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Texas Educational Code Sec. 30A.002(b) Discriminates Against Students: A Letter To Texas Policy Makers

Texas Educational Code Sec. 30A.002(b) Discriminates Against Students: A Letter To Texas Policy Makers | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it

I am writing to you today to appeal to you for assistance for my grandson, Zak, a Texas third grader. Please allow me to share a little background on Zak:

Zak resides in Houston, Texas. His address is in the Pasadena School District. Zak has severe Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). This heart disease in a progressive one that causes Zak’s heart to thicken abnormally. In Zak’s case, his septum measures 31mm which is approximately three times that of a normal child’s heart. The consequences of this can be fatal. It’s a genetic condition which has greatly impacted his family. Zak’s aunt died at 16, another aunt died at 33, his grandmother died at 58 all from HCM. In addition, his father is on the heart transplant list at the age of 34 because of his end-stage HCM. His older brother Quest, also has HCM and is currently less severe. Zak is scheduled to have heart surgery on August 7th to implant a defibrillator and pacemaker this year.

Zak attended first grade in Pasadena ISD. The situation did not work well and and his condition suffered. Not feeling there was another choice, my daughter homeschooled Zak last year. There are three Texas teachers in this family which is positive.

However, we would love for Zak to be able to attend Texas Virtual Public School. In fact, due to some complications of his health, his older brother will be attending virtual public school, as well. Quest, his older brother, was enrolled with no problems.

However, Zak has been told he’s ineligible for enrollment in a virtual public school. The reason, it seems is in the Education Code 30A.002(b) which states: “A student is eligible to enroll full-time in courses provided through the state virtual school network only if the student: (1) was enrolled in a public school in this state in the preceding school year…”

This section of the code is having a profound and critical impact on Zak and his educational opportunities simply because his health required a year of homeschooling. Zak is not allowed to enroll in a program that would have afforded him the guidance of the Texas Education Board as well as allow him a sense of normalcy by enrolling and interacting with this classmates and teachers in the online virtual school environment. Considering that Zak has spent his life as a resident of Texas and is a resident of a Texas school district, considering him ineligible for the benefits afforded to any other Texas student is simply wrong. It’s even more difficult to understand when the situation is based upon consequences from a life-threatening health issue.

I am writing to you to ask for your proactive leadership in changing Sec. 30A.002(b) of the Texas Educational Code. Please support my plea to change this section to provide equitable opportunity for Texas children to attend the state virtual public school as soon as possible so that Zak and other students like him do not have to continue to be excluded from this opportunity. Most importantly, please ensure that students who have serious health conditions are provided the opportunity to participate in the state virtual school alongside those students who are lucky enough to be healthy.

I look forward to hearing from you on this timely matter.

Sincerely,
Carolynn Mortensen

Note:
Along with my role as Zak’s grandmother, I have also been a Texas Teacher for over 20 years!

 

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Teachers. Technology. Together.
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MyWeb4Ed. Teachers. Technology. Together.

MyWeb4Ed.  Teachers. Technology. Together. | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it

Carol Mortensen has twenty-four years of educational experience. She began as a substitute teacher as she worked toward her degree. Upon graduation, Carol began teaching middle school Math and Algebra I and served as the technology liaison for her campus. She served as a teacher for 16 years and was lucky to have taught at Hillcrest Middle School, a 1:1 campus where every student was issued a laptop computer. She also worked as an Instructional Technology Trainer for her district providing training and technology integration support for campus and district staff, faculty and administrators.


Carol has served as the Campus Technology Integration Specialist at Fairmont Junior High and South High School in Deer Park Independent School District. In this position, Carol provided integration support and training to the students, staff, faculty, and administrators at the campus and district level. In addition, Carol is an online Math instructor for Aventa Learning and K12.


The Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) named Carol the Classroom Teacher of the Year for her innovative and creative use of technology to create a 24/7 virtual classroom using her classroom website. Carol has presented at school districts throughout Texas as well as state and local conferences on a variety of technology integration topics. Her article on the use of websites as an instructional tool was recently published in the TechEdge Magazine. In February 2011, her article, Lessons Learning In a 1:1 Classroom, was published by TechEdge. The article will be republished in ISTE‘s Learning and Leading magazine. She was named Fairmont Junior High’s Teacher of the Year for the 2011-2012 school year.

 

Carol is passionate about the positive impact that technology has on student achievement. Her presentations are packed with real-life solutions, quality resources, and humor. She has an ability to connect with her audience and motivate them to take technology integration to a higher quality level.

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kasim's comment, September 17, 2011 4:50 AM

Hi may be this site can help u http://www.aboutcollegedegree.com
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Add-Ons For Online Educators and Students - Add-ons for Firefox

Add-Ons For Online Educators and Students - Add-ons for Firefox | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
Carol Mortensen's insight:

Great Add-Ons for Educators in Firefox

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colwiz - An App for research

colwiz - An App for research | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
Collective Wizdom - An R&D Platform for Researchers, Academics and Students.

