The digital signage upgrade that didn’t break the bank

Open-source software and existing devices form the backbone of one district’s big signage upgrade

Ed. note: Author Wayne Fulton will be a panelist on DSF’s May “Hangout” discussion, “How to Leverage Signage in a K-12 Setting,” on Wednesday, May 11 at 2 p.m. EST, available free to members and nonmembers. For more information, visit the DSF website.

It all began with our front desk receptionist, Cloteele.

When visitors historically entered the central lobby of the Manor Independent School District in Texas, they were warmly greeted by Cloteele. Whether they were there for a meeting with the superintendent, a professional development session, or new employee orientation making sure visitors know where to go has always been one of Cloteele’s many responsibilities.…Read More

Certiport announces CERTIFIED 2016 Educator Conference

Professional development conference helps educators bring the full promise and potential of technology certification to the classroom

Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, a test delivery solution provider for the global workforce and academic markets, announced the CERTIFIED 2016 Educator Conference, a conference dedicated to helping educators bring the full promise and potential of technology certification to the classroom.

Educators are invited to attend CERTIFIED from June 28-30, 2016 in Orlando, Florida at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista. Registration is open now at www.certiport.com/certified.

CERTIFIED 2016 is ideal for secondary education teachers, college faculty, and administrators who are working to empower their students by bringing certification opportunities into their school and classroom.…Read More

New Va. high school to focus big on coding

Students will enter an innovative program that teaches core graduation skills alongside industry internships and computer science

coding-schoolHigh school isn’t what it used to be.

That’s the consensus of a growing number of educators who say how and what students are taught must change in order to better prepare them for a rapidly changing workforce that demands new skills.

With that goal in mind, a group of 13 Richmond-area school systems have banded together to start a new regional high school that will allow students to meet their core requirements while getting an education focused on computer science.…Read More

Full Sail launches new camps for coding, robotics, gaming, and more

Full Sail Labs, an educational experience designed for students from 1st to 12th grades with a focus on technology, science, art and media

full-sail-labsFull Sail University on Dec. 11 unveiled Full Sail Labs, a series of week-long summer camp for students from 1st to 12th grades. Students can take one of 11 camp sessions focusing on topics such as gaming, robotics, or animation at its campus near Orlando.

Developed by Full Sail University with the goal of creating an engaging and open learning environment that allows children and teens to explore creativity through storytelling, art, and technology, Full Sail Labs provides young creative talent with the knowledge to become digital content creators.

Through this experience, young students have the opportunity to explore the techniques used for filmmaking, coding, animation, gaming, robotics, and much more in a fun and collaborative environment.…Read More

22 districts join network of innovative school systems

 Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools members partner with other leading educators, entrepreneurs, and researchers from across the U.S.

league-innovativeTwenty-two new school districts have been accepted into the League of Innovative Schools, a national coalition of forward-thinking school districts organized by Digital Promise, an independent, bipartisan nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to accelerate innovation in education.

The League of Innovative Schools, launched in late 2011, accepts new members through an open application process once per year. With the new members, the League now includes 73 school districts in 33 states, representing 3.2 million students. The full list of members can be found at digitalpromise.org/districts. A list of the 22 new districts being added is also available via a blog post from the league.

“The League’s goal is to find leaders pioneering bold, creative, and student-centric practices, connect them with each other, and amplify what they do best so others can learn,” said Sara Schapiro, director of the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools. “With these new members, we add a wealth of insights, ideas, and energy to help our members effectively support teaching and learning through technology.”…Read More

Digital Citizenship Course

Outfit your students for life in the wild, wild Web where they need the savvy to shoot straight, watch their backs, and to be at home on the digital range. The choices today’s learners make, and actions they take online, have enduring impact on their lives and the lives of others. Unique, unforeseeable, and evolving risks and challenges are part and parcel of the open Internet.

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Teach students to learn by doing with Google school coding clubs

Google’s CS First clubs open up new worlds for novice coders

scratchA few months ago, I was searching for resources to support computer science education for middle school students—girls in particular—when I came across Google CS First. Not really knowing what it was, I went ahead and registered my school, and then myself—as a teacher host, advocate, volunteer, and guru all at the same time. I might not have known what I was getting into, but I knew that I would do anything to inspire my students to grow and learn in all areas of STEM, but in particular, computer science.

Today my school is a Google CS First site, meaning we host CS First clubs that take place before or after school as an enrichment experience for students in grades 4-8, where they learn about computer science and coding in a hands-on way—learning by doing. As part of the process, I made my classroom available for local volunteers, or “gurus,” to come in to help and connect with students, opening up my school to the community. Our gurus receive detailed information about where to go, when to show up, and even how to locate my classroom. Most importantly, a background in computer science is not a requirement.

The support from Google CS First is tremendous. Upon request, they sent a loaner set of 30 headphones and peripheral materials for the students that included passports, sticker-badges for each day’s modules, detailed scripts, certificates of completion, and directions for exercises. All materials are also available for free download from the club site, with coding done in Scratch, a programming language that uses building blocks to form commands. All of these supporting materials make it seamless for anyone, be it a volunteer guru, teacher, or parent to come in and help out. A suggested script, as well as breakdown of time for each activity, is also included.…Read More

Open Educational Resources: Smart policy

Education faces many challenges today, and those challenges are growing, InformationWeek reports. While there is unprecedented demand for education, the constraints of cost, quality and access sometimes seem insurmountable. At a time when we need to deliver better and more accessible learning opportunities, budgets are being cut severely. But what if there were a way to provide high quality education to everyone in the world at a marginal cost of near zero?  It may sound fanciful, but this opportunity exists. By using 21st century technical and licensing tools to make educational content freely available, everyone everywhere could affordably access the high quality educational resources they want…

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