Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership
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Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership
Leaders, Leadership and Best Practice in K-20 Educational Techonology
Curated by Gordon Dahlby
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Survey: Districts are increasingly going digital

Survey: Districts are increasingly going digital | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
The survey also revealed 10 district IT priorities for the coming year:
1. Personalized Learning
2. Digital Content and Curriculum
3. Professional Development / Skills Training for Integrating Technology in the Classroom
4. Online Testing
5. Mobility (one-to-one and BYOD)
6. Common Core/ State Standards; and Networking Infrastructure Upgrades
7. Student Data Privacy including Policies
8. Data Management/Analytics
9. Technology for Physical Security
10. Cybersecurity Policy; and Cybersecurity/ Data Security Tools

Ten school districts each in small-, medium-, and large-size categories were recognized for their use of digital learning technologies and innovative leadership to support those digital learning goals.
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IT Leadership Survey | @CoSN

IT Leadership Survey | @CoSN | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |

Since the education technology profession is constantly evolving, CoSN conducts its IT Leadership survey annually. The survey provides valuable information about how education leaders are leveraging technology and paints a picture of potential changes in the field. Look to us for your comprehensive overview of technology trends, challenges, and priorities! The results of the survey will inform the decisions we make to serve our members going forward.

The 2016 IT Leadership Survey Report is now available. Please fill out the form below to download your free copy of the 2016 IT Leadership Survey Report. 


 Top 10 Key Findings from the 2016 IT Leadership Survey 1. Broadband and network capacity is the top priority for IT leaders, replacing assessment readiness (which for the first time failed to make the top three). 2. Privacy and security of student data is an increasing concern for IT leaders, with 64 percent saying they are more important than they were last year. 3. Nearly 90 percent of respondents expect their instructional materials to be at least 50 percent digital within the next three years. 4. Virtually all responders (99 percent) expect to incorporate digital Open Educational Resources (OER) over the next three years, with 45 percent expecting their digital content to be at least 50 percent OER within that timeframe. 5. Nearly 80 percent of IT leaders use online productivity tools – the largest use of cloud-based solutions in education. 6. District bans on student personal devices are a thing of the past – only 11 percent have banning policies. 7. The path to IT leadership differs for women and men. The vast majority of women come from educational / instructional backgrounds (72 percent). The majority of men (54 percent) come from technology / technical backgrounds. 8. Racial diversity in IT leadership is lacking. Ninety-percent of school IT leaders are white. 9. IT leaders have advanced education, with 75 percent earning some college beyond their bachelor’s degree. 10. More than one-third of IT leaders plan to retire in the next six years. 

 Want to compare the last three years in more depth? Access a full copy of the 2015, 2014 or 2013 survey reports. 

 2014: IT Leadership and Gender Recent media attention has focused on the under-representation of women in high-tech fields and raised questions about gender representation in the K-12 sector. To contribute to that conversation, we dove back into our survey data to see what information we had gathered about gender. The data revealed several interesting gender discrepancies, some of which parallel industry-wide trends. Download the free analysis below to learn more. DOWNLOAD GENDER ANALYSIS - See more at:

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Preparing Leaders for Deeper Learning

Preparing Leaders for Deeper Learning | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
Preparing Leaders For Deeper Learning
Authored by Karen Cator, Bonnie Lathram, Carri Schneider and Tom Vander Ark
Download the Full Paper
In partnership with: Digital Promise

In the paper, Preparing Leaders for Deeper Learning, released jointly by Getting Smart and Digital Promise, we assert the need for programs that prepare and develop school and district leaders who will create and sustain deeper learning environments. (The paper is the fourth in a series from Getting Smart that explores the shift to deeper learning).

The paper addresses two fundamental questions:

As a growing body of schools and districts recognize the need for deeper, blended, competency-based learning environments for students, how must the role of leaders evolve to create and sustain them?
How must leader preparation and ongoing professional development evolve to fully enable teacher and leader success in this new environment?
The paper captured a diverse set of voices – ranging from current practicing principals to representatives from pioneering programs and organizations whose missions address educational leadership challenges. The team reviewed the literature on leadership development and spent a year tracking the progress of high-performing educational leadership programs, talking to practitioners and researchers at conferences and events to learn from others passionate about this work; this yielded dozens of conversations and 50 guest blog contributions to inform the research, resulting in a paper that is a compilation of many voices, perspectives and ideas.
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What's the Future of the Workplace?