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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emaze - For Online Presentations

emaze - For Online Presentations | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
emaze is the new online presentation tool for people who want more than PowerPoint. AMAZING PRESENTATIONS IN MINUTES! No software required. Start now.

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Glenda Morris's curator insight, April 16, 5:24 PM

EMaze looks like a great web tool for students - needs further exploration, another alternative to PowerPoint

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12 Ways To Share Almost Any File With Your Students

12 Ways To Share Almost Any File With Your Students | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
12 Ways To Share Almost Any File With Your Students

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Dr. Laura Sheneman's curator insight, May 4, 4:06 PM

Great list to keep in mind.  There's always more than one way to share out with others.

Nicky Mohan's curator insight, May 5, 3:01 AM

Want student buy in? Tools to help you with teaching, learning, assessment & feedback

 

niftyjock's curator insight, May 5, 9:38 PM

sharing files is often problematic, some of these work others don't

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Calendly - Scheduling appointments and meetings is super easy with Calendly.

Calendly - Scheduling appointments and meetings is super easy with Calendly. | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
Say goodbye to phone and email tag for finding the perfect meeting time with Calendly. It's 100% free, super easy to use and you'll love our customer service.
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Embedly makes your content more engaging and easier to share

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Embedly delivers the ultra-fast, easy to use products and tools for richer sites and apps.

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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ChatterPix - Add voice to images

ChatterPix -  Add voice to images | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
Get ChatterPix - by Duck Duck Moose on the App Store. See screenshots and ratings, and read customer reviews.

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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KB...Konnected's curator insight, May 23, 8:55 AM

It's free! They also have an app for kids 13 and under. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/chatterpix-kids-by-duck-duck/id734046126?mt=8  It's free too!

Meryl van der Merwe's curator insight, May 24, 8:04 AM

Looks great for getting kids to present reviews of work

Maryalice Leister's curator insight, May 24, 9:16 AM

I just know there are people out there who will take this idea and run with it....the digital world continues to underscore our playful and creative selves. Have fun!

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How to Schedule Reminders with Boomerang for Gmail (late 2013) - YouTube

http://www.boomeranggmail.com/l/email-reminders.html How to schedule reminders with Boomerang for Gmail — now fully integrated with Gmail new compose! http:/...
Carol Mortensen's insight:

Have to admit, this is worthwhile!

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Background Burner - Instantly Remove Backgrounds from Images and Photos - Bonanza

Background Burner - Instantly Remove Backgrounds from Images and Photos - Bonanza | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
Free online background remover to remove the background from any image or photo. The fastest way to remove backgrounds online.
Carol Mortensen's insight:

This is AWESOME!!!!!

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Goglogo - Create your OWN Google Search Page - Google Logo Maker - Google Logo Creator

Goglogo - Create your OWN Google Search Page - Google Logo Maker - Google Logo Creator | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
Carol Mortensen's insight:

Like Google's Style?  You can type in anything and it will create a Google-Style logo for you!

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How to Use iPads for Personal Professional Development - Indiana Jen

How to Use iPads for Personal Professional Development - Indiana Jen | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it

":As an educator, when I am given a new tool my first thought is “how can I use this in the classroom? How will I roll this out?” However, I have learned over the years that I need to pause, step back, and think, “Okay, how is this tool going to make my life and job easier? How can I use iPad to make me a better teacher?” Before I rush ahead with how I am going to roll out this device in my classrooms, I need to effectively incorporate it into my life and figure out how to use iPads to make me a better teacher."

 


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MyWeb4Ed » Blog Archive » How Many Students In Your Classroom Are Affected?

MyWeb4Ed » Blog Archive » How Many Students In Your Classroom Are Affected? | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it

The face of a hero - The heart of HCM.  Zak, age 10, is waiting for a new heart.  Learn more how you can help and what this means to you, as an educator!

Carol Mortensen's insight:

Three upcoming heart transplants in this family!  I’m just sitting here thinking about this and it really makes my head and my heart spin.  I truly wish that we could bring about awareness of hypertrophy cardiomyopathy (HCM) through the sharing of our family story.  Imagine the lives that could be saved because someone learned about this and got that priceless checkup that brought about awareness before it was too late.

Yes, it is so difficult but we are so very blessed that we know about this disease before it took the lives of these precious boys and their dad.  Because we know, we can minimize risk.  This disease is different for everybody for us, it is malignant and aggressive.  If our story could make a difference to someone, even one person, who might have a fighting chance because they know, it would mean the world to each and every one of us.

I am a teacher, Zak’s Mom is a teacher, Zak’s aunt is a teacher….think about it…1 in 500 people have this.  If you are an educator, how many students does that mean are in your school who have this disease and probably have no idea?  We have to get this word out…to inform…to share….

