Eight Web Resources for Rural Schools

“Pulling Together” is a new quarterly journal published by the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL). The journal identifies technology-based resources available to help rural schools improve educational opportunities. In its first issue, the journal includes the following web-based resources of significance to rural districts:

1. Affordable Access, Rural Online (http://www.itc.org/aaron). A database of practical advice and policy recommendations designed to help rural schools meet the National Information Infrastructure (NII) guidelines.

2. Distance Learning Resource Network (http://www.dlrn.org). Created through the Education Department’s Star Schools program, this site offers instructional modules, enrichment activities, and courses in science, mathematics, foreign languages, workplace skills, and more.

3. Guiding Questions for Technology Planning (http://www.ncrtec.org/capacity/guidewww/gqhome.htm). School district administrators can use this site as a roadmap for planning technology purchases and integration. Includes models of successful programs across the United States.

4. Learning With Technology Course Resources (http://www.ncrtec.org/pd/lwtres/resource.htm). Created by the North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium, this site has 13 online courses about using software in the classroom, evaluating the effectiveness of various programs, and creating courses on specific topics.

5. National Staff Development Council Home Page (http://www.nsdc.org). This site provides valuable information on professional development techniques, including tech-related articles and tips.

6. Organizations Concerned About Rural Education (http://www.ruralschools.org). OCRE is a coalition of organizations—such as the American Association of School Administrators, American Library Association, National Association of Counties, Natural Rural Electric Cooperative, and companies such as US West and SBC Telecommunications—focused on improving rural education. One of the best features on the site is a section on grant and loan availability.

7. Pathways to School Improvement: Critical Issues in Technology (http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/te0cont.htm). Created by NCREL, this site provides a roadmap for working through the School Improvement Cycle program for creating systemic change. It also includes news items on improving education through technology and other methods.

8. Putting Technology into the Classroom: A Guide for Rural Decision Makers (http://www.sedl.org/pubs/tec24). This web site, sponsored by the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, focuses on effectively using the technology that schools and districts have obtained.

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Grant Awards

$5.9 Million for Teacher Quality Enhancement grants

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $5.9 million for eight new projects designed to better train teachers for the challenges of today’s classrooms.

“This program takes traditional teacher education off the campus and into the heart of the classroom and community,” Secretary Richard Riley said. “These beginning-teacher grants are an added benefit for school districts that have trouble attracting and retaining teachers, especially secondary teachers with strong backgrounds in the subjects they teach.”

The grants support partnerships involving one or more college or university teacher preparation programs, university-level schools of arts and sciences, and a high-need K-12 school district. A K-12 district is considered “high need” if at least one of its elementary or secondary schools has 50 percent or more of its students from families with incomes below the poverty line, more than a third of its secondary teachers are not teaching in the content area in which they were trained to teach, or 15 percent or more of its teachers have left in the last three years.

Among the program’s four priorities is integrating technology in training, so beginning teachers can use technology effectively in the classroom.

California State University at Northridge received nearly $240,000 this year (and nearly $1.2 million over five years) to work with the Los Angeles Unified School District to improve new teachers’ ability to integrate their field experiences into the classroom and to show them how to use technology to improve student achievement in elementary schools. Another winner, Bowling Green State University, has been awarded nearly $790,000 this year (and $4,154,493 over five years) to work with several local organizations and the Toledo Public School District to create an interactive, web-based teacher professional development system.

http://www.ed.gov/offices/OPE/heatqp

$4.8 million for New Jersey’s Access-Collaboration-Equity program

New Jersey’s State Board of Education has awarded 26 grants worth $4.8 million to help schools with large numbers of disadvantaged students to purchase computers, connect to the internet, and educate students and parents about effective use of technology resources. The new program, known as Access-Collaboration-Equity (ACE), will make 24 more grants worth another $2.6 million in the next few months.

The key to the program is developing after-school programs that will give students and parents access to computers they could not otherwise afford. “We know that most students who come from low-income households are unable to access and use a computer at home,” said state Commissioner of Education David Hespe. “Through the ACE grants, school districts will be able to operate community centers for disadvantaged students and their families to use when school is not in session.”

ACE is funded through two federal grants—Goals 2000 and the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund—at up to $200,000 per grant recipient. Economically disadvantaged school districts serve as lead agencies for these grants and collaborate with community partners, businesses, municipalities, and statewide organizations to develop, staff, and plan activities at ACE centers. Each center will be staffed by qualified professionals after school and on weekends at public locations, including schools, libraries, community centers, or housing complexes, said state ED representative Rich Vespucci.

Winning applicants proposed programs that would, among other activities, enable students to complete homework and develop classroom presentations, perform online research, communicate with experts elsewhere in the world, teach family members how to use technology, and work in groups on projects that support New Jersey’s Core Curriculum Content Standards.

http://www.state.nj.us/njded/techno/ace/abstract.h tm

$100,000 in tech support services for Minnesota schools

Nine Minnesota schools and districts are piloting a program aimed at reducing routine calls to computer help lines by 30 percent through services donated by Netven LLC of Austin, Texas, and KnowledgeBroker Inc. The companies value the services at nearly $100,000.

Under the program, technical support personnel at selected schools and districts will receive complimentary access for the 2000-01 school year to Netven’s PC-HMO web-based support tools, as well as the “Ask Me Online” web portal developed by KnowledgeBroker Inc., a leading provider of technical support content.

Minnesota’s Office of Technology, which developed the project and chose the grant recipients, believes the program will improve computer users’ ability to get answers to routine questions without calling on overtaxed school district workers. Integrated internet-based training and support will improve user and support staff abilities to operate the systems, said Paul Wasko, the state’s manager of education technology initiatives.

