Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fall Events at Kennedy Space Center

Grand Opening October 3, 2008
Experience the powerful and stunning imagery of the Hubble Space Telescope at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex during Eye on the Universe: The Hubble Space Telescope.

Featuring the Blue Angels!November 8 and 9, 2008
With the backdrop of America's launch facilities, the aerial stage soars with the premiere military aircraft of today and yesterday. F/A-18 Super Hornet, F-16 Viper, B-25, A-10 Warthog, P-51 Mustang and many more.

September 24, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008


GreatSchools is an independent, nonprofit organization that empowers and inspires parents to participate in their children's development and educational success. Parents choose GreatSchools to find the ideal schools, get expert advice, share stories and find answers to their parenting and education questions. In the past year alone, more than 35 million people visited GreatSchools.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Medical School for International Health

Medical School for International Health (MSIH), a collaborative program of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Columbia University Medical Center (NY), is the only medical school in the world designed to train a new type of international/multicultural physician.

Levitt Letter (September 2008, p. 26)

Israeli Drug First To Slow Parkinson's

The Israel Parkinson Association welcomed with“excitement and joy” the results of a study showing Parkinson’s drug Azilect (rasagiline), developed by Profs. Moussa Youdim and John Finberg of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, to be effective at slowing the progression of the chronic and fatal neurological disease, a first for any drug.

In the randomized, double-blind ADAGIO study, the drug was found to be effective, safe, and well tolerated. Based on these results, the drug could become the first Parkinson’s disease treatment in the world to receive a label for “disease modification.” Azilect received the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for sale in the spring of 2006.

By Judy Siegel-Itzkovich,

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Inspired Sites

Visit Teacher Tube to see some great presentations about InspireData and data literacy.

Discover the Power of Visual Learning

Learning to think. Learning to learn. These are the essential skills for student success. Research in both educational theory and cognitive psychology tells us that visual learning is among the very best methods for teaching students of all ages how to think and how to learn.

What is visual learning?

Visual learning is a proven method in which ideas, concepts, data and other information are associated with images and represented graphically. Webs, concept maps, idea maps and plots, such as stack plots and Venn plots, are some of the techniques used in visual learning to enhance thinking and learning skills.

Our award-winning software tools, Inspiration®, Kidspiration® and InspireData™, the latest addition to the Inspiration Software® family, are based on proven visual learning methodologies that help students think, learn and achieve success.

With Inspiration and Kidspiration, students create diagrams and outlines as they brainstorm ideas, organise information, gather research, make visual associations and identify connections.

With InspireData, students build data literacy as they collect and explore information in a dynamic inquiry process, using integrated tables and plots to visually investigate, manipulate and analyse data.

Learn more about the power of visual learning and see examples of visual learning techniques developed in Inspiration, InspireData and Kidspiration.

With the powerful combination of visual learning and technology, students learn to clarify thoughts, organise and analyse information, integrate new knowledge and think critically.

Visual learning techniques help students:

Clarify thoughts

Students see how ideas are connected and realize how information can be grouped and organised. With visual learning, new concepts are more thoroughly and easily understood when they are linked to existing knowledge.

Organise and analyse information

Students can use diagrams and plots to display large amounts of information in ways that are easy to understand and help reveal relationships and patterns.

Integrate new knowledge

According to research, students better remember information when it's represented and learned both visually and verbally. Updating diagrams and mind maps throughout a lesson prompts students to build upon prior knowledge and internalise new information.

Think critically

Linked verbal and visual information helps students make connections, understand relationships and recall related details.

The leader in visual thinking and learning

For more than 25 years, Inspiration Software® has been developing award-winning visual learning tools to help people think and learn. The company's software is used extensively in schools and educational institutions worldwide. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A., Inspiration Software's team is continually working together to create software that meets educational goals around the world.

New Products

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Online English Learning

The GlobalEnglish Personal Learning Service is designed for busy professionals and other motivated learners who want to improve their English skills. Two comprehensive curriculum options allow users to focus on the course of study that is appropriate for them.

