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 Another CR; Cyber Security Awareness Month http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/another-cr--cyber-security-awareness-month.html The new federal fiscal year starts on Oct 1. That means Congress has to do something about the FY 2015 budget. No one wants to see a government shutdown in an election year. On Tuesday, Hal Rogers, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced a short-term Continuing Resolution that would fund federal programs and services at the FY 2104 spending rate of $1.02 trillion until December 11, 2014. The bill was crafted to win support - there are no controversial riders or significant changes to existing federal policy - and was expected to pass in both the House and Senate. There are no changed to anything affected the Department of Education and its budget, so it will be business as usual for the next several months. <br> A vote was expected on Thursday, but the process is paused right now while Congress decides how to deal with the President's request for funding to support the effort to defeat the Islamic State militants. Congress will get this CR passed. The lessons of the last government shut down are still raw. It's likely that another CR would be passed before the December expiration date, leaving any final appropriations legislation for the new Congress to deal with in 2015. ]]> Friday, September 12, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/another-cr--cyber-security-awareness-month.html ESEA Flexibilty Gets More Complex http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/esea-flexibilty-gets-more-complex.html ESEA Flexibility seems to get more complicated by the day. Of the 34 states that applied for a waiver extension, 22 states have been granted extensions for the 2014-15 school year. It seems likely that the remaining 11 extension applicants will get their extension letters soon, though Arizona and Oregon are ranked as "high risk," mostly because of problems with their teacher evaluation systems. Oklahoma became the only state to have its waiver extension request denied. Washington state had its waiver revoked back in April. Washington needed existing state law to be amended to require teacher and principal evaluations to include student growth on state tests. That legislation failed early in 2014. But now that the Department of Education has pushed back by one year the timeline for incorporating student growth on state assessments into the new teacher evaluation systems, Washington state education officials feel that the extra year may have allowed them to work out the legislative roadblock. Meanwhile, some news outlets are reporting that Oklahoma's governor is considering suing the Department of Education over its waiver denial. That has the potential to become a big problem. ]]> Friday, September 05, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/esea-flexibilty-gets-more-complex.html Waivers for the ESEA Waivers http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/waivers-for-the-esea-waivers.html Somehow this piece of news slipped by me. In mid-August, Rep. John Kline, Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Senator Lamar Alexander, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor and Pensions have asked the Government Accounting Office to initiate an investigation of the ESEA Flexibility (waivers) initiative. In their <a href="http://edworkforce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/kline_alexander_gao_esea_waivers_8_12_14.pdf">letter to the GAO </a href>, the two Republican leaders asked the agency to study the criteria used for waiver determination, the changes states have made to comply with waiver requirements, the average time, resources and legislative action required to seek and maintain waiver approval, and some of the requirements surrounding implementation of the teacher and principal evaluation systems. Republican have long complained that the Department of Education has used the ESEA Flexibility initiative to establish new requirements that are not authorized by Congress and step well beyond the bounds of the current legislation. Kline and Alexander pointed out what they see as uneven application of the requirements as the Department goes about approving waiver extensions, especially around the new educator evaluation systems. ]]> Friday, August 29, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/waivers-for-the-esea-waivers.html PDK/Gallup and EdNext Polls http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/pdk-gallup-and-ednext-polls.html Two polls were released this week examining the publics' attitudes about American education. Though a lot of attention has been paid to the half dozen or so question devoted to the Common Core Standards, both PDK/Gallup and Education Next (EdNext) cover a broader range of topics. PDK will be publishing the results of its 46th annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools in two sections this year. The first, published this week covers American's opinions on the Common Core State Standards, student standardized testing, international comparisons, school governance, and school choice. A report scheduled for October will focus on teacher preparation and evaluation, support for reforming America's schools, student well-being, and preparing students for college and careers. In its eight version of its national poll, EdNext asked respondents about their knowledge of and evaluation of American schools, school spending, school choice policies, personnel policies, Common Core Standards and college readiness. The PDK/Gallup poll provides a lot of historical context, allowing readers to see how opinion has changed over time. EdNext probes more deeply on some questions, developing a context within which to understand the original "Agree" or "Disagree" response. ]]> Friday, August 22, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/pdk-gallup-and-ednext-polls.html Teachers on the Common Core, State Broadband Activity http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/teachers-on-the-common-core--state-broadband-activity.html Education Week has released a new report, "From Adoption to Practice: Teacher Perspectives on the Common Core." The report is based on a survey of educators conducted during the 2013-14 school year. There are no surprises here; the survey confirms what Education Week reported last year and what has been found in several other survey of educators around Common Core-related issues. Essentially teachers