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November 1, 1996
Vol. 54
No. 3


Creating Communities

Creating Communities: Practical, Universal Networking for Learning in Schools and Homes, Educational Products Information Exchange Institute, P. Kenneth Komoski and W. Curtiss Priest.
This report, which also comes in Microsoft Word 4.0 format, is designed for those school and community technology planners who may agree that networking is all to the good, but also wonder how practical it is. Komoski, who was project director, and Priest, a noted expert on networks, offer very specific "Do's, Don'ts, Maybe's and Lessons." They explain how to create practical networks within schools, between homes and schools, and with partners in the community and worldwide. They also explore the potential impact of networking on a learning community. Their aim, they say, is to improve home learning, parent-teacher-student communication, and links to the community. An extensive bibliography (nearly 700 entries) and numerous figures and charts are included. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation underwrote the report.
Available from the Educational Products Information Exchange Institute (which co- produced the report with the Center for Information, Technology & Society), 103-3 W. Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays, NY 11946; (516) 728-9100 (Internet site: www.cosn.org). 1996. 165 pp., Paperbound. $9. The Microsoft Word 4.0 version (1326K in size) requires Binhex software.


COSNDISC On-Line, Consortium for School Networking (CoSN).
CoSN was formed in 1992 as an advocate for schools seeking easy, cost-effective access to the Internet and on-line resources to support instruction. The consortium created COSNDISC On-Line a discussion group open to anyone on the Internet who is interested in school networking to help coordinate policies and projects. Consortium members also have access to five other forums, which address technology, curriculum, professional development and teacher support, teacher education, and parents' concerns.
For further information, contact U.S. Mail: Consortium for School Networking, 1555 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 466-6296 (e-mail: membership@cosn.org). Home page: http://ericir.syr.edu/Projects/CoSN/about.html. To subscribe to forums: http://www.cosn.org. November 1996.
CoSN membership fees are $35 a year for individuals; $150 for schools; $500 for school districts, postsecondary institutions, libraries, professional groups, and small businesses (under $1,000,000 annual revenues); $2,500 for government agencies and state and regional networks; and $5,000 for larger businesses.

Getting America's Students Ready for the 21st Century

Getting America's Students Ready for the 21st Century: Meeting the Technology Literacy Challenge, U.S. Department of Education.
The Office of Educational Technology developed this long-range plan for education technology. The authors noted studies showing that successful technology-rich schools have four features in common: (1) at least one computer for every five students; (2) a learner-centered environment brought about by "explicit" planning by school leaders, families, and students; (3) clearly articulated goals and challenging student achievement standards; and (4) restructuring to promote achievement of the standards and learner-centered classrooms. Congress mandated the plan in its Improving America's Schools Act of 1994. Available free of charge from Kirk Winters, Office of the Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education, 555 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20208-5574; 1-800-USA-LEARN. June 1996. 70 pp., Paperbound. The plan is also online: http://www.ed.gov/Technology/Plan.

America's Children and the Information Superhighway

America's Children and The Information Superhighway: An Update AND The Parent's Guide to the Information Superhighway, The Children's Partnership.
America's Children and The Information Superhighway and its 1996 update offer aerial views of students' access to technology, confirming that some schools and families are traveling in the fast lane, while others ply the back roads. For example, fewer than one-third of schools with a large proportion of students from poor families have access to the Internet, compared to nearly two-thirds of those with higher income students. Since the original report was issued in September 1994, one out of three U.S. households have acquired their first computer.
The Parents' Guide, a 30-page booklet, was produced by the Children's Partnership (a national nonprofit, nonpartisan policy and strategy center) in cooperation with the National PTA and the National Urban League. It has a complementary web site for parents: http://www.childrenspartnership.org.
To promote greater equity, the Children's Partnership has also joined with two other California-based nonprofit groups, CompuMentor and Community Partners, to launch Computers in Our Future. The pilot project will build computer literacy programs in 10 low-income California communities by linking the schools to corporate and community partners.
Both the original America's Children report (42 pp., paperbound) and the 8-page update are available from The Children's Partnership, 1460 4th St., Suite 306, Santa Monica, CA 90401; (310) 260-1220 (e-mail: HN3824@handsnet.org). September 1994 and May 1996. The 1994 report is $10 for individuals ($10.82 in California), and $8.50 for nonprofit groups, and $15 for corporations. The 1996 update is $2.50 for everyone. The Parents' Guide is $8, or $6 for bulk orders of 100 or more.

