March 2003

"We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It's easy to say 'It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.' Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes." Mr. Fred Rogers, in a 1994 interview. Mr Rogers, who gently invited millions of children to be his neighbor as host of the public television show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" for more than 30 years, died of cancer last week at the age of 74.

Alabama Supercomputer Authority
The Alabama Supercomputer Authority's Rick Bagwell and Mike Harper led a two-day professional development workshop for technology liaisons from Wilcox County, Marengo County, and Linden City on March 5-6, 2003 at J.E. Hobbs Elementary in Camden. Jana Hoggle, Technology Coordinator for Wilcox County, spearheaded the program that is funded through an Enhancing Education Through Technology federal grant. The program was designed to provide a common technical baseline for all technology liaisons through a collegial, cost effective approach to professional development for the participants from the 3 school systems. The 23 participants will learn Networking 101 skills and Basic Troubleshooting skills. The two day hands-on sessions began at 8:30 and lasted until 2:30 with participants learning how to fix anything from a desktop PC to basic router problems. Six weeks from now, each LEA will bring the school liaisons back together for a one day professional development day that addresses technical problems the liaisons identify within their system. At the end of the year, all of the participants will come back together for a professional development day.

Jana knows the power of collaboration and has created a plan that builds on this sharing of knowledge among school contacts and school systems. Her plan provides the basis for a learning community for the technical support people in the school systems served. Each session will be evaluated so that benchmark data can be established in this initial phase of the ongoing professional development program. The Alabama Supercomputer Authority is proud to provide the technical expertise required in this project and salutes Jana Hoggle for her leadership in this initiative.

Research and Technology
UCLA STUDY HIGHLIGHTS WEB USE The "UCLA Internet Report: Year Three," is the third in a series of annual nationwide surveys profiling behaviors and attitudes about Internet use and non-use. Young people are the likeliest users of the Internet with 97% of 12-18 years olds reporting Net use. Source: UCLA Center for Communication Policy http://ccp.ucla.edu/pages/internet-report.asp

Education and the Internet
National History Day Inc., in cooperation with the National Archives, has developed Our Documents Teacher Sourcebook to give teachers lesson plans and events from American history. The website includes a list of 100 milestone documents, compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration, and drawn primarily from its nationwide holdings. The documents chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965. A key resource for working with the 100 milestone documents in the classroom is the Teacher Sourcebook The book also includes an annotated timeline, key themes and guidelines to primary sources. Educators can download a copy by going to www.nationalhistoryday.org or requesting a free copy by e-mailing info@nationalhistoryday.org or calling 301-314-9730.

Think.com is an online service provided FREE to schools, without advertising. Think.com is a password protected community designed for students aged 7-14 where students can learn to send Email, create a Website of their school work, visit people to communicate online, and collaborate on a group project. Think.com makes it easy for schools to integrate technology into the curriculum. Think.com is managed by Oracle Education Initiatives which offers several programs to assist primary and secondary schools to incorporate technology into the classroom. You can learn more about these programs at www.oracle.com/learn.

The following literacy resources were compiled by Eduhound:

"It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations--something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own." --- Katherine Patterson

National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) http://www.nifl.gov The National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) is a federal organization that shares information about literacy and supports the development of high-quality literacy services so all Americans can develop essential basic skills.

Literacy Center - The Early Childhood Education Network http://www.literacycenter.net dynamically serves more than one million free lessons every month to children, parents, and teachers in every state in the United States. Their vision is that all children will be able to access the same high-quality, research-based, educational materials.

The Literacy Web at The University of Connecticut http://www.literacy.uconn.edu The Literacy Web is designed to promote the use of the Internet as a tool to assist classroom teachers in their search for best practices in literacy instruction, including the new literacies of Internet technologies.

Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site http://www.carolhurst.com This is a collection of reviews of great books for kids, ideas of ways to use them in the classroom and collections of books and activities about particular subjects, curriculum areas, themes and professional topics.

RIF for Educators http://www.rifnet.org Founded in 1966, RIF develops and delivers children's and family literacy programs that help prepare young children for reading and motivate school-age children to read regularly.

Internet Public Library http://www.ipl.org seeks to challenge and redefine the roles and significance of libraries in an increasingly distributed and digital world.

Read Across America, An NEA Project http://www.nea.org/readacross/ The National Education Association (NEA) annually sponsors NEA's Read Across America program. Now in its sixth year, NEA's Read Across America focuses the country's attention on how important it is to motivate children to read in addition to helping them master basic skills.

Infosearcher is the online complement to Information Searcher, a K-12 education newsletter designed specifically for professionals working to integrate technology into the curriculum. Learn about web tools - software, resources, and web-based tools to support inquiry learning. http://www.infosearcher.com/

NEON (News for Educators Online) is a project of the Instructional Resource Center (ITRC) at the University of Central Florida in partnership with the SouthEast Initiatives Regional Technology in Education Consortium (SEIR*TEC). NEON is available to you by email, web page, and handheld file and is published electronically once a month. To subscribe to the NEON email list, send an email to sub@orion.itrc.ucf.edu. In the body of the message type: subscribe neon-list. To access NEON through the web, go to http://www.itrc.ucf.edu/neon.