The grants are divided into three categories. District-wide grants are targeted toward school districts considering or actively providing centralized technical support for teachers and staff members. The other two grant programs directly engage students. In one, Cisco Academies will use PC-HMO and Ask Me Online to educate students as front-line help desk staff members. The tech-prep support development grant goes a step further, establishing an intensive training program for students in both technical and customer-service skills.

When the program ends, schools can decide to continue the service at a predetermined cost.

Contact: Jim Schwartz, Minnesota Department of Administration’s Communications Office, at (651) 284-3351

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Grant Deadlines

December

**NEW THIS MONTH**

Steppingstones of Technology Innovation for Children with Disabilities

This Department of Education (ED) program promotes projects that enable teaching professionals to improve services to children with disabilities. The program explicitly supports technology-based approaches, such as technology that aids the deaf or the visually impaired. Applicants should demonstrate how they will provide early intervention for children (who can be as young as infants or toddlers) with disabilities. Grants of $200,000 or more are available (11 grants in total) for creation of curricula that help bring educational opportunities and support federal education reform initiatives. State and local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, other public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and other groups are eligible; partnerships between groups are preferred. Within this program are several subprograms that are especially technology-oriented. For example, at least three projects will be funded under the program titled “Technology and Media Services for Individuals with Disabilities,” which is designed to promote the development, demonstration, and use of technology and educational media. This program provides support for some captioning, video description, and cultural activities.

Deadline: Dec. 8

http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/ announcements/2000-3/082900c.html

**NEW THIS MONTH**

National Schools of Character

Ten K-12 schools each will receive $2,000 and substantial press coverage for their efforts to teach character to their students. This competition, now in its fourth year, provides awards to schools that have been teaching moral issues by using the “Eleven Principles of Character Education” curriculum. Winning applicants have enhanced this curriculum in innovative ways. Several past winners have used technology to help disseminate messages of character. For example, Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Md., a 1998 award winner, has created a daily television program that focuses on key virtues, among other activities. The program’s sponsor is the Character Education Partnership, which includes nearly every significant educational association and organization in the country.

Deadline: Dec. 11

http://www.character.org/schools

**NEW THIS MONTH**

Imation Computer Arts Scholarship

Open to high school students in public or private schools, this program from Imation will provide 25 scholarships of $1,000 each for top computer artists from around the country. Schools must hold contests and send in their winners for consideration; schools may nominate one candidate per 1,000 students. Quality and creativity are the benchmarks for judging the contest. Last year’s contest generated about 650 entries. The National Education Association and the American Association of School Administrators cosponsor the program.

Deadline: Dec. 15

http://www.imation.com/about/scholarship

Magnet School Assistance Program

This ED program has a very specific purpose that substantially limits eligibility of applicants. It is open only to local educational agencies and consortia of such agencies to support magnet schools that are part of approved desegregation plans. These grants will support programs that enhance the ability of magnet schools to attract and retain minority students, and magnet schools using technology as a draw have been successful applicants in the past. Grant recipients will receive substantial awards—$200,000 to $3 million per year for up to three years—from this program, which is budgeted for fiscal year 2001 at $92 million. As many as 60 awards will be made.

Deadline: Dec. 22

http://gcs.ed.gov/fedreg/grantann/ q300/073100b.txt

January

Growth Initiatives for Teachers

This program used to be administered by the GTE Foundation until GTE and Bell Atlantic merged to become Verizon earlier this year. It’s now administered by the Verizon Foundation, though little else has changed. The program encourages innovative math and science teaching by annually providing 140 outstanding secondary school educators with funds for professional development activities and hands-on classroom projects. Teams of full-time science and math teachers in grades seven through 12 (grade six if from a middle or junior high school) in public and private U.S. schools may apply. Each team must consist of one science teacher and one math teacher from the same school. Applicants must propose a school enrichment project that integrates math and science into classroom activities and uses technology in an innovative way. Each winning team shares a $15,000 grant—$8,000 to implement the project and $3,500 for professional development activities for each team member. Recent winning projects have included using DNA fingerprinting to learn more about an endangered fish species; examining the cellular mechanisms of cancer to look for mathematical relationships between normal and diseased cells; and using global positioning systems and computer-based labs to help restore a natural sand prairie.

Deadline: Jan. 12

Contact: (800) 315-5010 or gift@verizon.com

http://foundation.verizon.com/04010_a.html

Year Four eRate Funding

The Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Co. has announced that the application window for Year Four of the eRate opened Nov. 6 and will close Jan. 18. During this time, applicants can file their FCC Form 471 with the SLD and ensure they have applied on time to receive universal service funds. Year Four marks the introduction of an updated Form 471, which must be used when applying this year. The program has an annual cap of up to $2.25 billion. Discounts for schools and libraries are available first for telecommunications services and internet access, then for internal connections such as wiring, based on the availability of leftover funds. Discounts range from 20 to 90 percent, based on the number of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches and an applicant’s rural or urban status.

Deadline: Jan. 18

Contact: (888) 203-8100

http://www.sl.universalservice.org

Toyota TAPESTRY Grants

The 2001 Toyota TAPESTRY program, sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales and administered by the National Science Teachers Association, will award 50 grants of up to $10,000 each to K-12 science teachers. Interested teachers should propose innovative science projects that can be implemented in their school or school district during a one-year period. Winning projects must demonstrate creativity, involve risk-taking, possess a visionary quality, and model a novel way of presenting science. Successful grant-winning projects, such as a mobile observatory to study light pollution and an interactive paleontology lab, often include the use of technology.

