“DemocracyNet” follows politicians’ campaign promises and voting records

For educators, encouraging youngsters to get involved in the nation’s political process can be a challenging task. DemocracyNet, furnished by the League of Women Voters, provides a place where students can go to learn more about the people who represent them in Washington, D.C. The latest, updated version of the site contains an archive that allows adult and student users alike to access statements and promises made by candidates during the campaign trail. Users can compare these original comments to the elected officials’ in-office performance records. For students, this site could be a powerful tool for gathering information for social studies projects pertaining to government. The site also offers up-to-date information on each state’s voting rules and regulations, allowing voters young and old to stay abreast of the latest legislative changes, age specifications, and brewing electoral controversies. A clickable map of the entire country allows for instant access to the candidates and voting information for each individual state.

http://www.dnet.org

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Mississippi auditor, Secret Service block computer buying scam

Mississippi State Auditor Phil Bryant says his office and the Secret Service thwarted a computer purchasing scam involving counterfeit Grenada School District checks.

No arrests have been made, but officials believe a Nigerian using the alias Mike Holland used fake school district checks to order $300,000 of computer equipment.

The equipment was supposed to have been delivered to a storage facility in Laurel, Miss., but Secret Service agents ensured the deliveries weren’t made, said Mickey Nelson, special agent in charge of the Jackson Secret Service office.

Bryant and Nelson announced the investigation during a news conference Jan. 10, saying the crimes occurred in October. They delayed an announcement because they were hoping to make an arrest. They are now seeking help from the public in finding the suspect.

Buddy Pender, superintendent of Grenada schools, said the district “didn’t lose a penny” in the crimes. He said BancorpSouth told the district’s business manager that the schools’ account had become overdrawn.

“We knew that couldn’t be right,” Pender said.

He said the checks were convincing duplicates of those used by the school district, and his signature was forged perfectly. “It was not just some fly-by-night kind of deal,” he said.

Bryant said the case shows why school districts and other public entities should reconcile their accounts regularly. Grenada school officials had done that, making it easier to spot unexpected withdrawals, he said.

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This super NOVA site is exploding with information

NOVA Online now offers teachers quick access to more than 500 of the popular science program’s educational resources in its expanded Teachers site, which includes a searchable database of program information, activities, and other classroom tools. The ever-growing collection includes detailed content summaries for most NOVA programs since 1993, along with information on which videos are for sale and how to purchase them. It also features more than 125 printable and 100 online activities with grade-level designations in anthropology, archaeology, chemistry, earth science, forensics, health science, life science, mathematics, paleontology, physical science, and space science. Teachers can use the site to access resources for cross-curricular connections in the areas of social studies, science and society, and technological design; gain ideas from other teachers on how they are using NOVA in the classroom; find links to available resources for each NOVA program by program title; join an eMail list to receive weekly updates on upcoming broadcasts and new web sites; learn about NOVA’s Featured Teachers and how to become one; peruse information about taping rights and suggestions for using videos in the classroom; and order NOVA’s printed teacher’s guide. In addition, the expanded Teachers site gives educators access to curricula from other science specials from the producers of NOVA, including, “A Science Odyssey,” “Building Big,” and the recently broadcast “Evolution” series.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/teachers/

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eSN Analysis: AOL, Microsoft legal wrangle could vex educators

When the elephants fight, it’s the grass that gets crushed. And technology leaders at the grass roots in education have reason to worry that this old African proverb just might apply to the legal battle now joined between technology pachyderms Microsoft and AOL Time Warner.

Media conglomerate AOL Time Warner Inc. has filed a lawsuit against the software giant seeking damages for harm done to AOL’s Netscape internet browser. The now flagging Netscape browser had ruled computer desktops until Microsoft began giving its competing browser away.

Analysts and legal experts agree this newest chapter in the ongoing antitrust saga against Microsoft is sure to prolong the court proceedings even further. Some fear the costly struggle will drain needed resources from technology research and development at both companies. Others say the fight is for ultimate control of the internet.

