EdTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Education https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/rss.xml en Review: Dell OptiPlex 7460 Offers Powerful Computing with Simple Setup https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/02/review-dell-optiplex-7460-offers-powerful-computing-simple-setup <span>Review: Dell OptiPlex 7460 Offers Powerful Computing with Simple Setup</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/dashboard/elizimmerman9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Tue, 02/19/2019 - 13:31</span> <div><p>Within the family of <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/dell.html?enkwrd=Dell" target="_blank">Dell </a>computers, the OptiPlex line is <strong>designed to have the most stable computing build</strong>. Constructed of reliable, tested components that can be deployed for years without conflict, interruption or obsolescence, the new Dell <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/product/dell-optiplex-7460-with-3y-prosupport-all-in-one-core-i7-8700-3.2-ghz/5137422" target="_blank">OptiPlex 7460</a> is the top of the new lineup.</p> <p>Perfect for school systems with limited IT support, the OptiPlex 7460 offers an <strong>all-in-one model with one of the easiest setups ever</strong> created for a desktop-class system. Simply place the monitor, which contains all of the computing hardware inside, and attach a power cord. Even a network cable is optional when using Wi-Fi for connectivity, and both the keyboard and mouse are wireless. The base unit can be locked down using an optional Kensington security cable with the included mounting bracket.</p> <p>OptiPlex 7460 is ready for nearly any multimedia or educational program thanks to its <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/intel-interstitial.html?enkwrd=Intel" target="_blank">Intel</a> <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/product/intel-core-i7-8700-3.2-ghz-processor/4859902" target="_blank">Core i7 3.2 gigahertz processor</a>, large 23.8-inch display and stereo sound bar. A 2 megapixel camera and a microphone array provide additional features that will prove useful for distance learning. Unlike most monitors that might pose a security risk with an always-on camera, the <strong>7460 mounts its webcam inside the monitor </strong>and must be manually clicked to pop up and deploy. And because busy K–12 classrooms are likely more chaotic than most offices, the entire system has been ruggedized to military standards.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/07/how-modern-learning-environments-support-numerous-pedagogies" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH:</strong> Check out how K–12 schools are updating their computer labs to fit modern learning.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">OptiPlex 7460 Keeps K–12 Classrooms Connected</h2> <p>Even the line’s wireless networking was designed with classroom settings in mind. It uses the newest 802.11ac Wave 2 technology to <strong>ensure quick connections to access </strong><strong>points</strong>, and can reserve bandwidth for specific users or applications as needed. It can also fall back on its Gigabit Ethernet port, although that would require adding a CAT 5 cable to the back of the unit.</p> <p><img alt="a" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/k12/higher/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/ET_Q219_PR_Breeden-OptiPlex7460-Product.jpg" /></p> <p>Finally, the Dell Client Command Suite, using some extremely powerful tools, allows easier management of every 7460 within a school. Rarely has it been easier for K–12 classrooms to <strong>deploy such powerful and reliable computing hardware</strong> with such little effort. The OptiPlex offers a reasonable investment that can pay dividends for years to come.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/09/4-tips-boost-your-k12-districts-wi-fi" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH: </strong>Here are four ways K–12 schools can boost their wifi.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Inside the New Dell Client Command Suite</h2> <p>Physical, manual set up of a single Dell OptiPlex 7460 takes about five minutes. Often, schools want to deploy, and then manage, quite a few units in classrooms or computer labs. Rather than getting bogged down trying to configure the <strong>exact programs, permissions and security levels</strong> for every one, Dell’s new Client Command Suite offers a powerful set of free tools that can be used to configure everything at once from a central location.</p> <p>The suite can be a real <strong>asset for schools with limited IT support and workers</strong>. Instead of spending days or weeks configuring and monitoring individual systems, units can be set up quickly and then managed using the software tools. For example, administrators can add specific programs they want students to access, and then push them out to each client, and even prevent others from being installed.</p> <p>The Client Command Suite is easy to use and extremely powerful, allowing detailed control of nearly every aspect of deployed 7460s. For example, setting up critical security and policy rules, such as <strong>BIOS passwords and device boot order</strong>, can be done in just a few minutes, and then pushed out to every system in the network, or just to select ones. That way, system groups can have different policies based on users if needed. More robust security can be configured for systems being used communally by students compared to teacher-only machines, for instance.</p> <p>Some of the most advanced features, such as how an individual system should react when its TPM security system encounters a specific alert, can be configured easily thorough the management software. Even better, the Dell Client Suite can be used to <strong>remotely troubleshoot systems that are experiencing problems</strong> through integration with <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/microsoft-interstitial.html?enkwrd=Microsoft" target="_blank">Microsoft</a> System Center and LANDesk. And patching systems becomes nearly a one-touch process.</p> <p>While individual OptiPlex 7460s are extremely easy to physically set up, the long-term value for education is likely found in its integration with the Dell Client Command Suite. Stretched IT teams will find that they can manage, <strong>protect and maintain a nearly unlimited number of Dell units</strong>, and keep teachers teaching and students learning without any technical interruptions. </p> <h3 id="toc_0">Dell OptiPlex 7460</h3> <p><strong>Processor</strong>: Intel Core i7 3.2GHz<br /><strong>Display</strong>: 23.8-inch IPS LED<br /><strong>Hard Drive</strong>: 500GB SATA, 7200 rpm<br /><strong>Graphics</strong>: Intel HD Graphics 630<br /><strong>Memory</strong>: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM<br /><strong>Dimensions</strong>: 21.3x13.5x2.5 inches<br /><strong>Weight</strong>: 13.3 pounds</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/john-breeden-ii"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/john-breeden-ii.jpg?itok=qht_53sT" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/john-breeden-ii"> <div>John Breeden II</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=LabGuys&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>John Breeden II is an award-winning reviewer and public speaker with 20 years of experience covering technology.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 19 Feb 2019 18:31:22 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41976 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 How Primary Students Can Use Technology Effectively https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/02/how-primary-students-can-use-technology-effectively <span>How Primary Students Can Use Technology Effectively </span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/dashboard/elizimmerman9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Mon, 02/18/2019 - 10:45</span> <div><p>One question I hear a lot in my travels is, “Can primary students use tech effectively?”</p> <p>My answer, always, is, “Of course!” Like any classroom tool, the youngest learners need good guidance and examples when it comes to engaging with technology in the classroom. It’s simply naive to think that our littlest learners can’t or shouldn’t have access to classroom technology. And it simply isn’t wise to incorporate technology with bad instructional habits: A screen should <strong>never take the place of a teacher </strong>or be used to babysit students. </p> <p><a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/industries/k-12-education-technology.html" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH:</strong> Find more strategies for connecting students and teachers for productive learning.</em></a></p> <h2> If Not Now, When?</h2> <p>It’s well-established that educational technology has a place in the lowest grades. For several years now, the U.S. Department of Education has <a href="https://tech.ed.gov/earlylearning/principles/" target="_blank">provided official guidance</a> on the use of technology with young children. </p> <p>The department sets out <strong>four guiding principles</strong> for using technology with early learners:</p> <ol><li>Technology — when used appropriately — can be a tool for learning.</li> <li>Technology should be used to increase access to learning opportunities for all children.