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CoSN NEWS AND EVENTS

CoSN, AASA, NSBA Team on Leading the Digital Leap!
CoSN
We’re sure you hear a lot about digital conversions, but what does that really mean, and how do you put yours into action? To help answer those questions, CoSN is teaming with AASA (The School Superintendents Association) and NSBA (National School Boards Association) on Leading the Digital Leap. This powerful partnership will help empower you to take that digital leap. Join us for a free introductory webinar on Thursday, Oct. 30 from 3-4 p.m. ET to learn all the details about the new partnership. Register here and come prepared with your questions for the interactive event!
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Happy Cyber Security Awareness Month
CoSN
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, so while you're stocking up on Halloween candy and raking leaves, be sure to set aside some time to take stock of how well your network is protected. CoSN offers several cyber security resources, including a self-assessment checklist, a rubric and a district-wide action template that focuses on four critical components of infrastructure. Visit http://cosn.org/cybersecurity to learn more about our cyber security work and download these free resources!
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Digital Learning Day call for submissions
CoSN
CoSN is a partner in Digital Learning Day, and we're excited to see all the planning that's underway! As in past years, DLD is inviting the education community to help us choose which schools, districts and programs to feature in the DLD Town Hall and live webcast. This will be an opportunity to share promising practices with roughly 3,000 teachers in attendance and thousands more educators watching live from around the country. We also plan to send a small team/film crew to the schools/programs to conduct interviews that will be used to create written case studies and video profiles. You can find additional details about the 2014-2015 Call for Submissions here — be sure to nominate leaders who you think would be great!
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ED TECH HEADLINES


Report: High Internet bills impede school access
Roll Call
The majority of school districts surveyed cited the monthly Internet costs as an obstacle to boosting connectivity in schools, according to a new report that calls for more funding for the federal program that subsidizes Internet service for public schools and libraries. According to the report, 58 percent of school districts said high Internet bills posed the biggest barrier to boosting Internet connectivity. Another 38 percent said capital, non-recurring costs were their biggest challenge. Other barriers included factors like geography and poor classroom wireless access.
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SPONSORED CONTENT


What E-rate changes mean for your district
District Administration Magazine
High-speed broadband is in and phones are out, according to the recent FCC order to update the federal E-rate program. Administrators will have new funds to expand district Wi-Fi capacity, but will need to make up for lost phone and email subsidies when E-rate updates go into effect in 2015-2016. "The update from the E-rate is very exciting because it shifts to putting an important focus on internal school connections," says Richard Culatta, director of the Office of Educational Technology for the U.S. Department of Education. "It's a really great first step in making sure that the connectivity actually reaches places where students are learning," and not just computer labs or the front office, he adds.
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2013 and 2014 Open Educational Resources reviews available for download
Digital Learning Department
These reviews are provided as part of OSPI's legislative mandate to develop a library of OER aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Learn more about the materials selected, the rubrics used, the review process and the data analysis approach in either the 2013 report or the 2014 report.
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Report: Students lack wireless access to digital learning resources at school
THE Journal
Students have better wireless access to the Internet at home than at school, according to a report conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Pearson. The Pearson Student Mobile Device Survey 2014 collected responses from 2,252 K-12 students between Feb. 13 and March 12, 2014. It found that while 93 percent of students have wireless access to the Internet at home, only 62 percent have Wi-Fi at school, limiting their access to digital learning resources for personalized instruction.
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The challenges of upgrading school networks at the speed of change
EdTech Magazine
At Virginia's Manassas City Public Schools, the need for better wireless coverage triggered a transformation. Within a few months, the district revamped its entire network with hundreds of switches and a blanket of new access points. "In order to do the wireless network, we had to do the wired network first — we had to get that infrastructure in place," says Robert Sansone, acting director of technology services. Like MCPS, K–12 districts across the country are confronting the need to create an infrastructure to support online learning tools and testing, multimedia resources and the proliferation of mobile devices in schools, says Marie Bjerede, project director for CoSN's Smart Education Networks by Design initiative.
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State education funding lags behind pre-recession levels
U.S. News & World Report
Despite incremental increases in state support for K-12 education, funding levels still trail those before the Great Recession in 2007, according to a report released Thursday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Overall, 30 of the 47 states analyzed are providing less per-pupil funding for K-12 schools this school year than they did before the recession. In 14 of the states, funding has been cut by more than 10 percent, the report says. In addition to the slow recovery of funding, at least 20 states cut their support for K-12 education compared to last year, the report found.
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The business of: School visitor management systems
District Administration Magazine
School visitors are no longer just writing their names in a notebook when they sign in. Districts are now scanning fingerprints and eyes to check if a visitor or contractor has a criminal record. The new methods not only provide background checks, but can also track how many times someone has visited a school, says Rick Hagan, CEO of Ident-A-Kid Services of America, a visitor-management software company. Districts can install computerized, self-service check-in kiosks that can prevent entry to a building or have an aide use visitor management software to register guests.
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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.
 


Which are the most educated cities in the US — and why?
By: Archita Datta Majumdar
As education policies are being reviewed across the country, a recent survey shows us the most educated cities in the U.S. and their not-so-fortunate counterparts. It presents a clear picture of which states and schools districts have been more focused and whose efforts have paid off. The final picture depicts Ann Arbor, home of University of Michigan, to be the winner. The survey has acted as a wake-up call for many cities and school districts.
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Robotics enters K-12 classrooms
eSchool News
The lesser-known elements of STEM are enjoying the limelight right now, with computer science and coding moving to the top of educators' priority lists. Robotics, too, is following suit—the subject is quickly catching on in schools across the nation as programming emerges as a way to introduce project-based learning, problem solving, and critical thinking into classrooms. When students have fun participating in STEM subjects in the early grades, that enthusiasm remains, and keeps students engaged as the subjects get tougher in high school and college.
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The importance of digital citizenship in schools
District Administration Magazine
Technology has provided administrators with some great opportunities for communication and data analysis, but for our students it means so much more. To help our students, we need to show that with all these opportunities come responsibilities. All administrators have read, or lived through, instances of cyberbullying, sexting and even suicide that have come from the misuse of technology. All users of technology need to come to grips with how to use the tools of today and how to become digital citizens.
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