New Version of World of Media

The World of Media newsletter has been distributed to educators every month during the school year since 1975. Surveys have shown that the newsletter is widely read and recognized by K-12 educators. It has evolved from just a listing of new instructional resources to a tool to help differentiate instruction, integrate all types of instructional resources, identify new research and best practices, infuse technology in teaching and learning, increase information literacy, and contribute to professional development.

After 32 years in publication, it's time to welcome a new version of World of Media that will meet the changing needs of educators. The need for information and resources is still there, but the way the information is accessed and distributed has changed. The World of Media newsletter is among the most frequently visited areas on the Heartland website, so we're shifting to an electronic delivery mode. A print one-page newsletter will be distributed to educators each month to remind them that the new newsletter is available. The newsletter can be read online and hyperlinks will take the reader directly to websites, online catalogs, videos, podcasts, and other resources. Go to and click What's New. A RSS feed is also available so articles can be delivered directly to your computer.

During the last year, Heartland has undergone changes in our organization to align our services and resources to school district needs. We hope you'll find the new World of Media to be an even more valuable resource in teaching and learning.

2008-2009 Iowa Children’s Choice, Iowa Teen, Iowa High School Awards Books, K-12

Heartland AEA is pleased to announce that financial support is available again this year for purchasing sets of the 2008-2009 Iowa Association of School Libraries (IASL) awards books. Heartland will reimburse the school district the following amounts (no limit on the number of sets the school orders). Schools will be reimbursed for approximately half the cost of the sets.

A copy of the Perfection Learning IEC (Iowa Educators Consortium) order form is online at Contact Heartland AEA for reimbursement instructions, Sherise Ahlers,

The new Com Cat union catalog has a Reader Review feature where students and teachers can rank books and post reviews—just like This would be an excellent reading and writing motivator to use with students. Reader Review is an optional feature that each school teacher librarian can turn on and off.
Roxie and the Hooligans or Three Cups of Tea have reviews for demonstration purposes. Go to Com Cat and enter the titles to see what the possibilities can be in your school. Go to

Adolescent Literacy, 4-12 is a national multimedia project with information and resources for parents and educators. The main goal of the site is to give parents and educators the practical, concrete information they need to help students from grades 4–12 to become better readers and writers and consequently more successful. offers research-based articles, instructional material for classroom teachers including instructional clips of teachers in the classroom, tips for parents, book recommendations, exclusive interviews with top authors, and a free, monthly e-newsletter called Word Up! This site also includes an exclusive blog called The MashUp and an Ask the Expert forum. Some of the first author interviews on the site include authors Jack Gantos (Joey Pigza books), Lois Lowry (The Giver), and Christopher Paul Curtis (Bud, Not Buddy), and Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret), with many more to come.

Podcasting and Young Adult Novels, 6-12

Podcasts are audio or video files that are automatically delivered over a network. They are a great way for students to express their knowledge creatively. Once given the chance, many students prefer to explore and discover educational content through podcasting. When students create and publish a podcast themselves, they immediately have a real audience, a purpose for writing and revising, and an opportunity for collaborating with other students. These skills transfer easily to the skills required in the English classroom, especially to the skills required in analyzing literature. For example, students often do book reports in the same, standard format.

Podcasting is an excellent way to let students be creative with their book reports while learning and integrating technology and developing 21st century communications skills at the same time. Students can use free recording/editing software like Audacity to create short podcasts based on young adult novels. These podcasts can be similar to book talks, only in an electronic audio form. When created like book talks, the podcasts should have an interesting opener, important excerpts from the book, and a short overview of the book’s plot to entice other students to read the book. Students could add music to the podcast to elicit the mood of the novel, keeping copyright guidelines in mind. Students could also do the podcast as an interview, short play, television ad, or reality show. Podcasts provide a means to integrate technology into the English language arts in creative, meaningful ways. Check out the sites below for sample podcasts and start planning on how you can make a book report something students look forward to.

Podcast Alley

Podcasting News

Education Podcast Network

Apple Podcasting in Education Video Series

Explore podcasting and its benefits for education in this free, three-part video series.

Teaching Writing Professional Resources, K-12

New professional books and inservice videos on teaching writing are available for checkout from the Heartland professional library. Click here to download a minicatalog.

The Energy Highway—Solutions Ahead, 5-8
General Motors has created a website that helps students understand the energy challenges facing society today, as well as some of the existing and future alternatives that may help alleviate these issues. The lesson plans, available in English and Spanish, include national standards for science, geography, U.S. history, technology, civics, and economics. This website also includes a teacher’s guide, take-home booklet, student activities, and a poster available for download in PDF format.

