PLEASE NOTE THAT WE WILL BE AWAY FROM WEDS 4/9 THRU TUESDAY 4/15/14.

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CoSN Files E-Rate Comments With FCC
Washington, DC (April 8, 2014) – In an official filing this week with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) called on the Commission to increase E-Rate funding, expedite application processing, and set aside significant funding for internal connections – beginning immediately with a $2 billion down payment.
CoSN’s filing, responding to the Wireline Bureau’s March 6 public notice, echoed the education and library community’s consensus view that E-Rate is an indispensable national resource that must be strengthened for the next generation of American students.
“E-Rate has been a powerful force in advancing teaching and learning. To ensure its long-standing impact on education and the nation’s future economic prosperity and culture of creativity and innovation, the FCC must act boldly to improve and expand the program,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “One key focus for the Commission should be equipping E-Rate to deliver high-capacity educational broadband to every classroom. Lack of additional investment and administrative improvements will leave our schools and students largely disconnected to high-capacity broadband and further behind other countries.”
CoSN’s 2013 E-rate and Broadband Survey demonstrated a clear need for a targeted investment in internal connections, particularly given the near absence of Priority Two funding below the 90 percent discount level in recent funding years. For example, school LAN “backbones,” which represent a key challenge to high capacity broadband delivery, require immediate attention, with 26 percent of school districts reporting use of slow copper backbones. Likewise, approximately 40 percent of classrooms lack Wi-Fi.
CoSN also encouraged the FCC to dramatically improve the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (USAC’s) ability to lead E-Rate. CoSN recommended building USAC’s technology infrastructure and recalibrate staffing to promote improved programmatic transparency and faster processing of applications, appeals and other administrative functions. Weak high-quality technical support is particularly pronounced in the nation’s poorest and most geographically isolated communities.
Krueger is available for further comment.

About the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) 
CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visitwww.cosn.org or call 866-267-8747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areasannual conference and events,  advocacy and policymembership, and the CETL certification exam.

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EDmarket iQ Debuts for the Educational Products Marketplace

 

(Silver Spring, MD) — The Education Market Association recently partnered with Agile Education Marketingto provide a new member service to help educational product manufacturers and dealers access the most comprehensive and accurate early childhood, K-12 and higher education database available. Attendees at ED Expo were shown demonstrations of this powerful search engine and were excited to see for themselves how to drill down within the data to identify the key contacts making decisions within the school building and district-level offices.

 

EDmarket iQ is an industry resource that allows for quick and easy identification of districts, schools and educators to target for sales and marketing promotions to expand market reach. This cloud-based service is an exclusive benefit of membership in the Education Market Association. It includes the opportunity to search a full database of schools, districts, and colleges for real-time key information on those institutions that can help identify sales opportunities. Users can also quickly find a school or district office address or phone number from a mobile device. And for an additional fee, members can generate and download mailing and email lists to use in marketing their business.

 

Visit, the EDmarket website to learn how EDmarket iQ can help companies locate and reach potential customers both locally and across the U.S. Click here to learn more.

 

About Agile Education Marketing: Founded in 2009, Agile Education Marketing is an innovative education information firm that supports the marketing initiatives of businesses selling products and services to schools. Customers can utilize Agile’s robust database of preK-12 and higher education schools and personnel along with custom data analytics, creative services and tactical consulting. Agile’s at-school and at-home mailing and e-mail lists, coupled with their knowledge and insight, help education businesses improve their marketing results and maximize their marketing investments. For more information about Agile and their partners, visit www.agile-ed.com.

 

About Education Market Association: The mission of the Education Market Association (EDmarket) is to serve the educational products marketplace by providing high quality tradeshows that increase the productivity of the channel; networking opportunities to build relationships with trading partners; and market information on which to make solid business decisions.

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Listen for Life Launches ‘Travels With Music’

 

Multimedia program for K12 uses music to explore world cultures

 

Oakland, California – April 3, 2014 – Listen for Life™, a global nonprofit music-media organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of music culture worldwide, created Travels With Music™ to introduce students to world cultures, using music as the gateway. The multimedia program explores the richness and diversity of 15 world cultures – Bulgaria, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, the Philippines, Trinidad, and the USA – through the use of 300 video and audio segments that comprise six hours of classroom instruction.

 

The unique and engaging content in Travels With Music is ideal for instruction in history, geography, ESL/EFL/TESOL, cultural diversity, cultural literacy, music and tolerance. Available as both an online subscription and on DVD, Travels With Music introduces each culture by providing perspective on its origins and history, its surrounding geography, and what makes that culture unique in terms of its customs, traditions, language(s), and music.

 

“Listen for Life has amassed the largest and most unique collection of broadcast-quality video and audio assets from music cultures around the globe, including performance footage of Master Musicians playing native instruments, and in-depth interviews with them about their culture, their inspiration, their way of life and their music,” said Mark Mallardi, CEO of Listen for Life. “We have shaped this rich video and audio content into a highly engaging instructional program that helps teachers immerse students in world cultures, whether that teacher is in a traditional classroom or homeschool setting.”

