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 School Libraries, SAT Redesign http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/school-libraries--sat-redesign.html It will come as no surprise to learn that school libraries have taken significant cuts over the past five years. The American Library Association's new report, "The State of America's Libraries 2014," cites a 2103 the National Center for Education report that shows that school library spending on books and audiovisual materials decreased by an average of 10.5% from 2007-2008 to 2010-2011. As worrisome is the fact that from 2006 to 2011, the number of school librarians declined more than the number of other educators. The total number of school librarians decreased less than 1% in 2007-2008, 1.1% in 2008-2009, 2.3% in 2009-2010, and 4.3% in 2010-2011. It's often the school librarian who is helping other teachers get up to speed on new initiatives, showing teachers how to make videos to use in flipping classrooms, leading district- or school-wide efforts to evaluate materials for use under the Common Core and helping students gain the technology literacy skills they need to be effective learners. I understand why it's easier to cut a librarian than a classroom teacher. I just believe that schools should not have to make such choices. ]]> Friday, April 18, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/school-libraries--sat-redesign.html Speak Up Findings, Field Tests and Youth CareerConnect Grants http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/speak-up-findings--field-tests-and-youth-careerconnect-grants.html Project Tomorrow hosted a Congressional Briefing on Tuesday at which it released its new report, "The New Digital Learning Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Students' Activities and Aspirations" and discussed findings from the report and the Speak Up 2013 survey. CEO Julie Evans did a great job of presenting the report’s highlights and drawing out their implications. The report represents the views of 325,279 K-12 students representing over 9,000 schools and 2,700 districts nationwide. As always there's a lot of detail in the report. I want to focus on two main results. The report makes an important distinction between what students do in schools under the leadership/guidance of classroom teachers and how they use mobile technology outside of school to support their own learning activities. ]]> Friday, April 11, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/speak-up-findings--field-tests-and-youth-careerconnect-grants.html Report Cards for Teacher Prep Programs http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/report-cards-for-teacher-prep-programs.html An intriguing headline about improving teacher prep through report cards sent me to the Department of Education web site to learn more. It seems Tennessee, a Phase I Race to the Top winner, was able to leverage its funding to support the implementation of a 2007 legislative mandate to create a report card designed to evaluate the effectiveness of all state-approved teacher preparation programs. Report cards have become a routine accountability tool, but what I find interesting here is that they seem to be serving their purpose of helping teacher prep institutions improve their programs. The report card data allows schools to open a dialog about what is working or not working in their teacher prep programs. The <a href="https://www.ed.gov/edblogs/progress/2014/03/tennessee-improves-teacher-preparation-programs-through-report-cards/">article on the website</a> reports on several instances of program improvement spurred by report card results. Given that Schools of Education have been slow to respond to calls for change, this seems like a promising development. ]]> Friday, April 04, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/report-cards-for-teacher-prep-programs.html Commercial Support for Schools http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/commercial-support-for-schools.html Sometimes I'm a little slow on the uptake. I neglected to report that last week the Consortium for School Networking honored our own Vicki Bigham as their 2014 Private Sector Champion. This award recognizes one member each year that has made significant contributions to advance education technology. This is an award for the person who goes "above and beyond" and anyone who knows Vicki knows that describes her to a T. Vicki does a lot as a CoSN volunteer - helping with the annual conference, supporting the CETL certification program and developing the annual CoSN Horizon Report K-12 Toolkit - but this award recognizes Vicki's ultimate talent: connecting people. It's the touchstone of her professional and personal life. CoSN recognized Vicki for connecting companies to the association's work. She does the same for us in her work on the EdNET Conference and as the Snoop. Congratulations, Vicki on a well-deserved honor and thanks for all you do to keep us connected. ]]> Friday, March 28, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/commercial-support-for-schools.html CoSN's K-12 IT Leadership Survey http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/cosn-s-k-12-it-leadership-survey.html I’ve been in Washington D.C. most of the week so this will be a short note. I started out at the SIIA Ed Tech Government Forum and then moved on to the CoSN Conference. Both events were excellent – good