CoSN 2015: K-12 Leaders to Discover Making the Digital Leap
March 2015 Annual Conference in Atlanta Now Open for Registration 
Washington, DC (October 21, 2014) – CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) today announced that its 2015 annual conference in Atlanta, GA, is open for registration. Themed “Enabling Your Digital Leap,” the 2015 conference will feature K-12 public and private sector technology leaders from across the globe for a four-day exploration on making critical digital investments and the requirements for a successful digital leap.
Set to take place March 16-19, 2015, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, early bird registration is availablenow until December 12. Click here for registration details.
“Enabling your district to make the digital leap requires fundamental changes and a culture that is flexible and continuously improving,” said Pete Just, Chief Technology Officer, MSD of Wayne Township (IN), and Chair, 2015 CoSN Annual Conference. “At the 2015 CoSN Conference, we’ll explore the successful strategies that empower the transformational learning potential of digital resources and examine what it takes from school leadership to make this shift for our students.”
CoSN 2015 will comprise conference breakout and networking sessions, remarks from world-renowned education thought leaders, professional development workshops, and two site tours, among other activities.
Included below are key conference details.
Monday, March 16
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
  • Opening Plenary Session: Rethinking Pedagogy for Deeper Learning, featuring Michael Fullan, OC, Former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.
Tuesday, March 17
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
  • My Digital Leap / State of CoSN & Awards, featuring perspectives from leading district technology leaders on strategies they are using as their districts make the digital leap.
Wednesday, March 18
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Closing Plenary Session: CoSNx, featuring visionaries who will help participants move from the “why” of a digital leap to the “how.”
Learn more about the plenary sessions here. Explore the full list of breakout sessions covering the themes “Ubiquity and Access,” “Vision and Leadership,” and “Pioneering Innovation” here.  
Monday, March 16 
8:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Leveraging Technology in Education to Empower Girls and Women, featuring Carolina Belalcázar, Project Officer, Education Sector, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, among other premier leaders. Learn more here.
Monday, March 16
  • 8:00 am – Noon: Education Data and Student Privacy – The Trust Imperative, featuring Bob Moore, Founder, RJM Strategies LLC; and Jules Polonetsky, Executive Director and Co-Chair, Future of Privacy Forum.
  • 9:00 am – Noon: Leadership for Mobile Learning, featuring Marie Bjerede, Founder, e-Mergents.
  • 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Smart Education Networks by Design, featuring Marie Bjerede, Founder, e-Mergents.
  • 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Defining a Pilot Project Using Disciplined Entrepreneurship, featuring Eric Braun, CEO and Co‑Founder / Adjunct Professor, 30hands Learning / Tufts University.
Thursday, March 19
  • 9:00 am – Noon: Grant Writing Workshop: Funding EdTech Dreams, featuring Rita Oates, President, Oates Associates; and Sheryl Abshire, Chief Technology Officer, Calcasieu Parish Public Schools. Learn more here.
Tuesday, March 17
  • 6:00 – 9:30 pm: Monumental Impact! Advocacy Dinner & Auction, will take place at the historic Fox Theatre, providing a showcase of noteworthy transformational education and learning opportunities achievements. Learn more here.
Site Tours
Sunday, March 15
  • 9:30 am – 1:30 pm: Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site VIP Tour, an exploration of Dr. King’s home, Dr. and Mrs. King’s tomb, the visitor center, the renowned Ebenezer Baptist Church, among other sites. Learn more here
Thursday, March 19
  • 9:30 am – 1:30 pm: Henry County Schools Site Visit, an interactive visit to see how Henry County Schools is using technology in their commitment to create personalized learning opportunities for students. Learn more here
CoSN 2015 is supported by:
Platinum: Filewave
Gold: Gartner, Lightspeed Systems, SchoolDude
Silver: Amplify, Cisco, ENA, Google, iboss Network Security, iDENTiTY  AUTOMATiON, Ipswitch, JAMF Software, Presidio, Sprint, Verizon
Crystal: School Messenger
Bronze: Kajeet
Media interested in attending CoSN 2015 should contact Michael Kaplun at
For more CoSN 2015 information or to register, please visit:
About 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. or call 866-267-8747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and eventsadvocacy and policy, membership, and the CETL certification exam.


TeacherMatch Announces Elizabeth Fadil as New Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing

18-year IT business veteran will lead market expansion

CHICAGO  October 21, 2014 — TeacherMatch, a revolutionary teacher candidate assessment solution, is excited to welcome Elizabeth Fadil as the new Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Liz has joined TeacherMatch from SchoolMessenger, the nation’s leading provider of K12 mass notifications, where she was Senior Vice President of Sales. Liz brings fresh performance initiatives and new efficiencies to the TeacherMatch team.