MIT professor Thomas Malone predicts that new technologies will enable more decentralized decision making and ultimately more freedom in business. For mor
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2016 National Freshman Motivation to Complete College Report | Ruffalo Noel Levitz

2016 National Freshman Motivation to Complete College Report | Ruffalo Noel Levitz | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
Motivational barriers to college completion for incoming college freshmen, with recommendations for action
Gordon Dahlby's insight:
7-12's should do something with this data in partnership w/ local higher eds & parents
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Randy Wilhelm talks OER challenges and solutions

Randy Wilhelm talks OER challenges and solutions | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
Since launching in 2012, OER week has evolved into an event with a global following, attracting hundreds of contributors and participants from 130 countries. You can find event listings here.

In honor of OER week, Education Dive spoke with OER expert and Knovation founder Randy Wilhelm. Recently, Wilhelm took the stage at TEDX, giving a talk called, "Igniting the hope of knowing."

EDUCATION DIVE: You’ve worked on solutions for digital content delivery since 1999. Why did you get into the field?

WILHELM: We envisioned a time when content from the web would indeed be very central to instruction in K-12 schools. We knew that at some point there would be too much content freely available to effectively choose the best options for the students, so we began to curate, contextualize, or tag, and maintain online resources, including OER, way back in 1999. We believe passionately in the statement, “All of us are smarter than any of us,” so to that end, we want to bring the best of “all of us” to every learner.   

What problems appeared at the outset of OER development? What kind of problems were pervasive over time? 

WILHELM: In the beginning, there was no standard meta tagging schema, no viable taxonomy, no standards, so we created all these things.  We used advanced technology and highly-educated teachers and educators to professionally and effectively evaluate, align and maintain OER for use in schools. What is interesting to me is that we certainly felt that by 2016 there would be greater use of OER in classrooms, and that teachers would have been equipped to do self-curating on the fly, but that is not the case today. 

What are the biggest challenges, in general, to OER use in the classroom?

WILHELM: Open Education Resources are generally small pieces of content focused on a specific lesson plan, and what teachers need is to have that content organized and aligned to the district curriculum, organized in easy-to-search and share folders and delivered in the district platform of choice. Sometimes that platform is an LMS, sometimes a CMS, but it is important to have the content delivered where the teachers are used to working. Having separate platforms is inefficient and adds unnecessary complexity to the teacher workflow.  
Gordon Dahlby's insight:
WILHELM: Teachers are being asked to find content for learning, to actually curate content for their classroom. This added burden has really put stress on the teachers, with some reports saying that they are spending an average of up to 12 hours per week searching for content. Everyone knows there is ample OER on the web to instruct virtually any class, but finding quality OER is entirely more difficult than districts anticipated. Additionally, districts further into their use of OER content have discovered that maintaining the content chosen is in and of itself a challenging task. With around 1 of 5 pieces of OER having some kind of dead link problem within a year, the turnover of content is overwhelming and causes teachers to not trust that the content will be available with needed. 
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Earning a college degree means having skills other workers don’t have - The Hechinger Report

Earning a college degree means having skills other workers don’t have - The Hechinger Report | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |

Do college graduates earn more because of the degree they got, or because of the knowledge they acquired in college? A new federal study released Wednesday suggests that adult workers with bachelor’s degrees have job-related skills that other workers don’t. But Americans still lag workers in other nations on tests of these skills. 

The study, called the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, or PIAAC, compares workers in more than 20 wealthy countries on their abilities to process written and numerical information commonly found in work and social settings. It was first done in 2011-12, and the new study, from 2013-14, adds a closer look, by category, at young adults, older adults and the unemployed in the U.S. labor force.
The findings, the researchers say, give a more detailed picture of the relationship between skills like numeracy and literacy and a U.S. worker’s age and education.

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Research & Statistics -

Research & Statistics - | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
Data & Research
Information on education-related data and research.

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
The main federal organization for collecting and analyzing education data.

Is my school accredited?

Nation's Report Card
Presents data about the academic achievement of U.S students, drawn from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Education -
Federal datasets related to education.
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Many Community College Students Are Not Prepared for College-Level Work, Report Shows -- THE Journal

Many Community College Students Are Not Prepared for College-Level Work, Report Shows -- THE Journal | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
The idea that a single placement test should determine a student's readiness for college courses is getting a makeover with the release of a new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin. So is the value placed on standard developmental or remedial coursework in student success.
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Seth's Blog: How to talk about your project

Seth's Blog: How to talk about your project | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |

Not in a marketing sense, but strategically, to yourself, your partners, your coaches, your investors:

What is it for? When someone hires your product or service, what are they hiring it to do?

Who (or what) are you trying to change by doing this work? From what to what?

How will you know if it's working?

What does it remind me of? Are there parallels, similar projects, things like this that have come before?

What's the difficult part?

How much of your time and focus are you spending on the difficult part?

What part that isn't under your control has to happen for this to work? (Do you need to be lucky?)