content, interesting attendees, good networking, as well as the chance to catch up with many longtime friends and make new ones. Though the events serve different aims and audiences, some common themes emerged. Of course, there was the ongoing talk about Common Core implementation and the pending Common Core Assessments. Among newer topics, E-rate reform and its timing was on everyone’s minds as was the rapidly escalating concerns over students data privacy. I was also struck by how often educators touched on the challenges they face in trying to evaluate both more traditional Common Core related materials and the flood of apps and social media tools that seems to increase daily. Everyone wants to be sure they are purchasing or accessing the most effective resources, but the job of determining curricular relevance, standards alignment, technology compatibility and overall usefulness is daunting, especially for smaller districts where there are fewer people to share the work load. ]]> Friday, March 21, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/cosn-s-k-12-it-leadership-survey.html More Moves on Limiting Testing http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/more-moves-on-limiting-testing.html A bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to limit the number of federally-mandated standardized tests that states are required to administer. HR-4172, the Student Testing Improvement and Accountability Act, was introduced last week by Rep Chris Gibson (R-NY) and Rep Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). The legislation proposes replacing the yearly testing required in Grades 3-8 with grade span testing. The change would roll federal testing policy back to pre NCLB levels of once in grades 3-5, once in grades 6-9. Testing once in grades10-12 is the current standard, so no change is needed. The National Education Association has endorsed the bill. Likelihood of passage is slim. <br> <p>The Common Core Implementation Panel, appointed by New York Gov Cuomo, has delivered its <a href="http://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/default/files/Common_Core_Implementation_Panel_3-10-14.pdf">recommendations</a> on the course of the state's Common Core Standards implementation, some of which also center on testing.</p> ]]> Friday, March 14, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/more-moves-on-limiting-testing.html New E-Rate Public Notice; FY 2015 Budget Proposal http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/new-e-rate-public-notice--fy-2015-budget-proposal.html The Federal Communications Commission has issued a <a href="http://www.fcc.gov/document/focused-comment-sought-e-rate-modernization">Public Notice</a> seeking focused comment on E-Rate modernization. Having considered the more than 1,500 comments and ex parte filings in response to the E-rate Modernization Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), the FCC is now seeking input around three issues: (1) How best to focus E-rate funds on high-capacity broadband, especially high-speed Wi-Fi and internal connections (2) Whether and how the Commission should begin to phase down or phase out support for traditional voice services in order to focus more funding on broadband (3) Whether there are demonstration projects or experiments that the Commission should authorize as part of the E-rate program that would help the Commission test new, innovative ways to maximize cost-effective purchasing in the E-rate program. ]]> Friday, March 07, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/new-e-rate-public-notice--fy-2015-budget-proposal.html Nepris Matches STEM Experts to Classrooms; More on Student Privacy http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/nepris-matches-stem-experts-to-classrooms--more-on-student-privacy.html I don't often write about a single product, but since I didn't make it to either FETC or TCEA, I took the opportunity to see a demo of Nepris and talk with Sabari Raja. Sabari is the founder and driving force behind Nepris. What most struck me as I watched the product demo was that Nepris really does make life easier for busy classroom teachers. Nepris is an online platform that makes it easier for teachers to bring STEM industry professionals into their classrooms, connecting lessons to the real world. When teachers have a curriculum topic, activity or student project that would benefit from an industry connection, they submit a request and the Nepris system finds an industry expert with the skills that match the request and schedules an interactive, web-delivered session. Industry professionals can engage in a discussion with students, do a demonstration, help guide student projects or evaluate final student deliverables. This is definitely NOT a solution looking for a problem. Teachers will welcome this tool which eases the process of reaching out to STEM experts, saving time and energy on both sides of the equation. ]]> Friday, February 28, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/nepris-matches-stem-experts-to-classrooms--more-on-student-privacy.html School Privacy Zone Summit, States Revise CCSS http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/school-privacy-zone-summit--states-revise-ccss.html Just a few notes about upcoming events and some recent news. <br> <P> Common Sense Media is hosting the <a href="http://www.commonsensemedia.org/school-privacy-zone">School Privacy Zone Summit </A>on Feb 24, bringing together key stakeholders and policymakers to develop core principles and best practices to safeguard student privacy.