</li> <li>Technology may be used to strengthen relationships among parents, families, early educators and young children.</li> <li>Technology is more effective for learning when adults and peers interact or co-view with young children.</li> </ol><h2 id="toc_1">Meaningful Use Mitigates the Dangers of Excessive Screen Time</h2> <p>Just as educational experts acknowledge technology’s role in early education, physicians and psychologists also recognize that spending too much time immersed in computers, smartphones or social media <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2722666" target="_blank">can have a negative impact on child development</a>. Again, it’s important for teachers and technologists to <strong>strike the appropriate balance and plan age-appropriate lessons</strong> when incorporating technology in the primary classroom setting. </p> <p>The <a href="https://www.azed.gov/" target="_blank">Arizona Department of Education</a> is one of many state education departments that <a href="https://cms.azed.gov/home/GetDocumentFile?id=5541577f1130c00f08985899" target="_blank">set attainment standards for early learners</a>, from pre-K through grade six. Students are expected to use technology to generate knowledge and new ideas starting in first grade.</p> <p>Pre-K students can explore and identify models and simulations to <strong>examine real-world connections and explore other cultures</strong>. All grade levels are expected to use technology to create original works in innovative ways. Pre-K and kindergarten students are also expected to recognize and discuss why there are rules for using technology at home and at school. That’s smart.</p> <p>And with those questions out of the way, I’d like to share a few of the more interesting examples and tools that you may find effective in the primary setting. I always tell my followers and colleagues that a good app should follow the “<strong>inspect, redirect, make correct” rule</strong>, allowing teachers to inspect student work at any moment during a lesson, not after the fact. That gives teachers time to redirect students to the correct path and students enough time to make the corrections. That’s especially important with young learners.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/09/k-12-schools-work-incorporate-computer-science-curriculums" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH: </strong>See how K–12 teachers are using creative ways to incorporate computer science into their lesson plans.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_2">K–12 Schools Get Started with Personalized Learning Tools</h2> <p>There are so many ways <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=G-Suite&amp;ctlgfilter=&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">G-Suite</a> can be incorporated in lessons for young learners. We like its potential for use in writing lessons, in helping students with letter recognition and <strong>even in demonstrating their understanding</strong> in other subject areas such as social studies or science. <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/google-interstitial.html?enkwrd=Google" target="_blank">Google</a> Drawings is particularly useful in all of those cases, providing a blank canvas for just about any lesson you want to teach. </p> <p>Teachers can insert shapes in G-Suite, allowing them to easily set up <strong>base 10 blocks or images representing coins for counting and math</strong>, and tables can be added for lessons that require data charting.</p> <p>At the <a href="https://www.kent.k12.wa.us/" target="_blank">Kent School District</a> in the state of Washington, a one-to-one device program is in place from kindergarten through sixth grade. There, kindergarten students use <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/product/microsoft-surface-pro-6-12.3-core-i7-8650u-8-gb-ram-256-gb-ssd/5298664?pfm=srh" target="_blank">Surface Pro</a> 3 devices and <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/product/microsoft-surface-pen-stylus-bluetooth-4.0-platinum/4637708" target="_blank">Surface Pens</a> to practice writing the alphabet, and fourth graders use the<strong> Scratch Space app </strong>in <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/microsoft-interstitial.html?enkwrd=Microsoft" target="_blank">Microsoft</a> OneNote to <a href="https://customers.microsoft.com/en-US/story/school-district-promotes-learning-innovation-with-adva" target="_blank">draw out math problems and shapes for geometry lessons</a>.</p> <p>Let’s keep talking about the apps and technology you’re using with young learners.</p> <p><em>This article is part of the "Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology" series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ConnectIT&amp;src=typd" target="_blank">#ConnectIT</a> hashtag.</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p></p><center><a href="http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/node/11661" target="_blank" title="Connect IT"><img alt="[title]Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="87" src="http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/sites/default/files/articles/2014/05/connectit.jpg" title="[title]Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology" width="400" /></a></center> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/taxonomy/term/11796"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/Joe%20Marquez.jpeg.jpg?itok=gjjnx4wg" width="58" height="58" alt="Joe Marquez" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/taxonomy/term/11796"> <div>Joe Marquez</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=@JoeMarquez70&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Joe Marquez is a K–12 Education Strategist with CDW•G. He is a certified Google Innovator and Microsoft Innovative Educator, and an adjunct professor for the Fresno Pacific University Educational Technology master’s program.<p></p></p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 18 Feb 2019 15:45:04 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41971 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 New Global Survey Offers Snapshot of Technology in the Classroom in 2019 https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/02/new-global-survey-offers-snapshot-technology-classroom-2019 <span>New Global Survey Offers Snapshot of Technology in the Classroom in 2019</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/dashboard/elizimmerman9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Thu, 02/14/2019 - 11:21</span> <div><p>As K–12 educators prepare students for a world where change happens at a rapid pace, they use multiple tools to communicate lessons. More often than not, new classroom technology is implemented in conjunction with, rather than instead of, more traditional classroom tools, according to a <a href="https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/Images/514611-global-education-census-survey-report.pdf" target="_blank">new report from Cambridge International</a>, which is based on an online survey of nearly <strong>20,000 teachers and students</strong> (ages 12–19) from 100 countries.</p> <p>The survey found that use of technology in schools worldwide continues to grow, with <strong>48 percent</strong> of students reporting they use a desktop computer in the classroom. Forty-two percent use smartphones, <strong>33 percent</strong> use interactive whiteboards and <strong>20 percent</strong> use tablets. Yet the numbers remain high for more traditional modes as well, such as pen and paper <strong>(90 percent)</strong> and whiteboards <strong>(73 percent)</strong>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/products/computers/desktop-computers.html" target="_blank">Desktop computers</a> are used significantly more than tablets: The U.S. leads the way with <strong>75 percent </strong>of classrooms using desktop computers. </p> <p>Use of desktops, <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/Computers/Notebook-Computers/?w=C3&amp;enkwrd=laptops" target="_blank">notebooks</a> and <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/Computers/Tablets-Tablet-PCs/?w=C7&amp;enkwrd=tablets" target="_blank">tablets</a> (think <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/asus.html?enkwrd=Asus" target="_blank">Asus</a> <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/product/asus-chromebook-c202sa-ys02/4004344?pfm=srh" target="_blank">Chromebook</a> and <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/acer.html?enkwrd=Acer" target="_blank">Acer</a> <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/product/acer-chromebook-tab-10-9.7-chrome-os-tablet/5029412" target="_blank">Chromebook Tab 10</a>) frequently support the ongoing trend of gamification in education, the report states. </p> <p>“Gamification makes learning more fun and engaging, and we find that it creates an environment where students are more apt to communicate and help each other,” says Nidhi Tassone, Acer America commercial marketing manager. </p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/11/educators-see-positive-impact-mobile-devices-k-12" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH:</strong> See how educators are using mobile devices to make a positive impact.