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Press Release: NEW INTERNET HANDBOOK FROM TEACHERS NETWORK DEMYSTIFIES TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM  AND ENHANCES STUDENT LEARNING

For immediate release

NEW INTERNET HANDBOOK FROM TEACHERS NETWORK DEMYSTIFIES TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM  AND ENHANCES STUDENT LEARNING

90% of Schools are Connected, but Teachers are Not Net-Savvy;
New Media Guide Covers All Grade Levels and Subject Areas 



NEW YORK, NY (May 28, 2002)-Teachers Network (www.teachersnetwork.org), a non-profit education organization that connects innovative teachers nationally and around the globe, has created a new, one of a kind guide, How to Use the Internet in Your Classroom, in direct response to an articulated need by teachers and educators across the country who are desperate to become net-savvy. Purchasing computer hardware and access is no longer the problem, since 90% of schools nationwide are connected to the World Wide Web; the problem is how to integrate technology into the classroom, and teachers are struggling.

In 2001, K-12 schools spent an estimated $6.9 billion on computers, servers, wiring, internet access, and software, through federal, state, and local initiatives. Unfortunately, funds for technology training and support for teachers-the most important component for establishing the necessary link between technology and improved student learning-fell far short of their need. Quality Education Data, a Denver-based research firm, estimates that school districts are devoting barely 5% of their technology budgets for staff development. 

Created by 28 teachers, from Peru to California to Maine, this guide is a "gateway" to the Internet and an enormous resource for everyone, even parents, grappling with the newest literacy-technology, and how to use it effectively to improve student achievement. How to Use the Internet in Your Classroom only scratches the surface of what's available through the Internet via the Teachers Network site. Within its 96 pages, the guide acts as a "virtual portal" providing numerous links to relevant websites (only available through the handbook), online research tools, sample interactive field trips, real curriculum units and classroom materials, as well as an opportunity to chat online with tech-smart teachers.

"Listening to the teacher's voice is crucial; teachers are telling us that they finally have the Internet available in their schools, but they don't know how to ensure that they and their students are getting the most out of it," said Ellen Dempsey, President and CEO of Teachers Network. "What better way to help teachers with integrating technology into their curriculum than to go directly to some of those pioneering teachers who are creating new media classrooms.

"At a time when increases in student enrollment, standardized testing, and class size reduction initiatives are at the forefront of education issues, the demands for both teachers and for worthwhile professional development have dramatically increased," noted Dempsey. This is the 11th publication in the Teachers Network by teachers for teachers series, and was funded by Vivendi Universal. Teachers Network has been at the forefront of helping to bring new technology into the classroom, and published the Teachers Guide to Cyberspace in 1996 when the Internet was still in its infancy.

How to Use the Internet in Your Classroom is an indispensable tool for all those committed to improving student learning, "said Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Public Schools. "This book bridges the gap between the limitless resources of the World Wide Web, and the difficulties teachers face in navigating this new medium."

Teachers Network has partnered with superintendents throughout the United States in an effort to aid public school teachers in maximizing their use of the Internet, and finding resources that will best help them integrate technology into their curriculum. As an added benefit, Teachers Network offers teachers an online book tour  which features a clickable map of the United States, providing information about the guide's authors, illustrative graphics, book excerpts, and purchasing information. The site also contains e-mail addresses of the teachers who actually wrote How To Use The Internet In Your Classroom, allowing educators, administrators, technology coordinators and others to contact the authors with questions and/or requests for further information.

About Teachers Network
Teachers Network is a non-profit national and international education organization, with more than 28 affiliates, that identifies and connects innovative teachers exemplifying professionalism and creativity within public school systems. Over 40,000 public school teachers have received Teachers Network grants and fellowships in the areas of curriculum, leadership, policy, and new media.

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For more information, contact Teachers Network at 212-966-5582.

 

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