How much (time and money) is it going to take to find out if you've got a shot at this working out?

What assets do you already own that you'll be able to leverage?

What assets do you need to acquire?

After the project launches, what new assets will you now own?

From which people will you need help? Do they have a track record of helping people like you?

Is it worth it?

Successful project organizers are delighted to engage in a conversation about all of these questions. If you're hiding from them, it's time to find out why.

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OECD: Teacher Professionalism Needs Improvement Worldwide -- THE Journal

OECD: Teacher Professionalism Needs Improvement Worldwide -- THE Journal | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |

OECD: Teacher Professionalism Needs Improvement Worldwide
By Dian Schaffhauser
Teachers in Europe tend to have a higher level of autonomy than teachers in East Asian countries, the Middle East and Latin America. However, education systems in East Asian countries are more likely to emphasize peer networking. Yet both regions of the world have higher-scoring and lower-scoring PISA countries. In other words, there are no hard and fast rules for figuring out what makes for a quality teaching force, which is a problem especially for those schools that could most benefit from them. That's the overall finding of a new international study put out by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) that examines "teacher professionalism." OECD is the same organization that runs the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a triennial international survey that attempts to evaluate education systems worldwide.

The point of the more recent research project was to look at three basic questions: What does teacher professionalism look like around the world? How do activities related to teacher professionalism affect educator job satisfaction and commitment to teaching? And how does the overall composition of students in a school affect teacher professionalism and their satisfaction with the job?

The results aren't purely academic. A report of results suggested that the way that teachers are supported can influence their satisfaction with their present employers. And the practices that support strong teacher professionalism are particularly beneficial in schools with a high population of students who are "socio-economically disadvantaged," are second-language learners or have other special needs.

"Teachers in such schools can face many challenges that are unfamiliar to teachers in well-performing, low needs schools," Analyst Katarzyna Kubacka wrote in a blog article about the report. Kubacka, who served on the TALIS research team, noted that, "Unfortunately, practices to support teacher professionalism are, in many countries, less frequent in high than in low needs schools. This is a missed opportunity to provide a boost to teachers in challenging situations, particularly because the positive relationship between teacher professionalism and job satisfaction is amplified in high needs schools."

The report is based on a survey of teachers and principals in 34 countries and economies around the world as well as data collection from "an additional four systems" that took place after the original data collection.

The researchers defined teacher professionalism as covering three domains:

A knowledge base that includes the necessary knowledge for teaching, including pre-service formal education, support for in-service professional learning and practitioner research, among other best practices;
Autonomy or the teachers' decision-making abilities related to their work (asked not of the teachers themselves but of the principals they report to), such as curriculum choices, learning materials and course content; and
Peer networks to provide opportunities for information exchange and support, including such practices as participation in a formal induction program and development of a professional development plan.
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CRN Exclusive: Google Terminating Play For Education In A Small-Scale Retreat From Android's Educational Market

CRN Exclusive: Google Terminating Play For Education In A Small-Scale Retreat From Android's Educational Market | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |

Google is retreating from a small segment of its booming education business by ending the life of a product that was developed to encourage adoption of Android tablets in schools, Google partners told CRN on Friday.

Google Play for Education, an extension of the Play software distribution platform, was rolled out around two years ago [3]with the intent of putting more tablets into the hands of students. The app store, curated in close collaboration with educators, enabled solution providers to manage both devices and their specialized content.

But the Internet giant from Mountain View, Calif., confirmed to CRN on Friday it will cease selling Play for Education licenses to partner tablet vendors March 14. Google said it will continue supporting all existing accounts, allowing current customers to access the education-focused app store for as long as their devices are in service.

[Related: Google Guaranteed: 8 Google for Work Recommended Cloud Apps [4]]

Play for Education was available to educators, and partners that serve that market, through a select number of Android tablets. The product is in the Google for Education family that also sells Chromebook laptops [5], the best-selling brand in the educational market.

While Play for Education will be withdrawn from the market, Android tablets will still be able to run all the educational apps that were available through Play. And some of Google's Enterprise Mobility Management partners will continue offering their own Android marketplaces for discovering and pushing content to students.

One Google partner executive who asked not to be named told CRN he learned of the product's termination after attempting to procure tablets for a customer.

"We noticed something funny a couple weeks ago" when a client requested a quote for a number of Play for Work tablets, the Google partner told CRN. "Basically all manufacturers told us all those devices were end-of-lifed."

Asus, then Samsung, said they didn't have replacement devices that were Play-integrated, the reseller said. They told him to look at Chromebook laptops as an alternative.

Google later informed the partner that Play for Education was on its way out, and the company should focus on its Chromebooks practice for serving the educational market.