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Smartphones Are Not Universal in K–12</h2> <p>One particular area of technology the survey highlighted as growing is smartphones. With mobile technology more integral to people’s lives, it’s predicted that <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/Electronics/Cell-Smart-Phones-Accessories/Cell-Smart-Phones/?w=EC1&amp;enkwrd=smartphone" target="_blank">smartphone</a> use in the classroom could reach <strong>55 percent</strong> in 2018 globally. The U.S. has already far surpassed that number and leads the world with smartphones, such as the <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/samsung-interstitial.html%20?enkwrd=Samsung" target="_blank">Samsung</a> <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/samsung-galaxy-s9-unlocked-sm-g960u1-midnight-black-4g-hspa-64-gb/5001008" target="_blank">Galaxy S9</a>, used in <strong>74 percent</strong> of classrooms.</p> <p>Allowing smartphones in the classroom continues to be a source of debate for many educational authorities. The New York State Education Department <strong>lifted a 10-year ban on smartphones in schools in 2015</strong>, but the French government imposed a ban on the devices this past year in middle schools. Opponents’ concerns typically lie in the devices’ potential to distract and prevent communication with peers in the classroom; however, teachers continue to find new ways <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/08/technology-helps-teachers-prevent-and-mitigate-bad-behavior-classroom">to use the tools to keep students focused on academics</a>.</p> <p>Another rapidly advancing classroom trend Tassone points to is the increasing popularity of immersive technologies like <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=virtual%20reality&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">virtual reality</a> and <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=augmented%20reality&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">augmented reality</a>. </p> <p>“Students can use VR and AR for educational experiences like exploring museums and historical sites they normally wouldn’t be able to see, or conducting chemistry experiments in a safe, simulated lab,” Tassone says.</p> <p>Technology’s impact on education continues for students outside of the classroom as well. The survey found that <strong>64 percent</strong> of students use a smartphone to do their homework, and <strong>65 percent</strong> do their homework on a notebook computer (that number rises to <strong>85 percent</strong> in the U.S.). </p> <p>The report ultimately finds both teachers and <strong>students rely on technology to add value to and enhance education</strong>. The expectation is that, in the future, students will develop greater autonomy in the learning process, selecting the technology that works best for them. Smartphones, laptops and desktops will clearly be part of that mix — alongside pen and paper.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/digital-transformation-trends.html"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/healthtechmagazine.net/files/Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/taxonomy/term/11791"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/0.jpg?itok=4k0GCo6n" width="58" height="58" alt="Larry Bernstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/taxonomy/term/11791"> <div>Larry Bernstein</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Larry is a freelance writer, author, and educator. He has taught English at both the high school and college level, and worked with struggling writers.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 14 Feb 2019 16:21:42 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41966 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams for Education: Find the Blended Learning Tool that Works Best https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/02/google-classroom-and-microsoft-teams-education-find-blended-learning-tool-works-best-perfcon <span>Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams for Education: Find the Blended Learning Tool that Works Best</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/dashboard/elizimmerman9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Wed, 02/13/2019 - 14:12</span> <div><p>There are a number of digital classroom offerings available for K–12 teachers to use. However, none are more widely adopted than <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/google-interstitial.html?enkwrd=Google" target="_blank">Google</a> Classroom and <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/Microsoft-Office-365-Pro-Plus-subscription-license-12-month/3202684" target="_blank">Microsoft</a> Teams. </p> <p>While both have similar features, <strong>they each offer unique tools </strong>that suit some classrooms better than others. </p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/10/how-k-12-schools-can-get-started-blended-learning" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH:</strong> See how K–12 schools can get started with using blended learning platforms.</em></a></p> <h2>What Are Blended Learning Platforms?</h2> <p>Blended learning <strong>combines technology and face-to-face interaction</strong> to improve student engagement, streamline assessments and open the lines of communication between teachers and students. </p> <p>Both <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/01/microsoft-unveils-new-tech-create-personalized-immersive-education" target="_blank">Microsoft Teams</a> and <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/08/google-classroom-updates-k-12-teachers-should-know">Google Classroom</a> offer <strong>a core package of tools that cover classroom essentials</strong>. In Microsoft Teams, for example, students and teachers have access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Google Classroom provides similar applications through Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. </p> <p>These online tools make it simple for teachers to send class materials, grade assignments, conduct assessments and monitor student progression.</p> <p>Meanwhile, students can <strong>seamlessly collaborate with classmates</strong>, submit assignments digitally and access class materials outside of regular school hours. </p> <p>Preliminary research suggests digital platforms can improve student testing outcomes. When the <a href="https://www.musd20.org/" target="_blank">Maricopa Unified School District</a> in Arizona introduced blended learning classrooms, students using the program scored <a href="https://azednews.com/blended-learning-boosts-students-learning-collaboration-and-creativity/" target="_blank">higher than the district average</a> on <strong>all six of the statewide achievement tests</strong>. </p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/01/qa-adam-welcome-how-k-12-educators-can-integrate-technology-engagement" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH:</strong> Find out how teachers can use technology in a learner-centered environment</em></a><em><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/01/qa-adam-welcome-how-k-12-educators-can-integrate-technology-engagement" target="_blank">.</a></em></p> <h2>What Can Microsoft Teams for Education Deliver to Your Classroom?</h2> <p>A major draw of Microsoft Teams is the <strong>amount of control it gives teachers, students </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> administrators</strong> over their respective roles in education. </p> <p>OneNote, for example, lets students and teachers <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/04/5-microsoft-onenote-tips-every-educator-should-know">compile their notes in a single, online location</a> that can be accessed on any connected device. </p> <p>Using this application, teachers can <strong>gather interactive lesson plans for each class into one hub</strong>. This makes it easy to distribute to students and share with fellow teachers. </p> <p>“I really like my students to be able to get information from me instantly. Through Teams and Class Notebook, I can push materials right out to them, or I can drop class notes right into their notebook,” <a href="https://customers.microsoft.com/en-us/story/davidson-education-teams" target="_blank">said Amy Welsh</a>, chair of the mathematics department at <a href="https://www.davidsonacademy.com/page" target="_blank">Davidson Academy</a> in Tennessee. “Teams is a way for students to interact, gather information, and share it right when they need it. I think Teams really <strong>embodies the way this generation uses technology.</strong>”</p> <p>Microsoft Teams also helps teachers collaborate on lesson plans and school initiatives. Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Flipgrid adds <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/11/k-12-videoconferencing-offers-new-opportunities-understaffed-school-districts">built-in </a><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/11/k-12-videoconferencing-offers-new-opportunities-understaffed-school-districts">videoconferencing</a> tools to Teams, giving teachers another way to connect across schools and districts.</p> <p>“Being a teacher, <strong>you never have all of the answers</strong>, so it is nice to be able to collaborate with other team members, whether it be down the hall, in another part of the building or in another state,” <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=153&amp;v=N7uiMs4dPcg" target="_blank">said Cherie Scholten</a>, a fourth-grade teacher at <a href="https://picotte.ops.org/" target="_blank">Picotte Elementary School</a> in Nebraska. “Using Teams is just an easy way to get more ideas on how to reach the kids in the classroom.”