ERAC Update - June 2012
ERAC Update is ERAC's newsletter, published once a month, online, during
the school year. This newsletter offers readers a monthly view of ERAC's news, services
View previous editions.
In this June issue you'll find:
...and so much more!
As a benefit of membership, when you
you will automatically receive this newsletter. Don't miss out on pertinent information
that affects you.
Your feedback is important to us – let us know how we’re doing with this short 1
- FrontRow – expires June 30, 2012
- Symantec Anti-Virus Solutions – expires June 9, 2012
- eTeachables from Sublime Learning – short-term offer expires June 30, 2012
Attention Vendors: To ensure your products are evaluated over the summer, please submit them by June 15th.
New For You
Your Digital Classroom is a Whitepaper Away
Get a jump on Fall planning...create your personalized roadmap to launch digital resources in your classroom! ERAC's "Roadmap to the Digital Classroom" is an interactive whitepaper, providing assistance in building your digitized classroom. Various options allow you to create a plan that fits your specific situation. Check it out here and share the info.
Made the Grade
Lessons are lost when students can't hear
Check out ERAC's Online Resource Collection to find out what's new. Click on the titles to go to the evaluation.
Log in and see the ERAC Review from your peers!
Nowhere Else on Earth
Orca Book Publishers
Science: Grades 4-5; Social Studies: Grades 4-10, 12. Nowhere Else on Earth is a book about B.C.'s
Great Bear Rainforest that would best serve as a classroom or library reference or research resource.
Meeting many of the P.L.O.s for grades 4-10 Social Studies and Grades 4-5 Science, the resource provides
background information about wildlife and marine life in Coastal British Columbia. Liberally illustrated
with photographs, it presents interesting insights about the biological, ecological, and historical
presence of the flora and fauna of the Great Bear Rainforest. Also included are the "voices" of
individuals who reside in this area, who offer their unique experiences and perspectives. This very
readable and well-organized book presents information through a sustainability lens.
Social Studies: Grades 3-12; English Language Arts: Grades 3-7; French as a Second Language: Grades
5-10; Business Education: Grade 12; Home Economics: Grades 8-12; Introductory Spanish: Grade 11;
Tourism: Grades 11-12. CultureGrams is an online resource that provides current information for
206 countries, the Canadian provinces and territories, and the 50 American states. It works well as
an inquiry-based resource for grades 3 to 12. Students can investigate and conduct comparisons on
climate, geography, resources, population, economics, politics, religion, and education across the
globe, and will find clear, concise, and contemporary information. The interface is intuitive,
very user friendly for elementary and secondary school students, and offers excellent legibility
and sound quality. Educators will appreciate the teacher activities to help them fully integrate
this resource into their lessons. The activities are structured with a detailed scope and sequence,
and learning intentions are clearly stated. This resource easily works for differentiated learning
and teaching, and meets the needs of student-initiated inquiry for cross-cultural studies.
ERAC in the Classroom
Want to keep your students engaged in the process and not just the outcome? Creativity tools like Pixton
Comics and ToonBoom engage students as they work through assignments. Students can personalize their own
comics or create animated videos, using critical thinking skills along the way. Want to know more? Check
it out in the ERAC Commons under ERAC4U, or click here.
270 Reasons to Get an App
Free apps are great, but they still need to provide value. Our collection of 270 apps are all evaluated
and recommended by BC educators. Try out the 3D Brain and explore different brain regions and functions
with information on disorders, brain damage and even case studies. This can be used in Psychology, Biology
and Science 11-12. The DataAnalysis graphing app is a great math class aid for grades 10-12, allowing
them to analyze collected data through a graph. Get to the heart of the matter with the Virtual Heart
app. This simulated heart can be seen, AND heard, revealing details of valves, muscles and other major
parts, all with the swipe of a finger. Great tool for basic anatomy of the heart. So don’t miss out, our
collection is constantly growing and we welcome your input!
#1 Option to Consider - ERAC/Vendor/District Pro- D initiative
If your district is planning for a district wide professional learning day, don't forget to check out
how ERAC can support you! ERAC, in partnership with several vendors, is pleased to offer a program of
options that includes onsite sessions or webinars to suit your district's needs. You can plan a whole
day or half day that focuses on the educational implementation of a single or several products. We've
provided you with a link to an online request form that outlines the available options.
Two Powerful Teacher Planning Resources
Starting to plan for next year? Looking for resources to engage students in problem based learning?