That partner exec said he believes some capability issues, like a limited number of student profiles that could be loaded onto a single device, coupled with competition from Apple's iPads, kept the Android tablets from deeply penetrating the education market, and convinced Google to step back from the program.

Google made a big marketing push last year for the educational tablets, the partner exec said, but "I'm not sure it ever clicked."

Chromebooks, however, compete really well with iPads as well as traditional desktops and laptops, the partner exec told CRN.

And a new generation of touch-screen Chromebooks entering the market can be flipped into form factors that essentially create functional tablets, sometimes at lower prices than actual tablets, he noted.

The subset of Android tablets that supported the Play for Education app, and were geared for school environments, were models from Google's own Nexus brand, as well as from Dell, HP and Samsung Galaxy.

Google, in a written statement, told CRN: "We're committed to providing schools with the best-in-class tools for the classroom, including Chromebooks, which are the #1 selling device in US K-12 education, and a strong and growing ecosystem of educational apps. We'll continue to support our Google Play for Education customers and the devices that they have purchased."

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The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2015 | National Report | ACT

The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2015 | National Report | ACT | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
A series of graphical pictures highlighting the college and career readiness of the ACT-tested high school class of 2015.
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Digital Equity Action Agenda | @CoSN

Digital Equity Action Agenda | @CoSN | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |

Digital Equity Action Toolkit
Students without home access to high quality broadband connectivity are at a disadvantage, unable to realize the full power of digital learning. Only 3 percent of teachers in high-poverty schools said that their students had the digital tools necessary to complete homework assignments, compared to 52 percent of teachers in more affluent schools, a discrepancy sometimes labeled the "homework gap."
To address this key challenge, CoSN launched the Digital Equity Action Agenda initiative. This effort highlights how some school districts are building meaningful community partnerships and creating tools to help district leaders get started in achieving digital equity.
Our new toolkit provides educational leaders with the information they need to address digital equity in out-of-school learning. 
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY and FULL TOOLKIT available for download.  

Gordon Dahlby's insight:
Start the discussion in your community. What home should not have lowcost yet powerful broadband in your community. Step up.
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FCC Takes Steps to Modernize and Reform Lifeline for Broadband

FCC Takes Steps to Modernize and Reform Lifeline for Broadband Washington, D.C. (June 18, 2015) – 

The Federal Communications Commission today took significant steps to modernize its Lifeline program, seeking comment on restructuring the program to better support 21st Century communications while building on existing reforms to continue strengthening protections against waste, fraud and abuse. 

Lifeline was established in 1985 to help make phone service affordable for low-income Americans. In 2008, the Commission expanded the program to allow participation by low-cost wireless providers. In 2012, the Commission made significant reforms, including a database that has essentially ended program abuse caused by multiple Lifeline subscriptions in a household. 

 But now, 30 years after Lifeline was founded, the Commission has concluded it is time for a fundamental, comprehensive restructuring of the program to meet today’s most pressing communications needs: access to broadband. 

Broadband has become essential to participation in modern society, offering access to jobs, education, health care, government services and opportunity. Unfortunately, income remains a significant barrier to broadband adoption: 
 • While over 95% of households with incomes of $150,000 or more have access, only 48% of those making less than $25,000 have service at home. 
• Low-income consumers disproportionately use smart phones for Internet access – but nearly 50% of them have had to cancel or suspend smartphone service due to financial hardship. 

 Lifeline helps makes communications services more affordable for low-income consumers by providing a $9.25 a month subsidy. The item adopted by the FCC proposes and seeks comment on maintaining the same $9.25 subsidy, and seeks to use that money as efficiently and effectively as possible to deliver modern communications services. Proposals on which the Commission seeks comment also include: 
 • Adopting minimum service standards for both voice and broadband service 
• Whether broadband should be a required offering of Lifeline providers 
• How to encourage more competition to improve price and service 
• How to encourage more participation by the states. 

 Building on the 2012 reforms, the item also proposes streamlining and tightening the process of verifying consumer eligibility by taking it out of the hands of providers. Ideas include establishing a third-party “national verifier,” coordination with other federal needs-based programs, and considering the use of direct subsidies to consumers through vouchers. The item also seeks comment on a budget for the program. 

