EdNET Insight - From the Editor http://www.ednetinsight.com en-us http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Central by Imulus (http://imulus.com) info@ednetinsight.com Broadband Expansion http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/broadband-expansion.html Underserved schools are getting some extra support in their quest to access high-speed broadband services. The Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition - an internet access advocacy group - released its new <a href="http://www.shlb.org/action-plan">"Broadband Action Plan"</a href> last week. The plan is made up of 10 research papers that detail strategies for ensuring that anchor institutions - schools, libraries, healthcare providers, community colleges, public media, public housing, and other community organizations - have access to gigabit internet speeds. These anchor institutions are central to ensuring that broadband Internet is available to those most in need. While a lot of attention is paid to residential or commercial access to high-speed broadband, connecting anchor institution is a cost-effective way to ensure that every community and every individual has high-speed access to the Internet The action plan is part of the coalition's broader "Grow2Gig+" initiative, a push to connect all anchor institutions to gigabit speeds by 2020. ]]> Friday, July 22, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/broadband-expansion.html FY 207 Deadline Looms http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/fy-207-deadline-looms.html As this legislative session draws to an end, Congress has been very busy, especially on the House side. On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee passed the 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services funding bill. Funding for the Department of Education was set at $67 billion, down $1.3 billion from FY2016. The Senate set Department of Education FY17 funding at $67.8 billion. In something of a surprise, the House bill appropriated $1 billion for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant (SSAEG) program. That's a lot more than the Senate's $300 million appropriation, though still under the $1.6 billion level authorized in ESSA. ]]> Friday, July 15, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/fy-207-deadline-looms.html EdNET 2016 Program, Platform Integration http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/ednet-2016-program--platform-integration.html The program for <i><A href="http://ednetconference.com/">EdNET 2016</I></a href> is now available and as always Vicki Bigham, our conference manager, has done a terrific job. Maybe because I've been knee deep in ISTE coverage, reviewing the program I see a number of parallels to ISTE. Of course, EdNET takes a business perspective, examining market trends with an eye to devising business strategies based on those trends. The perspective may differ, but the core trends and issues are common to both educators and providers. EdNET sessions will focus on the implications of ESSA, bridging the educator-provider trust gap, new marketplaces and their role in procurement reform, challenges from non-traditional players and market drivers and moving from storytelling to storymaking, among others. Attendees will also hear from our traditional panel of district superintendents as well as a panel of classroom teachers.It's a meeting you can't afford to miss. <p> This issue wraps up the last of the ISTE announcements that crossed my desk. ]]> Friday, July 08, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/ednet-2016-program--platform-integration.html Google Expeditions, Amazon Inspire http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/google-expeditions--amazon-inspire.html I don't remember the last time I saw so many announcements come out of the annual ISTE conference. There were a lot of new companies and organizations represented and I've tried to cast as broad a net as possible, but know I've missed things. I've posted some things only to the web site - mostly things not related to new/updated products and services, so this would be a good week to just click through to the web site, where you will be able to see everything, along with a brief summary that should help you decide if you want to dive deeper. <BR> Both Google and Amazon got a lot of attention at ISTE this year. Google has been courting the school market for some time now, both with Google Apps for Education and Google Classroom. Amazon Inspire is Amazon's first formal focus on the school market. ]]> Friday, July 01, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/google-expeditions--amazon-inspire.html Making in the Spotlight http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/making-in-the-spotlight.html President Obama made use of his bully pulpit that past week to focus the nation's attention on the Maker Movement. The president has been promoting making since 2014, when he launched the Nation of Makers initiative to ensure more Americans of all ages and backgrounds have greater opportunities to design, build, and manufacture. The 2016 National Week of Making (June 17- 23) was marked by hundreds of events nationwide to celebrate making and innovation. And hundreds of organizations renewed or made new commitments to support making. ]]> Friday, June 24, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/making-in-the-spotlight.html FY 2017 Appropriations Move Forward http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/fy-2017-appropriations-move-forward.html Congress has been quietly working on FY 2017 appropriations bills. The budget process is likely to be much less dramatic this year, though it's not clear that all 12 bills will be passed by both houses of Congress before the new federal fiscal year starts on October 1, 2016. On June 9, the Senate Appropriations Committee, with bipartisan support, passed the bill that funds the Department of Education. Given the tight budget cap, FY 2017 appropriations levels are fairly close to those approved in FY 2016. One major disappointment for many observers was the $300 million funding level approved for ESSA's new Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants. ]]> Friday, June 17, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/fy-2017-appropriations-move-forward.html Technology Counts http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/technology-counts.html This week, <i>Education Week</I> released <i>Technology Counts</I>, its annual look at the state of technology in American schools. It’s an interesting overview that draws on teacher survey results, profiles