PxPixel
T&L News(150) - Tech Learning

T&L News(150)

Put to the Test: T&L Editors test Drive Tom Snyder's TimeLiner XE; How Do You Stream?; WHAT'S NEW ONLINE; The New Rules of Copyright; WHAT'S NEW HARDWARE
Author:
Publish date:

Week of: October 13, 2008

  • Put to the Test: T&L Editors test Drive Tom Snyder's TimeLiner XE
    Retail Price: $99 one computer; $2,600 unlimited site license.
    Description: Software program for producing graphical sequences of history in all subject areas.
    How to use in the classroom: When discussing the development of atomic theory in a science class, the teacher can use TimeLiner XE to show the timeline and add graphics of all the people that were involved in this evolution. In a computer application class, the teacher can show the development of the computer over the last 200 years. There are many other possible uses for this graphical timeline software for any curriculum.
  • How Do You Stream?
    More than ever, teachers are using digital video to enhance their lessons. In fact, the number of schools using video streaming increased from 30 percent to 45 percent between 2004 and 2006, according to Market Data Retrieval. Why the popularity? For starters, video-streaming products are easy to use. They allow teachers to punctuate lessons with a visual and aural punch, both of which help students retain what they've learned. And students love watching videos. As the song goes, "A picture paints a thousand words." If your district hasn't yet joined the digital bandwagon, the following chart can help you find the best method.
  • WHAT'S NEW ONLINE
    Product: Adobe ColdFusion 8
    Price: Free
    Description: Adobe ColdFusion 8 lets users integrate their ColdFusion applications with other RIA technologies such as Adobe Flex and AIR (both of which are free to educators), AJAX, and PDF. Teachers and students can now use ColdFusion to connect to databases, Web services, and any other server-side infrastructure to create Internet applications for learning purposes.
    Category: Internet application development
    Grade level: 10-12+
    Curriculum: Cross-Curricular
  • The New Rules of Copyright
    Complying with, and teaching young people about, copyright in an educational setting often feels burdensome. That's because copyright laws were not designed to facilitate the sort of sharing and collaborating that has become widespread in the digital age. The innovative non-profit organization Creative Commons turns the process around, making the concept of protecting and sharing work online not onerous but positive. We asked Ahrash Bissell, Executive Director of Creative Commons' ccLearn division, for a primer.
  • WHAT'S NEW HARDWARE
    Turning Technologies' ResponseWare Web is a web-based polling application that allows participants to submit responses to interactive PowerPoint questions via Internet-connected devices. These devices include the iPhone, BlackBerry smartphones, other cell phones, and mobile devices, laptops, or a standard desktop computer. Currently, ResponseWare Web is certified on the AT&T wireless network. Turning's Web-based response solution allows alphanumeric entry for single response, multiple response, fill-in-the-blank ,and essay questions via a cell phone style input or a QWERTY style keyboard. ResponseWare Web also displays the question and answer choices on the device while polling.

Put to the Test: T&L Editors test Drive Tom Snyder's TimeLiner XE (www.tomsnyder.com)

By Joe Huber

Retail Price: $99 one computer; $2,600 unlimited site license.

Description: Software program for producing graphical sequences of history in all subject areas.

How to use in the classroom: When discussing the development of atomic theory in a science class, the teacher can use TimeLiner XE to show the timeline and add graphics of all the people that were involved in this evolution. In a computer application class, the teacher can show the development of the computer over the last 200 years. There are many other possible uses for this graphical timeline software for any curriculum.

Pros: The program is available in English and Spanish. The files can be saved as a pdf file, Web site, graphic references from the Web, or can be presented as a slideshow. The tutorials are excellent.

Cons: None.

Overall Impression: This program impressed me for several reasons. First, it is very easy to use. Second, it automatically sites resources used off the Internet. Third, it saves files as .pdf files. All of these make this program a good choice for schools in that it teaches good copywrite practices and the proper way that documents should be saved.

How Do You Stream?

By T&L Editors

More than ever, teachers are using digital video to enhance their lessons. In fact, the number of schools using video streaming increased from 30 percent to 45 percent between 2004 and 2006, according to Market Data Retrieval. Why the popularity? For starters, video-streaming products are easy to use. They allow teachers to punctuate lessons with a visual and aural punch, both of which help students retain what they've learned. And students love watching videos. As the song goes, "A picture paints a thousand words."

