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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Legal Education at a Distance by Scott Jaschik

Concord, an online law school, merges with Kaplan and gains aid eligibility; Penn State wins unusual variance from the ABA’s strict limits on distance ed.
As online education has become more and more popular, law schools have largely been on the sidelines. The American Bar Association will not accredit distance programs, and has strict limits on the use of distance education in traditional programs.
On Tuesday, however, the online only Concord School of Law — which has managed to grow without ABA recognition — announced a merger with Kaplan University. In terms of corporate ownership, this isn’t much of a change — both Concord and Kaplan are divisions of Kaplan Inc., a major player in for-profit higher education. But because Kaplan University is regionally accredited (which Concord is not), the merger will make Concord students eligible for federal student loans and to defer repaying their past student loans when enrolled. These are seen as advances for Concord — whose officials say that they believe law school’s efforts will eventually change attitudes about distance legal education.

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Editor's Hand Picked Headline News

Angel To Supply Learning Management for Harcourt Programs by Dave Nagel

Angel Learning and Harcourt Education have formed an alliance for e-learning.
Through the arrangement, Angel will provide learning management technologies for use with educational programs from Harcourt School Publishers and Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Complete details have not yet been revealed. Angel is the developer of the Angel LMS, a learning management system designed for both K-12 and higher ed. The company said it will provide this LMS for use with "key" Harcourt programs, but how and in what form the LMS will be integrated into the programs remains to be seen.

Related links

Epic's blended BTEC in Positive Behavioural Support

Epic, the leading e-learning company, and Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust have been working together to create a blended solution for their course in Positive Behavioural Support (PBS). The course is for support workers who provide care for people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. The course is accredited by BTEC at Advanced Certificate level.

Related link

It is about the teaching and learning!

This past week Cheryl Oakes had the good fortune to spend the day in 7th grade language arts classes to assist with the introduction of ibooks and NeoOffice to our students.

Source: TechLEARNING

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

eSN TechWatch: October 2007

Don't wait, take a look.
Below you'll find this edition of TechWatch: October 2007 (complete edition).
Technology's greatest potential for transforming education--and what schools can do to prepare students better for college. Plus, a look at ed-tech news from around the nation.

eSN TechWatch: October 2007 (complete edition) from VEOH

Source: eSchool News

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Monday, October 29, 2007

School Wide Communities of Practice by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

In recent years, many school districts have established collaborative practices among teachers by developing professional communities of practice.

Teachers operating in these communities have regular, face-to-face discussions for the purposes of reviewing evidence of student learning, determining student needs and designing interventions to address those needs.
A recent study by NCREL revealed that 70% of principals feel "not at all prepared" to "somewhat prepared" in instructional leadership of which 21st Century strategies are a key element. Because instructional leadership is essential to successful schools, principals and other leaders, must receive consistent, job-embedded support. One effective way to do just that is through virtual learning communities.
In a poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Peter D. Hart Research Associates on behalf of the
Partnership for 21st Century Skills registered voters revealed that Americans are deeply concerned that the United States is not preparing young people with the skills they need to compete in the global economy. What is needed is a strong commitment to help educators and educational leaders implement 21st century strategies in their schools.

Related links

Source: TechLEARNING

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail

McKellar hopes her book, Math Doesn’t Suck, makes math more understandable for girls. Included: Examples of problems and activities from the book.

Best known for her roles on The Wonder Years and The West Wing, Danica McKellar is also an internationally-recognized mathematician and advocate for math education.
McKellar put acting on hold for four years while she majored in math at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). But when she was younger, like many girls, she struggled with math anxiety and thought it was strictly a subject for geeky, socially-and-fashion-challenged guys. (Think white shirts, Hush puppies, and pocket protectors.)
To help demystify math and make it more user-friendly for girls, McKeller wrote
Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Breaking a Nail or Losing Your Mind, a book aimed at pre-teen and teen “girly girls.”
It is Danica's first book. "I am write about something that has been a passion for me so long: encouraging girls in math!" she said. The book includes tips to avoid mistakes on homework, ways to overcome test-day anxiety and profiles of three beautiful mathematicians, who are successful in their careers because they've mastered math.
Article by Ellen R. Delisio

I recommend this book as an excellent resource for middle school girls.

