ERAC Update - May 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.
In this May issue you'll find:
....and so much more!
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…please create your account now!
• Media Awareness Network: Passport to the Internet – expires May 31, 2012
• Please note that vendors must submit products by June 15 to ensure that they are
evaluated over the summer
New For You
Animation = Fun in the Classroom
Have some extra fun and learning in the classroom through animation! ToonBoom’s
animation software and classroom curriculum materials are now being offered in smaller
quantities, making it easier to purchase. This offer also includes a special bundle
of two animation tools, Flip Boom All-Star and Toon Boom Studio. Curriculum materials
are also included in this offer. Check out all the details in the agreement.
Enjoy Your OFFICE at Work and Home
Want some Microsoft Office products at a substantially reduced rate? We thought
you might! For ERAC Districts participating in the Microsoft PML EDesktop Agreement,
we are offering you the benefits of the Home Use Program for your staff. Microsoft
office products already being used at work can now also be installed on home computers.
This is a first come first serve offer. All the details can be found in the agreement. Log in and check out the step by step guide for
purchase. (Also available for Macs).
Communicate Easily with Synervoice SchoolConnects
Long gone are the days of snail mail as more schools and districts look at ways
to communicate quickly and cheaply. SchoolConnects is a web-based mass communication
tool allowing for voice and electronic messages to be sent quickly to parents and
staff regarding all school related issues. These include transportation problems
or weather delays, parent nights and homework assignments, and of course daily attendance
issues and emergencies. ERAC has renewed its agreement with Synrevoice SchoolConnectsWeb
for three more years and at even greater discounts than before. Check out the entire
Engagement is Easy with BookFlix and Expert Space from Scholastic
Getting students engaged might be easy, but keeping them engaged is another story.
With this new short-term offer from Scholastic, they’ll stay engaged and can even
have access at home! ERAC members must subscribe before September 30, 2012 to enjoy
this offer on two products. BookFlix pairs classic video stories with related non-fiction
ebooks to provide a wonderfully colourful and animated world. Expert Space is another
online resource that will transform the way your students engage in social studies
and science through interactive projects. Both of these subscriptions can be accessed
anywhere, including at home! For more information, check out the complete short-term
Want to Learn About the Big Bad Wolf?
You may think you know everything already about wolves, but the newly evaluated
“Sea Wolves – Living Wild in the Great Bear Rainforest” might surprise you.
This beautifully illustrated book, along with two others, “Salmon Bears – Giants
of the Great Bear Rainforest” and “Generation Us” are now being offered
at a great discount for a short term offer until August 31, 2012. Get more details
Made the Grade
Lessons are lost when students can't hear
ERAC’s Online Resource Collection to find out what’s new. Click on the titles
to go to the evaluation. Log in and see the ERAC Review from your peers!
Learn Your Way! Self-designing the Life You Really Want, Starting
Dreaming Dragon Consulting
Grades: 7-10, Subjects: Health, Career Education and Planning 10. This book presents
ideas on self-discover, self-awareness and self-actualization for senior students.
With many activities, students can create and evaluate their own learning paths.
Mind maps and mandalas used are very engaging.
Google SketchUp Pro
Grades: 8-12, Subjects: Geography, Social Studies, History and Industrial Technology
projects. Google SketchUp Pro 8 is a 3D modeling software, offering students 3D
building models and other objects where virtual prototypes can be made of woodwork
and metals, recreating ancient villages for social studies or creative works of
Canada at War
Grades: 8-10, Subjects: Social Studies, English Language Arts. This full colour
graphic textbook focuses on Canada’s role in World War II. Providing visual skills
and clues makes acquiring content information more engaging than just reading. Content
is clear and well presented, and comes with summaries for each topic.
Scholastic Canada Ltd
Grades: K-4, Subjects: Cross-curricluar. BookFlix is an engaging and user friendly
multimedia literary resource. The collection pairs fiction and non-fiction materials
on a variety of themes. Visuals are rich and engaging. Content is multicultural.
Scholastic Canada Ltd.
Grades: 7-12, Subjects: Cross-curricular, Social Studies, Science, Language Arts.
