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CoSN NEWS AND EVENTS

Last chance to apply for Teaming for Transformation II
CoSN
Teaming for Transformation II is only accepting applications until May 30, so don't miss out — apply now! Teaming for Transformation II, a continuation of last year's highly successful TFT initiative, connects district and school leadership teams who are committed to fostering digital conversions which support student-centered learning in transformative educational environments. Participating teams will interact with other key high tech districts and share tips and strategies in a private online community of practice and during a site visit to Katy ISD in Texas. Join us to share your thoughts and hear best practices about transforming the culture of teaching and learning! Click here for more information.
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CoSN's 2012-2013 webinar series concludes with a preview of the '2013 Horizon K-12' edition
CoSN
CoSN's 2012-2013 webinar series concluded last week with a sneak preview of the "2013 Horizon Report K-12" edition, produced by the New Media Consortium Group, CoSN and ISTE. The report, which won't be released until this summer, will discuss the 6 emerging technologies that will have the biggest impact on learning in the next year, two years and three years. Check out our Knowledge Center for information on accessing a recording of the webinar.
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CoSN conducts virtual focus group using IESD's EDRoom
CoSN
A virtual focus group of CTOs was recently conducted using IESD's EDRoom, a private Web space where vendors can explore ideas or get feedback on products through in-depth, targeted discussions with administrators and teachers. The focus of the discussion was "The Incredible Shrinking Budget." Participants provided practical and strategic advice on how to make the most of what districts have. EDRoom serves as a sounding board for companies that need solid, practical insight into the education industry. Using EDRoom, companies create "groups" that match their target profiles and then engage in meaningful dialogue with these groups over several days. The EDRoom moderator elicits detailed feedback from every participant on every question (without interruptions, time constraints or a few people dominating the conversation), and the online process provides ample time for participants to interact. For a short demo of EDRoom, click here.
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SHOWCASE
  ePals Global Community

ePals is the world's largest network of K-12 classrooms, enabling students and teachers to safely connect and collaborate with classrooms in more than 200 countries and territories. Educators can join ePals to find collaborative projects, join discussions in community forums, and search thousands of classroom profiles to engage with others in authentic exchanges. MORE
 


ED TECH HEADLINES


E-rate needs overhaul for digital era, experts argue
Education Week
As school districts strive to put more technology into schools to support 1-to-1 computing initiatives and prepare for the common-core online assessments, the federal E-rate program is in danger of becoming as outdated and insufficient as a sputtering dial-up connection in a Wi-Fi world. While the program can boast great success since its inception — just 14 percent of schools were connected to the Internet when the E-rate was launched in 1996, compared with near-universal access today — it is now at risk of buckling under the weight of districts' technological demands in the age of laptops, tablets, smartphones and 24/7 online activity.
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The surprising ways BYOD, flipped classrooms and 1-to-1 are being used in the special education classroom
THE Journal
The latest compilation from the U.S. Department of Education (from 2010-2011) reports that about 13 percent of public school enrollment consists of students served by special education programs. That count has pretty much stayed the same for the last 13 years. What's different now is that, as technology pervades all aspects of the classroom, special education teachers need to make a decision about whether they're going to stay on track with specialized assistive technologies or adopt some of the mainstream ones that general education students are using.
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BYOD: Foster happy employees by allowing personal devices at work
By Peter Martini
When educational systems begin delving into BYOD — Bring Your Own Device — on-campus, they are confronted by parents desiring protection for their children from inappropriate content shared by other students as much as they are confronted by parents wanting their child to have access on their device. How is a school to deal with limiting access to protect students and follow CIPA guidelines while at the same time appeasing parents who rightfully want their students to be able to fully use the new iPad or smartphone they just spent hundreds of dollars on for their child?
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Industry Pulse: Does your organization allow personal electronic devices at the office?
ANSWER NOW


What Adobe's move to the creative cloud means for schools
EdTech Magazine
Software maker Adobe surprised the tech world when it announced that it would stop selling box sets of its popular Creative Suite design software, including Acrobat and Photoshop, in favor of a subscription-based service available through its Creative Cloud. The announcement was big news for magazine publishers and graphic artist types. But it also stands to have significant implications for K–12 schools. Thousands of K–12 teachers and students use Adobe's Creative Suite products — the vast majority of whom own licenses for traditional off-the-shelf software boxes.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    CoSN and AASA publish professional development toolkit for educational leaders (THE Journal)
The new marshmallow test: Resisting the temptations of the Web while learning (Slate via The Hechinger Report)
Students want more mobile devices in classroom (InformationWeek)
A failing grade for broadband (New America via Slate Magazine)
iPads soar in popularity among K-12 schools (eSchool News)

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


A by-the-e-book education, for $5 a month
The New York Times
Dennis Abudho and his family of five children live in a one-bedroom house without electricity in Bandani, an informal settlement in Kisumu, Kenya. Abudho is active in the PTA at Bridge International Academy in Bandani, where his four oldest children (three boys and a girl) are in baby level, first, third and fifth grade. You might not expect someone like Abudho — who said he is a casual laborer, operating a bread machine at a local mill and bakery — to have four children in private school. But he can afford it — the cost of school for each child at Bridge, including books and materials, is the equivalent of $5.16 a month.
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Windows XP deadline puts pressure on schools
Education Week
Microsoft's plans to end support for Windows XP, believed to be the dominant computer operating system in K-12 education, could pose big technological and financial challenges for districts nationwide — issues that many school systems have yet to confront. The giant software company has made it clear for years that it plans to stop supporting XP next year, and it has been urging districts, as well as businesses and other customers, to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8.
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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.
 


