LessonPlanet Features an Interview with Doug Levin about Trends in EdTech

Watch a short video as State Educational Technology Director, Doug Levin, talks about the importance of the ConnectED initiative as well as recent trends in Educational Technology.

Dog also talks about digital and open textbooks in the video below.

Visit www.SETDA.org for resources and information on the latest in educational technology policy and practice.

Watch the ConnectED video on Lesson Planet at http://www.lessonplanet.com/professional-development/courses/ed-tech-setda-with-doug-levin

Watch the Digital Textbook video video on Digital Content Chronicle at http://setda.typepad.com/digital/2011/12/comcast-newsmakers-the-shift-to-digital-and-open-textbooks-in-k-12.html

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An International Study in Competency Education: Postcards from Abroad

New report highlights components of competency education in international practice

A new report released today by CompetencyWorks, An International Study in Competency Education: Postcards from Abroad, seeks to highlight components of competency education in international practice and inform U.S. policymakers and decision makers seeking to implement high-quality competency pathways at the state or local level. While it is commonplace for states to look to each other for promising practices, increasingly, education leaders are finding both inspiration and answers through the work of colleagues around the world.

Written by Sara Frank Bristow, Founder of Salient Research, and Susan Patrick, President and CEO of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), the report provides a lesson in the international vocabulary of competency education and a review of global trends that complement the efforts of educators in the United States to improve performance and increase equitable outcomes. Bristow and Patrick survey the globe, discovering practices from Finland, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland, and beyond that can inform U.S. leaders.
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When Professional Development Underperforms

“Professional Development.” PD. When this phrase is introduced into teacher circles, many teachers cringe with thoughts of poor instruction, time wasted on doing and learning things that do not apply to them, or initiatives that will go away with the next administrative change.

But then again, there are teachers who do look forward to similar sessions with excitement because they learn so much and use that knowledge when instructing their students. The rapid increase of educational technology tools dictates that teachers need time and proven strategies to use the tools in the classroom. The time and strategies can be included in current PD sessions, yet still be relevant to the core subjects.

What are some of the factors that cause this divide? What can you do to help change how PD is viewed in your district?
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Month of the Young Adolescent Creativity Contest

“A Day in the Life of a Middle School Student”

The New Hampshire Association of Middle Level Education is sponsoring a contest for the Month of the Young Adolescent. Any middle level student may submit an entry. The purpose of the event is to showcase the talents of the young adolescents in New Hampshire.
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Support E-Rate Funding for Schools and Libraries

Please consider discussing this with your respective organizations and school districts and asking them to sign on to this letter in support of E-Rate Funding.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) recently sought additional comments (per a  Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-13-100A1.pdf, pg. 106) on the funding needs of the E-rate Program for Schools and Libraries http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/e-rate-schools-libraries-usf-program.  State-wide organizations, school districts, schools, libraries, and others are encouraged to join in by signing onto a letter (letter posted below) demonstrating support for the E-rate program and our nation’s schools and public libraries.  The deadline to sign-on is 12:00 p.m. ET (noon) on October 15, 2014.   The time is now to demonstrate support for the Commission to act by making a permanent increase to E-rate funding. Since the program was established in 1998 and capped at $2.25 billion, E-rate funding has not been increased (aside from an annual inflationary adjustment starting in 2010). In a time when almost every single classroom and the majority of libraries in the nation have lower speed internet access than the average American home while serving multiple times more users per day, it is time to ensure all students and library patrons can access high speed broadband they need in their schools and public libraries to excel in school and beyond.  More than 75 national organizations (including SETDA, other education associations, companies, and many others) recently submitted the same letter goo.gl/6dLRp5. The Commission must also hear from state and local entities, too!
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Dispelling STEM Stereotypes

Sisters from Newport High School, Ana Marino, left, and Victoria Marino helped to build a heart pump during a day-long workshop for young women in engineering at the Claremont Savings Bank Community Center in Claremont, N.H., on Oct. 3, 2014. Valley News – Jennifer Hauck

Claremont — The small wooden bridge, spray painted a pale orange, sat suspended between two sets of cinder blocks about 18 inches off the floor.

A group of girls from area schools had spent the morning and most of the afternoon Friday building the 30 inch long truss bridge from quarter-inch thick pieces of pine wood.

Jim McDonald, who teaches an introductory engineering course at Newport High, designed the bridge to hold at least 70 pounds. Now it was time to test its strength.

