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How to solve the great edtech challenge | Pearson Blog

How to solve the great edtech challenge | Pearson Blog | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |

It is very inspiring to have the privilege of spending some time with so many talented and committed people from so many countries all around the world – all focused on tackling one of the biggest challenges facing our societies and our economies. We may all describe that challenge a little differently but we all know what it is – can we apply technology to help us double the amount of really deep, high value learning in our societies at no greater cost?

That’s the challenge that all of us in education face, isn’t it? How can we do more – and better – and most often do it with less?

The doubling part may seem a little ambitious, but consider this. In most countries that participate in PISA – and I’d be pretty confident this applies to all those that don’t, too – if you could get all schools, with similar social demographics, even close to the highest performing comparable ones, you would comfortably achieve that goal of doubling learning outcomes. And, that, I think, is the challenge to all of us – how can technology help us to replicate educational excellence at scale? For, even in the most difficult of circumstances, it is relatively easy to find a good school or great teaching. The hard part is scaling that success across the whole school or the entire system. So, in the next few minutes, I want to try to synthesize an argument – to draw together a number of threads – that all of us are grappling with, in varying forms, around the world.

1. All members of our global society now require a higher level of educational attainment – a deeper learning – than at any point in human history.

2. That for all the great energy, investment and innovation – so much of which is on display at this event – we are not, yet, really, applying technology to meet that challenge effectively – certainly not consistently or at anything like global scale.

3. We can do it – and in some places, we are doing it. And it happens most often through some form of blended learning – where teachers, students and data work together to create an active learning environment.

4. For us to do it consistently, and at scale, requires all of us – governments, education authorities, educators, learners, their parents, learning companies like Pearson, global technology companies like Microsoft, edtech startups, not for profits, everybody involved – to rally around an agreed framework and a common purpose.

That framework, as Canadian educational researcher Michael Fullan and others argue, requires us to combine three trends that have emerged independently in education over the last forty years and which desperately need each other – technology, a new pedagogy, and systemic reform; and then to measure everything in terms of its efficacy – whether the learning activity really doesenable us to achieve greater outcomes and a better return on our investment.

So, let’s start by agreeing how important it is that we meet this challenge.

In the 20th century we expected school systems to sort people – those who would go to university and those who wouldn’t; those who would do professional jobs; and those who would fill the semi-skilled and unskilled jobs for which minimal learning, more foundational skills, was required. In the 21st century, this isn’t good enough – morally, socially or economically. All young people need to be able to learn, to create and to do – to know important things and to be able to apply what they know in ways that are engaging and solve real-life problems.

And what’s striking from all the research into the highest performing school systems – in Singapore and Shanghai, for example – is that they do have high expectations for all their students. No excuses, no rationale for failure, but detailed strategies and plans to ensure all young people succeed.

What makes this more important than ever is that we are now in a second machine age, in which we all need to use our minds, our mental and our emotional intelligence, far more effectively. And the economic and social stakes are very high indeed. In the world’s richest country, the United States, we know that the median hourly wage of workers who can make complex inferences and evaluate subtle truths in written texts is 60 percent higher than the workers who can, at best, read relatively short texts to locate a single piece of information. And, in the world’s poorest countries, the stakes are even more fundamental – a child born to a mother who can read is 50 percent more likely to live beyond the age of five.

So, our first point is that all young people now need the thinking skills, such as how you apply literacy, numeracy and scientific knowledge. They all need intrapersonal skills, like determination, a sense of responsibility and self-worth. And they also all need the interpersonalskills – to communicate, work collaboratively, and problem solve.

This leads directly to our second point, which we all know: technology is disrupting, to use the phrase of the moment, pretty much every other activity and industry. It is transforming the way children and young people play, access information, communicate with each other and learn – and yet so far it has largely failed to transform most schools or universities or most teaching and learning in many classrooms and lecture halls. We are failing to engage many young people. Research by academics at the MIT Media Lab, for example, suggests that students’ brain activity is nearly non-existent during lectures. As professor Eric Mazur of Harvard University’s Physics department puts it, “students are more asleep in lectures than they are in bed!”  Studies from many countries show that less than 40 percent of upper secondary students are intellectually engaged at school.

And we are also failing to apply technology – consistently or at anything like sufficient scale – to improve learning outcomes. John Hattie, professor of education and director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute found, in his meta analysis, a lower than average impact of technology on learning outcomes, relative to other teaching and learning strategies. Larry Cuban, too, has documented that technology has had little impact on learning outcomes over the last fifty years – as have a growing number of other studies.

Why is this the case? Perhaps it is because, as Andreas Schliecher of the OECD, puts it: “Technology can leverage great teaching; technology can’t displace poor teaching”

The research tells us that teachers are making basic uses of technology – to find information, practice routine skills, turn in homework; they are not – yet – using it to really analyse data or information, to collaborate with peers, to use simulations, animations and the like. At least, it is not yet happening systematically or at real scale.

