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CoSN NEWS AND EVENTS

CoSN Annual Conference wraps up in San Diego; recordings available
CoSN
We at CoSN are still catching our breaths after a wonderful Annual Conference in San Diego last week. Hundreds of ed tech leaders from around the country (and the world) gathered to share success stories and learn more about their field. We were glad to see so many of you there.

Conference recordings are available for purchase, so if you weren't able to join us — or if you want to "sit in" on a session you didn't attend there — be sure to take advantage of this chance to take the conference home with you. Stay tuned for more information.
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Cisco Virtual Forum for Education Leaders features CoSN board members
CoSN
The 2013 Cisco Virtual Forum for Education Leaders — a free virtual conference that highlights educational leaders from around the world — will be held tomorrow, March 19. Two CoSN Board members, Mark Edwards (Mooresville Graded School District) and Lenny Schad (Houston Independent School District) will be among the leaders who discuss global innovations in education technology. Don't miss out on your chance to join the discussion.
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ED TECH HEADLINES


CoSN 2013: Districts transition to digital-rich learning environments
EdTech Magazine
Digital content is changing the teaching and learning paradigm in notable ways. But every district adapts differently, based on its socioeconomic and cultural circumstances. In an effort to leverage the experience and expertise of those districts advancing student-centered learning in digitally rich environments, the Consortium for School Networking assembled a cadre of more than 110 educators and IT professionals from 25 districts in 16 states last summer to participate in Teaming for Transformation, a blended learning initiative. The group focused on how to: lead a digital conversion for student learning; build and advance a culture of instruction with digital resources and tools; and create and support a digital learning environment that reaches every student and teacher.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  For Schools Who Do

The Lenovo ThinkPad X131e laptop, powered by 3rd Generation Intel Core i3 processor is the ideal student laptop. With a strengthened frame, stronger hinges and ports, and the Active Protection System, the ThinkPad X131e is designed to keep up with students in virtually any environment. Learn more at www.lenovo.com/educationseries
 


7 facts about K-12 education technology leaders
eSchool News
School district technology leaders aren't too optimistic that their ed-tech budgets will increase over the next year, and funding remains among the top challenges that face ed-tech leaders, according to the Consortium for School Networking's first annual K-12 IT Leadership Survey, released at CoSN's annual conference in San Diego. CoSN hopes the results will help K-12 decision makers better evaluate how technology can affect teaching and learning.
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Districts place high priority on 1-to-1 computing
Education Week
Peter Sanchioni likes to joke that he has five years to prove the 1-to-1 laptop program his district recently put in place is a resounding success. Either that, or he's out of a job. Sanchioni is the superintendent of the Natick public school system, a solidly middle-class district of about 5,000 students in Massachusetts. He first started looking into 1-to-1 programs, in which each student is paired with a school-issued laptop or tablet computer, a few years back.
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Schools shift from textbooks to tablets
The Associated Press via Yahoo News
Well before the cleanup from Superstorm Sandy was in full swing, students could read about the weather system that slammed the East Coast in their textbooks. Welcome to the new digital bookcase, where traditional ink-and-paper textbooks have given way to iPads and book bags are getting lighter. Publishers update students' books almost instantly with the latest events or research. Schools are increasingly looking to handheld tablets as a way to sustain students' interest, reward their achievements and, in some cases, actually keep per-student costs down.
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SHOWCASE
  Cisco Virtual Forum for Education Leaders

March 19, 8 am PT/11 am ET
This free online event features visionary educators sharing innovative strategies and practical solutions for improving the quality of education and preparing students to succeed in a rapidly changing world. Don't miss the valuable opportunity to discover the people, ideas, and technologies transforming education today. Click here to register.
 


