Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide from the US Office of Educational Technology

Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide cover from USDOE OET

Parental involvement in their children’s education can lead to better learning results and outcomes. The US Office of Educational Technology developed this “Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide” to inform parents or caregivers, on best practices to monitor their children’s progress as they accesses and use technology for learning.

This guide aims to help all parents and caregivers, including those who have limited experience with digital tools, those who are expert with these tools, and anywhere in between. Each section starts with foundational pieces and builds from there.

Download the Guide from USED Office of Educational Technology at https://tech.ed.gov/files/2020/10/Parent-and-Family-Digital-Learning-Guide.pdf.

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New Portal Available to Support Teaching Mastery of Effective Online Practices

This personalized professional learning portal is available to educators via nsq.2gno.me.

Today, Quality Matters (QM), Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA), and 2gnoMe, formally announce the launch of the NSQ Online Teaching Professional Learning Portal powered by 2gnoMe for teachers and education leaders. This powerful new portal is built around the NSQ Online Teaching standards — a framework for schools, districts and state agencies to support online instruction. This professional learning portal “unpacks” the standards for educators and uses a teacher’s own reflections to match high-quality and aligned learning resources to individual needs and strengths. This approach puts teachers on a path towards improving their practice as instructors, both in blended and online formats.

As Rich Copeland, Supervisor of Teacher Quality for Georgia Virtual, explained, “This professional learning portal provides teachers with the professional development they need when they need it, especially now in the midst of this pandemic.” 

The National Standards for Quality Online Teaching were developed by experts from the online learning community — headed by QM and the VLLA — and supported by research and best practice. The standards have been downloaded more than 10,000 times. By combining expertise and technology, QM, the VLLA and 2gnoMe aim to scale access to personalized and high-quality professional learning resources for teachers aligned to the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching. This approach puts teachers in the middle of their professional learning, using reflection to enhance self-awareness (‘to know me’), and then applies data to tether all relevant professional development resources to provide teachers with ongoing competency-based learning experiences. 

Bob Currie, Executive Director for Montana Digital Academy and VLLA President, commented, “This partnership puts into practice the amazing work and commitment of the VLLA, QM and the community of contributors who updated the online teaching standards by putting high-quality professional learning opportunities at teachers’ fingertips so they can rise to the challenge of online instruction.” 

The 2gnoMe technology makes it easy to offer a level of professional learning to teachers at scale that is more tailored to their needs and offered when they need it. Further, the portal enables system leaders to customize all elements of their teachers’ professional learning experience (e.g., mentoring, professional learning communities, and other supports) around each teacher.

Ken Dirkin, Executive Director of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI), stated, “This portal facilitates a coordinated system of support for our teachers. It will allow education leaders to crowd-source high-quality professional development around standards of effective online instruction. No longer will teachers or education leaders have to scramble to find good professional development aligned to their needs and priorities.”  

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The 2021 ArcGIS Online New Hampshire State School Map Competition is Open

Are you looking for a hands on project for your students, that can really get them engaged while remote learning or in class? Enter your school in the ArcGIS Online New Hampshire State School Map Competition!

Students in grades 4th -12th across the State are challenged to create and share maps and storymaps of their State for a chance at a $100 prize! NHEdGIS and NHSTE are partnering again this year to bring this competition to you. The winners of the State competition will be submitted to the 2021 National ArcGIS Online U.S. School Competition! Winners of the national competition will receive a paid trip to Esri’s Education GIS Conference in San Diego, CA (if appropriate), to present their maps in the conference’s main Map Gallery. All teachers who submit student maps will also be entered into a $100 raffle!

Learn more at our new NHEdGIS Map Competition Hub site.

To Enter

  1. Register your school by Friday, April 2, 2021 to receive a competition updates and the potential for early map review from one of our judges.
  2. School map entries need to be submitted by 5pm on Friday, May 7, 2021.

Are you new to GIS or need a refresher? Visit Mapping Hour and Teach with GIS for a lesson library and tools to get you started! Don’t hesitate to contact NHEdGIS for help!

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SETDA Announces New E-Rate Training Series: Ask the State Experts

Sessions for education leaders to help implement the federal E-Rate program

Washington, DC (October 6, 2020) – The federal E-Rate program includes a multilayered application and implementation process. In order to serve education leaders, SETDA is launching an E-Rate Training Series: Ask the State Experts. SETDA, the non-profit membership association that supports U.S. state and territorial leaders in advancing education through effective digital learning policy and practice, has designed the training series to share the expertise of its membership with a broader audience. These trainings are designed to support the applications and implementation of the E-Rate program for school, district, and library leaders, and will further support the processes, rules, and strategies for applicants to be successful in maximizing the available reimbursements for Funding Year 2021.

“The power of SETDA is in its collective action,” stated Interim Executive Director, Christine Fox. “Our E-rate Collaborative members saw a need and rallied to coordinate and help launch this new initiative. We are looking forward to providing these services for E-Rate leaders across the country and believe this will be the first of many topics for SETDA trainings,” Fox continued.

