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CoSN NEWS AND EVENTS

Ask. Get answers. Improve. — K-12 district leaders share effective data practices
CoSN
CoSN's Closing the Gap: Turning SIS/LMS Data into Action project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and conducted in partnership with AASA and Gartner, works to determine the most effective ways to use educational data to improve instruction and student achievement.

Join Closing the Gap for a FREE four-part Google Hangout On Air series which will feature ed tech leaders nationwide who are using educational data effectively.

Be sure to add the events to your calendar:
  • Part 1: Professional Development Toolkit — Building a Data-Rich Culture for the Effective Use of Educational Data and Establishing Professional Learning Communities; Katy ISD, TX and Mooresville Graded School District, N.C.
    • Oct. 2, 2:00-2:45 p.m. EDT
  • Part 2: Professional Development Toolkit — Evidence-Based Practices Supporting the Use of Educational Data; Lincoln County Schools, Tenn., and Henry County Schools, Ga.
    • Oct. 16, 2:00-2:45 p.m. EDT
  • Part 3: Professional Development Toolkit — Process of Analyzing Educational Data; Fairfax County Public Schools, Va., and Huntsville City Schools, Ala.
    • Oct. 30, 2:00-2:45 p.m. EDT
  • Part 4: Professional Development Toolkit — Technologies Enabling the use of Educational Data; Forsyth County Schools, Ga., and Clark County Schools, Nev.
    • Nov. 13, 2:00-2:45 p.m. EST
CoSN welcomes you to register for each of the hangouts here. Be sure to submit questions to the presenters before the Hangout so you can fully take advantage of the opportunity!
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CoSN Award Nominations now open
CoSN
Do you know an awesome ed tech leader who deserves to be recognized? Nominate yourself or a colleague for the 2014 CoSN Awards! Nominations for the Withrow CTO Award and the Team Award will be open through Nov. 22. Both awards recognize leaders who demonstrate exceptional vision in their use of technology in K-12 education; the Withrow CTO Award is given to an outstanding individual, and the TEAM Award to a school or district leadership team. Award winners (who do not have to be CoSN members) will be honored at the 2014 CoSN Annual Conference.
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ED TECH HEADLINES


Ohio online filters to stop blocking educational sites
The Columbus Dispatch
Columbus teachers and students using the Web at school have found their searches blocked at every click. There has been no YouTube, even when science teachers wanted to show a video about cells. Anatomy diagrams for health-track classes at the career centers? Nope. Elementary-school teachers searching for photos of well-known art? Thwarted. Math teachers who wanted kids to compare prices among online retailers? Out of luck. They couldn't access Walmart, Kmart and Amazon.com.
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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
 


iPads open doors for students in poor school districts
USA Today
For Alicia Silva, a single mother with three kids and three jobs, an iPad is out of reach. Silva works as a part-time art teacher, seamstress and home-care provider, and like many hard-working parents, can't afford a tablet computer. Sometime in the next few weeks, though, the Coachella Valley Unified School District will take care of that. It will issue an iPad to each of Silva's three children as part of a program that will provide them to all 19,000 students in the district, one of the state's poorest.
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School districts install, expand iPad programs for hands-on lessons
The Columbian
As Mike Holland paced the front of his seventh-grade math class at La Center Middle School in Washington, his students settled into their seats, touch screens in hand. There was no click-a-tat of three-ring binders opening or the rustling of glossy textbook pages turning. There was just the silent unsheathing of tablet computers from their cloth vessels and the chatter of excited voices. This is the new classroom.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
Ohio online filters to stop blocking educational sites
The Columbus Dispatch
Columbus teachers and students using the Web at school have found their searches blocked at every click. There has been no YouTube, even when science teachers wanted to show a video about cells. Anatomy diagrams for health-track classes at the career centers?

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Ed-tech chief posits 5 innovation questions for schools
Education Week
School leaders who are trying to use technology to promote innovation in the classroom should consider five critical questions, according to Richard Culatta, director of the Office of Educational Technology for the U.S. Department of Education.

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Schools getting smart in use of smartphones
The Advocate
Most school districts limit or prohibit their students from using cellphones on campus. But two Louisiana schools in Tangipahoa Parish plan to use their students' smartphones for classroom instruction this coming school year.

