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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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4 IMS Global Standards Affecting K12

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(This post is a follow up to a previous article. Read part 1 here.) Here are the big four IMS Global Standards worth knowing about for K-12: LTI (a.k.a. Learning Tools Interoperability; LTI Link; LTI Launch Link; LTI Connector) LTI is a Standard for authenticating a user into another system and getting back specific content. There are multiple editions of…

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Beginners guide to IMS Global’s Big 4 Standards for K-12

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With roots originally in Higher Ed, IMS Global Learning Consortium has become the leader for open technology standards across education including K-12, corporate and government.  It’s increasingly useful for tech leaders of K-12 institutions to have a working knowledge of IMS and what they offer the industry. Here’s a primer to get you started. Who made up IMS Global? In…

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Why I Selected ClassLink. Twice.  

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As Director of Instructional Technology and Library Media at Orange County Public Schools in Florida, I led a team of technology and instruction enthusiasts always ready to explore new advances in technology, eager to find the best means for supporting teachers and students. That got us out of bed in the morning and yes, often kept us up at night….

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Growth in Digital Content and Julie’s 4 C’s

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In a post on THE Journal, Julie Davis, educator, tech-enthusiast and author of “Thoughts On All Things EduTechie Oriented” blog, describes 4 key elements of tech integration in classrooms. Her insights are spot on and it’s no wonder given her hands-on classroom experience. Julie’s 4 C’s are Creation, Consumption, Curation, and Connection. Although these particular ‘C’s’ might be thought of as timeless,…

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LACUE Leadership Summit 2015 Brings the Fun!

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This past week was the second ever Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators (LACUE) 2015 Technology Leadership Summit in Baton Rouge, and the organizers did a great job. Members of our ClassLink team, Lindsey Velez and Gary LoMonaco, were there and met with our friends including Jake Ragusa from Ascension Parish, Rob Logan from Livingston Parish, Diane LeBlanc from Iberia…

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