Related links
Help is available 24/7 in a variety of subjects and you can tailor the number of hours you want to buy.
Between Series, an Actress Became a Superstar (in Math)

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Video From Educause 2007: What's news This Year

Video From Educause 2007: What's news This Year

The Chronicle's Jeffrey R. Young (left) talks with Kenneth C. Green of the Campus Computing Project and others in a video feature from Educause 2007.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

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The Corsair wins top collegiate media award by Michael Rutschky

The Corsair was awarded two awards from the Associated Collegiate Press on Oct. 27, at the 86th Annual ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Washington D.C.

Its web site, eCorsair, took home the Online Pacemaker award, the highest award in college media.
For a closer look inside the 86th Annual ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Washington D.C., be sure to read the latest blog posts at eCorsair's Pirates' Parlee blog site.

Source: The Corsair

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Design Matters and Flat Classroom Project 2007 Keynote

Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsey’s Flat Classroom Project

Julie Lindsay is excited to announce the Flat Classroom Project 2007 Keynote Address delivered by Dean Shareski.

Flat Classroom Project Keynote is a fantastic 12 minute video presentation created by Dean Shareski

Related links
Join Julie Lindsay on the Flat Classroom Project

Source: E-Learning Blog

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Information Research: an International Electronic Journal

Wait, look at this. I found the October 2007 issue of Information Research. It is an open access, international, scholarly journal, dedicated to making accessible the results of research across a wide range of information-related disciplines. It is privately published and edited by Professor T.D. Wilson.

Look at this article below. This paper, appears in Vol. 12 No. 4, October 2007

Concentration of Web users' online information behaviour
By Chun-Yao Huang, Yung-Cheng Shen, I-Ping Chiang and Chen-Shun Lin

Introduction. Focusing on Web users' behavioural concentration across Websites they have visited, we investigate heterogeneity in Web users' online information behaviour.
Method. The Gini coefficient is used to measure the degree of a Web user's online information behavioural concentration in terms of both page-views and visit duration. We explore how the behavioural dimensions of the number of sites visited, the number of page-views per site and the duration per page predict online information behavioural concentration.
Analysis. Data from an online panel are analysed using multiple regression models, which reveal that the three dimensions of online information behaviour predict more than three quarters of the variances in behavioural concentration.
Results. The number of sites visited and the number of page-views per site positively predict the degree of behavioural concentration (in terms of both page-views and visit duration), while the speed dimension of online information behaviour positively predicts the degree of behavioural concentration in terms of page-views but negatively predicts that in terms of visit duration. The relative importance of variables in the explanation of Web users' degree of behavioural concentration is also analysed.
Conclusion. The quantitative analytical framework presented herein gives insight into the heterogeneity of online information behaviour. This paper is a stepping-stone for a more comprehensive understanding of online information behaviour from a macro perspective.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Learning in 21st Century: A National Report of Online Learning.

In an effort to offer the K-12 community greater insight into the current trends in online learning, Project Tomorrow and Blackboard have teamed to deliver a new report titled "Learning in 21st Century: A National Report of Online Learning."

This report, released on October 18, examines the views of online learning provided by more than 250,000 students, teachers and parents (across more than 3,000 schools nationwide) in response to the 2006 Project Tomorrow–NetDay Speak Up online surveys.

A sampling of key findings in the report:

  • While 47% of students in grades 9–12 pursue online learning to secure courses not offered at school and 43% to work at their own pace, the top reason (42%) for students in grades 6–8 is to receive extra help
  • 77% of teachers believe technology makes a difference in learning and 28% of teachers want online courses to be offered as an alternative in their district
  • 42% of parents believe online classes are a good investment to improve student achievement

Related links
National Survey Indicates High School Students Preference for Online Learning to Expand Educational Choices

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

eSchool News Online

Around the Web

Apple's iTunes U goes 'Beyond Campus'

Initially only offering lectures and videos from several universities, Apple's iTunes U section will expand on these by supplying debates from the Supreme Court, radio broadcasts on the civil rights movement, among other offerings in a new category they are calling "Beyond Campus".