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Federal funding targets technology for students with disabilities
THE Journal
A new $1.4 million federal grant will fund the establishment of a Center on Technology and Disability. The goal of the award is to help children with disabilities, their families, and their schools to access and use assistive technology to improve learning outcomes. The grant, administered by the United States Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, was funded through the Technology and Media Services for Individuals with Disabilities program, authorized under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It was awarded to Family Health International, which will operate the center along with American Institutes for Research and PACER Center.
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Mobile technology in K-12 classrooms: More than a question of cost
The Huffington Post (commentary)
Tablets have become a learning fixture in many K-12 classrooms. The quick access to information and capability to provide personalized learning are just a few of the reasons why teachers, administrators and parents have been behind the push for one-to-one tablet programs in classrooms throughout the country. While few schools have met the one-to-one goal yet, nearly 60 percent of administrators say they have implemented some form of mobile technology in classrooms.
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Schools need help with technology
eSchool News
Technology is many things: Exciting. Innovative. Interesting. A time-killer. Students are drawn to it. Without question, technology is the greatest learning tool since pen and paper. There is very little to criticize when it comes to the technological advancements we've all experienced in the last 15 years. But with everything, there is usually a downside. For technology, the truth is, it's expensive — very expensive.
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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.
 


Elementary puts new focus on technology
The Spokesman-Review
Some North Idaho fifth-graders sat in their school library and chatted with students across town on a brand-new video-conferencing system. Before long they may use the high-end equipment to embark on virtual tours of distant museums, drop in on classrooms around the world or watch a team of surgeons at work. "It's very exciting. This opens up so much for us," said Lisa Pica, the principal at Hayden Meadows Elementary School.
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A state-by-state look at top education-technology initiatives
eSchool News
Sometimes, an education-technology initiative grabs national headlines. Other times, a technology initiative quietly spreads throughout a school building or district as it connects teachers with mentors, helps administrators become more efficient, or boosts student achievement and engagement. Here, eSchool News compiled a list of one ed-tech initiative in each state and the District of Columbia, to offer a look at some of the great technology advocacy and work being done around the nation.
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School cafeterias go electronic
CNN
For decades, it was one of the iconic images of childhood: the youngster dispatched to school with lunch money squirreled tightly in his or her pocket or backpack. But perhaps for not much longer: As inevitably as slide rules once gave way to calculators, school cafeterias are embracing technological change. In recent months, the city of Chicago became one of the largest school districts to sign up for electronic payments. Beginning next year students in the Windy City won't have to remember their lunch money — just a PIN or an ID card that's linked to an online account, where parents can choose to automatically refill low balances, set spending controls and review what food their offspring purchased that same day.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Survey: How students prefer to use tablets in schools (MindShift)
Can school networks handle Common Core demands? (eSchool News)
Teachers paid overtime for sluggish internet (The Riverdale Press)
Ed-tech chief posits 5 innovation questions for schools (Education Week)
Nominate a connected educator as a White House Champion of Change (The White House Blog)

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


Los Angeles school iPad security breached in no time by students
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
It took just a week for nearly 300 students who got iPads from their Los Angeles high school to figure out how to alter the security settings so they could surf the Web and access social media sites. The breach at Roosevelt High and two other LA schools has prompted Los Angeles Unified School District officials to halt a $1 billion program aimed at putting the devices in the hands of every student in the nation's second-largest school system, the Los Angeles Times reported. The district also has banned home use of the iPads until further notice as officials look for ways to make sure students use the devices for school work only.
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10 essential tips for meeting technology needs of low-income schools
MindShift
Educators who work in low-income schools understand technology could help them understand student needs better and create more engaging learning experiences. But tight budgets make some of the more ambitious schemes, like one-to-one computer, access a distant dream. Yet it's precisely the schools with under-served student populations that stand to gain the most from technology. Class sizes are often large and teachers are looking for ways to keep the class engaged and focused when they work one-on-one with a struggling student. Smart use of technology could save them time with grading and tracking student progress, for example. Still some high-needs schools are only just beginning to push for school technology.
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With tablets in schools, K-12 teachers must learn new techniques
Digital Book World
As the 2013 school year begins, some of the newest members of the classroom are digital. Tablets are now part of the instructional landscape in more schools than ever across the United States. One-third of K-12 students said they used a tablet for school during the 2012-2013 academic year. This fall, the number is rising. How well these new electronic classroom buddies will be integrated into the learning process rests mostly on the shoulders of individual classroom teachers. Today, more than ever, professional development for teachers is vital for K-12 schools.
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E-Rate advocates: More funding for internet connections
eSchool News
As the deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission on ways to improve the federal E-Rate program wrapped up on Sept. 16, ed-tech advocacy groups and associations made final attempts to emphasize how crucial adequate high-speed broadband connections are for teaching and learning. Coinciding with the comment deadline is the release of a Consortium for School Networking study revealing that 99 percent of the 450 K-12 districts surveyed need greater internet bandwidth within the next 36 months, and 93 percent of districts believe the current E-Rate program does not meet their needs.
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