The format of the trainings will be 90-minute online, interactive sessions launching October 22 and running monthly through April, 2021. These trainings will be conducted by leaders from SETDA’s E-Rate Collaborative, a subset of the SETDA membership, who are subject matter experts on the topic of E-Rate and include state E-rate Coordinators and their staff. Registration and additional details are available online via this link. Participants will have access to both the live sessions and the event archives and documentation.

“This year has imposed unprecedented challenges for educators with more hurdles to come to work through new educating models for their students. In an effort to save time and provide convenience for educators, these virtual trainings will provide valuable content while ensuring the safety and health of all,” Todd Lawrence, E-Rate Coordinator, Idaho Department of Education.

“These trainings are being developed to complement state specific trainings so that leaders from across the country can learn from one another but also follow-up with their states’ E-Rate Coordinator to ensure state laws policies and practices are implemented correctly,” stated Mindy Fiscus, Digital Access Coordinator, Learning Technology Center of Illinois.

For more information about the E-Rate Training Series: Ask the State Experts, use this link.

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About SETDA
Founded in 2001, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal non-profit membership association representing U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders. Our mission is to build and increase the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through technology policy and practice. For more information, please visit: setda.org.

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Rural Broadband Providers Work with FCC to Meet Internet Needs of Students in Low-Income Families

Federal Communications Commission Press Release

Hundreds of Rate-of-Return Carriers Will Provide Discounts and Service Upgrades to Help Families Obtain Needed Broadband Services-

WASHINGTON, October 1, 2020-The Federal Communications Commission this week enabled hundreds of rural broadband providers to offer discounts and service upgrades to families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches through the National School Lunch Program. To help connect low-income students to remote learning, the National Exchange Carrier Association worked with the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau staff on tariff revisions that will provide eligible new customers of rural carriers a 25% discount on certain broadband services and offer existing eligible customers faster connections at no cost.

“I applaud the hundreds of NECA members that are committed to helping low-income students in their service areas connect and stay connected to the Internet,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “With the continued reliance upon remote learning in many parts of the country, students need connectivity to learn from and communicate with their teachers and classmates. I’m pleased the Commission worked with these rural carriers to enable more low-income students in their communities to benefit from cheaper, faster broadband service.”

Tariffs contain the rates, terms and conditions of certain services provided by telecommunications carriers. The tariff revisions go into effect today, and the promotional offerings will be in effect through the end of June 2021. Each participating carrier will decide how to reach out to its community and to verify customer eligibility. For more information on the FCC’s efforts to keep Americans connected during the pandemic, visit:www.fcc.gov/coronavirus.

docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-367268A1.pdf 

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Congressman Chris Pappas Announces 2020 Congressional App Challenge

Congressional App Challenge 2020

Today, Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) invited high school students from across New Hampshire’s 1st District to participate in the 2020 Congressional App Challenge.

The Congressional App Challenge is a competition aimed at encouraging high school students to learn how to code by creating their own applications. The challenge is intended to highlight the value of computer science and STEM education. The challenge provides an opportunity for students to explore coding, design and create an app, and showcase their abilities.

“Every year students display their hard work, dedication, and skill through the Congressional App Challenge, and I know this year will be no different,” said Congressman Pappas. “It’s an honor to be able to recognize those talents in our nation’s capital, and I encourage any interested Granite Staters to submit an application and show the ingenuity that exists among New Hampshire students.”

Winners of the 2020 Congressional App Challenge are invited to #HouseOfCode. #HouseOfCode is an event, held each spring, in which the winners from each district’s Congressional App Challenge travel to Washington, D.C. to meet their representatives and discuss their apps. While the status of the 2021 event is pending due to COVID-19, competition organizers still intend to distribute prizes and Congressman Pappas will meet with the winner from NH-01, either in person or virtually.

Students looking to compete in this year’s challenge must submit their app by October 19 and should check for details here.

Submissions will be judged on the following criteria: 

  • Quality of the idea, including creativity and originality; 
  • Implementation of the idea, including user experience and design; 
  • Demonstrated excellence of coding and programming skills. 

If you have any questions please contact Ben Bernier at Benjamin.Bernier@mail.house.gov. 

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FCC Opens a Second Filing Window to Provide Schools with Supplemental Internet Funding

Logo of the Federal Communications Commission

SECA Praised the FCC for Granting their Request

Today the State E-rate Coordinators’ Alliance (SECA) praised the FCC’s action to open a second E-rate FY 2020 filing window that will provide additional funding to schools whose on-campus Internet needs and costs have increased due to the COVID-19 emergency. The Commission’s Order (DA-20-1091A1.pdf) grants the request that SECA submitted on August 3, 2020 (SECA August 3 Letter) and relies on the evidence provided in support of its request (SECA August 27 Letter).

