In this edWebinar, three district leaders share how they work to effectively lead the implementation and use of online assessments in schools.
Join this edWebinar with four superintendents who are recognized as technology leaders in their field. They will share what it takes to successfully deploy, implement and sustain a commitment to digital learning.
School- and district-wide wireless internet access is no longer a nice-to-have—it’s a must have. And with staff, teachers, parents, and students needing 24/7 access, there’s never a good time for down time. During the edWebinar, “Smart Network Design for Transformation and Innovation: Reaching in and Beyond the Classroom,” the presenters discussed the six elements of CoSN’s new network design for continuous service.
Schools are facing new challenges now that most learning involves the web—chiefly, the ability to do work at home or anywhere away from school grounds. While many are looking for ways to provide all students with a device, just having the device does not mean equitable learning. All students need to have the same access to WiFi, and thus the ability to use the device, whether they are at school or not. In the edWebinar, “Closing the Homework Gap: Digital Equity for All Students,” the presenters talked about the challenges and potential solutions to fulfill the promise of anytime, anywhere learning.
The industrial education model was massively successful, with high school graduation rates and student achievement increasing decade after decade. However, by the end of the 20th century, it was evident that the industrial education model had hit its limit with graduation rates plateauing at 80% and student achievement and engagement plummeted the longer students were in school. According to Dr. Devin Vodicka, Chief Impact Officer at AltSchool, in a recent edWebinar, reform after reform and many well-intended efforts have tried to reach the aspiration of all students being successful. Vodicka along with Erik Burmeister, Superintendent, and Theresa Fox, Coordinator of Technology and Innovation, both from Menlo Park City School District, CA, agreed that if 80% of students are graduating, then 20% of students are not graduating and that educational professionals can’t be satisfied with these statistics.
edWeb.net is delighted to announce a partnership with CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) to help leaders in rural school districts who are dedicated to taking the Digital Leap. edWeb and CoSN will be launching an online community and series of edWebinars titled “Tech for Rural Districts.” The program will leverage CoSN’s expertise and network of district leaders to help rural districts with the unique challenges and opportunities that they face with acquiring and implementing technology.
In a 2018 survey, the majority of school districts either have 1:1 as a current goal or have already achieved it. Along with a 1:1 goal, comes the deluge of edtech tools, software, and applications into classrooms. School districts are struggling with the fact that 70% of purchased licenses for edtech programs don’t get used at all within the school year and only 10% of teachers know how often students should use edtech programs to drive learning outcomes. In a recent edWeb.net edWebinar, Jena Draper, Founder and General Manager of CatchOn; Mike Schwab, Education Team at Google; and Suzy Brooks, Instructional Technology Director for Mashpee Public Schools, MA, point out that in order to combat this deluge of technology, it is imperative that school districts address the tech usage data that impacts and drive success in classrooms. While it is believed that the barrier to district leaders and classroom teachers using more data is that they don’t have time to look at it, 33% of districts and teachers say the real challenge is that information is in too many places for them to access.
Strategic planning for edtech is an endless journey—and not just because of constantly evolving hardware and software. Upgrading infrastructure, device maintenance, and ongoing professional development, in addition to program and device costs, mean tech initiatives need permanent budget lines that take into account the total cost. In the edWebinar, “Strategic Technology Planning and Investment,” which is part of CoSN’s Empowered Superintendent series for edWeb, three superintendents who’ve been in the trenches for all aspects of district edtech plans discussed effective financial planning for technology.
CASEL, The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, defines social and emotional learning (SEL) as the “process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions.” SEL can be the underpinning of every action a principal or classroom teacher makes about their campus, classroom or environment for students. According to Jeff Goelitz, Director of Education at HeartMath Institute, during a recent edWebinar, SEL affects everything from systems and structure to climate, culture, and academics. “Everyone” is interested in SEL and buying into the theory and the models but the how can be a daunting challenge as school districts try to make it a priority. Rachelle H. Finck, Coordinator Social and Emotional Learning for Round Rock ISD, TX, remarks that when SEL programs are planned with intention, they become more of a philosophy than a black binder program.
While the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was last reauthorized in 2004, with amendments in 2015, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) were updated back in 2008, the demand for accessibility and equality in education continues to grow. Administrators and teachers, who want to help every child reach their potential, can’t afford to wait for new laws and policies. Educators still need to constantly evaluate the effectiveness of accessibility initiatives, advocate for resources for their students, and anticipate where they need to go next. During the edWebinar “Accessibility: Effective, Equitable Learning Environments for All Students,” which is part of a series hosted by CoSN and edWeb.net, the presenters discussed how they approach CoSN’s five steps to ensure accessibility.