From: MarcoPolo [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2004 5:04 PM
Subject: MarcoPolo News: May 5, 2004
[ http://www.mped.org/images/mpn_masthead.jpg ]MarcoPolo News: Inside the
MarcoPolo Education Community
[ http://www.mped.org/images/spacer.gif ]>May 5, 2004
Volume 2 -- Issue 1[ http://www.mped.org/images/spacer.gif ]>
on the [ http://www.mped.org ]MarcoPolo Web site
Visitors to MarcoPolo Web site (March 2004)
Unique users(March 2004)
Educators trained to date
Training quality score
4.49 out of 5.0
Searchable teacher and student resources
Partner-created, standards-based lesson plans
Content quality score
4.53 out of 5.0
-----------------Microsoft Grants Funding to MarcoPolo
Microsoft has provided $200,000 in funding to the MarcoPolo Education
Foundation to accelerate the development of additional interactive student
resources. The funding will help MarcoPolo Content Partners more quickly
meet teacher demand for interactive materials to use with their students.
Embedded within MarcoPolo Content Partner lessons, these Flash-based tools
allow students to manipulate, experiment and interact with MarcoPolo's
online educational content in innovative and exciting ways that appeal to
technology-savvy students. Examples of interactives that will be built
with this funding include flash cards, mapping and vocabulary tools.
In addition, Microsoft will link to MarcoPolo content as a part of [
Innovative Teachers program. To read the press release, [
http://www.mped.org/about/press_release_20040504.aspx ]click here.
MarcoPolo Professional Development and training materials are aligned to
ISTE's National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Teachers.
[ http://www.mped.org/pd/iste_nets.aspx ][
-----------------Web Site Honored
Educators named [ http://www.mped.org ]MarcoPolo the top non-commercial,
education Web site in an independent survey administered in 2003 by
Quality Education Data (QED).
If you haven't visited [ http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/ ]ARTSEDGE
recently, you may want to take another look. [
http://www.mped.org/images/mpn_aescreenshot.jpg ]ARTSEDGE screen shotThe
site, created by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a
MarcoPolo Content Partner, was relaunched with a new look at the start of
the new year. Improved navigation and design top the list of changes as
ARTSEDGE aims to better support teachers who are integrating the arts
throughout the K-12 curriculum.
-----------------Field Trainers Recognized
In 2003, MarcoPolo's Field Trainer of the Year Program honored 36 Field
Trainers, representing 21 states, for their exemplary training activity.
For more information on the national Field Trainer of the Month and Field
Trainer of the Year programs, [
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/pd/ftotm.aspx ]click here.
-----------------Top Trainers Certified
Eleven MarcoPolo trainers, who have met rigorous qualification
requirements and participated in advanced training and mentoring sessions,
have achieved MarcoPolo Certified Trainer status. See the complete list in
the [ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/MarcoGrams/FT_Spring2004.html
]Spring 2004 issue of the Trainer MarcoGram.
-----------------Train and Win! Contest Extended
The Train and Win! Contest for Field Trainers, which was successfully
piloted in Fall 2003, has been extended through December 2004. Results
from the three-month pilot showed a 21% increase in completed Field
Training sessions over the same period in the previous year, as tracked in
Rusticello. The contest rewards Field Trainers who complete the four
required tracking steps for the MarcoPolo sessions they lead. For more
information, visit the [ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/features.aspx
]New Features section of the MarcoPolo Web site.
[ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/teacher/marcograms.aspx ][
http://www.mped.org/images/mpn_mini_masthead_mg.jpg ]The MarcoGram: For
teachers, principals and teacher-trainers.
The [ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/teacher/marcograms.aspx
]MarcoGram is a monthly e-newsletter written especially for K-12 classroom
teachers, principals and teacher-trainers. Featured items include themed
activities to use in the classroom, along with links to lesson plans and
other resources available through the MarcoPolo Partnership. More than
140,000 subscribers now receive the MarcoGram, a 25% increase over this
time last year.
[ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/pd/ft_marcograms.aspx ][
http://www.mped.org/images/mpn_mini_masthead_tmg.jpg ]The Trainer
MarcoGram: For MarcoPolo Trainers
The [ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/pd/ft_marcograms.aspx ]Trainer
MarcoGram is designed especially for MarcoPolo Trainers and professional
developers. Distributed quarterly by e-mail to more than 5,000
subscribers, this publication features sample lessons and other training
resources, along with news and information about the MarcoPolo Field and
Certified Trainer programs.
-----------------Learn About MarcoPolo
]Free WebEx Awareness Sessions offer MarcoPolo novices a quick program
overview and veterans a concise program update. These hour-long sessions
are held weekly.
-----------------Link to MarcoPolo
[ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/about/mplink.aspx ]Put a link to
MarcoPolo on your Web site for easy access by your educators.
-----------------Update Your User Profile
[ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/profile.aspx ]Update your MarcoPolo
user profile to gain quick access to all areas of the MarcoPolo Web site,
and to receive newsletters and information via e-mail. Don't have a
password? [ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/register.aspx ]Click here
[ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/demo/index1.html ]Audio Flash Tour
[ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/pd/iste_nets.aspx ]ISTE Partnership
[ http://www.marcopolo-education.org ]MarcoPolo Home Page
[ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/about/new.aspx ]New Users Page
[ http://www.fontanalithostore.com/store2/entrance.asp ]Order MarcoPolo
[ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/pd/request_training.aspx ]Order
[ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/pd/pd_index.aspx ]Professional
[ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/progress/research.aspx ]Research
[ http://rusticello.mped.org ]Rusticello and State Resources Component
[ http://www.marcopolosearch.org/MPSearch/Basic_Search.asp ]Search Engine
[ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/teacher/standards.aspx ]Standards
[ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/state/state_progress.aspx ]State
Network Overview -- Links to State-Based MarcoPolo Programs
[ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/pd/ftotm.aspx ]Trainer Recognition
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[ http://www.mped.org/images/spacer.gif ]> MarcoPolo News is a
quarterly newsletter that delivers program updates and information to
members of the MarcoPolo State Network and other Rollout Partner
Organizations, as well as to educational leaders at the national, state,
regional and local levels. [ http://www.mped.org/about/about_index.aspx
]Read more about who we are.
In this issue: . [ #one ]Updated "Blueprint" for Rollout
. [ #two ]Rollout Partner News
. [ #four ]MarcoPolo at NECC
. [ #three ]Spotlight on the MarcoPolo Technology Team
This newsletter is created in HTML. If you are unable to properly view
the animation, images or hyperlinks, please view the online version at [
"Blueprint" for Rollout Partnerships
The MarcoPolo Program Team is revising its "blueprint" for organizations
that are part of the MarcoPolo Education Community. With this update, the
current State Network will be broadened to include interested
organizations at all levels, from local to national.
Under the revision, there are two types of organizations that make up the
MarcoPolo Education Community: those that signed a current formal
agreement with MarcoPolo in 2003 or 2004 and those that do not have a
current signed agreement, but are engaged with the program in some way.
Local, state, regional and national organizations that sign Rollout
Agreements will receive specialized support from MarcoPolo. Organizations
not under a current formal agreement will receive general program
communications. The door remains open to all former Rollout Partners to
renew their rollout agreements at any time in the fujture.
Below are the elements that will remain unchanged: . All members of the
MarcoPolo Education Community, including Rollout Partners (organizations
with current, formal agreements) and other interested educational
organizations, will receive regular program updates, including MarcoPolo
. The MarcoPolo Web site will continue to report aggregated training
data for all states, regardless of whether there is a current Rollout
Agreement in place.
. Publicly available MarcoPolo resources will continue to be
to all educators and educational organizations.
Under the revised plan, only Rollout Partners (organizations with
current, formal agreements) will receive the following additional support:
. MarcoPolo will recognize and promote Rollout Partners and their
activities on its Web site and in program communications.