If your district hasn't yet joined the digital bandwagon, the following chart can help you find the best method.

Palm Beach County School District in West Palm Beach, FL

Bucks County Intermediate Unit #22 in Doylestown, PA

Horry County Schools in Myrtle Beach, SC

Williamsburg Middle School in Arlington, VA

What do you use?

Discovery Education streaming

SAFARI Montage

"We produce programs—such as news shows and a science series called ‘Forever Wild’—and upload them to our server for all teachers to use," says David Bell,

media services coordinator.

Learn360

Why do you use this approach to streaming?

"Teachers were spending a lot of money, including their own, to build up video and DVD libraries," says Lee S. Kolbert, technology program specialist. "Now, they can search through a vast library of clips and get exactly what they need."

"Safari Montage content is played directly from a local server within a closed network, bypassing the Internet. The video streams at a high rate because it does not have to compete with Internet traffic. Quality is clear and reliable, even when played full-screen," says Mark Hoffman, director of technology applications.

Bell says it was a cumbersome process to ensure that DVDs and videos were circulated to the district’s 50 schools, especially because they are so widespread. "Streaming is an immediate, reliable, and cost-effective delivery method, plus it’s available at home, which is especially useful for sick or homebound students," he adds.

"Learn360 is easy to use and the videos are current, both of which made it an appealing product for us," says Carolyn Griglione, the school’s

instructional technology coordinator.

What do you like about it?

"Teachers like the accessibility: It is available anytime, anywhere with an Internet connection. There is plenty of content, all aligned to standards. It features more than just videos. There are articles, speeches, sound files, images, and clip art, all of which make it easy to integrate into lessons. Last but not least, it’s very easy to navigate, with plenty of tutorials and professional development—all free," says Kolbert.

"Teachers can choose from individual segments of any given title, design and share custom playlists, bookmark any video to create custom segments, and correlate any title to specific state standards," says Hoffman. The teachers also appreciate the attached ancillary materials and the detailed descriptions that accompany both the title and its various segments.

Says Bell, "I like that we got everything set up in a half hour and have never had a problem with it."

"It is easy on the eyes," says Griglione . "You can get around very easily in it; it is truly user friendly and doesn’t require a lot of training."

What don’t you like about it?

"There is so much content that it can be hard to find everything you want. Sometimes, we keep digging for more and find ourselves disappointed. Some teachers have high expectations and it’s hard to keep up with them."

"At first, we expressed our wish to play the content from outside of the school network. Recently, Safari released a new version that provides end-user access to the titles remotely. We hope to upgrade to this version."

I thought $5,000 was a lot of money to spend, but now I think it’s actually inexpensive."

"The only thing teachers say is that there’s not enough on some subjects, such as sixth-grade science. However, the company is open to suggestions, so this isn’t a real problem."

Have you successfully integrated it into the curriculum?

Yes; All of our teachers have access to DE Streaming and have received or are in the process of receiving training. We have some heavy-hitters, probably about 15%, who consistently using the DE content and we have some newbies who are just starting to dabble in all the great stuff we get from Discovery.

"Teachers are encouraged to show short video clips and follow up with discussion, questions, or other inquiry-based activities. They appreciate the ability to generate individualized play lists of video specific to their curriculum and share them across their building and/or district."

"Yes, in lots of ways. We’ve had teleconferences on curricular issues and streamed them to teachers for staff development. Also, parents can access the videos at home. We have streamed several programs for parents, including helping them understand classroom activities like Lexiles for reading."

"Yes. Our teachers use it all the time. It has become a part of their day, kind of like brushing your teeth."

How much does it cost?

Discovery Education streaming
K-8 Building: $1,570
9-12 and K-12 Building: $2,095

Discovery Education streaming Plus
K-8 Building: $2,615
9-12 and K-12 Building: $3,095

streaming.discoveryeducation.com/

$1,000 (K–8 core content package);

$1,500 (9–12 core content package). Additional costs include server and basic software.

www.safarimontage.com

"So far, all we’ve paid is $5,000 for one encoder. Our network was already in place, as well as our production studios and other materials."