Deadline: Jan. 18

Contact: (800) 807-9852

http://www.nsta.org/programs/tapestry

March

**NEW THIS MONTH**

Inspired Teacher Scholarships for Visual Learning

Inspiration Software has announced its third annual round of scholarships designed for educators who champion visual learning in the classroom. Scholarships of $500 will be awarded to 20 public or private K-12 educators who use the company’s Inspiration concept mapping software. The funds are intended to support ongoing professional development in educational technology and to champion the inclusion of visual learning methods in the classroom. Recipients are compensated for attending a conference, graduate course, or training event where visual learning is highlighted.

Deadline: March 1

http://www.inspiration.com/scholarship.html

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Partners Index

Aims Multimedia, of Chatsworth, Calif., provides quality curriculum-based multimedia to schools, school libraries, and universities. Visit the Aims Multimedia web site:

http://www.aims-multimedia.com/aims

(800) 367-2467

AlphaSmart Inc., headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., develops and markets affordable and effective technology solutions for the education market. Visit AlphaSmart’s web site:

http://www.alphasmart.com

(888) 274-0680

America Online, based in Dulles, Va., offers schools a safe and easy internet content program at no cost. Visit the AOL@school web site:

http://www.school.aol.com

(888) 648-4023

AWS Inc., based in Gaithersburg, Md., is a leading provider of hyper-local news, weather, and sports information to schools via web technologies. Visit the AWS web site:

http://www.aws.com

(301) 258-8390

bigchalk.com, of New York, is an education destination delivering all the components required to support the learning community. Visit bigchalk.com’s web site:

http://www.bigchalk.com

(800) 860-9228

Boxer Learning, of Charlottesville, Va., offers online courses that correspond to statewide curricula. Visit the Boxer Learning web site:

http://www.boxerlearning.com

(800) 736-2824

Classroom Connect, located in Foster City, Calif., sells internet literacy products, online interactive curricula, and resources for integrating the internet into the curriculum. Visit the Classroom Connect web site:

http://www.classroom.net/home.asp

(800) 638-1639

eChalk, located in New York, is an affordable, state-of-the-art, private, secure, web-based network to connect your entire K-12 community. Visit the eChalk web site:

http://www.echalk.com

(800) 809-3349

Edmark Corp., of Redmond, Wash., has been a pioneer in developing innovative and effective educational materials for children for more than 30 years. Visit the Edmark web site:

http://www.edmark.com

(800) 691-2986

eschoolmall.com, of Horsham, Pa., is a leading provider of comprehensive online procurement solutions for K-12 schools. Visit the eschoolmall.com web site:

http://www.eschoolmall.com

(877) 960-7246

Follett Software Corp., of River Grove, Ill., is a leader in library automation and management tools for K-12 education. Visit the Follett Software web site:

http://www.fsc.follett.com

(800) 621-4345

Gateway Inc., of San Diego, is a Fortune 250 company focusing on building lifelong relationships with businesses and consumers through complete technology personalization. Visit the Gateway web site:

http://www.gateway.com

(800) GATEWAY

IBM Corp., headquartered in New York, provides powerful tools that help enrich educational programs. Visit the IBM web site:

http://ibm.com/shop/gov_ed

(877) 222-6426

Jackson Software, of Glencoe, Ill., is the creator of GradeQuick, a grading, attendance, and seating chart software system. Visit the Jackson Software

web site:

http://www.jacksoncorp.com

(800) 850-1777

Keystone National, of Bloomsburg, Pa., is an accredited high school that provides students with the means to earn high school credits or a diploma from home. Visit the Keystone

National web site:

http://www.keystonehighschool.com

(800) 255-4937

Knowledge Adventure, of Torrance and Glendale, Calif., is a leader in developing, publishing, and distributing multimedia educational software. Visit the Knowledge Adventure web site:

http://www.knowledgeadventure.com

(800) 545-7677

Learning 2000, of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., provides interactive educational multimedia. Visit the Learning 2000 web site:

http://www.learning2000.com

(888) 968-5327

Lesson Link, of Temecula, Calif., is dedicated to developing and providing web-based academic courses to students, schools, and corporations in need of learning. Visit the Lesson Link web site:

http://www.lessonlink.com

(909) 676-7290

Lyceum Communications, based in Portland, Maine, is a software and web-based services company specializing in language arts, and is the creator of Get a Clue software. Visit the Get a Clue web site:

http://www.getaclue.com

(888) 321-2583

Meshworx.com, of Corona, Calif., provides a high-speed network for K-12 districts complete with internet service, filtering, caching, content, and thin clients. Visit the Meshworx web site:

http://www.meshworx.com

(877) 723-3787

NetSchools Corp., headquartered in Atlanta, puts one-to-one e-learning into the hands of every student and provides a fully integrated system that addresses the issues of accountability, alignment, assessment, and achievement. Visit the NetSchools web site:

http://www.netschools.com

(877) 638-7247

OCD Network Systems, of Dayton, Ohio, is a leader in educational technology integration. Visit the OCD Network Systems web site:

http://www.ocdnet.com

(800) 244-8915

PCS Edventures.com is an online school for children ages 6 and up that teaches subjects ranging from art to engineering through hands-on activities and guided, online support. Visit the PCS Edventures.com web site:

http://www.edventures.com

Premio Computer Inc., headquartered in City of Industry, Calif., provides K-12 and university campuses with desktops and servers for all computing needs. Visit the Premio web site:

http://www.premiopc.com/edu

(800) 677-6477

Riverdeep Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., designs, develops, publishes, markets, and supports interactive learning solutions for K-12 education. Visit the Riverdeep web site:

http://www.riverdeep.net

(800) 564-2587

Sirsi Corp., of Huntsville, Ala., designs library management systems for all sizes and types of libraries, including academic, public, school, and government. Visit the Sirsi Corp. web site:

http://www.sirsi.com

(800) 91-SIRSI

Turner Learning Inc., of Atlanta, is an educational division of Turner Broadcasting dedicated to enhancing education by making commercial-free cable programming and curriculum materials available to schools. Visit the Turner Learning web site:

http://www.turnerlearning.com

(800) 344-6219

Youthline USA, of Howell, N.J., is a unique, safe, and secure internet-based educational service for K-12 schools. Visit the Youthline USA web site:

http://www.youthline-usa.com

(888) 299-6884

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eSN Career Center

COMPUTER SCIENCE

Science Teacher, FL

Certified science teacher for grades 5 through 8 in small Catholic school. Job includes teaching science to four different levels, organizing science fairs throughout the year. Good place for motivated individual. Great working environment.