Now, my Dad was a teacher, and then a head teacher, all his professional life. I never once heard him use the phrase ‘personalised learning’. And if he was alive today, and I started to lecture him on the power of big data to transform learning outcomes, then I know he would look at me with some surprise and no little skepticism. But he did talk about how, in a class of thirty kids, a teacher has to find ways to engage with each of them in their own way and on their terms. Or how, in a school of hundreds of kids, it was often very hard to see the patterns – or make the connections – as to why some classes were powering ahead in some subjects or even in mastering and applying some concepts and skills but were struggling with others. And how, as the head teacher, he owed it to every child in the school, to every teacher, to draw those patterns and make those connections. He also talked about how local education authorities find it really hard to help schools to share data and expertise, best practice and insights, in ways that enabled them to do what you would take for granted in pretty much any other sphere of life: replicating excellence at scale.

I’m sure many of you would recognise the same trends. The good news, of course – our third point – is that technology is now helping us to do all these things.

In classrooms as far apart as Denmark, Canada, England, Australia, Colombia and California and many other places, teachers are deploying technology to overcome the boredom of their students and their own professional frustration. They are developing a new pedagogy, which combines learning outcomes such as literacy and numeracy with less well defined outcomes such as problem-solving, collaboration, creativity, thinking in different ways, building effective relationships and teams. As Andreas Schliecher was arguing to me earlier this week, applying technology to really hone – often over some years and always with great rigour – and then share widely the very best pedagogic approaches is something all high performing school systems around the world do really well.

And, as I know from Pearson’s own experiences, in supporting the digital learning of 70 million users around the world, we do now have the ability to make a profound impact on practice at the student, institutional, and system-wide level in education. Whether that is, for example automating the marking of homework; reducing the time, friction and cost of teaching; supporting community colleges in America to make very significant learning gains in algebra and physics and many other subjects; or teaching a generation of young Chinese professionals – the masters of “silent English” as they are often known, with top marks in grammar and vocabulary – the speaking and listening skills they need to prosper in their careers.

What’s common in all these cases – and I would bet from each of your own experiences – is that technology and big data is effective when it combines with the new pedagogies – the very best teaching practices – and is applied to drive systemic change at real scale.

So our fourth point is we need an agreed and widely applied framework that combines these three trends to deliver, around the world, far greater learning outcomes at no greater cost. As you all know, this is not as easy as it sounds. Technology entrepreneurs will find it much easier to develop digital innovations than to grapple with pedagogical considerations. Likewise, educators may grasp the new pedagogy but often struggle to design, or specify, next generation products that are irresistibly engaging and intuitive to use for digital natives. And global technology and services companies often find schools and colleges to be difficult and ‘messy’ environments in which to deploy. As the largest learning company in the world, we, like all of you, grapple with these problems every day.

Today, we primarily provide inputs into the process of education, such as a textbook, an assessment, a learning technology or platform, a course, a qualification, a high-stakes test or professional development for teachers. We put all of those ‘inputs’ in the hands of an educational leader, an experienced teacher or an enthusiastic student, and off they go. We are rarely able to predict or measure the learning outcomes that this investment of time and resource will produce. We need to change that – and, indeed, over the last decade, powered by technology, we have started to change that, with very encouraging results. But we now need to do that, in a much more systematic way, across our whole company.

So we are making some big changes right across Pearson. Every action, every decision, every process, every investment we now make is driven by an Efficacy Framework that requires us to be able to answer four key questions: What learning outcome do you aim to achieve? What evidence – what data – will you collect to measure progress? Do you have a clear plan that gives us confidence you can implement effectively? And, as we’ll always be working in partnership with other stakeholders, do we, collectively, have the capacity to deliver the desired outcome?

We stress that we are on the path to efficacy – and that our guide is incomplete. But we are committed to provide audited learning outcomes data for all our products and services by 2018. And we look forward to working with all of you to achieve our goals.

This brings me to our final point – that shared sense of purpose. As the authors of a new book put it, this second machine age does have its limitations:

“We have yet to see a truly creative computer, or an innovative or entrepreneurial one. Nor have we seen a piece of digital gear that could unite people behind a common cause, or comfort a sick child, care for a frail or injured person…or repair a bridge or a furnace.”

It is learning that gives humans the capacity to do all these things. And the brightest future of education lies in enabling teachers to do far more effectively and on a far greater scale what the best of them have always done – being an agent of change and progression. Over the years, there’s been much glib talk about how technology would “flip” the classroom, transforming the teachers’ role from being the “sage on the stage” to the “guide on the side.” The data and the research tell us different. Technology is just a tool; a very powerful one, but a tool all the same. And it is at its most powerful in the hands of a teacher and her or his students, enabling them to learn from each other and do much more effectively what the best of them do each day and always have done – lighting that spark, making that connection, that unlocks a world of opportunity for their students.

