“With a goal of fiber-optic lines reaching to every school and a Wi-Fi connection in every classroom, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is expected on Monday to propose a 62 percent increase in the amount of money the agency spends annually to wire schools and libraries with high-speed Internet connection” (via NYTimes.com)
“This week, Britannica Digital Learning is proud to introduce Britannica School, a new online service that we believe will have a major impact on schools in the United States and around the world. Britannica School provides a robust online solution for the knowledge and information needs of teachers and students at school and at home. It’s a product designed with the classroom in mind but with the understanding that the work of the classroom continues outside its walls—at home, on the school bus—anywhere homework is done, lessons prepared, and school projects completed. It’s designed for a wide range of purposes—lessons and lesson planning, homework assignments, class projects, research, and browsing—making it one of the most versatile digital assets for students and teachers today.
via Britannica Blog
Announcing Whispercast for Kindle–A Free Self-Service Tool for Schools and Businesses to Manage Large Deployments of Kindles and Support Purchase and Distribution of Kindle Books and Documents Across Kindle E-Readers, Kindle Fires and Free Kindle Reading Apps
“Amazon.com, Inc. today announced “Whispercast for Kindle,” giving schools and business customers a simple, scalable online tool for deploying Kindle devices and Kindle content. Whispercast provides a single access point to easily purchase and distribute Kindle books and documents for educational, marketing and employee incentive programs across Kindle devices and free Kindle reading applications for iPad, iPhone, Android phones and tablets, PCs and Macs. In the coming months, Whispercast will support distribution of Kindle Fire applications.”
Courthouse News – “A federal judge ordered a central Missouri school district to stop using Internet filtering software that blocks access to gay, lesbian and transgender issue-related websites. U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey issued a preliminary injunction against the Camdenton R-III School District. The American Civil Liberties Union sued the district in August 2011 on behalf of several gay rights organizations, including the Matthew Shepard Foundation; Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and Dignity Inc.”
WSJ – “A pilot program between the world’s largest circulating library and the nation’s biggest public school system is allowing New York City teachers to borrow books online and have them delivered directly to classrooms for the first time. The school system’s partnership with the New York Public Library—set to be announced Monday—lets teachers at more than 50 schools borrow up to 100 books at a time, including sets for an entire class, officials told The Wall Street Journal. The schools’ students also will get library cards. “What this offers students is access to a world of resources well beyond what their school library can stock,” said Gregg Betheil, the Department of Education’s executive director for school programs and partnerships.”
Big Brother Is Here: Families Say Schools Snoop in Their Homes With District-Issued Laptops & Webcams
Courthouse News – “A federal class action claims a suburban school district has been spying on students and families through the “indiscriminant use of and ability to remotely activate the webcams incorporated into each laptop issued to students,” without the knowledge or consent of students or parents.”
School Library Journal – “Starting next fall, thousands of Florida students will be able to roll out of bed and attend school in their very own homes as a result of a new law that requires every school district in the state to set up an online school for fulltime kids in grades K-8.”
Here’s a great piece on school libraries for our young ones.
Hallie goes to her school library every Wednesday. She picks out a book and takes it home for us to read together. She looks forward to it every week. But, despite my prodding, she hasn’t yet told the librarian what her daddy does for a living. Oh well.
Jennifer Radcliffe – “And HISD isn’t the only local district struggling to meet state guidelines. Others, including fast-growing Cypress-Fairbanks, also are missing the mark, sometimes because they can’t stock their shelves fast enough to keep up with the influx of students.”
Vanessa Miller – “The Boulder Valley School District is standing behind high school administrators after the American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday accused them of “committing felonies” by seizing students’ cell phones, reading their text messages and making transcripts.” (via)