T.H.E. SmartClassroom :: October 5, 2006


Welcome back to T.H.E. Journal’s new eNewsletter focused on the important and evolving technology surrounding the ‘smart classroom’ -- design, tools and instruction methods. Twice a month, on the first and third Thursdays, T.H.E. SmartClassroom will bring you news, information, opinion, best practices, and case studies on the effective use of these technologies in a school setting. You’ll read about the hardware, display devices, infrastructure, and people who are leading the K-12 community in smart classroom advancements.

Feel free to share this newsletter with your colleagues. Request a free subscription here.  And, send us your perspective or feedback on implementing these technologies in your school or district. We want to hear from you -- send your thoughts, ideas, commentary, and news items to Editorial Director Geoff Fletcher, gfletcher@1105media.com


Professional Development is Hot, Hot, HOT!

Steven Paine, superintendent of education for West Virginia, recently mentioned at a conference that West Virginia requires 18 hours of professional development time for teachers every year. Singapore, he noted, requires 100 hours every year. Left hanging in the air was the question of how to close that gap.

I think we can close that gap by taking advantage of technology—especially the Web—and the tools it is bringing to schools even today. Consider:

  • New technologies allow 24/7 professional development
  • New Web-based systems link educational content and management of professional development

While integrated Web-based professional development systems are in the early stages, it is the technology that all educators should be paying careful attention to. The merger of a variety of PD, assessment, and content companies to provide the new high-quality PD has just begun, and the demand for PD services from school systems is heating up. The result will be that PD will be less about lectures on Wednesday afternoon or graduate courses, and increasingly a mix of Web- and human-delivered content linked to teachers’ needs to address standards...

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Ed Tech News

Mirapoint, Blackboard Join Forces to Deliver Secure, Hosted E-mail Solution for Schools

Mirapoint and Blackboard Inc. are partnering to deliver a hosted e-mail solution to K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. As a result of this partnership, all members of academic institutions can now receive a complete hosted solution with e-mail service that is secure and reliable...

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Bayer Launches STEM Education Guide Aimed at Forging Business-Education Partnerships

Bayer Corp. has announced a new resource guide for businesses and organizations interested in creating STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education partnerships...

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Senator Authors Bill to Increase Spending for Educational Research, Programs

A US senator plans to introduce a bill that seeks to increase funding for research and science education in an effort to kick-start efforts to pass legislation to improve US competitiveness...

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Products & Services

ClassLink Adds User Synchronization Tool to Its Suite of K-12 Products

ClassLink Inc. has introduced ClassLink ClassSync, a new software tool that synchronizes a school’s Active Directory user list to its Student Information System...

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Tool Factory Offers Complete Mobile Digital Camera Lab

Built tough, the Mobile Digital Camera Lab from Tool Factory supplies all the equipment, software, cameras, and accessories needed to teach digital imaging in the classroom...

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Case Study

Globalizing Education One Podcast at a Time

In the fall of 2005, I opened the door of my “History of Photography” classroom and found that there were hundreds of students on the other side. These students were Chinese, German, Italian, British, Australian, American, Japanese, and Costa Rican. They ranged in age from 15 to 80. They were professional photographers, amateur photographers, designers, executives, truck drivers, high-schoolers, doctors, and homemakers. There were a lot of them, and they were all interested in the history of photography. While the room only had 25 seats, hundreds of people were sitting in on my class sessions each week.

The room wasn’t crowded though, because these students were taking part in a virtual classroom experience by virtue of my recording the class sessions and publishing them as podcasts. These audio files (with images from my Apple Keynote or PowerPoint slides embedded and synchronized with the audio) could be downloaded and heard by anyone with an Internet connection, a bit of time, and an interest in photo history. It wasn’t just these “outsiders” who were listening either, as my own classroom-bound students also discovered that listening to and viewing podcasts of class content at a later time aided them in their progress through the course. Most importantly, the students on the inside of my classroom welcomed this diverse group, and were amazed at the level of interest, thought, and overall intellectual discourse that these new students brought to the class...

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Web Notes

Spanish Math Program Goes Online for Free

Heritage of America Educational & Cultural Foundation has launched a beta Web site for its Spanish-language mathematics program for grades 1-3...

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Great Source Launches Site With Educational Writing Resources

Great Source, a division of Houghton Mifflin Co., has launched iwrite...

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Events Calendar

THE Journal Opportunities

Share Your Best Practices

T.H.E. Journal is currently looking for the following types of articles for future issues and for our eNewsletter, T.H.E. SmartClassroom:

  • School Perspectives - discuss a specific topic, trend, or concern about education technology.
  • Case Studies – have you implemented technology and learned a lot from the experience? If so, share your efforts about what worked -- and what didn't.

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

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