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Monday, February 2, 2009

Starfall.comEarly Reading

Virginia Heffernon writes in Click and Jane, "In a hundred ways, we pretend that screen experiences are books - PowerBooks, notebooks, e-books - but even a child knows the difference." She goes on to describe how her 3-year-old son viewed reading in online "books" as something totally different that real books. She also leads her readers to the free, "eccentric, cheerful learn-to-read site, Starfall, and a paid, online library of children's literature, One More Story.

Online Classes

Winnie Hu tells of New Jersey education officials' decision not to require high school students to take at least one online course in Schools Won’t Require Online Class. Yet. Originally, the redesign of high school graduation requirements for New Jersey high schoolers called for all students "to study Algebra II, laboratory sciences and foreign languages, pass more state tests and complete at least one online course in order to graduate. But education officials recently backed away from the online requirement because of concerns over the cost and whether such courses would meet state standards."

Odds 'n' Ends

A new University of Illinois study reports that the mother's education is the most important factor to providing a nurturing home environment for three to five year old children of single working mothers. Education, Daytime Hours, And Job Flexibility Most Help Single Moms Of Preschoolers is an interesting read.

USA Today's Greg Toppo reports that former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings plans to remain in Washington, D.C., in Margaret Spellings will stay close to education. He reports that she will "'continue to be part of the warriors in common cause for leaving no child behind' through consulting and public speaking."


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Friday, February 6, 2009

Indiana Grants Blanket Waiver on Using Digital Textbooks

Indiana's new Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education issued a number of deregulations on Wednesday. The one that caught my eye was "a blanket waiver allowing school districts to use a broad range of multimedia, computer and Internet resources to supplement or replace traditional textbooks.”

It will be interesting to see how schools employ this waiver to use digital textbooks in some cases in place of traditional paper textbooks.

Google Earth OceansGoogle Earth Adds Oceans

Google released Google Earth 5.0 this week. The free application has added lots of new content about the oceans and three-dimensional, satellite imagery of Mars taken during NASA space expeditions. "Google Earth users can now plunge beneath the ocean's surface, explore three-dimensional images of the underwater terrain, and view articles and videos about marine science contributed by scientists and organizations such as the National Geographic Society."

Odds 'n' Ends

An interesting study reported on ScienceDaily, Early Whales Gave Birth On Land, Fossil Find Reveals, tells of a University of Michigan investigation of a whale fossil found in 2000 "with near-term fetus in utero." For classroom teachers, it's probably just trivia, but still interesting.

NASA has announced that the earliest launch date for the space shuttle STS-119 mission has been pushed back to February 19, 2009.


Wow! It looks warm there! Even though we're supposed to begin to thaw out this weekend here in west central Indiana, this grand picture makes me want to grab some airline tickets and head south for the launch and some Florida sun!

Have a great weekend!

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Encounter Devotionals

by Zach Wood


Senior Gardening



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©2009 Steven L. Wood