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CoSN NEWS AND EVENTS

Announcing CoSN's 2013-2014 webinar series!
CoSN
Our 2013-2014 webinar series kicks off next month! During this six-part series, you'll be able to interact with key thought leaders about cutting-edge issues in education technology. Best of all, webinars are free for CoSN members.

Mark your calendar for:
  • Tuesday, November 12: Is Privacy in the Cloud Possible?
  • Tuesday, December 10: Can Learning Analytics Enable Personalized Learning?
  • Tuesday, January 14, 2014: Can School Systems Leverage “Hybrid Innovation” Strategies to Improve Student Learning?
  • Tuesday, February 11: Being IT Ready for High Stakes Online Assessments
  • Tuesday, April 22: Designing Education Networks: Developing the Next Generation Network to Support Personalized Learning with Technology
  • Tuesday, May 20: Over the Horizon: Results from the 2014 Horizon K-12 Report
The series begins with "Is Privacy in the Cloud Possible?" on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. EST, which will examine the do's and don'ts of K-12 cloud computing. Do you understand the laws regulating the privacy of student records in an increasingly cloud-centric world? As digital privacy becomes an increasingly vital issue, we'll discuss the best practices to mitigate risk and use cloud computing to your advantage.

Register for the Nov. 12 webinar here!
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October is Connected Educators Month
CoSN
Want an easy way to network and collaborate with ed tech leaders? This month is Connected Educator Month (www.connectededucatormonth.org), a unique opportunity to take charge of your professional development (and have fun doing it!). All the activities during CEM are online and free! Last year's event featured more than 450 activities from more than 170 education organizations; over the course of the month, more than 4 million people participated. Sign up today (in seconds!) to hear about all the opportunities you have this month.

Every weeknight from 7:30-8:30 EST, CEM will feature a café to facilitate overarching conversations with ed tech leaders. Be sure to tune in on Oct. 29 to chat with CoSN's CEO, Keith Krueger!

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We need your help: CoSN & NCLE CCSS survey
CoSN
Join CoSN and the National Center for Literacy Education in getting educators in your district to complete a survey on Common Core State Standards implementation, collaboration, and professional learning. NCLE is a collaboration between CoSN and 30 other educational associations who collectively are trying to promote collaboration and inquiry as key levers for improving literacy teaching and learning. This survey is meant to help these groups develop a more strategic set of free resources and tools to help teachers. One lucky survey respondent will win a $500 Amazon gift card. We're happy to report findings from the survey back to you. Find out more about the NCLE initiative and the free resources for collaborative teams.
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ED TECH HEADLINES


Companies, education groups divided on E-rate transparency
Education Week
Public and private sector leaders agree on many of the broad goals being floated for reshaping the federal E-rate program, but there is little consensus on one, potentially critical issue: Whether telecommunications companies should be required to make more information public about the prices they charge schools for technology. That question has created a division between education organizations, many of which favor bringing more transparency to pricing, and industry groups who counter that putting prices in circulation would compel them to reveal proprietary information and would lead to skewed cost comparisons in districts with very different characteristics.
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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
 


District suspends $30 million amplify program over safety concerns
Tech Crunch
A North Carolina school district has suspended the use of 15,000 tablets after reports of multiple hardware issues, including the device's charger melting at home. Guilford County Superintendent Maurice "Mo" Green has suspended the $30 million program on safety concerns. The recall is a major sting for NewsCorp's Amplify, which released details of its digital-first education initiative back at TechCrunch Disrupt 2012. Directed by former New York City education chancellor, Joel Klein, there are high hopes that Amplify can help bring K-12 education into the 21st century. But, melting tablet accessories aren't a good sign.
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A manifesto for active learning
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Jason Farman, the author of Mobile Interface Theory: Embodied Space and Locative Media, writes: "Since I've been teaching in higher education, I have always been very confident of my teaching abilities. I knew I was a good teacher; that is, until fall semester of 2012. I had just been awarded a fellowship with the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Maryland, given to 10 faculty members each year from disciplines all across the campus. I then met with my fellow faculty members every Friday morning for an hour to discuss teaching methods, pedagogical theories, and the role of face-to-face learning in the digital age."
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
Tackling the digital divide: Low-income students weigh in
MindShift
The article For Low Income Kids, Access to Devices Could Be the Equalizer raised the possibility that mobile technology in classrooms could help narrow the digital divide between the nation's low-income and more affluent students.