 Finally, the item includes an Order that makes immediate reforms to reduce waste, fraud and abuse. These include requiring providers to retain documentation of consumer eligibility, which will improve oversight and audits.
Gordon Dahlby's insight:
#ConnectHome @FCC
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Educator Micro-credentials #Love2Learn @digitalpromise

Educator Micro-credentials #Love2Learn @digitalpromise | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
Learn. Earn. Reflect.
Deeper Learning Micro-credential Challenge
Win up to $10,000

Micro-credentials and Deeper Learning
Micro-credentials — a digital form of certification — recognize educators for demonstrating their skills and competencies. One important set of skills, known as Deeper Learning, supports educators as they design learning experiences that support students as they develop critical skills such as collaboration, effective communication, and critical thinking. Digital Promise has developed 40 Deeper Learning micro-credentials that identify specific skills for educators.


Enter the Deeper Learning Micro-credential Challenge
Identify your team of educators (2 or more)
Earn Deeper Learning Micro-credentials
Submit your reflection on this Challenge and Deeper Learning practices
Awards for Highest Scoring Submissions
First Place: $10,000
Second Place: $7,500
Third Place: $5,000
Fourth Place: $2,500
Fifth Place: $1,000
Award for Team with Most Micro-credentials
​Team with Most Micro-credentials Earned per educator: $5,000

All micro-credentials must be submitted for assessment online at by May 1, 2016
Challenge submission form deadline: May 15, 2016
Note: The Challenge submission form includes documentation of the micro-credentials your team earned and a reflection.


Who can be on a team?
Teams can be comprised of educators from varying grade levels, subject matters, schools, districts, and states. An educator can only be on one team.


How to Enter
Download and complete Challenge submission form. Email your completed submission form, along with required attachments, to by 05/15/2016 at 11:59pm EST.

If you are using Internet Explorer, or are experiencing difficulty accessing the submission form link above, please use this link to view and download the submission form.


Scoring Rubric
Submissions will be scored by a panel of Deeper Learning experts based on this rubric.
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Blogging About The Web 2.0 Connected Classroom: Why Not Become A @Graphite Certified Educator

Blogging About The Web 2.0 Connected Classroom: Why Not Become A @Graphite Certified Educator | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
So what do you have to do? 

In order to apply, educators must have registered on Graphite, completed a full profile, and have already created and published on Graphite a minimum of Three high-quality Teacher Reviews and One high-qualityLesson Flow. The site has an explanation of what "high-quality" means as well so you can ensure you're on the right track. There are also some other more basic qualifications like being a good writer, working with kids, etc. You can learn more in the FAQs. 

What do you have to do?

Once approved, over the course of 2016, Graphite Certified Educators will write at least one Lesson Flow (in addition to the Lesson Flow submitted as part of the application). Certified Educators also will engage in four of the below activities in any combination:

Writing a Teacher Review
Creating a Lesson Flow
Writing a blog post
Participating in or leading a Graphite Twitter chat
Posting in the Graphite community discussion forums
Gordon Dahlby's insight:
Does it look like this badge is free labor from T's to Graphite.  

Add name to the mailing list; add 3 teacher reviews and 1 lesson just to apply.  More if approved.

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Connected Learning - Mimi Ito via CIRCLCenter

Today’s social, mobile and gaming technologies offer new ways of supporting learning that is engaging, connected to the wider world, and tailored to specific interests, identities, and learning styles. Our research has found, however, that only the most activated digital learners are taking advantage of this potential. Young people are going online for informal and interest-driven learning, but with few connections back to school and academic subjects. What kinds of platforms, policies, and technologies can best connect between in-school and out-of-school learning and between adult and young people’s social worlds?

Mimi Ito will describe her ongoing research on interest-driven and digitally enabled learning, and describe connected learning, an approach to realizing longstanding progressive goals of education by leveraging today’s technology. Connected learning is when a young person is able to pursue a personal interest with the support of peers and caring adults, in a way that is directed to opportunity and achievement in school and the wider world.
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Why some schools pay $100 more for the same iPads

Why some schools pay $100 more for the same iPads | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
To get a sense for how widely ed-tech pricing varies from district to district, even for the same product, TEC analyzed how much school systems nationwide paid per unit when buying iPad Air tablets with wi-fi connectivity and 16 gigabytes of memory. The organization relied on publicly available data from school district websites and on conversations with CIOs from school districts of all sizes for its research.

TEC found what Levy called “crazy discrepancies” in the purchase price of these iPad Airs, ranging from a low of $367 to a high of $499—for a difference of $132. What’s more, this difference had nothing to do with the size of the district or the volume of its purchase: Many small districts reportedly got a better price than districts 10 times larger.
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A Million New Teachers Are Coming: Will They Be Ready to Teach? | Education Policy Centre

A Million New Teachers Are Coming: Will They Be Ready to Teach? | Education Policy Centre | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
A Million New Teachers Are Coming: Will They Be Ready to Teach?
MAY 2015
The Issue
Research shows that the most powerful, in-school influence on learning is the quality of instruction that teachers bring to their students. In the next decade, more than 1.5 million new teachers will be hired for our schools—and that’s a conservative estimate. If they are poorly prepared, this influx of new teachers could block efforts to solve our nation’s education problems and guarantee that the next generation of students will not receive the high-quality education they deserve. Unfortunately, teacher preparation programs may not be up to the task of delivering the teacher workforce we need, and critics have identified lax selection of teacher candidates, coursework disconnected from classroom practice, and weak clinical opportunities as indications that we are inadequately preparing teachers.

