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November 14, 2001

Students to get Access to Educational Sites Georgia public schools will be sent a copy of free software providing access to AOL's school site - http://school.aol.com/ - and a letter from the governor explaining the program. It seems like a nothing for nothing deal: schools already have access to the internet, and the AOL site is freely available on the internet. So what's up? It's a branding and marketing thing, of course. AOL's version of Channel One. And while head of education for AOL, Mark Nixon, says, "We're not changing the face of curriculum," it remains true that the news and resources available to students through the service are from AOL or its affiliates. By Patti Ghezzi, Atlanta Journal Constitution, November 14, 2001.[Refer]

Using the Invisible Web in Research Useful article (though I'm sorry about the long URL) talking about researching on the 'invisible web' - that is, the part of the web that doesn't show up in search engines such as Google. The author keeps a few of his trade secrets to himself (there's a lot more out there than he describe) but the point is generally applicable. And as he says: it takes work to research beyond the search engines, but it's worth it. By Steve Outing, Editor and Publisher, November 14, 2001.[Refer]

Substitute Teachers Available Online An innovative way to use the internet to support learning: this article describes how a school board in Arkansas uses an online system to find and place substitute teachers. By Steve Caraway, The Morning News, November 12, 2001.[Refer]

A Victory for the Student Researcher A United States Federal Circuit court ruling could have wide reaching implications. The court allowed a student, Joany Chou, to sue her supervisor after he secretly registered a patent for something she invented. The wider implications are nicely summarized in the report: "student researchers will now be able to sue their supervising PhDs for any actions that are not in the best interests of the student researcher or the patent rights of the student researcher. This protection will apply to all conduct of the supervising PhD, not just to the type of conduct that results in 'stealing' or 'cheating.'" By Kyle Grimshaw, Duke Law and Technology Review, October 3, 2001.[Refer]

New Online Service Lets Biologists Vote on Most Important Articles This is a relly interesting project but there are still some questions. Essentially, 1450 volunteer professors in biology will review selected papers and vote on them through an online service, thus coming up with a list of recommended articles. For $50 ($1500 for institutions) readers can get the list of recommended articles. But not the articles themselves (though a link may be provided if the article is available online). Questions, questions. Like: what stops this from becoming a free advertising service for publishers? How are the articles for review selected? What does the $50 fee pay for? Still - I don't want to cast too much doubt here: this is obviously an initiative with good intentions and may, in the long run, be a valuable service. By Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 13, 2001.[Refer]


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