March Ed Tech Announcements

SBOE Technology Applications TEKS Review
The State Board of Education (SBOE) has legislative authority to adopt the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for each subject of the required curriculum. Last year, SBOE members nominated educators, parents, business and industry representatives, and employers to serve on the review committees. Technology Applications review committees began work in Spring 2010 to review the current Technology Applications TEKS and make recommendations for revisions.

HEREThe SBOE discussed the proposed revised Technology Applications TEKS at its November 2010 meeting. The proposed revisions to the Technology Applications TEKS were approved for first reading and filing authorization at the January 2011 meeting. The official public comment period is currently underway. To view the proposed revisions and submit a comment, please visit http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2386.
Second reading and final adoption is expected in April 2011. The SBOE is scheduled to conduct a public hearing at their April 2011 meeting. To follow the process, visit: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=6148.

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Act NOW Tweet and E-Mail for EdTech
Ed tech needs good teachers, and teachers need good ed tech!
Yet the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to eliminate all direct funding for educational technology in the current budget negotiations. The U.S. Senate has not yet acted, so there is still time to influence the final outcome.
It has never been more urgent to make our voices heard in support of the direct, dedicated funding for educational technology and professional learning that strengthens good teaching and student success.
You can take TWO easy ACTIONS right NOW!
Tweet in support of educational technology
  1. Go to www.tweetcongress.org
  2. Scroll down and enter your zip code on the left
  3. View the list of names of your congressional delegation who are on Twitter
  4. Go to Twitter and tweet to the policymakers; be sure to include your city and state so they know you are a constituent
Sample tweet: @SenatorHarkin, from Des Moines: Fund ed tech at $100m for 21st century learning & student success
E-mail in support of educational technology
  1. Go to www.edtechactionnetwork.org
  2. Type your zip code into the upper right hand box and click go
  3. Scroll down and read the letter; add your own thoughts to make it more personal
  4. Enter your contact information and click send
Please take both of these actions as not all members of Congress use Twitter. For those who do tweet, it's important that they hear from constituents via multiple communications channels.
Join us at the Ed Tech Policy Summit in Washington, DC
Join us for an important advocacy event, the Ed Tech Policy Summit in Washington, DC, April 12--13, 2011. You'll learn the skills to become a better advocate and have the opportunity to visit with congressional members and staff. Interested in learning more about influencing policy at all levels of government? You can come early for the ABC's of Advocacy, ISTE's premier advocacy training workshop.
Washington Education Technology Policy Summit
ABC's of Advocacy

TCEA WORKSHOPS - Great downloads from sessions.

FETC Virtual Confrence & Expo - FREE Registration is NOW OPEN!!! Click HERE for more details.
TATN Event, Lesson Plans, and Professional Development Opportunities The Technology Applications Teacher Network (TATN) is a collaborative project between the twenty Texas Education Service Centers (ESCs) and the Texas Education Agency. The TATN is designed to provide Texas teachers with resources to implement the Technology Applications Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills in the K-12 classroom. The 2011 TATN event was held on February 8th. Exemplary teachers from across the state shared lesson plans, student projects, and assessment rubrics focused on the integration of the technology applications TEKS into the core content areas for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. In addition, teachers shared best practices from the middle and high school technology applications courses. The lessons from this event are posted at the TATN website -- www.techappsnetwork.org.
The TATN website contains resources to teach and apply the K-8 Technology Applications Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills across the curriculum at all grade levels as well as to teach the High School Technology Applications courses (Digital Graphics/ Animation, Desktop Publishing, Web Mastering, Multimedia, Video Technology, and Computer Science). There are lessons and unit plans that show how technology can enhance each of the foundation curriculum areas. TEKS alignments with mathematics, science, social studies, and English language arts/reading are provided to support the connections.

TCEA Call for Presentations—Tots and Technology: Learning in the Elementary ClassroomTexas Computer Education Association (TCEA) has announced that registration is now open and has released a call for presenters for the summer event “Tots and Technology: Learning in the Elementary Classroom.” Pre-K through 5th grade educators from across the state are invited to attend two days of content-specific professional development related to innovative educational technology. For individual interested in presenting, the deadline to submit proposals has been extended to March 17, 2011. The event will be held June 13-14, 2011 at the San Luis Resort and Conference Center in Galveston, Texas. For more information, please contact TCEA at (800) 282-8232 or visit their web page at www.tcea.org.

Acceptable Use Policies in a Web 2.0 & Mobile Era: A Guide for School Districts
CoSN released its Acceptable Use Polices in a Web 2.0 & Mobile Era: A Guide for School Districts, which is aimed at assisting district leaders develop, rethink or revise Internet policies to address the growing use of mobile devices and Web 2.0. The CoSN Policy Guide was developed as part of a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Initiative, and is designed for superintendents, principals, chief technology/information officers and curriculum directors.
To learn more about the guide, please visit http://www.cosn.org/Initiatives/Web2/AUPGuide/tabid/8139/Default.aspx?utm_source=feb18_aupguide1&utm_medium=eblast&utm_campaign=guide.