Free trial for 10 days of Online Courses.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Classroom Resources from NASA and Peace Corps

Space-Flown Basil Seeds Still Available for Lunar Plant Growth Chamber Design ChallengeThe NASA Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber has positively impacted educators and students nationally. Currently over 1,000,000 students are involved! Plenty of space-flown seeds are still available. To register for the Challenge and receive seeds, visit at Visit the Web site frequently to find new feature stories about schools participating in the Challenge.

World Wise Schools Supports Geography and Global IssuesThe World Wise Schools program offers free cross-cultural educational resources online including podcasts, videos, stories, slide shows, and electronic newsletters. Each resource reflects Peace Corps Volunteer experiences overseas and builds in U.S. children a greater understanding of the world around them. Educational materials produced by the program promote cross-cultural understanding, awareness of global issues, and the ethic of community service. They include writings by Peace Corps Volunteers and returned Peace Corps Volunteers, online narrated slide shows, monthly podcasts, a monthly educational electronic newsletter, and award-winning Destination videos. These resources may be found at
August 27, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Difficult Parents - best seller in Amazon

2006 by Cottonwood Press, Inc., U.S.A.
Problem Parents:
  • Pinocchio's Mom -- who believes that her child, unlike every other child in the universe, never ever tells a lie of any kind.
  • Caped Crusader -- believes his ideas or principles should be embraced by everyone.
  • Ms. "Quit Picking on My Kid" -- even when the parent admits that her child's behavior was unacceptable, she will argue that everyone else's was, too.
  • The Intimidator -- who wants what he wants, and he wants it now.
  • The Stealth Zapper -- she may appear innocent, but her words and actions can sting.
  • The Uncivil Libertarian -- fights for what he insists is his child inalienable right to any or all of these: passionate embraces, obscene messages on shirts, the F word on its many forms, hazing, bullying, fighting, and visible underwear. (Most teachers and administrators think not.)
  • No Show's Dad -- one kind of parent seems to think that attendance isn't mandatory, but optional.
  • Helicopter Mom -- who hovers constantly, ready to whisk away any problem or inconvenience that might befall her child.
  • The Competitor -- every encounter with the teacher is a contest, like a World Federation Wrestler.

Left to right: Sarah Stimely, Cheryl Thurston, Samantha Prust, Anne Marie Martinez, Heather Madigan, Mary Gutting (front center). Not pictured: Rochelle Dorsey.

The staff holds copies of How to Handle Difficult Parents, a book we published that received a great review in John Rosemond's column syndicated in 225 newspapers across the country. Our national distributor, Independent Publishers Group, immediately sold out of its stock as people started ordering from bookstores. For several days, the book was in the top 50 on, reaching as high as #31 in sales. Our congratulations to author Suzanne Capek Tingley for writing a book that has enjoyed such success.

Practical advice for teachers, presented with a sense of humor. The stress of dealing with difficult parents remains one of the top reasons teachers cite for leaving the ranks, according to the Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy. How to Handle Difficult Parents helps teachers learn how to cope more effectively.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Book Donation Campaign

The Department of Education teamed with First Book and Random House Children's Books to launch the 2008 Summer Reading Initiative <>. The Initiative marked the first stage of a national distribution of over 850,000 free, new Random House children's books to schools, libraries and literacy organizations serving low-income youth across the country. Some 500,000 books were distributed in this first stage of the initiative.

