News of the Latest Products and Technology for K-12

Article excerpt

by Kathie Felix, News Editor

News of the latest products and technology for K-12 may be sent directly to Kathie Felix at P. O. Box 2444, Merrifield, VA 22116 or to kathiefelx@aol.com.

NEWS

The Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF)

Microsoft and 18 other leaders in the education software industry are working together on a groundbreaking initiative to develop the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF). A technical blueprint, the SIF will ensure that school software applications such as library, cafeteria, transportation, and student information management programs share data and work together effectively. The SIF specification is based on open-standard Extensible Markup Language (XML) and is not linked to a particular operating system or platform. SIF; info@schoolsinterop.org or http://www.schoolsinterop.org.

Title 1 Funding Stats

A total of $6.7 billion in Title 1 funding is available to public schools in the 1998-99 school year, according to a report by Quality Education Data (QED). The top five Title 1 funded states for the school year are California ($807.9 million), New York ($659.5 million), Texas ($597.5 million), Florida ($331.2 million), and Pennsylvania ($325.7 million). The top five Title 1 funded school districts are New York City Public Schools, Chicago Public School District, Los Angeles Unified Schools, Detroit Public School District, and Philadelphia Public School District. The 275-page QED report lists every public school district alphabetically by state with Title 1 dollars for the 1998-1999 school year, as reported by the individual state Departments of Education. Funding levels for the current school year are compared to levels for the previous year. Also included is the number of schools and teachers per district and college-bound percentages for each district. QED; 800/525-5811 or http://www.qeddata.com.

WINNER'S CIRCLE

Educast Lesson Plan Contest Winners

The grand-prize winner of the Educast Teacher Lesson Plan Contest is Dennis Erickson, a computer literacy and astronomy teacher of grades 6 to 12 at The Latin School in Chicago. Erickson's winning lesson plan entry, Hunting for Asteroids, brought him a new Compaq personal computer. The three first-prize winners--Jason Hayes of Metropolis Junior High School in Illinois, John McDonald of Monroe Elementary School in Maine, and Matthew Prusiecki of Warren Central High School in Indiana--received their choice of five software titles from Knowledge Adventure or Sierra. Knowledge Adventure; 800/545-7677 or http://www.knowledgeadventure.com.

Proxima Grants Winners

Six educators have each been awarded a $2,500 grant and a Proxima Desktop Projector 6800 for their proposals detailing a measurable implementation plan using a multimedia projector in the classroom to increase learning or behavioral results. The winners are Diana Skinner of Johnston County Schools in Smithfield, NC; Douglas Romney of Chaffee High School in Montclair, CA; Richard Lenoce of Middlesex Community-Technical College in Middletown, CT; and Lisa Brightman, Virginia McGinnis, and Linda Best of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania's Miller Learning Research Center: Proxima; 800/447-7692 or http://www.proxima.com.

LIBRARY NEWS

The World's First Global Dictionary

The world's first English dictionary to be derived from a single database of world English will be published in both American and British editions around the world on the same day. The Encarta World English Dictionary, with more than 3 million words of text, has been created with new uses of computer and database technology for compilation, editing, research, and communication. Microsoft Corp., St. Martin's Press, Inc. (U.S), Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (U.K.), and Pan Macmillan Australia will publish the dictionary in electronic and print form simultaneously in August 1999. St. Martin's Press; 212/674-5151 or http://www. …