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 AIM Expenditures, News Items http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/aim-expenditures--news-items.html MDR released its annual accounting of public school districts' spending for all instructional materials (AIM), confirming that the school market is finally in recovery. Total AIM expenditures for K-12 public schools were $11.8 billion in 2013-2014, a 9% increase and the first increase in AIM spending since 2007-08. Though still not back to pre-recession levels, this dramatic increase pumped over $964 million into the school materials market. AIM is defined as all supplies and materials used for instructional purposes, including textbooks, instructional supplies, books, magazines, and newspaper subscriptions purchased for the school library, educational media and software, but excluding hardware technology. ]]> Friday, July 31, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/aim-expenditures--news-items.html ConnectHome http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/connecthome.html The President launched the next phase of his plan to expand access to high-speed Internet. Building on ConnectED, with its goal of connecting 99% of K-12 students to high-speed Internet in their classrooms over the next five years, ConnectHome aims to ensure that students also have high-speed access from their homes. <p> This is a relatively small effort. ConnectHome is focused on increasing Internet access for low-income families in 28 communities, including the Choctaw Nation. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in collaboration with EveryoneOn and US Ignite, is working with private- and public-sector leaders to build local partnerships that will bring broadband, technical assistance, and digital literacy training to students living in public and assisted housing. Mayors in the identified communities have committed to reallocate local funds, leverage local programming, and use regulatory tools to support this initiative and the expansion of broadband access in low-income communities. ]]> Friday, July 24, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/connecthome.html WA Opt-Out Statistics, Market Maps http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/wa-opt-out-statistics--market-maps.html On July 16, the Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act, its bill reauthorizing ESEA, on an 81-17 vote. After more than a week of debate, the bill was not changed in any substantive way from its original format. None of the amendments focused on strengthening the bill's accountability features passed, though Democrats mustered 43 (including one Republican) votes for a fairly strong accountability measure. That's enough to block the passage of a conference bill that does not include more accountability measures. The bill now moves to conference to iron out the differences between the House and Senate version It will require careful negotiation to create a final bill that both chambers can pass. ]]> Friday, July 17, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/wa-opt-out-statistics--market-maps.html ESEA Reauthorization, Common Core Test Results http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/esea-reauthorization--common-core-test-results.html Today's News Alert is very long, including as many of the news headlines that came out of last week's ISTE Conference as I could find. I've shortened headlines as much as possible to save space and for companies that made multiple announcements I only included the one I thought most news worthy in this e-mail edition. All the headlines can be found by browsing the various sections of the newsletter at <a href="http://app.mdr.info/e/er?s=1137903935&lid=437&elq=bceed7ac26604423929900a23f381613&elqaid=1166&elqat=1&elqTrackId=03f9ced6ac3148fb9869db20d60188f5">ednetinsight.com</a href> or clicking through on the section you're interested in in this e-mail. <p> Having missed ISTE, I can only report on what crossed my desk (though a number of people I talked with reported high energy and big crowds, "more like the old days"). Platforms continue to proliferate. It's too early to tell how many platforms the schools will ultimately support, in part because the market continues to evolve. In the end, a platform vendor has to work hard at developing an complete ecosystem - the more you can access via the platform, the more people you have doing that and the more collaboration the platform supports -- , the more chance the platform has of becoming an "old standard" down the road. ]]> Friday, July 10, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/esea-reauthorization--common-core-test-results.html Lifeline Expansion, FY16 Education Budget http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/lifeline-expansion--fy16-education-budget.html Last week, the Federal Communications Commission voted along partisan lines to expand the Lifeline program by adding broadband internet service as a supported service. The <a href="http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2015/db0622/FCC-15-71A1.pdf" target="_blank">Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Report</a href> seeked public comments on a variety of questions about how best to modernize the Lifeline program so that all consumers can access advanced networks while increasing the program's accountability and efficiency. The FCC's call for comments raises a number of questions about how best to modernize the Lifeline program, including issues around identifying low-income households that include school children and ensure they are aware of and have the opportunity to participate in a broadband access program, adopting minimum service standards for both voice and broadband service, reducing subsidy support for Lifeline supported mobile voice-only service, and encouraging more competition to improve price and service. ]]> Friday, June 26, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/lifeline-expansion--fy16-education-budget.html Millennials' Tech Skills