An annual, customized subscription starts at around $695 for one school.

www.learn360.com

WHAT'S NEW ONLINE

Product: Adobe ColdFusion 8 (www.adobe.com/products/coldfusion)
Price: Free
Description: Adobe ColdFusion 8 lets users integrate their ColdFusion applications with other RIA technologies such as Adobe Flex and AIR (both of which are free to educators), AJAX, and PDF. Teachers and students can now use ColdFusion to connect to databases, Web services, and any other server-side infrastructure to create Internet applications for learning purposes.
Category: Internet application development
Grade level: 10-12+
Curriculum: Cross-Curricular

Product: SchoolPal and TeacherPal Web services (www.Etronica.com)
Price: TeacherPal: zero setup cost, first month free, then $14.99/mo.
SchoolPal: zero setup cost, first month free, then $79.99/mo.
Description: These Web site management systems help educators create and maintain sophisticated Web sites at an affordable price. With the predesigned PublishPalLite platform, customers don't need to download software or spend hours becoming technology experts. Their new site is already built and ready to use.
Category: Web design and management
Grade level: K-12
Curriculum: Cross-Curricular

Product: Google's Knol (http://knol.google.com)
Price: Free
Description: Google's Knol is designed to verify the authorship of articles, so every knol will have an author (or group of authors) who put their name behind their content. With Knol, authors can work together through "moderated collaboration." Any reader can make suggested edits to a knol, which the author may then choose to accept, reject, or modify.
Category: Research tool
Grade level: K-12
Curriculum: Cross-Curricular

Product: NetSupport School 10 (www.netsupport-inc.com)
Price: $1200.00 for 25 licenses
Description: The latest version of this remote management tool now features a dedicated Technician's Console, a Student Journal, improved Print Management and Keyboard Monitoring capabilities as well as further Internet Security and Content Management.
Category: Desktop management tool
Grade level: K-12
Curriculum: Cross-Curricular

Product: Real U course from Children's Health Education Center (www.bluekids.org)
Price: About $12 per student
Description: The Real U course from Children's Health Education Center uses an interactive, Web-based format that mimics a late night talk show to introduce students to the inner workings of their emotions.
Category: Online Behavior game
Grade level:
Curriculum: Health, Life Skills

The New Rules of Copyright

By T&L Contributing Editor Judy Salpeter

Complying with, and teaching young people about, copyright in an educational setting often feels burdensome. That's because copyright laws were not designed to facilitate the sort of sharing and collaborating that has become widespread in the digital age. The innovative non-profit organization Creative Commons turns the process around, making the concept of protecting and sharing work online not onerous but positive. We asked Ahrash Bissell, Executive Director of Creative Commons' ccLearn division, for a primer:

Q: Why should educators care about the creative commons label?

A: Creative Commons licenses legalize the sharing of content—something we do on the Internet every day whether we're aware of it or not. Instead of reserving ALL rights to one's work, which is the default in copyright law, Creative Commons licensing makes it easy for an owner to reserve SOME rights while making the work available for others to use and enhance. The creativecommons.org web site offers free, easily understandable, machine-readable licenses. By putting a CC license on your work, you are allowing people to share it easily with others and, at the same time, outlining the ways in which you want to be given credit. You are saying, "I would like acknowledgment but I am offering this to the world to help others. If you find a way to make it better, feel free to do so." It's a very different take on copyright, and makes so much more sense today.

Q: What is ccLearn?

A: ccLearn (at learn.creativecommons.org) is a division of Creative Commons focused on minimizing the legal, technical and social barriers to sharing and reuse of educational materials. We are dedicated to supporting open learning and "open educational resources" (OER) and changing the culture of education so that teacher practices (pedagogies) become more transparent and effective.

One project we are working on is an education-specific search tool. Traditional education sites feature sets of educational tools pulled together in one place online—a silo. The alternative is to label educational objects located all over the Internet with a set of shared attributes and allow them all to be accessed through a customized search engine. It's a much more powerful way to do it and opens up a world of possibilities. We already have many examples on the Internet of tagging using key words. Creative Commons takes it one step further, avoiding language barriers with machine-readable code that makes it easy for search tools to locate resources sharing a particular license. Now we want to add more information to those machine-readable labels—information of particular interest to educators. For example, we're encouraging the creators of open educational materials to label them by grade level, subject area, language in which the material is written, and so forth.

Q: How focused are you on younger learners and the concerns K-12 schools have about protecting students from inappropriate materials?

About 1/3 of the educators interested in ccLearn today are involved in K-12 education.

Although we're not pre-screening or hand-selecting specific sites, in order to be found by our search engine, education materials need to be "curated"—meaning they need to have a company or organization vouching for them. The information about any curator is highly visible and, in searching, you have the ability to include only curators you know and trust or exclude those you don't trust. Ideally you might end up with a situation where a given school could have its own entry-way to the archive, with a customized interface and a filter that selected certain age levels or state standards.