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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.

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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.

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Many districts go without a chief technology officer
Education Week
Technology leadership in many districts is provided not by one person, but through whatever arrangements the school systems can muster. Even as schools juggle a daunting array of evolving technological demands, federal data show that roughly half of districts do not have a full-time chief technology officer or technology manager whose sole job is to oversee all digital needs. Those needs include ensuring that technology contributes to improved classroom instruction, as well as making sure it works properly.
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How strong state leaders leverage education technology resources
eSchool News
In an effort to support administrators during Connected Educator Month, two state education leaders shared their tips for creating and sustaining online collaboration tools for classroom teachers. Sponsored by the State Educational Technology Directors Association, the webinar aimed to demonstrate how strong state leaders can lead to the emergence of robust teaching and learning resources, along with professional learning opportunities.
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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.
 


SETDA announces new resource on technology readiness
SETDA
In the 2014-2015 school year approximately 40 states will use new online student assessments from PARCC and Smarter Balanced that will be based on the deeper and more rigorous Common Core State Standards. Each narrative below describes a state's history with online assessments, the evolution of their infrastructure, their approach to training and communication with districts, and an in-depth look at what it took a district to implement the assessments.
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Deciding who sees students' data
The New York Times
When Cynthia Stevenson, the superintendent of Jefferson County, Colo., public schools, heard about a data repository called inBloom, she thought it sounded like a technological fix for one of her bigger headaches. Over the years, the Jeffco school system, as it is known, which lies west of Denver, had invested in a couple of dozen student data systems, many of which were incompatible. In fact, there were so many information systems — for things like contact information, grades and disciplinary data, test scores and curriculum planning for the district's 86,000 students — that teachers had taken to scribbling the various passwords on sticky notes and posting them, insecurely, around classrooms and teachers' rooms.
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Tackling the digital divide: Low-income students weigh in
MindShift
The article For Low Income Kids, Access to Devices Could Be the Equalizer raised the possibility that mobile technology in classrooms could help narrow the digital divide between the nation's low-income and more affluent students. The article, which included suggestions for educators about how to access devices and what do with them, struck a chord with readers. Many were outraged that some students are missing out on valuable learning resources because of their families' socio-economic status, while others worried that bringing mobile devices into the classroom — any classroom — invites chaos.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    iPads open doors for students in poor school districts (USA Today)
Ohio online filters to stop blocking educational sites (The Columbus Dispatch)
School districts install, expand iPad programs for hands-on lessons (The Columbian)
Ed-tech chief posits 5 innovation questions for schools (Education Week)

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


How to choose the right education technology
eSchool News
With so many education technology tools now available, how can school and district leaders implement the best choices? According to one veteran tech-savvy education technology integrator, there are a few ideas to consider when implementing technology. One of the biggest considerations? Put yourself in students' shoes! "It's not just about the technology or the technology other schools and district are using," said Jane Englert, learning designer and technology integrator at Ephrata High School in Pennsylvania. "It's understanding the needs of your students, as well as how to integrate the technology seamlessly with your curricular goals for the class."
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The major cloud computing problems you're not paying attention to
THE Journal
When it came to helping districts navigate the morass that is modern data storage, the federal government likely had the best of intentions. In its 2010 National Education Technology Plan, the U.S. Department of Education seemed to be betting its chips on cloud computing, remarking that a cloud storage model, where data is kept on internet servers scattered around the country or the globe, can "support both the academic and administrative services required for learning and education." But at the same time, it hedged its bets a bit, remarking that the cloud "is still in a nascent stage with obstacles to overcome to fully realize its potential."
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Will technology improve teacher-student relationships, or hurt them?
The Hechinger Report
School districts from the sprawling Los Angeles Unified to the tiny Nome Public Schools in Alaska have embraced technology in the classroom based on the promise that it can improve learning by increasing student engagement. A game which allows students to use a virtual scalpel to prod and poke muscles and blood vessels in the human body, for instance, is likely to be more attractive to a ninth grade biology class than an anatomy lecture.
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International iPad collaboration: Sharing best practices across language barriers
Edutopia
Monica Burns, an educator and education technology blogger, writes: "While it's possible to connect with educators around the world, language barriers can often get in the way of effectively communicating ideas. This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to meet likeminded teachers from across North America at the Apple Distinguished Educator Institute in Austin, Texas. English, Spanish and French were spoken by the more than 200 tech-savvy attendees."
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