K-12 student database jazzes tech startups, spooks parents
Reuters
An education technology conference in Austin, Texas, will clang with bells and whistles as startups eagerly show off their latest wares. But the most influential new product may be the least flashy: a $100 million database built to chart the academic paths of public school students from kindergarten through high school. In operation just three months, the database already holds files on millions of children identified by name, address and sometimes social security number. Learning disabilities are documented, test scores recorded, attendance noted. In some cases, the database tracks student hobbies, career goals, attitudes toward school — even homework completion.
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Redefining the role of the school CTO
EdTech Magazine
Keith Krueger has a message for school technology directors: It's time to step up your game. While innovation has occurred in pockets of American education, Krueger, whose Consortium for School Networking hosted its national conference March 11–13 in San Diego, says the strides U.S. schools have made with technology as a tool for learning pale in comparison to those of other nations. He references the book "That Used to Be Us" by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. "The U.S. was always the place for big ideas, for doing things in a bold way, for making big public investments — whether it was our public highway system, land grant investments in universities and colleges during the Civil War, or the GI Bill after World War II," Krueger says.
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K-12 IT leadership survey results released
Tech & Learning
The Consortium for School Networking released the results of its first annual CoSN K-12 IT Leadership Survey, as the association kicks off its 2013 Annual Conference. The survey polled district technology leaders nationwide to capture technology trends, challenges and priorities surrounding K-12 technology leadership.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    States struggle to keep online schools accountable (Government Technology)
14 recommendations for taming the 'wild, wild West' of education technology (eSchool News)
Views of technology differ among elementary, high school educators (Education Week)
Cloud computing to make up 35 percent of K-12 IT budgets in 4 years (THE Journal)
10 facts about K-12 students' technology use (eSchool News)

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


4 keys to success with digital textbooks
eClassroom News
Moving to digital textbooks is easier said than done — it takes months of planning, stakeholder buy-in and perseverance. A new infographic from OnlineCollege.org pulls data from the Federal Communications Commission's Digital Textbook Playbook to highlight important aspects of digital textbook implementation. Each year, school districts spend $7 billion on textbooks, but most textbooks are 7-10 years old before they are replaced. In a survey, 81 percent of teachers said they think tablets can enhance students' learning. For example, laptops or tablets can use internet connectivity, interactive and personalized content, learning and video games, applications that encourage collaboration, and instant teacher and student feedback to boost engagement and understanding.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
Redefining the role of the school CTO
EdTech Magazine
Keith Krueger has a message for school technology directors: It’s time to step up your game. While innovation has occurred in pockets of American education, Krueger, whose Consortium for School Networking will host its national conference March 11–13 in San Diego, says the strides U.S. schools have made with technology as a tool for learning pale in comparison to those of other nations.

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Cloud computing to make up 35 percent of K-12 IT budgets in 4 years
THE Journal
Within one year, cloud computing in K-12 schools is expected to consume a quarter of the entire IT budget; four years from now, that figure will grow to 35 percent. What's driving that growth? According to a study released by CDW Government, storage is the top application in K-12 education, with 40 percent of schools turning to the cloud to house their data.

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States struggle to keep online schools accountable
Government Technology
Online classes have exploded in popularity, with more than six times as many students enrolled in electronic K-12 courses now as compared to a decade ago, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Advocates say online classes offer a more flexible and personalized form of education, allowing students to progress at their own pace and on their own time.

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10 lessons from the best district in the country
Scholastic Administrator
If they haven't been tossed already, textbooks at Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina sit unused, piled in corners of classrooms. Desks are no longer neatly arranged in rows, and students rarely sit quietly and listen to extended lectures. At Mooresville, 20 miles outside of Charlotte, N.C., this is the new norm. The district undertook a massive "21st Century Digital Conversion" in 2007. Students now frequently work in groups, and they use one of dozens of interactive learning platforms instead of textbooks. Rather than lecturing, teachers act as facilitators, circulating among groups or leading students in interactive lessons.
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Controlling social media: Current policy trends in K-12 education
THE Journal
As school boards address the overall challenge of social media use within schools, they should focus on the reality that the impact no longer lies only on the individual and local schools. Social networks include students and teachers all over the world and, therefore, teaching and coaching on digital literacy for teachers and students is where the focus should rest. Knowing how to build successful communities of learning and how to integrate social connectivity within a learning environment is a much more needed outcome than finding a way to control and monitor specific users and content.
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What makes a good broadband network for schools?
eSchool News
A panel of broadband experts recently agreed that high-quality access for schools and districts means more than providing a connection to the Internet — good broadband provides a foundation for innovative initiatives, cloud services, telecommunications and much more. Hosted by the State Educational Technology Directors Association, the panel discussed the power of broadband access in schools and how it takes extensive planning, research and legislative backing to ensure not just access, but high-quality access that can sustain growth.
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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.
 


