ERAC Update - February 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 and agreements. View previous editions.

In this February issue you'll find:

....and so much more!


Evaluated products are regularly being added to ERAC's Online Resource Collection. So check often and find out what's new!

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E-Readers – To Have and To Hold?

When it comes to E-Readers and E-Books, enthusiasm, trepidation and a whole lot of questions surround this subject. ERAC identified the need to address this growing industry and how it will impact our schools.

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ERAC Members can now enjoy the advantage of learning the "Copyright Essentials for Educators" course, complimentary with their membership! After receiving many requests from members for group training access and lower costs, we decided to provide...

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Lessons are lost when students can't hear

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 multipurpose rooms.

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."

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Students Get Engaged By "Reading Along"

Gone is the monotonous and boring storytelling where students read along, shuffling their fingers over the words. Bookster, a new teacher reviewed app, provides fun and colourful illustrations as well as an option for readers to record their voices. Students love the simple interaction and the ability to listen to the story through their voice. Check it out here, along with many other apps located at ERAC Commons. Feel free to rate these applications as you use them.


On the Horizon – IT4K12

Some dates have been secured and the planning is underway. ERAC's first IT conference for K-12 is scheduled for June and we're hoping, through your attendance, that this event will not only be the first one, but the first annual one. Here are some details to get you started:

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See Through Canadian Eyes

What do body image, globalization and exporting oil have in common? These are just a few of the categories found in the rich database, Canadian Points of View Reference Centre. With many topics in each category as well as critical thinking research resources, this database provides excellent instructional design for project based learning. To learn more on how to use this resource and glean the many benefits, check out the info here, in the ERAC Commons. You'll find suggestions, links and highlights. Make sure to watch the short video produced by ERAC on how to use this resource.

Music to My Ears

We're growing our collection and we want your help! Have you heard of any good music resources that enhance instruction using a number of new technologies and services? If you have, we'd love to hear from you! Just email us at and we'll look into an evaluation for the resource.



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!

Q. "My district is very interested in using e-readers and pursuing e-textbooks. Do you know of any good e-textbooks that are out there being used?"
Carrie Yuen-Lo, Administrator, District Resource Centre SD #57 (Prince George)
A. You've raised a big issue and growing concern for quality e-content for K12 in BC. Other districts are asking about this too. In short, the trend seems to be to collect or purchase not a single subject e-textbook, but provide for teachers a kind of playlist of suitable subject content. The development of rich e-content by publishers is starting to move in Canada.

I think this is going to be an ongoing conversation within districts and something ERAC has put on its list of priorities in the new year. But I think the notion of a single e-textbook for any grade level does not really support the trend towards personalized learning, nor take advantage of the variety of available digital resources. If you or any of our members have found any quality resources, please forward to us.


Some past tweets you may have missed:

January 13 – 42 new novel titles added to ERAC resource collection for grades 2-12. Login to see full evaluations by BC teachers

January 13 - Kudos to Gordon Powell in Richmond BC... check out his district promotion of database bundle

January 11 - New free NFB app just announced... create stopmotion films. Worth checking out

Are you following us on Twitter? You can find us at

Did you know we’re on FaceBook too? Why not recommend and like us and get in on the conversation!

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"ERAC has contributed to the efficiencies of the school districts by grouping our buying power into one large consortium."

Larry Paul
Secretary-Treasurer - Central Okanagan
School District #23