Related link

Site of the Week
'Google Sky' turns computers into telescopes

The heavens are only a few mouse clicks away with Google's latest free tool: A new feature in Google Earth, the company's satellite imagery-based mapping software, allows users to view the sky from their computers. The tool provides information about various celestial bodies, from stars to planets, and includes imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope and other sources. It also allows users to take virtual tours through galaxies, including the Milky Way.

Related link
Google Earth

Source: eSchool News

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

E-learning in civil engineering – six years of experience at Graz university of Technology by Martin Ebner and Ulrich Walder

Here is another well prepared resource created by Martin Ebner, e-Learning Blog

24th W78 Conference & 5th ITCEDU Workshop & 14th EG-ICE Workshop in Marburg

Presentation at the conference Bringing ITC knowledge to work:

Martin Ebner, Graz University of Technology, Work Group Social Learning, Austria
Ulrich Walder, Institute of Building Informatics, Graz University of Technology, Austria

At Graz University of Technology a lot of experience in the investigation of possibilities of using Multimedia or Internet based applications in Higher Education has been gathered. Especially in the field of civil engineering we can look back to six years of practice in this field.
In 2001 the project iVISiCE (interactive Visualizations in Civil Engineering) was started. A great number of web based animations, visualisations and interactive learning objects have been developed for visualisation and simulation of basic structural concrete relations.
During the last two years the buzzword Web 2.0 shocked the traditional e-Learning World. The Internet got more interactive and usable for endusers. Phrases like "user-generated-content" and "give-and-take-culture" pervade our daily life.

From this point of view the Institute of Building Informatics decided to teach using these new tools in order to gather experiences and to play a kind of pioneering role in this field. Since winter 2005 a Wiki is used to support the main lectures of the institute. Students wrote articles themselves and collaborated in the process of learning a programming language. Finally, since this semester Podcasting has started. This means that each lecture is recorded and provided to the students in various file formats.
The paper gives an overview about all activities within the last six years. Beginning with animations and ending with the use of Web 2.0 applications, like Wikis or Podcasts, we have always tried to ensure high quality of our education. In the summary it is clear that these small, but regular innovations definitely helped to improve the lectures in the field of civil engineering.


Related link
Blogging in Higher Education by Martin Ebner and Hermann Maurer, Graz University of Technology

Source: e-Learning Blog

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More Online Enrollments by Andy Guess

Some 20 percent of all students took at least one such course last year, but rate of increase is slowing.

More students than ever are taking courses online, but that doesn’t mean the growth will continue indefinitely. That’s the takeaway from the Sloan Foundation’s latest survey, conducted with the Babson Survey Research Group, of colleges’ online course offerings.
With results from nearly 4,500 institutions of all types, the report, “Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning”, found that in fall 2006, nearly 3.5 million students — or 19.8 percent of total postsecondary enrollments — took at least one course online. That’s a 9.7-percent increase over the previous year, but growth has been slowing significantly: last year, the jump was 36.5 percent

Related link
Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning by I. Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman represents the fifth annual report on the state of online learning in U.S. higher education. This year’s study, like those for the previous four years, is aimed at answering some of the fundamental questions about the nature and extent of online education. Supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and based on responses from more than 2,500 colleges and universities, the study addresses the following key questions:
How Many Students are Learning Online?
Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning

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See 2007's Best Online Courses from the Brandon Hall Research

Be sure to check out this new report containing 19 case studies and 17 excerpt recordings of the best custom content entries.

The case studies contained in this report feature:
  • A screen capture of the winning course
  • A link to view an online video recording of the entry
  • A description of the problem the course was designed to address
  • A description of the intended audience
  • The software tools that were used to create the course
  • The staffing, effort, and budget required to create the course
  • Judges' candid comments
  • Contact information for the entrant

This report can help take your custom built online courseware to a new level.