Learn more about Zak and his family by following him at www.facebook.com/aheartforzak or www.cotaforzakm.com.

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Add-Ons For Online Educators and Students - Add-ons for Firefox

Add-Ons For Online Educators and Students - Add-ons for Firefox | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
Carol Mortensen's insight:

Firefox Add-Ons for the online educator

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Coggle - for Mind Maps

Coggle - for Mind Maps | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
Thinking, rethought. Coggle is designed to help you make sense of complex things - it's a shared workspace to help your team work more effectively together

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Kaylin Burleson's curator insight, May 2, 1:54 PM

I can see this being used in so many ways.   I wish I had known about this as we started our integrated unit on human trafficking.  

Pierre Mongin 's curator insight, May 4, 6:02 AM

Une application de mind mapping souple et intéressante pour sa roue de choix des couleurs

Bertrand MOULIN 's curator insight, May 5, 5:50 AM

Une solution de mindmapping à évaluer.

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More Resources for Google Forms

More Resources for Google Forms | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
Earlier this week, contributor Beth Still shared an introduction to Google Forms. In this article, we give you a curated list of other resources where you can find more about this digital tool, bot...

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Ana Cristina Pratas's curator insight, April 16, 11:53 AM

And Google training:


Google for Education


Docs & Drive


juanjovilar's curator insight, April 20, 5:33 PM

Recursos para aprender las diferentes herramientas ofimáticas y aplicaciones educativas de Google.

Martyn Cooper's curator insight, April 21, 3:28 AM

Do you use Google Docs?  The OU does. I do for joint paper writing.

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Record Your Screen for Free on Mac or PC

Record Your Screen for Free on Mac or PC | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
If you need free screen recording tools to record your computer, then look no further. These are some of the best screen capture software options available today!

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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ReMarkable - An App to submit and return assignments

ReMarkable - An App to submit and return assignments | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Viljenka Savli's curator insight, May 1, 4:15 AM

Another useful app / tool for sending / receiving /  commenting students' assignments.

Karine Thonnard's curator insight, May 1, 8:59 AM

add your insight...

 

 

 
carldowse's curator insight, August 25, 3:45 PM

This looks interesting and easy to use and offers an alternative mobile-freindy alternative for those who aren't keen on Google Drive.

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Voice Dream Reader - App

Voice Dream Reader - App | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
Get Voice Dream Reader on the App Store. See screenshots and ratings, and read customer reviews.

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Ana Cristina Pratas's curator insight, May 15, 10:41 AM

Voice Reading
- Listen to documents like it's music, with play-pause button, gestures or remote control
- Continues reading when you lock the screen 
- Change voice and reading speed (50-700 words per minute) on the fly
- Remembers the voice and speech rate used for each document
- Correct pronunciation with your own pronunciation dictionary

Marcelo Triviño's curator insight, May 17, 8:36 PM

Aún cuando es paga, esta disponible en tongbu... La app que sin jailbreak las instala

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Nabble - Free forum & other embeddable apps

Nabble - Free forum & other embeddable apps | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
Create a free embeddable forum, mailing list, photo gallery, news page and blog. All apps are fully customizable, simple, instant setup, choose different formats and skins! Add your free forum or any other hosted application to your website quick and easy!

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Minerva Bueno's curator insight, May 25, 8:16 PM

añada su visión ...

alexislucas's curator insight, May 26, 4:16 PM

efficace si l'on n'a pas d'ENT mais basique

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How to Migrate Your Google Data from One Account to Another

How to Migrate Your Google Data from One Account to Another | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
When you have multiple Gmail accounts and a Google Apps account, you might have to sign in to one for Google Voice, into another for docs and Gmail, and use the third for Google+. You might really like everything in one place so you don't have to keep switching again and again. Luckily, there are ways to do just that.
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Readdle

Readdle | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
Carol Mortensen's insight:

This is free today on AppsGoneFree for iPhone and iPad.  It is usually 6.99.  Don't miss it!!!

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Google Chrome's top 10 hidden features - Telegraph

Google Chrome's top 10 hidden features - Telegraph | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
From the iPad interface to quick calculations, Daniel Johnson brings you 10 of Google Chrome's best hidden features
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An Open Letter to All: Helping Zak...Making A Difference For A Second Chance At Life | Zak Mortensen

An Open Letter to All: Helping Zak...Making A Difference For A Second Chance At Life | Zak Mortensen | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
Carol Mortensen's insight:

There are so many ways to help Zak realize his dream of running again and ensuring he has a second chance at life!  Just reading this is one and we thank you for that!!  First, please let me share what we are trying to accomplish.