some teachers on the leading edge of technology integration and includes several solid analytic pieces that examine the challenges of moving toward more meaningful technology use. ]]> Friday, June 10, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/technology-counts.html Ed Week Sunsets Diplomas Count http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/ed-week-sunsets-diplomas-count.html <i>Education Week</i> released the tenth annual edition of "Diplomas Count" this week and announced that it was ending its annual spotlight coverage of graduation rates with this 2016 edition. When the first "Diplomas Count" was published back in 2006, there was no uniformity in the ways states reported graduation rate rates to the federal government. <i>Education Week</i> developed its own uniform measure - the Cumulative Promotion Index - which allowed it to calculate graduation rates for every school district in the country and report results for the nation as a whole. ]]> Friday, June 03, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/ed-week-sunsets-diplomas-count.html Research Resources http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/research-resources.html This week I want to share a few resources that some readers may find helpful. I continue to believe that research will be increasingly important as schools move begin to adapt to the increased flexibility - and responsibility - afforded by ESSA. It's a big job for a company to keep up with what's happening in the education research world, but there are some resources that can help. Two of my favorites, because they are compact, easy to read and help keep me up to date on approaches to effectiveness research, are newsletters from Empirical Education and SEG Measurement. ]]> Friday, May 27, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/research-resources.html SBIR Supports Ed Tech Developers http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/sbir-supports-ed-tech-developers.html The Department of Education/Institute of Education Sciences' Small Business Innovation Research (ED/IES SBIR) program recently announced the award of 14 new contracts for FY 2016. The IES/SBIR program provides funding to small business firms and partners for the research and development of commercially viable education technology products designed to support student learning, teacher practice, or school administration in education or special education. The Department of Education's SBIR program has an annual budget of $7.5M. <br><br> There are some familiar names on this year's grantee list. Among the nine Phase I ($150,000, six-month contracts) grantees are EdSurge, Fablevision, Schell Games, and SpryFox. Teachley won a two-year $900,000 Phase II contract. ]]> Friday, May 20, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/sbir-supports-ed-tech-developers.html Speak UP! 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/speak-up--2016.html Project Tomorrow held its annual Congressional Briefing earlier this month and released "From Print to Pixel: The role of videos, games, animations and simulation within K-12 education," which documents the key national finding from the Speak Up 2015 survey. For 13 years now, Speak UP has examined how students are using and would like to see digital tools used for learning. Additional data is gathered from teachers, librarians, administrators, parents and community members which sometimes provides interesting contrasts, not just to student views, but also among the various groups of adult survey respondents. ]]> Friday, May 13, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/speak-up--2016.html Excellent STEM Teachers http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/excellent-stem-teachers.html During the celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week, President Obama announced progress towards his goal of preparing an additional 100,000 STEM teachers by 2021. The President issued the original challenge in his 2011 State of the Union address. To address that challenge 100Kin10 was formed, a network of 280 organizations, including school districts, universities, foundations, corporations, museums, nonprofits, and government agencies. To date, the network has trained more than 30,000 teachers. 100Kin10's partners have made commitments to recruit and train an additional 70,000 by 2021, meeting the President's goal. 100Kin10 reports that these projections have been verified by the American Institutes for Research, which has concluded the estimates are reasonable. ]]> Friday, May 06, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/excellent-stem-teachers.html STEM for Early Learners http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/stem-for-early-learners.html In a now familiar Obama administration pattern, a White House Early STEM Symposium brought together leaders from the public and private sectors who have committed to promoting active STEM learning for the country's youngest children. The Summit, presented in partnership with the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services and Invest in US, highlighted new steps being taken by the Obama Administration, including the development of new research grants, to improve early elementary science outcomes. ]]> Friday, April 29, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/stem-for-early-learners.html Assessing Soft Skills http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/assessing-soft-skills.html It appears that the educational research community is concerned about growing interest on the part of schools in measuring soft skills like “grit” or a “growth mindset.” They’re not the only ones. It’s been disconcerting to watch school systems begin to consider adding measures of these soft skills to their accountability systems. At a time when everyone seems to agree that there is too much testing going, why would schools want to add still more assessments? As I read the research it’s not totally clear to me that we have solid evidence that some of the more recently embraced soft skills can be taught effectively. I know for sure we don’t have the instruments in place to measure them effectively. ]]> Friday, April 22, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/assessing-soft-skills.html Science Fair and STEM Literacy http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/science-fair-and-stem-literacy.html The President hosted the 2016 Science Fair at the White House this Wednesday. This year marked the sixth and final year of the President hosting some of the nation's brightest and most inquisitive young minds. More than 130 students from more than 