  • Find out what content development applications leading developers use to create their high-impact courses.
  • Plan your budget and staff accordingly by seeing how professional custom content providers manage a course development project.
  • Implement the best practices of professional developers to improve the training you provide.
  • If you're considering outsourcing a course development project, this report will provide a glimpse into the styles of the best courseware creators.
Find out about this report now:

Published October 2007

Related link

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Editor's Hand Picked Headline News

Homework: A Math Dilemma and What To Do About It
By Patricia Deubel, Ph.D.
The issue of assigning homework is controversial in terms of its purpose, what to assign, the amount of time needed to complete it, parental involvement, its actual affect on learning and achievement, and impact on family life and other valuable activities that occur outside of school hours. I have encountered all of those controversies in my years of teaching mathematics. Math homework is usually a daily event. Unfortunately, many teachers assign most homework from problem sets following the section of the text that was addressed that day. There is little differentiation. For the most part the entire class gets the same assignment. (In fairness, teachers do take into consideration the nature of those problems, which are often grouped by difficulty, deciding which to assign based on the general ability level of students in the class: below average, average, above average, or mixed.)

Microsoft Corporation in Redmond have just released the latest in a series of E'learning courses and clinics developed exclusively for them by UK Technical Communications company Content Master.
Content Master, with offices in the UK and USA, are already a major supplier of learning materials to Microsoft. In recent years they have extended the range of media formats supported to provide Microsoft and other clients with a range of services including the latest animation technologies, virtual computer hands-on labs and a full range of multimedia collateral, all based on the in depth technical knowledge of the Company's expanding team of technical experts.

Echelon brings centralised e-publishing of distance learning to Online Info 2007
A model for the central design and publishing of online qualification-based university and professional learning materials within the UK Government's 'Pathway to Professions' initiative is one of the learning design themes of Echelon Learning's stand (662) at December's Online Information exhibition and conference. Web-based 'Urban Design Skills' (UDS) learning has been commissioned from Echelon by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) to act as a central resource for universities and institutes participating in the government sponsored Pathway to Professions initiative.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Udutu: Online Course Authoring Tools

Udutu offers ground-breaking technology and easy to use online course authoring tools from the award winning team that pioneered the concept of reusable learning objects at Royal Roads University.


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Lecturers' attitudes about the use of learning management systems in engineering education: A Swedish case study

Just look at this interesting article, appears in the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET) 2007, 23(3), 327-349.

Lecturers' attitudes about the use of learning management systems in engineering education: A Swedish case study
By Ramon Garrote and Tomas Pettersson

The purpose of this study was to examine lecturers' attitudes towards learning management systems (LMS), with particular reference to identifying obstacles to increased use. At the University College of Borås, Sweden, 22 lecturers who had used WebCT during the previous 9 months were interviewed. The answers show that most of the lecturers, including those who only used minor parts of the LMS, believed that they could benefit from using a LMS in the future. The study did not support the hypothesis that fear of the complexity of the system or unwanted effects on education are important reasons for lecturers not to use the LMS. When lecturers decide individually to use tools in the LMS, the major concern is the initial amount of work compared with the expected benefits. Due to the benefits of a fully implemented LMS and the results of this study, it is recommended that institutions in higher education take actions to establish LMS as a standard tool, and support development of the lecturers' professional competence.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Blogging in Higher Education by Martin Ebner and Hermann Maurer, Graz University of Technology

I came across a very interesting entry in the e-Learning Blog
E-Learn 2007 -- Quebec City, Canada, Oct. 15-19, 2007

Presentation at the E-Learn Conference in Quebec
Martin Ebner, Graz University of Technology, Work Group Social Learning, Austria
Hermann Maurer, Graz University of Technology, Institute for Information Systems and Computer Media, Austria

This paper describes a Web2.0 approach to distant teaching a master course for students of informatics on Graz University of Technology. The course has been implemented by using a blogosphere for writing and collaborating. Students were able to choose whether they contribute to a new didactical concept on voluntary basis instead of writing the essays in a traditional way. The aim is to show that a good didactical concept combined with technological implementations can enhance the purposes of learning and teaching at educational institutions. The complete concept as well as all implementations are described and discussed. The publication points out that the use of the blogosphere named TU Graz LearnLand helped to turn the content of the lecture to a more student-centered one. In the end it must be taken into account, that this considerable effort requires a change of the role of the lecturers.