What is clear is that Microsoft now faces three distinct legal fronts in defending its business practices. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is considering a settlement to the original antitrust case that has the support of the federal government and nine state attorneys general, while nine other states are still suing Microsoft.

Many of Microsoft’s business practices, including ones in which the company encouraged computer manufacturers and internet providers to distribute its Internet Explorer web browser instead of Netscape, were found to be anticompetitive by a federal appeals court last year.

AOL, which bought Netscape in 1999, wants Microsoft to cease its contested business practices and pay damages. AOL Time Warner executive John Buckley noted that court ruling and said, “This action is an attempt to get justice in this matter.”

A Microsoft spokeswoman said the software giant is “disappointed” that AOL Time Warner has chosen litigation.

“We’ve consistently tried to work more closely with [AOL executives] in a variety of areas, including instant messaging,” the Microsoft representative said. “They have consistently turned us down.”

AOL Time Warner filed its lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Jan. 22. Under federal law, AOL would be entitled to triple any actual damages found by the court.

The company also asked for an immediate injunction against “ongoing and further damage” involving the Netscape Navigator browser, Buckley said.

But Microsoft officials questioned AOL’s motives in filing the suit. “This lawsuit is not about consumers, this is about a company concerned about its business performance and attempting to use the courts rather than innovating in the marketplace,” said the Microsoft spokeswoman, who wished to remain anonymous.

One possible option, if a judge ruled in favor of AOL, would be to force Microsoft to sell a stripped-down version of its Windows operating system so computer manufacturers could choose which internet browser to offer. That has also been requested by the nine state attorneys general suing Microsoft in federal court.

The federal government and nine other states settled their landmark antitrust suit with Microsoft last year, but that settlement is still under consideration by Kollar-Kotelly. AOL has been a longtime critic of Microsoft and has talked frequently with prosecutors throughout the case.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who heard the federal government’s case against Microsoft in the Netscape matter, found that Microsoft tried to keep consumers from being able to choose Netscape. The appeals court affirmed many of Jackson’s decisions.

Microsoft’s business practices “help keep usage of Navigator below the critical level necessary for Navigator or any other rival to pose a real threat to Microsoft’s monopoly,” the appeals court wrote last year.

Perhaps, but that isn’t the reason for AOL’s current lawsuit, Microsoft alleges.

“After hearing all the evidence in the antitrust trial, AOL purchased Netscape for $10 billion,” said the Microsoft spokeswoman. “Now, AOL wants to blame Microsoft for Netscape’s and AOL’s own mismanagement.”

At least a few analysts agree. AOL was more interested in Netscape’s media property, the Netscape.com web site that many users kept as their home pages, said Ken Allard, senior vice president of research at Jupiter Media Metrix.

Other Netscape initiatives, such as browser development, enterprise software, and services did not receive as much attention, Allard said. AOL also never integrated the Netscape browser into its proprietary online service, instead relying on a version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

In a viewpoint posted on the ZDNet web site Jan. 25, market research firm Gartner Inc. said the real battle between AOL and Microsoft is over control of content.

“Both the online content provider and the software developer are determined to be the trusted party that internet users rely on to store all kinds of information—such as addresses, bookmarks, passwords, and credit card numbers,” said Gartner.

This control is particularly key to AOL Time Warner and Microsoft, Gartner said, because “if either company can become the default holder of presence information, it will have access to significant and recurring revenue.”

But proving Microsoft’s guilt could be a long time in coming, industry experts say.

“Given the stakes, and the spin machines that both companies have at their command,” said the Gartner viewpoint, “the fireworks around the AOL Time Warner suit hold the potential to eclipse those of the government trial.”

For educators, who increasingly rely on web-based content in classrooms and central offices, anything with the potential to significantly alter the accessibility and richness of the internet is a development worth watching.

