News Briefs

News Briefs Launches Beta Site

The Legacy Foundation has launched a new site for teachers called The site, presently in beta, provides tools for teachers, including lesson materials and activities.

The goal of the new site, according to founders (which include educators, design specialists, and parents) is to provide "free and easy access" to tools that allow educators to download, create, organize, and teach lesson plans.

Lesson plans are available for grades K-12 in the following subject areas: language arts, math, social studies, health, science, and art. In addition, there are also specific lesson plans for special needs students, including ADD and ADHD students. There are also learning activities for language arts and math. The site also allows users to filter content for specific grade levels.

" offers new teachers unique opportunities to find lesson plans and resources posted from experienced teachers," said Lynn Scoresby, director of "Teachers and parents can find solutions to behavioral and learning problems that can disrupt learning. Even more important, perhaps, makes it easy for parents to be more involved with education and their children's performance in the classroom—even to the point of being able to print from home lost or forgotten homework.”

Except for Flash content provided on the site by KnowledgeGain Publications, all of the site's articles, texts, lesson plans, and solutions are freely available and can be reproduced, modified and redistributed without permission.…

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Science Talent Search Semifinalists Named

Intel has named 300 semifinalists in its annual Intel Science Talent Search (STS) competition. For the 2007 competition, each of the semifinalists--all high school seniors--receive $1,000 and a chance to be named finalists. The semifinalists' school also receive $1,000 each. The 1,705 entrants from this year's competition came from 487 different schools in 46 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

At the end of this month, 40 of the 300 semifinalists will be named finalists and will receive Intel-based laptops. From that pool, 10 will be awarded scholarships totaling $500,000 (including the $100,000 top prize) at an event to be held March 8. Finalists will also be able to display their work at the National Academy of Sciences.

"The creativity of the Intel STS 2007 semifinalists is truly amazing," said Elizabeth Marincola, president of Science Service, the non-profit organization behind STS. "This year's projects address many of the pressing issues facing our country and the world, in categories from engineering to chemistry to space science. Science Service is proud to work with Intel and this year's students to further scientific inquiry and discovery."

Over the last 66 years, six finalists from the STS have gone on to receive Nobel Prizes, and others have been awarded the Fields Medal, the National Medal of Science, and MacArthur Foundation Fellowships. The Science Talent Search has ben in operation since 1941. Intel took over sponsorship of the competition in 1998 and raised the top prize for the competition to a $100,000 scholarship.…

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T.H.E. Journal Webinar: 'Maximize Tight Budgets with TCO Analysis'

A/V case study focuses on Madison County Schools

T.H.E. Journal will host another Webinar in its series of discussions on technology issues in K-12 education. This latest discussion will cover "total cost of ownership" (TCO) issues, looking specifically at an A/V equipment TCO analysis at Madison County Schools. The live event will be held Feb. 1, 2007 at 11 a.m. PST.

Learn how Madison County Schools used the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) process to maximize their budget and build 21st century classrooms for their students. Join this free, one-hour webinar, sponsored by Mitsubishi, to see how the district used TCO analysis to identify their audio/visual equipment needs, evaluate their options and purchase the right products for their "intelligent classrooms."

Topics to be covered include:

  • Why TCO is important to budgeting decisions;
  • The nuts and bolts of TCO evaluation, including assessing needs, understanding TCO analysis and converting data into purchase decisions.

Participants will also gain access to Mitsubishi's online TCO calculator to evaluate your own projector needs and costs. (Mitsubishi is sponsoring the event.)

Charlene McGee, client services manager, Madison County Schools
David Allen, vice-president of sales, Compu-Trac
Vivek Thakur, business development manager of emerging markets, Texas Instruments

Geoff Fletcher, editorial director, T.H.E. Journal

The Webinar will be held Feb. 1, 2007 at 11 a.m. PST. Click the link below to register for this free event....

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Warren Township District Adopts EtherneTV Video System

The Metropolitan School District of Warren Township (MSDWT) in Indiana has deployed EtherneTV from VBrick Systems. EtherneTV is a video system deigned for teaching and training applications. It's being deployed in 19 of the district's buildings.

EtherneTV provides streaming, recording and video on demand capabilities, including point and click access to multimedia resources for instruction. MSDWT is using the system to build on its existing video production and broadcast capabilities. (The district already had television video production and broadcast system capabilities, which provided closed-circuit television to 15 school buildings.) This will allow students to see live and recorded events from other district schools and allow teachers to access a centralized digital video library via classroom televisions or computers. The district will also use the system to digitize and store its library of approximately 2,000 videos on a single server.

"Technology's prominent role in today's economy makes it essential that we provide students with the resources required to succeed in the digital environment," said Brian Woods, director of network operations, Metropolitan School District of Warren Township. "VBrick is providing the flexibility and ease-of-use that enables teachers and students to focus on education, without worrying about the underlying technology."

Included in the implementation are 19 VBrick MPEG-4 encoder appliances and 19 VBrick EtherneTV-STB set top boxes, with one of each placed into the district's 19 buildings and media center. The high school also uses one VBrick 4300 dual encoder, which provides both MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 encoding capabilities. Live video signals are transferred between buildings via gigabit a 1 gigabit fiber optic network. Within each school, signals are routed via an existing coaxial closed circuit television network to the television sets located in each classroom. Telecommunications services are being handled by AT&T and IDSolutions.

The school district also plans to use the system as a professional development tool, broadcasting new teacher training and professional development training classes. Archives of teacher training sessions will also be available via VOD.

The 36-square-mile Metropolitan School District of Warren Township serves more than 12,000 students in eastern Marion County in Indiana. It includes 11 elementary schools, three middle school, three high schools, an alternative education center, and an early childhood center. Funding for the district's technology initiatives is coming through grants, with additional funding from the Lilly Endowment.…

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