Please send resume to: Julie Harris, Teacher, Divine Mercy, 1940 N. Courtenay Pkwy , Merritt Island, FL, 32953 or harrisj@dmccs.org

Science Coordinator, NY

Edison Schools Inc., the nation’s leading private manager of public schools has an exciting opportunity for a Start-up Science Coordinator. The Science Coordinator will implement and support the science program at Edison’s start-up schools. Minimum three years’ teaching experience and strong background in science program development and teacher professional development required to design, implement, and support the science program. B.A./B.S. degree, preferably in the sciences, required. Must be willing to travel frequently. Send résumé to: Edison Schools, Dept. VGSC2, 521 Fifth Ave, 15th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10175 or E-mail: resumes@newyork.edisonproject.com; Website: www.edisonschools.com.

EOE

Instructional

Technology

Flight Director,VA

Lead groups (primarily 5-8 grade) through exciting, interactive, multimedia activities by simulating space missions. Requirements include: 110% enthusiasm aching students and adults, demonstrated presentation skills, 4-year degree, familiarity with a variety of technical teaching aids (computer proficiency required). Certification in classroom education is highly desirable. Occasional overtime and weekend hours.

Contact: Sarah B. Jastrzab,Human Resource

Administrator,The Challenger Center,1250 N. Pitt Street ,Alexandria,VA ,22314

or eMail: sjastrzab@challenger.org

Freelance Contributor,IL

Help make Britannica.com the leading knowledge and learning destination for the consumer and educational markets. Work from home to build an exciting, dynamic, global resource. Help us create one of the Internet’s top knowledge sites. To succeed, we need outstanding freelance website reviewers. We’re especially looking for top-shelf writers with backgrounds in Education. Candidates must have a minimum of 2 years teaching experience, solid knowledge of current trends in education, good writing skills, and a strong familiarity with the Internet.,

Please contact; Isabel Fiore,Freelance Contributor, Britannica.com, Britannica.com, 310 S. Michigan Ave.,7th Floor, Chicago,IL,60604

or eMail: ,ifiore@us.britannica.com

Instructional Strategies Specialist,NJ

IDE’s Instructional Strategies Specialists consult in client districts in order to bring about substantive change in the teaching and learning process. Using technology infusion as a catalyst for change, they aid teachers and administrators in shifting the traditional paradigm of teaching in order to create enriched learning experiences for students. At least five years teaching experience and a masters or doctoral degree is required for the current opening. As the position is that of a change agent, excellent interpersonal skills are a must. Contact: Katie Kashmanian,Director of K-12 Operations,IDE Corp. – Innovative Designs for Education, 120 North Central Avenue, Suite 4 Ramsey, NJ, 07446,

or eMail: ktkash@idecorp.com

Instructional Technology Coordinator, CO

Curriculum Implementation Facilitator and Instructional Technology Coordinator Mosaica Education seeks highly qualified and experienced educators for Curriculum Implementation

Instructional

Technology (cont’d)

Facilitator (CIF) in Wilmington, Delaware, Harrisburg, PA and Denver, Colorado and Instructional Technology Coordinator (ITC) in Jersey City, New Jersey, Wilmington, Delaware, Harrisburg, PA, and Denver, Colorado,. Qualifications: ITC position requires significant independent analysis and problem solving skills, as well as an in-depth working knowledge of di

verse teaching strategies, technologies, and media. B.S. in Math, Science or Instructional Technology. Qualifications: CIF position requires Degree in Social Sciences, Arts or Humanities. Minimum of five years classroom experience (elementary preferred). Media Resource Specialist. Demonstrated mastery in a leadership position. Please submit letter of intent and resume via fax to 415-491-1309 or apply by e-mail at jobs@mosaicaeducation.com.

Instructional Technology Manager, MI

National Heritage Academies, a K-8 charter school management company currently managing 22 schools, is seeking an individual to support the technological needs of the teacher community. The successful candidate will manage multiple facets of the educational technology program. Persons must be self-motivated, organized, possess strong communication skills and must work well in a team-oriented environment. 2 -5 years of prior teaching experience or degree in educational technology or related field preferred. This is a year-round position with opportunity for growth. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. This position is based in Grand Rapids, but some travel will be required. jobs@heritageacademies.com

it MANAGEMENT / mis

NETWORK SPECIALIST, OR

Ability to maintain, manage, and continue to develop the district Network Intranet System; experience with Novell and NT servers (MS Proxy Server, Novonyx Email Server, Access and SQL Server, and Web Server), and web filtering and web design; ability to provide desktop support and trouble shooting; capability of training students and staff with a positive team attitude; ability to adjust to a flexible schedule.