 

Travels With Music introduces the musical instruments native to each culture, and enables students to see and hear Master Musicians showcasing their instruments through instruction and performance footage. A comprehensive downloadable Teacher’s Guide provides background information for each culture and musician, a Glossary of Music Terms, and a series of multiple choice questions for assessment of each unit. Individual subscriptions, as well as DVDs or DVD-ROMs, are sold for $69.95 each. Teachers with online subscriptions may purchase student accounts for $10 per student.

 

To learn more or purchase Travels With Music, visit www.travelswithmusic.com.

 

About Listen for Life™ and Travels With Music ™

Listen for Life is a global non-profit music-media organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of music culture worldwide. Headquartered in Oakland, California, Listen for Life has affiliate studios/production facilities in 45 countries worldwide, and owns over 400 hours of proprietary, fully rights-cleared video content of Master Musicians from around the globe performing original music compositions on instruments native to their cultures, and being interviewed in their native languages about their culture, their customs, their inspiration and their way of life.

 

Travels With Music, a production of Listen for Life, leads K12 classrooms and homeschoolers on an interactive exploration of 15 world cultures, with Master Musicians as their guides. Students will experience the richness and diversity of our world’s cultures through 300 video and audio segments, arranged in 30 Units (two Units per culture), comprising a total of six hours of course content. For more information about Travels With Music, visit www.travelswithmusic.com. You can also connect with Travels With Music on Facebook and BuzcastTV.

 

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Learning First Alliance: Give Educators More Time to Successfully Implement Common Core State Standards

Voices Representing More than 10 Million Teachers, Administrators, Parents and Community Leaders Call On States To Hold Off on High-Stakes Consequences

WASHINGTON, DC (April 8, 2014)—The Learning First Alliance today called on policy makers to allow more time for the formal implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), particularly the high-stakes consequences tied to CCSS testing, to ensure the required instructional alignment and supports necessary for meaningful college- and career-ready standards.

“Rushing to make high-stakes decisions such as student advancement or graduation, teacher evaluation, school performance designation or state funding awards based on assessments of the standards before they have been fully and properly implemented is unwise,” the LFA statement said.

“We continue to see growing opposition to the standards as officials move too quickly to use aligned assessments in high-stakes accountability decisions. Such actions have the potential to undermine the standards themselves – and thus our opportunity to improve education for all students. We must take the necessary time to ensure we succeed in this endeavor,” it continued.

The Learning First Alliance is a partnership of leading education organizations representing more than 10 million members dedicated to improving student learning in America’s public schools. Its member organizations include: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), AASA: The School Superintendents Association, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), American School Counselor Association (ASCA), International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Learning Forward, National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), National Education Association (NEA), National PTA, National School Boards Association (NSBA), National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA), Parents for Public Schools and Phi Delta Kappa International.

“The more than 10 million teachers, principals, superintendents, school board members, parents and community leaders are clear. We must take action now to allow more time for the implementation of college- and career-ready standards. It is the only way we can ensure we get this right,” LFA Executive Director Cheryl Scott Williams said. “Despite good intentions, educators and other voices represented by LFA have been largely left out of decisions around the implementation process, and decision makers have largely avoided issues of curriculum and instruction to date.”

“We call on policy makers in those states where implementation is clearly struggling to heed the voices of the more than 10 million closest to these standards and allow the time necessary to do this right,” Williams said. “We must take the time to look to those states where implementation is going well, learn from their experiences and ensure all children have access to the college- and career-ready learning they need and deserve.”

To help facilitate the identification and sharing of best and promising practice on CCSS implementation, LFA announced that it has constructed a new website to serve as a home for implementation success stories, providing it as a guide to help policy makers and educators construct a timeline and execution plan based on what is necessary to implement the standards in classrooms and communities across the nation.

“Right now, too many states, districts and schools simply are not prepared to make high-stakes decisions such as student advancement or graduation, teacher evaluation, school performance designation or state funding awards based on assessments of the standards before they have been fully and properly implemented,” Williams said. “We should look to the states, districts and classrooms that are making progress, despite challenging circumstances.”

She noted states like California, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky and Massachusetts offer particular promise as models of successful CCSS implementation.

As states and districts focus on these important issues, LFA made clear holding off on formal implementation should not turn back the focus on accountability at all levels of the learning process.

“We urge a continued commitment to accountability. We recommend that states and districts continue to hold educators and schools to a high standard as determined by the components of their accountability systems that are not solely based on standardized tests, including other evidence of student learning, peer evaluations, school climate data and more,” the LFA statement said.

About the Learning First Alliance
The Learning First Alliance is a partnership of leading education organizations representing more than 10 million members dedicated to improving student learning in America’s public schools. We share examples of success, encourage collaboration at every level, and work toward the continual and long-term improvement of public education based on solid research. For more information on the Learning First Alliance, please visit www.learningfirst.org.