<BR> <P> Monday is also the last day to submit comments on the new $250 million competition to build, develop and expand high-quality preschool programs, designed to support of President Obama's call to provide high-quality preschool for all 4-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families. <A href="http://www.ed.gov/blog/public-comment-sought-for-new-competition-to-build-develop-and-expand-high-quality-preschool-programs/?src=rotator">Go here </a> and scroll to the end of the document to find the comment box.<BR> <p> The FL State Board of Education adopted relatively minor revisions to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and renamed them the <a href=http://www.fldoe.org/eduaccsummit.asp ">Florida Standards</a>. The biggest changes involved the addition of calculus standards and the requirement to teach cursive writing at the 4th and 5th grades. The Indiana Department of Education released a draft of the new <a href="http://www.doe.in.gov/achievement/standards/public-comment-identified-k-12-content-standards-college-and-career-readiness">Indiana College and Career Ready Standards</a> posting them for public comment. ]]> Friday, February 21, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/school-privacy-zone-summit--states-revise-ccss.html LRMI, DQC Policy Brief http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/lrmi--dqc-policy-brief.html The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) is seeking input from publishers and educational content developers about if and how they are currently tagging or describing their content with metadata. A companion survey seeks similar input from states and districts, asking if and how they are currently using education metadata. LRMI wants to gauge general LRMI awareness as well as gain a more in-depth understanding of the way both communities are using metadata and how the organization can best advance the LRMI project. Both surveys are short, taking an estimated five minutes to complete. The surveys are available online at http://www.lrmi.net/ and are open now through Friday, February 21, 2014. <BR> <p>The LRMI group fielded a set of surveys like this last year, so it will be interesting to see how much aware ness and usage has grown. ]]> Friday, February 14, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/lrmi--dqc-policy-brief.html Progress on Connect-Ed http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/progress-on-connect-ed.html The first steps to realizing the Connect-Ed goal of getting high-speed Internet connectivity and educational technology into every American classroom were taken this week. The Federal Communication Commission announced that it will dedicate an additional $2 billion of E-Rate funding over the next two years to support broadband networks in schools and libraries, effectively doubling broadband spending. That doesn't necessarily translate to an increase in overall E-Rate funding. Details are still to come, but the FCC says the additional dollars will come from "reprioritizing existing E-Rate funds to focus on high-capacity Internet connectivity, increasing efficiency, and modernizing management of the E-Rate program." It seems likely that a significant portion of the promised $2 billion will come from redirecting unspent money from previous years to the broadband initiative. As of January 31, 2014, the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) estimated that there was some $600 million from previous years that could be brought forward into Funding Year 2014. ]]> Friday, February 07, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/progress-on-connect-ed.html Tech Tools Abound at FETC http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/tech-tools-abound-at-fetc.html This is one of those weeks when you will find stories posted at the News Alert web site - some higher ed headlines, a few announcements and multiple releases from the same company - that don't appear in your e-mail issue. With the Florida Educational Technology Conference in progress there was an unusually heavy volume of announcements this week. The same is likely to be true next week as well, as the action moves to Austin for the Texas Computer Education Association. <BR> <P>The rapid influx of mobile devices in American classrooms is not without challenges. Teachers find themselves managing a wide variety of devices, while trying to use them effectively to support student collaboration and information sharing. At FETC a number of companies introduced solutions designed to help teachers accomplish these goals. Read on... ]]> Friday, January 31, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/tech-tools-abound-at-fetc.html Student Privacy, NEA's Great Public Schools Fund http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/student-privacy--nea-s-great-public-schools-fund.html Common Sense Media has released results of a poll probing attitudes about the collection and use of students' personal information. It should come as no surprise that 89% of Americans are very or somewhat concerned about advertisers using kids' personal data to market to them. After the news about NSA's data collection and the target data breaches over the holidays, we all have concerns about who knows what about us and how they might use that information. Certainly we want to see student information, especially anything collected and reported by the schools, treated with care. But when you learn that 90% of adults are concerned about how non-educational interests are able to access and use students' personal information, red flags begin to go up. How did people interpret this question? Who are these "non-educational interests" and how do they get this access? Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, has been quoted as saying that it's like the wild, wild west when it comes to student privacy. There are lots of informed people who don't agree with that characterization of the student privacy issue. Concerns about privacy and security are legitimate, but I'm not sure that this kind of poll data really advances what is a very complex discussion. ]]> Friday, January 24, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/student-privacy--nea-s-great-public-schools-fund.html Budget Passes, Privacy War Continues To Simmer http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/budget-passes--privacy-war-continues-to-simmer.html <p>Quite the week for news. <br><BR>Congress passed the Consolidated Budget Act this week, the first real budget Congress has passed in years. The House passed the $1.012 trillion omnibus funding bill on Wednesday on a 359-67 vote, with the Senate following suit late Thursday on a 72-26 vote.<BR><BR> Rep. George Miller (D-CA) - a 40-year House veteran - will retire after the current term. Miller has been the Democratic point person for education policy in the House of Representatives for decades and has a solid understanding of the role of technology in education. He was instrumental in the passage of NCLB, contributed heavily to the education portion of ARRA in 2009 and has played an important role in trying to move the ESEA reauthorization forward.<BR><BR>Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) announced plans to introduce legislation to protect student privacy. Markey has grown increasingly concerned about the impact of increased collection and distribution of student data on privacy. Markey says the bill will be based on four principles: (1) student information may never be used to market products to children; (2) parents must have the right to access and amend student information held by private companies; (3) schools and private companies must safeguard student information; and (4) companies must delete student information after it is no longer needed for educational purposes. </li></p> ]]> Friday, January 17, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/budget-passes--privacy-war-continues-to-simmer.html Competitions and Funding Upswings http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/competitions-and-funding-upswings.html A reminder that the deadline for the REVERE Awards (formerly known as the AEP Awards program) is January 15. Many of you are familiar with this program, which has honored excellence across all types of resources for preK-12 and adult learners, educators and administrators for decades. The AAP PreK-12 Learning Group has made a number of changes to the competition this year, so you may want to take a look at the <a href="http://www.aepweb.org/aepweb/index.php/awards/revere-awards.html">Awards web site</A>. One change I find especially appealing is the addition of the new Beyond the Classroom category this year, designed to honor resources that are typically found outside formal learning environments. These products are not tied to formal pedagogy or curricula; they serve broader goals like stimulating the imagination or promoting creativity. Fun, exploration and learning go hand-in-hand. I look forward to learning about some new resources coming from both the usual and the unusual suspects.<br> <p> The final week of the <a href="http://nestcentral.org/announcing_2014_competition">Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition</A> is also looming, with a January 15 deadline as well. ]]> Friday, January 10, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/competitions-and-funding-upswings.html IF YOU BUILD IT, Budget Update, Student Privacy http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/if-you-build-it--budget-update--student-privacy.html As the year was winding down I got a note from O'Malley Creadon Productions that included a link to the <a href="http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/ifyoubuildit/#videos-large">newly released trailer</a> for their new documentary, IF YOU BUILD IT. The documentary follows designer-activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller to rural Bertie County, the poorest in North Carolina, where they lead their students through a year-long, full-scale design and build project that does much more than just teach basic construction skills: it shows ten teenagers the power of design-thinking to re-invent not just their town but their own sense of what's possible. This is one of those large projects that we often hear discussed - integrating design sensibilities, applied academics and vocational skills - but seldom get to see in action. The documentary was directed by Patrick Creadon and produced by Christine O'Malley and Neal Baer. Theatrical premieres of their new documentary are scheduled for January 10th in New York City and January 24th in Los Angeles. ]]> Friday, January 03, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/if-you-build-it--budget-update--student-privacy.html News Roundup http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/news-roundup-12-20-2013.html Happy Holidays, friends! Whatever holidays you are celebrating, we wish you a joyous time with your friends and family. <p>We’re grateful to have had so many valuable contributions to the News Alert from our friends and industry colleagues throughout 2013! This week’s special edition of the News Alert highlights the most read articles from the second half of the year to give you another chance at catching up on them. <p>The highlighted collection below presents the four articles published since July 2013 that received the most pageviews. Enjoy!