http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/millennials--tech-skills.html There's a story going around in the ed tech press about millennials having low technology skills. The first time I saw the headlines I thought - that's not really news. But after two or three more appearances in my news feed, I checked it out. Change the Equation (CTEq), a coalition of corporate and education organizations committed to improving STEM learning for every child, commissioned the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to analyze raw data from the 2012 Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), a household study conducted by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. <p> Remember that millennials are the first generation of people who grew up with computers and the internet, the so-called digital natives. Millennials spend on average 35 hours per week on digital media. But CTEq's analysis found that 58% have low skills in solving problems with technology. An international comparison of millennials' performance on PIAAC's technology test ranked the United States last out of 19 participating countries. ]]> Friday, June 19, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/millennials--tech-skills.html The Educator's Dilemma, Technology Counts http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/the-educator-s-dilemma--technology-counts.html <a href="http://www.christenseninstitute.org/educatorsdilemma" target="_blank">"The Educator's Dilemma: When and how schools should embrace poverty relief"</a href> from the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation is sure to annoy a number of people. The paper takes on one of the long running debates between school reformers and poverty relief advocates over what it takes to close the achievement gap. Michael and his co-author Julia Freeland argue that this is a false dichotomy. Based on a theory of Christensen and his Harvard colleagues-the theory of interdependence and modularity-they argue that schools "must integrate backward beyond just core academic delivery to design and distribute a range of nonacademic supports." That will upset a lot of traditional school reformers, but the authors suggest two key conditions. It's not just a matter of giving low income students more services but of designing and delivering services in an interdependent manner that allows the school to control the mix and type of services offered to each student. And the driving force behind this backward integration has to be addressing the achievement gap. The paper profiles community schools, Harlem Children's Zone, KIPP and SEED Schools and how they have integrated backward into the nonacademic realms of low-income children's lives. It's an interesting theory. ]]> Friday, June 12, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/the-educator-s-dilemma--technology-counts.html Teachers on Data, Diplomas Count http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/teachers-on-data--diplomas-count.html The Gates Foundation has released the latest report in its <i>Teachers Know Best</i> series. <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/edtech-production/reports/Gates-TeachersKnowBest-MakingDataWork.pdf" target="_blank">"Making Data Work for Teachers and Students"</a href> is based on the responses of more than 4,600 teachers about the digital tools available to help them collect and use data to tailor and improve instruction for individual students. You can take the traditional route and download the entire report to see how teachers answered questions about their behaviors and beliefs, the specific occasions in which they use data to guide student learning and the challenges they face. Teachers also described and rated current tools and offered advice on ways to make digital tools more effective for teachers and students. ]]> Friday, June 05, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/teachers-on-data--diplomas-count.html Personalized Learning http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/personalized-learning.html An interesting report was released last week. <a href="http://www.fi.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/TEPLS_report-FINAL-051415.pdf" target="_blank">"Technology-Enabled Personalized Learning: Findings and Recommendations to Accelerate Implementation"</a href> summarizes the findings from last year's Technology-Enabled Personalized Learning (TEPL) Summit which was hosted by the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University in collaboration with Digital Promise, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), and the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA). Leaders from the education industry, associations and nonprofits, and university and K-12 education attended, working together to identified potential solutions and models that might help scale the implementation of personalized learning through technology. The report includes their recommendations. ]]> Friday, May 29, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/personalized-learning.html FY 2016 Budget Progress and More Privacy Legislation http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/fy-2016-budget-progress-and-more-privacy-legislation.html The federal FY 2016 budget process is now well under way. Last week Congress passed a joint budget resolution, the first such resolution in five years. It includes what is known as a 302(a) allocation that sets a total amount of money for the Appropriations Committees to spend, which is $1.017 trillion for FY 2016. Once the 302(a) allocation is set, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees set 302(b) allocations which divide the $1.017 total appropriation among 12 subcommittees, each of which deal with a different part of the budget. Those subcommittees then decide how to distribute funds within their 302(b) allocations. The Labor, Health and Human Services and Education allocation for FY 2016 is $153 billion, $3 billion lower than the FY 2015 total. As I've said earlier, under this scenario flat funding for the Department