African American Resources at the Smithsonian

African American Resources at the Smithsonian, Smithsonian Institution.
Readers and Web browsers will be treated to an inside view of the Smithsonian's 16 museums and research institutes, the National Zoo, and other offices, with this updated, illustrated booklet (with text on the Web). The behind-the-scenes tours feature the National Museum of American Art's unsurpassed collection of some 2,000 artworks by black artists, the National Museum of African Art's collection of traditional African arts, and the African American design archives of New York City's Cooper Hewitt Museum. Among other treasures are the National Museum of American History's jazz history collection, which houses everything from Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet to the Duke Ellington Archives and a jazz oral history program. Available free of charge from the Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Information, SIB 153, MRC 010, Washington, DC 20560; (202) 357-2700. 1996. 32-pages, Paperbound. Or click into the Smithsonian's home page: http://www.si.edu./perspect/afafam/start.htm.

IMPACT On Instructional Improvement

IMPACT On Instructional Improvement: Theory Into Practice, New York ASCD, Anthony Mello, managing editor, David Bohm, guest editor.
This spring 1996 issue of the New York State ASCD magazine focuses on the theme of the affiliate's fall conference. Among the topics explored: school-based finance as the key to creative education reform, school inclusion and the newest immigrants, and "the marriage" of regular and special education teachers. The authors also tell readers how to improve school performance while reducing funding, how to develop leadership skills, and how politics is reaching into the deepest recesses of the profession.
The winter issue will address Standards and Assessment.
Available from New York State ASCD, c/o Anthony Mello, 4 Captain Faldermeyer Court, Stony Point, NY 10980; (914) 942-1263 (e-mail: AnMello@aol.com). Spring 1996. 60 pp., Paperbound. $10 each for 1-9 copies, $8 each for 10 or more copies.

High School Seniors' Instructional Experiences in Science and Mathematics

High School Seniors' Instructional Experiences in Science and Mathematics, National Data Resource Center, U.S. Department of Education.
In an effort to find out which approaches to science and math work best, the authors of this survey distributed questionnaires to teachers of 9,853 seniors enrolled in public and private high schools in 1992. The questions addressed teaching methods (for example, the extent to which whole-group instruction was used), the amount of homework assigned, and—in science— the amount of time devoted to laboratory sessions and the frequency of computer use.
The researchers also explored demographic factors, finding, for example, that enrollment rates of white, black, and Hispanic students in the two subjects do not differ significantly; however, Asians are significantly more likely to take both subjects and are also much more likely to be enrolled in higher-level classes. The survey also showed that males are slightly more likely to take senior-year mathematics, but females who take senior-year math are more likely to be enrolled in advanced placement and other higher-level classes. In classes where teachers must spend considerable time maintaining order, the achievement of all students—including high- achievers—suffers.
Available free of charge from the National Data Resource Center (703) 845-3151; fax (703) 820-7465. February 1996. Paperbound, 194 pp. Or contact Peggy Quinn at the National Center for Education Statistics, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Dept. Of Education, 555 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20208-5574; (202) 219-1743.

The Importance of Learning English

The Importance of Learning English: A National Survey of Hispanic Parents, Marketing Development, Inc. for Center for Equal Opportunity.
In a poll of 600 Hispanic parents of school-age children, an overwhelming majority—81 percent—said they want their children's courses to be taught in English, not Spanish. Further, 63 percent of the parents said they wanted English to be taught as soon as possible, as compared to 17 percent who preferred Spanish to be taught before English. When asked about their top goal for education, 51 percent specified learning to read, write, and speak English (the second most important goal for 19 percent of the respondents). This was followed by learning academic subjects like math, history, and science, the top goal for 23 percent of the parents and the second priority for about 31 percent. As for learning about Hispanic culture, only 4.3 percent said this was their top priority and 8.5 percent saw this as their second priority.
Available from the Center for Equal Opportunity, 815 Fifteenth St. NW, Suite 928, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 639-0803; fax (202) 639-0827 (e-mail: http://www.ceousa.org). 1996. 16 pp., Paperbound. $5 for shipping.

This article was published anonymously, or the author name was removed in the process of digital storage.

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