 

About Zak

 

Zak is 10 years old and was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) when he was 4.  He and his older brother, then 8, were diagnosed on the same day.  The doctor provided little hope to Zak’s family.  They sought out the guidance of doctor’s at Texas Children’s Hospital where the discussed all options, including heart transplant.  In order to provide the best care for Zak and his older brother, the family moved to Houston.  Since the age of 4, Zak and his brother have not been able to run or do the things that little boys love to do!  He dreams of running someday and we dream of watching him run.

 

The road has been bumpy and Zak’s disease is progressive and aggressive.  The family had already lost Zak’s two aunts, one at the age of 16 and the other at the age of 33, and their paternal grandmother to this disease.  Their father, originally diagnosed as mild, is now seriously ill from HCM and in 2013, was too ill for a heart transplant.  He received an LVAD in hopes that he would improve enough to get a heart transplant.  He is expected to be listed for his new heart in June, 2014.  Zak’s older brother, also considered mild, was found to have heart scarring and the thickness of his heart doubled in a year’s time.  He received an ICD/Pacemaker and will need a new heart in the future. 

 

Today is Zak’s 396th day on the heart transplant list.  In 2013, a month before he was listed for his heart transplant, Zak’s ICD saved his life.  He struggles with shortness of breath and has been struggling lately with a junctional rhythm causing the top of his heart to beat out of sync with the bottom of his heart.  The result is bouts of dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and weakness.  Yet, our heart hero remains positive and never fails to smile.  He’s mischievous, loving, and has an amazing sense of humor.  Most of all, he is brave.

 

Our Goals

 

As a group of volunteers made up of family and friends, our primary goal is to raise $50,000 for transplant-related expenses.  The truth is the financial burden is overwhelming, even with insurance.  Therefore, donations to COTA in Honor of Zak M. are needed.  The Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is a national charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-needy patients and donations are 100% tax deductible. 

If you would like to hold a fundraiser for Zak, please contact Carol Mortensen, Community Coordinator, at zaksheart@gmail.com.  Or, you can check out our current fundraisers and join in.  We have one that is very easy called "Can You Spare A Dollar" going on right now and you can learn more by clicking here.

We are also selling this A Heart For Zak coffee mug and 100% of the proceeds are being sent directly to COTA in Honor of Zak M.  Just click the mug to get yours.

 

Not everyone has the ability to donate and we sure do understand that.  But, there is a very easy way to donate simply by connection to COTA in Honor of Zak M. when you make online purchases, search, or even play games online.  Just go to http://www.goodsearch.com/ and sign up.  Be sure to pick the Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) for Zak M. as your charity.  Then, use Goodsearch to perform searches and use GoodShop when you purchase online.  There are many other no-cost activities that will also result in a donation to COTA for Zak M.  The companies associated have agreed to donate a % of the sales to the charity you selected.  This costs nothing to you but helps so much!  Last year, $150 dollars was donated to COTA in Honor of Zak M. and was raised just by people using Goodsearch to search and Goodshop when shopping.

 

We have a second goal of spreading awareness of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) in hopes that others will seek medical care.  Because this disease is often undiagnosed, we hope that knowing about Zak and his family will encourage others to find out if they are affected.  While the disease is not curable and is progressive, knowing that it is present can help them take precautions to minimize risk.  Therefore, may we ask that you share Zak's story by encouraging others to like his page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aheartforzak, following his journey at www.twitter.com/aheartforzak)">Twitter (www.twitter.com/aheartforzak), Instagram (www.instagram.com/aheartforzak), and here on this blog.  Please share, share, and share again the posts, tweets, and blog entries.

And, most of all, please accept our thanks for the amazing outpouring of support for our brave boy!!!  The journey has been difficult but you all have definitely made the road easier to bear.

Sincerely,

Carol Mortensen
Community Coordinator, COTA For Zak M.

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12 Cool Google Tricks

12 Cool Google Tricks | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
A collection of 12 Hidden and Cool Google Tricks that will give you some time off your boring daily routine.

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MyWeb4Ed » Blog Archive » Warning: Educators – Beware of Symbaloo’s Twists and Turns

MyWeb4Ed » Blog Archive » Warning: Educators – Beware of Symbaloo’s Twists and Turns | MyWeb4Ed | Scoop.it
Carol Mortensen's insight:

Please allow me to tell my sad story with Symbaloo!  As you all know, I was passionate about them and I poured hours upon hours into developing educational webmixes on specific content.  I was with them through their growing pains and there were many.  I remember when they first had a Pro account and I was the first one to purchase one.  It was a nightmare and my webmixes were separated, mixed, and put under a different name.  At the time, Daniella who worked with them, kept trying to help me with the large amount of problems it caused.  I was using it so frequently and with large groups of people, the situation was nightmarish.  The problem was that they were a company who had no real understanding of the education world and their role in it.  They needed educators for that purpose and I was glad to help.   If only I had a crystal ball to see the future....Click to read more!

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