Educational CyberPlayGround

NetHappenings Newsletter

 NHN: Net Happenings Newsletter #8

NEW THIS WEEK for December 7th, 2004

Dear Readers,

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.

Written by Classroom Teacher Alan Haskvitz
1997 National Teacher's Hall of Fame Inductee
1999 All USA Today First TeamTeacher
1994 National Middle Level Teacher of the Year (NCSS)


Quote of the Day
In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day's work.  It is invisible and  remains so, maybe for twenty years.  ~Jacques Barzun

Factoid: There are about 90,000 traditional public schools, educating more  than 50 million students in the United States.

Many schools have websites. It's fun to see everybody's unique ideas on what  these things should be. The Hotlist the first one created in 1993 by Gleason  Sackmann is a master registry of K-12 schools. The registry is organized by state and by grade level located here:
School Directory



Charter Schools Falling Short
The Bush administration had to release the evidence that Charter Schools were not performing as well in the Department of Education survey and so they downplayed the results. That is probably why you didn't hear about it
before now. Anyway, The most interesting news aren't the performance figures, but the large number of underperforming students enrolled giving evidence that the Charter Schools were not skimming the topperforming

Special Education Legislation Passed
On Friday, November 19, 2004, Congress passed sweeping legislation that governs Special Education.  The legislation doubles the amount of money spent on disabled children and makes notable changes in the way that Special Education is handled in the school system. Here are some good places to see what it means.

Some startling statistics about children born in 2001 and their families and their abilities Stunning data. For example, Percentage of children with no biological father in their home who have never seen their father, by race/ethnicity: 2001 finds that the highest group without a father present is Asian.

From Web-Enhanced Courses to a Web-Enhanced Curriculum "When educators discover the advantages of using online technology in their teaching, they are often inspired to incorporate technology more systematically into their departmental programs. In this article, Robert E.
Wood explains how he and his colleagues took this step in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, Camden. Rather than focusing solely on their own courses, faculty members began working together to offer their students shared access to online tutorials, course Web sites, streaming video sessions, and a range of other resources.
In the process, Wood observes, these efforts had the effect of creating much greater cohesion within the curriculum itself. The expansion of online resources helped the department promote standards for student skills, including consistent policies regarding plagiarism, research methods, and citation conventions. In turn, faculty members were also able to establish greater uniformity in conceptual and technical vocabulary from course to course, while additional online resources helped to foster greater communication among students and faculty. Woods account provides a positive model of how the spirit of collaboration can help realize the potential of
technology in higher education."


With the passing of the recent budget in mind here are some good links.
Here is a graph of who is getting the money. Education is second. Can you guess which is number one?

Current Debt clock
Great for the students, this site shows the current, literally, up to date debt and how it is going up over a billion dollars a day. In case they are wondering, every American is now about $25,000 in debt.

US Defense Budget compared to the world
This is an excellent way to get kids interested in the budget and defense as it shows the 2003 budget allocations by country. Good critical thinking theme plus geography and math integration.


Working with parents
Everything from motivating to creating more valuable parent conferences is offered.
for all the Nethappenings newsletter readers who want to practice good net worthy hygiene that would make us proud :-)

Virtual Schools for the Gifted
The future may be now as these institutions offer classes for the gifted.

If you are really stuck with an idea for a theme the answer certainly must be here.Bizarre, unusual, weird, and true holidays, weeks, and month celebrations. In case you are wondering, January is National High Tech month, National Hot Tea Month, and National Reaching Your Potential Month.

Tired of Spam? Here is Where to Complain
This site also has information on frauds, scams, and complaints. Ex-spouses and poor administrators are not listed.

You can't start them too young
This site has the procedures to have kindergarten children set up their own little offices at school.

Civil War Soldiers and  Sailors System, contains information on information on over six million soldiers and sailors from 44 states and territories who were involved in the Civil War.

Think you know your PC Keyboard?
You may want to check these shortcuts out.

National Board of Professional Teaching Standards continues to search for validation See page 28
This study continues to pour doubt on the NBPTS requirements. Two new studies just out, one from the same Washington source and one from Arizona State, have been brought to task for not comparing teachers with the same experience, education, or even student demographics in their findings.
Another interesting factor is that funding frequently comes from the NBPTS.
If you have access to any definitive study that shows that the NBPTS improves student learning please let us know.


Everybody Knows Music Makes You Smarter

Christmas music lovers,,4845,00.swf



Rock & Roll music lovers


Here is an interactive example of the glass armonica invented by Ben Franklin. He figured out how to put the glasses on a spindle, closer to one another, making them easier to play.  Previously, the glasses were in box facing up and the player really had to move around to get to them. Mozart composed for the glass armonica.
Parody Music Lovers



Federal Funding Sources

Looking for State School Board Associations?

Thanks for reading,



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