Contact: Priscilla Schmidt, Personnel Assistant, Silver Falls School District, 210 East C St., Silverton, OR, 97381 or eMail:

schmidt_priscilla@silverfalls.k12.or.us

Professional Developer K-12, NY

An Education Technology Company in Rockland county, seeks a full/time, self-motivated experienced educator with strong technical and organizational skills to develop, deliver, and assist in coordination of K-12 teacher workshops. Some Tri-state travel. Send resume to:

Judy Brendel, Director of Staff Development, The Learning Edge, 111 Route 303, Tappan, NY 10983 or fax: 914-365-3703

Network Administrator – Tech Spt Sp 3, WA

Salary: $16.72 – $19.38/hr BASIC FUNCTIONS: Responsible for maintaining the infrastructure of the North Thurston School District Wide Area and Local Area Networks. Incumbent is responsible for daily operation of routers, premises wiring, fiber connections, TCP/IP configurations and T1 provisioning. PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES: Must have or be currently pursuing Cisco Certification. Training/experience in networked systems and server-based or client/server applications. Ability to work independently. Ability to develop positive working relationships with staff and management.

eMail: jdrennon@ntsd.wednet.edu

Senior Network Analyst,WA

Assist Network & Telecommunications Services Director in development & implementation of a suite of network services for local school districts within ESD 113’s service region. Wide Area Network management support, Institutional Technical Unit support. Provide services to districts using NT server, Novell Netware, AppleShare, Unix/Linux, Windows 95/98 and Macintosh Operating Systems. $47,835 – $52,778 plus benefits. Contact: Judy Gregorius, Senior Network Analyst, Educational Service District 113, 601 McPhee Rd SW, Olympia, WA, 98502, or eMail: jgregor1@esd113.wednet.edu

LIBRARIANS / MEDIA SPECIALISTS

Information Services Consultant, NC

Information Services Consultant Scope Person will assist and guide the Academy’s staff and students in using the technologies within the school’s environment to the highest level of efficiency and effectiveness. Uses established practices and procedures to accomplish tasks requiring expertise in specific areas. Acts as a resource for the school’s other consultants and educational constituents. Qualifications: -Thorough technical knowledge of Windows NT and networking systems; knowledge of Windows 95 and Macintosh OS a plus. Strong interpersonal, organizational, communication, and planning skills. -Knowledge of multimedia technology, multimedia authoring tools, and use of the Internet and Intranet to deliver information. -A record of successful experience in more than one of the following areas: academic technology, technology training, information systems, programming, consulting, problem solving, networking, and World Wide Web. -Related experience in an academic institution a plus. -Bachelor’s degree or higher in a

technical area with emphasis on information systems, computer science, education, or instructional technology. -Four years of experience in information systems consulting, training or programming, including experience dealing directly with the user community. -Directly related experience or a combination of directly related education and experience may be considered in place of the above requirements. Position in Organization: The Information Services Consultant will function as part of the instructional support staff and will report to the Director of Information Services. How to Apply Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and the names of three references to: Information Services Consultant Cary Academy 1500 N. Harrison Avenue Cary, NC 27513 Fax: 919-677-4002 Cary Academy is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. EOE

Librarian/media specialist, FL

Oversee library/media center for small Catholic school, enrollment 300. School is located in Merritt Island, FL. about 45 miles east of Orlando.

Contact: Sister Anne O’Sullivan,principal,Divine Mercy School,1940 N. Courtenay Pkwy,,Merritt Island,FL , or eMail: annes@dmccs.org

TECHNOLOGY COORDINATORS

Director of Technology, GA

The Bryan County School System is located in Coastal Georgia near Savannah. The school district is comprised of Pembroke and Richmond Hill and serves apx. 5200 students at 8 schools. The Director of Technology is responsible for coordinating the administrative and instructional technology for the school system. Applicants will be screened for the following training and/or experience: Bachelor’s degree in technology, computer information systems, or related field. Three years of experience in the field of technology which included a leadership role in project development and/or implementation. Demonstrated personal characteristics and professional competencies to work successfully with students, teachers, administrators and the public, including communication skills, human relation skills and time management skills., Please contact: Dr. Gary L. Russell, Superintendent, Bryan County Board of Education, 66 South Industrial Blvd., Pembroke,GA ,31324 or Fax: 912-653-4386

Executive Director of Technology, AL

The Division of Integrated Technology Programs and Services is currently seeking a candidate for the position of: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY. Offering an open and supportive environment, competitive salary and excellent benefits. Position open until December 8, 2000. To make application for our 2lst century technology team, please send letter of intent and current résumé to:

Johnny K. Brown, Ph.D.

Birmingham City Schools

Post Office Box 10007

Birmingham, Ala. 35202

NETWORK SPECIALIST, OR

Ability to maintain, manage, and continue to develop the district Network Intranet System; experience with Novell and NT servers (MS Proxy Server, Novonyx Email Server, Access and SQL Server, and Web Server), and web filtering and web design; ability to provide desktop support and trouble shooting; capability of training students and staff with a positive team attitude; ability to adjust to a flexible schedule. Interested individuals, please contact: Priscilla Schmidt, Silver Falls School District, 210 East C St., Silverton, OR 97381 or email:

schmidt_priscilla@silverfalls.k12.or.us

web / internet teachers

Industrial Technology Teacher,OR

Valid Oregon teaching license. Industrial technology – woods, CAD, design. Temporary position for school year 2000-2001. contact: Carolyn Thorpe,Industrial Technology Teacher, Jefferson County School District 509-J,445 SE Buff Street, Madras, Oregon, 97741, or eMail: cthorpe@509j.net