. MarcoPolo will host regularly scheduled Rollout Partner conference
calls to facilitate networking and ongoing communication among Partner
. MarcoPolo will invite Rollout Partners to participate in
that help chart the future course of the program to support the needs of
Rollout Partner Organizations.
Going forward, Rollout Partner Agreements will be drafted to include one
or more of the following key MarcoPolo activity areas: 1.
Development: Rollout Partners may engage in their own cost-recovery plans
to support their training programs. MarcoPolo will provide access to the
Rusticello scheduling, management and reporting system, along with
training and support for the Rollout Partner's key staff, and
communications and Web tools to facilitate outreach activities.
2. Web Presence: To support a MarcoPolo presence on Rollout Partner
sites, MarcoPolo will provide recommended program text, staff support, a
logo library and other Web resources.
3. Content/Alignment Project: MarcoPolo will provide a
spreadsheet and other tools, including staff support, to facilitate the
alignment of MarcoPolo resources to state and local standards and other
Each Rollout Partnership will be documented in a Memorandum of
Understanding that covers a one-year period, renewable annually for the
following two consecutive years. For more information on new or renewed
Rollout Partnerships, please [
mailto:[log in to unmask] Rollout Partnership ]e-mail
Join the Conference Call on Wednesday, May 19
A group conference call to discuss the new "blueprint" and other program
updates has been scheduled for 4 p.m. Eastern time, Wednesday, May 19. All
MarcoPolo representatives and other interested educational leaders are
invited and encouraged to participate.
Agenda: . Welcome and MarcoPolo Program Overview by Caleb Schutz
. "Open Microphone" -- sharing of MarcoPolo success stories and
. New "Blueprint" for the MarcoPolo Education Community --
and group discussion
Please [ mailto:[log in to unmask] Call RSVP ]e-mail
us if you or a member of your team will participate in the upcoming
conference call. Call logistics will be forwarded via e-mail to all who
indicate they will attend.
-----------------[Marker]Rollout Partner News
Arizona State University Renews Partnership
Technology Based Learning and Research at Arizona State University
(TBLR-ASU), Tempe, has renewed its Rollout Partnership with MarcoPolo
under a Memorandum of Understanding that was finalized March 26, 2004.
Paul Skiera, director, and Dr. Harold Frederick, instructional specialist
coordinator and longtime MarcoPolo project leader for Arizona, signed the
renewal document. Ellen Shepherd, project manager for Tempe Regional
Training Center, shares leadership responsibilities for the MarcoPolo
project with Harold.
The Arizona Rollout Plan includes all three MarcoPolo program activity
areas: Professional Development, Web Presence and Content/Alignment
Projects. Arizona's Professional Development component calls for the
continued support of its Field Trainer Network and the establishment of a
MarcoPolo Certified Trainer Program. A Trainer Recognition Program and
continuing education and/or graduate-level credit for teachers and
trainers are part of the plan.
TBLR-ASU will continue Arizona's MarcoPolo Web initiative by further
enhancing the [ http://marcopolo.asu.edu ]Arizona MarcoPolo Web site to
support training and other project activities, and providing links to
other state and local Web sites. Arizona is seeking funding to continue
its Content/Alignment Project, which involves the alignment of new
MarcoPolo content to the state's academic standards and realignment of
formerly aligned lessons to newly articulated state standards for reading
Introducing TIPHER, Our Newest Partner
The Institute for Public Health and Education Research (TIPHER), a
not-for-profit corporation based in New Braunfels, Texas, became
MarcoPolo's newest Rollout Partner Organization on Feb. 7, 2004. Dr.
Carlos Campos, TIPHER president and CEO, signed the Memorandum of
Understanding along with Joan Drennan-Taylor, director of the Center for
Science, Mathematics and Technology at TIPHER. Mamie Lew is the project
administrator and TIPHER's liaison to the Texas Computer Education
Association, the other MarcoPolo Rollout Partner in the state. Joan and
Mamie are veteran MarcoPolo state representatives who have worked with
MarcoPolo inj the past through a partnership with the Center for Science,
Mathematics and Technology.
