#DLDay Digital Learning Day is Coming on February 17

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On February 17th, 2016, thousands of schools and local communities will celebrate the 5th anniversary of Digital Learning Day! Digital Learning Day has provided a powerful venue for education leaders to highlight great teaching practices and showcase innovative teachers, leaders, and instructional technology programs that are improving student outcomes. It’s a grassroots effort which has blossomed into a nationwide celebration not about technology but about student learning and using technology to enhance the role of the teacher in classrooms.

Year after year, partners have played a crucial role in spreading the word about effective education innovation and reimaging learning in America’s classrooms through Digital Learning Day. We’re excited to work with you to spread the word about this year’s celebration of #DLDay on February 17th.

How are YOU re-imagining learning with technology? In honor of Digital Learning Day on Feb. 17th, share your best education technology resources for a chance to win an Apple Watch. Find out more at Digital Learning Day 2016. Continue reading

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#PrivacyAware January 28 is Data Privacy Day

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Data Privacy Day may not sound like the most exciting event to add to your calendar, but it serves as a hugely important reminder of the value of security. January 28 is the big day, and there has never been a better time to ensure that you are following best practice — and there’s no reason not to get started ahead of time.

35 years ago, Data Protection Day was launched, and over the years this evolves into Data Privacy Day. The aim is to improve privacy and security awareness online, on mobile, and on computers in general. Whatever you use your phone, computer and other devices for, there’s plenty you can do to increase your security and privacy. Continue reading

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Have e-days gained enough traction to usurp the snow day?

616px-miniskirts_in_snow_stormTo many K-12 students, there’s only one thing that’s as exciting as summer vacation: unexpected days off during the winter. Snow days can offer students a welcome break from their regular schedules, with time to goof off, catch up on studies, or socialize.

But that might be changing. More schools nationwide are transforming expectations around what students do when the weather is too dangerous to attend classes.

Exactly what they sound like, increasingly popular “e-days” see students attend school remotely via the Internet.

At the Benjamin Logan Local School District in Logan County, OH, this year marks a turn for district officials and school staff. Instead of facing yet another unpredictable winter calendar, they’ve created a “Memo of Understanding” to guide how snow days will be handled. Continue reading

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The Advanced Google Searches Every Student Should Know

google-logo“Did he seriously just ask that? How old is this guy?” Well yes, I recently seriously just asked a group of students if they knew how to search Google. And yes, the students got a good laugh from my question.

“Of course I know how to use Google,” I have been told by every student to whom I have asked the question.

“Really? Let’s see. This won’t take long,” I promise.

The truth is that every student can use Google on some level. What is interesting to me is that when I interview students about their search strategies and I ask them if they have ever asked their teachers for help with a search the answer is almost always, “No”. What if our students are overconfident about their search skills? Continue reading

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6 Pillars to Successfully Integrate Technology In Your 1:1 Classroom

blog-post-1-5Inspired By Gary Spracklen of Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA), United Kingdom

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducted a study on the correlation between test performance and technology usage in the classroom.  In the last quarter of 2015, they released their findings in “Students Computers and Learning: Making the Connection”.  In summary, their results suggested “no noticeable improvement” in standardized test scores (PISA) for reading, mathematics, or science in countries that heavily invested in classroom technology; thus, they do not believe expanding access to high-tech devices (1:1 Chromebook programs) will abate falling test scores.

Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills at OECD, warns that this analysis “should not be used as an ‘excuse’ not to use technology, but as a spur to finding a more effective approach”.  Gary Spracklen and his colleagues at IPACA stand by the effectivity of technology in learning and in response have created the Educational Digital Maturity Index (EDMI) –a 6-prong guide to achieve a great technologically-integrated learning environment. Continue reading

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ISTE Releases the first draft of the new ISTE Standards for Students

iste_logo_fullcolorDo today’s students need to be empowered learners, knowledge constructors, innovative designers? Should they be computational thinkers and global collaborators?

Many of you believe they should.

Today, ISTE is releasing the first draft of the new ISTE Standards for Students. Since we launched the standards refresh at ISTE 2015 in June, educators have shared feedback during face-to-face forums, in virtual meetings and via online surveys. The draft document represents the ideas, thoughts and opinions of hundreds of educators from nearly all 50 U.S. states and multiple countries. Continue reading

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10 keys to success in blended learning

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Flickr / woodleywonderworks

Elementary teachers have seen the value of centers for a long time. Middle and high school teachers value collaboration and the ability to have more small group/ one on one time with their students.

Here are 10 lessons I’ve learned as an instructional technologist about blended learning. Some of them were expected and some of them have been “ah ha” moments for our teachers. Continue reading

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