Multi-Media Technology Instructor, IL

Instruct junior and senior high school students in multi-media authoring, computer graphics, animation, web design, and digital video production. Applicant must be eligible for Illinois Provisional Vocational Instructor Certification or hold up to 8000 hours of related work experience. Degree preferred., apply immediately, Jeff Brierton, Assistant Director for Instruction, Lake County High Schools Technology Campus, 19525 W. Washington St., Grayslake, IL, 60030, 847-223-6681, ext. 7, Fax: 847-223-7363

other

Elementary Teacher, AZ

Arizona Certification to teach in the elementary grades K-8. It is preferred that the teacher have previous success and experience in teaching Jr. High students or Special Education, or other unique experiences that would be of interest to a school of multi-grade classrooms. Contact: Ronald K. White,Superintendent,Tolani Lake Elementary School Academy, HC61-Box 300, Flagstaff, AZ,86047 or eMail: osoruns@netscape.net

Program Director, NY

New York City. Highly motivated experienced educator to run teaching apprenticeship program and develop a collaborative master’s program with local college. Minimum five plus years’ experience in urban public school teaching (preferably in NewYork City), experience working with new teachers, master’s degree required. Send résumé and cover letter to: Teachers for Tomorrow, 230 Park Ave., Suite 1000, New York , N.Y. 10169 or Fax: (212) 808-3020.

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Low-cost web solutions can add pizzazz to school sites

When it comes to web marketing, most of us find ourselves “over-missioned” and under-resourced. We all want snazzy, interactive web sites, but who has the time, expertise, or money?

Not surprisingly, the answer in this increasingly connected world of ours may be just a few clicks away. The web is packed with freebies and low-cost goodies that can boost your online image without breaking your budget—or your webmaster’s back.

Here are a few favorites. If you have some great resources you’d like to share with fellow web aficionados, please eMail me at n.carr@cms.k12.nc.us.

Free check-ups

Give your web site a free or low-cost tune-up with the following sites. Most of these sites check for broken links, spelling errors, browser compatibility problems, slow-loading pages, and HTML code errors, and most also contain tools to move your site to the top of the search engine rankings.

NetMechanic: Includes Server Check, a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week monitoring service to make sure your servers are running, and GifBot, which compresses images and speeds up page load times.

http://www.netmechanic.com

Web Site Garage: The Tune Up service includes the ability to find out how many sites link to yours, and Hitometer analyzes your web site traffic with a customizable tracking tool.

http://www.websitegarage.com

SmartAge.com: Targets small businesses, but contains a wealth of advice for boosting traffic to your site.

http://www.smartage.com

WebSideStory: The site’s HitBox.com contains free tools for evaluating and promoting your site, shrinking image sizes, and adding search and polling capabilities.

http://www.websidestory.com

Useit.com: Jakob Nielsen’s web site on web usability.

http://www.useit.com

Graphics

Custom logos, buttons, banners, and graphics can be downloaded from these sites:

CoolText.com: A totally free online service which provides real-time generation of graphics customized exactly the way you want them.

http://www.cooltext.com

NetStudio: With this software, you can create web graphics instantly, customize them for professional results, and publish them easily to Microsoft FrontPage and other web editors.

http://www.netstudio.com

MediaBuilder: Use these free online tools to instantly make 3D banners and buttons online and to optimize your images so they will download faster.

http://www.mediabuilder.com

WebFX: A graphics manipulation tool that you use right over the web (no downloads, plug-ins, or Java required).

http://www.nbswebfx.com

Love posting school photos, but hate the lengthy download times such graphic-intensive art creates? Compress those images to a manageable size with one of these sites:

GIF Wizard: Reduces GIFs, JPEGs, and BMPs up to 90 percent without sacrificing quality. You can crop, resize, rotate, adjust colors, and compress images in one integrated online editor.

http://www.gifwizard.com

Spinwave: Contains free and fee-based tools for compressing and optimizing GIF and JPEG images.

http://www.spinwave.com

eMail management

For about $100, ListBot will manage your growing eMail database and make electronic broadcasts a snap.

http://www.listbot.com

Teacher tools

Giving parents 24-hour access to their children’s grades and homework assignments improves home-school communication and is one of the hottest services schools can provide right now. Dozens of companies are jumping on this trend, so options abound. Some low-cost, teacher-friendly packages include the following sites:

mygradebook.com

http://www.mygradebook.com

Teacher’s Toolkit

http://www.teacherstoolkit.com

bigchalk.com

http://www.bigchalk.com

Classroll.com

http://www.classroll.com

iSolute.com

http://www.isolute.com

Yourhomework.com

http://www.yourhomework.com

Web site development and management

FamilyEducation Network (http:// www.familyeducation.com), American School Directory (http://www.asd.com), Lightspan (http://www.lightspan.com), wwwrrr Inc. (http://www.wwwrrr.net), School Center (http://www.schoo lcenter.com), Timecruiser Computing Corp.(http://www.schoolcruiser.com), and other companies offer a nice suite of services—some free, some low-cost, some expensive—designed to make it easy for schools and districts to have a professional web presence.

While these offers seem tempting, before you sign on the dotted line, just make sure you know what you’re getting into and what you’re giving away. Companies want access to something we have an abundance of: teachers, children, and—most importantly—cash-rich teenagers.

Free sites for schools typically are paid for with corporate advertising dollars. Keep in mind that your “good news” messages about teaching and learning, or a new curriculum initiative, are going to have a hard time competing with a four-color corporate logo or banner ad.

Too many schools spend all their time launching their sites and too little time maintaining or improving them. If you’re suffering from the “If we build it, they will come” web marketing fantasy, get over it. Even Hollywood had a hard time pulling this one off.

Your school or district web site—especially your home page—serves as your organization’s front door to the world. Make sure it says “Welcome,” and make sure it communicates the image you really want to convey.