Each month, NEON takes a look at one of the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS) and identifies resources for helping teachers meet those standards. This month's issue focuses on Standard VI (B).

14. CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND TECHNOLOGY

NETS for Teachers - Standard VI(B): "Teachers apply technology resources to enable and empower learners with diverse backgrounds, characteristics, and abilities." Related Resource Sites:

Culture, Diversity, and Multiculturalism http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/links/langcult/multi.htm This site contains a list of annotated links to language and education sites focused on culture, diversity, and multiculturalism.

Ensuring Equitable Use of Education Technology http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/technlgy/te400.htm When a school or district decides to implement education technology into the curriculum, one of its overriding goals must be to create plans and policies for all members of the learning community to have equitable access and use.

ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education http://eric-web.tc.columbia.edu/msasub.asp?mid=2&sid=12 This website provides information about the educational background and experiences of students of diverse racial, ethnic, social class, and linguistic backgrounds relative to educational technology.

Using Technology to Enhance Engaged Learning for At-Risk Students http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/students/atrisk/at400.htm New technologies can provide meaningful learning experiences for all children, especially those at risk of educational failure. Schools that capitalize on the relationship between technology and education reform will help students to develop higher order skills and to function effectively in the world beyond the classroom.

News You Can Use

AVL TIP Are you taking advantage of EBSCOhost's SDI/Alerting function? The Alerting feature in EBSCOhost can be very helpful with research needs that last beyond a single EBSCOhost session, such as a student's research paper, a teacher's lesson plans, a researcher's field of study, or a patron's interests and hobbies. The SDI/Alerting function allows individual users to save searches as alerts that direct EBSCOhost to automatically re-run a specified search query against selected databases at intervals chosen by the user. EBSCOhost will then e-mail any matching results directly to one or more e-mail addresses the user has indicated. A personal account is necessary for a user to save searches for future EBSCOhost sessions and to utilize the SDI/Alerting function. On the Advanced Search screen under the Search History/Alerts tab, EBSCOhost provides the opportunity for individual users to set-up personal accounts when they choose the Save Searches/Alerts option. The account can be created quickly by filling in a name and e-mail address and providing a username and password of the user's choice. Within this personalized account, the most recent search conducted as an advanced search and appearing in the search history can be saved as an alert. After it's created, an alert can be reviewed, revised and deleted from within a user's personalized account.

CHARACTERISTICS OF HIGH-QUALITY TEACHER PREPARATION Two paths to development of high-quality teachers have recently emerged in policy debates at both the federal and state levels. One path assumes a "trade" model for teacher preparation. This model assumes future teachers will receive in-depth training in their subject matter prior to teaching, and the majority of their training in how to teach will be in-class, or on-the-job training. Another path emphasizes the professional body of knowledge related to teaching, and includes pre-service instruction in both the science of teaching, and subject matter. Traditionally, states have emphasized the professional path to teaching, requiring significant pre-service training for future teachers in the state certification requirements; however, most states now also offer alternate paths to the classroom that emphasize on-the-job training. This research brief outlines four findings about teacher preparation that are consistent across a wide body of research on teacher quality. http://www.ascd.org/cms/objectlib/ascdframeset/index.cfm?publication=/publications/researchbrief/index.html

CoSN LAUNCHES DATA-DRIVEN DECISION MAKING INITIATIVE CoSN's very successful 8th Annual K-12 Networking Conference has just ended. Among the significant announcement at the meeting was CoSN's launch of its newest leadership initiative, "Data-driven Decision Making: Vision to Know and Do", a cross-industry resource to assist educators in the effective use of data. The Initiative will be a source of up-to-date, unbiased information for educators on collecting, understanding and using data effectively; an easy to use mechanism for educating school leaders about data-driven decision making and its applications in elementary and secondary education; and a nationally recognized framework for sharing knowledge among educators and transferring knowledge between the educational and vendor communities. Information is available at http://www.3D2Know.org.

CYBERFAIR 2003 IS LOOKING FOR REVIEWERS The Global Schoolhouse is conducting it's 8th annual International Schools CyberFair and is looking for educators who can devote a few hours April 1- 17th to review 4-6 Web sites. Teachers are also welcome to register and assign their students to conduct the reviews. Each site review will take approximately 30-45 minutes. CyberFair is an award-winning, authentic learning program used by schools around the world, in which students conduct research about their local communities and then publish their findings on the Web. Recognition is given to the best entries in each of eight categories: local leaders, businesses, community organizations, historical landmarks, environment, music, art, and local specialties. Learn more at http://www.globalschoolhouse.org/cf/revform.cfm.

ONLINE TEACHER QUALIFICATION INDEX A California university professor has developed an online rating system for schools based on how many "qualified" teachers they employ. Schools receive a rating from 1 to 10 based on the percentage of teachers at the school who are qualified. http://www.edfordemocracy.org/tqi/index.htm

Nominate your school for the Alabama Attorney General's Safe Schools Initiative 2003 Awards of Excellence. For more information and a nomination form, go to: http://www.ago.state.al.us/schools/awards.cfm. You may also contact Lynn Childs, Office of the Attorney General, (334) 242-7923 or lchilds@ago.state.al.us.. Last year, 6 Alabama public schools earned this distinction. Deadline: April 15, 2003