E-rate spending reveals schools’ tech evolution

Schooling has changed in many ways in the last two years, but while remote learning, mask policies and increased federal spending in education have gotten lots of attention, another trend has gone nearly unnoticed.

But thanks to the availability of detailed E-rate data, this sea change is now being recognized. E-rate is the federal government program that provides discounts of up to 90 percent for schools and libraries to bring high-speed internet into their building(s) and create internal networks for online access. For years, E-rate applicants have leveraged E-rate to bring fast internet service into their organizations, cobbling together funds and seeking out providers. But today, a new trend is emerging—more funds are being requested to improve internal networks, allowing the flood of devices now used in schools and libraries to effectively get online.

E-rate funding requested in Category One, which includes data transmission services and internet access, has declined for five straight years, largely a function of increasing marketplace competition and decreasing per-megabit prices.  But funding requests for Category Two services have soared in the same time period. Category Two funds can be spent on wireless access points, network switches, data cabling and other resources essential for on-campus connections.…Read More

Many educators say video is more effective than text-based content

A new survey predicts that video in education will continue to grow, as a majority of educators say they believe video content is more engaging and effective than text-based content.

The State of Video in Education 2022 report from Kaltura assesses the growth and evolution of video’s impact on education over the past year and providing insights into the coming year. This is Kaltura’s eighth annual report on video in education and the first since vaccination programs for COVID-19 enabled many teachers and students to resume in-person education.

As the use of video in education has grown greatly over the past two years, the study’s goal was to provide answers to pressing questions facing educators about the long term value of video in education, namely, what are the benefits of using video for learning beyond the pandemic and how is video transforming education over the long term?…Read More

How AI is revolutionizing education

Artificial intelligence will accelerate the evolution of teaching and learning. Overall, AI should allow students to get personalized instruction and teachers to have more free time to prepare classes and update their information.

While it’s still too early to evaluate the extent of the change in the quality and scope of instruction that AI might achieve, what is certain is that it will cause a revolution. That is because educational systems around the world remain rooted in the foundations established in the 1800s. Most of all, AI will crush the idea that all students must learn in the same place, in the same way, and at the same speed.

Kai-fu Lee, an AI expert, has described the current education system as an “educational assembly line,” in which children advance from class to class without paying too much attention to differences in terms of learning, personal preferences, and abilities.…Read More

Future of School and Digital Learning Collaborative Announce 10 Member Districts of the Resilient Schools Project

Future of School (FoS) and the Digital Learning Collaborative (DLC), two national organizations leading the way toward effective district transformation, today announced the Resilient Schools Project (RSP). The RSP, a partnership between these two organizations, is an initiative to assist schools and districts with developing an ongoing response to instruction disruptions during the 2020-21 school year.

“A major focus for Future of School is on forecasting―and broadcasting―the evolution of the K-12 system in real time, and the current trends are undeniable. With unprecedented change already underway, schools and districts will need to be flexible and adaptable in order to provide a high-quality, equitable education for all learners,” said Amy Valentine, CEO of Future of School. “As we progress through the Resilient Schools Project alongside our valued partner, the Digital Learning Collaborative, we look forward to supporting districts’ needs by helping them work together to understand how online content, technology platforms, ensuring equity and access, and other key issues will support their schools and students. We aim to both address immediate needs and also set up a foundation for long-term growth and success.”

The RSP will support member schools and districts in their response to disruptions in instruction caused by COVID-19. In addition to immediate instructional and technology needs, the Project will help schools as they address a variety of different challenges and objectives, including teacher training; messaging and communication to families and the media; addressing vulnerable populations, both within the school community and at home; supporting the needs of special populations, including English language learners; and what to do if students choose to learn from home after schools have reopened.…Read More

CAE Partners with Education Research and Development Institute

Council for Aid to Education, Inc. (CAE), a leading provider of performance-based, authentic assessments measuring essential college and career readiness skills, announced it joined the Education Research and Development Institute (ERDI). Partnering with the well-respected 35-year-old organization, CAE will contribute as a thought leader and work collaboratively to develop insights that will inform the evolution of its student-centric educational solutions and services.