Annoucements Cont'd

PROJECT SHARE HIGHLIGHTS
Project Share Background
Project Share is an online environment that gives educators the ability to join professional learning communities (PLCs), participate in professional development courses, explore content repositories, and use online instructional materials. The first state-adopted online instructional materials, which can be accessed by all Texas public high school teachers, are now available through the Project Share platform. Be sure to check the Project Share website http://www.projectsharetexas.org to see the new PBS message and the latest Project Share tutorial -- Getting Started in Project Share.

SXSWedu to Host Project Share Education Conference
The Project Share team at the Texas Education Agency is hosting an educational conference celebrating Texas’ new K-12 education portal, Project Share. The conference, “Project Share: Knowledge Knows No Boundaries,” will be hosted by SXSWedu March 8-10, 2011, at the AT&T Conference Center in Austin, Texas. For more information, please go to http://sxswedu.com/.

Project Share is a Texas Education Agency initiative that supports the development and delivery of high quality professional development for Texas educators in an interactive and engaging online learning environment. The number of participating Texas educators continues to grow. In addition to professional development opportunities, Project Share provides Texas teachers support, collaboration, and resources from across the state, including multimedia content provided through Texas Education on iTunes U. To learn more, go to http://projectsharetexas.org/.
Professional Development (PD) Courses Now Available through Project Share
Teachers may now complete online PD courses through Project Share. Eligible teachers who successfully complete courses are able to earn continuing professional education (CPE) credits. Contact your local education service center (ESC) to learn more about current and future Project Share course offerings. Math (MSTAR and Algebra I EOC Success) and science (K-12 Science TEKS Overview) courses are now available through all ESCs. Other courses, including Expository Reading and Writing in High School and ELPS courses for math, science, ELA, and social studies, will continue to be made available.

Ysleta ISD Vision 2020 Virtual Learning Grant SpotlightYsleta ISD schools are becoming more aware of additional opportunities available for high school students to meet graduation requirements. Counselors are using Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) online course offerings as a viable alternative for students needing additional classes. This semester TxVSN dual-credit, online courses are being offered for the first time in YISD. Administrators are beginning to recognize the value of online coursework. They realize the rigor required by these courses and are recommending them to counselors, teachers and students. The online courses are specifically used for students that do well in an online environment. Students have learned that the coursework is rigorous and requires that they organize their time wisely.

Power on Texas
POWER ON TEXAS is a collaboration between TEA and AMS Pictures to highlight teachers effectively using technology to transform student achievement across the state and share these examples with other educational stakeholders. POWER ON TEXAS shows how districts overcame barriers associated with technology transformation, professional development surrounding training, administrative support, best practices with technology transformation and project-based learning as well as rural implications with technology.To join the Power on Texas revolution and see how Texas schools are powering on to innovative 21st Century teaching and learning practices, please visit http://www.powerontexas.com/Publish/index.php

E-Rate Deadline Soon: FY2011 Form 471 Application Filing Window
The FY2011 Form 471 application filing window for E-Rate opened at noon EST on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 and close at 11:59 pm EDT on Thursday, March 24, 2011. The window will be open for 73 days. To apply go to http://www.usac.org/sl/.

Sign Up for the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) Listserv
Don’t forget to sign up for the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) listserv! By becoming a member of the listserv you will receive notices about any course additions to the TxVSN course catalog, as well as any other important changes or updates pertaining to TxVSN. From the lower left hand side of the TxVSN homepage (www.txvsn.org), click the Sign up for TxVSN listserv link. After completing and submitting the short application, you will receive a confirmation email. This email contains one last link to click your acceptance as a member of the TxVSN listserv. ‘Get connected’ to the listserv and be in the know about all of the great things happening with the Texas Virtual School Network! Want to follow TxVSN on Twitter? Click the following link for Twitter account information: http://twitter.com/txvsn?utm_campaign=welcome20100914phx&utm_content=profile&utm_medium=email&utm_source=welcome .


Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) Allotment Now Available to Eighth Graders
Effective with the spring 2011 semester, the state virtual school allotment is available for eighth grade students to advance into high school courses offered through the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN). Students must have:

· A strong academic record and the need to advance into course work to meet the requirements of the Texas Recommended or Distinguished Achievement Graduation Plans.
· Demonstrated mastery of the middle school essential knowledge and skills prerequisite to the high school course to be taken (TAKS, credit by exam, or other local measure).
· Demonstrated readiness for the online environment and ready access to a computer and the internet. The TxVSN provides an online tool for participating districts to pre-assess student readiness for online learning.
· A mentor assigned by the district to provide local campus support and to serve as an exam proctor.