The effort is part of our Book Donation Campaign, a multi-year effort of the U.S. Department of Education, First Book and a host of major U.S. book publishing companies to promote literacy and supply books to children in need. Since June 2006, we have collaborated to distribute nearly 3 million children's books to schools, libraries and literacy organizations serving low-income youth across the country. Later this month, the Department and First Book will announce the availability and subsequent national distribution of the remaining 300,000 Random House books earmarked for the Book Donation Campaign. Schools, libraries and organizations interested in obtaining books available through the Campaign are encouraged to register online at
August 25, 2008

Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program -- Summer 2009

The Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program provides opportunities for overseas experience. The program is open to educators and administrators with responsibilities for curriculum development in fields related to humanities, languages, and area studies. Topics and host countries of the seminars vary from year to year. All seminars are in non-western European countries. Seminars are designed to provide a broad and introductory cultural orientation to a particular country (ies). The program is geared towards those educators with little or no experience in the host country (ies) who demonstrate the need to develop and enhance their curriculum through short-term study and travel abroad. There are nine seminars being offered for Summer 2009 with 16 positions per seminar, subject to the availability of funds. Seminars take place from late June to mid-August for a duration of four to six weeks.

Country seminars to be offered in 2009 include:

Elementary Seminars
New Zealand & Mongolia

Secondary Seminars
China - For Language Instructors

Postsecondary Seminars
China - History & Culture
Jordan & Oman

Terms of the award include: ▪ round-trip economy airfare ▪ room and board ▪ fees ▪ program-related travel within the host country (ies). Participants are responsible for a cost share, $400.00. Updated application forms are now available. The Summer 2009 application and reference form deadline is September 12, 2008.

Those Qualified To Apply:

Elementary School Teachers in the fields of social sciences, humanities, including languages;
Middle or High School Educators in the fields of social sciences, humanities, including languages;

Administrators or Curriculum Specialists who have responsibility for curriculum in the fields of social sciences, humanities, including languages;

Librarians, Museum Educators or Media or Resource Specialists who have responsibility for curriculum in the fields of social sciences, humanities, including languages; and

Faculty or Administrators from public or private, 2- or 4-year institutions of higher education whose discipline is related to the social sciences, humanities, languages and/or area studies.

For additional information, please contact Gale Holdren:; Program Assistant: Michelle Ward:
The application package is available, you may apply online at
May 29, 2008

Teaching Videos

Biophotonics International

Join the Crowd

We would like to introduce you to a magazine called Biophotonics International. It is the world's leading magazine dealing with photonics solutions for the medical and biotechnology industries.

It contains the information you need to apply the latest in imaging, optics, lasers, microscopy and many other light-based techniques to your work.

Best part: It's Free. Simply go to the website: and click on New Subscription. Complete the form and submit to start receiving your monthly copy of Biophotonics International.

BioPhotonics International is going to feature articles that present reviews on the latest technology in the next coming months. Make sure that you don't miss them.
Thank you for your time,The Staff of Biophotonics International

May Edition of Education News Parents Can Use

The May edition of Education News Parents Can Use will explore how effective teaching is at the core of America's long-term economic competitiveness; highlight progressive strategies to recruit, train, and reward effective teachers; and, feature award-winning educators from across the country who are dedicated to improving student achievement and ensuring student success in today's global economy. Educators, policymakers, and practitioners will discuss key questions such as:
What does "effective teaching" mean and what is the Department doing to promote it?
What is the link between effective teachers and student achievement?
What can we do to overhaul the recruitment, training, and compensation of teachers, especially those teaching critical subjects like math and science?
How can we populate America's high need schools with effective teachers?
What is the Teacher Ambassador Fellowship Program and how will it contribute to the field?
What questions should parents ask to ensure their child's teacher is high performing and effective in the classroom?
How would key programs and initiatives-like the Teacher Incentive Fund, student loan forgiveness programs and the Adjunct Teacher Corps-help to fill teaching shortages in high-need schools and subject areas critical to America's competitiveness and economic viability?
Ways to Watch: Education News is available on local education, government or public access channels; TLC (The Learning Channel); some PBS member stations; the Dish Network and DirecTV; BYU Television (DirecTV, Dish and via local cable providers); and Channel One. To learn more, please visit
Archived Webcasts: Education News is available via archived webcasts. To view and learn more, please visit
May 5, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fred Jones Winner for 2008 Teachers Choice Awards

Learning Magazine's 2008 Teacher's Choice Award for the Family

The Tools for Teaching Parent Edition has been awarded Learning Magazine's 2008 Teacher's Choice Award for the Family. Here's what they have to say:

"In 1994, Learning Magazine introduced the first Teachers’ Choice Awards program. Over the years, the program has grown to become one of the most recognized and prestigious awards in the educational market. Learning Magazine launched the Family program to meet the needs of companies whose educational products work in the home environment. Teachers who are also parents evaluated more than 200 products--including books, games, electronics, software, and more--to choose the best tools for at-home learning."