Related links:
AOL Time Warner
http://www.aol.com

Microsoft Corp.
http://www.microsoft.com

Gartner Inc.
http://www.gartner.com

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ESEA changes will delay this year’s tech funding

The newly reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is forcing state departments of education to change the way they make grants for technology, and state officials say complying with the new law’s provisions will delay the flow of technology dollars to schools this year.

In previous years, grant dollars for technology from the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund (TLCF) were distributed to state departments of education in the spring. Federal law mandated that states had to distribute the money to districts via competitive grants, said John Bailey, director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Education Technology.

Under the reauthorized ESEA, states now must distribute half of these dollars to local districts according to Title I formula. “The formula [approach] is a change from the way TLCF funds originally were distributed,” said Bailey.

State education officials are accustomed to periodic reauthorizations, but some say this one will be particularly difficult to implement because it came much later than in previous years. President Bush signed the legislation into law Jan. 8, and appropriations for the law were not approved by Congress until just before the new year.

Bailey attributes this delay to three factors: congressional gridlock, the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center towers, and the Capitol Hill anthrax attacks that displaced scores of House and Senate staffers.

“This was a hotly debated bill for a long time, and both [the events of] September 11 and the anthrax attacks delayed it as well,” he said.

The result: big changes in a relatively short amount of time for many state-level education departments.

“As you can imagine, this is a huge overhaul. We have to see how we can update our entire eGrants online [grant-giving] system to align with the new 50-percent [formula] rules,” said Priscilla Richardson, director of consolidated federal programs for the Washington state education department.

Richardson said that in normal years, Washington school officials fill out their applications for funds on the web between May and July. State officials approve the applications during July and August and send the money to the districts in time for the new school year.

According to Richardson, the Washington education department can assure districts they will have their technology grants in time to start distributing funds to schools in September, although she acknowledges that “exact timelines are unknown for us right now.”

Education officials in other states, such as Alabama, cannot make similar assurances.

According to Melinda Maddox, coordinator of the Alabama Department of Education’s Office of Technology Initiatives, “This [school] year, our schools will not see any federal funding” for technology.

That’s because Alabama awarded last year’s TLCF money to districts as soon as the state received it, in spring 2001. And schools aren’t likely to get this year’s money until fall at the earliest.

“Many states award [their grants] in the fall, but we do it as soon as we receive the funds,” said Maddox. Districts could have elected to carry over last year’s funds to this school year, she said, but most spent the money as soon as they received it.

That leaves Alabama districts that rely on federal dollars to support technology programs in a bind this school year.

“They’ll have to put [these programs] on hold until funding comes through, or come up with local funds to pay for them,” said Maddox. In many cases, the solution might be “just not purchasing any new hardware this year.”

Further delaying the disbursement of funds is the fact that states must report their Title I enrollment figures to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) after April 1.

“Since [federal] technology money is allocated based on the number of Title I students, we have to wait to receive those numbers” before disbursing the funding to states, said ED spokesman David Thomas, who added that this problem “isn’t unique to the technology program—it impacts a number of federal programs” this year.

Grants and funding experts say many districts will need to make adjustments to account for what might be a significant delay in technology dollars from the federal government this year.

“I think the … outcome is that [schools] will have to look to other places for money,” said eSchool News columnist and grant writing consultant Deborah Ward.

If states don’t find out about funding until late summer or early fall, Ward said the 2002-03 school year could be a “washout,” because some schools might not receive federal monies until well into the new school year.

“Schools are just going to have to adjust their calendars to correspond with the availability of funds,” she said. “For instance, they may have to do a project for six months instead of the planned year.”

Related links:
U.S. Department of Education
http://www.ed.gov

Washington Department of Education
http://access.wa.gov/education/index1.asp?L1=Education

Alabama Department of Education
http://www.alsde.edu

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Schools eye tracking system after bus hijacking

The disappearance in late January of a Pennsylvania school bus on what should have been a minutes-long trip has school districts around the country looking to the heavens for help. They’re consulting satellite tracking companies about how to keep better tabs on students.