Going paperless: Studies look into the effectiveness of learning with iPads in Encinitas' school district
The Coast News
In Lindsay Duncan's class at El Camino Creek in Encinitas, Calif., one fourth-grade student looked up the definition of "blubber." One girl found a suitable picture of a whale and attached it to her presentation about marine life. Books, paper and pencils weren't in the hands of any of Duncan's students — only iPads. These days, it's a common sight in classrooms throughout the Encinitas Union School District. Every third- through six-grader at EUSD has an iPad, and the district is looking at rolling out more iPads for younger students. Meanwhile, researchers are looking at how the rapidly growing technology is impacting learning.
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School districts under pressure to modernize
Education Week
The chief executive officer of EducationSuperHighway, a nonprofit group that advocates upgraded Internet access for schools, articulates what many educational technology leaders like to remind educators, policymakers, parents and students: "Schools don't have the expertise they need to effectively design and implement a network," says Evan C. Marwell. "Creating a network and buying broadband is a lot more complicated than buying pencils." Superintendents, chief technology officers and other district leaders are working through those complexities as they put measures in place to transform their school districts into learning environments featuring more powerful digital tools.
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Teaching 2.0: Is tech in the classroom worth the cost?
NPR
The hallways at Westlake High School in Maryland are just like thousands of other school hallways around the country: kids milling around, laughing and chatting on their way to class. On a recent morning, about 30 kids took their seats in a classroom that initially seems like any other. The major difference here is that instead of a chalkboard and a lectern at the head of the class, there are two enormous flat-panel screens and thin, white microphones hanging in four rows across the ceiling.
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  CoSN CEO discusses access gap on CNN/Comcast Newsmakers
Click the image to see CoSN CEO Keith Krueger's appearance on CNN Headline News/Comcast Newsmakers. Keith discussed the importance of closing the technology access gap, a crucial component of CoSN's strategic plan.
 


Video game invades classroom, scores education points
USA Today
World domination through learning? An alliance of educators and innovators are using a version of "SimCity" to stem students' boredom and electrify future U.S. scientists, engineers and mathematicians. An unprecedented agreement between two influential foundations, leading academics, two global testing firms and the video game industry could redefine how schools teach basic skills.
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Ed-tech leaders brace for online testing
eSchool News
What keeps ed-tech leaders up at night? Making sure their schools are prepared to roll out high-stakes testing to students online by the 2014-15 school year is a chief concern, said panelists during a session at the Consortium for School Networking's 2013 national conference in San Diego. Two multi-state consortia, the Partnership for the Assessment of College and Career Readiness and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, are developing next-generation assessments aligned with the Common Core State Standards, and students in more than 40 states will take the tests online beginning in 2014.
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News Corporation has a tablet for schools
The New York Times
For nearly two years, Joel I. Klein helped Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation weather a phone-hacking scandal at the company's British tabloids with the promise that he would eventually be able to return to the role the company hired him for: to spearhead News Corporation's new venture into the public school market. That day has finally come. At the SXSWedu conference in Austin, Texas, Klein, the former chancellor of New York City schools and the current chief executive of Amplify, News Corporation's fledgling education division, will take the stage for a surprising announcement. Amplify will not sell just its curriculum on existing tablets, but will also offer the Amplify Tablet, its own 10-inch Android tablet for K-12 schoolchildren.
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