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Leading the Digital Leap newsletter
Be sure to subscribe to the Leading the Digital Leap newsletter. Leading the Digital Leap is a joint effort by CoSN, AASA and NSBA to provide ed tech leaders with the resources they need to succeed. Topics include "The Ed Tech Trends on the Cusp of Mainstream" and "Ask These Questions Before Using Technology in the Classroom."
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Communication tips for CTOs
K-12 TechDecisions
A critical aspect of every CTO's job is the ability to communicate effectively with all school stakeholders. This includes, administration, faculty, students and the community. The CTO must have a clear vision for technology and where the district is headed. As the district's tech leader, the CTO needs to be able to express that vision in a way that gets the school community on board. Strong communication skills cannot be emphasized enough.
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  21st Century Software - Happy Educators
Looking for THE EASY BUTTON: student information, student and parent communication portals, easy IEP’s, curriculum and assessment tools, automatic grading, learning management, library or Medicaid billing, college career planning, social media communications and notification? Yes! Separate modules or all-in-one and much more. Software inside and outside the classroom from Lumen Touch.

What's your end-of-year device collection strategy?
EdTech Magazine
The academic year for many school districts across the country is coming to a close. That means it's collection time for districts with one-to-one device policies. This can be stressful for IT departments without a solid footing on how to go about the laborious task of ensuring each device from every class, grade level and school has been returned properly. But using tips from more experienced districts can help make that process easier.
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IT spending on the rise in K-12 schools
K-12 TechDecisions
IT spending in K-12 schools is expected to hit 4.7 billion in the U.S. by the end of 2015, according to a new report by IDC Government Insights. The report, titled "The Pivot Table: U.S. Education IT Spending Guide", is the first of its kind and takes into account tens of thousands of data points to forecast IT spending in U.S. K-12 schools and higher education institutions. Much of the projected 4.7 billion in K-12 is expected to go towards purchasing PC's and investing in equipment and infrastructure upgrades. The report predicts spending on tablets and readers in K-12 to increase by eight percent, resulting in a spend of $522 million on devices in that category.
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  Managing Student Desktops and BYOD
Whether supporting traditional desktops in the classroom or adopting BYOD initiatives, NetSupport School is the leading multiple platform classroom management software designed for monitoring Student activity on any Windows, Chrome, Android and iOS device. Download a trial license today and explore the wealth of assessment, monitoring and collaboration tools.

Education technology is spreading fast, but there's no recipe for success
The Hechinger Report
Many people are seeking the "secret sauce" for digital learning. As educators expand the use of education technology, they often face a tricky balance. These tools offer the possibility for innovation — trying something new in a quest to improve teaching and learning. But technology isn't cheap, and the risk of failure looms. To assure success, many educators try to find and follow a recipe for digital learning. But many crucial ingredients can't be found in a case study about "best practices," said Julie Evans, the CEO of Project Tomorrow, a nonprofit organization that advocates for math, science and technology education and annually surveys students and educators about their experiences with those topics.
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Banning cellphones prepares students for the past
A recent study from the Center for Economic Performance in London makes a disturbing recommendation to ban students from using their digital devices for learning. The study making the rounds disregards what innovative educators know and research shows: Paper assessments are a poor indicator of student achievement. The study indicates that after schools banned mobile phones, test scores of high school students increased by 6.4 percent of a standard deviation, which they say means that it added the equivalent of five days to the school year. It goes on to say the results indicate the ban has a greater impact on special needs students and those eligible for free school meals.
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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.

Should you upgrade to 802.11ac?
THE Journal
As districts upgrade or expand their wireless networking infrastructure to support 1-to-1, online assessments and other digital learning initiatives, many are future-proofing their investment by moving to 802.11ac technology, the latest Wi-Fi specification. White Bear Lake Area Schools in Minnesota is one of those districts. According to director of technology Mark Garrison, the district had a total of about 200 access points and needed approximately 750 to support its new 1-to-1 initiative.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Laptops expected to be biggest K-12 tech expense in 2015 (THE Journal)
FCC: E-rate funding requests for schools, libraries to be paid in full (Education Week)
6 steps to a successful BYOD program (eSchool News)
Protecting student privacy in the digital age (The Hill)

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

Home connection
Scholastic Administrator Magazine
For several years, three educators from Elk Grove High School in Illinois met regularly with families living in local mobile home parks to provide parents with progress reports on their children. The meetings were necessary because the mobile home parks lacked Internet access, a situation that presented multiple problems for Township High School District 214, where the 2,000-student school is located. Parents couldn't log on to school websites for progress reports or to learn about school accomplishments, initiatives, or staff and operational changes.
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It's time to update your school website for mobile
eSchool News
If you've ever tried to get a button on your iPad to respond to a simple tap without success; squinted to be able to see letters on your mobile phone screen; or spent far too much time riffling through traditional website to get the information that you're looking for, then you know what poor responsive web design looks and feels like. A term developed by Web designer Ethan Marcotte five years ago, responsive design refers to the "planning, development, and creation of a website that's fluid and optimized to accommodate any screen size."
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Learning management systems enhances K-12 instruction
District Administration Magazine
Widespread use of digital learning materials, an intensifying focus on achievement and the influx of digital devices into classrooms are increasing districts' need to have some form of learning management systems, experts say. Without an LMS, teachers and students trying to access online education tools must sign in and out of multiple applications, including open education resources, subscription-based learning programs, and websites that teachers created for their courses. Teachers also need to log in to the student information system and administrative applications, such as grade books.
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CoSN eNews
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Hailey Golden, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630  
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