ERAC Update - March 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.
Welcome Principals and Vice-Principals!
ERAC continues to reach out to its members and increase our communication channels.
In addition, ERAC services are being highlighted in other magazines. Recently, a
story in this newsletter got picked up in Adminfo. The article “Access to Academic Databases” highlighted
your peers at South Delta Secondary School using ERAC services. Why not hear it
FIRST here by receiving our monthly ERAC Update? As a benefit of membership, when
you go to our homepage and
you will automatically receive this newsletter. Don’t miss out on pertinent information
that affects you and your teachers…please create your account now!
In this March issue you'll find:
....and so much more!
- Microsoft PML participation agreement to be signed by March 6, 2012
- Follett Software Destiny Resource Management expires March 31, 2012
- Lightspeed Short Term Agreement expires March 31, 2012
- Pixton Comics Short Term Agreement expires March 31, 2012
NEW FOR YOU
Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About BC
ERAC members can now enjoy a renewed subscription to Encyclopedia of BC including
a number of additional major reference works! This constantly growing and enhanced
resource is the ‘go to’ for all things related to BC.
Interactive Products for Less – Now That’s SMART!
Saving money is always a smart choice, and now ERAC has once again provided great
savings for members on a range of SMART interactive whiteboard products. Through
a preferred pricing agreement, ERAC members will have access to great low prices
on these products. Just contact your ERAC Software Contact to find out the details." To see the
agreement, click here.
Transformational Teaching Through Technology
Online professional development videos through eTeachables® (Sublime Learning) are
now available on a short-term offer through ERAC. These video libraries are designed
to help teachers integrate technology into instruction. Offer is available until
June 30, 2012. For the full details click here.
Realize Full Benefit of E Desktop Solutions
To take advantage of this new Microsoft PML agreement, Secretary Treasurers must
return their signed participation agreement by March 6, 2012. The agreement made
through ERAC gives all participants access to the full Microsoft E Desktop Solution.
This is one of ERAC’s most successful initiatives as if offers many benefits to
members. To find out what those benefits are and to read the full agreement, click
MADE THE GRADE
ERAC's Online Resource Collection to find out what’s new. Log in and see
the ERAC Review from your peers!
read more to find out who Made the Grade
The Ministry of Education Catalogue of Learning Resources has recently been added
ERAC online collection. By choosing “Ministry Recommended” in the “Status”
field, you can search for those items only, or watch for the icon above to show
you the resource is from the Ministry’s list. The WNCP Math resources have also
been added and are now a part of the ERAC collection. Log in now and check out what’s
DOLLARS AND SENSE
Technology Supporting Education = 21st Century Schools
Dates are picked (June 12&13), venue is secured (Sheraton Airport Hotel in Richmond)
and now we’re working on the tracks/sessions for you based on a survey. The IT4K12
conference planning is well on its way. You’ll soon be able to find all the IT4K12
event information on its own website at IT4K12.org. Access this site once
registration opens on March 19th! For now be sure to SAVE THE DATES!
ERAC IN THE CLASSROOM
Yes! to KnowBC.com
In today's classrooms, it can be difficult for students to hear what their teacher
is saying with sounds bouncing off hard surfaces, the emphasis on students collaborating
with one another and all the other ambient noises in classrooms, gymnasiums and
There are several different strategies to address the problem, but many educators
in B.C. are turning to the FrontRow audio system. "There are two types of teachers,"
said Anna Crosland, teacher-librarian at Georges Vanier Elementary School in Surrey,
"those who have never tried a FrontRow system and don't know what all the fuss is
about and those who have used it and would never teach without it."
How Big Is YOUR Video Collection?
Not many of us are lucky enough to have 100 videos in our collection, let alone
1,000! The National Film Board
has a video collection of more than 1,700 French and English titles that are available
for classroom viewing as a benefit of membership. ERAC’s agreement with the NFB gives our members access to public
performance rights and includes a new
Campus Screening Room. Here you’ll find things like specific Canadian content,
media and educational tools, study guides and more! The ERAC Commons expands on this resource in the ERAC4U group, showing you how to create your own playlists
that are specific to your classroom needs. There are also valuable suggestions for
using the NFB resources, as well as a list of recommended videos. Click here to go to ERAC4U and check out more ways to strategically
use other resources, not just the NFB. Although some NFB films still come with a
price tag, the number of available films keeps growing and provides teachers with
a rich source of learning support.
To access all the great NFB content, just click here to register your account with them and then click the
link to their Welcome Page. It’s that easy! For more details, check out the link
in our NFB
Stay On Top of Your Apps Through the ERAC Commons!
Now in one place, you can find the apps that are most relevant to you! With 10 new
apps per week being reviewed and uploaded to the ERAC Commons, you won’t want to miss out! Just click here to see more. You can rate the apps that are listed
and give your own comments. Just sign in to the ERAC commons. Don’t forget to submit
any apps that you want reviewed … help us grow the list of valuable apps.