TIPHER's MarcoPolo plan supports its educational goal of serving all
learners with programs that are standards-based, connect learning to
technology and have a proven track record of success. Key components of
the plan include reaching out to traditionally underserved populations --
such as one-school districts, charter schools and private schools -- and
interfacing with the statewide PTA and Home-School Network.
Activities will include the development of a MarcoPolo presence on
TIPHER's new Web site to facilitate teacher, student and parent use of
States With Renewed Partnerships
In addition to Arizona, 11 other MarcoPolo Rollout Partners have entered
into renewed agreements within the past year. They are University of
Alabama at Birmingham, on behalf of the Alabama Department of Education;
Hawaii Department of Education; Illinois Office of Educational Services,
in collaboration with the Illinois State Board of Education; Association
of Computer Technology Educators of Maine; New York State Teacher Resource
and Computer Training Centers;Oklahoma State Department of Education;
Technology and Innovation in Education, South Dakota; Texas Computer
Education Association; Washington State Educational Service Districts;
West Virginia Department of Education; and Northeast Regional Technology
-----------------[Marker]MarcoPolo at NECC
During this year's National Educational Computing Conference (NECC),
MarcoPolo will celebrate its second anniversary as a member of the [
http://www.iste.org/iste100/directory/marcopolo.cfm ]ISTE 100 Alliance. [
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/images/iste_100_member.gif ]ISTE 100
MemberIn 2003, MarcoPolo joined this select group of forward-thinking
corporations and nonprofits committed to furthering the International
Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) goals for educators and
students. Look for the MarcoPolo logo on the ISTE signage throughout the
convention hall at this year's event, June 20-23 in New Orleans, La.
[ http://www.marcopolo-education.org/pd/iste_nets.aspx ]Read more about
MarcoPolo's partnership with ISTE.
Preview Our Conference Workshop
At this year's NECC, veteran MarcoPolo national trainer Ron Harrison will
present a half-day, hands-on workshop on technology planning, with a
special emphasis on implementing federal mandates.
"Building Successful Schools: Developing a Comprehensive Plan," will focus
on how MarcoPolo content and resources can be used to address federal
mandates. Ron will help participants learn to create a strategic
technology plan using MarcoPolo in K-12 classrooms by providing teachers
with proven standards-based educational content and resources to help
their students learn. MarcoPolo Professional Development and training
materials are aligned to [ http://cnets.iste.org/teachers/t_stands.html
]ISTE's National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Teachers.
In addition to learning how to develop a comprehensive educational
program, participants will leave with a set of tools (Microsoft Word and
Excel documents) they can use to facilitate program development in their
own schools and districts, along with the basic application skills to help
them move forward as technology-using educators.
The target audience for this workshop includes administrators, staff
developers, technology integration facilitators and technology
coordinators. While there are no pre-requisite technology skills,
participants should come to the session prepared to discuss their
organizations and how they plan to meet federal educational technology
Ron has been with MarcoPolo since 2001 as a national master trainer and as
a consultant working with schools and organizations to create professional
development plans that implement MarcoPolo content and resources. He has
delivered more than 80 MarcoPolo training sessions to over 2,000 educators
around the country. Ron currently is working with MarcoPolo to provide an
expanded set of training opportunities, including subject-specific and
To register for Ron's workshop, "Building Successful Schools: Developing a
Comprehensive Plan," scheduled for 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., Monday, June 21,
visit the [
]NECC Web site and select session "MA304."
Will You Be There?
MarcoPolo staff members are looking forward to meeting with members of the
MarcoPolo Education Community and other interested educators during NECC.
Yetta Lewis, manager of Professional Development; Stan Dunlap, program
officer for MarcoPolo Trainer Certification & Strategic Alliances; and Ron
Harrison, MarcoPolo training consultant, will be on hand throughout the
conference for individual and group get-togethers.