The ‘Upcoming Events’ section of the TxVSN homepage, www.txvsn.org, lists regularly scheduled webinars available to provide additional information on “Receiving Courses from the TxVSN,” and “Middle School Acceleration with the TxVSN,” as well as other topics of interest. To learn more about the district and open-enrollment charter school registration process to participate in the TxVSN see www.txvsn.org. Additionally, the TxVSN Help Desk may be contacted at 1-866-938-9876 or may be emailed at txvsncentral@txvsn.org for registration assistance or other questions.



New Videos of Students’ Experiences with TxVSN Now Available on WebsiteTexas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) provides supplemental online courses statewide to Texas high school students. TxVSN interviewed students, superintendents, principals, counselors, mentors, and parents about their experiences and lessons learned with online learning through the TxVSN. Course rigor, adjusting to online learning, the academic opportunity made available through TxVSN and the state virtual school allotment funds, 21st century learning skills, and the importance of mentoring and monitoring online learners are all discussed. To view the videos, please go to http://www.txvsn.org/StudentSuccessStories.aspx.

Growth of Distance LearningWritten by Dr. John G. Flores, the U.S. Distance Learning Association’s “Enabled by Broadband, Education Enters a New Frontier” white paper highlights the successes and growth of distance learning. Dr. Flores urges educators and education officials to move forward with the development of online-based curricula and the digital content to support them. The paper can be found at http://www.usdla.org/assets/pdf_files/OnlineWhitePaper-V10312.pdf.
Speak Up 2010 -- Thank you Thank you to those districts that joined with educators from across the country and participated in the Speak Up 2010 surveys. Speak Up surveyed over 2.2 million students, parents and educators nationwide. Participating schools and districts can access their own data later this month. National findings from students and parents will be released in April 2011.The Speak Up National Research Project provides participating schools with a quick and easy way to collect authentic feedback from your students, teachers, and parents on important educational technology topics. Speak Up is an annual national research project facilitated by Project Tomorrow. To learn more, visit the Speak Up website http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/.

K-12 Databases Please remind your teachers, students, and parents that they have access to relevant, targeted information from encyclopedias and other online research and information resources provided by the state through the K-12 Databases (http://web.esc20.net/access). Regardless of district size or location, all Texas public school communities have access to these resources. For more information and to access the K-12 Databases, go to http://web.esc20.net/k12databases. Happy searching!


NASA Seeks Volunteer STEM Teachers for Online Educational Missions
Volunteer STEM teachers are being sought by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) in partnership with the Educational Technology Cooperative at the Southern Regional Education Board and Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) to participate in the redesign, development and online delivery of two National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) educational missions.Participation in Phase 1 (Winter/Spring 2011) of the project is extended to innovative science and mathematics teachers and education professionals.Participants will be part of a multi-disciplinary team of online instructional design, development and evaluation professionals focusing on two NASA “missions” (one a “deep space” and one an “Earth-focused” mission) to provide the context for online, independent learning experiences primarily designed for high-school students. For Phase 1 the project team will develop a cutting-edge curriculum guide and support structures combining physics, math and NASA resources into a rich, engaging independent online learning experience for STEM students.Members of the team will learn how to “crowd-source” connections between the NASA “VLM Virtual Physics Course” (developed under a previous NASA/CCSSO project) and the targeted NASA missions, and how to align instructional elements with the Core Content Standards in Mathematics. Web-based support of many types will be offered; opportunities to network with other participants and STEM professionals will abound. Project participation, including time commitments, is designed to be flexible. In addition, participants in Phase 1 will have priority for nominating students for both pilot and general phases of the project launch.
The Interdisciplinary Independent Studies (IIS) project is sponsored by NASA under the auspices of the CCSSO in partnership with the Educational Technology Cooperative at the SREB. To get further information about the project, contact: Tom Welch (tomw@ccsso.org) IIS Project Principal Investigator.

Improving Literacy through School Libraries -- Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011
Improving Literacy Through School Libraries grant program is to improve student reading skills and academic achievement by providing students with increased access to up-to-date school library materials; well-equipped, technologically advanced school library media centers; and well-trained, professionally certified school library media specialists. Eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) may use funds for the following activities: purchasing up-to-date school library media resources, including books; acquiring and using advanced technology that is incorporated into the curricula of the school in order to develop and enhance the information literacy, information retrieval, and critical-thinking skills of students; facilitating Internet links and other resource-sharing networks among schools and school library media centers, and public and academic libraries, where possible; providing professional development for school library media specialists and providing activities that foster increased collaboration among library specialists, teachers, and administrators; and providing students with access to school libraries during non-school hours, including before and after school, weekends, and summer vacation periods.

The closing date for applications is March 28, 2011. For more information, please go to http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do;jsessionid=QhKhNQJCh0hTLTb3CWdN4RZVcmlpGz4cN8Zq1XVJMbK1pVVyg4WF!601943564?oppId=66793&mode=VIEW.