Education Technology Today
Apr. 15, 2015

Districts weigh control over software buying
Education Week
As with most big-ticket items, school district central offices like to control the purse strings when it comes time to shop for new blended learning software. But school procurement experts, education technology vendors and school leaders alike are increasingly convinced that a more bottom-up approach offers a better chance for solid implementation — and, they hope, big learning gains.More

Pennsylvania CTO Clinic
PAECT
Date: May 27-28. Register now!
We know that where you live and work directly determines what your biggest challenges are. To help address those challenges, CoSN and PAECT are hosting our first annual Pennsylvania CTO Clinic, May 27-28 in Downington. The CTO Clinic will provide in-depth professional development for ed tech leaders from Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. Network with local peers and hear about the emerging technologies that are most relevant to you. Registration is free for one person from each CoSN member district. Questions? Visit http://cosn.org/events/2015-pennsylvania-cto-clinic or contact mhalpert@cosn.org.More

Classroom Techventures @ Carbon Lehigh IU – Northeast Region
PAECT
Date: July 14. Get details now.
NE PAECT is sponsoring Classroom Techventures 2015, a mini ed-tech conference aimed at K-12 educators, to be held July 14 at Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit, 4210 Independence Dr., Schnecksville. Including an exciting keynote address from Steve Dembo of Discovery Education and a variety of concurrent sessions throughout the day, this mini-conference is sure to be an excellent event to learn about classroom technology integration and network with like-minded colleagues. This regional event costs $75 ($65 for PAECT members) and will provide participants with 5 hours of Act 48 hours. If you are interested in presenting a 45-minute session at this event, the registration fee will be waived. For more information about this mini-conference, to register or to apply to present, visit https://www.smore.com/kxm2f (and feel free to pass this along to friends!) For questions, please contact Eric Lech (leche@cliu.org) or Diahann Snisky (oulyd@cliu.org).More

PAECT helps you get low-cost Internet access
PAECT
Do you know families who don't have Internet? PAECT is now partnered with EveryoneOn. Depending on need, families can get high-speed Internet for as little as $10. Even if a family doesn't have a need, they may still qualify for discounted services. Feel free to share with parents, administrators and other educators. Membership in PAECT isn't required to join EveryoneOn — it's just something we wanted to offer to families and kids in PA. Find out more.More

Grant and award applications due April 30
NYSCATE
NYSCATE is honored to recognize outstanding New York State teachers, leaders and superintendents every year. In addition, we provide more than $10,000 in grants for innovative classroom ideas that support the NYSCATE mission statement. The deadline for 2015 Grant Applications and 2015 Award Nominations is April 30. Click here to submit an application. More

Last chance to sign up! NY State CTO/CIO Clinic
Moving from Vision to Action for a Digital Transformation

NYSCATE
Date: April 24. Register online.
Join the NYS CTO Chapter, NYSCATE and CoSN for their second annual CTO Clinic on Friday, April 24, at the Huntington Hilton in Melville. NYSCATE is committed to advancing the role of district technology leadership and transformative learning environments across the state. Do not miss this opportunity for an intimate professional development opportunity, featuring award-winning CTOs, a national panel of CTOs speaking on their professional and personal advancement in the field and all the exciting work the NYS CTO Chapter is planning in the future. To register, please go to http://cosn.org/events/2015-new-york-cto-clinic. More

Blended and Online Learning Summit on April 27
NYSCATE
Date: April 27. Get details here.
The agenda has been set for the 4th Annual Blended and Online Learning Summit, which will take place Monday, April 27, at the Marriott on Wolf Road in Albany. Dr. Bill Brennan will provide the keynote address, with educators from all over NYS sharing best practices and lessons learned in the area of blended learning. For additional information and complete program details, please visit www.nyscate.org.More

Some schools on Cuomo's 'failing' list could face takeover
Chalkbeat New York
Among the dozens of struggling city schools facing the threat of takeover by outside groups are about 20 troubled schools that are not part of New York City's new turnaround program, according to a Chalkbeat analysis of "failing" schools identified by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office. More

Pennsylvania schools begin revised PSSA tests
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
One of the most significant changes in the assessment test, which are taking place this week in Pennsylvania, is the addition of writing to the reading test, now called English language arts, in grades 3-8. Writing previously was tested separately and only in grades 5 and 8. More

Federal agency sets guideline for ed-tech developers
iSchoolGuide
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has recently announced the release of the first-ever guide for developers, startups and entrepreneurs from the department's Office of Educational Technology. More

How to turn any classroom into a makerspace
Edudemic
There is a certain magic found in rolling up your sleeves and tackling a project head on, an undeniable sense of empowerment that results from solving problems and manifesting big ideas. In essence, that's the soul of the maker movement — creative individuals from all walks of life united by an insatiable desire to improve the world around them.More

Do schools prepare students for jobs?
Archita Datta Majumdar
A recent survey reveals that there is a huge gap between student readiness and what employers want. While students are thinking they are well prepared to face the future, employers are seriously concerned about their lack of skills and the amount of time they have to spend training their new recruits. More

5 key ways to stretch your tech budget
T|H|E Journal
The Columbus School District in Wisconsin serves a small community south of Madison, with only three schools and 1,300 total students — about 30 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. These simple strategies helped the district build a robust IT infrastructure.More

Study: Kids who share iPads learn better than kids who have their own
Mother Jones
Students who share digital devices do better academically than their peers who have their own devices or no devices at all, a team from Northwestern University has found. More