are positively disposed to the standards, dubious about the new assessments and somewhat anxious about their own preparation, the resources they have available and the extent to which students are prepared to master the new standards or the assessments linked to them. The best news, and highly consistent with other such surveys, is that most educators believe that the Common Core Standards will improve their own instruction and classroom practice (46% agree, 23% strongly agree) and student learning (38% agree, 27% strongly agree). ]]> Friday, August 15, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/teachers-on-the-common-core--state-broadband-activity.html Back-to-School News http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/back-to-school-news.html The back-to-school stories have been popping up for several weeks now. Companies offering free access to their products, community drives to collect school supplies for children in need, volunteers helping to spruce up classroom or playgrounds. MDR's data show that by mid-August nearly 25% of U.S. schools will already be open with another 50% opening before the end of the month. Summer is quickly drawing to an end. <BR> <P>This week Chicago's Mayor Rohm Emanuel took advantage of a feel-good story to identify with teachers (our Mayor needs all the help he can get when it comes to Chicago's teachers). The Mayor announced that Google and Staples had fully funded every Chicago-based project posted in DonorsChoose.org. As a result, 363 teachers will receive $383,868 worth of classroom supplies ranging from paper, pencils and books to laptops, musical instruments and microscopes. You might be surprised to see how many teachers are asking for basic school and art and craft supplies on DonorsChoose. ]]> Friday, August 08, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/back-to-school-news.html Software Platforms and School Software Use http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/software-platforms-and-school-software-use.html CDW-G issued a new infographic based on surveys of 175 IT professionals working In K-12 schools. The survey focused on gathering information about the platforms schools are using for both instructional and administrative purposes. Perhaps impacted by surging demand for support of mobile devices, the average school now supports three platforms for instruction and two for administration. Only 17% of districts use only one platform for instruction (Windows is most common), with 28% supporting two platforms (Windows, iOS), 27% supporting three (Windows, iOS and Android) and 28% supporting four platforms (Windows, iOS, Android and Chrome). On the administrative side, 34% of districts support one platform (Windows is most common), 27% support two (Windows, iOS), 17% support three (Windows, iOS and Android) and 22% support four platforms (Windows, iOS, Android and Chrome). ]]> Friday, August 01, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/software-platforms-and-school-software-use.html LRMI Survey Data http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/lrmi-survey-data.html The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI), a joint project of the Association of Educational Publishers - the 501(c)(3) arm of the Association of American Publishers-and Creative Commons - released results from survey of educational publishers and educators designed to gather information about preferences, frustrations, and experiences with searching for and improving the discoverability of educational resources and content online. The Initiative appears to be doing a good job of raising awareness among educational publishers. More than four out of five publishers surveyed (83%) were aware of metadata tagging initiatives, and 72% were specifically aware of the LRMI. ]]> Friday, July 25, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/lrmi-survey-data.html Teacher PD, Principal Recruitment http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/teacher-pd--principal-recruitment.html Two interesting reports appeared recently. "Beyond Teacher Evaluation: Prioritizing Teacher Instructional Effectiveness with Meaningful Professional Development" was sponsored by School Improvement network and conducted by EdNexus Advisors, LLC. Based on surveys of states' departments of education about the professional learning component of their teacher evaluation policies, the study was designed to gain a better understanding of state policy on providing and funding meaningful teacher professional development tied to teacher evaluations. It highlights activates in Connecticut, Kentucky, New Jersey and South Dakota, states that are making a significant effort to implement teacher support related to evaluations. The Fordham Institute released "Lacking Leaders: The Challenges of Principal Recruitment, Selection, and Placement" examining how districts go about identifying talent, enlisting the best candidates for the job, and matching their distinctive skills and capabilities to the needs of specific schools, with an in-depth look at five urban school districts that have sought to improve their principal-hiring processes in recent years. ]]> Friday, July 18, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/teacher-pd--principal-recruitment.html ISTE, Excellent Educators for All http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/iste--excellent-educators-for-all.html From all reports ISTE was a huge success this year, with over 16,000 educators in attendance. That's likely a record and hopefully a sign that things are really back on track. Atlanta was a good location, within a day's drive of a considerable stretch of the eastern seaboard and the Gulf Coast. And there's no question that ed tech has moved to a new level. Teachers are experimenting with flipping their classrooms and blended learning and looking for ways to maximize instructional uses of student owned devices. IT people continue to look for devices and infrastructure in preparation for the spring administration of the new Common Core assessments. This post-ISTE issue is full of announcements made in Atlanta last week. I tried to include as much as I could, though a number of other headlines (multiple announcement from one company, awards and contests) got posted only on the News Alert web site. Click through on any category if you want to see all the ISTE news that came in these past two weeks. ]]> Friday, July 11, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/iste--excellent-educators-for-all.html Mid-Year Roundup http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/mid-year-roundup-7-3-2014.html <p>Happy summer holiday week, friends! In a season of vacations and celebrations, we hope you’re enjoying some time with family and friends. <BR><br>This week, we’re highlighting the most read articles for the first half of 2014 to give you another chance at catching up on them. We’re grateful to have had so many valuable contributions to the News Alert from our friends and industry colleagues this year! The highlighted collection below presents the four articles published since January that received the most pageviews. <BR><br>Enjoy!