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As 2014 comes to a close, CoSN would like to wish our members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on a busy year in ed tech, we'd like to give our readers of the CoSN eNews a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Monday, Jan. 19.


Why some schools are selling all their iPads
The Atlantic
From Aug. 18: For an entire school year Hillsborough, New Jersey, educators undertook an experiment, asking: Is the iPad really the best device for interactive learning? It's a question that has been on many minds since 2010, when Apple released the iPad and schools began experimenting with it. The devices came along at a time when many school reformers were advocating to replace textbooks with online curricula and add creative apps to lessons. Some teachers welcomed the shift, which allowed their students to replace old poster-board presentations with narrated screencasts and review teacher-produced video lessons at any time.
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5 reasons schools still need desktop computers
THE Journal
From May 12: Desktops aren't dead. Even as schools increasingly implement 1-to-1, bring-your-own-device and other mobile device initiatives, many are choosing to retain at least some desktop computers — and others are even upgrading to swanky, top-of-the-line machines. Keeping at least one desktop computer in each classroom is a common practice, and some schools are keeping their dedicated desktop labs, either for general use or for specialized classes. It seems that some classroom needs are still better served by a desktop computer than by a laptop or tablet.
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11 criteria for evaluating a school's education technology
From Nov. 10: Whether you are moving to a new school, or staying where you are, it's good to stand back and try to gauge what the school's education technology is like. Why you would want to do that if taking up a new post is obvious: you want to see how the land lies so that you can start to identify any improvements that could be made. How educational is your technology, and how exciting is it? But why would you want to do that if you're already well-established in a school? It's really that things you put into place some years ago may be still in place not because they're useful, but because they have become a kind of tradition, part of the furniture so to speak. There's nothing to lose, and much to gain, from carrying out a fresh evaluation at least once a year.
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FCC focusing E-rate on broadband, but older tech may suffer
EdTech Magazine
From June 9: The Federal Communications Commission hopes to modernize its E-rate subsidy program for schools and libraries by giving a boost to broadband coverage. However, that shift would come at the expense of subsidies for older technologies, such as analog Internet connections. Thousands of schools and libraries depend on federal funding from E-rate (officially called the universal service Schools and Libraries Program). The program provides these institutions with telecommunications discounts of up to 90 percent in an effort to help close the technology gap. But changes are afoot concerning how that money is spent.
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10 privacy steps for every district
eSchool News
From Sept. 2: It can be a challenge for school districts to navigate federal privacy laws, such as the Family Education Rights & Privacy Act, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. With all of the confusion and uncertainty regarding privacy, it can be difficult for school technology leaders to know what they can or should be doing. As schools reopen this fall, the following 10 steps lay outline a plan to get ahead of rising privacy concerns.
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  Save on Apple device management

Planning to manage more Apple devices in your school next year? Then prepare now and save big! Now through the end of the year, earn discounts on training, plug-ins and more when you buy JAMF Software’s leading OS X and iOS management solution, the Casper Suite.

Computer troubles mar standardized testing in multiple states
The Washington Post
From May 12: If you are wondering how the high-stakes standardized testing season is going around the country — including field testing of new Common Core-aligned standardized exams — here's the answer: Not so great. Since millions of kids began taking standardized tests online in March, computer problems have been reported in California, Florida, Indiana, Kansas and Oklahoma — almost as many as in the entire 2013 assessment season (when six states had issues). And the 2014 testing runs into June.
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Computer recycling: What school CIOs need to know
District Administration Magazine
From June 23: The boom in affordable laptops and mobile devices has left the clunky computers of the past piling up in storage rooms in many schools. Recycling is the best way to properly dispose of outdated technology instead of allowing it to collect dust or to break down in landfills, says Jim Lynch, director of green technology at TechSoup Global, a nonprofit that connects charities and public libraries with tech products and services. Electronic devices represent the fastest-growing part of the world's waste stream, Lynch says.
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Why education tech needs to get student privacy right
From Oct. 13: Like everything else these days, education runs on data. Our kids data. Every digital move they make in school, on homework websites and apps can be tracked. And it's not always clear where that information is going or how companies are using it. Parents want better protections; the multi-billion dollar education technology industry wants to keep growing. So today some big name ed-tech providers announced a voluntary privacy pledge. It says ed tech companies won't sell a kid's data. They won't use it to target specific ads to specific kids.
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  Consortium for School Networking
From Vision to Action: The 21st Century Teaching and Learning Plan. Designed to help educators understand and implement 21st century teaching and learning, the course includes readings, videos, presentations, questions designed to provide immediate feedback, application exercises and customizable tools that can be downloaded.

Report: High Internet bills impede school access
Roll Call
From Oct. 27: The majority of school districts surveyed cited the monthly Internet costs as an obstacle to boosting connectivity in schools, according to a new report that calls for more funding for the federal program that subsidizes Internet service for public schools and libraries. According to the report, 58 percent of school districts said high Internet bills posed the biggest barrier to boosting Internet connectivity. Another 38 percent said capital, non-recurring costs were their biggest challenge. Other barriers included factors like geography and poor classroom wireless access.
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Can we strike 1-to-1 from the edu-dictionary?
Clayton Christensen Institute
From May 27: More often than not, when I ask school systems and principals about their approach to instructional technology, I hear one of two things. A victorious "We're a 1-to-1 school!" Or a sheepish, "We're not a 1-to-1 environment. We're just not there yet." A 1-to-1 laptop or iPad roll out is not, however, a new instructional model. Yes, some sort of hardware is required to implement blended learning. And certainly some blended-learning models — like the Flex or Individual Rotation — lend themselves to ensuring that all students have computers or tablets at their fingertips throughout the day.
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Digital education is supposed to transform public education, but many schools can't even get online
The Hechinger Report
From May 27: To technology advocates, these scenes are a vision of how technology could transform American classrooms. With a computer — or a laptop, or tablet or even a smart phone — in every student and every teacher's hand, the idea is that school will be better tailored to students' needs and also better able to prepare them for the sorts of high-skilled, technology-centric jobs that will dominate in the future. It could even help close the achievement gap for disadvantaged students.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword DIGITAL.


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