Q: If all educational materials in the future are open and free, how will educational content providers be reimbursed for their expertise and their work?

A: Many people mistakenly accuse CC of being anti-business, based on the fact that we make it legally possible for people to do the things that the Internet enables, rather than making criminals of us all. Fortunately, there are many businesses that realize that times are changing and they had better start thinking of ways to adapt and take advantage of the new opportunities.

John Seely Brown has said that, rather than operating an economy based on presumptions of scarcity, we need to build economies based on presumptions of abundance.

If the actual monetization component of a business model comes down to facilitating distribution, under the premise that organizations and individuals would not otherwise get the materials and are therefore willing to pay for access, then they are in trouble. The Internet will continue to eat away at the logic of the distribution businesses.

But I believe that there are ways in which educational providers can evolve to meet their bottom lines while still delivering high-quality content for educational contexts. In the case of an open textbook, for example, government grant funding might go into the creation of the resource. Then companies might charge for value-added services such as study aids for students or professional development or supplementary video.

WHAT'S NEW HARDWARE

Turning Technologies' ResponseWare Web is a web-based polling application that allows participants to submit responses to interactive PowerPoint questions via Internet-connected devices. These devices include the iPhone, BlackBerry smartphones, other cell phones, and mobile devices, laptops, or a standard desktop computer. Currently, ResponseWare Web is certified on the AT&T wireless network. Turning's Web-based response solution allows alphanumeric entry for single response, multiple response, fill-in-the-blank ,and essay questions via a cell phone style input or a QWERTY style keyboard. ResponseWare Web also displays the question and answer choices on the device while polling.

American Audio's Pocket Recorder is a handheld, fully digital audio recorder perfect for recording notes during class lectures. This little gadget is especially helpful during more complex lectures, and the saved audio files can also be shared as part of a Podcast or downloaded to an MP3 device. With no tapes to change, it's always ready for recording quick thoughts, homework tips, or reminders. And, with the ability to record up to 16 hours of audio using a 1 GB SD card, students never have to worry about not having enough recording space. Recordings can be downloaded from the Pocket Recorder to any computer via a standard USB cable or SD card reader.

Featured

Related

T&L News(156)

Put to the Test: T&L Reviewer Joe Huber reviews the Pure Digital Flip Mino Video Camera; Cybersafety woefully lacking for students says new study; New Mexico picks Wimba for its collaborative learning platform; Visionary Administrators' bridge digital disconnect in schools; NetSupport Manager Version 10.5

T&L News(158)

Cathleen Norris and Elliot Soloway Interview; Put to the Test: T&L Rreviewer Test Drives Mimio Studio 6 software; Math Study Update; Whiteboards address individual student needs; School cell phone ban lifted in Des Moines

T&L News(142)

Put to the Test; Imagination without Borders; Building EPortfolios; Leader of the Year Profile; BACK OFFICE BUSINESS

T&L News(133)

What's New; Which Tech Companies Rule?; Science Educators Can Win Prizes Worth $3000; CoSN Launches New Broadband Knowledge Center; Excelsior Announces New Grants Program

T&L News(144)

The FCC wants your opinion; Put to the Test: Joe Huber Reviews the Toshiba M700; Back Office Business; Sites we Like; On The Air

T&L News(146)

Leader of the Year Profile; Top Online Degrees Help Top Educators; Buzzterm of the Month: Response to Intervention (RTI). What it is and why you need it; Contest: Technology in Motion 2: Community of the Future; Put to the Test: Joe Huber reviews SAS Curriculum Pathways

T&L News(127)

Week of: April 28, 2008 What's New The SPARK Science Learning System PASCO Scientific ($299, available fall 2008) wants to put the whole lab in students' hands—from data collection to teacher assessment. The device combines PASCO probeware with a Linux mobile

T&L News(147)

WHAT'S NEW; WHAT'S NEW; Product: LS Test Builder; Must Reads; Put to the Test: Joe Huber reviews SAS Curriculum Pathways

T&L News(151)

Atomic Learning has announced a limited-time free offer on Vicki Davis' Seven Steps to a Flat Classroom workshop.; Cast Your Vote: Decision 2008; Put to the Test: T&L Editors Review; Contests & Grants; Sites we like