And so if we can combine disruptive technology, new pedagogy and systemic change effectively, we really can aspire to achieve far greater learning outcomes – yes, even to double them – to the benefit of far more of our fellow citizens, all around the world. It does require all of us to rally around a common purpose* – but I can’t think of a better one, or one that is more widely shared than this: Applying technology to help far more of our fellow citizens to make progress in their lives through learning.


* This need for collaboration is the reason we created our Catalyst accelerator programme, via which we’re working with bright startups to develop next generation edtech products. We’re inviting applications for the second cohort now; should you know any great startups, send them in the direction of 

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March 14


Not a fan of "solve" 

Not sure why "How can we do more – and better – and most often do it with less?"  has to add "with less."  Education leave a lot of opportunity and value on the shelf every year.

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4G around the globe: Spain has the fastest LTE speeds, the U.S. has among the slowest | VentureBeat | Mobile | by Paul Sawers

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Build an Innovation Engine in 90 Days

Build an Innovation Engine in 90 Days | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
By:  Scott Anthony  David Duncan  Pontus M.A. SirenDecember 2014 IssuePractically every company innovates. But few do so in an orderly, reliable way. In far too many organizations, the big breakthroughs happen despite the company. Successful innovations typically follow invisible development paths and require acts of individual heroism or a heavy dose of serendipity. Successive efforts to jump-start innovation through, say, hack-a-thons, cash prizes for inventive concepts, and on-again, off-again task forces frequently prove fruitless. Great ideas remain captive in the heads of employees, innovation initiatives take way too long, and the ideas that are developed are not necessarily the best efforts or the best fit with strategic priorities.

Most executives will freely admit that their innovation engine doesn’t hum the way they would like it to. But turning sundry innovation efforts into a function that operates consistently and at scale feels like a monumental task. And in many cases it is, requiring new organizational structures, new hires, and substantial investment, as the “innovation factory” Procter & Gamble built in the early 2000s did

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Ebooks in 2015: Trends and Forecasts Part 2

Ebooks in 2015: Trends and Forecasts Part 2 
by Nancy K. Herther 
Posted On January 20, 2015
PAGE: 1 2

With all of the Big Five publishers now agreeing to ebook-lending terms with libraries, we are finally seeing stability on this point across the book industry. Additionally, we are also starting to see publishers setting up their own sales/access portals as well as working with vendors and other distribution channels.

This is the second article in a two-part report that aims to provide the information you need to catch up and keep up with this complex area of the information industry. (Click here for Part 1.)

Ebook Subscription Services Arise

YouTube brought video viewing to users anytime, anywhere just 10 years ago, and 2 years later Netflix began to offer streaming video. Given the market dynamics, it was only a matter of time before ebook subscription ventures would also arise. Oyster and Scribd launched their services in 2013. In July 2014, Amazon introduced Kindle Unlimited with a 600,000-plus-title catalog heavy on classics, best-sellers, and books from authors who self-publish on Amazon. Each of these services offers unlimited access to its catalog for $9–$10 per month. There is no limit to the number of books you can read online or download for offline reading (without due dates)—unless you decide to cancel your subscription, when you can no longer access any saved titles.

This model is a bit pricey for all but the voracious reader, perhaps. Amazon’s service has attracted severe criticism from its own self-published authors who clearly see adding their titles to the Unlimited collection as bringing them far less revenue for their efforts than when titles are offered individually. Prolific indie romance author H.M. Ward notes, “I had my serials in it for 60 days and lost approx 75% of my income. That’s counting borrows and bonuses. My sales dropped like a stone. The number of borrows was higher than sales. They didn’t complement each other, as expected. … This model needs to be changed for it to work. Authors shouldn’t be paid lottery style. For this system to work we need a flat rate for borrows, borrowed or not borrowed (not this 10% crap), and it needs to be win win for the reader AND the writer. <-- That is the crux of the matter. I’d like to see Amazon create something new, something better instead of falling in step with Scribd and Oyster.” Amazon has a reputation for strong-arming publishers (which was recently apparent in its negotiation with Hachette Book Group). However, Amazon’s efforts to shortchange its own authors are creating significant frustration in its carefully cultivated indie author community.

Scribd is clearly a company to watch in 2015. On Jan. 5, 2015, it announced “that it has closed a $22 million financing led by Khosla Ventures with reinvestment from existing backers including Redpoint Ventures, Charles River Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank. … This brings Scribd’s total funding to date up to $48M,” with a currently estimated 80 million customers—a number that has been increasing by an average of 31% each month.