</p> <p>For IT professionals, Teams includes Microsoft Intune. This <a href="https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Enterprise-Mobility-Security/New-Updates-to-Intune-for-Education-Simplifies-Delegation-Adds/ba-p/250480" target="_blank">device management program</a> makes it easy for staff to delegate administrative roles, centrally configure new Windows settings, collect insights on device use and security and potentially reduce device configuration time <a href="https://educationblog.microsoft.com/2018/05/instruction-time-tei-research/" target="_blank">by 84 percent</a>.</p> <p>Microsoft Teams also includes SSync, a file system synchronization utility, which <strong>automatically creates student profiles</strong> within Microsoft Teams based on school roster data. </p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/04/personalized-learning-and-digital-tools-weave-strong-fabric-student-success" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH:</strong> Check out how digital tools weave a strong fabric for student success.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_2">What Can Google Classroom Deliver to Your Classroom?</h2> <p>Teachers who use <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/02/tcea-2019-how-one-k-12-principal-put-google-classroom-work">Google Classroom</a> <strong>praise its user-friendly accessibility</strong>. </p> <p>Google designed the Classroom suite to be simple to use, so teachers with less experience in technology can <strong>quickly incorporate it into their teaching</strong>.</p> <p>“Google Classroom’s document sharing, data collection, communication channels and closed environment are great benefits. It’s very easy to start a classroom — helpful instructions guide you through the entire process,” according to a <a href="http://www.uft.org/linking-learning/pros-and-cons-google-classroom" target="_blank">United Federation of Teachers blog</a>. “Once you add students, sharing is even easier; you just send resources to the entire class.”</p> <p>Classroom also offers a robust feedback component. Teachers can use the commenting tools in all of the core offerings to make notes on students’ work, from assignment to completion.</p> <p>“You can comment on works-in-progress, providing help along the way. <strong>Feedback on completed work can be a two-way conversation</strong>, mirroring an in-class conference,” according to the blog. “No more illegible margin notes that students ignore.”</p> <p>In a nod to the many administrative tasks that teachers must handle, Google also included a <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/08/google-classroom-updates-k-12-teachers-should-know">variety of classroom management tools</a>. For example, the Classwork page lets teachers switch quickly between assignments. And with tools designed for more efficient grading, teachers can spend less time evaluating assignments and more time interacting with students. </p> <p>Classroom is also compatible with <strong>numerous applications that teachers can add to their profiles</strong> to improve lesson plans. For instance, users have access to Workbench, an online platform focused on science, technology, engineering and math education content, where teachers can create and share lesson plans. </p> <p>Both Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams can <strong>help teachers improve student outcomes</strong> through blended learning. Collaboration between IT leaders and teachers can be a great way to understand which program may be the best fit.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/eli-zimmerman"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/headshot.jpeg.jpg?itok=QfIQ8S6q" width="58" height="58" alt="Eli Zimmerman" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/eli-zimmerman"> <div>Eli Zimmerman</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=eaztweets&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Eli has been eagerly pursuing a journalistic career since he left the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill School of Journalism. Previously, Eli was a staff reporter for medical trade publication <em>Frontline Medical News,</em> where he experienced the impact of continuous education and evolving teaching methods through the medical lens. When not in the office, Eli is busy scanning the web for the latest podcasts or stepping into the boxing ring for a few rounds.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 13 Feb 2019 19:12:27 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41961 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 Progress Made on K–12 Connectivity, But Work Remains https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/02/progress-made-k-12-connectivity-work-remains <span>Progress Made on K–12 Connectivity, But Work Remains</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/dashboard/elizimmerman9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Tue, 02/12/2019 - 11:41</span> <div><p>Teachers and students are well on their way to fulfilling the mission of seeing 99 percent of all schools connected to next-generation broadband, according to the <a href="https://stateofthestates.educationsuperhighway.org/#future" target="_blank">“2018 State of States Report” from EducationSuperHighway</a>.</p> <p>The nonprofit broadband advocacy group found nearly <strong>45 million students </strong>enjoy in-school access to high-speed internet connectivity, up from <strong>39 million</strong> in 2017.</p> <p>According to the group, <strong>98 percent</strong> of public schools have next-generation fiber infrastructure, and <strong>96 percent</strong> have enough connectivity to support online and digital learning. </p> <p>In all, 29 states<strong> </strong>have connected<strong> 99 percent </strong>of their schools to fiber. That may be because the cost to connect continues to fall, with 34 states reporting lowering the cost of broadband to less than <strong>$3 per megabit per second</strong>. </p> <p>That’s the good news. The bad news is that <strong>2.3 million students</strong> and <strong>1,356 schools</strong> lack basic infrastructure needed for digital learning, according to the report. </p> <p>In addition, even schools with the appropriate infrastructure in place to support e-learning haven’t met the Federal Communications Commission’s long-term connectivity goal of <strong>1 gigabit per second per</strong> <strong>1,000 users</strong>. </p> <p>According to the agency’s <em><a href="https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/reports/broadband-progress-reports/2018-broadband-deployment-report" target="_blank">2018 Broadband Deployment Report</a></em>, <strong>88 percent</strong> of U.S. schools meet the FCC’s short-term connectivity goal of 100Mbps per 1,000 users, while less than a quarter (<strong>22 percent</strong>) meet the long-term goal. Funding requests came in <strong>$1.4 billion</strong> below the program’s spending cap, meaning districts that could have benefitted from those investment dollars missed out. </p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/inside-look-e-rate" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH</strong>: Find the information you need to prepare for your E-Rate application.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Tips for Moving Forward on E-Learning</h2> <p>The report offers several suggestions for schools to ensure a stronger path forward on the high-speed connectivity journey — depending on what’s holding them back. For instance, organizations that can’t get project approval from district leaders need to <strong>work out a plan to better educate their boards and superintendents</strong> about the potential of digital learning and the importance of a scalable broadband infrastructure, EducationSuperHighway advises. That can be done at the district, county or state level. </p> <p>In Virginia, state education leaders recently established the <a href="http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/technology/edtech_plan/infrastructure_program/index.shtml" target="_blank">K–12 Learning Infrastructure Program</a>, which provides help with messaging about why<strong> high-speed connectivity is so important</strong>, along with assistance on managing E-rate and procurement so local districts can see those goals become reality. </p> <p>EducationSuperHighway’s report details two other critical steps. First, look for available public funds. This is particularly important for technology directors who don’t know how to fund an infrastructure update or were told by their districts that they can’t afford one. </p> <p>To that end, IT directors can educate boards and superintendents about two programs that are specifically designed to help schools pay for broadband and infrastructure upgrades, including E-rate and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s <a href="https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33816.pdf" target="_blank">Community Connect Grants Program</a>, which received <strong>$600 million</strong> from the 2018 federal budget. (The 2018 funding window is closed, but the 2019 program and funding should be announced soon.)