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Education technology trends to look for in 2015: Project-based learning, maker spaces
Education Week
Over the next few years, schools will increasingly count on technology to try to spark student creativity, independent learning, and innovation, rather using digital tools in passive, rote ways, a new report predicts. That's one of the overriding trends forecast in the Horizon Report: 2015 Edition, released at the International Society for Technology in Education conference, a massive ed-tech gathering being held in Philadelphia. The annual report, which seeks to identify short- and longer-term developments in ed tech, predicts that schools' interest in bring-your-own-device programs, blended learning and other omnipresent strategies for improving learning through ed tech will continue to grow.
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Request for presentations
NYSCATE is pleased to release the RFPs for the 2015 Annual NYSCATE Conference! Please note that there are 3 separate RFPs this year for 1 hour sessions, hands-on workshop sessions and vendor presentations. Links for each of the forms can be found below. Please make sure you fill the correct form out in order to be considered as a presenter.

The RFP will close on Friday, July 10. Due to our enhanced scheduling system, there will be no extensions for RFPs.

1- Hour Sessions RFP

Hands-On Workshop RFP (2, 4 or 6 hours)

Exhibitor RFP

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Deeper learning
Using Technology to Support Deeper Learning
Personalized learning structures — made increasingly available through technology and online opportunities — empower teachers and students to take charge of their education experiences. As a district leader, learn how this approach is a major paradigm shift from the traditional "one-size-fits-all" to education. Hear how schools have begun the journey towards personalized learning environments and how this is altering the dynamic landscape between teacher and student, and improving outcomes. In this workshop, leaders will understand what elements are present in a personalized learning environment, explore different models of personalized learning for their school or district, and engage in strategic planning activities to help guide teachers to engage in deeper learning activities with students through the use of technology.

July 30 — Eastern Suffolk BOCES
Sept. 21 — Erie 1 BOCES

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3rd annual PAECT at Knoebels event
Date: July 12
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Mark your calendars because this annual event will be held once again at Knoebels Grove in Elysburg, PA. Sign-up information was emailed to membership in May, so check the emails. Knoebels is one of the largest free admission park in the U.S.! This day is for PAECT members and their families and comes with some included ride tickets for PAECT members. Aside from the great rides, there will be a scavenger hunt for the whole family, pool and great food! There will be prizes, and lunch is provided! This event is rain or shine.

Classroom Techventures @ Carbon Lehigh IU — Northeast Region
Date: July 14
NE PAECT is sponsoring Classroom Techventures 2015, a mini ed-tech conference aimed at K-12 educators, to be held on July 14 at Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit in 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 to be held at Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit at 4210 Independence Drive, Schnecksville, PA costs $75.00 ($65.00 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, please click the following link: (and feel free to pass this along to friends!)

If you should have any questions, please contact Eric Lech ( or Diahann Snisky (

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Glued to the screen: A 3rd grade class where kids spend 75 percent of the day on iPads
The Hechinger Report
When the 24 third-graders in Morgan Mercaldi's class arrive at the Jackson Avenue School every morning, they take their iPads out of their backpacks and put them on their desks. The tablets will remain there, or in hands and laps, until the children put them in their packs to take them home. Last year Mercaldi had her students stash the iPads away when they weren't using them. But she has abandoned that. "Putting them away serves no purpose. We use them constantly," Mercaldi says.
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North Allegheny, Penn., budget to raise taxes, includes iPads, laptops
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The North Allegheny, Pennsylvania, school board approved a $143.5 million budget that raises taxes. The budget also includes rollout of a one-to-one technology initiative in three grades — six, nine and 10 — for next year. Sixth-graders will receive iPads, while the ninth and 10th graders will receive laptop computers. North Allegheny's new tax rate will be 18 mills, which is 0.59 mills higher than the current rate. Robert Scherrer, assistant superintendent, said the administration recommended that budget over an alternate plan that did not raise taxes but did not include the technology initiative and cut high school programs, raised participation fees and dipped into the district's fund balance.
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4 things every IT department should do this summer
eSchool News
Carlos Garcia, a contributor for eSchool News, writes: "Summer might mean a long respite for students, but not for IT directors. When I was an ed-tech director for several California school districts, I was too busy responding to problems and meeting teachers' instructional needs to do much IT planning and assessing during the school year. But summer brought a chance to take a deep breath, take stock of my ed-tech inventory, and prepare for the following year."
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Survey: 93 percent of teachers believe that personal devices connect students to real-world learning
THE Journal
A recent national survey from University of Phoenix College of Education found that 93 percent of K-12 teachers believe that personal tech devices can link classroom learning to real-world activities, and 89 percent expect they will be used in most classrooms in the next five years. The survey of more than 1,000 K-12 teachers from around the country was conducted online by Harris Poll.
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Schools seek balance for cellphones in class
The Boston Globe
After 20 years of teaching, Miriam Morgenstern is calling it quits. The high school history and ESL teacher is starting an educational nonprofit, although that's not the only reason she's leaving the classroom. Another is her frustration with students and their cellphones. The texting, tweeting and Snapchatting during class time are "an incredible distraction, and makes it much more difficult to teach," she said. "It's pretty hard to compete with a very funny YouTube video." It is the most vexing issue of the digital age for teachers and administrators: What to do about students' cellphones?
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Senators look to close broadband gap for schools with Digital Learning Equity Act (FierceTelecom)
Blended learning: The great new thing or the great new hype? (The Washington Post)
Cheaper, faster Internet? These Lancaster County, Penn., schools will take it. (Lancaster Online)

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


Gaming the school system
The Atlantic
Paul Cross has a resume that many high-school students today would probably salivate over. When he was the lead designer at Criterion Games, he developed a series of high-speed racing games called Burnout. He also served as a consultant for the powerhouse game company Electronic Arts, helping it develop its first-person shooter game Medal of Honor. Now he's the director of game design at Ubisoft Entertainment, the multinational video-game developer responsible for titles such as Assassin's Creed, Just Dance, and Rocksmith—the hugely popular game he created that teaches players real songs on the electric guitar. To date, 3 million copies have been sold.
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5 devices for K-12 one-to-one initiatives
EdTech Magazine
Texas's Leander Independent School District started down the one-to-one computing path by talking first to curriculum staff and teachers to learn more about the tools their students needed for more effective and engaging digital learning. Scott Monroe, Leander's executive director for IT, says such computing devices offer teachers and students access to the Internet and numerous online educational tools and applications. Because math, science and language arts typically have different needs when it comes to device function, the district opted for a convertible notebook from Lenovo.
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Maximizing your education apps
District Administration Magazine
Getting the right education apps into classrooms isn't as easy as reading reviews, doing a quick download and making a link available to staff. Because there isn't a standard rating system to verify whether an app will live up to its educational claims, there's no single best approach to matching student needs with new programs. Some CIOs and educators have cobbled together review systems for their districts. Many share the same concerns about apps — efficacy, privacy, security and support, says Bob Moore, director for CoSN's privacy initiative. But he doesn't know anyone who has balanced all of the issues while also meeting state regulations and district standards.
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