DID YOU KNOW?
Inanimate Alice – A Different Kind of Novel
Inanimate Alice was born digital and she wants to share her story with you and your
students! This ground-breaking interactive, multimedia-based novel takes students
on a global adventure. Children are engaged through flash interface, images, music,
sound effects, puzzles, games and more. This free resource has been adopted by teachers
who are eager to connect with students through media and includes useful teaching
aids, strategies and provides supplemental resources. Check out the full product
review that got great ratings by logging in to the online collection. For additional information, go to their
Learning to Use Your Resource
Gale Cengage Learning is offering a bunch of free training webinars during March
to provide tips and tricks to get the most out of your Gale Resources. Everything
from Biography in Context to the Gale Virtual Reference Library, this training will
hopefully help save you time in your searches and your teaching. Click here for the full calendar.
Peer Resource Rating Now Available in ERAC’s Online Collection
You asked for the ability to rate resources thereby providing you with valuable
peer reviews to help you choose the best resources for use in your classroom. In
three simple steps, you can rate the resources that you commonly use: 1. Sign in
on ERAC’s website, 2. Search for your resource within the online collection, 3.
Pull up the full product review and rate that resource (found at the top, above
the title). This option is only available to ERAC members and associate members.
Check out your favourite online resource and help start building the ratings!
Safe Surfing with CIRA and MNet
CIRA (the Canadian Internet Registration Authority) and MNet (Media Awareness Network)
have joined forces to launch the first in a series of cyber security tip sheets.
The goal is to help students stay safe when using the internet. The Safe Surfing
Tip Sheet is available on the MNet website, as well as other digital literacy resources.
YOU ASKED US!
ERAC's Q&A: VHS conversion to DVD
Questions are only valuable if they lead us to answers. But what if more than one
person is looking for that answer? We've decided to create a new category in the
ERAC Update for this very reason. "You Asked Us" will highlight questions (and the
answers!) we receive that we think might be of value to all our members. This way
you'll keep up to date on what we're working on as well as the latest information.
So feel free to send those questions in and we'll share the answers! You can contact
us through a myriad of ways including: email, phone, mail, Twitter, Facebook and
through our website. Read on below to participate in the first posted question!
"We are considering doing a whole-scale conversion of VHS items to the DVD format.
We think this may be problematic with regard to copyright laws. What are your thoughts?"
Name and District withheld
This is not legal advice, but is an opinion. It is not okay to convert all VHS items
to DVD format. The fair dealing clauses in the copyright law do not necessarily
apply in this case. There is an exception around format transfer to support individuals
with perceptual difficulties but it can’t be used to justify conversion of VHS items
for use by all students and staff. There is also an exception for libraries, 30.1.1(c),
allowing libraries to produce materials, “in an alternative format if the original
is currently in an obsolete format or the technology required to use the original
is unavailable”. However, the technology is not yet obsolete.
I don’t think that it is okay for a school district to convert videos if the titles
aren’t available in the DVD format. The rights to the content, regardless of format,
are very likely all still owned by publishers. The publishers just haven’t made
the titles available in a newer format. Making certain titles available in certain
formats at certain times is included in the exclusive rights of a copyright owner.
I would not advise proceeding whole-scale from a risk-management point of view.
See Janet Steffenhagen’s Report Card blog: http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/01/25/school-district-flagged-for-unlicensed-software-use/
I would suggest that whole-scale conversion would not be advisable anyway as a strategy
for ensuring collections are up-to-date. Anything in VHS format is older now, and
there may be concerns about curriculum fit and/or currency. The fact that the content
is not available in the newer DVD format may be a good thing.
I would suggest a more selective approach to moving toward elimination of the VHS
format, purchasing new DVD content when it makes sense, and looking at other options.
Note that another alternative is pursuing and receiving written permission from
publishers to transfer individual titles from VHS to DVD. Also, what a number of
other districts are doing is looking at acquiring digital video rights either title-by-title
or through a streaming service to replace both VHS, and DVD, content.
Answer provided courtesy of Heather Daly, Library and Information Coordinator, S.D.
Find out what the laws are and all the copyright essential information by taking
the ERAC Copyright Essentials course, offered as a benefit of
membership to all ERAC members.
Some past tweets you may have missed:
February 3 – ERAC members now have free access to BC developed online course "Copyright
Essentials for Educators" http://bit.ly/ACVJzK
February 7 - Don't know how to use CBC News in Review?Find out and more in ERAC4U
Great teacher supports with critical questions.
February 9 - Everything you wanted to know and more: Check out Kathy Shrocks site
February 15 - New Can. Media Net report:Young Canadians in a Wired World:Teacher’s
Perspectives shows need for teaching citizenship
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