June 14, 2006

T.H.E. Newsletter: June 14, 2006
June 14, 2006
  • CoSN, ISTE, SETDA Denounce Vote to Slash EETT Funding

    The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) came out to voice their concern over a vote last Wednesday by the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to eliminate all funding for the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program. Here are highlights of what they had to say:

    CoSN Board Chair Sheryl Abshire released the following statement: “[The] action to eliminate all funding for the EETT program for FY07 is catastrophic for K-12 education. I can only wonder how the subcommittee members who voted in favor of defunding EETT will justify this cut to the teachers who will no longer be able to take online accreditation courses using EETT dollars, to the administrators who will no longer be able to rely on EETT to support No Child Left Behind required data-collection efforts, and to the students who will no longer benefit from EETT through their exposure to online and digital education resources that enrich their learning experiences and prepare them to compete in the 21st century economy."

    For more, visit http://www.cosn.org/about/press/060706.cfm

    -- SETDA urged the House Appropriations Committee to fill the gaping hole left by the House Subcommittee’s decision to eliminate the EETT program in FY 2007. It called upon the full committee to level fund the EETT program at $275 million in 2007 (at minimum), which represents a 61 percent cut from 2004 funding level of $696 million. For more, including examples of gains that will be lost if the EETT program is eliminated, visit http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release_html_b1?release_id=134112

    -- ISTE plans to carry the fight to restore funding for the EETT program into the full House Appropriations Committee, which is expected to consider the bill as early as this week. Through grassroots, coalition-building, and lobbying efforts, ISTE will battle to restore federal funding to the nation’s schools in order to continue equipping children with the technological tools needed to keep America competitive in an increasingly information- and technology-rich marketplace. For more, visit

  • South Carolina District Standardizes on SMART Boards

    SMART Technologies Inc. has been awarded a contract to standardize South Carolina’s ninth largest school district, Dorchester School District 2, with more than 1,200 SMART Board interactive whiteboards. Installation of the interactive whiteboards in the district is nearing completion as students and teachers prepare to embrace the latest education technology for 21st-century classrooms. In addition to SMART Board interactive whiteboards and SMART Board software, teachers will have access to standardized curriculum templates, SMART Ideas concept-mapping software, a variety of tutorials, more than 6,000 learning objects, and close to 1,500 lesson activities.

    For the full story, visit

  • Grant Assists Indiana's K-12 Education System Develop Technology Plan

    The Corporation for Education Technology (CET), a nonprofit organization that administers the Buddy Project, a group of K-12 technology initiatives that support improved student achievement through data-driven planning, targeted academic instruction, shared reflective teaching practice, and quality professional development, has received a $225,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help the Indiana Educational Technology Council (ETC) prepare a new technology strategic plan for Indiana’s K-12 education system. The goals of this planning effort include articulating an overall state mission, vision, and strategy for using technology to advance K-12 education in Indiana. They also include building an effective and sustainable infrastructure to support the technology that will provide both stability and the capacity to respond to change. Additionally, CET will survey technology models that currently exist in Indiana and recommend how to capitalize on the successful efforts already in place for student-centered and learning-focused use of technology. The plan is expected to be developed by the fall.

    For the full story, visit http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=18298

  • Lansing Hopes Virtual School Lowers Teens' Dropout Rate
    —From Lansing State Journal

    Lansing, MI, schools’ leaders anticipate a jump in the high school graduation rate this school year after rolling out new computer-based programs at the Hill Center for Academics and Technology. Last Saturday , 75 students who were once on track for failure will celebrate commencement with classmates thanks to the self-paced chance to make up credits. And, though officials still are crunching numbers, the school district is expected to hit the federal No Child Left Behind law's required graduation rate of 80 percent for the first time.

    For the full story, visit

  • Dry Creek Selects Mark Geyer as Superintendent

    Mark Geyer, 52, has been confirmed as the new superintendent for the Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District (CA), capping a months-long superintendent search that saw more than 20 applicants. Geyer is currently the superintendent of two school districts in Bishop, CA: the 1,350-student strong Bishop Union Elementary District and the 800-student Bishop Joint Union High School District. Geyer has taught math, science, social studies, and more at the middle school level. He's served as the top high school district official in Bishop since 2001, becoming superintendent of the elementary district in 2004. "Dry Creek is just an exceptional district," he said. "It's a growing district with new sites, and has a fabulous and well-deserved reputation as being very strong academically."

    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]

ClassLink Inc. has introduced ClassLink OnTrack, a new software package that provides curriculum mapping, state standards alignment, and an electronic portfolio of student achievement, assessment, and feedback. The program provides a curriculum-mapping tool and compiles an electronic collection of student work tied to rubrics and standards. Teachers, administrators, and parents can review students’ portfolios and determine how to better support their learning. Tied to rubrics and standards, OnTrack identifies student skills, subject area proficiencies, and achievement of state and national standards. It also enables the automated update and distribution of district lesson curriculum, lesson plans, and grading rubrics. For information on pricing and the company’s free weekly OnTrack webinar, click here or call (888) 963-7550.

Star Micronics has released a new high-speed desktop label printer, the TSP828L. Packaged in a small footprint, the TSP828L is ideal for any desktop label printing application, including shipping, box labeling, inventory management, and hospitality labeling applications. Adjustable from 45 mm to 112 mm in width, the TSP828L supports a variety of direct thermal labels, and also features a built-in label peeler. The label printer also comes standard with a dual interface for communication, which supports both RS232 serial communication and USB 2.0, with sensing to switch between the two automatically. Additionally, parallel, Wi-Fi and Ethernet (LAN) interfaces are available as optional accessories. Contact the company for pricing.

BrainPOP has released a new educational movie on the Fibonacci Sequence, which has come to light thanks to the popularity of The Da Vinci Code. The animated movie calls on surprising examples from nature to explore and explain this set of numbers and its unusual properties. Related activities include a timeline and 10-question quiz that support the movie’s content and provide another learning tool for educators’ use. BrainPOP has also released a kid-friendly movie on Leonardo da Vinci that can be accessed through the site’s Social Studies section.

Best Kids Bookshelf is a new online bookstore offering a variety of early children’s books and learning tools to help make learning fun for kids. The site also has a free Bookshelf Club that keeps guests informed of new products or updates as they become available.

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 [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 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 [email protected]

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