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Technology & Internet

Student Broadcasters Capture Headlines from the Hallways
Students aren't just studying the news in school, they're reporting it! Budding "Walter Cronkites" run the show from choosing topics to scripting, filming and editing. Teachers report that students gain self-confidence from producing their own school news broadcasts.

From Chalkboard to Wall -- Managing the Benefits of School-Sanctioned Social Media Use
As more students, parents, teachers, and administrators tap into social networking sites, the lines between educational and personal networking are becoming more blurred. Schools need to provide clear guidelines to avoid legal issues around school-sanctioned social media.

Technology Closes Distance Between Kids, Schools
In the not-so-distant past, students had pen pals in other states and countries to learn about life elsewhere. Now with the help of Skype and other technology, kids are able to chat and work on assignments with students from across the district or across the world.

Principals Blog to Share and Archive School News
While traditional newsletters can be overlooked and lost in bottomless bookbags, blogs are timely, accessible, and fun. Principals who use them say blogs are simple to set up and easy to update. Included: Tips for beginners from experienced principal bloggers.

Artsonia: Online Gallery Raises Funds, Art Awareness, and Self-Esteem
At a time when money for the arts is limited, one online resource seeks to support local schools in one broad stroke. Artsonia is a masterpiece: a fundraiser for the arts and a free online gallery for student artwork. Included: Tips for Artsonia newbies.

GoodSearch: Fundraising Through Internet Searching
You may be surprised to learn of a program that requires little effort and capitalizes on something everyone in your school community is already doing -- searching the Internet. GoodSearch, a search engine powered by Yahoo!, donates revenue to participating schools.

Bidding for Dollars: Online Auctions Help Schools Earn Cash
As budgets stretch to the breaking point, public schools are discovering the powerful fundraising possibilities of the auction with a technological twist. The flexibility, convenience, and popularity of online auctions enable schools to tap a limitless base of supporters.

Paperless Packets Save Money, the Environment
School board packets in the Tolleson (Arizona) Union High School District used to take days and reams of paper to prepare. Now all the information is presented and archived online, not only saving the district time and money, but also helping the environment.

Safeguarding Laptops and Their Contents
Most people wouldn’t leave school without locking up confidential files. Yet, they fail to “lock up” their laptops -- leaving the data and computers themselves vulnerable to theft. Educators and students must practice laptop security to prevent devastating data breaches.

Yearbooks Capture Elementary, Middle School Memories
The yearbook is a classic souvenir of high school days, but today elementary and middle schools are getting into the act. Preserving the priceless moments and toothless smiles of young children is the goal of hardworking advisors, parents, and students.

Community Scavenger Hunt Teaches Research Skills, Much More
When armies of students descend on local libraries, it has to be time for the State of Jefferson Scavenger Hunt. The three-day event challenges kids to track down answers to a series of questions. The results include improved research skills, priceless memories.

Online Grades Provide Access and Accountability
In many schools, teachers use online grading systems to keep parents (and kids) informed. Administrators say the improved communication makes students more accountable for their work and eliminates unwelcome "surprises" on report cards.

Principals Who Cant Live Without Technology
Easy access to technology has changed the way school principals work. So what tech tools cant principals live without? High on their lists are handhelds, calendaring tools, data warehouses, and curriculum software that helps boost student test scores.

Systems Let Schools Call More Parents Faster
School phone trees are being eclipsed by phone systems that can dial thousands of numbers in minutes and alert parents to emergencies, schedule changes, and even events, saving administrators time and stress.

Community Effort Links In-School, After-School Learning
Louisville, Kentucky, school officials wanted youngsters to get more out of their after school hours. With the help of a software program, schools share data with after-school program staff who develop content to address students' areas of weakness.

Crafting A Workable Cell Phone Policy
With so many families depending on cell phones, banning them from schools became pointless. Now the debate is how to regulate phone use in schools, as more students own camera phones and ones that can send text messages and connect to the Internet.

Tech & Teaching: Principals Share Best Uses of Technology
Technology can be used to engage students in ways that other tools cannot. So what are the most fun or creative ways principals have seen teachers use the technology at hand? That's the question we asked our "Principal Files" team.

Professional Development Via E-Mail: All You Need is a Keyboard!
E-mail is a great way for keeping teachers informed about school goings-on. But are you using e-mail as a tool for providing professional development for your teachers? Ed World's "Principal Files" principals share how they are doing just that. Tips included.

Film A Day in the Life Eases Sixth Graders' Fears
Even after school tours and orientation programs, many students still worry about the transition from elementary to middle school. A student-made film acknowledges those fears and reassures new students that middle school is not so scary.

No More Lost Lunch Money
Probably every day in every classroom, a teacher hears, "I lost/forgot/spent my lunch money," sparking phone calls home, IOUs, or snack food searches. Pre-paid lunch programs can end the problems of missing money and save parent and teacher time.

Ten Pillars Of Successful Technology Implementation
Integrated education works best when it is well planned, well-integrated, closely monitored as to its effectiveness, and given a fair chance. "A fair chance" only can be guaranteed, however, if computer-based teaching and learning is constructed on these ten pillars of success.

Using Satellites to Track Wandering Students
Losing a child, especially in a crowded, unfamiliar place, is every parent and teacher's nightmare -- and a real concern during fieldtrips. Now, a wristwatch-size Global Positioning System receiver can allow students to be tracked and located within minutes.

Teachers Start Report Card Revolution
Some teachers have taken it upon themselves to rework their report cards. Two teachers talk with Education World about the systems they developed and the benefits to students and parents of their improved grade-reporting systems. Tips included.

