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CoSN NEWS AND EVENTS

CoSN joins coalition to make OER part of next open government national action plan
CoSN
CoSN, along with a broad coalition of more than 85 education, library, technology, public interest and legal organizations, called on the White House to make federally funded educational materials available as open educational resources. The groups request that the materials be free to use, share and improve.
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ED TECH HEADLINES


How Microsoft and Google cloud tools make IT more productive
CIO
The rapid adoption of cloud-based platforms such as Google for Work and Microsoft Office 365 may largely be driven by the promise of improved productivity, but the tools can also enable administrators to take on more influential roles in their organizations. The emergence of cloud IT is helping IT administrators become more proactive decisions-makers, rather than reactive troubleshooters, according to a new survey from BetterCloud, a company that sells IT administrative tools for both Google for Work and Office 365.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  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.
 


Overcoming the K-12 digital divide with education broadband
EdTech Magazine
Chad A. Stevens, a contributor for EdTech Magazine, wrties: "Serving as a classroom teacher, school administrator and chief technology officer over the course of 14 years, I've seen the emergence of classroom instruction combined with self-directed online study. Blended learning, as it is called, is gaining in popularity. In fact, recent statistics show that more than half of sixth- through 12th-grade students complete online homework assignments on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, not all students have equal access to broadband at home. According to a November 2014 report issued by the U.S. Census Bureau, households with annual income of under $25,000 are less than half as likely to have broadband access as those with $150,000 or more."
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How virtualization and BYOD help students learn anywhere, anytime
THE Journal
For more than two decades, Douglas Meade has been director of information Technology at York County School Division in Virginia, which serves nearly 13,000 K-12 students. In the fall of 2009, the division began a two-year process of implementing a desktop virtualization initiative to enhance mobility for students and teachers — and, as an added benefit, to pave the way for BYOD as an alternative to 1-to-1.
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How tech-driven learning can benefit students with disabilities
Education Dive
As technology makes its way into classrooms, the question of what effect innovative strategies will have on students with disabilities remains wide open. In some ways, technology use is nothing new for special education students and teachers. Assistive technology has been a key part of helping disabled students succeed in school and afterwards for decades. But some experts say that the new push for tech-driven, personalized learning environments has the potential to destigmatize their use and provide more opportunity for learning for disabled students.
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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.
 


Schools boost broadband to meet demand
District Administration Magazine
There's good news for district leaders in the ongoing battle to meet the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth. One-gigabit networks are coming to more areas, the cost of service per megabit is decreasing, and funding through E-rate and other sources is increasing. Many district networks are straining under the deluge of digital learning resources. Web-based learning content can include bandwidth-heavy videos, graphics and audio files. Online testing required to meet any new learning standards' requirements has added to the overload.
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School librarians want more technology — and bandwidth
School Library Journal
IPads, maker spaces, 3-D printers and coding skills top the tech wish lists for 1,259 school librarians across the country, according to School Library Journal's 2015 Technology Survey. Educators are hungry to bring their students even more — whether that's robotics classes or Arduino kits. "New computers, tablets, video equipment, all digital tools, instruction on usage, [and] enough bandwidth" count among the must-haves for Andrea Oshima, a school librarian at Aviara Oaks Elementary School in Carlsbad, California. Currently, 64 percent of school librarians consider themselves tech leaders in their schools — and 28 percent feel that their tech skills afford them increased job security.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Should body cameras be used at schools? (EdTech Magazine)
Google classroom offers application programming interface preview for better instruction, learning (iSchoolGuide)
Are interactive books in the future for learning? (Education World)
White House 'Connect Home' pilot program brings Internet to low-income children (iSchoolGuide)
iPads in the classroom: The right questions you should ask (Edudemic)

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


Making the case for social media in schools
Edutopia (commentary)
Jim Asher, the principal of Jackson P. Burley Middle School in Charlottesville, Virginia, writes: "'Do you have a Twitter account? Do you use Instagram?' I ask those questions of all teacher applicants at Jackson P. Burley Middle School, and I'm surprised by how many people answer, 'No.' Or, 'Well, I set up an account a while ago, but I don't really use it.' I don't expect every person to be a tech expert with every type of social media. I doubt, for example, that most regular users of Microsoft Word know how many features that program actually has. However, social media is integrated throughout my school. I want all of the teachers at my school to know at least the basics of social media — ideally, they're more than proficient."
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Should cellphones be allowed in school?
Tech&Learning (commentary)
Lisa Nielsen, a contributor for Tech&Learning, writes: "Do personal devices support learning? That's what I was asked by 'The Signal' blog which facilitates a conversation about communication, safety and making families work. The question was prompted after a recent study that found students performed better on exams under a cellphone ban which has been used to cast doubt on city's like New York who have lifted the ban. Of course studies such as these are highly flawed for numerous reasons."
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Providing free wireless hotspots helps this district close the equity gap
eSchool News
The achievement gap. The literacy gap. The nutrition Gap. The preschool gap. It seems like our education system talks and talks about the inequities that exist between students and schools that are well-funded, well-supported, and well-granted, and those that struggle to keep the lights on, pay their staff and run the HVAC. There's another gap, a growing one, perhaps with less media buzz, that has made its way to the doors of our schools. It's one we can no longer ignore. This is the chasm between the homes with and those without access to quality broadband.
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K-12 connectivity heatmap shows state schools in need of more bandwidth
EdTech Magazine
A new K–12 connectivity heatmap shows which states are ahead of the broadband curve and which are lagging behind. The data comes from a report by CDW•G, which surveyed 400 K-12 IT professionals about the connectivity of their schools. What emerged was an overview of the connectivity preparedness of schools across the nation. According to the report, schools in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington have the most connected classrooms. The report also presents a few sobering facts about schools' preparedness for a coming bandwidth crisis.
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3 key trends in AV technology for schools
THE Journal
In schools from coast to coast, classroom learning environments are becoming more active and collaborative. Students are contributing to discussions and presentations, and the days of the "sage on the stage" are waning. This change is having a profound effect on the deployment of audiovisual technology in education. According to Mike Tomei, an independent audiovisual consultant who designs and installs AV systems for classrooms, "Classroom AV technology plays a big part in facilitating active learning environments." Makers of AV equipment have responded to districts' needs by developing new products that support more active and collaborative learning. Here are three key trends that show how they're doing it.
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