“We’ve been swamped with calls,” said Daniel Lee, vice president of FleetBoss Global Positioning Solutions, whose systems monitor various kinds of vehicles, including school buses in Cleveland and Tulsa, Okla., and charter buses operated by Coach USA.

Todd Lewis of the company’s Philadelphia office said Pennsylvania districts have made inquiries “piqued by last [January’s] current events.”

The bus in Berks County, which is northwest of Philadelphia, went missing after picking up 13 students, ages 7 through 15, for a short trip from a high school to their Christian school nearby.

Frantic parents gathered at a municipal building and a police helicopter and cruisers made futile searches in rainy, foggy weather, until driver Otto Nuss parked the bus and surrendered to an off-duty police officer six hours later in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. Nuss, who authorities said had a loaded rifle aboard the bus, faces kidnapping charges.

“You couldn’t find the bus in five hours. I could find it in five seconds,” Lee said. In fact, the tracking system could sound an alarm as soon as a bus left its route, he said.

Since the Berks County scare, two state senators have said they are drafting measures to examine the possibility of installing transponder devices similar to the LoJack stolen vehicle tracking system that would help locate missing buses.

All kinds of fleet operators, from trucking companies to city sanitation departments, keep a satellite eye on employees. FleetBoss, headquartered in Orlando, Fla., makes systems that track municipal garbage trucks and snow plows, service vehicles such as plumbing, heating, and air conditioning vans, and all of Orkin’s pest control vans, Lewis said.

Fleets save money because drivers speed less and don’t make unauthorized side trips, and drivers become safer, he said.

“You can know you have a driver who’s doing Mach 1 down a side street before an accident happens,” Lewis said. “You tell him I don’t want to see this. It literally changes the behavior of the drivers.”

Many companies market the systems. For example, the MARCUS vehicle tracking system developed by Discrete Wireless of Atlanta tracks school buses in systems near Atlanta and New Orleans, as well as fleets of from 10 to 100 vehicles in the trucking, courier, limousine, and various field-service businesses.

Elsewhere in Berks County, the Wilson School District is installing a tracking system with an additional wrinkle: boxes in pupil’s homes that sound a tone when the bus gets close.

The “Here comes the bus” system is being donated to the district in a pilot program by the developer, Joe Winkler, owner of Everyday Wireless in West Lawn, said Brian P. Loncar, supervisor of transportation for the district.

The West Paterson school district in Passaic County, N.J., implemented a system in September designed to do more than monitor buses. The system also gives students plastic ID tags that register on computer scanners so that parents can use a password on a web site to see where a child gets on and off each bus.

Terry Van Lear, operator of a school bus company in Reading and president of the Pennsylvania School Bus Association, said bus surveillance can cost from $350 per vehicle for a basic LoJack system that lets police locate a stolen or hijacked bus, to $2,500 per vehicle for the most elaborate tracking capabilities.

Related links:
FleetBoss Global Positioning Solutions
http://www.fleetboss.com/home.cfm

Discrete Wireless Inc.
http://www.discretewireless.com

Everyday Wireless Inc.
http://www.herecomesthebus.com/work.html

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Funding for Maine laptop program in jeopardy

Despite inking a four-year, $37.2 million contract with Apple Computer in December, Maine education officials face the possibility that Gov. Angus King’s ambitious plan to give every seventh and eighth grader in the state a laptop will be targeted for budget cuts.

State education officials on Jan. 23 listed the first nine schools that will get laptops this spring. But legislative leaders from both parties say the administration is moving too quickly, as the state faces a $250 million revenue shortfall that threatens to force cuts in a Medicaid and other human-needs programs.

“In the face of the cuts the Legislature is going to have to consider in health care and other essential programs, you had better believe that the laptop fund is on the table,” said House GOP Leader Joe Bruno of Raymond, Me.

Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Treat, an early skeptic of the independent governor’s plan who later served on a panel that repackaged it, agreed with Bruno.

“I don’t think there’s very much support anywhere in the Legislature to have a big pot of money to draw on just for this program,” said Treat, of Gardiner, Me.

The laptop program, which was first envisioned when the state was rolling in surpluses, is supposed to spread to 241 schools next the fall. In two years, 33,000 middle school students are to have access to computers, which will be kept in schools. Some schools might allow them to be checked out like library books.

Teachers in each of the nine pilot schools will receive support and professional development to help them use the new computers effectively, Education Commissioner J. Duke Albanese said.

Other schools may visit the demonstration schools for an average of one day per week so the schools can share their experiences about classroom technology, the commissioner said.

A teacher selected from each demonstration school will receive a $10,000 stipend to work with other teachers and promote and focus the project. The stipends come from a one-year, $1 million grant received by the state last fall from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Funding for the laptop program itself is to come from the $30 million remaining from what had been designed as an endowment created by the state for the laptop program.

Initially, $50 million was set aside by the state, which was to seek $15 million in matching funds from private donors. The program was cut last year amid fiscal pressures facing the Legislature.

With revenues continuing to fall short of what is needed to run the state, King offered earlier this year to cut another $5 million from the technology fund.

Treat said the Legislature must choose between two difficult alternatives for the future of the laptop program: Fund it on an annual basis, or cut it altogether.

“Something that’s wise to do when you have a budget surplus has to be looked at differently when there’s a budget deficit,” said Treat, citing prospects of cutting services to nursing home patients, special-needs children, and others.

Bruno said the administration’s announcement of the nine demonstration schools should have been delayed, given the uncertainty of laptop funding.

Albanese, calling Maine’s laptop initiative “the most ambitious program of its kind in the world,” predicted that the high-tech program will be viewed differently once the demonstration sites are up and running.

“Last year, when Piscataquis Community Middle School led the state by going forward on its own with a laptop program, it completely shifted the debate by making the impact of computers real to both educators and policy makers,” Albanese said.

“It is still true that seeing—and experiencing, and practicing—will be believing for our teachers and students,” the commissioner said in his announcement.

The contract with Apple has a clause that allows the state to back out if funding falls short. The state invoked such a clause after hiring a California company to build seven regional auto-emission testing centers and then pulling the plug on the entire project in 1995.

That experience has led education officials to proceed with caution, even as they make plans to expand the program.

“I won’t count it as done until I see the laptops delivered to the classrooms,” King told the Associated Press in January.

Related links:
Maine Learning Technology Initiative
http://www.state.me.us/mlte

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Calendar of Events

March

Mar. 6-8

Orlando. Florida Educational Technology Conference 2002. Featured speakers will include Beverley Connors, adaptive technology consultant; Alan November, educational technology visionary and consultant; and John Vaille, director of the Digital California Project for the Corporation for Educational Networking in California and former chief executive officer of the International Society for Technology in Education.

Contact: (850) 219-9600 or info@fetc.org
http://www.fetc.org/fetc2002

Mar. 6-8

Grand Rapids, Mich. Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning Annual Conference. Activities will include half-day and full-day preconference workshops, several hands-on lab sessions, more than 300 exhibits, and an awards luncheon to honor educators who have made technology an active ingredient in the learning process. There will be a keynote address from well-known author and lecturer Jennifer James, as well as addresses from other ed-tech professionals. Attendees should call before Feb. 25 for discounted rates.

Contact: (517) 694-9756
http://macul.org/conferences/2002

Mar. 9-11

San Antonio. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Annual Conference. Attendees will have the opportunity to visit more than 870 education-related exhibits focusing on technology services, products, and best practices. A number of hands-on workshops will allow attendees to learn more about the opportunities that are available to educators in the classroom.