</p> <p>Second, the report advises <strong>districts overwhelmed by the grant application process to ask for help</strong>. Indeed, that may be one of the easiest problems to solve, says Brian Stephens, senior compliance analyst at Funds For Learning, an E-rate consultancy firm based in Edmunds, Okla. </p> <p>“Every state has an E-rate coordinator,” Stephens said in an interview. “While they may not have IT expertise on staff, they have a good idea of which vendors provide what services. They also know which school districts are having success with their own build outs.”</p> <p>“<strong>Vendors are also good resources</strong>,” he adds. “They can help you see how to scale and understand where specific E-rate sensitivities are.”</p> <p><em>Here’s more help for maneuvering through the E-rate process: <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/02/tcea-2019-5-ways-improve-your-e-rate-process" target="_blank">Read “5 Ways to Improve Your E-Rate Process.”</a></em></p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/hybrid-cloud-infrastructure-report.html" target="_blank"><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/IT%20Infrastructure_IR_1%20(1)_1.jpg" /></a></p> <p> </p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/karen-j-bannan"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/bannan.jpg?itok=AUnlK_-q" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/karen-j-bannan"> <div>Karen J. Bannan</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Karen J. Bannan is a freelance writer and editor who has written for a variety of publications including <em>The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time</em> and <em>CIO.</em></p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 12 Feb 2019 16:41:20 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41956 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 GoGuardian Develops a New AI-Enabled Cloud Filter for K–12 Schools https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/02/goguardian-develops-new-ai-enabled-cloud-filter-k-12-schools <span>GoGuardian Develops a New AI-Enabled Cloud Filter for K–12 Schools</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/dashboard/elizimmerman9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:40</span> <div><p><a href="https://www.cdw.com/search/?key=GoGuardian&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">GoGuardian</a> has <a href="https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181213005228/en/GoGuardian-Extends-AI-Powered-Technology-New-Cloud-Based-Network" target="_blank">announced a new AI-enabled cloud-based filtering solution</a> for K–12 schools designed to expand <strong>filtering capabilities to all mobile and personal devices</strong> connected to school networks. </p> <p>K–12 students rely heavily on their mobile and personal devices, creating a challenge for school IT teams who need to be able to <strong>monitor and filter internet exploration</strong> as mandated under the <a href="https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/childrens-internet-protection-act" target="_blank">Children’s Internet Protection Act</a>. </p> <p>“Almost all schools have a network-level filter to cover their guest networks, teacher computers, computer labs, etc.,” said Advait Shinde, co-founder and CEO of GoGuardian. “However, we know from our conversations with school administrators that an acute pain point yet to be solved is an effective network filtering solution that offers students safe internet access from their own devices.” </p> <p>Extending content filtering to the cloud could benefit IT teams by extending their reach and easing some of their workload.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/04/web-filters-help-keep-students-safe-0" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH: </strong>Check out how web filters keep K—12 students safe.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Cloud Solutions Offer IT Teams Scalability and Management</h2> <p>Cloud-based content filtering solutions allow IT teams to <strong>adjust their protection protocols </strong>more easily to fit their schools’ specific needs without additional spending.</p> <p>For example, schools investing in a <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/07/successful-11-device-programs-help-students-get-online-home">one-to-one</a> <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/HP-Chromebook-14-G5-14-Celeron-N3350-4-GB-RAM-16-GB-SSD-US/4946642" target="_blank">Chromebook</a> initiative will not need to worry about installation concerns that come from legacy equipment that is not cloud-based. </p> <p>For the <a href="https://www.leeschools.net/" target="_blank">School District of Lee County</a> in Florida, administrators used GoGuardian’s cloud infrastructure to manage over <strong>22,000</strong> Chromebooks across <strong>93</strong> schools, <a href="http://learn.goguardian.com/rs/794-MYI-652/images/gg_nn_q4_Lee_County_Case_Study_letter.pdf" target="_blank">according to a case study</a>. </p> <p>When <a href="https://www.whsdk12.com/" target="_blank">Wayne Highlands School District </a>in Pennsylvania implemented its one-to-one device program, IT leaders decided to use a cloud solution developed by <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/cisco.html?enkwrd=Cisco" target="_blank">Cisco Meraki</a> to help monitor 1,200 devices while keeping costs low. </p> <p>Content filtering in the cloud also <strong>requires less physical maintenance</strong>, which helps IT teams manage their networks more easily. </p> <h2 id="toc_1">New Cloud Content Filters Can Ease Budget Constraints</h2> <p>Investments in <strong>cloud services have led to significant savings</strong> across industries, including in education, a benefit for budget-strapped IT teams.</p> <p>Schools investing in cloud integrations benefitted from lower costs in data storage, Internet of Things preparations and annual upgrades, according to a <a href="https://resourced.prometheanworld.com/cloud-computing-school-education/" target="_blank">blog post</a> from <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/promethean.html" target="_blank">Promethean</a>. </p> <p>By implementing cloud-enabled content filters, K–12 schools can <strong>do away with some of the maintenance costs </strong>associated with on-premises legacy systems. </p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" data-widget="image" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/cyber-security-report.html" id="" rel="" target="_blank" title=""><img alt="Cybersecurity_IR_howstrong_700x220.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/Cybersecurity_IR_howstrong_700x220.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_2">Artificial Intelligence Expands K–12 IT Ability to Protect Students</h2> <p>By using AI–enabled software, GoGuardian’s new filter can learn as it protects, <strong>updating to find and block new harmful content</strong>. </p> <p>Like previous iterations of GoGuardian’s solutions, the software can also help educators identify harmful patterns in online student behavior. The filter can then notify teachers if a student may be in need of emotional or psychological intervention. </p> <p>At <a href="http://putnamschools.org/" target="_blank">Putnam County School District</a> in Florida, administrators were able to identify four students in need of such assistance after <strong>troubling Google searches were identified</strong> through school-owned Chromebooks, <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/10/content-monitoring-tools-help-k-12-it-officials-patrol-internet-boundaries"><em>Edtech</em> reports</a>. </p> <p>With GoGuardian’s new software, teachers will be able to intervene no matter what device students are on as long as they are connected to the school network.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/eli-zimmerman"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/headshot.jpeg.jpg?itok=QfIQ8S6q" width="58" height="58" alt="Eli Zimmerman" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/eli-zimmerman"> <div>Eli Zimmerman</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=eaztweets&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Eli has been eagerly pursuing a journalistic career since he left the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill School of Journalism. Previously, Eli was a staff reporter for medical trade publication <em>Frontline Medical News,</em> where he experienced the impact of continuous education and evolving teaching methods through the medical lens. When not in the office, Eli is busy scanning the web for the latest podcasts or stepping into the boxing ring for a few rounds.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 11 Feb 2019 15:40:20 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41951 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 How to Redesign the K–12 Media Center https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/02/how-redesign-k-12-media-center <span>How to Redesign the K–12 Media Center</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/dashboard/elizimmerman9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Fri, 02/08/2019 - 11:31</span> <div><p>New, 21st-century pedagogies that focus on<strong> interactive curricula and collaborative assignments</strong> require new classrooms and media spaces to match.</p> <p>As we know, technology is an essential part of any modern classroom. Schools and districts outfitting new classrooms and modern media spaces must remember that digital solutions are not just cool to use, they also should inspire.