Here’s why AI skills will make or break students’ futures

It’s OK if you don’t know exactly what artificial intelligence (AI) is–but you need to learn, and quickly, because it’s already firmly ensconced in our lives, and AI skills are shaping the future lives and careers of today’s students.

AI has already fundamentally changed the way we “do” many things. For instance, most people talk about how the internet destroyed the entire chain of brick-and-mortar Blockbuster stores with Netflix, but this assessment isn’t exactly true–AI was behind that transformation.

“We talk about AI as if it’s coming,” but in fact, it’s already here, and it’s been here, said Joseph South, ISTE’s chief learning officer, presenting with ISTE CEO Richard Culatta during a CoSN 2019 session. “It’s not hype to say we’re behind the curve–we are behind the curve on this, in terms of preparing students for AI.”…Read More

4 K-12 edtech trends we’re tracking at CoSN 2019

CoSN 2019 kicks off in Portland, OR this week, and it brings with it rich content spanning a variety of K-12 edtech trends.

eSchool News will be there, and while we’re there, we’re looking forward to taking a deeper dive into some of the biggest K-12 edtech trends and challenges facing school IT leaders and administrators.

Read more: 10 K-12 edtech trends to look for this year…Read More

5 things standing between K-12 schools and innovation

Sustaining and scaling innovation is one of the top hurdles K-12 district leaders face as they strive to bring new and bold ideas to education, according to a new CoSN report.

Hurdles are more than just “pesky obstacles” to innovation, the authors note in Driving K-12 Innovation: 2019 Hurdles. These challenges slow down progress and force educators to make sure they’re prepared for the leap to innovation.

The report is the first of three in a series focusing on hurdles, accelerators, and tech enablers that spur K-12 innovation. The series, which will culminate in a toolkit to inform strategic planning and tech integration, honors the legacy of the Horizon K-12 reports.…Read More

Upgrade your conference

I felt like I’d just unpacked my suitcase from ISTE 2018 when Edsurge came out with 60+ K-12 Education Technology Events in 2018-2019. So instead of doing what a sane person would do by sticking a beach chair in the sand and soaking up the summer rays, I plugged conference dates into my Google calendar!

Much like teachers all across the country, edtech leaders like me attend conferences to learn about innovative and trendsetting edtech programming and strategies. Here is my advice for making the most of your time at conferences and bringing back valuable resources that will drive your district’s edtech decision making for the upcoming school year.

Find your people
Take advantage of the national/state chief technology officer (CTO) sessions at all the major conferences. These CTO sessions are geared toward superintendents, technology directors, and curriculum leaders. It’s a great way to meet new colleagues and share best practices and solutions to our common edtech challenges.…Read More

My 8 favorite things about CoSN 2018

If you are a tech director and were looking for a place where everyone knows your name, CoSN18 in Washington, DC was that place. It was a gathering of more than 1,000 chief technology officers (CTOs), and the theme was Designing Learning in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

This was my first time attending a COSN conference. So not only did I look like a CoSN conference newbie, but my badge ribbon “First Timer” gave me away. However, I promise it won’t be my last! How often do edtech leaders have the opportunity to spend four days sharing and discussing the great work going on in our districts? This conference was about showcasing how our districts are envisioning, developing, and implementing technology initiatives that support our students and educators.

My 8 favorite things about CoSN 2018…Read More

6 ways school bus wi-fi could benefit your district

Gaps in internet access are an all-too-familiar struggle for many schools, particularly those in rural or low-income districts where coverage is spotty or too expensive.

In 2015, President Barack Obama said internet access was no longer a privilege, but a basic necessity. School districts are adopting that frame of mind and are trying their best to keep students connected as long as possible.

Equipping school buses with wi-fi helps extend learning, especially for students who have long bus rides due to rural locations or extra-curricular activities.…Read More

Report reveals surprising data about mobile broadband usage in schools

A recent Mobile Beacon report analyzing mobile broadband usage by non-profit organizations, including schools, finds that schools utilizing Mobile Beacon’s 4G LTE internet service indicate that the ability to supplement and/or extend existing school networks is the greatest benefit of the service.

The report, “Creating Opportunity Through Connectivity: How Mobile Broadband for Anchor Institutions Impacts Communities,” analyzed survey responses from Mobile Beacon’s non-profit clients. Mobile Beacon enables non-profit organizations—including schools—to purchase LTE-enabled mobile hotspot devices for $70 and offers uncapped, unthrottled data plans for $10/month.

While schools reported that the two main drivers for acquiring Mobile Beacon’s mobile broadband services are the desire for mobile connectivity (41 percent) and to save money on internet access (28 percent), they reported that the main benefits of using the services were 1) the ability to supplement/extend an existing network in their building (42 percent) and 2) having unlimited data access (22 percent). The report analyzed data consumption by schools over a five-month period (Sept 2016-Jan 2017) and found the average monthly data usage is 373 GB. During this time frame, data usage trended strongly upward, with consumption increasing so rapidly that the report predicts average school use could double in the course of a year. The sharp increase in data usage provides insight into school data usage trends when bandwidth is not capped or limited.…Read More

CoSN 2018 Annual Conference and Global Symposium

For three days in March (12-15), almost 1,000 edtech leaders will descend on Washington, DC to connect, learn, network, and share solutions.

Starting with an international focus, CoSN/UNESCO Global Symposium will highlight the essential digital-citizenship skills needed by students to be successful in today’s global environment. The one-day program will feature an engaging and interactive format with panelists, keynote speakers, Passport to the World, and Global Ignite sessions seeking answers to questions like:

  • Can technology be used to improve digital citizenship?
  • To what extent is technology providing new challenges to digital citizenship?
  • How should we access information effectively and form good mechanisms to evaluate its accuracy?

CoSN 2018 Exponential Change: Exponential Change: Developing Leadership in the 4th Industrial Revolution begins in earnest on March 13th. More than 130 sessions are available to attendees on topics relating to student data privacy, digital equity, future classroom learning, the role of AI in future learning, emerging technologies and more.…Read More

6 TED Talks about failing forward

As the movement to improve education grows stronger, so has talk of positive failure, failing forward, and encouraging teachers and students to see the benefits of their own failures.

In simple terms, failing forward is just that–progressing even if a project or idea “fails.”

Educators haven’t always felt safe failing, but more and more administrators have created safe school environments where they encourage classroom teachers to try new things. And if those new things don’t work out as anticipated, they still yield lessons.…Read More

It’s time for CoSN’s Failfest & Awesomefest

As educators, we know the unexpected happens and failure is inevitable. But failure isn’t often talked about. That’s why one of the most anticipated sessions at the CoSN Annual Conference is the “Failfest.”

Failfest is not your typical conference session. It’s a funny and clever way that helps everyone learn how to avoid particular crash-and-burn experiences. Audience members help select the winners in an interactive, prop-filled, fun-filled contest.

New this year is Awesomefest. Same fun format but based on your awesome accomplishments! Toot your horn and share your success!…Read More