“We had a fantastic 2014 at Scribd,” co-founder and CEO Trip Adler explained in the same announcement. “We launched audiobooks with 30,000 titles from publishers like Blackstone and Scholastic. We also doubled our e-Book titles, adding content from 1,000+ publishers—including Big 5 publishers HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster—along with industry leaders like Harlequin, Houghton Mifflin, Lonely Planet, Perseus and Wiley. This new funding round will enable us to work towards achieving our goal of creating the most comprehensive library of the future for our millions of users around the world.”

Is Print Dead? Or Are We Not Asking the Right Questions?

In September 2014, the British trade paper The Bookseller surveyed 16–24-year-olds and found that nearly 75% preferred print to ebooks or audiobooks. In December 2014, Nielsen reported on a survey of the reading habits of 13–17-year-olds, saying, “Despite teens’ tech-savvy reputation, this group continues to lag behind adults when it comes to reading e-books, even with the young adult genre’s digital growth relative to the total e-book market.”

In December 2014, scientists published research on the impact of e-reading on sleep, finding that “those that read from an e-reader such as an iPad or a Kindle before going to bed, had a much more difficult time getting to sleep, and once they were slumbering, they spent less time in a crucial phase of the sleep process and were highly fatigued the following day.” Worse yet, disruption to circadian rhythms can lead to heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, obesity, and a wide variety of other serious health issues. Perhaps technology isn’t always best.

Scott Pack, a HarperCollins publisher, says, “I believe the reader of 2020 or 2030 will have two libraries, print and digital, with different types of books and publications in each. While I have no qualms about trying out a debut author on e-book or loading up some holiday reading on to my Kindle, when it comes to my favourite authors I have to own the print edition, and I remain a sucker for a beautifully designed and printed book.”
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Ownership, Not Buy-In: An Interview with Bob Crumley, Superintendent Chugach School District « Competency Works

Ownership, Not Buy-In: An Interview with Bob Crumley, Superintendent Chugach School District « Competency Works | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |

I had the chance to meet with Bob Crumley, Superintendent of the Chugach School District. He’s worked his way up, starting as a teacher in the village of Whittier, becoming the assistant superintendent in 1999 and superintendent in 2005. Crumley has a powerful story to share, as he’s been part of the team that transformed Chugach into a performance-based system and sustained it for twenty years.

Crumley has tremendous insights into every aspect of creating and managing a personalized, performance-based system. The emphasis on empowerment, situational leadership-management styles, and courage reminded me of my conversation with Virgel Hammonds, Superintendent of RSU2 in Maine. Below, Crumley addresses several key elements of managing a performance-based system:

Personalized is Community-Based: On the Importance of Community Engagement

Creating a personalized, performance-based system starts with engaging the community in an authentic way. Our entire transformation started with the communities and school board challenging us – they wanted to know why their children were not reading at grade level. Our communities were not sure they trusted the schools and teachers. This was partially based on the history of Alaska and how Native Alaskan communities were treated. However, it was also based on the fact that we were not currently effective in helping our children to learn the basics or preparing them for success in their lives. We had to find a way to overcome that.

The superintendent at the time, Roger Sampson, was committed to responding to the community and implemented a top-down reading program. Reading skills did improve, but it also raised questions for all of us about what we needed to do to respond to students to help them learn. With the leadership of Sampson and Richard DeLorenzo, Assistant Superintendent, we took a step back in order to redesign our system.

Twenty years later, we are thankful for how our community guided us in the right direction through difficult-to-answer common sense questions, which we honored by building right into the new system. Should we expect all students to learn the same material, in the same way, at the same pace? Should we allow our system to hold back students who are ready to advance to new learning material? Should we advance students to new learning levels before they are ready? Should we consider the state-tested content areas as the most important, or consider all content areas equally important?

The common sense questions led us to responses, which reversed the traditional education equation. In our past traditional system, time – 180 school days per year – was the constant, and the amount learned by each student each year was the variable.

Community members from Tatitlek, Whittier, and Chenega Bay were involved in the process. Their description of what they wanted for their children helped us to understand we needed to approach students holistically. We needed to be able to prepare students for being successful in their lives – whether that was to live in remote areas, live in urban areas, go to college, work in a business, or create their own methods of supporting themselves. In order to be comprehensive, we created ten content areas that include academic skills, personal and social skills, and employability skills. Our community members also wanted to make sure that their children knew how to learn, so we began to think about the focus of teaching as helping students build content skills through, and with, process skills.

I think the biggest mistake that districts moving towards performance-based systems make is that they skip the community engagement piece. To community members, it quickly becomes “your system” and not “our system.” Too many districts glance through that step, and it always comes back and bites them. When we transform our schools to a personalized system, we have to start with being community-based. We simply can’t think about our students as outside of our own community.

Student Learning: The Core of System-Building

Early on, Sampson and DeLorenzo embraced a continuous improvement model that would be the foundation of the Chugach system. This resulted in CSD receiving the Baldrige award in 2001 and the Alaska Performance Excellence Award in 2009. We continue to be very focused on the continuous improvement approach in our strategic planning process.