Moving to the cloud: Myths and facts
School CIO
"There are not many new ideas when it comes to technology. Instead, there’s a lot of rebranding," says Thuan Nguyen, assistant superintendent and chief digital strategy officer for the Kent School District in Washington. "The cloud is a re-branded version of hosted services, which is just a re-branded mainframe philosophy. With each new version we add features or modify the infrastructure to do more. At the core, though, the premise is the same." Still, districts need to know the facts before migrating everything to the cloud. SchoolCIO spoke with some experts to get the scoop.
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Transforming data to information in service of learning
SETDA
While states, districts and schools have long collected certain education data for accountability purposes and in an attempt to be more data-driven, there is growing interest in leveraging new digital learning tools, online services, educational "apps" and other technologies in the classroom. Yet, for all the data available to us through technology, school leaders and educators still lack the ability to easily transform that data to information to help guide decisions about instruction, school administration and operations. Simply put, education data and information systems need to be in service of learning.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
E-rate needs overhaul for digital era, experts argue
Education Week
As school districts strive to put more technology into schools to support 1-to-1 computing initiatives and prepare for the common-core online assessments, the federal E-rate program is in danger of becoming as outdated and insufficient as a sputtering dial-up connection in a Wi-Fi world.

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CoSN and AASA publish professional development toolkit for educational leaders
THE Journal
The Consortium for School Networking and the American Association of School Administrators have released the latest addition to the collaborative Closing the Gap: Turning Data into Action project.

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5 unexpected benefits of a wired school
The Hechinger Report
Eric Sheninger, principal of New Milford High School in Bergen County, NJ is an unabashed ed-tech evangelist who has wrought some significant transformations in his "traditional blue-collar," yet highly diverse public school through the use of technology, B.Y.O.D. programs, and particularly social media.

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Alerts raised over Massachusetts plan to manage student data
The Boston Globe
An experiment by Massachusetts education officials to better manage student records and software teaching tools has privacy advocates concerned it could expose the private information of thousands of schoolchildren to hackers and identity thieves. Massachusetts is among a handful of states participating in a pilot project with inBloom, an Atlanta nonprofit helping schools to beef up and simplify the wide variety of computer systems used to record student information, administer tests, analyze performance, train teachers and gather other data.
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10 education technology tools of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s
eSchool News
We don't know about you, but sometimes the eSchool News editors are amazed to hear about the education technology students use to learn in schools these days: mobile gaming apps, 3-D printing and robots? Many of the editors still remember the prestige of walking to the front of the class and writing on the chalkboard with colored chalk. To celebrate technologies of the past, the editors of eSchool News have compiled a list of the education technologies we and our teachers used back in the day — you know, before the Internet even existed. Can you think of an ed-tech tool not on the list? What was your favorite classroom tool when you were in school?
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With tech tools, how should teachers tackle multitasking in class?
MindShift
Important research compiled on the effects of students multitasking while learning shows that they are losing depth of learning, getting mentally fatigued, and are weakening their ability to transfer what they have learned to other subjects and situations. Educators as well as students have noticed how schoolwork suffers when attention is split between homework and a buzzing smartphone. Many students, like Alex Sifuentes, who admit to multitasking while studying, know the consequences well.
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Video conferencing is the new blackboard
The Conferencing
School today isn't the same as it used to be. As shocking as it might be to those of us who only used IT in designated classrooms called "computer labs" to hear that today's students are not only using laptops in every class they take as early as elementary school, the proliferation of technology in the classroom is a much deeper rabbit hole. Education is jumping to the cloud, with Google education fueled solutions like UGcloud in Southern Ontario schools, students no longer have the excuse of forgetting homework at home and teachers have better insight into work habits of their progeny. The biggest boon to educators, however, is also the most classically futuristic: video conferencing is changing the classroom in the ways we always hoped it would.
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Study: Free computers don't close the rich-poor education gap
TechCrunch
According to a new study, we really don't have to worry too much about the nearly 1 in 4 children without access to FarmVille at home. "Our results indicate that computer ownership alone is unlikely to have much of an impact on short-term schooling outcomes for low-income children," report Robert W. Fairlie and Jonathan Robinson in a new study of a large-scale randomized computer give-away experiment in California. On the one hand, it's good news that doomsday predictions for computer-less children have been exaggerated. However, giving out computers was one of the easier solutions to closing the poverty educational outcome gap, and now we have to go back to the drawing board.
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Testing touchscreen tables in classrooms
CNN
Forget tiny iPads — the classrooms of the future might turn entire tables into interactive touchscreens. Given that many children can sit rapturously before a glowing touchscreen for hours, such gadgets seem like a natural for the classroom. But as with any new teaching technology, it's important to make sure it actually helps students learn and teachers teach before getting caught up in its "cool" factor.
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Preteens' use of Instagram creates privacy issue, child advocates say
The Washington Post
On the photo-sharing app Instagram, search the keywords #Fairfax, #Rockville or #DC and up pops hundreds of photos from children. Among them, until recently, were many from Kyle, a 12-year-old. His full name, Gaithersburg middle school and favorite Montgomery County hangouts were on public display before his parents put a stop to it. Technically, Kyle was not supposed to be on Instagram, the mobile app owned by Facebook. The company's policy sets the minimum age at 13. But Kyle said he was able to join easily, no questions asked. Within minutes of setting up his account this past fall, he was uploading "selfies" of his cherubic face and blond mop top and tagging photos of friends with their names.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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