Related links
Graz University of Technology
International Journal on E-Learning (IJEL)

Source: e-Learning Blog

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Recommended book: Collaborative Learning in Mathematics: A Challenge to Our Beliefs and Practices

I hope that you find this book useful and have a good time reading!

Collaborative Learning in Mathematics: A Challenge to Our Beliefs and Practices
By Malcolm Swan


Many people find mathematics an impenetrable subject. It is a subject where it seems possible to spend many years practising skills and notations without having any substantial understanding of the underlying concepts. This book describes one systematic attempt to intervene and transform this situation. It documents the difficulties experienced by teachers and students as they attempt to adopt new approaches to teaching and learning - approaches based on collaborative discussion and reflection. The book describes an iterative design approach to research and development in which theoretical arguments and reviews of existing research studies are brought together in the design of innovative teaching approaches. These are evaluated in typical classrooms and the outcomes lead to the further refinement of the theories and approaches. Revised approaches are then tested further on a wider scale. The emerging results reveal ways in which teaching methods in mathematics may be designed to become more effective.

Malcolm Swan is a lecturer in Mathematics Education at University of Nottingham and is a leading designer on the MARS team. His research interests lie in the design of teaching and assessment. He has worked for many years on research and development projects concerning diagnostic teaching (including ways of using misconceptions to promote long term learning), reflection and metacognition and the assessment of problem solving. For five years he was Chief Examiner for one of the largest examination boards in England. He is also interested in teacher development and has produced many courses and resources for the inservice training of teachers.
Most assessment practices seem to emphasise the reproduction of imitative, standardised techniques. I want something different for my students. I want them to become mathematicians - not rehearse and reproduce bits of mathematics.I use the five 'mathematical thinking' tasks to stimulate discussion between students. They share solutions, argue in more logical, reasoned ways and begin to see mathematics as a powerful, creative subject to which they can contribute. Its much more fun to try to think and reach solutions collaboratively. Assessment doesn't have to be an isolated, threatening business.Not just answers, but approaches.

Related links

Thinking Through Mathematics was a design-based research project which studied the impact on teachers and learners of the introduction of teachign approaches and resources which emphasised 'connected' and 'challenging' ways of teachign mathematics to post-16 learners.

Read the 50 page booklet by Malcolm Swan which describes the Thinking Through Mathematics approaches. Improving learning in mathematics: challenges and strategies
Improving learning in mathematics: challenges and strategies

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Sloan-C Announcement: May Symposium Call For Papers extended to December 3rd

Call for Papers

The Call for Papers for this symposium is now open. Sloan-C is seeking papers, and ultimately presentations at this upcoming conference, which illustrate the “next generation” of technology applications for online learning. We intend for these papers to illustrate how these emerging technology applications support the Sloan-C pillars - quality principles for online learning: access, student satisfaction, faculty satisfaction, learning effectiveness, and cost effectiveness/institutional commitment. Particularly desired are papers and presentations that demonstrate advances that have been actually accomplished. We expect to openly discuss implementation and utilization of advances as well as issues and complications.
Papers are due by December 3, 2007.

Related link
Sloan-C has launched a new web site focused on Blended Learning. This is a free resource and we encourage you to invite your colleagues to join this growing community of blended learning educators.

Source: The Sloan Consortium

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mathematics Research and Education

How Does This Button Work? by Chris Sangwin
Just about everyone has wondered: "How does this button work?" They may not have been thinking of the world of dynamic geometry, but Chris Sangwin of the University of Birmingham has been thinking about just this subject.
He recently contributed an interactive learning resource to the Journal of Online Mathematics and its Applications, and his work will no doubt command the attention of mathematics educators. Along with providing details about this nuance of dynamic geometry, the article contains several interactive applets and two short video clips. The article also contains contact information for Sangwin, so users can contact him with any queries.

