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By Laura Devaney, Managing Editor, eSchool News, March 13, 2013 – School district technology leaders aren’t too optimistic that their ed-tech budgets will increase over the next year, and funding remains among the top challenges that face ed-tech leaders, according to the Consortium for School Networking’s first annual K-12 IT Leadership Survey, released at CoSN’s annual conference in San Diego.

The survey revealed these seven key findings:

  • Eighty percent of school district IT leaders predict flat or declining ed-tech budgets.
  • When asked to name their top three priorities for the 2012-13 school year, K-12 technology leaders identified Bring Your Own Device programs, assessment readiness, and broadband access.
  • Budget and resource limitations, changing the culture of teaching, and breaking down district-wide barriers are ed-tech leaders’ biggest challenges
  • The most common titles, when it comes to school district IT leadership, are chief technology officer (CTO) and chief information office (CIO).
  • Many CTOs have held their positions for more than six years, indicating that the job position is relatively stable.
  • Eighty percent of IT leaders are in charge of both instructional and administrative technology for central and school-based staff.
  • School district CTO salaries tend to lag behind salaries of comparable positions in the business field.

Read the entire story by clicking here.

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Grant: Shade Structure Program

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Shade Structure Program gives grants for the purchase of permanent shade structures designed to provide shade and ultraviolet (UV) ray protection for outdoor areas. AAD also provides a permanent sign to be displayed near the shade structure that promotes the importance of sun safety.

Maximum award: $8,000

Eligibility: nonprofit organization or public schools that primarily serve children and teens 18 and younger; demonstrate an ongoing commitment to sun safety and skin cancer awareness by having a sun safety/skin cancer awareness program in place for at least one year prior to application; and are sponsored by an AAD member dermatologist.

Deadline: February 1, 2013.

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time-150x150From staff and writer service reports, eSchool News, December 3, 2012 –  Five states announced last week that they will add at least 300 hours of learning time to the calendar in some schools starting in 2013. Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Tennessee will take part in the initiative, which is intended to boost student achievement and make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level.

The three-year pilot program will affect almost 20,000 students in 40 schools, with long-term hopes of expanding the program to include additional schools—especially those that serve low-income communities. Schools, working in concert with districts, parents, and teachers, will decide whether to make the school day longer, add more days to the school year, or both.

Read the entire blog by clicking here.

We reported in a blog post from last week that many local schools are piloting extended day programs.  Do you teach at one of them?  Do you see it paying off?

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On a recent episode of Need To Know, Jon Meacham discusses how education is key to the United States regaining its footing economically, as well as remaining a military power (see video below). What do you think about his editorial?  Do you agree?  For more thought-provoking topics for the classroom or the teachers’ room, Need to Know airs Fridays at 8:30pm on WGBY. Watch full-length episodes of Need to Know through PBS Video.

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Making “the XX best…” lists at the end of the year is a popular exercise and the educational field is no exception. The editors of E-School News have put together what, in their opinion, are the ten best stories relating to developments  in education technology during 2011. The ten subjects are varied and their comprehensive stories offer many practical solutions for overcoming budget limitations.

1. “Bring Your Own Device” spells salvation for budget-strapped schools.

2. A controversial Missouri law puts social media boundaries between teachers, students in the national spotlight.

3. Social media helps rewrite the rules of internet search.

4. The demise of federal ed-tech funding puts school technology programs at risk.

5. iPads help turbo-charge the digital textbook revolution.

6. Common Core standards change education practices in states from coast to coast.

7. Teachers use video podcasts to turn learning “upside-down”—with promising results.

8. A new spirit of labor-management collaboration helps drive important school reform.

9. The ACLU spurs changes in how schools use internet filtering software.

10. Research bolsters the case for 3D learning.

Read the entire article by clicking here.

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Teaching Internet Safety

As internet use has become a daily part of most students’ lives, students must know how to protect themselves and their identity at all times—especially when teachers and parents aren’t there to help them. To get an idea how educators are approaching this issue, the editors of eSchoolnews recently asked readers: “Do you teach internet safety at your school or district? If so, how?” The responses were cataloged in ten categories: gaming activities, student generated projects, role playing, use of guest speakers, having students be the teachers, self-created curriculum, department citizenship programs, part of a research lesson and through school-wide programs.

Some of the responders recommended commercial software as part of their approach, but many relied on their own ingenuity. One elementary school teacher uses the analogy of Little Red Riding Hood (that things aren’t always as they seem; there are people who try to pretend they are something they are not). Another teacher uses investigative role-playing by having students figure out which of three websites is a hoax.

Read the entire article by clicking here.

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