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Redefining ‘privacy’ in the digital era

One should always beware of columnists who reminisce about the “good old days,” because in most cases, the nostalgia ignores the “bad old facts” in favor of rose-colored memories. When confronting the challenges of technology in the 21st-century workplace, it is easy to lose sight of some of the unpleasant things that have been replaced by computers in schools.

When push comes to shove (and it usually does), I would not trade all of the headaches brought about by the internet, cell phones, pagers, or computers in schools for the delights of typing up a master stencil and filling the reservoir on the duplicating machine with noxious fluid. Vivid memories of turning the crank and watching the copies drop one at a time into the tray through eyes blurred by the blinding headache caused by the fumes are sufficient to overcome any Luddite tendencies that might arise after the occasional Windows crash.

This feeling of relief at not having to suffer the mechanical outrages of manual typewriters, handwritten reports, and adding machines (does anyone really remember the slide rule?) is tempered by some factors, however, most notably the loss of privacy and control over information. With the computer and internet age, the fragile boundaries of life seem to be eroding. For example, the creation of in-home offices, laptop computers, and telecommuting has blurred the borders between work and home. Where are the edges of our work and personal lives?

From my two years as a high school teacher, I know that home and classroom overlap a lot. Most evenings included some time in my “home office” grading papers and reviewing the next day’s assignments. If I were teaching today, I might very well be answering eMail from parents and students or working on a PowerPoint presentation on diagramming sentences. But the same technology that allows me to accomplish more today also means that much my life is no longer private or personal.

As the new century begins in 2001, this column will explore some of the legal and ethical issues that arise from new technology, especially those that affect our personal privacy and sense of personal space. Never before has what people do in the workplace been so susceptible to scrutiny and analysis. Sensitivity to privacy issues has spawned dozens of proposed laws and questions about the electronic boundaries of the Fourth Amendment. The cyber workplace has even spawned the ultimate Big Brother phrase: “No reasonable expectation of privacy.”

The statistics do not auger well for employees. A majority of private businesses already perform some form of monitoring, and those activities have revealed that between 30 and 40 percent of internet use “on the job” is not work-related. More than 70 percent of traffic on pornographic web sites occurs during “office” hours (not at night, when workers are at home). Employees are being suspended and fired for violating policies on eMail and internet use (see the Page One story about the Indiana superintendent who resigned 11 weeks into his job). Big Brother is cracking down.

But where are the practical boundaries? Do “zero tolerance” policies that allow no personal use of school-based technology really make sense, just because they might be easier to enforce? Does it make sense to refuse to allow teachers to make a doctor’s appointment from their school eMail account or answer a cell phone call in the classroom from their day care provider? Is this really a legal problem, or more a matter of ethics? Can we learn to share responsibility as well as information—or are we doomed to high-tech watchdog solutions?

What ethical and policy changes are you facing in your school district? Send me an eMail with your dilemmas, hot topics, and policy quandaries. We may not be able to solve all the problems that are arising out of the Information Age, or even fathom the impact of the next generation of computing machines. Nevertheless, we must begin to discuss how these rapid-fire changes affect us as human beings, because the ethical rules and policy boundaries we define now will be with us for a long time to come.

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Grants & Funding: Bolster your grant application with strong goals and objectives

I hear many people complain about—and say they have difficulty writing—the goals and objectives section of a grant proposal. Sometimes, the problem is merely understanding the difference between a goal and objective, so you don’t confuse the two. In other cases, the problem stems from writing objectives that are too vague.

A goal is an end result and should be written in broad and general terms. It is what you expect the situation will be at the end of the project and should express the project’s ultimate aim or purpose. In many cases, your project will have only one goal. If you find that you seem to be writing a long list of goals (more than three, for instance), make sure you have not begun to write your objectives!

When writing a grant for technology initiatives, remember to keep your goal student- and/or teacher-focused, rather than technology-focused. Stay away from writing a goal that states “every student will have a graphing calculator” or “we will have a fully functioning computer lab.” Instead, concentrate on the skills that students will develop from having access to technology and the impact this access will have on student learning and/or achievement. Funders want to fund projects, not pieces of equipment.

In fact, you may be able to take your goal right from the request for proposals for the grant you are applying for. If the RFP clearly states the program’s goal, use the same wording (with some personalization to reflect your specific circumstances) for your own goal statement.

When writing objectives, on the other hand, there are two key words to remember: specific and measurable. Objectives tell who is going to do what, how it will be done, and when it will be done. Write objectives in terms of learning a skill or behavior that currently doesn’t exist, an increase in positive skills or behaviors that you want to see more of, or a decrease in negative skills or behaviors.

Here are some examples of well-written objectives from technology-related grant proposals:

• “By June 2001, 87 percent of the K-3 students at the targeted schools will demonstrate 80-percent mastery level of the district and state content standards as measured by district benchmarks, TPRI, or TAAS.”

• “Each of the participating school districts will be able to demonstrate four examples during the 1995-96 school year where a seminar or workshop series was offered to students in science, art, sociology, or cultural awareness through interactive television, thus enhancing educational opportunities.”

• “By the end of the 1995-96 school year, 80 percent of the first-grade students will demonstrate the ability to access the online media center catalog and other networked media sources to complete research assignments.”

To determine whether your objectives are measurable, I would recommend the following test. Give your draft of objectives to several individuals and ask them to identify the benchmarks you have set to measure the success of your project. If everyone gives you the same responses for each objective, you are right on the mark! If, however, individuals have trouble identifying the benchmarks or they give you several conflicting answers for the benchmarks of a specific objective, it’s time to go back and revise your objectives before you submit your proposal.