Live Green, Go Yellow: The Power of Corn, 5-8
General Motors along with Weekly Reader is providing middle school classes a free curriculum. It is focused on examining E85 ethanol, a mostly renewable, alternative fuel that burns cleaner than gasoline and can enhance the nation's economy and energy independence. The curriculum includes lessons and instruction for in-class activities in both English and Spanish. The lesson plan includes national standards for science, geography, technology, mathematics, civics, and economics. A teacher’s guide, take-home booklet, student activities, and a poster are available for download in PDF format. The website also includes video clips, related websites, articles, and graphics.

Free Science E-Newsletter for Elementary Principals
The elementary principal is the instructional leader in their building, so what better way to build support for science than going right to the top? For principals interested in learning more about how to integrate science into the classroom, the National Science Teachers Association has an e-newsletter written especially for them. Each issue is based on typical themes found in elementary science curricula.

New Biology Instructional Videos

The newest biology instructional resources are listed at

New Chemistry Instructional Videos

The newest chemistry instructional resources are listed at

New Biotechnology Instructional Videos

The newest biotechnology instructional resources are listed at

GeoLiteracy Online Resources, K-8

GeoLiteracy is an innovative approach for integrating geography and language arts developed by the Arizona Geographic Alliance. The GeoLiteracy project contains 85 classroom-ready lessons that include teacher instructions, answer keys, worksheets, student samples, maps, and assessments that mirror state-mandated tests. In 2003 GeoLiteracy was nationally recognized by the National Council for the Social Studies. The following resources may be of interest to educators who wish to learn more about GeoLiteracy.

Arizona Geographic Alliance

National Geographic-Roper Survey of Geographic Literacy

The Integration of Literacy and Geography

GeoLiteracy Lessons and Presentations
This site contains lessons, online video presentations, copyright free maps, assessment rubrics, and other resources.

Looking at Landmarks: Using a Picture Book to Guide Research
This lesson uses Ben’s Dream, a picture book by Chris Van Allsburg, to highlight 10 major landmarks of the world: the Statue of Liberty, Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Parthenon, the Sphinx, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, and Mount Rushmore. Using their research skills, students locate these famous landmarks, conduct further research on them, publish their findings, and share that information with the class.
Individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the Internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards.

Apple Learning Exchange: High Tech Treasure Hunt
Students can use this treasure hunt to discover their heritage while investigating the rich history of a local city or town. Using a combination of technologies, such as global positioning units, iPods, and digital cameras, students are engaged in learning activities that lead to finding hidden treasures, known as caches.

Apple Learning Exchange: Connecting World Regions, Geospatially
Students will take a virtual field trip and use GPS units to navigate to the selected places within the region of study.

Dr. Christie’s GPS and Geocaching Guide for Educators
This site, developed by Dr. Alice Christie, Associate Professor of Technology and Education in the College of Teacher Education and Leadership at Arizona State, features lessons, podcasts, and user guides on geocaching.

Current Events Videos, 7-12

Heartland has added some important videos to help students (and teachers) understand some of the countries that are in the news: Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, North Korea. Click here to download a minicatalog.

World Book Online Maps, K-12
Some excellent maps are available through World Book Online. Go to the World Book Online Reference Center and click on the yellow Atlas tab. A list of countries will appear on the left. The maps can be printed and a hyperlink can be created. Additional views of the maps are available to show:

  • Population density
  • Climate
  • Average January temperatures
  • Average July temperatures
  • Average yearly precipitation
  • Agriculture and fishing
  • Mining and manufacturing
  • Terrain

Integrate Current Events into Your Curriculum, 9-12
We know today’s students are already using the Internet for social networking. In fact, 96% of teens use social networking websites. The Student Exchange Network (SEE) is working to be a part of the social networking world of teens, giving them a safe place to be productive and develop their intellect. SEE provides a current events learning tool for educators and students. It is designed to support integration of current events into secondary curriculum and encourage civic engagement and diversity as well as work in with today's digital media and learning environment.

