What’s Happening in the World of Education Technology?

EdTech gathers the most important news, tips and social trends impacting K–12 IT today.

Savvy CTOs

The Consortium for School Networking has created the Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL) certification so chief technology officers can better understand how technology enhances the classroom and overall educational environment.

Based on the Framework of Essential Skills of the K–12 CTO, the CETL exam comprises three primary areas: leadership and vision; understanding the educational environments; and managing technology and support resources. The first part of the exam is multiple choice, and the second part is based on an essay.

Seeing Is Believing

Many school districts have spurred collaboration and reduced costs with unified communications. Video conferencing, in particular, supports distance learning initiatives, but it also offers a platform for training and discussion among teachers and academic officials located at different sites.

CDW's Tech Insights app includes a video conferencing guide to help inform a school's video conferencing journey. Learn more by visiting edtechmag.com/k12/tech-insights.

Handy Resource

Sarah Van Duyn, managing content director of K–12 Education Practices for Hanover Research, shares the top three research requests coming from K­–12 officials this year:

  1. Evaluation of classroom technologies: School districts have made significant IT purchases to engage learners, teach them new skills and save money. Districts are now planning for rigorous evaluations of how well the technology improves teaching and learning.
  2. Best practices in transitioning to digital textbooks: The replacement of paper textbooks with digital textbooks offers exciting opportunities, but the move can be a huge change that requires a comprehensive implementation plan.
  3. Professional development for technology integration: Effective integration requires a cultural shift away from traditional instructional practices. Teachers will need professional development opportunities that include collaborative learning experiences, use of online repositories for tutorials and lesson plans, and coaching.

Boosting Student Engagement

A new Education Week Research Center survey, "Engaging Students for Success," examines strategies for increasing student interest and eagerness to excel in school. These approaches range from classroom instructional techniques to programs enlisting support and involvement from the local community.

This chart breaks down the approaches school districts use to measure engagement and motivation.

Engaging Students

SOURCE: Education Week Research Center, "Engaging Students for Success," April 2014

Social Barometer: Tech Talk

"So many LMS/CMS solutions/providers — too many. What's clear is this … much like hardware, content will become a commodity." @federoffm (Matt Federoff, CIO, Vail School District, Vail, Ariz.)

"Students are a big future market for tech companies, but does that mean schools shouldn't use their products?" @jimcorns (Jim Corns, Chief Operations Officer for Instructional Technology, Washington County Public Schools, Hagerstown, Md.)

"Tweetdeck changed everything for me. It completely cleared it up and let me engage at an entirely different level." @SteveWyborney (Steve Wyborney, District Math Coach, Ontario School District, Ontario, Ore.)

"Good games teach you along the way. Beating a level = feedback. The game is a form of assessment." @OfficeofEdTech (Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education)

LuminaStock/Thinkstock
Oct 01 2014

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