Visit the Learning Magazine web site:

Tools for Teaching is a proven set of skills and strategies to successfully manage your classroom with a positive, practical, low stress approach. Wouldn't it be great if you could teach the parents of your class these same skills to use at home? Dr. Jones new 3 DVD set for parents does just that. Each disc centers on a theme that will help parents develop positive relationships with their kids, while better understanding what you are doing in the classroom. Parents and teachers can work together with a common language and set of skills to create the best environment possible for their kids.

2008 Teacher's Choice
Award for the Family

Learning doesn’t stop when students leave the school building! That’s why Learning Magazine hosts the Teachers’ Choice Award for the Family. Teachers who are also parents evaluated more than 250 products—including books, games, electronics, software, and more—to choose the best tools for at-home learning.

April 16, 2008


With communication at our finger tips it is absolutely critical that a person be literate in these technologically advanced times. When I opened my email this morning, I thought about how important it is to be able to read and write. My business activities require this skill, as well as my personal life. Though I typically forget this isn’t something that comes by nature alone, this morning I realized this isn’t the case and wondered what the best way to obtain this skill is.

There are two components of literacy, the first is writing. I believe this is the harder part of literacy. One that I believed came from much practice. But as I researched how to learn to write, the number one thing I was guided to do was read. From reading you can obtain better skills at writing. It was not suggested to read one specific thing, but to read anything from comic books, to newspapers, to fiction. Reading alone helps the brain recognize how words and phrases should be placed.

The second part to literacy is reading. Reading is something I have learned to enjoy. And something I have learned to appreciate as the best way to increase knowledge in anything. I once heard that it takes reading 30 books to become an expert at something. And as I started to discuss this with people, those who I had looked up to for knowledge had been individuals who had followed this criteria for expertise.

Obviously you already know how to read, if you have gotten to this point. But the real point is to continue to work on your literacy so that you may better your communication. Since globally communication is becoming a larger part of everyday life, it is critical to continue to better your skills in this area. Reading is the best way to do this.

Doubleday Book Club
April 8, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Goji Berry of the Himalayas

In his book Goji: The Himalayan Health Secret, Dr. Earl Mindell reveals a longevity secret that redefines the meaning of "healthy aging." This secret has been the key to long life for thousands of years among the people in remote areas across Asia. Their energy, mental agility, and overall vitality in old age has confounded scientists for decades.
After spending years exploring the link between longevity and nutrition, Dr. Mindell discovered that many of the world's longest living people have something in common: "They consume regular daily helpings of a tiny red fruit that just happens to be the world's most powerful anti-aging food: the goji berry."

For more info, go to:

The Disciplined Mind

(Author of Multiple Intelligences)
2000 Penguin Books, New York, USA

The best way to accumulate a lot of information is to learn to read and to love to read; to become curious about the world, to ask questions, and to experiment in an effort to find the answers; that is, to become a constructivist at an early age.

The New York Times Book Review
A must-read for every educator, parent or anyone who cares about our children's future. (Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence)

Book Description
In The Disciplined Mind, Howard Gardner argues that K-12 education should strive for a deep understanding of three classical principles: truth, beauty, and goodness.

Such an understanding requires mastery of the major disciplines that human beings have created over the centuries. As powerful examples of his approach, Gardner describes an education that illuminates the theory of evolution, the music of Mozart, and the lessons of the Holocaust. Far from the standardized test mentality that has gripped both policy makers and the public, Gardner envisions an education that preserves the strengths of a traditional humane education while preparing younger generations for the challenges of the future.