But instead of the two, 35 pound barbells that were brought along for the test, 75-pound Makalya Barre, an eighth grader from Walpole, who helped assemble the bridge and measured and cut many of the wooden pieces, volunteered to stand atop the trusses.

McDonald laid a flat board across the top of the span and lifted Barre up. Not even a creak.

Several students from Unity Elementary School constructed two, 71/2-foot kayaks using corrugated plastic, a glue gun and the always reliable Duct tape.
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SpeakUp New Hampshire! Surveys are OPEN

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Speak Up 2014 is now open!

This year’s Speak Up annual surveys continue to pave new ground in education technology research by polling K-12 students, educators, administrators and parents about the use of mobile devices, online classes, games and digital content within learning. We listened to last year’s participants and have added new topics to our surveys to spark more conversation, such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), data privacy, student interest in programming and computing, and online assessments.

This newsletter is specifically dedicated to the launch of Speak Up 2014! Below, you’ll find all the information you need on what’s new for 2014:

Speak Up 2014 is open! Register today, surveys are available October 6th- December 19th, 2014

Announcing the Speak Up Loud and Clear leading schools: We are proud to announce our leading schools from our Speak Up 2013 survey period!

First look at this year’s survey questions: View this year’s survey questions and learn about our new topics

Speak Up has a new look! Check out our new and improved look for this year’s surveys

Promotional materials: Help spread the word about Speak Up with our list of promotional materials.

Happy reading, and remember to Speak Up now through December 19th!

Feel free to share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter, and our Blog.

-The Project Tomorrow team

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Speak Up 2014 is now open!

Help us collect valuable data by participating in Speak Up 2014

Join the conversation about the use of technology for learning through Speak Up, a National Research Project. Since 2003, over 3.4 million K-12 education stakeholders have participated in the annual online surveys. Data findings are shared each year with federal, state and local policymakers to inform education programs, policies and funding.

Surveys will be open for input October 6th – December 19th, 2014 at: www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014.

Instructions for completing the Speak Up survey

  1.  Go to the survey website (above).
  2.  Click on the appropriate survey (Student, Educator, Parent, Community member).
  3.  Follow the given instructions to access the survey. Begin by entering your school zip or clicking on the drop down button and select your state, then go to the next line and type in your school name to find your school.
  4.  Students will choose their grade level and enter in their school specific password*
  5.  Parents and Educators will NOT need the password to access the survey.

To learn more about the project and how to get involved, visit www.tomorrow.org/speakup.

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Speak Up Loud and Clear: Recognizing the Top Participating Schools and Districts based on Speak Up 2013 Participation

With the launch of Speak Up 2014, we would like to take this time to recognize the schools and districts that went above and beyond in their promotion and encouragement of participation to their students, parents and educators during last year’s Speak Up surveys! Thank you for making last year’s surveys such a success!

Last year 403,292 Students, Parents, Educators and members of the community representing over 9,000 schools nationwide participated in Speak Up 2013. Out of those over 9,000 schools, we have nominated a group of 250 schools that have gone above and beyond with their promotion creativity, outreach and use of data. Many of the nominated schools exceed over 80% student participation, allowing for an extremely rich dataset for schools to use in their own local planning and research.

For a complete list of the top school and districts, visit http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/speakup-loud-clear.html.

Speak Up Loud and Clear, formally known as Speak Up 200, is our annual recognition program that highlights schools that are effectively incorporating Speak Up data into their local decision-making. Each year, finalists are selected based on total student participation, length of time involved with Speak Up, and use of data in local decision making.

Get a look at this year’s survey questions!

We’ve made our survey questions available to view before Speak Up launches on October 6th. Click here to view the surveys, and be on the lookout for new topics and questions!

New topics include:

  • Blended learning
  • 1:1 computing
  • BYOD
  • Coding
  • Data privacy
  • Student self-directed learning
  • Ideal school mobile app
  • College and career readiness skills
  • And more!

Speak Up has a new participant badge!

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Wear this badge proudly as you display it on your website, your e-mails, your social media sites, blog, and more! Enjoy, and remember to get the rest of your community to Speak Up through December 19th, 2014!

Our Speak Up 2014 promotional materials are now available

Start spreading the word about Speak Up to your community! Check out our helpful flyers, guides, sample emails, and more at http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/promo.html.

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Thank you for your interest and continued support of Speak Up! Be sure to stay updated on all things Speak Up by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our Blog.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our Speak Up Operations Manager, Jenny Hostert, at jhostert@tomorrow.org or via phone at 949/609-4660 ext. 17.
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