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ACCT Logo Banner Blue/White
Ellen Alberding to Speak at 45th Annual ACCT Leadership Congress
April 4, 2014 – WASHINGTON – The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) today announced that Ellen Alberding, president and board member of the Joyce Foundation, will be a featured keynote speaker at the 45th Annual ACCT Leadership Congress, which will take place in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency Chicago this October 22-25, 2014.

 

“Our country’s more than 1,200 community colleges play a pivotal role in their local economies as well as the national landscape,” Alberding said. “As more jobs require some type of postsecondary credential, community colleges are essential in teaching adults the skills they need to get good jobs in their communities. These institutions are powerful economic engines that have potential to build a competitive workforce, lower unemployment, and improve the quality of life for so many deserving people.”

 

The Joyce Foundation works to improve the quality of life in the Great Lakes region, advancing educational outcomes for low-income children and employment and workforce issues. Alberding is vice chair of the City Colleges of Chicago and a board member of Skills for America’s Future, which works to improve community college training programs through business partnerships. Alberding is a board member of Advance Illinois, which advocates for public education reform in the state, and vice chair of the National Park Foundation.

 

“As a chief executive of a major philanthropic foundation who also serves on the board of a community college, Ellen Alberding has a truly unique and important perspective to share,” said ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown.  “We are excited to bring her insights to our members this October.”

 

The ACCT Leadership Congress is the largest national gathering of community college trustees, presidents, and administrators. More than 2,000 people from around the country and abroad are expected to be in attendance. The theme of this year’s Congress in Chicago, Illinois is “Winds of Change: Staying the Course to the American Dream.” Topics to be covered throughout the Congress include: strategic industry alliances and partnerships with K-12, student success and college completion, innovation and technology, fundraising, serving at-risk and underserved populations, and effective board governance.

 

About ACCT

 

The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. For more information, go to www.acct.org. Follow ACCT on Twitter @CCTrustees.

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‘Inquiry’ Named SIIA Education CODiE Award Finalist 
Learning.com earns prestigious education industry recognition in ‘Best Instructional Solution in Other Curriculum Areas’ category


Portland, Ore. (April 8, 2014) – Learning.com, a leader in delivering digital curriculum and assessments to districts and schools, announces that its  Inquiry solution has been named a finalist in the “Best Instructional Solution in Other Curriculum Areas” category for the 2014 Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) Education CODiE Awards. Inquiry provides a project-based approach to teaching 21st century skills and preparing students for success in today’s digital world.

Specifically developed for K-8 students and created to support Common Core State Standards, Inquiry includes six core curriculum projects per grade level. Each project is based on a theme that continues from grade to grade, building on previously acquired subject-area knowledge and technology skills.

“This recognition is especially significant because of the rigorous evaluation and selection process,” said Keith Oelrich, CEO of Learning.com. “We’ve had a great response so far from educators and we are pleased to learn that the CODiE judges, software and education experts, also see the value Inquiry provides teachers and students.”

The  SIIA CODiE Awards is the premier award program for the software and information industry.  This year’s program features 31 education categories, several of which are new or updated to reflect the latest industry trends and business models. Winners will be announced during a special awards dinner at the association’s education technology conference, the Education Industry Summit, in San Francisco on Tuesday, May 13.

“This year’s finalists are breaking ground with new business models and innovative products. We are pleased to recognize the best in educational technology with these 119 products,” said Karen Billings, vice president of the SIIA Education Division. “I look forward to honoring them all in May at the Education Industry Summit.”

Inquiry provides ready-to-use projects that begin with pre-tests that ensure students have the technology skills required for the project and prescribe individualized instruction based on the results. Students then complete the projects by conducting research, collaborating with their classmates, creating digital media and giving presentations. After finishing a project, students complete a short reflection assignment to evaluate their work. Teachers can track individual progress throughout the project and record final work in an online grade book.

A full list of CODiE Awards finalists can be found at http://siia.net/codies/2014/finalists.asp.

To learn more about Inquiry, visit the Learning.com solutions page.

About Learning.com
Learning.com provides digital curriculum and assessments that help students develop 21st century skills to prepare them for success in college and their future career opportunities. With Learning.com’s digital content management tools, teachers can organize and customize how they deliver content to students. Learning.com provides implementation and professional development services to support educators as they integrate technology into instruction and move to digital content. Founded in 1999, Learning.com currently partners with more than 2,700 districts. For more information, visit www.learning.com and connect with us at www.facebook.com/learningdotcom and www.twitter.com/learningdotcom.

About SIIA
SIIA is the leading association representing the software and digital content industries. SIIA represents approximately 800 member companies worldwide that develop software and digital information content.  Information technology (IT) and software security are critical issues to SIIA’s members, many of whom strive to develop safe, secure and state-of the-art products that effectively serve their commercial and government customers alike, while protecting their intellectual property. The SIIA Education Division serves and represents more than 200 member companies that provide software, digital content, and other technologies that address educational needs. The Division shapes and supports the industry by providing leadership, advocacy, business development opportunities, and critical market information. For more information, visit www.siia.net/education.

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