CoSN eNews
Jun. 22, 2015

Our next CTO Forum is next week in Philadelphia!
CoSN hosts CTO Forums twice a year to provide opportunities for district-level technology directors to share information with their peers and keep up-to-date on best practices and solutions to ed tech challenges. Join us on Tuesday, June 30 for the last forum of the year — Making the Digital Leap: What Must Happen in the District. The event will be held in the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown from 2:00 – 3:45 p.m. It's free, but registration is required. Click here for more information.More

Listen to CoSN leaders discuss interoperability standards
Two of our district leaders, John Alawneh of Katy ISD and Steve Langford of Beaverton School District, joined EduTalkRadio to discuss CoSN's new interoperability primer. Listen to the radio recording to get a sense of our latest initiative, and then download your free interoperability primer today!More

Give your feedback about E-rate applications
Funds for Learning is conducting its 5th national survey to gather feedback about the E-rate funding process and the changes that have been enacted. All of the results are confidential, only aggregate data is shared, and they don't market or otherwise do anything with the respondents' information. Share your experiences with the E-rate application process to help improve it for your peers going forward! More

11 mistakes schools make when buying charge and storage carts and how to avoid them
K-12 TechDecisions
A laptop cart is a laptop cart, right? Wrong! All charge and storage solutions are not created equal. That's rule number one when choosing a mobile device management solution. Unfortunately, not all schools realize this and they spend money on a product that it isn't exactly what they need. Correcting technology problems can be time consuming as well as disruptive if class time is affected. Educators don't have time for that. They're counting on you to make the right tech decision from the get go.More

How to hire for personality and train for skills
Even in a tight IT labor market, finding talent with the right technology skillsets probably isn't your biggest challenge. What's much more difficult is finding talent with the right personality fit.More

Does not compute: The high cost of low technology skills in the US
Change the Equation
Although American millennials are the first generation of "digital natives" — that is, people who grew up with computers and the internet — they are not very tech savvy. That fact would probably come as a shock to most Americans — especially to millennials themselves. After all, millennials are glued to their phones, tablets and other devices. Many assume that using technology often means using it well.More

How to survive an ed-tech crisis
eSchool News
When North Carolina's Guilford County Schools had a tablet charger melt inside a student’s home in October 2013, it could have marked the end of the district's $16 million effort to give every middle school student a digital device. Instead, district leaders reacted quickly and decisively, suspending the program until they could ensure the safety of every child. They also negotiated for higher-quality devices and other concessions from their tablet supplier, Amplify, and they kept the community informed at every turn.More

Guess who: These people rarely control the education technology budget, but they're expected to make it work
The Hechinger Report
Teachers are the people who must effectively blend high-tech tools into their instruction, but relatively few of them have much say over what classroom technology is purchased. As a result, education technology companies spend a lot of time courting school administrators, because they're the people most likely to decide what to purchase, according to several leaders who track these trends.More

Who's got our stuff?
Some variation of this question is asked on a daily basis in most districts. The amount of time and energy wasted in tracking down the district's "stuff" is significant enough that they would save many hours by not having to do it manually. The benefits of efficient management of scarce resources can be easily quantified. By knowing exactly where it is and exactly who is in charge of individual equipment, administrators are able to get the exact resource to the exact student or teacher at exactly the right time to impact teaching and learning. More

Why education technology is not transforming how teachers teach
Education Week
Public schools now provide at least one computer for every five students. They spend more than $3 billion per year on digital content. And nearly three-fourths of high school students now say they regularly use a smartphone or tablet in the classroom. But a mountain of evidence indicates that teachers have been painfully slow to transform the ways they teach, despite that massive influx of new technology into their classrooms. The student-centered, hands-on, personalized instruction envisioned by ed-tech proponents remains the exception to the rule.More

How E-rate 2.0 helps schools afford broadband and Wi-Fi
EdTech Magazine
The Federal Communications Commission recently made the biggest changes to E-rate since the program was created 19 years ago to help schools pay for telecommunications and Internet services. Public K-12 schools and districts should be aware of what these changes mean to funding and eligible services. The changes, which went into effect this year, include increased funding and the phasing out of some services and technologies, as well as increasing support for broadband and wireless networks in classrooms. More

Which funders are leading the growing push for blended learning in K-12?
Inside Philanthropy
Blended learning continues to be all the rage in K-12 education among traditional public and charter schools, and a bevy of funders stand ready to help with such projects. National and local foundations have laid out millions of dollars to design, implement and evaluate blended learning initiatives. Blended learning is an approach to K-12 instruction in which students learn at least in part through the online delivery of academic content and instruction. Most programs combine teacher-led instruction and online content, with the latter usually delivered via laptop computers or tablet devices. Most blended learning initiatives give students some element of control over the pace of their learning.More