Contact: (703) 575-5672
http://www.ascd.org

Mar. 10-12

Austin, Texas. Superintendent’s Technology Summit. Hosted by eSchool News, this summit gives K-12 executives a chance to understand and influence technology’s impact on the nation’s schools. Participants will gain insight into technology management models, strategies, and rarely discussed applications. They’ll also have the chance to help set the technology agenda for America’s schools through a special consensus-building session that addresses a key topic in educational technology. The conference kicks off with a golf tournament on Sunday, March 10.

Contact: (800) 394-0115, ext.120
http://www.eschoolnews.org/conferences/sts

Mar. 13-16

Seattle. Northwest Council for Computer Education Annual Conference. This event, titled “Metamorphoses: Changing the Faces of Technology,” will include several speakers, practical applications and best practices, conference workshops, poster sessions, the largest technology exhibit in the Northwest, and the Northwest Student Showcase, featuring student achievements using technology.

Contact: (369) 650-4760
http://www.ncce.org/2002/index.html

Mar. 19-20

Baltimore. Maryland Instructional Computer Coordinators Association Annual Conference. An estimated 1,200 to 1,600 teachers from the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area are expected to attend this conference, which will provide best-practice solutions for using technology in the classroom. Keynote and expert speakers will include Debbie Silver, acting assistant professor in the College of Education at Louisiana Tech University; Doug Johnson, the director of media and technology for the Mankato Public Schools; and Matt Pittinsky, chairman of Blackboard Inc.

Contact: (410) 312-3815
http://www.miccaonline.org

April

April 16-17

Minneapolis. Connected Classroom Conference. Sponsored by Classroom Connect, this conference will feature dozens of new software labs, advanced sessions, and updated online resources, strategies, ideas, and best practices. David Worlick, director of the Landmark Foundation, will present a keynote address on “The Three Ts of Teaching in the 21st Century.”

Contact: (800) 638-1639
http://proflearn.classroom.com/conferences

May

May 6-7

Arlington, Va. National Information Technology Workforce Convocation. Sponsored by the Information Technology Association of America, this event will bring together national leaders from the IT industry, education, and government to discuss ways to build America’s IT workforce and to highlight programs that are expanding education and training opportunities for all groups. Sessions will be organized around four major tracks: Education in the eEnvironment; Recruitment and Retention; Public-Private Partnerships; and Diversity and Image.

Contact: (703) 284-5330
http://www.itaa.org/events/event.cfm?EventID=296

May 16-17

New York City, N.Y. Columbia University Education Technology Summit 2002. Sponsored by the Teachers College at Columbia University, this high-level, highly interactive conference will mark a step toward bridging the gap between technological innovation and the needs of educational institutions. Emerging educational technologies offer the opportunity to rethink education from the ground up, and conference-goers will be challenged to ask what schools could do if they had the right technologies. About 600 attendees and more than 30 exhibit booths are expected.

Contact: (203) 840-5345
http://www.edtechsummit.com

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eSchool News’ 2002 Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards

The growing influence of technology in the nation’s schools is changing our expectations of the superintendency. As schools begin to rely on computers and the internet to engage students’ interest, track their progress, and aid in decision making, an understanding of how technology works and how it can be used to transform teaching and learning is an increasingly valued characteristic for the 21st-century school executive.

In our second annual Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards, eSchool News recognizes 12 of the nation’s top K-12 executives for their leadership and vision in the area of educational technology. Chosen by the editors of eSchool News, these 12 outstanding men and women lead by their example. This year’s award winners will be honored by their peers in a ceremony during the Superintendents’ Technology Summit being held March 10-12 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Austin, Texas.

Christine M. Carter, Reed Union School District (Tiburon, Calif.)

Christine Carter has been the superintendent of the Reed Union School District since July 1998, and she is proud of the many technology accomplishments that have been realized in her district during the past four years. A laptop program for teachers was implemented two years ago, and teachers must attend a two-day workshop to pass a basic proficiency assessment. They are each given a laptop at the completion of the two days of training; to date, 98 percent of the district’s teaching staff participates in the program.

eMail is used widely at Reed schools, and homework, weekly school newsletters, and employment applications are now posted on the district’s web site. To further support the use of technology, each school in the district has a full-time technology teacher whose role is to assist, train, and support staff members.

