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CoSN14 mobile app released
CoSN
Last week, we officially launched our CoSN14 mobile app! Receive real-time updates at the tips of your fingers both before and during the conference. The app will let you save events to your personalized schedule, connect with fellow attendees, check out sponsors, and join our social media dialogue — all for free. To download the app, search "COSN" on your Apple or Android device or visit http://app.core-apps.com/cosn2014.

If you haven't yet registered for CoSN14, make sure to get signed up — time's running out!
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CoSN urges FCC to strengthen USAC's capacity in E-rate modernization efforts
CoSN
E-rate reform remains one of the most important issues in the ed tech field, and we're working closely with the FCC to ensure that the re-vamped program addresses the broadband shortages facing districts nationwide. This week, we issued a statement requesting that the FCC bolster the Universal Service Administrative Company's capacity to help implement a modernized federal E-rate program. After the FCC announced its official E-rate plan last week, our CEO, Keith Krueger, issued the following statement:

"USAC has a critical leadership and operational role in a fully functioning, effective modernized E-rate program, but its efforts simply cannot be carried out as a bare bones operation. The company needs the staff, information technology, and other related resources to support the program. By making it a top priority to comprehensively evaluate and address USAC's capabilities, the FCC will be able to better realize its ultimate vision of a modernized E-rate — one that will pay significant dividends to students, school systems, and the public with a more efficient, timely and transparent system."

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ED TECH HEADLINES


Electronic privacy: Do schools have a role to play?
District Administration Magazine
The age of textbooks and filing cabinets is coming to an end. Smart phones, tablets and cloud storage are the tools of the day. Most students probably have their own devices by the time they reach middle school and most school districts use cloud services for record retention and data analysis. Undoubtedly, these new technologies bring enormous benefits for administrators, students and teachers alike, but they come with risks, particularly to privacy and information security. And we are all too often in the dark when it comes to these risks.
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Obama announces nearly $3 billion in education technology commitments
U.S. News & World Report
President Barack Obama announced nearly $3 billion in commitments from the Federal Communications Commission and several private technology companies that aim to "close the technology gap in our schools." During the announcement at a middle school in Maryland, Obama said the commitments will help "put the world and outer space at every child's fingertips, whether they live in a big city or a quiet suburb or rural America." In addition to the FCC's $2 billion commitment to serve as a down payment for providing high-speed broadband Internet access to 15,000 schools, the Department of Agriculture will provide more than $10 million in distance-learning grants for rural schools, according to documents provided by the White House.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY.


FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: Agency has the authority to preserve open Internet
Government Technology
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on Monday reasserted that his agency has the authority to preserve the open Internet and will take active steps to do so. But on the eve of his 100th day as FCC chief, Wheeler stopped a few steps shy of fully disclosing his agency's plan of action following a recent landmark court ruling affecting open Internet laws.
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Electronic privacy: Do schools have a role to play?
District Administration Magazine
The age of textbooks and filing cabinets is coming to an end. Smart phones, tablets and cloud storage are the tools of the day. Most students probably have their own devices by the time they reach middle school and most school districts use cloud services for record retention and data analysis.

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Many districts go without a chief technology officer
Education Week
Technology leadership in many districts is provided not by one person, but through whatever arrangements the school systems can muster. Even as schools juggle a daunting array of evolving technological demands, federal data show that roughly half of districts do not have a full-time chief technology officer or technology manager whose sole job is to oversee all digital needs.

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Mobile study: Tablets make a difference in teaching and learning
THE Journal
A pair of studies released Wednesday — the first of their kind — found that tablets can make a difference in the learning habits of students. The studies are part of a new Making Learning Mobile project, an attempt to quantify and qualify the benefits of mobile technology in education and the infrastructure needed to support mobile activities