Related link

Mathematics for Economics: Enhancing Teaching and Learning
Working at the University of Nottingham, Dr. Rebecca Taylor and her colleagues have created this very fine set of resources designed to assist teachers who seek to utilize mathematics in the service of teaching economics. Visitors can learn more about their work in the "About the Team" section, and they can also view a summary of the project's work so far.
The real heart of the site is contained within the "Resource Room", which contains streaming videos, teaching and learning guides, and a question bank. Visitors may wish to start with the question bank, which contains files that can be used in problem sheets, assessment exercises and tutorials. The exercises include those drawing on algebra, number theory, and differentiation. Moving on, the site also includes teaching and learning guides that address linear equations, finance growth, and either other topics.

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How to create an electronic portfolio with GoogleDocs--Document

Below is a diagram showing how all the Google apps can work together to form an eportfolio system.

Here are the basic steps for using GoogleDocs to construct an interactive electronic portfolio.

ePortfolio Mash Up with GoogleApps

Related links

Helen C. Barrett, Ph.D.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Innovate’s New Look/October-November Innovate-Live Webcasts

Innovate-Live webcasts offer an opportunity to interact synchronously with authors of selected articles in the October/November issue of Innovate.

If you wish to participate in the webcasts, please registerat

The schedule for the October-November Innovate-Live webcasts is provided below.

October 26, 2007
1:00 PM EDT
Podcasting in Engineering Education: A Preliminary Study of Content,Student Attitudes, and Impact
Author: Edward Berger

November 5, 2007
12:00 PM EDT
Designing the Online Collaboratory for the Global Social Benefit Incubator
Authors: Pedro Hernández-Ramos, James L. Koch, Albert Bruno, and EricCarlson

1:00 PM EDT
The Rice University Press Initiative: An Interview with Charles Henry
Authors: Chad Trevitte and CharlesHenry

2:00 PM EDT
Distance Learning in Micronesia: Participants' Experiences in a VirtualClassroom Using Synchronous Technologies
Author: Kavita Rao

November 9, 2007
3:00 PM EDT
Using Digital Mapping Programs to Augment Student Learning in SocialStudies
Authors: Thomas Chandler and Heejung An

All times are Eastern Daylight Time (New York). You may use the world clock to coordinate with your time zone.
If you cannot attend a webcast, note that it will be archived both within the Innovate-Live portal and within the features section of the article itself shortly after the webcast.

Related links

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Organizational Storytelling and Blogs from Brandon Hall Research


Need more information on blogging strategies and learning? Download a free chapter on blogging from one of the three reports below Brandon Hall Research have published on emerging learning technologies:

Emerging E-Learning Content:New Approaches to Delivering Engaging Online Learning

Emerging E-Learning Technologies:Tools for Developing Innovative Online Training

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Judging Panel Announced for Interwrite Makeover Video Contest

Interwrite Learning has been in touch to reminds us about the following below
With less than a week remaining in the contest, Interwrite Learning, a leading provider of interactive learning solutions for schools around the world, today announced the names of five judges who will evaluate the submitted videos for the first Interwrite Makeover™ video contest.
The judges are Andrew J. Rotherham, Tony Brewer, Jenny Barrett, John Merline and Jessica O’Masta. The selected judges represent internet communities, education blogs and social networks.
Fifteen finalists will be announced on Friday, October 26, 2007, and the one final winner from each grade segment will later be announced on Tuesday, November 27, 2007. Each interactive makeover is valued at approximately $15,000, with a total of more than $50,000 in prizes to be awarded. Included in that is a celebration party for each winning entry’s entire school.

Related link
Interwrite Learning and TeacherTube Video Contest

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3 Districts Deploy Differentiated Math Tutoring System by Dave Nagel

Three large school districts in the United States this semester have deployed Apangea Learning's SmartHelp as a part of their math intervention and remediation programs: District of Columbia Public Schools (Washington, DC), Atlanta Public Schools, and Chicago Public Schools.
SmartHelp is a tutoring solution designed to act as a complement to differentiated instruction. The Web-based system provides a "multi-tiered escalation model that integrates its intelligent tutoring system and live one-on-one human tutors." The system is aligned with NCTM and state math standards.

Related link

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