SEE makes it easy for teachers to increase current events discussion in their curriculum. Students read articles on the site and respond to discussion prompts on the forum, along with all other SEE student users. Teachers sign up for an instructor account and then receive a teacher code for their students when they register, making it easy to track students’ posts. Teachers follow the prompts to create an assignment that students will see when they login to the site. After that, SEE administrators choose the articles from diverse, worldwide news sources and post them to the site. They also provide background links and discussion prompts for each article and categorize the articles by subject area to help teachers align current events with their specific curriculum. SEE is constantly updated with articles from around the world. Educators can reduce preparation work, and students are exposed to a broad range of topics and opinions about events that are not easy to find in a textbook.

Essentially, SEE is an online community of educators and students discussing today’s global headlines. Students engage in dynamic discussions of current events with students from around the world. Educators integrate a tool into the classroom that incorporates technology, current events, and debate. The site includes the popular forums of general social studies, government and civics, U.S. history, world civilization: 20th and 21st centuries, business, international relations, and environment. Some of the current top articles on SEE include "Poll Finds Energy Tax Support", "Continent-size Toxic Stew of Plastic Trash", and "Gore on Global Warming."

Maximizing the Impact of Technology in Education Report, K-12
The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills are promoting a renewed emphasis on technology in education with the new report, Maximizing the Impact: The Pivotal Role of Technology in a 21st Century Education System. The report supports the Partnership for 21st Century Skills’ framework for 21st century learning, which calls for mastery of core subjects and 21st century skills. The report also highlights effective practices in states, districts, and schools that are using technology to achieve results. It provides guiding questions and action principles for policymakers and other stakeholders who are committed to maximizing the impact of technology in education.

The report advises all policymakers and stakeholders to take action in three areas:
Use technology comprehensively to develop proficiency in 21st century skills. Knowledge of core content is necessary, but no longer sufficient, for success in a competitive world.
Use technology comprehensively to support innovative teaching and learning.
Use technology comprehensively to create robust education support systems.

New Joan Ganz Cooney Center for Digital Learning, K-3
The mission of the Center is to support research, innovation, and investment in digital media technologies to advance children's learning. Its focus is on determining how technology can help elementary-aged children develop the fundamental building blocks of literacy. It encourages the use of interactive media to promote "21st century" literacies that students will need to compete and cooperate in our connected world—competencies such as critical thinking and problem solving, second language competency, inter-cultural understanding, and media.

Making Math Count, K-12

The two-part (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) SmartBrief Special Report on Making Math Count examines why math is so important and offers tips and resources for educators to better engage students and help them learn. Part I examines new instruction and assessment methods, and features various perspectives on math education. Part II explores new technology that is transforming math education, as well as stereotypes that affect girls' and minorities' participation in math.
Part I:
Part II:

For further reading, check out the new professional library resources on teaching math at

Music Resources, K-12

According to the National Association for Music Education, the benefits of music education fall into four "success" categories: success in society, success in school, success in developing intelligence, and success in life (NAME, 2002). The Internet can serve as one accessible way to provide students and teachers with access to a variety of musical dictionaries and encyclopedias – reference materials not commonly available in classrooms (Thompson, 1999). Several recent studies point to the effects of music education on student achievement.

Gordon Shaw (University of California-Irvine) and Frances Rauscher (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh) started discussion about the connection between music and learning when they revealed the results of their work with college students. The researchers found that listening to 10 minutes of a Mozart piano sonata improved students' abilities to perform some spatial-reasoning tasks (for example, to see patterns in objects or numbers). While the benefits faded quickly after the music was stopped, that research opened the door to a follow-up study with preschool children.

In the follow-up study, 78 preschoolers were given tests designed to measure spatial abilities. A fourth of those students were then given a 12-15 minute private piano lesson each week for six months. At the end of that period, the tests were administered again. The results confirmed the impact of music instruction on students' spatial-reasoning skills. On one test that required students to assemble a puzzle of a camel, the students who received piano instruction showed significantly more improvement than the other children.

In another study, published by Martin Gardiner (currently at Brown University's Center for the Study of Human Development) in the May 1996 issue of the journal Nature, groups of first graders were given music instruction that emphasized sequential skill development and musical games involving rhythm and pitch. After six months, the students scored significantly better in math than students in groups that received traditional music instruction. (Reading scores for the two groups didn't show marked differences.) Follow-up studies with different groups of students showed similar results. Music training may condition the brain to do tasks similar to those it has to do when working on math problems.

Science of Music: Accidental Scientist
Includes interactive exhibits, movies and questions. Compose your own music with virtual kitchen objects. Find out why voices sound so much better in the shower. Learn how the opera singer can hold a note so long.

