4 Critical EdTech Lessons from Teachers

June 2, 2016

By Dennis Pierce 

In my last blog post, I explored what K-12 leaders can learn from the student responses to Project Tomorrow’s annual Speak Up survey on edtech use. In this post, I’ll highlight what K-12 leaders can learn from teachers’ responses to the same survey, as well as another recent national poll.

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Topics: Superintendents, Best Practices, Dennis Pierce

Five Facts about How Students Want to Learn

May 19, 2016

By Dennis Pierce

How are students learning on their own outside of school, and how would they prefer to learn when they’re in the classroom? Project Tomorrow, a nonprofit organization, released the latest results from its annual Speak Up survey on May 5, and the results offer many useful insights for edtech leaders.

Here are five key facts about how students want to learn that emerged from the survey.

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Topics: Superintendents, Best Practices, Dennis Pierce

Six Keys to Effective Digital Leadership

May 6, 2016

What are the qualities that make school administrators and leaders effective in the digital era? That was the focus of a spotlight session at the annual Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) conference in Washington, D.C., on April 6th—and speaker Eric Sheninger highlighted some of the lessons he learned as a successful high school principal.

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Topics: Best Practices, CTO, Dennis Pierce

How to Share Your Ed-Tech Success with a Wider Audience

April 22, 2016

Key Takeaways for District Leaders

  • Consider how to frame your district’s story
  • Get to know your local education reporters, as well as the ed-tech trade press
  • Leverage other resources in your district to help spread the word
  • Keep it simple, avoid jargon and acronyms

If you don’t share your district’s story with the wider community, someone else will—and it might not be a flattering picture. So, how can you share your ed-tech successes and build support among parents, community members, the media, and others? That was the focus of a recent conference session for school district chief technology officers.

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Topics: Superintendents, Best Practices, CTO, Dennis Pierce

Are You Concerned About Data Privacy? A New Initiative Can Help

April 12, 2016

Key Takeaways for District Leaders

  • Common Sense Media’s education division has teamed up with more than 40 school systems to launch the Privacy Evaluation Initiative.
  • The initiative is “wide open to further participation” by other school systems.
  • Even districts that don’t take part themselves can benefit from the program.
  • The Privacy Evaluation Initiative comes as data privacy awareness has grown among K-12 leaders.

If you’re worried about the data privacy and information security practices of the technologies used in your schools, a new initiative from Common Sense Media can help you evaluate these practices.

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Topics: Superintendents, Privacy, CTO, EdTech News and Info, Dennis Pierce

Four Services That Can Help with Ed-Tech Purchasing

March 29, 2016

Finding, evaluating, and buying the right technologies can be hard for K-12 leaders—but a number of new services promise to help.

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Topics: CFO, CTO, EdTech News and Info, Dennis Pierce

New State Laws Reveal a Shift in Thinking on Student Data Privacy

March 3, 2016

Key Takeaways for District Leaders

  • Student privacy is important for schools but state regulations are shifting from prohibition to governance.
  • States are shifting the responsibility for ensuring the proper use of student data from school districts to service providers.
  • Laws like SOPIPA can help prevent companies from using student data for marketing purposes but district leaders should still look for vendors with a track record of protecting student privacy.
  • The Student Privacy Pledge is one way vendors can help districts know more about their commitment to student data privacy.

While U.S. states continue to focus on how best to ensure the privacy of student information in the digital age, a new analysis by the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) suggests the focus of this conversation is shifting in ways that have important implications for K-12 schools.

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Topics: Superintendents, Privacy, CTO, EdTech News and Info, California, Dennis Pierce

Are You Paying Too Much for Broadband? Try This New Tool to Find Out

March 1, 2016

Key Takeaways for CTOs

  • A new tool from EducationSuperHighway can help you negotiate a better deal with your broadband provider.
  • The tool is a result of a new rule designed to let EdTech leaders see how much other schools are paying for similar services and increase transparency.
  • It's already showing results; One school received 500 percent more bandwidth for a 15 percent increase in costs.
  • To use the tool, go to www.compareandconnectk12.org and then type in the name of a school district you’d like to compare.

Knowledge is power, and that’s certainly true when you’re discussing the cost of broadband service for your schools. If you knew how much similar-sized districts in your area were paying for internet access, you might be able to negotiate a better deal with your service provider. Now, a new tool from EducationSuperHighway might help.

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Topics: Resources, Virgina, CTO, EdTech News and Info, Dennis Pierce

Under-Connected Families and K-12 Schools

February 24, 2016

Key Takeaways for District Leaders

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Topics: CTO, EdTech News and Info, Dennis Pierce

How to Implement More Effective EdTech Pilots

January 26, 2016

Three-fifths of K-12 leaders rely on pilot projects to make EdTech buying decisions, according to the nonprofit Digital Promise—yet few districts have formal processes for conducting such a pilot, leading to frustration among school leaders and EdTech providers alike.

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Topics: Best Practices, EdTech News and Info, Dennis Pierce