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Free Blogging Workshop in February

Logo_atomic_learning Come on… you know you want to hop on the blog bandwagon, right? Don’t you want to squeeze just one more obligation onto that crazy calendar? Okay, maybe not. But – if you want at least a peek into the blog world, here’s a chance to do it for free. Atomic Learning is offering a FREE blogging workshop for the month of February. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired?

Talking Politics

Looking for a good source for classroom election discussions? Now students can submit questions about Decision 08 to NBC political reporters via email to or text message, and Each Thursday, the NBC News political team, including Meet the Press host Tim Russert, and Chief White House Correspondent David Gregory, will answer one question and make the video available at www.hotchalk.com. Ask NBC News is a feature of NBC News Archives on Demand, a compilation of thousands of primary source video resources created specifically for the classroom. The Archives on Demand are available on HotChalk, a free web-based learning management system for k-12 teachers and their students.

Free Whiteboard Lessons

A new SMART microsite launched this month offers free Notebook collaborative software lessons. The theme this quarter is math & science, featuring five original Scholastic-branded lessons – all aligned to standards. The site also includes contests and plenty of other helpful links, articles, and how-tos for both new and experienced whiteboard users. Watch for upcoming themes: Earth Day lessons in April, and back To School lessons in August.

HP Announces Mobile Thin Client Computer, Teacher Community Site

FetcHP had three big announcements, but I can only tell you about two (the last biggie comes on tax day, April 15, so stay tuned).

Mobile_thin_client The first is a mobile thin client computer – which means everything, even the operating system, is delivered to the thin client, but stored on the school network. This makes the HP Compaq 6720t Mobile Thin Client more secure, easy to update, and green-friendly since they require less energy than a traditional notebook. Although your IT folks will have to help get these up and running, teachers and admins should like it with a little training.

The other news is an online community being developed “By Teachers, For Teachers.” HP is asking for the help of teachers to share their lesson plans videos, projects, and more to populate the Teacher Experience Exchange site with content and develop an online community. The official launch will be June-ish, but teachers can hop on now to send their ideas.

Leapfrog School Launches New Online Version of Link to Lessons [FETC HIGHLIGHT]

FetcLink to Lessons, Leapfrog’s database of preK-2 lessons, is now online. Teachers can find more than 6000 skill-based, standards-aligned activities for individualized instruction and tracking student progress. This is the news I can tell you about. There is a much bigger announcement – but I’m sworn to secrecy until Monday, so check back then!

Qwizdom Announces Free Digital Learning Network [FETC HIGHLIGHT]

FetcQwizdom, known best for the student response systems, has added a new online content sharing digital learning network – and it’s FREE. Qwizdom Connect gives educators quick access to peer-created materials, along with reporting features, thousands of images and other media, games, and more. Teachers can quickly make their favorite lesson interactive, share it with their peers, and even make a quiz.

Adaptive Curriculum Launches at FETC

FetcEducators continue to search for new ways to improve math and science instruction for their students. Adaptive Curriculum is an online learning system that debuted today at FETC. The online learning system offers a library of Math and Science Activity Objects aligned to national and state standards, enabling students to participate in virtual experiments, engaging simulations, scientific inquiry, and problem-based learning.  Adaptive Curriculum also includes a flexible online environment, MyAdaptiveSpace, containing simple, and tools for managing instruction.

Free Lesson Plans for Black History Month

LaronwilliamsLooking for resources to use in February to commemorate Black History Month? RaceBridges has six free lesson plans available, including "From Flint, MI to Your Front Door: Tracing the Roots of Racism in America" that features storyteller La'Ron Williams. Williams recounts his experiences growing up as an African-American child in an area that underwent a transformation in the 60s from an all-White neighborhood into one that was all-Black. Williams recalls the impact upon his life of the 1955 death of Emmett Till, an African American teenager from Chicago, who was murdered in Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a white woman. All lessons are designed for middle school and high school, and all of the materials that teachers and counselors need to conduct the lessons are included on the RaceBridges website.

Atomic Training Version 2.0 Released

Atomictrainingv2_4 Atomic Learning, known for their short online training videos, released a new version of their latest product, Atomic Training. Atomic Training lets schools manage and deliver training videos, procedures, and other information that needs to be shared throughout the school. Network administrators will like that this latest release lets them designate users to specific groups, so they can decide who sees what information.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Tech Tools are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.