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This is the fourth post in the Chugach School District series. Read the first, second, and third posts here.

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Gigabit-over-TV-cable spec DOCSIS 3.1 passes interop test

Gigabit-over-TV-cable spec DOCSIS 3.1 passes interop test | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |

DOCSIS 3.1, a standard designed to deliver downloads at up to 10Gbps on existing hybrid fibre-coax cable television networks, has passed an interoperability test.

The Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) standard is overseen by Cable Labs, a not-for-profit outfit that conducts research for the cable companies who fund it and fill its membership roster. Cable companies have an obvious interest in squeezing more out of their existing networks and DOCSIS 3.1 certainly does that: the standard's spec calls for download speeds of up to 10Gbps and uploads at 1Gbps, albeit over short distances.


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FCC Boosts Rural Broadband Speed Requirements to 10 Mbps

FCC Boosts Rural Broadband Speed Requirements to 10 Mbps | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
Broadband providers that want to get funding through the Connect America program to help bring services to more rural users must now agree to provide download speeds of at least 10 Mbps.
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Mobile Technology’s Impact on Emerging Economies and Global Opportunity

Mobile Technology’s Impact on Emerging Economies and Global Opportunity | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
On December 10, the Center for Technology Innovation hosted an event to discuss mobile technology’s role and potential future in developing economies as part of the ongoing Mobile Economy Project event series.
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ED TECH: COSN'S 2nd ANNUAL E-RATE & INFRASTRUCTURE SURVEY | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |

COSN'S 2nd ANNUAL E-RATE & INFRASTRUCTURE SURVEY If you're not getting every E Rate dollar you should, I am going to fly to wherever you are and bop you on the head! To prevent that from happening, take these 3 simple steps 1. Listen to this show with Reg Lieghty, COSN consultant and Noelle Ellerson, Associate Executive Director for Policy and Advocacy at AASA 

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David Rand: "How Do You Change People's Minds About What Is Right And Wrong?" |

David Rand: "How Do You Change People's Minds About What Is Right And Wrong?" | | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |

DAVID RAND is Assistant Professor of Psychology, Economics, and Management at Yale University, and Director of Yale University’s Human Cooperation Laboratory. David Rand's Edge Bio page


I'm a professor of psychology, economics and management at Yale. The thing that I'm interested in, and that I spend pretty much all of my time thinking about, is cooperation—situations where people have the chance to help others at a cost to themselves. The questions that I'm interested in are how do we explain the fact that, by and large, people are quite cooperative, and even more importantly, what can we do to get people to be more cooperative, to be more willing to make sacrifices for the collective good?

There's been a lot of work on cooperation in different fields, and certain basic themes have emerged, what you might call mechanisms for promoting cooperation: ways that you can structure interactions so that people learn to cooperate. In general, if you imagine that most people in a group are doing the cooperative thing, paying costs to help the group as a whole, but there's some subset that's decided "Oh, we don't feel like it; we're just going to look out for ourselves," the selfish people will be better off. Then, either through an evolutionary process or an imitation process, that selfish behavior will spread. 

The question that has preoccupied people for a long time is "How do you stop that from happening?" There are a lot of good answers. For example, if you interact repeatedly with the same person, then that changes things. If the other person has a strategy where they'll only cooperate with you tomorrow if you cooperate with them today, it becomes in your self-interest to cooperate. Or, if people can observe what you're doing, you'll get a reputation for being a cooperator or a non-cooperator. And if people are more inclined to cooperate with people that have cooperated in the past, then that also creates an incentive to cooperate. Or there is partner choice—if people are choosing who they want to work with, who they want to interact with, then if they're more likely to choose cooperative partners, that creates an incentive to cooperate. 

What all these different mechanisms boil down to is the idea that there are often future consequences for your current behavior. You can't just do whatever you want because if you are selfish now, it'll come back to bite you. I should say that there are mathematical and computational models, lab experiments, and also real-world field experiments that show the power of these forms of accountability for getting people to cooperate.

For example, we did an experiment with a utility company in California. We were trying to get people to sign up for a blackout prevention program, where they let the utility company turn down their air conditioners a couple of degrees on really hot days so there's not a big spike in energy use which can cause blackouts. It's a great program, but nobody signs up because it's a pain: You have to be there when the guy comes to install the device and so on. We found that if we made the sheet where you signed up to be part of the program public, so that you had to write down your name and your unit number on the signup sheet instead of just a random code number, it tripled signups. This was a field study with over a thousand Californians. These effects matter in the real world. They're powerful. There's no question that these reputational effects can be powerful motivators of cooperation.