The district’s technology plan has been revised to incorporate technology standards, and its new facilities plan was written to reflect the kind of infrastructure that buildings will need to accommodate future technologies. Most recently, the district’s Bel Aire Elementary School received the National Blue Ribbon Schools Special Honors in Technology award.

In 1998, Carter was named Placer County’s Administrator of the Year in Curriculum and Instruction. Prior to 1998, she served in the Roseville City School District as a kindergarten, fourth, and fifth grade teacher, vice principal, principal, and the assistant superintendent of instructional services.

http://rusd.marin.k12.ca.us

Rudy M. Castruita, San Diego County (Calif.) Office of Education

The San Diego County Office of Education is a regional service agency for 42 school districts, 600 schools, and nearly 500,000 students. County Superintendent Rudy Castruita brought a vision of technology with him when he arrived at the San Diego County Office in 1994, after five years as superintendent in Santa Ana Unified, California’s fifth largest district.

“Technology can enlighten our minds and expand our worlds,” Castruita has written. “It can motivate, inspire, and—most importantly—dramatically accelerate learning.” Castruita co-founded the Superintendents’ Technology Advisory Committee, which supports countywide technology development and disseminates best practices. In 1997, he opened the Joe Rindone Regional Technology Center, one of the foremost centers for K-12 educational computing in the United States. Financed by $1 million in seed money from the state of California and corporate partners, the center serves as a regional hub for videoconferencing, staff development, and state-of-the-art computing.

Castruita is also on the advisory board of the prestigious Education Research and Development Institute, and he remains committed to meeting the everyday needs of school districts and teachers. Castruita’s office provides broadband connectivity to all 42 local districts, offering DS3 connections directly to the internet. Castruita is as enthusiastic about technology today as he was a decade ago. “‘No limits’ is still our motto,” he said.

http://www.sdcoe.k12.ca.us

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Partners index

Advanced Academics, of Oklahoma City, offers accredited secondary education courses to students in grades 6-12 via the internet. Visit the Advanced Academics web site:

http://www.advancedacademics.com

(866) 2-eLEARN

See the ad for Advanced Academics on page 43

AlphaSmart Inc., of Cupertino, Calif., provides affordable and effective technology solutions for the education market. Visit AlphaSmart’s web site:

http://www.alphasmart.com

(888) 274-0680

See AlphaSmart’s ad on page 27

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), of Sunnyvale, Calif., is the second-largest supplier of Microsoft Windows-compatible processors and a leading supplier of flash memory. Visit the AMD web site:

http://www.amd.com/us-en

(800) 538-8450

See the ad for AMD on page 11

Apex Learning, of Bellevue, Wash., offers online Advanced Placement classes to students and schools on a per-fee basis. Visit Apex’s web site:

http://www.apexlearning.com

(800) 453-1454

See Apex’s ad on page 7

Apple Computer Inc., of Cupertino, Calif., is a leading provider of computing technology and services to schools. Visit Apple’s web site:

http://www.apple.com/education

(800) MY-APPLE

See the ad for Apple on pages 2 and 3

AutoSkill International Inc., of Ottawa, Canada, is a leading provider of software-based literacy interventions for underachieving students of any age or ability. Visit the AutoSkill web site:

http://www.autoskill.com

(800) 288-6754

See the ad for AutoSkill on page 32

Bigchalk, of New York City, is an education destination delivering all the components required supporting the learning community. Visit bigchalk’s web site:

http://www.bigchalk.com

(800) 860-9228

See the bigchalk ad on page 10

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

http://www.classroom.com

(800) 638-1639

See the ad for Classroom Connect on page 29

Compaq Computer Corp., headquartered in Houston, is a world leader of the PC industry.

