Mozilla supporters think they’ve found Microsoft weakness

The New York Times reports on the browser battle that is shaping up between Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox 1.0. The intense fight between these two groups is reminiscent of the days when Microsoft dethroned former champion Netscape. (Note: This site requires registration.)

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$3 million to create “a nation of learners”

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Institute of Museum and Library Services will provide $3 million over multiple years to bring together libraries, public broadcasters, and museums to leverage community assets and create new pathways to learning, discovery, and exploration. The initiative will offer competitive grants to support existing collaborations and to create new ones, encourage professional development, and conduct project evaluations to measure effectiveness. Grant application guidelines are still being finalized but will be available at the web site below.

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Free SMARTBoards, training, and travel expenses

Through the 2005-06 Connections program, the SMARTer Kids Foundation will equip eight to 10 sixth-grade classrooms with collaborative educational technology. While participating in Connections, students and teachers collaborate on projects and communicate with one another via eMail, online bulletin boards, and conferencing with the goal of encouraging mutual respect and understanding, regardless of geographical location. Participating teachers will be trained in July 2005 in Calgary, Alberta to use the technology so they can run collaborative projects between schools. The program ends in May 2006 with teachers and select students meeting for a fun-filled week in Calgary. All Connections schools receive a SMART Board 580 interactive whiteboard, floor stand, SMART Board software, SMART Ideas concept-mapping software, and an NEC VT-series projector. All travel costs are also paid for by the foundation.

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$500 cash plus a 60-desk classroom management system

Genieve Systems L.L.C. is holding a promotional contest to award one winner $500 cash and a standard XCLASS 60-workstation package. XCLASS is a multimedia classroom management system that allows teachers to monitor student computers, control student computers remotely, and more. Applicants must explain in a paragraph or two how XCLASS would benefit their school.

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$30.6 million to improve the quality of new teachers

The Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants Program provides state grants to promote improvements in the quality of new teachers, with the ultimate goal of increasing student achievement in the nation’s K-12 classrooms. The grants are designed to improve the quality of a state’s teaching force by supporting the implementation of comprehensive, statewide reform activities in areas such as teacher licensing and certification, accountability for high-quality teacher preparation, and recruitment. The department expects to make nine awards ranging from $500,000 to $5 million each.

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Free Google.com ads for nonprofits to raise awareness, funds

The Google Grants program supports nonprofit organizations focused in areas such as science and technology, education, global public health, the environment, youth advocacy, and the arts. Google Grants harnesses the power of its flagship advertising product, Google AdWords, to nonprofits seeking to inform and engage their constituents online. Google Grant recipients use their award of three months of free AdWords advertising on Google.com to raise awareness and increase traffic. Google Grants has awarded AdWords advertising to hundreds of nonprofit groups whose missions range from animal welfare and literacy to supporting homeless children and promoting HIV education.

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Up to $3,500 for safety accreditation of engineering programs

To help universities and colleges seeking accreditation of their safety and health programs, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Foundation will provide up to $3,500 for accreditation and up to $1,750 re-accreditation through the James A. Oppold Accreditation Fund. Institutions must be seeking accreditation through the Applied Science Accreditation Commission/Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology for their occupational safety, health, and environmental programs both at the graduate and undergraduate levels. For details of how to apply for this grant, check the “Accreditation Programs” in the “Foundation” section of the association’s web site.

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Determined parents get lesson in online security measures

The Baltimore Sun reports on a local workshop in which parents were warned about internet security issues. More than 300 parents and children turned out at Ellicott Mills Middle School to hear a presentation by several law enforcement officials and a woman who had once been the victim of an internet predator. (Note: This site requires registration.)

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School board votes to include creationism in biology curriculum

The Associated Press, in a story carried by radio station WNYC, reports that a school board in south-central Pennsylvania has mandated that schools teaching evolution to ninth-grade biology students offer an alternative creationism theory called “intelligent design.” A 6-3 vote of the school board upheld the decision to include creationism in the curriculum.

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Florida district happy with laptops, despite its stagnant scores

The Miami Herald reports on the progress of a laptop experiment in Manatee County. Although the district said discipline has improved among students who have the iBooks, the students’ standardized test scores haven’t shown dramatic improvement. (Note: This site requires registration.)

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