<p>We’ll see you back here on Friday, January 3, and we wish you and yours a very happy holiday.<p> <a href="http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/is-your-k-12-sales-team-ready-for-prime-time-.html">Is Your K-12 Sales Team Ready for Prime Time?</a><p> <a href="http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/in-the-news--tablets-and-apps-in-k-12-and-what-this-means-for-app-developers.html">In the News: Tablets and Apps in K-12…And What This Means for App Developers</a><p> <a href="http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/market-insights/what-we-noticed--reflections-and-takeaways-from-ednet-2013.html">What We Noticed: Reflections and Takeaways From EdNET 2013</a><p> <a href="http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-field/the-state-of-common-core--10-district-survey.html">The State of Common Core: 10 District Survey</a> ]]> Friday, December 20, 2013 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/news-roundup-12-20-2013.html PCs and Tablets http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/pcs-and-tablets.html It will surprise no one to learn that IDC is reporting that the tablet market is booming. Sales in 2013 grew by 53.5%, reaching an estimated 221.3 million units. On the other hand, the PC market is experiencing the largest contraction in its history. IDC says that PC shipments for 2013 will record a 10.1% drop. IDC projects that sales will continue to drop through 2014 before stabilizing at just above 300 million units - barely ahead of 2008 volumes. Much of the drop off can be attributed to slowed consumer sales. Shipments to the commercial market declined by 5% year-over-year compared to nearly -15% for the consumer market. PCs are largely used for consumption and productivity tasks. Lacking a compelling replacement driver, PC lifespans continues to increase, limiting market growth. Tablet sales are expected to remain strong, but as the market matures, the rate of growth will slow. IDC projects that worldwide tablet shipment growth will slow to 22.2% in 2014, with a total of 270.5 million units shipping. By 2017, annual market growth will slow to single-digit percentages and shipments will peak at 386.3 million units. ]]> Friday, December 13, 2013 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/pcs-and-tablets.html O.W.L.S., Budget Deals and PISA http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/o-w-l-s---budget-deals-and-pisa.html I may be easily amused, but I found myself smiling broadly as I read <a href="http://www.waterstones.com/blog/2013/12/introducing-o-w-l-s/?auid=1005&source=buyat&affid=Skimbit&awinaid=78888">Waterstones' announcement</A> of its O.W.L.S. delivery service - a fleet of specially trained owls that will deliver packages within thirty minutes of ordering. Even before reading Waterstones' tongue-in cheek Q&A about the service, I had visions of Ron Weasley's (Harry Potter's friend) rather unpredictable owl battering away at my bedroom windows rather than finding its way to the balcony where I would happily have set out water and birdseed (I don't do mice!). No launch date as of yet. Waterstones notes that it takes ages to train owls to do anything.<BR> <p>Perhaps we need to come up with an alternative delivery mechanism for crafting the federal budget and dealing with sequestration? Though there does now appear to be a small glimmer of hope in Congress for at least a short term budget fix and some relaxation of the sequester. Read on…. ]]> Friday, December 06, 2013 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/o-w-l-s---budget-deals-and-pisa.html Youth CareerConnect, Wavering on the Waivers http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/youth-careerconnect--wavering-on-the-waivers.html President Obama has announced a small grant program - Youth CareerConnect - focused on encouraging the scaling up of "evidence-based high school models that will transform the high school experience for America's youth." In his 2013 State of the Union address, the President addressed high school reform, talking about partnerships involving innovative high schools, colleges and employers aimed at graduating students better equipped for the demands of a high-tech economy. The President included $300 million in new funding at the Department of Education in his 2014 Budget request, but we all know that's not going anyplace. Funding for Youth CareerConnect will be coming from the Department of Labor who will use up to $100 million in revenues from the H-1B visa program to fund approximately 25 to 40 grants for individual or multi-site projects. ]]> Friday, November 22, 2013 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/youth-careerconnect--wavering-on-the-waivers.html