</p> <p>The media center is the largest academic space in most schools and should be a place where students and staff want to be; otherwise, it is wasted space. Frequently, the media center is also the <strong>most public space for the community</strong>, where school meetings, board meetings and PTO meetings are held. You want to ensure that it’s a place your community can take pride in.</p> <p>When classroom and media center design is “driven by the desire to create personal and authentic learning experiences for students,” it can move teaching practices forward, Tom Murray, the director of innovation for Future Ready Schools, recently told <em><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/02/ice18-redesigning-classroom-not-about-being-pretty-pinterest" target="_blank">EdTech</a></em>. </p> <p>And while previous iterations of modern learning environments have proved effective, the next generation of media centers will need to include much more than 3D printers and makerspaces. </p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/11/k-12s-digital-transformation-giving-libraries-modern-makeover" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH: </strong>How K-12 schools can bring digital transformation to their libraries.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Consult Teachers on Classroom Needs</h2> <p>When building a classroom environment, <strong>confer openly with teachers</strong> about their specific needs to guide more meaningful technology integrations. </p> <p>To help students and faculty feel more comfortable in those new spaces, be sure to involve students in the conversations as well. </p> <p>When Harbor Beach High School in Michigan decided to <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/10/schools-sketch-out-modern-classrooms-and-then-make-them-reality">redesign its library</a>, administrators there held meetings with faculty, staff and members of the student council to decide how the new space should look based on how each group envisioned its use. After four months of sessions, the school landed on a space where students can study using one of the school-owned <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=32%20Lenovo%202-in-1%20convertible%20notebook%20computers&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Lenovo notebook computers</a> and where administrators can use the <a href="https://www.cdw.com/search/?key=Interactive%20HD%20tv&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">interactive HDTVs</a> for their board meetings. That’s a great model to follow.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/digital-transformation-trends.html"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/healthtechmagazine.net/files/Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">3 Learning Space Trends Inside K–12 Media Centers</h2> <p>To design an optimal learning space, it is just as important to openly discuss possible layouts for the room. <a href="https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/edu_pubs/49/" target="_blank">Research has shown</a> that a <strong>room’s physical elements</strong> have significant impact on student learning. </p> <p>We’ve already helped several schools plan alignments that fit under the top three learning space trends reported recently by <a href="https://www.eschoolnews.com/2018/10/03/top-5-trends-in-classroom-redesign/2/" target="_blank">eSchool News</a>: </p> <ol><li><strong>Cocoon zones: </strong>Modern learning environments should reflect the ways students use them, supporting group projects as well as individual study time. Singular study pods are a great resource for students who need to focus on work or creative thinking, free from distraction. These spaces are also great for students who prefer to work individually. </li> <li><strong>Active or flexible seating:</strong> A major component of 21st-century pedagogies is forming experiences around students’ needs. That extends beyond one-to-one Chromebook initiatives and personalized assessments to learning environments. Offering flexible seating, such as movable chairs and desks, and even floor mats, allows students and faculty to change a space to best meet their educational needs. </li> <li><strong>Collaborative spaces:</strong> Libraries and media spaces are no longer quiet reading rooms where everyone gets shushed. Teachers use group projects to better engage K–12 students and encourage collaboration. <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/media/video/iste-2018-take-tour-modern-learning-environment">Individual, wave-like desks</a> that can be combined to seat a large group are often used to accommodate such teamwork. </li> </ol><p>Regardless of what your school or district ultimately includes in a media center redesign, it is important to remember that every decision should be made with additional perspectives behind it. Designed correctly, a K–12 media center can, and should, work as a central hub for learning, where all members of a school can thrive.</p> <p><em>This article is part of the "Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology" series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ConnectIT&amp;src=typd" target="_blank">#ConnectIT</a> hashtag.</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p></p><center><a href="http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/node/11661" target="_blank" title="Connect IT"><img alt="[title]Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="87" src="http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/sites/default/files/articles/2014/05/connectit.jpg" title="[title]Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology" width="400" /></a></center> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/curtiss-strietelmeier"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/image001.png.jpg?itok=pM5aEFL3" width="58" height="58" alt="Curtiss Strietelmeier" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/curtiss-strietelmeier"> <div>Curtiss Strietelmeier</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Curtiss Strietelmeier is a K–12 analyst for CDW•G. He spent two years as an elementary teacher, two years as an educational trainer, 10 years as a director of technology and six years as a school superintendent.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 08 Feb 2019 16:31:55 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41946 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 TCEA 2019: As Ed Tech Expands, So Do Privacy Concerns https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/02/tcea-2019-ed-tech-expands-so-do-privacy-concerns <span>TCEA 2019: As Ed Tech Expands, So Do Privacy Concerns</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/dashboard/elizimmerman9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Wed, 02/06/2019 - 16:40</span> <div><p>Educators and IT leaders gathered on Wednesday to talk about <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/01/fetc-2019-how-k-12-it-leaders-can-advise-data-privacy">privacy in education</a> — or, as Sheryl Abshire put it, “the things that keep you up at night.” Abshire, CTO of <a href="https://www.cpsb.org/" target="_blank">Calcasieu Parish Public Schools</a>, presented “From Privacy to Trust: Strengthening Your District” at the <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/tcea-2019">Texas Computer Education Association Convention &amp; Exposition </a>in San Antonio.</p> <p>“What’s the state of privacy in education today? Scary,” Abshire said. “So how do we change this conversation in our school districts?”</p> <p>Privacy concerns <strong>are increasing among parents and lawmakers</strong>, Abshire said. Parents want more regulation of how districts <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/12/how-k-12-schools-can-maintain-student-safety-without-undermining-privacy">handle children’s sensitive information</a>, and states are responding with new laws. </p> <p>Public data breaches, such as the massive compromises at <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/equifax-data-breach" target="_blank">Equifax</a>, <a href="https://www.sans.org/reading-room/whitepapers/casestudies/paper/35412" target="_blank">Target </a>and other companies, have increased awareness, Abshire said. But the other major change is the <strong>increased reliance on technology</strong> — a far cry from the days when all administrators had to worry about was whether they’d locked the filing cabinet where students’ paper records were kept.</p> <p>“I’m going to suggest to you that everything is different, because education is changing,” said Abshire. “Technology has <strong>shifted and changed and redirected the way</strong> we use data. We’re moving things to the cloud like crazy, because it’s easier and it’s cheaper.” </p> <p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/EdTech_K12?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor" target="_blank"><strong>JOIN THE CONVERSATION:</strong> Follow @EdTech_K12 on Twitter for continued TCEA 2019 coverage</a>.</em></p> <h2 id="toc_0">K–12 Data Privacy Policies Must Catch Up to Technology Use</h2> <p>The problem, Abshire said, is that data applications are evolving faster than policy. </p> <p>Together, these circumstances have created the <strong>potential for a lack of trust in districts’ ability to keep children’s data safe</strong>, and that’s a problem, Abshire said. </p> <p>“For us as leaders … people have to trust us with what we’re doing,” she said.