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10 questions to ask when choosing education technology
eSchool News
Put a child in front of an iPad and they'll be learning, right? Not exactly, say two early childhood experts. Thanks to extensive research, experts now know that choosing the right education technology is about pedagogy and creativity, not ways to quiet kids down. "One of the best things you can do when choosing technology is to turn off that autopilot," explained Fran Simon, chief engagement officer for Engagement Strategies and cofounder of the Early Childhood Technology Network. "Be intentional and select tools that align with your curriculum objectives. Plan technology use as another tool to get the job done, like books or crayons."
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Why too many schools live in an Analog World — And what we can do about it
Center for American Progress
This summer, President Barack Obama asked a simple question: "In a country where we expect free Wi-Fi with our coffee, why wouldn't we have it in our schools?" If a coffeehouse has slow Wi-Fi, the consequences generally aren't substantial — you might not be able to Skype with your friend in England while sipping your latte, for example — but the lack of technology in our schools has significant implications. Schools need robust digital tools to give students the knowledge and skills to succeed — just imagine a high school graduate arriving at college not knowing how to use Excel. But more than that, technology is increasingly key to making schools more effective. Tests, for instance, can now be given online to provide a much more accurate measurement of student achievement. Teachers can also use software to enrich learning and make grading homework much easier.
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Student portal work gets encryption level security
THE Journal
A non-profit organization that's working to help school districts create student portals to allow for the integration and reporting of data for school-related purposes has teamed up with two technology companies to ensure that the student records under its management are securely maintained. Although the organization isn't identified in a press statement about the privacy project, inBloom is the likely candidate. Funded through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York, inBloom has been under siege from parent organizations that are accusing the organization of playing fast and loose with student data, including an intent to sell it to vendors, force states to purchase access to the data once it's in the inBloom systems, and other measures related to maintaining the data in cloud-based storage.
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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.
 


Online schools dip slightly as charter schools see largest enrollment increase in 14 years
THE Journal
Charter school enrollments grew 12.6 percent in the 2012-2013 school year, with nearly 6,440 total public charter schools serving 2.57 million students across the United States. That's up from 1.45 million in 2008-2009 and 0.79 million in 2003-2004, representing the largest increase in 14 years, according to a new report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. However, the number of online charter schools has dipped slightly from the previously reported figure. In 2012-2013, there were 212 fully online charter schools and 129 schools that were hybrid or offered some combination of virtual and face-to-face instruction. Combined, the two types of schools represented about 5.3 percent of the total number of charter schools in the United States.
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Where inBloom wilted
EdSurge
Judging by this recent headline in the Washington Post, inBloom is anything but in bloom. Back in March 2013, inBloom had a big coming-out party at SXSWedu, with a posh room filled with suede white couches and promises of a game-changing data warehousing tool for U.S. school districts. The nonprofit had lined up nine state partners and was expected to spend the subsequent year building secure data services while wooing customers and edtech application providers. Optimism for the program was squelched, however, when Stephanie Simons of Reuters dropped an article that raised questions — and stirred concerns — about the non-profit, aptly titled "K-12 student database jazzes tech startups, spooks parents."
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Think big: How to jumpstart tech use in low-income schools
MindShift
The challenges of rural schools are many of the same (though not all) that low-income public schools face across the country: inadequate access to technology and broadband, tight budgets, and educators who have not been trained in using technology in meaningful ways. But these hurdles did not deter Daisy Dyer Duerr, Prek-12 Principal of St. Paul Public Schools in St. Paul, Arkansas. "Every child deserves an amazing education no matter who they are, no matter where they come from," said Duerr, who was recently named National Digital Principal. She's been working hard to bring new devices and related pedagogy around technology use to teachers. "If you don't have relationships you can have every bit of tech in the world and it won't matter," Duerr said.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Are you a credible technology leader? (Education Week)
Factors that might stall IT hiring this year (Computerworld)
Personalized progress: How tech model is driving achievement (District Administration Magazine)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


6 BYOD discussions every school should have
Edutopia
Vicki Davis, a contributor for Edutopia, writes: "We've been in BYOD mode for half a year, and I've already shared some best practices for the classroom with you. Putting on my IT hat, here are some of the things I've learned that you should consider as you work through your own BYOD plans and implementation."
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Teachers have mixed feelings on using social media in classrooms
Denver Business Journal
Just 18 percent of U.S. school teachers use social media to connect with students and parents, and only a quarter of teachers report they would like to make it part of their lesson plans, according to a recent survey. That’s largely because many of those surveyed expressed concern about using social media as an education tool, seeing it as a place that can invite inappropriate behavior. The online survey — conducted by Rochester, N.Y.-based Harris Interactive Inc., a market research firm — asked 1,000 full-time K-12 teachers about using social media in their classrooms.
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3 immediate ways the eRate is improving for schools
eSchool News
In what could be one of the most heartening examples of putting money where a mouth is, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler just announced that the eRate will change in three significant ways to put money into the hands of schools immediately in order to provide internet access and close the digital divide. "A little known fact about today's eRate program is that only about half of the program's funds go for broadband connectivity," explained Wheeler. "Well less than half goes for the kind of 100 mbps and higher speeds necessary for today's learning environment. In a 2013 National School Speed Test 72 percent of schools–that is nearly 40 million students didn't have the access speeds they needed."
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