Education in the Future
1. Artificial Intelligence and virtual reality are two computer-related technologies that may cast a large shadow on education. Much of school planning may be done not by human agents but by programs created by human agents; and much of what was once accomplished by textbooks and occasional field trips will now be performed in virtual reality.
2. Acquisition of credentials from accredited institutions may become less important. Individuals will be able to educate themselves and to exhibit their mastery in a simulated setting. Why pay $120,000 to go to law school, if one can "read law" as in earlier times and then demonstrate one's legal skills via computer simulation? Or learn to fly a plane or conduct neurosurgery by similar means, for that matter?
3. More and more people work in the sectors of human services and human resources, and especially, in the creation, transformation, and communication of knowledge.
4. The media of communication will be a dominating agency of education throughout the world. Radio, television, movies, magazines, advertising materials will continue to proliferate and to convey powerful messages about roles and values around the world.
5. Important discoveries are now known all over the world within days, courtesy of the Internet.
6. Distance learning makes it possible to pursue even advanced coursework without moving to a college or university setting. Virtual environments may allow talented or determined individuals to demonstrate proficiency without lengthy and costly certification processes.
7. To function in hypermedia, to read and design Web pages and embark on computer-based projects, one must orchestrate a fresh amalgam of graphic, linguistic, and even auditory literacies.

Successful Families of Schools
1. Steiner "Waldorf" schools
2. Montessori schools
3. Comer schools
4. Networks like the International Baccalaureate and the Coalition of Essential Schools
5. Catholic and other sectarian schools

The Singapore Miracle
Forty years ago, Singaporeans were so poor that many children went to bed hungry each night. Singapore has virtually no natural resources, just the minds and energy of its three million citizens. Today, Singapore ranks among the top nations in the world in productivity and income, and students regularly occupy the number one slot in international comparisons.
Singaporean students follow a carefully prescribed curriculum in mathematics, science, and technology. Teaching occurs in English, which reflects not only the colonial history of the region but also the fact that English has become the lingua franca of commerce worldwide. As in Germany, education is tracked, with those in the academic tracks having to master more challenging curricula and also more languages. Students work assiduously, on the average doing four to five hours of homework each evening. Parents study with their children, as do tutors and special teachers, and there is little tolerance for sloth in this authoritarian society. It is assumed that graduates will work for the success of the society, in general subordinating individual goals to the wider good.
At least as successfully as the Japanese, the Singaporeans have succeeded in wedding Confucian practices and values to knowledge of how to succeed in a competitive international environment. Other "little tigers" (Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea) have also forged an effective blend of once rival traditions -- though the recent economic downturn may reveal limitations in the system. There is a strong belief in the efficacy of study, and high value is placed on devotion to learning, and on showing improvement each day; rather than being directed toward individual success (as in the case of the Protestant culture described so memorably by the German sociologist Max Weber), these virtues are yoked to the success of the society as a whole.

Monday, September 1, 2008

National Mathematics Advisory Panel

To compete in the 21st century global economy, knowledge of and proficiency in mathematics is critical. Today's high school graduates need to have solid mathematics skills-whether they are headed for college or the workforce. To help ensure our nation's future competitiveness and economic viability, President George W. Bush created the National Mathematics Advisory Panel (National Math Panel) in April 2006.

The panel was charged with providing recommendations to the President and U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings on the best use of scientifically based research to advance the teaching and learning of mathematics. Expert panelists, including a number of leading mathematicians, cognitive psychologists, and educators, reviewed numerous research studies before preparing a final report containing guidance on how to improve mathematics achievement for all students in the United States.

The National Math Panel's final report, issued on March 13, 2008, contains 45 findings and recommendations on numerous topics including instructional practices, materials, professional development, and assessments. Please visit for the executive summary and full report.

U.S. Department of Education's Teacher Initiative
March 20, 2008