</p> <p>The other risk is that if parents lack confidence in districts’ ability to protect students’ information, they may call for restrictions on educational technology, a trend that Abshire said is already taking place. </p> <p>“These concerns over privacy are <strong>chilling the use of technology</strong> in some places,” she said. </p> <p>That means district leaders must learn to manage both <strong>educational technology and data privac</strong>y, and therein lies the challenge, said Abshire: “The more we rely on technology, the more our privacy is threatened.” </p> <p>K–12 districts are a particularly attractive target because they contain both the <strong>financial information of employees</strong>, collected for direct paycheck deposits and other functions, and the <strong>spotless credit records of young people</strong>. The latter are valuable, Abshire said, because the majority of parents don’t keep a close eye on their children’s credit reports for suspicious activity.</p> <p>“By the time it’s discovered, it will have been used up,” she said. </p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" data-widget="image" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/cyber-security-report.html" id="" rel="" target="_blank" title=""><img alt="Cybersecurity_IR_howstrong_700x220.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/Cybersecurity_IR_howstrong_700x220.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">5 Threats to Keep on the Data Protection Radar</h2> <p>To guide them in developing data protection programs, K–12 leaders should have five types of threat on their radar, said Abshire.</p> <p>Security breaches are situations in which <strong>someone gains intentional, unauthorized access to district data</strong>. These can result from malware that introduces a backdoor network vulnerability, a hack into a system or a lost device with an unencrypted hard drive.</p> <p>“If you get breached, you must have procedures and policies in place to guide you,” Abshire said.</p> <p>The next area of concern is the “need to know.” Leaders should <strong>establish a structured, role-based system for data access</strong> and ensure that it reflects job changes and other issues. Too often, Abshire said, “data is too accessible by too many people.”</p> <p>The potential for the <strong>commercial use of data</strong> is a red flag for parents and privacy advocates, who are concerned that children could be targeted for marketing and other noneducational purposes.</p> <p>What Abshire called “self-inflicted, unintended consequences” — accidental compromises that occur, often because an <strong>employee falls victim to a phishing attempt </strong>and clicks on a dangerous link — present another major risk. </p> <p>Finally, leaders must be <strong>mindful of students’ digital footprint</strong>, helping them to set the right privacy settings on social media and avoid oversharing. </p> <p>Even as more states introduce data privacy laws designed to protect students’ information, Abshire said she believes “laws are not enough.”</p> <p>“We’ve got to be leaders in that area,” she said.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/tcea-2019"><em>Keep this page bookmarked for articles from the event</em></a><em>. Follow us on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/EdTech_K12?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor" target="_blank">@EdTech_K12</a> or the official conference Twitter account, <a href="https://twitter.com/TCEA?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor" target="_blank">@TCEA</a>, and join the conversation using the hashtag <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TCEA?src=hash" target="_blank">#TCEA</a>.</em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/amy-burroughs"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/BURROUGHS.jpeg.jpg?itok=oq8Gpl4w" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/amy-burroughs"> <div>Amy Burroughs</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Amy is managing editor of <em>EdTech Magazine: Focus on Higher Education</em>.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 06 Feb 2019 21:40:56 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41941 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 TCEA 2019: How K–12 Schools Can Simplify Data Analytics Initiatives https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/02/tcea-2019-how-k-12-schools-can-simplify-data-analytics-initiatives <span>TCEA 2019: How K–12 Schools Can Simplify Data Analytics Initiatives</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/dashboard/elizimmerman9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Wed, 02/06/2019 - 15:44</span> <div><p>As more districts begin to subscribe to the notion that data is the be-all and end-all in education, Mike Charland of <a href="https://www.birdvilleschools.net/" target="_blank">Birdville Independent School District advocates</a> for a slightly different approach.</p> <p>“We do not need to drown people in data and make teachers and principals data scientists,” said Charland, director of enterprise solutions for the Texas school district, which serves more than <strong>23,000 </strong>students on <strong>30-plus</strong> campuses. Charland presented at the <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/tcea-2019">Texas Computer Education Association Convention &amp; Exposition</a> in San Antonio on Wednesday.</p> <p>The data available to teachers and administrators<strong> </strong><strong>is</strong><strong> too unpredictable and uncontrollable</strong> in its number of variables to make effective statistical data analysis possible, Charland noted. What’s more, so much of the data available at the school district level is in silos.</p> <p>That said, schools should work toward <strong>making data available faster</strong>, and opening it up for student access.</p> <p>“They need it, and they are a group we have left out of the equation,” said Charland. He encourages the idea of <strong>including students in the planning process</strong>, “sitting down and helping them, ‘This is where you are, let us think about what you need to get to the next level.’”</p> <p>Charland’s team is working on <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/microsoft-interstitial.html?enkwrd=Microsoft" target="_blank">Microsoft </a><a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/power-bi-pro-subscription-license-1-year-1-user/3799989" target="_blank">Power BI</a> applications that give students more access to data, and identified several key challenges school districts need to overcome when working toward more effective data applications:</p> <ul><li><strong>Data Systems </strong><strong>Are Not Integrated</strong><strong>:</strong> Every school district has a variety of systems that routinely collect data, but few actually work and play well with others. “They do not talk to each other,” Charland said. “We have to start making that a mandatory process.”</li> <li><strong>Teachers and Principals Use Too Many Software Programs:</strong> There is an increased risk of damaging data integrity when data is pulled from a variety of locations. “How valid is data when it is been cut and pasted from a bunch of different places?” Charland asked.</li> <li><strong>K–12 Schools Have Improper Software Onboarding:</strong> Charland pointed out that even across a single district, different buildings can implement the same software solution in different ways, which impairs the ability to gather data districtwide.</li> </ul><p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/01/fetc-2019-k-12-schools-evolve-their-data-focus-improve-student-outcomes" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH:</strong> K–12 schools evolve their data focus to improve student outcomes.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Where Do Schools Go from Here?</h2> <p>“First and foremost, clean up the mess,” Charland said. </p> <p>To use data effectively, you need to build data connections, he said. Some districts may need to<strong> build out their database</strong> — helpful if there is too much redundant data when merging disparate databases. </p> <p>Using <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/power-bi-pro-subscription-license-12-month-1-user/3800560" target="_blank">Microsoft Power BI Pro</a> and Power BI Report Server, along with <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/microsoft-sharepoint-server-2019-license-1-server/5347121" target="_blank">SharePoint</a>, Charland’s team allows teachers to get students actively engaged in setting their own goals.</p> <p><em>Keep <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/tcea-2019">this page bookmarked for articles from the event</a>. Follow us on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/EdTech_K12?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor" target="_blank">@EdTech_K12</a> or the official conference Twitter account, <a href="https://twitter.com/TCEA?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor" target="_blank">@TCEA</a>, and join the conversation using the hashtag <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TCEA?src=hash" target="_blank">#TCEA</a>.