of Education would be good news. Certainly there's no room to accommodate the $3.5 billion increase included in the President's FY 2016 budget request. It's likely that a number of subcommittees will have difficulty crafting their appropriations bills in light of their tight budget allocations. The President has threatened to veto any spending bills that come in at sequestration levels, setting up the potential for a drawn-out battle between Congress and the administration down the road. ]]> Friday, May 22, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/fy-2016-budget-progress-and-more-privacy-legislation.html Speak Up Student Data http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/speak-up-student-data.html A few weeks ago, Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, presented the <a href="http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/SU14DigitalLearning24-7_StudentReport.html" target="_blank">Speak Up 2014 National Findings for Students</a href> at a Congressional briefing. Speak Up 2014 gathered responses from 431,231 K-12 students representing over 8,000 schools and 2,600 districts in the United States and around the world. Later releases will look at educator and parent data. The student data offers a glimpse of not only what students are doing with technology in their classrooms, but also what they think about those activities, what they would like to be doing, and how they use technology and digital resources outside of school. ]]> Friday, May 15, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/speak-up-student-data.html Competency-Based Education, IMS Initiatives http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/competency-based-education--ims-initiatives.html Competency-based education seems to be gaining real traction in the higher ed space. Kaplan University is making a personalized <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/files/Kaplan%20transcript.pdf" target="_blank">Competency Report </a href>available to all 42,000 of its online students. The report provides ratings along a six point scale (No Progress, Introductory, Emergent, Practiced, Proficient, Mastery) of the skills and knowledge students demonstrated throughout their course of study. It includes how the student applies the knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors required to execute work-related activities and projects. The report will stand side-by-side with the University's more traditional graded transcript. The vast majority of Kaplan University students are adult. The Competency Report attempts to provide employers with information more closely tied to skills they may be seeking in potential employees. ]]> Friday, May 08, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/competency-based-education--ims-initiatives.html Student Privacy, Digital Learning Report Card http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/student-privacy--digital-learning-report-card.html The "Student Data Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015" was formally introduced in the House this week. The bill is sponsored by Rep Luke Messer (R-IN) and Rep Jared Polis (D-CO). The bill, which in its original form was considered by many to be too "vendor friendly", has undergone significant changes. The definition of "covered information" has been expanded to include metadata and other information that is generated when students use vendors' products. Vendors would be required to delete student data within a year of ceasing the provision of services to the student or his or her educational institution and within 45 days of receiving a request from an educational institution or a parent. They would also need to disclose all third parties with whom the share student information, as well as getting those third parties to agree in writing not to use the disclosed information for any new purposes, make any further disclosures and maintain reasonable security measures. The bill also includes the usual requirements that vendors not sell student information or use it to target students with advertising, maintain reasonable security, and make notification in the case of a data breach. The bill gives enforcement powers, including the right to impose penalties to the Federal Trade Commission. ]]> Friday, May 01, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/student-privacy--digital-learning-report-card.html ECS Resources, Personalization http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/ecs-resources--personalization.html The Education Commission of the States (ECS) has been busy these past few months as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. ECS is a national organization created to serve the needs of the states. It brings together governors, state legislators, K-12 and higher education department chiefs and other education leaders, tracking state policy trends, providing unbiased advice and creating opportunities for state leaders to learn from one another. Recently it has released a series of Policy Analysis and Education Trend reports on a variety of subjects. These reports are tightly focused and typically backed up by a related database that details policy or actions across the 50 states. They serve as great starting points if you want to explore a new market or think through a new marketing approach. ]]> Friday, April 24, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/ecs-resources--personalization.html Pew on Teens and Technology http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/pew-on-teens-and-technology.html Last week, the Pew Research Center released <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/files/2015/04/PI_TeensandTech_Update2015_0409151.pdf" target="_blank">"Teens, Social Media and Technology Overview 2015"</a href>, the first in a series of reports on teens' (ages 13 to 17) technology use. This report examines teens' access to and use of smartphones, basic cell phones, desktop or laptop computers, tablets, and game consoles. The data is examined by a number of demographics including