Please [ mailto:[log in to unmask] News story ]e-mail
us the names and contact information (e-mail and phone number) of
attendees from your organization who will be at NECC and we'll work to set
up a mutually convenient meeting time.
-----------------[Marker]Spotlight on the MarcoPolo Technology Team
Caleb Schutz, MCI Foundation president, always introduces MarcoPolo's
Technology Team as "the best in corporate philanthropy today." State
representatives, too, have lauded the team's efforts and the results of
its hard work.
Here's an inside look at the team that is responsible for MarcoPolo's
technology underpinnings, from the design, development and maintenance of
the MarcoPolo Web site, to the program's customized Search Engine (for
which all entries are hand-catalogued by educators), and Rusticello, the
state-of-the-art online professional-development management and
accountability system that is uniquely MarcoPolo's.
Meet the New Manager and Team Members
Leading the team is Lee Childs, manager of technology, who assumed the
role from Bill Jewell at the beginning of 2004. By then, Lee was a veteran
MarcoPolo staff member who had joined the program two years earlier. His
first projects were the redesign of the MarcoPolo Web site to its current
look and the development of a program Intranet that enables time-saving
and cost-effective updates to the resources and information available on
the MarcoPolo Web site.
Lee has more than 10 years of experience in application development and
management. He is directly responsible for the core infrastructure and
critical Web applications upon which the MarcoPolo program is built, and
he sets the broad vision and specific goals for his team's areas of
He also is a hands-on manager who likes direct client support, including
those "clients" who are in-house (i.e., his co-workers at MarcoPolo). It's
a good fit, because his team interacts with every other key program area
-- Content, Professional Development, Rollout Network and Measurement --
and with all of the constituent groups that are a part of these program
areas. Key groups include the Content Partner Consortium, the State
Network and other Rollout Partner Organizations, as well as individual
trainers and end-users of MarcoPolo resources.
Another of Lee's early MarcoPolo responsibilities involved assembling the
select in-house Technology Team that supports the program's current
"When MarcoPolo was first started, a lot of the technology work was vended
out," Lee explained. "When I came on board, we had an opportunity to help
the MarcoPolo Program take ownership of our technology, build the team we
have and ensure that our systems evolved along with our dynamic program."
The team that Lee built two years ago is still together today. It includes
Katie Short, technology project manager, who handles the day-to-day
management and administration of the MarcoPolo Web site and Rusticello.
She is MarcoPolo's Webmaster and the quality assurance specialist for all
Senior Applications Developers Neil Greene and UT Chanikornpradit handle
MarcoPolo's high-level .NET and SQL Server application development. They
also construct and maintain Web and database applications that help
MarcoPolo effectively and efficiently scale throughout the nation.
The development and management of the hardware and network infrastructure
is under the watchful eye of Steve McPherson, senior systems engineer, the
only member of the team who predates Lee. Steve also manages WebTrends,
MarcoPolo's key Web-usage measurement system, and is responsible for
Content Partner Web site hosting, security measures and backup systems, in
addition to purchasing and inventory.
What's in the Pipeline?
Currently, the Technology Team's main focus is the rebuilding of
Rusticello, MarcoPolo's professional development management and
accountability system. The new Rusticello will manage the current program
and allow for planned growth in course offerings, delivery models,
training organizations and other key areas. Because MarcoPolo is a dynamic
and ever-improving program, the systems that support it must be built to
accommodate these changes. "We'll make sure the system stays flexible and
can change with MarcoPolo as it grows," said Lee.
In the coming months, the Technology Team will turn its attention to
updating the hardware supporting the customized MarcoPolo Search Engine.
That includes a close look at Donata, the content-cataloging system used
by the team of specially trained educational consultants who hand-catalog
every item that is entered into the Search Engine.
A hallmark of the MarcoPolo Program is its responsiveness to those who use
it. [ mailto:[log in to unmask] Feedback (MPNews)
]E-mail your feedback and recommendations to Lee and the MarcoPolo
The MarcoPolo Consortium
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