In order for any of that to work, it relies on people caring about you being cooperative; people have to care that you do the right thing. There has to be a norm of cooperation where people think it is acceptable to do what's socially beneficial, and that it's not acceptable to do things that are not socially beneficial. These observability mechanisms don't work in situations where that's not true.

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Rethinking Teacher Time (Infographic)

Rethinking Teacher Time (Infographic) | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |

Via Beth Dichter
Ines Bieler's curator insight, November 8, 2014 4:01 AM

This is a a great reminder to put our focus on collaboration again. And both sides - teachers and students are beneficiaries.

ManufacturingStories's curator insight, November 8, 2014 3:18 PM

For more resources on STEM Education visit

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Gig.U | The University Community Next Generation Innovation Network

The University Community Next Generation Innovation Project, or Gig.U, is a broad-based group of over 30 leading research universities from across the United States. Drawing on America’s rich history of community-led innovation in research and entrepreneurship, Gig.U seeks to accelerate the deployment of ultra high-speed networks to leading U.S. universities and their surrounding communities. Improvements to these networks drive economic growth and stimulate a new generationof innovations addressing critical needs, such as health care and education.

Gig.U members understand that next-gen networks lead to next-gen opportunities.

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Do we need a similar K12 non-profit?  What would gig to every building and classroom look like and to what benefits?


Then, of course, to every household....

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Apple adds App Store guidelines requiring devs obtain health research data consent, disclose Apple Pay policies, more

Apple adds App Store guidelines requiring devs obtain health research data consent, disclose Apple Pay policies, more | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
Apple has added some new entries to its App Store Review Guidelines that developers must follow when developing and submitting apps for iOS devices. Among the new additions, Apple is requiring deve...
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Dropbox extension comes to Gmail, solves huge problem for power users - AGBeat

Dropbox extension comes to Gmail, solves huge problem for power users - AGBeat | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
A hot new Dropbox extension comes to Gmail, offering a simple one-click way to share files with your email contacts.

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
Senad Dizdar's curator insight, March 12, 4:26 AM

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FCC's New E-rate Order Brings More Money, Better Rules Supporting Fiber Investment - EdCentral

FCC's New E-rate Order Brings More Money, Better Rules Supporting Fiber Investment - EdCentral | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |

Schools and libraries are going to get a big boost in their Internet connectivity over the next few years.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a second E-rate Modernization Order in December, making further changes to the program that subsidizes Internet connectivity at schools and libraries across the country. Building on the FCC’s July E-rate Modernization Order — which took initial steps to improve Wi-Fi connectivity in schools and libraries and streamline program administration and data collection — the new ordertackles the underlying connectivity challenges and addresses the fact that the program has been historically underfunded. While the media coverage of the latest reforms has focused primarily on the $1.5 billion expansion of E-rate funding, it’s important to recognize that the additional money comes alongside key changes to the program rules to streamline and incentivize cost effective purchasing and investment in long-term, scalable infrastructure solutions. Taken together, these changes will substantially help schools and libraries to meet the connectivity challenges of today and tomorrow.

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Microsoft Surface Hub

Microsoft Surface Hub | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |

Microsoft Surface Hub unlocking the power of the group or classroom or makerspace with a powerful team collaboration device designed to advance the way people work together naturally.

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Mentor High School transforms outdated library into The Hub

Mentor High School transforms outdated library into The Hub | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
Mentor High School 11th-graders Andrea Wardeiner, Page Cimino and Emma Wagner all agree, The Hub is now a place they will use often to get work done and study. 
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A Guide for Administrators

A Guide for Administrators | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
“A Guide for Administrators” is the newest resource from CoSN’s Leadership for Mobile Learning initiative. Designed to support school leaders interested in mobile learning, this initiative addresses the capacity of district leadership to overcome the barriers and develop, plan, implement and manage policies to use mobile devices for improving teaching and learning.
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Guide to Implementing Digital Learning

Guide to Implementing Digital Learning | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
Supporting states and school districts in successful digital learning implementation

With the influx of new technology and increased connectivity, focused strategic planning is more important than ever to ensure digital learning opportunities for all students and educators. Most school districts have made investments in technology equipment, bandwidth and networking, training teachers and supporting both the technology and those using it. Many are looking at upgrading and expanding their use of technology either because of a specific initiative such as online assessment or for a broader push to a 1 to 1 program to accomplish specific school improvement goals. There are a number of factors for districts to consider as they embark upon this effort, key among them being planning, professional learning, software and digital content, broadband, devices, pedagogy and technology support. This resource is intended to provide guidance for districts to consider as they heighten their focus to ensure smooth implementation of digital learning. In addition, this resource includes proven resources and digital learning examples from across the nation to support discussions.