The Research
For more than 30 years, deans of schools of education, researchers, and teachers have criticized the way we prepare our elementary and secondary school teachers. Recent research shows that there are differences in the effectiveness of the graduates of different teacher preparation programs. Although we do not yet have conclusive evidence, research is beginning to uncover some of the characteristics of successful programs that may explain the effectiveness of their graduates. In addition, characteristics of the candidates themselves also seem to contribute to better teaching from our novice teachers. 

The Options
It’s time to take a start-to-finish look at teacher preparation. Start by being smarter about how we choose candidates for teaching. Then work for consensus on common knowledge and competencies that all new teachers should be expected to master. Reinvent student teaching by demanding properly prepared mentor teachers, providing more hands-on experience, and being open to new forms, such as the medical model of “hospital rounds,” to offer more varied experiences to teacher candidates. Finally, make teacher certification or licensure matter by requiring rigorous assessments that show mastery of academic content and teaching skills through both written and hands-on evaluations. 
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Commissioner Rosenworcel Remarks, Mobile World Congress | Federal Communications Commission





FEBRUARY 22, 2016


Good Morning. It’s wonderful to be here at Mobile World Congress and help kick off this discussion of the future of mobile spectrum. And let me also add that it is terrific to be in Spain—and in beautiful Barcelona. I want to start this morning by taking you far away from Barcelona for a moment— and talking about Chicago. I was in Chicago last week. It’s a great American city, right in the middle of the country, on the banks of Lake Michigan. And it’s windy. Really windy. None of these faint Mediterranean breezes we have here. And if in Barcelona it’s all about fizzy cava and delicate ham, Chicago is a place for a stiff drink and a thick steak. It’s a city that is proud of its history with stockyards and steel mills—but it is also firmly looking towards the future. That future involves a project called the Array of Things. The Array of Things is an ambitious plan Chicago has to place 500 wireless nodes all across the city. These nodes will measure pressure, light, air quality, temperature, foot traffic—and an array of other things. The data produced will be available to the city—and the public—at no charge. From this data, the city hopes to reveal patterns—patterns that will allow it to better plan urban activity and learn to prevent problems—like childhood asthma, flash flooding, and street congestion—before they occur. Think of it like a fitness tracker—not for the wrist—but for the city itself. It’s pretty cool. Now this is possible today with 4G technology. But it provides a great glimpse of the future—and helps illustrate the possibilities of 5G. 5G services are poised to provide speeds more than 10 times faster than today’s 4G networks, with lower latency—and as a result, a whole new world of wireless opportunities. But more than that, they will take initiatives like the Array of Things and up the ante. Because while 4G technology has brought smart phones to our palms, pockets, and purses . . . the benefits of 5G technology are bigger, bolder—and more diffuse. They will be felt throughout the economy. So imagine, for a moment, that cities worldwide can significantly reduce commute times and traffic. It will take sensors in streetlights, roadside architecture, and cars to see where traffic patterns could be more efficient and public transportation more effective. 5G technology can make it happen. Imagine tiny cameras in the helmets of public safety officials fighting a fire. They could relay video back to colleagues just outside the affected area who could direct a team of firefighters in real time, enhancing safety for first responders and those they rescue. 5G technology can make it happen. Imagine monitoring trees with sensors to identify drought before it occurs and when preventative measures are still effective. Think of it as the Internet of Trees—and 5G technology can make it happen. Now to get from here to there will take, you guessed it, spectrum. More than that, it will take new, creative ideas about spectrum policy that have not always been front-andcenter in the 4G past. So now let me offer you three ideas for the road to 5G.


First: To find spectrum for next generation networks we need to look high.