PBS Jazz Kids
Includes information about current and past jazz artists. Activities include improvisation and honing musical memory skills. Also includes curriculum links to the PBS Jazz video series.

New York Philharmonic-KidZone
Students can learn about the orchestra, meet musicians, hear what the instruments sound like, create your own orchestra, make virtual instruments in the Instrument Laboratory, learn about composers in the Composers' Gallery, and compose their own music in the Composition Workshop.

JazzKids will help students learn to hear and accurately perform swing and straight rhythms. It will help students invent their own music, while also developing their ear and reading skills. This is a commercial site.
Students can experience creative play in the creation of music.
Interactive music and artistic animations help students learn about instruments, sounds, and composers.

San Francisco Symphony for Kids
Includes an interactive exploration of basic music theory, tempo, rhythm, pitch, harmony, symbols, instrumentation, performance and composition, etc.

This website features a listing of more than 2000 composers in the Schirmer publisher repetoire that contains a portrait, biography, list of selected works, select discography, and at times, links to other sites.

From the Top
This not-for-profit multi-media organization encourages and celebrates the development of youth through classical music. Students can listen to the archived radio programs and read biographies and interviews of the young musicians. The site includes MENC 6-12 lesson plans.

Historic American Sheet Music: 1850 – 1920
This website includes 3,042 pieces of sheet music drawn from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University. This selection presents a significant perspective on American history and culture through a wide variety of music types. Also includes an "Historic American Sheet Music Timeline: 1850-1920."

Blues Journey
This is an interactive virtual journey from the origins of the blues in the South through its influence on music around the world today. The website features interviews, images, music clips, lesson plans, web links, and an extensive discussion of suggested educational uses.

Songs for Teaching – Using Music to Promote Teaching
This website offers practical suggestions based on the latest in brain-based learning. Innovative teachers share their classroom pointers and extension activities using children's music. Lesson plans, mood music, research, songs that call for physical music, and more.

From the University of California's Chicano Studies Research Library. This is a portal to art, music, dance, theater, film, and pictoral essays of Hispanic heritage.

Art and Life in Africa Project
This project provides resources using a variety of media promoting the education of art and life throughout Africa.

America’s Jazz Heritage
This website presents the history of jazz through exhibitions, performances, recordings, radio, publications, and educational programs at the Smithsonian and across the nation.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91)
You can listen to and even save up to five classical music files free each day from this site. The music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and that of over 555 other composers is available. Select live performances by performer, composer, or conductor.

Choral Public Domain Library
This website has 7,800 scores available to download in PDF format. The database is searchable by composer's name or title of the piece.

Music Online Tutor
This website is meant to be a companion to the textbook Enjoyment of Music, and it provides overviews of the chapters and units of the text. It includes over 250 musical excerpts from a variety of musical eras.

African American Sheet Music (1850-1920)
This collection consists of 1,305 pieces of African-American sheet music dating from 1850 through 1920. Particularly significant in this collection are the visual depictions of African-Americans which provide much information about racial attitudes over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

K-12 Resources for Music

This is a list of links to websites for music educators. There is a special section for MIDI and music technology resources.

New Art Instructional Videos, 7-12

Here are the newest instructional resources,

Baby Signing Time DVDs

This award-winning series will help adults and children communicate using American Sign Language. Each DVD includes a 30-minute episode plus approximately 15 minutes of additional material. This series and two additional audio CDs are available for checkout through the Heartland professional library.

Baby Signing Time, Volume 1 (#255623) 45 min.
Some signs included in this program: eat, drink, cracker, water, cereal, milk, banana, juice, finished, mom, grandma, dad, grandpa, diaper, potty, more, bird, fish, cat, dog, horse, frog, hurt, where, and baby.

Signing Time: Playtime Signs, Volume 2 (#255616) 30 min.
Some signs included in this program: friend, play, please, thank you, share, book, wait, potty, sorry, hurt, drink, etc.

Signing Time: Everyday Signs, Volume 3 (#255617) 30 min.
Some signs included in this program: apple, banana, cracker, full, hot, cold, help, day, night, sad, happy.

Signing Time: Family, Feelings and Fun, Volume 4 (#255618) 30 min.
Some signs included in this program: home, family, brother, sister, grass, rain, tree, coat, excited, surprised, love, etc.

Signing Time: ABC Signs, Volume 5 (#255619) 30 min.
This program teaches the alphabet and introduces more than 50 signs for words corresponding to different letters.

