Greetings, Happy Reading for Today. <Karen> 1) CoSN Opens Nominations for 2008 Awards: Honoring School District, Individual & Public Servant Leadership The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) is accepting online nominations for three of the association's most prestigious awards - the Withrow Award for a CTO/district technology leader, the TEAM Award, and the Excellence in Public Service Award. These awards are given annually to an individual, a school district team, and a public servant who exemplifies leadership and innovation in education technology. The awards will be presented during CoSN's 13th Annual K-12 School Networking Conference, themed "Visionary Leadership: Scaffolding 21st Century Learning with Technology," being held March 9-11, 2008, in Arlington, VA. The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 30, 2007, and nominations can be made for the Withrow Award at www.cosn.org/about/awards/withrow.cfm, the Team Award at www.cosn.org/about/awards/team.cfm, and the Excellence in Public Service Award at http://www.cosn.org/about/awards/excellence.cfm. Best practices for the TEAM Award nomination can be found at http://www.cosn.org/about/awards/bestpractices.cfm. Past recipients of these awards are on the CoSN website under each Awards section. Nominations are open to members of CoSN as well as non-members. Self-nominations are encouraged. For more information about the conference, please visit www.k12schoolnetworking.org/2008/cfp.cfm 2) Virtual School Clearinghouse http://vs.education.ufl.edu/virtualschool/ The Virtual School Clearinghouse (VSC) is a website documenting a collaborative research project sponsored by the AT&T Foundation and the University of Florida. VSC seeks to aggregate and analyze data from virtual schools, particularly focusing on state-led virtual schools in the 9 state AT&T region. Drawing on existing research and current virtual school practice, the VSC provides multiple tools and metrics vital for school improvement. Within this site, you will find collections of resources including research on virtual schooling, instruments used to evaluate virtual schooling, and websites dedicated to the topic. As a guest, you may browse these resources. Freely join as a registered guest and you may add and comment on resources. If you are a virtual school, contact us to share your data, and you will have free access to data analyses tools and evaluation instruments. These tools will help provide timely, continuous feedback for data-driven decision making and evaluation of existing policies and practice. 3) Go Green Database http://www.edutopia.org/go-green Students, teachers, administrators, and environmental activists have found ways to integrate knowledge and awareness of Earth's fragility into classwork and community service, carefully blending concern with action to help kids feel engaged and hopeful. We try to do the same with this Go Green Database, a directory that can be searched by topic, grade level, cost, or location -- and supplemented with your contributions and comments. 4) School in Maine looking for other schools to challenge in building The Village School in Maine (a grade 3-5 school with about 675) is currently building their part of the planetfesto.org virtual ribbon--a segment long enough to circle their gym. They want to challenge another school to see how high a percentage of students and staff they can achieve. Ideally, the school would be in a different part of the US, or abroad. To see the Village School's great contributions, go to www.planetfesto.org and search by village school. Planetfesto's purpose is to build an environmental educational and action movement that creates a virtual ribbon long enough to wrap around the earth. To do pieces of the ribbon, students simply choose a photo on the site (or upload their own photo or drawing), say why they love the planet, and what they're personally going to do to protect it (we have plenty of ideas on the site if students don't have their own). If they are stumped, there is plenty of inspiration just watching the ribbon scroll by, with impassioned declarations of love and individual action from all over the world. People from 37 countries have created pieces of the ribbon. Some recent new features for schools: -- search the ribbon and view a custom subset of just your school, location, or community. Teachers are often projecting their piece of the ribbon, like a movie. -- rank individual pieces of the ribbon and view the most popular worldwide, and also by country -- music (with more to come!) The site was created as a totally volunteer effort by a family in California. Planetfesto was named one of the Natural Resources Defense Council's web sites of the week at: http://www.nrdc.org/reference/picks/pick0703.asp. We've also been featured in the E-bulletin of the National Association of Independent Schools. If interested, please contact nancy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, or Chris Crawford at chrisc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx We're at www.planetfesto.org. For more information about planetfesto contact Nancy Raff at 510/595-1888. 5) Art Wolinsky http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/News/ArtWolinsky.htm The latest PEW report on Teens and Online Stranger Contact was released on the 14th. Among the non-surprises were the facts that teens who create social profiles or post photos online are more likely to be contacted online by people they do not know and that girls are more likely to have unwanted encounters than boys. While this might be classified as a "Doh!" moment, there's more to it than meets the mind and can serve as an obvious reminder to take a closer look at any statistics offered by anyone, including me. 6) Webkinz and Neopets and Disney's acquisition of ClubPenguin http://www.news.com/Virtual-world-makers-aim-to-hook-kids/2009-1025-6213355.html More kids are flocking to imaginative, character-driven environments.53% of children on the Web will belong to a virtual world within four years, more than
doubling the current population of 8.2 million members," WebbliWorld.com, GaiaOnline.com, Stardoll.com, Whyville.net Are kids ready for ads in such spaces?" http://www.news.com/Are-kids-ready-for-ads-in-virtual-worlds/2009-1024_3-6213661.htmlinteractive advertising goes beyond cereal boxes and TV spots to immersive games and
other forms of direct involvement for children. 7) Americans want computers more than peace for the holiday gift. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/2007-10-15-computers-holiday-wishlist_N.htm 8) Internet Crimes Against Children task force http://www.technologynewsdaily.com/node/8255"The Department of Justice announced that 13 new state and local law enforcement agencies will receive more than $3 million" to form the task forces in Alaska, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Rhode Island,
South Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia. 9) Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education Arts Education and Advocacy http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/Arts/ 9) Poets & Writers http://www.pw.org/ With offices in New York and Los Angeles, Poets & Writers, Inc. covers the world of creative writers across the United States. Created in 1970, it remains the largest nonprofit literary organization serving poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Visitors to the site can read selected pieces from their magazine, and they can also learn about various funding opportunities for readings and workshops. Writers will also want to sign up for the Speakeasy Message Forum. Here users can discuss such timely topics as David Sedaris, the publishing world, and the state of modern poetry. One of the most useful areas of the site is the "Top Ten Questions Writers Ask". This area provides answers to queries such as "Do I Need An Agent?" and "Should I pursue an MFA?"