Today, the bulk of our 4G networks are built on spectrum frequencies from 600 MHz to 3 GHz. But the 5G future will look different—very different. We will need to bust through this old 3 GHz ceiling and create new possibilities for millimeter wave spectrum in the airwaves at 24 GHz and above. This is spectrum that is way, way up there. I think of this as the airwaves that will take us to infinity and beyond. But with these stratospheric frequencies, of course, there are propagation challenges. While these super-high signals carry a significant amount of data, they do not go far. But we can turn this limitation into a strength by combining these frequencies with small cells packed close together, densifying networks at lower cost. All of this, in turn can mean service that reaches further into buildings at faster speeds than ever before. This is especially useful in urban corridors and fast-growing areas with the greatest traffic demands. It won’t be simple to put these bands to use. But last year, at the World Radio Conference in Geneva, a number of these bands were put on the table for study at the next gathering in 2019. This is terrific—because a lot can be done here with global scale. But let me make a prediction. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission will not wait. We are moving forward now. We already have a rulemaking on millimeter wave spectrum and are already considering a variety of bands in these spectrum frontiers. And among others we will proceed this year with a framework for the 28 GHz band, despite the fact this band was excluded from the list for 5G study at the World Radio Conference.


Second, let us not forget unlicensed.


Good spectrum policy involves a mix of licensed and unlicensed airwaves. This is true today with 4G services—and it will continue to be true with 5G as well. Today, unlicensed spectrum supports Wi-Fi—and Wi-Fi has helped democratize Internet access. Unlicensed spectrum also helps our wireless operators manage their networks. Today, more than half of all wireless data connections are offloaded at some point onto unlicensed airwaves. Unlicensed spectrum is also how we foster wide-scale wireless innovation. That’s because the low barriers for entry make them perfect sandboxes for experimentation. And that experimentation has a bottom line. In the United States, unlicensed spectrum contributes more than $140 billion to the economy annually. Today, of course, we have extensive unlicensed activity in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. But we need to do more than treat unlicensed as an afterthought—because we need a cut for unlicensed spectrum going forward. This is true for low-band spectrum—and high-band spectrum, too. Right now, for instance, the United States is exploring opportunities for unlicensed use in the guard bands in 600 MHz, as we reorganize this UHF band to combine mobile and broadcasting use. We are looking to expand unlicensed operations in millimeter wave spectrum, namely in the 64 GHz–71 GHz band. Note that the upper portion of this band was identified for 5G study at the World Radio Conference last year. But we are already looking at making the band we have identified available sooner—and making it unlicensed.


Third—and finally—it’s time for creative licensing policy.


There was a time, not that long ago, when bands for mobile use were strictly licensed or unlicensed. One or the other. Pick one. No in-between. But now—and going forward with 5G—we can be more creative. To get a feel for how, take a look at the 3.5 GHz band. In the United States we are using this band to chart a new course for spectrum policy. Instead of the same-old, same-old binary choice between licensed and unlicensed, we adopted a creative three-tiered model for spectrum sharing and management. Under this three-tiered system, incumbent government users have a primary and preemptive right. But we know they do not need access all the time, everywhere, so we created a secondary license opportunity, custom-built for smaller cells. Then, to the extent demand for small cells is limited, opportunistic unlicensed use is permitted by rule. To make this work, all three groups of users will be managed by a dynamic spectrum access system. This effort is complex—but it’s important. Because as demand for our airwaves grow—and continue to grow with 5G—we will need to get creative. And the approach we’ve put in place in the 3.5 GHz band is both creative—and efficient. It’s one to watch for the future. The future is where I started, so let me end there, too. I think the Array of Things project I began with is an instructive example of the future. It gives us insight into the extraordinary things coming our way with the next generation of wireless service. That’s important—because worldwide we have problems to solve, resources that are constrained, and communities that need help navigating what is possible in the digital age. We have no shortage of challenges ahead. But remember we are on the cusp of cars that can drive themselves, streets that can be safer, emergency services that are more effective, health care that is more personalized, and more capability across the board—because we are more connected. So get excited. Because 5G technology can help us get there. That is, if we get our spectrum policies right. And that strikes me as worth the effort.


Thank you.

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5 ways cloud computing will impact students, teachers, and IT in 2016

5 ways cloud computing will impact students, teachers, and IT in 2016 | Educational Technology: Leaders and Leadership |
Software-as-a-service deployments are having a moment. What does that mean for schools?
It’s no secret that being able to access enterprise applications and other types of software online—in a 24/7/365 environment—beats having to install, maintain, and upgrade individual applications across multiple desktops and laptops. Especially when maintaining software at school, classroom, teacher, and individual student levels is such an arduous task.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or “cloud computing” has helped districts and schools streamline their applications while at the same time introducing new challenges to the mix—such as online privacy and security concerns. These and other obstacles aside, cloud computing has been growing in popularity lately due to its low entry costs, short installation/implementation times, and the fact that it lessens the burden on schools’ IT teams when it comes to software maintenance and upgrades.