Check out 2 powerful resources that are part of ERAC's Database Bundle. If you are not sure if your
district has purchased the bundle, contact your district contact for more info. Besides the great
value of World Book, Encyclopedia of BC, EBSCO and Gale/Cengage products found in our bundle, there
are also things like Global Issues in Context by Gale-Cengage and Canadian Points of View Reference
Centre by EBSCO. Let’s take a look at Global Issues in Context first:
This e-resource offers global news and perspectives on issues and events of international importance.
The database gives expert perspectives analyzing issues from cultural, religious, political, social,
economic, scientific and health standpoints and contains full text resources, primary resources and
interactive graphs, tables and charts. Find more information on this, plus a short video by
Another great resource is Canadian Points of View Reference Centre by EBSCO. This is a full-text
database designed to provide students with a series of essays that present multiple sides of a
current issue. The database provides information on 120 key topics of interest to Canadian researchers,
each with an overview (objective background/description), point (argument), counterpoint (opposing
argument), and Critical Thinking Guide. Topics covered include: environment, health, human rights,
crime, race, technology, substance abuse, and many more. Click here for more details and an informational video.
In the Works
Coming Soon from ERAC - the BC Digital Classroom!
ERAC is delighted to introduce the BC Digital Classroom (BCDC), an exciting suite of high quality
digital learning resources for use in BC schools. The BCDC will help Districts and schools move
ahead quickly to provide learners and teachers with anytime, everywhere access to the tools and
content they need. The BCDC includes:
- The ERAC Database Bundle already purchased by most ERAC members - includes World Book, EBSCO and GALE products.
- A selection of digital Canadian content and streamed video resources from multiple vendors.
Stay tuned for more details, including pricing and purchase options, coming in early June!
Reserve the Date! – October 25 & 26
The next District Contacts meeting is scheduled for October 25 and 26, 2012. We'll be
enjoying the Fairmount Vancouver Airport Hotel again as our venue. We’ll also be considering
themes with regards to the digital classroom. Reserve the date! We look forward to seeing many
of you there.
Did You Know?
IT4K12 Enjoys Great Line-Up of Speakers
Come to learn and be inspired at the first annual IT4K12 event! Listen to industry leaders
like Microsoft and Apple, as well as other well-known vendors, the Ministry of Education and
district experts and colleagues from around the province who will also share their knowledge.
There is something for everyone. Check out the complete sessions under the Tracks tab at
IT4K12.org or just click here.
Media Awareness Network Gets Smart
MNet has changed their brand! Media Awareness Network is now MediaSmarts. Working on a brand
that better defined the organization, MediaSmarts was chosen and their new logo and website was
created. They are still the same organization, working towards helping children and youth develop
the media smarts they need to be safe, savvy and informed in a digital world. Visit their new site
Good-Bye & Welcome
ERAC's current Executive Director, Judy Dallas, has announced her retirement. During her leadership
over the past four years, ERAC has developed common evaluation criteria for evaluating learning
resources across all media, and the online catalogue to share those evaluations, as well as a new
sustainable business model for the organization. We'd like to recognize Judy for the significant
legacy she has given to public education. Good-bye and Thank You to Judy, and Welcome to George
George has been the Secretary-Treasurer of the Greater Victoria School District for the
past 13 years. He will be working with the ERAC staff to continue expanding and broadening ERAC's
offerings to provide expertise and service to consortium members. Judy and George will be working
together to facilitate a smooth transition this July.
You Asked Us
Many of you have asked if we are keeping registration open for the IT4K12 event to accommodate
last minute requests. We are pleased to answer "Yes!". If you haven't yet registered for the event,
but planned on it, please go to this link to register. We are almost at our maximum number of
registrants, so don't miss out!
Some past tweets you may have missed:
May 30 - IT4K12 detailed conference presentations by track is now up on the website.
Not too late to register http://www.it4k12.org/tracks.cfm
May 23 - New apps being added weekly in http://eraccommons.ca Search by grade or subject.
Give your own ratings and suggestions for new apps.
May 16 - ERAC report on video streaming in BC schools and roadmap to digital classroom
now launched.Let us know what you think. http://bit.ly/JwtrEJ
May 8 - Why attend ERAC's IT4K12 conference? Bring back something new to positively impact
your district and classrooms. Info: http://www.it4k12.org
May 2 - 30 new apps added to the BC teacher reviewed app collection in the ERAC commons.
Add your comments or ratings http://eraccommons.ca
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