age, gender, race and household income. ]]> Friday, April 17, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/pew-on-teens-and-technology.html ESEA, FERPA, Ed Tech Developers Guide http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/esea--ferpa--ed-tech-developers-guide.html The Senate HELP Committee has released its bipartisan <a href="http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/Senate%20Bill.pdf" target="_blank"> ESEA reauthorization bill </a href> (if you’re not up for 600 pages of text, try the <a href="http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/The%20Every%20Child%20Achieves%20Act%20of%202015%20--%20summary.pdf" target="_blank">summary</a href>). The general reaction from the various stakeholder groups, including the President and some of the civil rights community, has been, “It’s a good start.” In order to be bipartisan, the bill includes a number of compromises, which have been negotiated over the past few months between Sen. Lamar Alexander, (R-TN) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), without much input from the rest of the committee. ]]> Friday, April 10, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/esea--ferpa--ed-tech-developers-guide.html Musings http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/musings.html I and the technicians at my ISP have become great friends these last few days and it still feels like it's all glued together with chewing gum. With all the disruption, I won't pretend to have much to say today. I do have an apology to make to all the education leaders, visionaries, trendsetters and the developers and publishers of instructional materials who were honored as finalists and winners of the 2015 EdTech Digest Awards. When posting the story last week, I inadvertently copied the list from 2014 rather than 2015's new list. We caught the error pretty quickly, but if you not sure you saw the correct listing, check out the <a href="http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/announcements/edtech-digest-awards-program-2014-finalists---winners.html">story here</a href>. It's a pretty amazing list of people and companies doing great work to support teachers and students. <p> I'm still on the lookout for Spring, which is in full bloom one day, just before the snow squalls set back in. I wish all of our readers a Blessed Easter and Passover and the joys of Spring. ]]> Friday, April 03, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/musings.html White House Science Fair and STEM http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/white-house-science-fair-and-stem.html On Monday, President Obama hosted the 5th White House Science Fair, featuring 36 exhibits manned by young scientists and engineers from across the country. Participating students had all previously won honors at a broad range of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competitions, such as FIRST Robotics, the National eCybermission Competition, the Intel Science Talent Search, Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and the Google Science Fair, among others. This year's event included a specific focus on girls and women who are excelling in STEM and inspiring the next generation with their work. There's a video of the highlights at <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/science-fair" target="_blank">https://www.whitehouse.gov/science-fair</a href>, including a wonderful segment of the President interacting with a team of six-year old Girl Scouts who had created a battery-powered page turner for people who are paralyzed or have arthritis (and who seemed decidedly unimpressed by being at the White House). ]]> Friday, March 27, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/white-house-science-fair-and-stem.html FY 2016 Budget Process Begins http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/fy-2016-budget-process-begins.html The House of Representatives will take up the FY 2016 budget resolution next week, following its passage Thursday by the House Budget Committee on a purely partisan 22 to 13 vote. The resolution – a Balanced Budget for a Stronger America – reflects the House’s aggressive deficit reduction and pro-defense spending stance. The House resolution promises to balance the budget by 2024 by cutting about $5.5 trillion of spending over the ten year period. While maintaining the Budget Control Act spending caps for FY16, going forward, the budget resolution lowers discretionary budget authority to $372 billion below sequester levels through 2025 and increases defense spending by $387 billion. It achieves this redistribution by making $759 billion in non-defense cuts. That makes for a pretty grim outlook for the education, social services and health care programs that fall into this non-defense discretionary spending bucket. ]]> Friday, March 20, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/fy-2016-budget-process-begins.html Digital Learning Day and More http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/digital-learning-day-and-more.html Today is Digital Learning Day (DLD). This is the fourth celebration of the event, created in 2012 by the Alliance for Excellent Education. More than 1,000 local celebrations across the country have been registered on the DLD site. <p> At 1 PM Eastern, the Alliance will host Digital Learning Day Live!, a one-hour live broadcast from the Teaching & Learning conference in Washington, DC, to an in-person audience of more than 3,000 teachers and administrators as well as hundreds of thousands of educators who will be watching online. The broadcast will feature the stories of four innovative districts-Baltimore County Public Schools, Houston Independent School District, Huntsville School District (AR), and Vista Unified School District and include national leaders in education technology. It's always fun to listen to districts talk about the ways they have used technology to empower and support teachers and learners. ]]> Friday, March 13, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/digital-learning-day-and-more.html