Don’t forget to look at copies of funded proposals to help you design goals and objectives for your project, or to ask for assistance from those who have knowledge and/or expertise in writing goals and objectives. Classroom teachers should take comfort in knowing that designing goals and objectives for grant-funded projects is no different than the process they use to design goals and objectives for their lesson plans.

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Don’t let undeleted eMail cripple your network over winter holidays

As the winter holidays approach, school network administrators may cringe at the thought of thousands of eMail messages flooding their mail servers with no one around to read or delete them. As unread eMail piles up like holiday catalogs on the coffee table, disk space on mail servers—which is often at a premium—begins to disappear and can crash servers.

Rapidly growing eMail databases can result in particularly dire consequences, because a full disk drive can render most network operating systems unbootable. I’ve had to restore an entire server from its backup log because eMail filled the system volume and I couldn’t boot the server. Network administrators should examine their mail systems to make sure they can properly handle the potential for unchecked growth resulting from unread eMail.

Because the size of your eMail database can change quickly, a well-designed eMail system should be located on a volume other than the main boot volume for the server. This means not on the “sys” volume on a NetWare server and not on the C: drive of an NT server. Once removed from the system volume of your server, your eMail database might fill up and crash its own volume, but at least a crashed eMail system can’t bring down the rest of the server.

Remember, too, to back up your eMail system regularly. Since your eMail database is open all the time, it can’t be backed up the same way as standard files. You will have to shut down your mail system before each backup or make sure that you have the proper backup agents that correspond with your mail system.

Of course, the better solution is to prevent the need for restoring your system from its backup log by keeping the size of your eMail database under control. You can do many things to accomplish this, but the dynamic and critical nature of eMail means that none of these solutions is perfect.

It wasn’t long after we installed our eMail system that I realized I was going to have to manage our mail users’ disk space aggressively. I was able to create a routine in our GroupWise system that ran every night and deleted any messages older than 60 days. I also had the option to reduce mailboxes based on a size limit rather than a time limit, but I thought an expiration date for messages would be much easier to explain to my users, as well as easier for them to live with. After all, they don’t generally know the size of messages, but they do know the age of them. They have been trained and instructed to archive messages they want to keep beyond the 60-day limit.

Besides automatic deletion of old messages, you can control users’ mailbox size during vacation by taking more active control of their simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP) gateway. Most mail systems enable you to set up access control rules for the gateway, which allow or prevent the transfer of mail to and from the internet based on the sender or the recipient. Generally, we use this feature to block spammers and people who have sent inappropriate mail messages from the outside. A quick change of the default access rule will block all messages by default rather than letting them through. You can then set up exceptions to this rule for teachers and administrators who will be using the system during vacation.

Granted, any solution that interrupts service and prevents use of the system for legitimate purposes is less than perfect. Obviously, students who may wish to access their eMail remotely will be disappointed with this solution. I’d also imagine this would be a problem for seniors who might need to correspond with colleges they are applying to. For a small school whose disk space is at a premium, however, this solution might be a good option—provided the access rule exceptions aren’t too complex.

A less-draconian approach to disk space management would be to leave the deletion of messages up to the user. Most eMail systems have the reporting tools necessary to list the names of users whose mailboxes have exceeded a predetermined limit. Microsoft Exchange, for example, can generate messages to alert users who are over their space limits automatically. Of course, when the user is not at school to receive these messages, they just end up contributing to the problem.

There are also third-party products, such as those from eMail Xtras (see link), that give you more detailed and user-friendly reporting capabilities, so you can contact users personally and ask them to reduce the size of their mailboxes. While this is the safest approach in terms of not losing any important messages, it can be ineffective when users choose not to comply or are out of the office or school on vacation.

Users who are planning to be away from their computers for extended periods of time will need to be a little creative with their mailbox management to avoid coming back to a mailbox with hundreds of messages. Encourage users to adopt any or all of the following mailbox management techniques to better control overflowing eMail boxes during vacation:

• Unsubscribe from or suspend your subscriptions to mailing lists.

• Set up an automated action to forward all mail to your home account and delete it from your school account.

• Set up an automated action to organize mail into folders so that unimportant mail can be deleted quickly upon your return.

• Set up an automatic reply that will alert the people who send you mail that you are away from your computer and inform them of when you will return.

• Set up remote access to mailboxes and encourage users to check mail during the break.

While these techniques can be accomplished using most popular mail clients, not all will be appropriate for your schools. Different sizes, management structures, server space requirements, and school cultures will make some of these techniques more feasible than others. In other cases, more aggressive administrative control will be required to keep unread eMail from choking school networks during vacation.

While no single solution is perfect for all schools, you should be able to maintain some level of administrative control over your eMail system by educating users. This will keep your eMail system from looking like your home mailbox two weeks before New Year’s.

eMail Xtras

http://www.emailxtras.com

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Connecticut launches children’s internet safety program

Connecticut has announced a new program aimed at helping schoolchildren protect themselves against online predators.

“Play It Safe Online” targets fifth-graders and teaches them appropriate use of the internet and how to protect themselves against online crime, officials said.

Police officers and other officials in 10 towns have been trained to teach the one-hour curriculum to middle-school students. The towns are Beacon Falls, Derby, Glastonbury, Meriden, Milford, Newtown, North Haven, Prospect, South Windsor, and West Hartford.

“Each day, 10 million children across the nation go online for homework or other reasons,” said Lt. Gov. Jodi Rell, who introduced the program at a news conference at the state Capitol Oct. 19.

Unfortunately, Rell said, children who are using the internet as an educational tool also can become victims of sexual predators.

“We want to make the internet a safe haven for our children,” she said. “With the help of students, parents, educators, and the police, we’re going to take cyber criminals off line. We’re going to find them and we’re going to punish them.”

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