May 31, 2006

T.H.E. Newsletter: May 31, 2006
May 31, 2006
  • Pearson to Acquire PowerSchool

    Pearson announced last week that it will acquire PowerSchool, Apple’s award-winning student information systems (SIS) division, and develop educational content for teachers and students compatible with iPod in an effort to enhance teaching and learning through technology. PowerSchool’s Web-based solutions provide K-12 administrators, teachers, students, and parents with secure, up-to-the-minute information on student performance, including grades, homework, and attendance. They complement Pearson’s existing enterprise and SIS business, which brings assessment, reporting, and business solutions to more than 16,000 schools, helping them to fulfill the accountability requirements set by No Child Left Behind. PowerSchool will become the lead brand for Pearson’s integrated SIS business. Pearson will also develop new services for educators and students, including research-based educational content compatible with iPods. Teachers will have access to podcasts on professional development to help with lesson preparation and provide innovative ways to reach students struggling with specific content. Students will be able to load their iPods with study guides that are aligned with Pearson texts and listen to review notes to prepare for exams.

    For the full story, visit

  • School District of Philadelphia Broadens Partnership With SchoolNet

    The School District of Philadelphia (SDP) has signed a three-year renewal agreement with SchoolNet Inc., provider of instructional management solutions (IMS). In addition to renewing its usage of SchoolNet's IMS, the district will also implement SchoolNet's human capital management solution to track and evaluate its professional development. The district’s multistaged rollout of the IMS began in October 2004 and was completed in March 2006. Currently, educational staffs in 265 of the district’s schools have access to the IMS. Recently, SDP also began giving families access to student profiles through a program called FamilyNet. Through FamilyNet, SDP is providing unprecedented access for families, including student progress information and resources. To date, FamilyNet has been rolled out to 160 schools in the district, with a complete FamilyNet rollout scheduled to take place over the next two months.

    For the full story, visit

  • University of Florida Awarded BellSouth Grant to Study Online Education

    The University of Florida College of Education will receive a $600,000 grant from the BellSouth Foundation to develop a comprehensive strategy for measuring and assessing the outcomes of the BellSouth 20/20 Vision for Education initiative. The $20 million initiative is designed to bring engaging, rigorous, online instruction to students throughout the Southeast—particularly low-income and minority students—to address the growing achievement gap and improve graduation rates. Under the five-year grant, UF education researchers will develop standardized methods for evaluating the effectiveness of online education for students. In collaboration with BellSouth's virtual high school partners, the researchers will then use the new evaluation tools to determine the best teaching practices and strategies for online instruction, particularly to students of diverse backgrounds. The centerpiece of the evaluation plan for BellSouth 20/20 Vision for Education will include creating a database of metrics useful for school improvement.

    For the full story, visit

  • Action Network Calls on Educators to Help Protect Ed Tech Funding

    The EdTech Action Network (ETAN) is urging education professionals to contact their members of Congress immediately and encourage them to support restoration of funding for the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program to its FY05 funding level of $496 million in order to meet the nation's educational needs and help ensure America's competitiveness. In recent years, federal funding for the EETT program has been cut from $690 million to $272 million, while President Bush has proposed its elimination in the upcoming FY2007. By logging onto ETAN’s site at, educators can personalize a draft letter that they can e-mail or fax their representatives.

  • Indiana Names Members of New Ed Tech Council

    Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Suellen Reed announced their joint appointments to the newly reinvigorated K-12 Educational Technology Council. The council, originally established by Indiana’s General Assembly in 1998, will help develop a new technology plan for Indiana’s K-12 education system. The council consists of legislators and other individuals with information technology experience in K-12 education, higher education, and business. The appointed K-12 members of the council include:

    • Dorothy Crenshaw, CIO, Indianapolis Public Schools;
    • Mike Huffman, special assistant to the superintendent for technology, Indiana Department of Education;
    • Brian Smith, superintendent, MSD Southwest Allen County Schools;
    • Jan Weir, chemistry teacher and instructional technology coach, Lawrence Central High School; and
    • Todd Whitlock, technology coordinator, North Daviess Community Schools.

    For the full list of council appointees, visit

    Share Your Success
    Whether your district just appointed a new superintendent or your school finally hired that new tech coordinator, we want to know! Please share your staff and faculty successes with us by sending the person's name; title; school, district, and location information; any relevant educational and occupational background; and a high-resolution color image of the person to [email protected]

The Radius Audio Learning System from Learning Resources is an innovative, content-rich teaching platform that combines digital CD technology with advanced card-reading capabilities. The system enables students (individually or in small groups) to learn a diverse number of subjects through varied lesson patterns and simple, hands-on interaction. Radius CD card sets, which are sold separately, include 40 double-sided, write-on/wipe-off cards with more than 80 activities that provide multiple lesson patterns. Sets also include a corresponding CD with more than 45 minutes of audio content that helps students complete the activities and answer open-ended questions. The Radius CD cards sets for English language learners even include a Spanish-language audio support feature. Pricing: The Radius Audio Learning System retails for $229.95, and the Radius CD card sets are $39.95 each. The Radius unit accommodates up to four stereo headphones.

Premier Test Builder from Premier Assistive Technology combines the power and flexibility of Microsoft Word with pre-built templates for 10 different question styles. A user simply selects the question style he wants by clicking a button from the Test Builder toolbar, then adds his own text, audio, or pictures. The resulting tests can be printed and handed out like a regular test, or provided in electronic format for use with screen readers and other adaptive technologies. This enables you to make a single test that is accessible to all students, including those with learning disabilities, blind users, low-vision users, and general education students. Pricing: $99.95 per copy; volume discounts and site licenses are available.
FEMA for Kids provides an interactive way for students to learn how to prepare for disasters and prevent disaster damage through online games, activities, and stories. The site also provides useful resources for teachers and parents, including activities, curriculum, and safety information that can be used in the classroom or at home.
Cabarrus County Schools (N.C.) has just launched its new, easy-to-use Web site. The revamped site is broken down into sections so students, parents, teachers, and administrators can quickly find relevant information and resources, such as lunch menus, a calendar of events, and weather updates. Visitors will also be able to track the progress of the school system’s superintendent as he climbs Mount Everest in June to raise money for charity.

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!!!

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 [email protected]

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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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 [email protected]

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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 [email protected]