“We are honored to partner with ERDI whose members comprise our country’s top education practice leaders committed to ensuring all students have access to the highest quality learning experiences,” said Bob Yayac, president and CEO of CAE. “Joining ERDI’s community allows CAE to leverage the latest in PK-12 research and on-the-ground experience to best meet the needs of students today and into the future.”

ERDI gathers top PK-12 education leaders and solutions providers from more than 250 school districts across the U.S. who are focused on the continuous improvement of public education, to analyze, discuss, and propose solutions for current problems of practice in education.…Read More

Online research program offers first ever covid-19 independent study

Pioneer Academics, the college-accredited online research program for high school students, has launched Pioneer Open Summer Study (POSS), a free program that gives any interested high school student the opportunity to participate in independent studies about COVID-19. An international online program, POSS brings teenagers together from around the world to examine a shared challenge through a scientific lens. The rigorous enrichment program, developed by Pioneer’s Academic Panel, allows students to develop and apply critical thinking and STEM skills in one of four study areas:1) Age of Plague: Medicine, Society and Epidemics, 1348 & Beyond; 2) Pandemics and Globalization: Economics, Culture and Policy; 3) Pandemic Epidemiology: Societal Impacts and Strategic Response; and 4) The Forces Driving Socio-Cultural Evolution.

POSS students will take an interdisciplinary approach to exploring COVID-19 and will benefit from conducting independent studies while building teamwork and leadership skills. The open program allows any student who forms a study group of five to ten people – along with a school advisor or teacher who will monitor progress – to register as a team. Students can access teaching recordings, study materials, independent study guidelines, and have “office hours” with Pioneer Academics’ alumni. Teams already registered are located around the world, including Russia, Turkey, Vietnam, India, and China. There are also cross-country teams with members working together from different countries.

Visit https://pioneeracademics.com/pioneeropenstudy to learn more about POSS.…Read More

The biggest changes to school security in 2018

The complexity of ensuring our schools and education facilities are both safe and secure has grown tremendously. Brass key systems are increasingly supplemented with secure credentials as access management has become more critical. The continued development of mass notification systems and video surveillance has made them critical components of a holistic security solution. And now, a major next step is upon us in the evolution of physical security as we look to more effectively manage lock-down procedures.

In the past five years, the biggest change in school security has been to transition from the idea of the big red button–where a single action locks all openings–to a more sectored approach. The new way of thinking is that the big red button locks down perimeter and exterior doors, but interior doors are locked locally based on location, situation, and teacher and faculty decision.

When discussing why this change is appropriate, it is important to look at the specific needs of education campuses today. Physical school security can be broken down to subsections, including perimeter fencing and gates, the building exterior, visitor-access management, and interior spaces. In previous iterations of lockdowns, systems were developed that allowed one system to lock every door: the centrally controlled, universal-lockdown concept.…Read More

How every school can promote safety in a digital world

Keeping students safe in the digital era — with its myriad dangers — means a proactive IT strategy

Technology has become a mainstay within the walls of today’s schools. One-to-one computing is enhancing and enriching the student experience, transforming the way we teach and the way we learn.

K-12 schools were expected to spend approximately $4.7 billion on technology this past year, according to IDC, with no sign of a plateau. But as rapid technology adoption continues unabated, the safety of the students who are meant to benefit from these advances is frequently overlooked.

The evolution of learning with computers

When desktop computers first appeared in schools, the curriculum focused on typing, word processing, and basic coding skills. Then search engines arrived, completely revolutionizing the way students accessed and consumed information over the web.…Read More

N.J. experiments with new engagement platform

New engagement platform uses web and mobile-based technology to help students and their parents navigate K-12 challenges

Evolution Labs and The New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA), the state’s professional association of school leaders, have partnered to further develop and make available to NJASA members the company’s web- and mobile-based student and parent success platform, Suite360.

Suite360 leverages new media engagement features with critical content to help students and parents navigate a range of issues, from bullying and cyber-bullying to mental health and wellness, to academic pressures. Under the partnership, NJASA will provide guidance to help shape the platform to meet the specific needs of its member districts.

Dr. Richard G. Bozza, Executive Director of the NJASA will formally announce the partnership and program at the upcoming Techspo 2016 conference in Atlantic City, January 28-29.…Read More