Educational CyberPlayGround

NetHappenings Newsletter

 NHN: Net Happenings Newsletter #6

NEW THIS WEEK for November 23, 2004

Welcome to the Net Happenings Newsletter,
Launched by the Educational CyberPlayGround, this newsletter features a new  format with the emphasis on both news and resources. Karen Ellis* Founder of
the Educational CyberPlayGround will continue to carry the sponsorship of  Net Happenings Newsletter which is published to all members of the  NetHappenings Mailing List. Advertisers are welcomed as sponsors of the
oldest K-12 educational mailing list in the world. If you have any comments or would like to sponsor the NetHappenings Newsletter or mailing list please contact her using this [newsletters] -- [ at ] -- [edu-cyberpg [dot] com

Written by Classroom Teacher Alan Haskvitz

1994 National Middle Level Teacher of the Year (NCSS)
1997 National Teacher's Hall of Fame Inductee
1999 All USA Today First Team Teacher


In the News
Free stuff
Interesting Sites
Student Art Sites
ESL Sites


New Secretary of Education: Nothing new policy wise, but NCLB pushed to high school

With the removal/retirement/firing/good riddance (take your pick) of Mr. Paige from Texas comes the next in President Bush's appointments to carry NCLB forward/sideways/backward (take your pick) of Margaret Spellings, one of Karl Rove's favorites, to the position. It only took Bush four days to replace Paige, which probably says a lot about his performance or her clout.
The new Secretary's qualifications center around her efforts with Bush as a political advisor. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Houston, never taught school, worked as a young lobbyist for the Texas
school boards association, is perhaps the one most responsible for NCLB, and dislikes unions. Look for more attitude form the newbie and less tolerance based on reports of her reluctance to suffer fools gladly.

Hypertxt vs textbooks Are Books dead?
The use of the Internet to provide less expensive, yet current and simplier to use in creating individualized lessons may make the formal and expensive textboks history. At least until the power outage.

Are Vouchers dead?
For the third time since 1999, Florida's Court of Appeals ruled that the state's Opportunity Scholarship Program, which allows students in failing schools to use vouchers to attend a public or private school of their choice, violates the state constitution's Blaine Amendment.

Does Retaining Students Help?
No real answers here, but an interesting read with a checklist. Apparently  the key to having students do better, according to this study in the school  board journal, is more teacher time and more funding. The American School  Board Journal's number one recommendation is " Teach teachers how to  instruct all students according to the ways they learn." The recommendation  comes from Darling-Hammond who is long removed from the working classroom.

And, Why are there a disproportionate number of black children in special  education?
The cause could be the assessment tool,according to  a university study the  WISC-III tends to classify a disproportionate number of Black children when  compared to other instruments. Naglieri, J. & Rohahn, J. 2001. Am. Journal  on Mental Retardation.

Fulbrights for Japan Study


Another site that displays and shares student art

Art Education Websites
Free Clip Art, Sounds and Fonts Galore

KinderArt has been a presence on the web since 1996, when the organizers placed their first few free art lessons online. Since then the site's collection of helpful art lessons designed to assist K-12 educators (and their students) has grown to include over 800 different lessons.


You have mail.
Are parent conference meetings becoming past tense? Could be as at least one  school is encouraging the use of emails to keep parents current and able to  communicate concerns with teachers. This helps busy parents and keeps  problems  from piling up. I use this method frequently and find it works well, but, as usual, those parents who care communicate back and those that  have the most troubled children don't respond as well.


Can it be true?  Will Libraries become obsolete?
Will this shake up Library La La Land?
Educational CyberPlayGround explains
Search this Site page
Find over 100 more search engines and help that
explains how to work with these tricky monsters.

"The Old way and the Net Way"
What's the deal with Google Scholar?
11/04 Announces Google Scholar  allow users "to search specifically for  scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books,  preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of  research." This includes results from the Open WorldCat program, which is  particularly important since much of this material isn't available in  electronic format yet. It will be even more useful after Google has  harvested all 57 million WorldCat records, instead of the 2 million records in the pilot subset.

How to Work with GOOGLE and Google Scholar
access vs.cloaking

Free computer software for non-profits.
There might be an administrative fee, but you can't beat these prices. Name brands, too.

Speaking of free Sun is offering its next-generation operating system without cost. 

More free stuff
This site has teacher related software programs that help with grading,  teaching, and computer usage.

Free Internet Cleaner
MereSurfer installs as a browser extension for Internet Explorer 5.0 (or  higher). It is only active when your browser is open. It prevents annoying  pop-up windows and fixes web bugs, clears all tracks of Internet activity  (cookies, cache, history and typed URLs) while surfing the web. You can recover the disk space by deleting all Internet trash acquired just by one  click.


Get Read to Read 
This is a preschool site that helps with develop skills they need to read  when they enter school. From The National Center for Learning Disabilities,

A great interactive site that shows the growing population over time. Also has other interactive sections to show the impact of people on the Earth.

How to make sure your computer stations are ergonomically correct for  students. An interesting site about a frequently overlooked area.

Dumb Laws

Look for backyard habitats near you.
Motivates students. Also downloadable schoolyard checklists. Some cost.


ESL and Dialect Speakers
Creole, Ebonics, Pidgin, AAVE, Black English Vernacular,
Patois, and Patwa, Dialect

ESL, Dialect Speakers and Learning to Read

ESL teachers and schools
You can use this website to teach English sounds to your students. Also,  please feel free to publish your sound materials on the website.
Speaking of ESL 
This site offers job listings around the world.

English Banana is a British ESL site with free games, downloads, dramas, and  more.



National Center for Statistics Its gotta be here.


Office of National Initiatives National Endowment for the Arts
Guidelines have been issued for a new round of Save America's Treasures grants.  They may be found through a link in the "Grants" section on the NEA Web site, or at this direct link:

Thanks for reading,



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