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CoSN NEWS AND EVENTS

Important request from CoSN: Help us inform the FCC's changes to the E-Rate
CoSN
The FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking last month officially kicked off work on President Barack Obama's ConnectEd initiative. But the details of the initiative haven't been finalized yet, and that's where you can help: until Sept. 16, the FCC is accepting public input about how it can best structure E-Rate 2.0.

Take our 10-minute E-Rate survey to let us know about your bandwidth needs and priorities! Your input will help us provide the FCC with the best possible information about how to structure the E-Rate. We'll share results with you to help you see how your needs compare to other districts'.

We will be submitting the results of the survey next week, so be sure to take the survey as soon as possible!
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Download our free professional development toolkit
CoSN
CoSN's Closing the Gap: Turning Data into Action project gives educators the resources they need to strengthen their learning and teaching using data. They recently released a free Professional Development Toolkit that provides educators with a curricular plan to use data in every step of their day. Download the Toolkit now!
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ED TECH HEADLINES


Parents' top 12 back-to-school tech questions
Common Sense
This year, the back-to-school season will bring more technology — both in and out of the classroom — than ever before. Navigating this territory will be challenging, exciting and puzzling. Here are some of the top concerns we've heard from parents trying to figure it all out.
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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
 


Polls show mixed report card for education reforms
Politico
Americans have a decidedly mixed view of the education reforms now sweeping the nation, supporting moves to open up public schools to more competition — and yet wary of ceding too much control to market forces. That's the message that emerges from a trio of new polls on public education.
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Listen up, schools — Technology helps with parent participation
eSchool News
A new survey reveals that though most parents want to participate in their child's school or district, not enough technology options exist to help them communicate with educators and school leaders. Plus, many schools say it's time for the bake sale to go — parents need to provide some much-needed educational technology help. The survey, "Parent Volunteers in the Classroom," conducted by WeAreTeachers and VolunteerSpot, queried more than 1,000 parents and educators. The results indicate that there is strong support for parent volunteers in the classroom, but there are also "critical gaps" between teacher needs and how parents currently pitch in.
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Tech companies angle for big bucks in education
MindShift
Enthusiasm to change education from an old-school, paper-based model that most adults are familiar with from their time in school, to a dynamic, personalized experience for kids is fueling innovative ideas and attracting a lot of money. Both in policy and in practice, education leaders are calling for student access to useful tools and skills. At the same time, entrepreneurs and investors see a market ripe for penetration, in the same way that technology upended models for offering news, music and retail purchasing.
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From texting to plagiarism, how to stop high-tech cheating
THE Journal
The 21st century classroom is a wonder of online tools and content that students can access from an ever-evolving range of personal mobile devices with capabilities only dreamed of less than a decade ago. But the anywhere/anytime access these devices provide to vast web resources, sprawling social networks, and real-time communication has spawned a new kind of cheating in K-12 environments — an easier, tech-enabled version of bad behavior that is as old as the classroom, but with the potential to compromise virtually every aspect of modern student assessment.
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After tragedy, schools turn to technology
The Wall Street Journal
Ever since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut last December, school officials across the country have debated how best to improve safety, including whether to arm teachers. The debate intensified when a gunman walked into a DeKalb County, Ga., elementary school, barricaded himself in the front office and fired multiple shots at police before being taken into custody. No one was injured. Many schools are opening their doors this semester with an option less controversial than arming teachers: panic buttons. At least 400 schools in a dozen states, from California to Maine, are adding the devices, according to administrators.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
States embracing electronic high school transcripts
USA Today
Caitlin Ditto's placement on the wait list at one of her top-choice colleges wasn't her fault: Her high school guidance counselor had failed to fax in her transcript on time. The Oregon, Ill., native had sought admission to Vanderbilt University, but she was unable to track whether her transcript was sent as the 2010 deadline for regular admission neared.