An online digital curriculum and toolkit, this resource provides access to leveled
content complete with interactive learning tools. The resources is a comprehensive
collection of more than 100 content modules on a wide range of topics with vetted
web links, time lines, maps, images, slide shows, videos and other media.
ERAC in the Classroom
Pro-D Day Initiative
Looking for options for next year’s professional development days? Partnering with
key learning resource vendors, ERAC is excited to promote digital learning resource
education through a new initiative that will support districts’ own professional
learning needs. Working with vendors and district staff, ERAC will assist in coordinating
a pro-d event in school districts to help maximize district use of products that
districts have purchased. Participating vendors include EBSCO, WorldBook, CBC News
in Review, KnowBC, SMART and MediaNet Awareness. Please note that these are not
vendor sessions, but rather educational seminars on the use of ERAC products for
student learning. District contacts and administrative personnel will be sent more
particulars later this week. Maryjanne Yusyp, the ERAC staff member who manages
ERAC’s professional learning opportunities for districts says, “Our goal is to customize
support for districts‘ own professional learning needs when it comes to successfully
integrating classroom resources for personalized learning.” Don’t miss out and plan
early. Questions can be forwarded to Maryjanne at
What About Canada, Eh?
Looking for information about a contemporary Canadian author? The Canadian Periodicals
Index Quarterly (CPI.Q.) database will find this for you and everything else…Canadian
specific. Finding Canadian content can be challenging but not through the CPI.Q.
which includes a variety of popular magazines and newspapers from across Canada.
With over 1300 publications, going back 32 years, you’re bound to find what you’re
looking for. ERAC4U
provides highlights on the CPI.Q. as well as video demos and “how to” searches,
plus so much more. Take a look
here first to simplify your use of this great resource.
More Teacher-Approved Apps to Discover and Share
“Good apps can be found…but great apps must be discovered and shared.” This great
quote explains the true treasure of apps. Our app collection keeps growing in leaps
and bounds at the ERAC Commons.
With 30 newly reviewed apps, including secondary math/science and humanities apps,
we’re sure you’ll find something useful. For instance, why not hold Planet Earth
in your hand? Now you can with the new app “Planet Earth 3D”. This app is divided
into four sections: structure, rotation, moon and habitat. To explain the concepts,
3D models are provided that can be manipulated by the student. Check out our review
In the Works
What We’re Working On
Renewal of the popular Media Awareness Network resources: Passport to the Internet
and MyWorld and we’re also renewing the EBSCO, World Book and Gale resources
in the ERAC database bundle. So keep your eyes/ears open as we’ll be letting you
know as soon as we’ve secured you the best deal! Membership pays.
Rounding into the Last Lap – Digital RoadMap Project
All 38 reports are in and we are busy compiling all the information into a useable
resource for you. We’re excited to share what we’ve learned, what options are available
and what the roadmap looks like for the future. To hear some comments about the
process from your peers, just check out the middle panel on our homepage, or click here.
You Asked Us
Q & A
Q. What is ERAC4U?
A. To better support teachers using ERAC products that either their districts have
purchased or are provided by ERAC, we’ve created an ERAC Commons group (ERAC4U)
that will house access information, user tips and classroom resources. Each month
we will feature a product that ERAC currently has an agreement with and provide
related links so that teachers can better understand the product, its curricular
uses and information on how to access.
Some past tweets you may have missed:
April 16 - What do Planet Earth 3D,The Virtual Bacterial ID Lab and Rhyme Zone have
in common? They’re a few of newly reviewed apps
April 12 - Looking for current Can. reference material or resources? ERAC database
bundle includes CPIQ. Helpful info on how to use http://eraccommons.ca/erac4u/
April 2 – Google's SketchUp Pro 8 3D Modelling software licenses to ERAC members
at no additional cost for a term of 3 years http://bit.ly/HrkIxHhttp://bit.ly/HrkIxH
Are you following us on Twitter? You can find us at www.twitter.com/bcerac
Did you know we’re on FaceBook too? Why not recommend and
like us and get in on the conversation!
Your feedback is important to us – let us know how we’re doing with this short 1