Visit Compaq’s web site:

http://www.compaq.com

(800) 888-3224

See Compaq’s ad on page 13

CrossTec Corp., of Boca Raton, Fla., is the maker of the award-winning NetOp family of remote management and training software products. Visit the CrossTec web site:

http://www.crossteccorp.com

(800) 675-0729

See CrossTec’s ad on page 54

Curriculum Mapper, produced by WestJam Enterprises Inc. of San Francisco, is a web-based system that enables administrators and teachers to share, analyze, and align their school’s or district’s curriculum. Visit the Curriculum Mapper web site:

http://www.curriculummapper.com

(800) 318-4555

See the ad for Curriculum Mapper on page 12

Excelsior Software Inc., of Greeley, Colo., is the largest company that is solely devoted to the development of electronic gradebook products and accessories. Visit the Excelsior Software web site:

http://www.gradebook.com

(800) 473-4572

See the ad for Excelsior Software on page 25

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

See the ad for Follett Software on page 55

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

http://www.gateway.com

(800) GATEWAY

See the Gateway ad on page 5

Henrico County Public Schools, of Richmond, Va., recently signed a deal with Apple Computer to supply 23,000 Apple iBooks to the district. Henrico County currently is seeking a new technology director.

Visit the Henrico County web site:

http://www.henrico.k12.va.us

(804) 652-3656

See the ad for Henrico County Schools on page 28

Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, based in Austin, Texas, is a Harcourt Classroom Education company and a recognized leader in secondary educational publishing since 1866.

Visit the Holt, Rinehart, and Winston web site:

http://www.hrw.com

(800) 544-6678

See the ads for Holt, Rinehart, and Winston

on pages 47, 49, and 51

Kyocera Mita America, of Fairfield, N.J., is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of digital copiers, printers, and scanners. Visit the Kyocera Mita America web site:

http://www.kyoceramita.com

(800) 453-6482

See the ad for Kyocera Mita America on page 9

Meridian Creative Group, of Erie, Pa., provides math software for every student.

Visit the Meridian Creative Group web site:

http://www.meridiancg.com

(800) 530-2355

See Meridian’s ad on page 42

Mindsurf Networks, of Baltimore, uses state-of-the-art tools that merge technology and learning to help educators streamline their tasks, improve productivity, and cultivate communication.

Visit the Mindsurf web site:

http://www.mindsurf.net

(800) MINDSURF

See the ad for Mindsurf Networks on page 50

NCS Learn, of Tucson, Ariz., is a leading provider of educational software and learning solutions to K-12 schools and adult learners.

Visit the NCS Learn web site:

http://www.ncslearn.com

(800) 937-6682

See the ad for NCS Learn on the back cover

Riverdeep-The Learning Company, of Cambridge, Mass., is a leading publisher of interactive education products for the K-12 market.

Visit the Riverdeep-The Learning Company web sites:

http://www.learningcompanyschool.com

http://www.riverdeep.net

(800) 825- 4420

See the ad for Riverdeep-The Learning Company

on page 15

Scantron Corp., of Tustin, Calif., provides schools with advanced survey software, turnkey systems and services, and products for the collection, management, and interpretation of data.

Visit the Scantron web site:

http://www.scantron.com

(800) 722-6876

See the ads for Scantron on pages 19, 21, and 24

SMART Technologies Inc., of Calgary, is a market leader in developing products for shared spaces, including the SMART Board, an electronic interactive whiteboard. Visit the SMART Technologies web site:

http://www.smarttech.com

(888) 42-SMART

See the SMART Technologies ad on page 26

Telemate.Net Software, of Atlanta, offers easy internet access management solutions, from URL filtering to reporting products used to eliminate risk and save time.

Visit the Telemate.Net Netspective web site:

http://www.getnetspective.com

(770) 936-3700

See the ads for Telemate.Net on pages 35, 37, and 40

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