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FCC Continues E-rate Reboot to Meet Nation's Digital Learning Needs

FCC Continues E-rate Reboot to Meet Nation's Digital Learning Needs | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |

Federal Communications Commission
445 12
Street, S.W.
Washington, D. C. 20554
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500
TTY: 1-888-835-5322
December 11, 2014 Mark Wigfield, 202-418-0253
Funding Boost Will Enable Schools, Libraries Nationwide to Reach Connectivity Goals over the Next
Five Years
Washington, D.C. ñ Taking significant additional steps to ensure that the nationís schools and libraries
have access to robust high-speed broadband connections, the Federal Communications Commission today
approved further modernization of its E-rate program, the nationís largest program supporting education
Broadband is transforming 21
Century education and life-long learning. The Commission is
implementing a fundamental reset of E-rate, the first such effort since the programís creation 18 years
ago, so that it can keep pace with the exploding demands for ever-faster Internet service placed on school
and library networks by digital learning applications, which often rely on individually connected tablets
and laptops.
Today the Commission adopted an Order aimed at closing this connectivity gap by making more funding
available for libraries and schools to purchase broadband connectivity capable of delivering gigabit
service over the next five years. The Order also provides schools and libraries additional flexibility and
options for purchasing broadband services to enable schools and libraries to meet their Internet capacity
needs in the most cost-effective way possible.
The Order builds on action taken by the Commission in July to meet another critical need: robust Wi-Fi
networks inside libraries and schools capable of supporting individualized learning. The July Order freed
up funds for Wi-Fi through improved fiscal management and by ending or phasing out legacy services
like paging and phone service. The July Order also increased program fairness by ensuring that all
schools and libraries have equitable access to funding for Wi-Fi. And it strengthened the hand of
educators in negotiations with service providers by requiring that prices and terms for E-rate subsidized
services nationwide be posted transparently on the Internet.
While schools and libraries are now on a path to providing robust Wi-Fi for students, teachers and patrons
over the next five years, data the FCC has been gathering over the past six months has revealed the depth
of the connectivity gap. For example, 63% of public schools ñ with over 40 million students ñ donít have
broadband connections to the building capable of taking advantage of modern digital learning. That gap
that will only grow as digital learning applications increase their requirements for bandwidth.
According to data submitted to the FCC:
? 68% of all districts (73% of rural districts) say that not a single school in their district can meet the
long-term high-speed Internet connectivity targets today.
? Approximately 41% of rural public schools lack access to fiber networks sufficient to meet modern
connectivity goals for digital learning, compared to 31% of suburban and urban public schools.
? 39% of schools in affluent areas currently meet speed targets, but only 14% of schools in low-income
rural and urban areas meet those targets.
? 45% of school districts lack sufficient Wi-Fi capacity to move to one-to-one student-to-device
deployments which is increasingly necessary to achieve modern digital learning objectives.
? Half of all public libraries report connections of less than 10 Mbps (70% of rural libraries) ñ or less
than 10% of the target for libraries with smaller service areas and less than 1% of the speed target for
libraries serving larger numbers of people.
? More than half (58%) of districts say the monthly recurring expense of connections is the most
significant barrier to faster service.
? Nearly 40% of districts indicate they canít afford the high up-front capital costs of infrastructure
The FCCís actions close the connectivity gap through continued efforts to lower the prices schools and
libraries pay for connectivity, and by increasing the amount of support available for connections to the
Internet, known as category one of the program. Based on a comprehensive record, the Order raises the
spending cap on the E-rate program from the current $2.4 billion to $3.9 billion -- the first reset of the cap
since it was initially set at $2.25 million in 1997, an amount that wasnít adjusted for inflation until 2010.
E-rate is one of four universal service programs funded by an assessment on interstate and international
telephone revenues, a cost companies may recover from their residential and business customers. If
demand for E-rate funds from schools and libraries ramps up to reach the full $3.9 billion cap, the
estimated additional cost to an individual rate payer would be approximately 16 cents a month, about a
half a penny per day or about $1.90 a year ñ less than a large soda at fast food restaurant or a cup of
By providing certainty about the future of E-rate funding, raising the cap enables schools and libraries to
plan how best to upgrade their networks and at what pace. Todayís Order also takes further steps to
improve the overall administration of the program and maximizes the options schools and libraries have
for purchasing affordable high-speed broadband connectivity by:
? Suspending the requirement that applicants seek funding for large up front construction costs
over several years, and allowing applicants to pay their share of one-time, up-front
construction costs over multiple years
? Equalizing the treatment of schools and libraries seeking support for dark fiber with those
seeking support for lit fiber. Dark fiber leases allow the purchase of capacity without the
service of transmitting data ñ lighting the fiber. Dark fiber can be an especially cost-effective
option for smaller, rural districts
? Allowing schools and libraries to build high-speed broadband facilities themselves when that
is the most cost-effective option, subject to a number of safeguards
? Providing an incentive for state support of last-mile broadband facilities through a match
from E-rate of up to 10% of the cost of construction, with special consideration for Tribal
? Requiring carriers that receive subsidies from the universal service program for rural areas ñ
called the High Cost program ñ to offer high-speed broadband to schools and libraries located
in geographic areas receiving those subsidies at rates reasonably comparable to similar
services in urban areas
? Increasing the certainty and predictability of funding for Wi-Fi by expanding the five-year
budget approach to providing more equitable support for internal connections ñ known as
category two ñ through funding year 2019
While the cost to consumers of these changes to the E-rate program is small, the benefits to students, life-
long learners, and the nationís competitiveness are great.
Action by the Commission December 11, 2014, by Second Report and Order and Order on
Reconsideration (FCC 14-189). Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel with
Commissioners Pai and OíRielly dissenting. Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel,
Pai and OíRielly issuing statements.
More information about E-rate is available at

