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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

eSchool News and the Current Site of the Week Online

Here's what's new on eSchool News site today.

Adult supervision and internet safety education are critical

A task force charged with assessing technologies for protecting children from unwanted contact online has concluded that no single approach is foolproof and that parent and teacher oversight is vital.
The Harvard-led panel, in a report released Jan. 14, dismissed prospects for age-verification technologies, the approach favored by many law-enforcement officials who had pushed for the creation of the task force.
The yearlong Internet Safety Technical Task Force also played down fears of internet sexual predators who target children on social-networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. Although citing other dangers such as online bullying, the panel said cases of predators typically involved youths well aware they were meeting an adult for sexual activities.
Technology can be a component in the strategy to protect minors online, but internet companies "should not overly rely upon any single technology or group of technologies as the primary solution," the task force said.

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Related link
Internet Safety Technical Task Force

Around the Web

Florida Virtual School, UCF to train future teachers how to teach online
The Florida Virtual School--the country's first entirely online statewide public school--and the University of Central Florida are teaming up to offer future teachers what they call first-of-its-kind training, reports the Orlando Sentinel: virtual internships. Until now, teachers new to online instruction had to learn on the job how to juggle the technology and teaching techniques specific to virtual schooling.
The pilot program will give six students the chance to team up with experienced online teachers to learn what it takes to manage a diverse assortment of students who could be studying via computer anywhere in the world, at their own pace, at any time of day, and requesting help with assignments by eMail, instant messaging, and telephone.
For seven weeks, the interns will get tips on managing their time properly and communicating effectively with students who would just as soon text than talk. Future teachers typically tackle internships in traditional classrooms to get a taste of what awaits them in the real world.
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Site of the Week

Free digital resources aim to capture students’ interest in science


The Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education have unveiled a new web site that aims to engage students in science education. “Siemens Science Day” provides standards-based videos and hands-on activities for earth, life, and physical science that can help educators turn fourth through sixth graders into aspiring scientists, the two organizations say. “Educators are often challenged to find new ways within their existing curriculum to interest students in science education,” said Dale Fulton, Discovery Education’s senior vice president of curriculum development. “Siemens Science Day provides many new and creative ways to present lessons on a variety of science topics, all tied to national science standards.
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Source: eSchool News


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