</p> <p><a href="http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/market-insights/infographic--k-12-technology-trends.html">Infographic: K 12 Technology Trends</a><br> From MDR's State of the K12 Market report<BR><br> <a href="http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/we-don-t-need-no---wait--maybe-we-do-.html">We Don’t Need No … Wait. Maybe We Do.</a><br> Frank Catalano, Intrinsic Strategy<BR><br> <a href="http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/capturing-top-sales-talent-quickly-is-essential-to-your-revenue-growth.html">Capturing Top Sales Talent Quickly Is Essential to Your Revenue Growth<br> Lisa Sacchetti, CPC, President, The Renaissance Network, Inc.</a><BR><br> <a href="http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/market-insights/three-key-issues-in-the-education-marketplace.html">Three Key Issues in the Education Marketplace</a></br> As shared by members of the EdNET 2014 Advisory Board ]]> Thursday, July 03, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/mid-year-roundup-7-3-2014.html E-rate Modernization Order http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/e-rate-modernization-order.html The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has launched a campaign aimed at encouraging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase funding for the E-rate. ISTE is urging all "ISTE members, educators, parents, and students across the country to tweet directly to @FCC using this new hashtag: #RaiseTheErateCap." Advocates are encouraged to tell FCC Commissioners "how important broadband and digital learning is for your students." At the ISTE Conference, which opens this weekend, members will be able to sign a petition urging the FCC to increase funding for the E-Rate program. The petition will be at the ISTE Advocacy Network Booth. This activity is in response to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's release of the details of his plan to modernize the E-rate, which predictably did not include any funding increase. The FCC will meet on July 11 to vote on a Report and Order to modernize the E-rate. ]]> Friday, June 27, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/e-rate-modernization-order.html NCM Horizon Report 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/ncm-horizon-report-2014.html The NMC Horizon Report > 2014 K-12 Edition has been released. The report is produced by the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), with the support of HP. This sixth edition in the annual K-12 series examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and creative inquiry. The Horizon report often gets the most attention for its identification of which top six emerging technologies will be adopted in the classroom over the next five years These technologies have already been widely discussed since the April release of the Horizon Project Preview. For me the most interesting part of this project is its identification of the key trends very likely to drive technology planning and decision-making over the next five years and the detailing of significant challenges schools face when adopting new technology. This year the report provides its readers more in-depth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership, and practice. ]]> Friday, June 20, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/ncm-horizon-report-2014.html Field Testing Ends, Teacher Ownership of Teacher-Created Materials http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/field-testing-ends--teacher-ownership-of-teacher-created-materials.html Both the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium wrapped up their field tests of the new Common Core assessments last week. In the 22 SBAC states and territories, 4.2 million students completed English and math assessments in grades 3 - 8 and 11th grade. PARCC tested more than one million students in 14 states and the District of Columbia. The field tests gave both consortia a chance to try out their test items, checking for validity and reliability. Teachers and students also got a preview of what to expect when the tests go live (and count) in the spring of 2015. PARCC reports that student surveys showed that students liked the online format. Test administrators were also quite positive, but noted that instruction for test administrators were too long and sometimes confusing. PARCC plans to release a list of lessons learned from the field test this summer. ]]> Friday, June 13, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/field-testing-ends--teacher-ownership-of-teacher-created-materials.html Beacon Awards, More on the States and the CCSS http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/beacon-awards--more-on-the-states-and-the-ccss.html A shout out to my colleagues at MDR, who were honored with a Beacon Award last week at the annual Beacon Awards Luncheon held during the AAP PreK Learning Group's Context in Context conference. The Beacon Award recognizes the work of the marketers among us in promoting learning resources to schools, parents and students. MDR's entry showcased significant new ways the team can help customers deliver integrated programs, winning in the digital marketing category for a campaign created for the National Fire Prevention Association to promote aware of Fire Prevention Week. In addition to an interactive children's app, an eBook aligned to Common Core State Standards, and a website with interactive whiteboard lessons and downloadable activities for school and home use, the MDR team recruited edubloggers and mom bloggers to spread the word, ran print ads in national magazines, launched web ads, conducted an extensive PR campaign, and sent waves of targeted emails to educators. MDR found itself in good company. Other winners included Cardigan Mountain School, Corwin, Discovery Education, Teaching Channel and Scholastic. Congratulations all! AAP created a virtual