30 states, as well as student alumni from each of the prior five White House Science Fairs participated. Each of these students had been competitors and winners from a broad range of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competitions across the country. Following the Science Fair, White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett moderated a panel discussion with students from each of the previous White House Science Fairs. The poise and intelligence of these young people is truly inspiring. Their advice: Start early and try science—you just might like it; don't stop with an idea, work on implementing it; and do what you love. ]]> Friday, April 15, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/science-fair-and-stem-literacy.html It's Testing Season http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/it-s-testing-season.html The nation's schools are in the midst of their 2015-16 assessment cycle, which began in March is some states and will extend through early June. On the whole, it seems a lot calmer than last year when a generalized feeling of anxiety about the consequences of the first required administration of Common Core summative assessments (then largely delivered by PARCC and SBAC) reached a fever pitch. That's not to say everyone is happy. Some parents continue to opt their children out of testing and several teachers' groups continue to lobby against "too much testing." ]]> Friday, April 08, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/it-s-testing-season.html Horizon Report: 2016 Higher Education Edition http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/horizon-report--2016-higher-education-edition.html I don't write about higher education very much. It's not an area where I have a lot of experience and as a market, higher ed is very different from K-12. But as I read through the higher ed edition of the New Media Consortium's Horizon Report 2016, I was struck by the number of similarities. NMC identifies six barriers that are impeding technology adoption. As it does in its K-12 edition, NMC categorizes these barriers as solvable, difficult and wicked hard. <br> One of the solvable barriers is digital literacy. The report indicates that weak digital literacy skills are a problem that reaches well beyond higher ed. It's the familiar problem of students who may have grown up surrounded by technology, but are not necessarily very good at using it effectively. Students may excel when using digital products in familiar and predictable ways, but be unable to apply those skills to unfamiliar tasks or use them to solve more challenging problems than creating a play list or taking a selfie. The report's authors see this barrier as solvable since there are a lot of efforts going on to address the problem, many of which seem promising. ]]> Friday, April 01, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/horizon-report--2016-higher-education-edition.html SEA Capacity, Infrastructure Spending http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/sea-capacity--infrastructure-spending.html I've been trying to catch up on the news this past week or so and must admit a lot of stories have me thinking "What did you expect?" Education Week and other outlets have been reporting on State Education Agencies (SEAs). When Congress crafted the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), its intent was to return control over many education policies and decisions to the states and local districts. While the district and individual schools know best what students need, the resources available to meet those needs and the barriers that might exist to more innovative and flexible solutions, local control is not always the most efficient way to get things done. If districts act in isolation, there are a lot of people working to recreate the same wheel. SEAs play an important role in fostering collaboration, coordinating efforts and disseminating promising practices. But most SEAs are stretched just trying to maintain their current level of effort. They have limited capacity to take on new roles and responsibilities. ]]> Friday, March 25, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/sea-capacity--infrastructure-spending.html Evidence-based Programs in ESSA http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/evidence-based-programs-in-essa.html Last week I briefly described the transition from current education policy to full implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), especially in Title I. There is another area of ESSA that is of particular interest to instructional materials provider. While the Department of Education has been talking about evidence since the passage of No Child Left Behind, this is the first time that the legislation has incorporated a definition of evidence. NCLB was peppered with references to "scientifically-based research," calling on schools to adopt instructional materials and programs based on rigorous research that proves their effectiveness. NCLB was signed into law early in 2012, the same year that Grover "Russ" Whitehurst was appointed director of the Institute of Education Sciences and that the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) was established. WWC was created to promote informed education decision making by serving as a central and neutral source of scientific evidence about "what works" in education. ]]> Friday, March 18, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/evidence-based-programs-in-essa.html ESSA Transition, Making http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/essa-transition--making.html The Department of Education has issued an <a href="http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/essa/faq/essa-faqs.pdf">updated FAQ</a href> about transitioning to ESSA. For the 2016-17 school year, non-competitive grant programs will be funded and operate under the rules in place before ESSA was adopted. The Department will make FY2016 formula grant awards for the 2016-2017 school year in <i>the same manner and using the same allocation formulas</i> it did with FY 2015 formula grant funds. That means your Title I customers, along with ELL and the smaller formula-based programs should receive the same amount of funding they received in the previous school year (depending on the overall FY 20167 appropriation) and the programs should operate normally. The same is true for special education which operates under its own authorizing legislation, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. ]]> Friday, March 11, 2016 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/essa-transition--making.html