</em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/kelly-konrad"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/kellykonrad-90_0.jpg?itok=efNtVsEP" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/kelly-konrad"> <div>Kelly Konrad</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Kelly is a senior editor with<em> EdTech: Focus on Higher Education</em>. She is a long time reporter, writer and editor, with extensive experience in features, corporate communications, trade publications and content marketing.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 06 Feb 2019 20:44:29 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41936 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 TCEA 2019: 5 Ways to Improve Your E-Rate Process https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/02/tcea-2019-5-ways-improve-your-e-rate-process <span>TCEA 2019: 5 Ways to Improve Your E-Rate Process</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/dashboard/elizimmerman9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Wed, 02/06/2019 - 10:04</span> <div><p>As the <a href="https://www.fcc.gov/" target="_blank">Federal Communications Commission </a>weighs potential changes to the E-rate program, consultant Deborah Sovereign shared some of her predictions about its likely course of action at the <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/tcea-2019" target="_blank">Texas Computer Education Association Convention &amp; Exposition</a> in San Antonio on Tuesday. </p> <p>Sovereign, whose firm, Kellogg &amp; Sovereign Consulting, specializes in E-rate programs for schools and libraries, presented “E-Rate Strategies for Maximizing Funding” with Myrna Martinez, director of information services for the <a href="http://www.harlandale.net/" target="_blank">Harlandale Independent School District</a> and a client of the firm.</p> <p>One expected change will be the establishment of a <strong>permanent filing window that will stay the same every year</strong>, likely from January 15 to March 30, Sovereign said. She also predicted that with the FCC entering the fifth year of its modernization program, districts will get an across-the-board refresh on their five-year budgets, although she emphasized that the FCC hasn’t yet made a decision.</p> <p>Sovereign and Martinez presented several best practices that can guide districts to E-rate success.</p> <p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/EdTech_K12?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor" target="_blank"><strong>JOIN THE CONVERSATION:</strong> Follow @EdTech_K12 on Twitter for continued TCEA 2019 coverage</a>.</em></p> <h2 id="toc_0">1. Build an E-Rate Team in Your District</h2> <p>“You <strong>don’t ever want to do this by yourself</strong>,” Martinez said.</p> <p>She advocated for engaging a consultant, like her district has, in part because E-rate program rules change so frequently.</p> <p>“If you try to keep up with that, you’re going to miss something,” she said.</p> <p>In addition to helping a district stay on track with its application process and manage the details for the best outcomes, she said a consultant can also help districts obtain and use their funding in a way that will <strong>help to avoid potential audits</strong>. </p> <p>Internal E-rate teams should include district champions (financial leaders such as the CFO, superintendent or board members), a technical lead, the procurement manager and child nutrition professionals, since their departments are involved in determining the district’s eligibility.</p> <p>Districts should also designate a primary E-rate point of contact, Martinez said.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">2. Start the Application Process Early</h2> <p>Martinez said her <strong>best piece of advice is to start early</strong>. The danger of not doing so is that districts may run out of time to solicit bid proposals, particularly if they don’t receive enough on the first round and have to seek out more. </p> <p>Ideally, districts will start preparing for the March deadline <strong>as early as the previous September or October</strong>, Sovereign said.</p> <p>“It really is critical to stay on time,” she said. “There are a bunch of little ‘gotchas’” that can crop up, particularly in the request for proposal process. </p> <p>For example, any time an RFP is changed, that resets the <strong>28-day clock to receive bids</strong>, she said. If districts aren’t aware of that, or don’t allow enough time, it can create problems.</p> <p>To make filing easier, Sovereign said, administrators should take the time to carefully read all of the instructions. </p> <p>“Whatever you do, don’t forget to certify your app, which is the biggest part,” she said.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/inside-look-e-rate" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH</strong>: Find the information you need to prepare for your E-Rate application.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_2">3. Pay Attention to Competitive Bidding Details</h2> <p>“Language can be critical,” Sovereign said.</p> <p>She recommends that if districts want any specific requirements to be in their contract at the end of the process, such as a <strong>multiyear renewal or a mandatory meeting requirement</strong>, they include it in the RFP from the beginning. One of the benefits of the open E-rate process is that leaders can look at other districts’ RFPs for examples and ideas. </p> <p>It’s also important to ensure that the matrix for scoring bids is the same as the matrix included in the initial RFP, Martinez said.</p> <h2 id="toc_3">4. Be Mindful of Contract Provisions</h2> <p>Sovereign recommends <strong>a multiyear renewal clause</strong>, even if a district doesn’t initially think it will require one, so it doesn’t need to go through an RFP process every time an extension is required. </p> <p>Administrators also should pay close attention to FCC requirements that govern E-rate contracts — for example, <strong>a signed contract is critical</strong>, even if the district has already issued an award letter to a specific bidder. </p> <p>Contracts also should say that they are <strong>contingent on E-rate funding and on subsequent governing board approval</strong>, Martinez noted. That will mitigate the risk of potentially being on the hook for a termination penalty if circumstances change in the future.</p> <p>“It’s called a nonappropriations clause and you definitely want it in there,” she said.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/01/k-12-e-rate-requests-slow-even-money-available" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH</strong>: E-rate applications slow despite available funds.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_4">5. Think Ahead with Project Implementation</h2> <p>One of the best favors that administrators can do for themselves is to <strong>keep detailed documentation</strong>, Sovereign said. Auditors may come knocking in five or 10 years, so districts must keep track of their funding and how they use it.</p> <p>Martinez’s district underwent an audit for Wi-Fi equipment that covered <strong>more than 1,000 access points</strong>. “The auditors wanted to see every one,” she said.</p> <p>Fortunately, Martinez was able to quickly document each <strong>AP location by placing a red dot on building blueprints</strong>, so it was very easy to take auditors through the buildings they wanted to see and point out every AP.</p> <p>“All the work we had done upfront to say, ‘This is exactly where the equipment is’” paid off, she said.</p> <p>More common than site visits are <strong>Payment Quality Assurance audits</strong>, Sovereign said, but if districts aren’t able to produce satisfactory answers, these may trigger an in-person audit.</p> <p>“They want to find something wrong, because that’s their job,” she said. “Take them very seriously and don’t put them aside.” </p> <p>She said districts should <strong>save all of their documentation for at least 10 years</strong>. Each year when the application is finished, administrators should gather their supporting documentation and file it away for easy reference in the future.</p> <p>Finally, Martinez encouraged attendees to take full advantage of any E-rate funding they can. </p> <p>“The money is there,” she said. “As the director for a school district, I pretty much owe it to my kids to do this. The process is not as difficult as E-rate once was.”</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/tcea-2019"><em>Keep this page bookmarked for articles from the event</em></a><em>. Follow us on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/EdTech_K12?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor" target="_blank">@EdTech_K12</a> or the official conference Twitter account, <a href="https://twitter.com/TCEA?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor" target="_blank">@TCEA</a>, and join the conversation using the hashtag <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TCEA?src=hash" target="_blank">#TCEA</a>.</em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/amy-burroughs"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/BURROUGHS.jpeg.jpg?itok=oq8Gpl4w" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/amy-burroughs"> <div>Amy Burroughs</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Amy is managing editor of <em>EdTech Magazine: Focus on Higher Education</em>.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 06 Feb 2019 15:04:33 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41931 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12