requires participating students and their parents to attend an interactive, half-day training workshop where families learn the basics of computer use, as well as how to use the installed educational software to improve reading, writing, and mathematics. At the culmination of the workshop, families get to take their computer home. In addition, because of New York's multicultural environment, netTrekker home is enriched with features of special benefit to students for whom English is not the primary language.

    For the full story, visit

  • Wichita Public Schools Standardize on Wireless Palm Handhelds for Seventh-Graders

    Wichita Public Schools is standardizing on the wireless Palm TX handheld computer for its seventh-grade technology program and will begin implementing the handhelds into its technology curriculum next year. The school district purchased nearly 730 Palm TX handhelds as part of a major renovation of its technology curriculum for middle schools. These Palm TX handhelds join thousands of other Palm handhelds in use by students, teachers, and administrators throughout the school district. The handhelds will be used in the district's 14 middle schools and two alternative schools. In addition to the middle schools, 100 district site technology specialists each received a Palm TX. These specialists offer on-site technology support, train staff and keep track of inventory. With the Palm TX, they now communicate wirelessly over the entire district.

    For the full story, visit

  • Metropolitan Educational Council of Ohio Turns to AT&T for Customized Ethernet Services

    AT&T Inc. has announced a new contract with the Metropolitan Educational Council (MEC), a consortium of school districts, libraries, and related agencies in the greater central Ohio area. Under terms of the six-year contract, AT&T will deliver a Customized Switched Metro Ethernet (CSME) service that will connect 160 schools and related agencies to a single network for increased security and reliability. The new network will provide expanded bandwidth to support additional educational applications, such as video distance learning. The network also will allow for secure transmission of detailed student records through a unified process for data transfer. In addition, the CSME solution will provide disaster-recovery services for increased security and redundancy of the network.

    For the full story, visit

Clear Function has launched its first Web product, Chalksite (http://www.chalksite.com), giving teachers a personal Web site and all the tools needed to manage classroom activities with a simple, quick approach. Among its functions, Chalksite allows teachers to build their own Web sites; communicate with students and parents; and post information, notices and grades. Pricing: Determined by the number of subscribed students, but a basic plan runs about $4.95 per month; discounts for bulk purchasing are available. Additionally, a free version of Chalksite is available with limited features and capabilities.

GenevaLogic (http://www.GenevaLogic.com) has launched App-Control, the newest plug-in for its Vision classroom management software. With App-Control, teachers can now use Vision6 to keep their entire class learning together by remotely launching applications, sharing documents, and managing access to applications on all student computers. Using App-Control with Vision6, teachers can start applications running on student computers with the click of a button. App-Control works in any Windows environment where Vision6 is installed. Pricing: $3 per student computer with a 10-computer minimum; K-12 site licenses start at $375.

NASA’s new Kids’ Club Web site features animated, colorful, entertaining, and educational activities for K-4 students. Interactive games on the site teach children about exploring space, building and launching rockets, keeping airplanes on schedule, and how a comet travels through the solar system. The site is compatible with screen readers and other assistive technology, and features versions of content accessible for those with slower Internet connections.

Mongabay.com, a leading environmental science Web site, recently expanded and updated its rainforest site, which has been a major resource for teachers, students, and researchers. The revised site includes environmental profiles and deforestation statistics for more than 60 countries. It also features thousands of rainforest wildlife photos from around the world, as well as a special children’s section that contains learning activities and educational resources for teachers.

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

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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