Debra Kriete, SECA Chairperson, made the following statement:
“In the last six months, school officials have seen significant increases in their Internet bandwidth needs and associated costs as they worked to ensure students continued to receive their education during these extraordinary times. We applaud the FCC for recognizing this need and quickly establishing a rare, second application filing window. Under Chairman Pai’s leadership, schools have benefited from previous FCC COVID-19 relief related to deadline extensions and waiver of stringent gift rules. We are grateful the Commission acted so quickly to enact this additional relief.”

SECA submitted its request in response to the numerous inquiries that state E-rate coordinators received from school officials explaining their increased and unanticipated bandwidth needs and resulting costs. These schools had no way of anticipating their need for more Internet due to the COVID-19 pandemic when they requested their E-rate funding last spring. The subsequent support lent by other stakeholder groups on this subject illustrated to the FCC that there was widespread support for this request throughout the E-rate community.

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About SECA

SECA members provide E-rate coordination services in 46 states and 1 U.S. Territory. State Coordinators have daily interactions with and provide training to E-rate applicants to assist them with all aspects of the program. State coordinators serve as intermediaries between the applicant and service provider communities, the E-rate Administrator, and the Federal Communications Commission. SECA regularly communicates with the E-rate program administrator, the Federal Communications Commission) and other federal and state policy makers regarding the operation and administration of the E-rate program to convey recommendations and feedback to fulfill the goals of the program. The organization was established in 1997 and is operated by a dedicated team of volunteers. For more information, please visit www.secaerate.net.

SETDA and CoSN commend the FCC’s Emergency E-rate Filing Window

SETDA and CoSN commend the Wireline Bureau for opening an emergency E-rate filing window to help schools address their higher than expected on campus bandwidth demands. The Bureau’s decision will help schools support their students during a very challenging period and we appreciate the agency’s swift recognition of this on campus digital learning need.

Separately, CoSN and SETDA hope the FCC and Congress will also act this month to ensure that every student has a broadband connection at home. We strongly encourage Congress to approve the Emergency Educational Connections Act.

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About SETDA

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit membership association launched by state education agency leaders in 2001 to serve, support and represent their emerging interests and needs with respect to the use of technology for teaching, learning, and school operations. www.setda.org

About CoSN

CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. CoSN provides thought leadership resources, community best practices and advocacy tools to help leaders succeed in the digital transformation. CoSN represents over 13 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education. www.cosn.org

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Subscribe to the New NEPC Talks Education Monthly Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher

BOULDER, CO (September 16, 2020) – Loyal NEPC Education Interview of the Month listeners, as well as people discovering NEPC Talks Education for the first time, will find it easier than ever to plug into the smart, engaging conversations about education policy hosted each month from September through May by NEPC Researcher Christopher Saldaña.

Subscribe to the NEPC Talks Education podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher. You can also find episodes on our website, or search for “NEPC Talks Education” on any of the platform homepages.

In the first NEPC Talks Education podcast of 2020-2021, Saldaña explores with University of California Berkeley professor Janelle Scott the equity concerns raised by the emergence of learning pods. Future podcasts will take up topics such as the push for digital technologies in distance and in-person learning, the demoralization of K-12 teachers, and how school funding might be transformed in the near future.

Stay tuned in to NEPC for smart, engaging conversations about education policy. Don’t worry if you miss a month. Starting in 2020-2021 all NEPC Talks Education podcasts will be archived on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher, as well as on the NEPC website.

All of our previous Education Interview of the Month episodes can also be found on the NEPC website.

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), a university research center housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: http://nepc.colorado.edu

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Free Resources Supporting Digital Citizenship

Digital Respons-Ability is committed to creating smart and savvy digital citizenship and empowered parents. We want to help all students and families be safe and responsible online. Please use and share these free digital citizenship resources.

Digital Respons-Ability is a research-based provider of digital citizenship education. The program provides Digital Citizenship and parenting classes to schools and organizations.

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Make SketchUp Work for Your Classroom

SketchUp is 3D modeling software that is easy and intuitive, allowing anyone to model in 3D quickly and accurately. Using 3D models, students in your school can make more informed decisions, communicate project details, and share ideas with their teachers and classmates.

Get creative in your classroom with brand-new SketchUp for Schools for K-12 features. Explore improved localized Search (12 languages!), new curriculum, and educator resources to help customize your SketchUp lesson plans!

Visit the SketchUp for Schools blog to learn about all the new features.

Get SketchUp Pro for your district devices or at home for remote use.

We also have access to free installations of SketchUp Pro through our NH SketchUp Pro Public School Partnership. Network IP Addresses are required for the updated licenses. Network IP Addresses are required for the new licenses.

Due to the need for remote learning, for a limited time (through January 1, 2021), SketchUp is offering a home version that can be installed on your teachers/students home computers. No IP address whitelisting is required. Contact #NHEdTech with any questions, or submit an application for a SketchUp Pro license to learn more.

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