On-Line Service To Offer Education News, Ideas For Classroom Teachers

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Teacher who rely on the Internet for professional news and classroom ideas but dislike the drudgery of revisiting World Wide Web sites may soon get a boost from an on-line service scheduled to begin this fall.

The service--called Educast--will offer information from newspapers including Education Week and USA Today, the U.S. Department of Education, and other groups and publications. It will be published by Davidson & Associates, based in Torrance, Calif.

"What we're trying to provide is an on-ramp, a first cut, to the most timely information that's relevant to professional education," said Sylvia Martinez, the executive producer of Educast said last week in an interview here at the National Educational Computing Conference.

The service, which is currently available in a trial version, is an example of what is known as "push" technology.

Most Web browsers and search engines are "pull" technologies, in that the user must visit Web sites, type in key words, or consult indices and actively download--or pull--selected information onto a computer.

Push Web services perform those tasks for the user--and usually when he or she isn't even at the computer. Users must register for these services, install special software on their computers, and select information categories and on-line publications about which they would like to receive updates.

Stories and Lesson Plans

The software activates the computers' connections to the Internet at designated times and downloads requested information and Web links--in addition to topic-related advertising, which foots the publisher's bill for the free service.

Educast will offer about nine stories a week from Education Week, six stories a month from Teacher Magazine, and links to the publications' on-line resources. Both Education Week and Teacher Magazine are published by Editorial Projects in Education Inc.

The service also will deliver weekly lesson plans, grouped by grade and subject areas, and announcements of conferences and grants. Educators can download the trial version of Educast by going to the service's Web site at http://www.educast.com.

Vol. 16, Issue 40, Page 9

Published in Print: July 9, 1997, as On-Line Service To Offer Education News, Ideas For Classroom Teachers
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