Signing Time: My Favorite Things, Volume 6 (#255620) 30 min.
Some signs included in this program: red, yellow, blue, grape, peach, strawberry, carrot, corn, run, jump, dance, etc.

Signing Time Songs, Volumes 1-3 (#255621)
This audio CD features 22 sing-along songs from the Signing Time television program. May be used with the Signing Time DVDs.

Signing Time Songs, Volumes 4-6 (#255622)
This audio CD features 24 sing-along songs from the Signing Time television program. May be used with the Signing Time DVDs.

Woodworking: The Art and Craft DVD Series, 8-12

Each video in this 15-part series focuses on essential techniques students must master to complete a wide range of projects. Viewable/printable instructor’s guides are available online at Please note that the DVDs in this series were created on a DVD-R disc. They may not be compatible with some older DVD players.

Basic Methods of Measuring and Cutting (#807230) 12 min.
After reviewing the English and metric measurement systems, this program demonstrates how to measure and mark lumber and then cut with handsaws and portable power saws.

Ripping and Crosscutting (#807231) 14 min.
This video shows students the professional way to rip and crosscut standard plank and beam lengths with smooth precision.

Sawing and Shaping (#807232) 9 min.
This program explains the effect of cutting speed on wood finish and how to transfer patterns. Also, the use of sliding compound miter saws, scroll saws, and routers is demonstrated.

Methods of Cutting Circles and Curves (#807233) 12 min.
This program shows how to cut circles and curves.

Planing (#807234) 15 min.
This program shows how to plane surface and end grains to perfection.

Working With Nails and Screws (#807235) 16 min.
This program demonstrates how to drive and remove nails while explaining how to work with wood screws-from pre-drilling, to countersinking and plugging, to increasing their holding power.

Gluing and Clamping (#807236) 10 min.
This program shows students how to join wood using glue and a variety of clamps.

Sanding (#807237) 12 min.
This program focuses on the skill of sanding, with an emphasis on square corners and small pieces. Making sanding jigs for drill presses and disc sanders is also covered.

Creating Biscuit and Dowel Joints (#807238) 11 min.
This program shows students how to engineer biscuit and dowel joints that are strong and invisible.

Creating Rabbet Joints (#807239) 11 min.
This program takes a look at rabbet joints: the right times to use them, the correct way to lay them out, and how to cut smooth and assemble them.

Creating Dado Joints (#807240) 10 min.
This program shows how to layout, cut, and hide dado joints. Rabbet-and-dado joints are also covered, and cutting dados with power tools is demonstrated.

Creating Miter Joints (#807241) 14 min.
This program shows students how to construct miter joints.

Creating Mortise-and-Tenon Joints (#807242) 13 min.
This program shows how to construct a mortise-and-tenon joint.

Creating Dovetail Joints and Casework (#807243) 12 min.
This program shows students how to cut and assemble dovetails into strong and attractive casework.

Finishing Techniques (#807244) 14 min.
This program illustrates how to prepare wood for finishing and then apply stains, clear sealers, and paints and enamels.

PD 360: Classroom Instruction That Works, K-12
PD360 is an online professional development resource with video segments that can be viewed online. The videos can be used as part of a school or district inservice or as part of a teacher's professional growth plan.

Every teacher has to deal with distracting and inappropriate behavior in the classroom at some time. Whether you are a new or experienced teacher, a review of effective classroom management can be helpful. Carol Cummings, a nationally recognized expert on classroom management, identifies four key principles for addressing misbehavior.

  • Maintain student dignity - humiliating a student actually causes more bad behavior.
  • Create a lasting change in behavior - putting a cap on a problem will only fix it temporarily.
  • Keep cool - be a model of social/emotional intelligence.
  • Use punishment as a rare and last resort - make sure to match the degree of punishment to the infraction.
Click on these hyperlinks then enter the school EBSCO username and password to view the video segments.
Segment for elementary teachers:

Segment for secondary teachers:

Leadership Audiobooks, K-12

Here is a list of 42 of the newer audiobooks on leadership that you can reserve online:

New Inservice Materials

A minicatalog of the newest inservice materials that can be used in a school professional development event or used by an individual teacher in connection with a professional growth plan is available online, click here.

New Professional Library Books

A minicatalog of the newest professional library books that can be used by an individual teacher in connection with a professional growth plan is available online. You'll find titles on leadership, gifted education, exceptional children, teaching strategies, educational research, students in poverty, multicultural education and diversity. Click here for the minicatalog.