Category Archives: Blog

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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New LaunchPad Management Console is Live!

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The new LaunchPad Management Console is live!  The new console features a responsive interface and a new look & feel, with new features for all tenant administrators to enjoy. Documentation for the updated console can be found at https://www.classlink.com/docs/admins Join us Friday, June 12th at 2PM EST / 3PM PST for a webinar on the new update, where we will demonstrate the…

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Pen and Paper vs Laptops in the Classroom, and the winner is…

By | 24/7 access, Blog, Ed Tech Research, K-12, LaunchPad, Uncategorized | No Comments

When I read commentaries that downplay the value of technology in education I envision the author as the character Roz from Monsters, Inc. From the start of ClassLink way back in 1998, we have been helping students and teachers more easily access all their software and files, knowing that better access to good learning resources can lead to better educational outcomes….

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December 24th, 2014 Update

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Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! We will be releasing a minor update to ClassLink LaunchPad on Christmas Eve, December 24th. Login Page Enhancements Login page caching – improved load times Brute force detection changes – will throttle failed logins after 5 unsuccessful login attempts Two Factor image selection optimizations – reduced the amount of space required to render images Two Factor image…

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Big Data in Education

By | Blog, Ed Tech, LaunchPad, Uncategorized | No Comments

  Yesterday I spent the afternoon at the 2014 Data Summit & Expo hosted by the NJ Technology Council. NJTC was founded by @maxineballen and they are a great group of passionate people dedicated to helping grow technology and life sciences companies in New Jersey. The event was all about cloud computing, data centers, and Big Data. I participated in…

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Communication and Collaboration, the fastest growing skill requirements today

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Communication and collaboration, these may be the fastest growing skill requirements today. There’s no doubt that critical thinking and tech literacy are important as well, but in my organization and nearly every other organizations I know, it’s the collective communication and collaboration skills that everyone counts on. Schools that excel in communication and collaboration skill building are schools that succeed. …

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LaunchPad November 2014 Release Notes

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What’s New In This Release We will be releasing a major update to ClassLink LaunchPad on Thursday, November 27th, focused around the login process and security. Login Page Enhancements Responsive interface, works on mobile devices Admin notifications and alerts Auto-provisioning of SAML/ADFS accounts Nested AD group support Hide login form, only show ADFS/UNI-C login buttons Allow users to reset their AD password…

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Benefits of Technologies in the Classroom

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Studies have shown that technology if used correctly will improve student achievement. 1. Margaret Honey, Katherine McMillan Culp, Robert Spielvoget, Critical Issue: Using Technology to Improve Student Achievement. 2. Cassidy Puckett and Saul Rockman, “Research Validation Report: Catapult K-12 Online Learning.” 3. What Works, C. (2007). Middle School Math. What Works Clearinghouse Topic Report: What Works Clearinghouse. 4. Rockman et al.Presentation for…

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A Guide to Professional Development in Education, Part 1

By | Blog, PD Services, Uncategorized | No Comments

In this multipart blog series I will be investigating Professional Development (PD) in education and based on research will help put together a guide for schools and school districts to use in the implementation of PD.  The term professional development (PD) is spoken very freely in education.  The connotation that follows this term will vary from position to position.  Administrators may…

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Why Do We Need Cloud Computing in the Classroom?

By | Blog, Ed Tech, LaunchPad, Uncategorized | No Comments

The importance of integrating technologies into schools is very widely researched in education.  There is a large body of research that confirms the benefits of technologies in the classroom. Among the newest technologies to impact EdTech is “Cloud Computing”. Cloud Computing simply means the ability to access applications, file storage, and collaboration tools from anywhere through the internet. It allows…

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LaunchPad June 2014 Release Notes

By | Blog, Development, LaunchPad, Uncategorized | No Comments

LaunchPad June 2014 Release Notes On Wednesday, June 11th, we will be releasing our June update to LaunchPad. General Updates Improved the workflow for Assignments, single click to edit, no more downloading. Edit assignments directly with Zoho My Apps: Right click for Auto Login enabled apps to reset password Request Auto Logins from Resource Library New LaunchPad Agent Our Agent…

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1 Millionth Active User!

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Congrats Team LaunchPad, our 1 millionth active user! We have reached another milestone here at ClassLink since the introduction of our web version of LaunchPad, our 1 millionth active user! January 2014 Release Notes Resource Library Streamlined user interface Class Apps and My Apps have the same UI Enterprise category – admins can add apps to resource library Voting Descriptions…

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LaunchPad Update 12.13.2013

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LaunchPad Maintenance Release Hello all. This week we will be releasing a small maintenance release that addresses a few minor issues along with improvements to the Inbox Module. Inbox Preview Video Inbox Enhancements Improved style with more rows visible at once Reply all Inbox Signatures Additional formatting options Sliding action menu Focus moved to subject field on compose by default…

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Things To Be Thankful For

By | Blog, Development, Uncategorized | No Comments

Happy Thanksgiving We here at ClassLink would like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving and holiday weekend! A big thanks to the people at Hudson Falls for taking time out of their day to stop by our office for onsite training and feedback. We always take your feedback seriously and if there is something you think we need…

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LaunchPad Update 2013.11.28

By | Blog, Development, Uncategorized | No Comments

The Never-ending Quest for Speed Hello again! Thursday, November 28th, we are pushing out a small update after the great feedback received from the last major update. General Updates Load Optimizations The system has been optimized and leverages additional CDN end points across the globe. All static content will now be cached for a full year and bundled to dramatically…

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REST APIs? What are they?

By | Blog, Development, Uncategorized | No Comments

Brief Primer on REST APIs When we speak to technology administrators, we mention our REST APIs and how they can be leveraged to integrate with our system and usually get questions related to “What are REST APIs?” Click here for a wiki article Here is a short summary of REST APIs and why they are awesome. When we redesigned LaunchPad,…

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