Blog

Security of Equipment and Infrastructure (ISO Certifications)

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Below is a continuing series on security topics related to education technology and ClassLink. The original post is here. Infrastructure Security… Then and Now Back in the day (maybe not so far back for some schools!) network servers and other important computer equipment were kept in storage and janitor closets at the end of a hallway. These high tech broom closets served a…

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OneRoster from IMS… is it a spec or is it a standard? oh, and what’s the difference?

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Every now and again I hear people use the terms ‘technical specification’ and ‘technical standard’ interchangeably when it comes to IMS Global‘s OneRoster. At first I too used to flip-flop between those terms and then I decided to research it a bit through conversations with the folks at IMS and some good ole’ online searching… here’s what I found. Turns…

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Laws, Regulations, and Industry Standards (FERPA, COPPA, Student Privacy Pledge and more…)

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Below is a continuing series on security topics related to education technology and ClassLink. The original post is here. Understanding Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Enacted by Congress in 1974, this federal law applies to schools and it governs the access and distribution of school educational records. The law differentiates between ‘Directory Information’ (e.g. student name or other…

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Security… Trust, but verify

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When we present ClassLink to someone new, we’re occasionally asked about security. The question doesn’t come up as often as it did a few years ago when school districts were still in the infancy of ‘moving to the cloud’. In some ways, I suppose, the reason for the fall-off on security questions is that we’re all growing more comfortable with…

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More on IMS Standards and Data Interoperability

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“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”   I’m a fan of this Einstein quote and of anyone who can take complex ideas and communicate them succinctly. Speaking of complex ideas… The following is part 3 of a running series on ‘Understanding Data Interoperability Standards’. (i know what your thinking, so much for being succinct!) Even with all the available…

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Tech Worth Talking About

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As a teacher, I was always looking for new and fun ways to bring technology into the classroom. Fellow teachers would constantly share new ideas and we’d often talk about the tech we loved. Needless to say, now that I work at ClassLink - I love ClassLink. But that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped loving all of the other wonderful tech...
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Horn or Halo Series – Interactive Whiteboards

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From the educators: “If anything the history of [IWBs] to date is still a case study exemplifying the misplaced philosophy driving a lot of IT in education, namely ‘introduce first and think about how to use it later.’” THE Journal. “With proper planning, preparation, and training, it is a powerful instructional tool, which can be adapted for use with a…

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Horn or Halo Series – Digital Note Taking

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From the educators: “We often assume students are familiar with best practices for using digital tools when, in fact, what happens is they tend to use in a substitution manner instead of a transformative one.” –Sabba Quidwa, Director of Innovative Learning for the University of Southern California and an Apple Distinguished Educator. “Before making a blanket statement that one device…

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Graphite: A New Way to Discover Apps

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At last week’s DigiFest, one website in particular really struck me as a game-changer for teachers, especially as more and more classrooms are using digital learning resources almost every day. Graphite is a free website from Common Sense Education, and they make finding the perfect educational apps, games, and websites easy. Graphite has actual educators on staff who review thousands…

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DigiFest 2015

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Last week, I attended EdTech DigiFest 2015. Hosted by Common Sense Education, SAANYS and NYSCATE, Tali Horowitz, Senior Education Manager at Common Sense Education, was a presenter and she covered a range of topics (and some great videos!) all focused digital citizenship. The aim of Tali’s preso was to provide teachers with insights and real tools to teach students about…

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New Features – July 2015

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We have released several changes to LaunchPad, with many more on the way. A lot of these changes would not be possible without the feedback from our users. Keep it coming! Session Timeouts by Profile Administrators may now set a session timeout for profiles after a specified period of inactivity. The session timeout can be set between 15 minutes and…

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Horn or Halo Series – Smartphones

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Background: The Simon, accepted as the original smartphone, was introduced in 1993, (pre-Internet!). It was clunky and described as ‘brick-like’ by some; but, it had voice, data, PDA and even fax capabilities. Fast forward to today and estimates are we will soon surpass 2 billion smartphone users. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center study, nearly three-quarters of teens have…

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Horn or Halo Series – Twitter in the Classroom

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Background: Twitter launched in 2006 as an microblogging platform and now has over 300 million active users. It’s concise nature (max of 140 characters) allows for everything from instant news updates to social activism, business marketing, and, wait for it…  educational innovation. Through Twitter, teachers have a way of sharing resources with each other and with their students instantly. The…

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Horn or Halo Series – YouTube

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Welcome to our first Horn or Halo post. Here we take controversial EdTech topics, ones that can be considered both good and bad for the classroom and discuss them. Each post in this series offers some ‘horns’ and ‘halos’ before coming to a verdict. Background: In April 2005 you could watch a single 18 sec video. Ten years later, YouTube…

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New Report Finds Technology Engages Students

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Classrooms that incorporate technology help students become more engaged with their studies, according to a Trends in Digital Learning report released at this year’s 2015 ISTE Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Researchers found over 90 percent of K-12 administrators say effective technology use helps achieve the core mission of education at their schools and better prepares students. Even parents agreed, with…

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