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How to improve the e-Rate
eSchool News
The United States is credited with bringing forth some of the greatest technologies of our time — technologies that are being used today to raise the standard of education for people of all ages, in all circumstances, all around the globe. As a nation, we must take steps to ensure that students and teachers in the United States can benefit from these same resources.

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Obama pushes ambitious Internet access plan for schools
The Washington Post
A senior administration official said that if the idea had come up during the presidential campaign, it probably would have been abandoned because of the political risk. Democrats faced withering critiques in the 1990s for advocating gas taxes to fund roads and bridges, and then-Vice President Al Gore was put on the defensive over the "Gore tax," the 1996 law that gave the FCC the power to charge such fees.

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Back to school with BYOD
The Wall Street Journal
Forsyth County Schools CIO Bailey Mitchell is hosting four tours this fall on how his Georgia school system has a policy for students to bring your own device. Forsyth County has for five years allowed students to bring their own tablets, smartphones or laptops to school, which Mitchell says helps students get access to information more quickly and learn collaborations skills. Mobile device use is growing strongly, and public schools are not immune.
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13 best K-12 education tablets plus 7 buying tips
ChannelproSMB
While tablet adoption still has a long way to go in the K-12 market, numerous familiar and not-so-familiar brands are tailoring their tablets specifically for the classroom. There a slew of tablets out there and narrowing down your choices is no easy task. That's why we've created this list. All the tablets featured here are marketed to education users and offer things like pre-loaded educational apps or videos or a rugged design that protects the device against spills, drops, bumps, etc. While, yes, you may find some of the tablets on this list outside the classroom, these tablets have made the leap to the ed-tech scene or have shown themselves to be valuable educational tools in K-12 districts across the country.
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Creating your own eTextbooks for Common Core
eSchool News
In an effort to save schools and districts money that's often spent on outdated textbooks, many of which are not aligned with the Common Core State Standards, innovative educators and administrators are using online resources to create customized eTextbooks. In a recent edweb.net webinar, "Create Your Own Textbooks for the Common Core," Nicole Rothbauer, an intervention specialist for Salem City Schools in Ohio, detailed how her district didn't want to spend money on old textbooks that didn't reflect the Common Core State Standards.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Obama pushes ambitious Internet access plan for schools (The Washington Post)
SchoolCIO Profile: Richard Culatta (Tech & Learning)
Schools getting smart in use of smartphones (The Advocate)
iPads expand time and space in schools (District Administration)
Creating your own eTextbooks for Common Core (eSchool News)

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


  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.
 


US schools need more STEM training, better broadband
CIO
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan renewed the administration's call for super-fast broadband connections in schools and a greater focus on education in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and math. In a video address to participants in Maker Camp, an online summer camp for teenagers, Duncan hailed the virtual program, saying that "it shows the power of online learning."
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New York City makes test scores available on the Web
The New York Times
Soon parents of New York City public school students will be able to see online how well, or poorly, their children performed on a new set of state reading and math exams this spring. Parents have been able to call or visit their child's school to learn individual scores since early August, but now they can learn the scores by logging onto the student information database known as Aris Parent Link. The database system, which cost $83 million, drew sharp criticism after it was introduced in 2008. Last year, an audit by the city comptroller’s office found that roughly 42 percent of teachers, assistant principals and principals did not even log on in each of the two prior academic years. Usage by parents, however, was not measured.
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States embracing electronic high school transcripts
USA Today
Caitlin Ditto's placement on the wait list at one of her top-choice colleges wasn't her fault: Her high school guidance counselor had failed to fax in her transcript on time. The Oregon, Ill., native had sought admission to Vanderbilt University, but she was unable to track whether her transcript was sent as the 2010 deadline for regular admission neared. "If it was something I had more control of, it wouldn't have happened," says Ditto, now a rising junior at Northwestern University. Electronic transcript initiatives in several states could help give students that control. Kentucky education officials unveiled a program in late July that will allow students to send their transcripts electronically and monitor their delivery — all at no charge.
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