More Principals E-Mailing Parents
Instead of picking up the phone to call parents, more principals are tapping on their computer keyboards. Increasingly, principals are finding that e-mail is the best way to communicate -- for them and for parents.

Motivating Teachers to Use Technology
Dr. Walter Tobin, interim superintendent of the Calhoun County, South Carolina, Public Schools, talks about ways of motivating teachers to use technology in the classroom more extensively and efficiently.

Interactive Programs Enhance Teacher Learning
Teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) can watch a video of a teacher presenting a mathematics lesson, analyze it with other teachers, and then try it out, through a program of the LAUSD/UCLA Collaborative Institute.

Technology Planning: Closing the Communications Gap
Technology is often underutilized in its role of helping educators track accountability and assess student progress. Technology planning expert Dixie Conner explains how effective technology planning by teachers and technology leaders can result in the more effective use of technology in all areas of education.

Better Students Through Technology!
Technology-planning expert Dixie Conner explains how technology coordinators, by extending the use of technology beyond the classroom, can increase students chances to reach -- and surpass -- today's stringent education standards.

Licensing: A Better Way to 'Buy' Computer Texts
What if, instead of purchasing hard copies of computer texts, school districts license the books from the publisher at a cost of $5 per user? When a new version of the software is purchased, the publisher simply replaces the obsolete material with updated digital copies of the text. Digital book licensing slashes the cost of computer books and leaves school districts with fewer obsolete books. Is it an option for your district?

Technology Standards for School Leaders Released
A consortium of more than a dozen groups released Technology Standards for School Administrators at a recent meeting of the National School Boards Association. "These standards will empower administrators to provide strong technology leadership," said the chairperson of the group charged with authoring those standards.

Golden Nuggets: Seven Tips for Technology Success
Dr. Bruce Whitehead is the principal of Hellgate Intermediate School and an associate professor at the University of Montana. He designed and implemented a model for classroom technology centers that earned him the National Distinguished Principals Award from the National Association of Elementary School Principals. In this article, Whitehead shares "seven golden nuggets" -- seven tips to help ensure the success of your school's technology implementation plans. This article is reprinted by permission of Bruce Whitehead.

Assessing Staff Technology Needs: Do the Current Tools Work?
The need to implement computer technology efficiently and successfully has quickly become a priority in our schools. For many administrators, the key to successful implementation is knowing how to maximize the technological skill of their teachers. In this article, educator and computer guru Ted Nellen offers suggestions on how to quickly and accurately assess staff skills and determine staff development needs.

Posting Students' Grades Online Keeps Parents in Touch and Kids on Their Toes!
Most colleges and universities post student grades online and have been for quite some time. Now, a growing number of K-12 teachers are doing it too. Is posting grades online right for your school? This week, Education World writer Sherril Steele-Carlin talks with educators who have been doing it for some time. Included: Online resources and discussions about online grades and free software you can use to post your own grades online.

Online Answers for Administrators!
This week, William D. McInerney ---professor of educational administration at the Purdue University School of Education--- recommends some of the best Web resources for school administrators. He also discusses evaluating Web sites and praises the World Wide Web as an educational tool. Included: McInerney's top Web picks for educational administrators.

Technology in the Schools: It *Does* Make a Difference!
This year, the Clinton administration earmarked an additional $25 million over last year's budget to help schools integrate technology into the curriculum and for technology training for teachers. Will spending all that money really help kids learn? This week, Education World examines both sides of the *Is technology worth it?* debate. This story focuses on some of the research that makes a strong case in favor of technology in the schools. Included: Resources to help make the case for technology.

Technology in Schools: Some Say It Doesn't Compute!
Technology changes faster than educational researchers can study it. Although many researchers insist computers are valuable in schools, they readily admit they can't yet say whether technology actually helps kids achieve educational goals. Have schools jumped onto the technology bandwagon too soon? In this story, Education World focuses on some of the research that makes a strong case against the way technology is currently used in schools.

Larry Magid: Keeping Kids Safe On-Line
On April 12, The Online Safety Project became a Smithsonian Laureate when it was inducted into the Smithsonian Institution's Permanent Research Collection of Information Technology. Larry Magid, founder of the project and a leading expert on keeping kids safe on-line, recently shared his thoughts with Education World. Included: What does Magid have to say about the tragedy in Littleton, Colorado, and the resulting call to take away students' Internet access? We link to his thoughts on this subject.

It's Not What You Have But How You Use It!
Public schools are spending huge sums of money for computers, but without training teachers to use this technology could the investment prove to be a costly failure?

Debate Rages Over 'Digital Divide'
Are your students "haves" or "have-nots"? Are they technology savvy? Or are they being left behind because your school hasn't kept pace with technology? Explore the "digital divide" in this special Education World story!

ETCEP: Providing Top-of-the-Line Technology for Schools -- At No Cost!
Schools and communities are working together to collect recyclable printer cartridges, which can be exchanged for top-quality computer equipment and printers. A new program, ETCEP, makes this possible -- and easy to administer.

Year 2000 -- Will Your District's Computers Be Ready?
Will your school district's computers be "bitten by the bug"? The "Year 2000" computer bug, that is? The U.S. Department of Education, the American Association of School Administrators, and others are offering information and help!

An E-Rate Update
Final forms are now available for applying for E-Rate discounts. Are you aware of that and of other recently released E-rate resources?

Paving the Way to Internet Safety!
President Clinton recently announced his strategy for making the Internet child-safe and family-friendly. Read the details of his plan-and check out a handful of Web sites that'll help you provide a safe Internet experience for your students.

Here Comes the E-Rate! (E-gads!)
Now that the FCC ruling has been issued, many questions loom about E-rate discounts for technology connections in schools and libraries.