July 19, 2006

T.H.E. Newsletter: July 19, 2006
July 19, 2006
  • Educational Coalition Petitions Congress for Increased EETT Funding

    A coalition of national education and industry organizations—including the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA)—recently presented Congress with a petition signed by 7,000 educators; more than 20 separate state superintendent letters; as well as “ Dear Colleague” letters signed by more than 80 senators and representatives, including Sens. Joseph Lieberman (CT) and Orrin Hatch (UT). “Eliminating EETT funds would inhibit the country’s ability to implement NCLB and also would hinder efforts to prepare every student to succeed in the highly competitive, technologically demanding workforce of the 21st Century,” said Sen. Hatch.

    Funding for EETT is currently proposed for elimination in the pending U.S. House Labor, HHS, and Education Subcommittee Appropriations bill, while the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote on it this week. As part of the Mission Critical Campaign, 30 coalition groups representing several million education stakeholders are continuing to urge Congress to restore EETT funding to a minimum of $496 million as provided in FY2005. The grassroots petition affirms this request, citing technology and eLearning as key ingredients for student success and future global competitiveness.

    For more information, visit http://www.missioncriticalcampaign.org

  • Atomic Learning Offers Free Podcasting Workshop

    Atomic Learning, provider of more than 20,000 Web-based software training and tutorial movies, is offering educators a free workshop on one of the hottest new technologies: podcasting. Now through Sept. 15, educators interested in this cutting-edge communication technology can access the free “iLife ’06 Podcasting and Vodcasting” workshop online. Through Atomic Learning’s free podcasting workshop, teachers can learn how to easily create podcasts on any subject they choose and distribute them through their school’s network for students to access. Educators can use the free podcasting workshop to learn individually, or they can present this workshop at a summer training session.

    For the full story, visit http://www.atomiclearning.com/ilife06_podvod_wkshp

  • Quantum Awarded $100,000 Grant to Develop AI Math Tutors for Blind, Visually Impaired Students

    Quantum Simulations Inc., a developer of artificial intelligence (AI) tutoring and assessment software, was recently awarded a $100,000 Phase I grant from the U.S. Department of Education Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program to research and develop accessible AI tutoring software for middle school mathematics students who are blind or visually impaired. The six-month feasibility study will focus on the topic of measurement, and involves the creation of an accessible interface that supports synthesized speech screen-reader technologies such as JAWS and Window-Eyes. Because the Quantum Tutors are Web-based and equipped with a unique dialog-driven tool that converses with students online, the software is well suited for screen access technologies and can be adapted to meet the requirements of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Nonvisual Accessibility Web Application Certification Program. The research will also explore the pedagogy of Quantum’s AI software to ensure that feedback and examples provided by the tutors are effective in providing an accurate mental picture of key mathematics concepts for blind students.

    For the full story, visit http://www.quantumsimulations.com/news24.html

  • CDW-G, Discovery Education Announce Wireless Lab Winners

    CDW-G and Discovery Education has announced Central Middle School in Murfreesboro, TN, and Fischer Mitchell Elementary School in Bath, ME, as the grand prize winners of the 2006 “Win a Wireless Lab” sweepstakes. CDW-G and Discovery Education sponsor the annual sweepstakes to encourage teachers to expand their use of technology in the classroom. Bill King, a technology teacher at Central Middle School won a wireless lab with 20 Lenovo tablet computers, a PolyVision Lightning RM Easiteach calibration-free interactive white board, an InFocus LCD projector, and an HP LaserJet printer. Kitty O’Neil, a speech and language teacher at Fisher Mitchell Elementary School, won a wireless lab with 20 HP tablet computers, a PolyVision Lightning RM Easiteach calibration-free interactive white board, an HP LCD projector, and an HP LaserJet printer. CDW-G and Discovery Education will provide installation and training, as well as oversee the launch at both schools in the fall. The wireless labs are installed on a Bretford wireless cart with three NETGEAR access points enabling educators to easily transport the tablet PCs, projector, and printer from one classroom to another. In addition, an APC backup power protection unit, 20 Corel software licenses and a networked collection of Discovery School life, earth, and physical science CD-ROMs are included with both grand prize packages. The 2006 “Win a Wireless Lab” sweepstakes awarded 40 educators from 22 states prizes totaling nearly $100,000. For a complete list of winners, visit http://school.discovery.com/cdwg.

    For the full story, visit http://newsroom.cdwg.com/news-releases/news-release-07-10-06.html

Florida Virtual School (FLVS) has launched Virtual School Administrator (VSA), an innovative Performance Management System that is designed to meet the unique needs of organizations providing online learning opportunities to students. VSA is a dynamic, performance-based system developed to provide program administrators with the tools they need to effectively manage the successful operations of an online learning program. In creating VSA, FLVS has built a comprehensive solution for tracking overall performance through monitoring activities in four areas: student performance and data management, student registration and enrollment management, role-based reporting, and communications. For pricing, contact FLVS.

PLATO Learning has released Straight Curve Mathematics Series 2, supplemental curriculum that enriches core elementary mathematics curriculum and provides a deeper, enhanced instructional focus on the concepts that students in grades 3-5 find most challenging. Straight Curve Mathematics has a research-based, teacher-centric instructional design that allows for flexible coordination with existing textbooks, supplemental materials, lesson plans, and pacing guides. Teacher-led activities, including mini-lessons, investigations, and workshops, allow teachers to dynamically demonstrate math concepts and facilitate whole-class and small-group mathematics dialogs. This is combined with student-led games and quizzes that engage learners as they begin to apply math concepts to real-world situations. Teachers also receive both online and offline support materials that provide guidance in determining which activities to use in conjunction with their current curriculum or texts. Pricing varies.

This site functions as an extension of Signing Time, a public broadcasting TV show that encourages children to communicate by using American Sign Language. The site is filled with online tools, games, lesson plans, and activities designed to help teach children American Sign Language.

The Educator’s Corner of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) site features classroom activities, fun experiments, a list of grants and scholarships, curriculum guides, and much more.

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

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]

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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