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Full Text of news release 12/11/2014 FCC

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Digital Equity | CoSN

Digital Equity | CoSN | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
Rethinking Equity in a Digital Era


If we want to close the digital access gap, we need to foster high-level technology initiatives in Title I schools. We partnered with the National Title I Association to discuss the best ways to pursue educational equity in our new toolkit, Rethinking Equity in a Digital Era: Forging a Strong Partnership Between District Title I and Technology Leaders. The toolkit includes a discussion guide for planning technology integration into Title I Programs, tips for building collaboration between the Title I Director and the CTO, and three in-depth case studies. Money is always in short supply. Make sure you're getting the most out of yours! - See more at:

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Funding Digital Learning | Office of Educational Technology

Funding Digital Learning | Office of Educational Technology | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
Funding Digital LearningFundamental Questions

As states and districts update technology resources, it may seem that the needs overwhelm resources. Before major technology purchases, leaders will want to consider an approach and define a goal that makes sense for the particular region. Some questions to consider include:

What resources are presently available in schools, and how are they distributed? (For example, are there two computers in every classroom or a dedicated physical computer lab? Or are there mobile laptop/tablet stations?)What are the 1-, 3-, and 5-year goals in terms of digital learning?What devices do students already bring to school? How do they use those devices?How fast are the internal and external connections in schools? How fast must they be to meet students’ and educators’ needs?What are the major strengths and challenges this area has in terms of technology?Innovative Planning

To provide the best access to students and educators, leading states and districts think comprehensively about all funding and support. Individual situations vary, so the right mix of the approaches below will differ from place to place.

Leveraging economies of scale: At both the multi-district and multi-state levels, school systems can negotiate more favorable rates with vendors by collaborating with others seeking similar devices/services. Louisiana, Maine, Illinois, North Carolina, among other states have done this successfully.Public-private partnerships: Cross-sector collaboration can prove mutually beneficial. What major businesses/industries are in this region? They have a stake in ensuring students graduate digitally literate and may be willing to partner in funding, device donation, connectivity-sharing, or training to advance that purpose.Cross-agency coordination: Some states and districts leverage higher education or medical facility resources to boost education access.Device refurbishment: Repairing, upgrading, and reusing devices business/community members no longer need can create both an educational opportunity and a source of low-cost devices. In making its transition to online assessment, Delaware used this strategy.BYOD and student wireless access: Some states and districts leverage the devices students already own, carefully considering privacy, security, and logistical issues. In other locales, it may be possible to negotiate very low rates for student wireless devices and services, which they could use both in and out of school.Strategic decommissioning: What activities or resources are no longer needed? Areas to consider include paper textbooks, copy machines and supplies, fax machines and supplies, copper-line phone service, paper supplies, consumable workbooks, in-person trainings where virtual or peer-to-peer options exist, printing (schedules, grades, announcements etc.), and others, depending on context.Leveraging student experience: Where can students themselves serve as technologists, professional developers, and technicians? How can students support educators in advancing their technology-based professional capacity?Aligning Strategy and Policy

In the context of a vision and out-of-the-box considerations, policymakers should investigate existing and proposed state and local laws and regulations to determine:

Do any existing laws or regulations need to change in order to reach the goals? For example, are specific kinds of instructional resources mandated in statute that may not align with a digitally-focused strategy? Are students prohibited from using their own devices? Do policies need to change to ensure that virtual courses are accepted for student credit?Are there policies that would support advancing digital access? For example, where can blended and personalized learning be incentivized, if that aligns with the local goal?How can transparency help? Louisiana used public reports about individual district readiness to highlight areas that are and are not ready for online instruction and assessment.Within an SEA or an LEA, do leaders in all major offices understand and support the goals and strategies? Curriculum and instruction, assessment, operations, finance, and other organizational units will need to focus together.Budgeting and Managing Funds

Education primarily gets funded at the state, local, and federal levels. Fiscal managers should thoroughly consider all funding sources for which technology upgrades are allowable uses of funds.

Federal funds


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