Gallery this year to showcase the work of all the finalists and winners in its three award programs. Check it out at https://review.wizehive.com/voting/aapgallery/21669 ]]> Friday, June 06, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/beacon-awards--more-on-the-states-and-the-ccss.html White House Science Fair http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/white-house-science-fair.html CoSN and the Education Superhighway have done the leg wok to arrive at an estimate of the annual cost involved in ensuring that every school has the equipment and services required for robust LAN, Wi-Fi, and core WAN networks. They project that schools will require approximately $2.9 billion of E-rate subsidies over the next four years to upgrade their LAN, WAN, and Wi-Fi networks. Adding an additional 10% for libraries, the total upgrade cost is approximately $3.2 billion or$800 million per year for the next four years. That's not as high as I expected, though it only covers the costs of getting the schools equipped with robust internal wired and wireless networks. The E-rate cap is $2.41 in program year 2014, but the estimated demand for Priority One services in 2014 is $2.63 billion, leaving nothing for internal connections (Priority Two), The FCC has an extra $2 billion to spend over the next two years. CoSN and EducationSuperHighway are recommending that FCC add a minimum of $800 million per year of new funding to the E-rate program. The FCC has seemed uninclined to add new funding to the E-rate; it seems to be thinking about shifting priorities, downplaying traditional telephony to focus on wireless and internal connections. It shouldn't be too much longer to wait to learn their decision. ]]> Friday, May 30, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/white-house-science-fair.html Teachers Know Best http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/teachers-know-best.html The Gates Foundation released a research report about a month ago that really has not received much attention. "Teachers Know Best: What Educators Want from Digital Instructional Tools" is based on surveys of 3,100 teachers, 1250 students 70 students and teacher interviews and an analysis of 16 districts. The research is focused on on student-facing digital instructional tools, applications that students use for learning. No one will be surprised to learn that teachers are looking for instructional resources, both digital and non-digital, that align with the new Common Core standards and/or their lessons plans. Also no surprise, because we’ve heard it so much lately, most teachers say they are not finding instructional resources (both digital and non-digital) up to the job of helping them teach new college- and career-ready standards. While 88% of teachers said that instructional resources (both digital and non-digital) designed to meet standards are available in their subject or grade level, only 55% of surveyed teachers said these resources were actually sufficient to help their students meet these standards. The good news is that researchers went a lot deeper trying to learn about what teachers use and where the gaps in usage existed. ]]> Friday, May 23, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/teachers-know-best.html News of the Week http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/news-of-the-week-5-16-2014.html A few items from this week's news: <br><br> The Gates Foundation announced it will be wrapping up its Global Libraries program over the next three to five years.<br> <br>The Verizon Foundation announced that the Thinkfinity site, which it has supported since 2007, will no longer host partner content or the educator community.<br><br>A draft of proposed national legislation - <a href="http://www.markey.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2014-05-12_StudentPrivacy_DiscussionDraft.pdf">Protecting Student Privacy Act</A> - designed to help safeguard the educational records of students is now available for review.<br><br>Funds for Learning is conducting a survey to gather the opinions of administrators and school technology leaders about the current state of the E-Rate program. ]]> Friday, May 16, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/news-of-the-week-5-16-2014.html Student Attitudes about Testing, 12th Grade NAEP Scores http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/student-attitudes-about-testing--12th-grade-naep-scores.html NWEA and Grunwald Associates LLC have released Make Assessment Matter: Students and Educators Want Tests that Support Learning. The new report is a follow-up to a 2012 study and report, For Every Child, Multiple Measures. The 2012 report presented the views of educators and parents. This time around it's the student perspective that has been added. There's a lot of really detailed information here. One finding that's getting a lot of press coverage is that only 29% of students say that have heard of the Common Core State Standards, and fewer still (20%) say they have heard about new state tests that will be used next year. It's also very interesting that the percentage of teachers who believe that too much time is spent on preparing for and taking or administering tests has dropped from the levels found in the earlier research. Among administrators the drop off is even sharper. On the 2013 survey, 40% of administrators say that students spend too much time preparing for and taking assessments compared to 57% in 2011. ]]> Friday, May 09, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/student-attitudes-about-testing--12th-grade-naep-scores.html Big Data Report, Indiana Adopts New Standards http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/big-data-report--indiana-adopts-new-standards.html In January, the President asked John Podesta, his Counselor, to lead a wide-ranging review of "big data" and privacy—to explore how these technologies are changing our economy, our government, and our society, and to consider their implications for our personal privacy. Podesta, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, the President's Science Advisor John Holdren, the President's Economic Advisor Jeff Zients, and other senior officials spent the last three months exploring the issues and on Thursday delivered their <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/big_data_privacy_report_may_1_2014.pdf">report and recommendations</a> to the President. ]]> Friday, May 02, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/big-data-report--indiana-adopts-new-standards.html