Formally defined as a software licensing and delivery model where applications are licensed on a subscription basis and centrally hosted, SaaS is often used interchangeably with “cloud” or “on-demand” and usually accessed via a web browser and password (if applicable). Here are five ways this software deployment method is changing the K-12 environment right now:

Leveling the playing field for smaller institutions
Calling SaaS a “great equalizer,” David J. Hinson, director of technology services at Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn, N.Y., said the software delivery method can be a boon to smaller schools and districts, who may have trouble luring top IT talent. “The pressing need to find sustainable, affordable technology solutions has driven much of the trend toward cloud-based services in K-12,” said Hinson, who adds that even in relatively “talent-rich” markets like New York, finding, hiring, compensating, and keeping technically savvy employees is a challenge. “Our forte is supposed to be education, not talent acquisition. Using SaaS allows even the smallest school’s IT department to ‘punch above their weight,’ and provide services that were once available to only larger enterprises.”

Helping schools rethink technology budgeting
At first blush, cloud computing appears to be a budget-conscious way to acquire new software. Generally offered up on a subscription basis, applications delivered online boast fairly low barriers to entry and require less of the IT team’s time when it comes to maintenance and upgrades. However, for the school that’s used to buying software and systems and then running them at “no additional cost” until they break, the transition to the subscription-based model may seem like a costlier option. “The biggest challenge is communicating the savings in opportunity costs that SaaS affords,” said Hinson, “and the advantages of being able to deploy a smaller number of people in a more synchronous alignment with your core mission.” Hinson said Yeshivah of Flatbush has worked through the challenge and currently uses Google Apps for Education for email, documents, spreadsheets, and collaboration software in the cloud. The institution’s infrastructure management software (i.e., controlling its firewall, routers, switches, and access points) is also cloud-based, as is the software it uses to deploy and manage mobile devices. “We have not purchased a major, enterprise­scale software package in the last year that was not cloud­based,” said Hinson. “Cloud­based systems are our ‘new normal.’”

Letting schools work with the computers they have
One of the cloud’s biggest selling points is the fact that it takes the burden of “having enough hard drive space” off the individual computer and puts it out onto the web. With programs like Adobe InDesign requiring at least 2.6GB of hard drive space for installation on a machine that’s running Windows—and with districts like Alief ISD of Houston serving 46,000 students on 46 campuses—the need for more memory was a perpetual struggle before the introduction of cloud computing. Now, Dan Blevins, instructional technology specialist for Killough Middle School/Alief ISD, said the cloud provides an easy and reliable way to both store data and deploy programs, such as Adobe Creative Cloud. As an added bonus, it also frees up the IT team to work on more “mission-critical projects,” he added. “The cloud doesn’t solve all of the problems that IT has to grapple with, but it does play a part in helping the department be more effective and efficient.”

Managing automatic upgrades, migrations, and patches
Blevins remembers the time when software upgrades meant rifling through a stack of CDs to find the one that would bring a specific instance of a program (located on a certain machine) up to code, so to speak. Replacing old equipment and software was equally as onerous, as was orchestrating frequent software patches across multiple computers. Today, much of this activity takes place in the cloud and updates are automatically received from software vendors as those updates are developed and administered. Now, Blevins’ district is in the process of migrating to Microsoft Office 365—a move that will find all teachers, staff, administrators, and students using the vendor’s cloud-based option to access and use its programs. “This takes the pressure off us to worry about what needs updating, what’s obsolete, and what new upgrades are available on the market,” he said.

Stoking new levels of student collaboration
If there’s one aspect of cloud computing that stumped even the most tech-savvy digital native, Blevins said it’s the collaborative aspect of working together in a virtual environment. “Traditionally, when a group of students would work on a project, one would sit at the computer and open up the files while everyone else hovered around, looking over his or her shoulder,” said Blevins. “Then they would switch places to give everyone a chance to work on the computer.” Now, the same group of students can be working from their own devices or computers and collaborating in real-time, online. And they don’t even have to be in the same room. This sounds good in theory, but Blevins said effective collaboration on this level comes with a definite learning curve. “Utilizing the technology is usually the easy part; the cultural shift requires the most work,” said Blevins, whose district enlists technology “champions” (e.g., teachers, administrators, para-professionals, and even students) to help smooth out the transitions and help pupils collaborate in the cloud. “It’s definitely a team effort. The more champions you have, and the more you spread the word about it, the better off you’ll be.”
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by Bridget McCrea , contributing writer for eSchool News.

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Gmail Now Warns Users When They Send And Receive Email Over Unsecured Connections

Google is marking Safer Internet Day, which falls today, by introducing new authentication features to Gmail to help better identify emails that could be..
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Forecast: Strong Growth for Software-Defined Networking -- Campus Technology

The worldwide software-defined networking (SDN) market will reach $12.5 billon by 2020, according to a forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC).
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