Liz began her career at Xerox Corporation, where she developed a passion for working with K12 school districts, and other public sector entities. She continued to provide technology alternatives to the education marketplace at Sun Microsystems, and Information Builders

“I’ve always had a passion for expanding the use of technology in schools, and am very impressed with how TeacherMatch uses technology in the teacher hiring process,” said Fadil. “I firmly believe that in order to sell a product you need to have faith in its ability to improve the lives of your consumers. TeacherMatch does just that; it maximizes the administration’s ability to hire the most qualified and appropriate candidates. I look forward to expanding the market potential and helping school administrators.”

As the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Elizabeth will lead and oversee sales staff development, business processes, strategic planning and market expansion.

“Liz brings a tremendous amount of experience in education technology and a style that enriches our company’s values,” said Don Fraynd, PhD, CEO and co-founder of TeacherMatch. We are lucky to have her on our team and look forward to her leading our efforts to expand our reach to more and more partners across the education space.”

For more information about TeacherMatch, visit their website at

About TeacherMatch

TeacherMatch is a comprehensive education talent management system that facilities all stages of the teacher hiring process from recruitment and interviewing through onboarding and professional development. TeacherMatch offers an all-in-one solution to help schools find, hire and develop more effective teachers in an effort to give students the best opportunity to succeed. For more information, please visit


Califone Offer Helps Districts Prepare for Common Core Testing Deadlines

Company guarantees audio equipment shipment in time for spring assessments

San Fernando, Calif. (Oct. 21, 2014) – The clock is ticking, and school districts are running out of time to acquire the audio equipment required to administer Common Core assessments this spring. Many districts have not ordered the tech resources needed for the new tests, and the longer they procrastinate, the more difficult it will be to procure the equipment. To make the process less stressful for district administrators, Califone International LLC is going the extra mile. The premier manufacturer of quality audio technology for schools introduces a new headphone, earbud and headset program guaranteeing in-time shipment of the essential audio equipment that districts need for spring assessments.

The stakes are high. Mandatory use of headphones for the English language arts testing sessions has been specified by PARCC, Smarter Balanced, and other key Common Core assessments, and to accommodate students who require such tools as text-to-speech in the mathematics tests. Under the new Califone program, districts that place orders through authorized Califone dealers by Nov. 21 will have their headphones, earbuds and headsets ship from Califone as early asMarch 3, 2015.  If a headphone or headset order is delayed past the ship date of their choosing (if March 3 is too early, from then until June 26), the order will be free of cost.

To view the full news release online visit,


CULTURAL EDUCATION GROUP Bridges of Understanding award dinner to honor fashion designer Reem Acra in New York City

New York, NY—Bridges of Understanding, a not-for-profit organization aimed at bridging the cultural divide between Americans and the Arab world, will honor Lebanese fashion designer Reem Acra with the Building Bridges Award for her work at a dinner and fundraiser chaired by philanthropists Cathie Black and Tom Harvey in New York City on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014. Steven Kolb, Chief Executive Officer of the CFDA, will present the award.

The organization focuses on education, including in-school initiatives such as YouthTalk: A Bridges of Understanding and Global Nomads Group Initiative, which pairs high school classrooms in the U.S. with their peers in the Middle East through a videoconferencing-based curriculum.

“The goal is just as much to educate American youth about the Arab world as it is for Arab youth to better understand Americans,” says Executive Director Faisal Al-Juburi. “Through showcasing student commonalities, the programming helps the next generation to overcome the culture divide, shift perception, and grow towards a more empathetic future among nations.”

Previously held in the greater Washington, D.C. area, this will be the first Building Bridges Award Dinner in New York City. The award honors those individuals who further the mission and ethos of the organization. Acra is a perfect example of just that.

Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Acra learned to sew by way of her mother. Defying the stereotype that women in the Arab world are not empowered, Acra’s success grew out of a basic cultural tradition that she later used to become an entrepreneur and one of the world’s top couture designers. She exemplifies the importance that the arts have on building an understanding between peoples, especially during times of sociopolitical unrest.

“The Council of Fashion Designers of America is proud to count Reem Acra among its prestigious membership of creative talent,” says Steven Kolb of the CFDA, “Fashion is an universal language of which Reem has a powerful voice. Her beautiful clothes empower women around the world and there is no better example that similarities of cultures are greater than their differences.”

The evening will include the presentation of the award by Kolb as well as the premiere of an original piece by Arab-American playwright Heather Raffo (9 Parts of Desire) in tribute to Acra and featuring famed Syrian opera singer Lubana AlQuntar.

Funds raised will in part allow Bridges of Understanding’s education programs to find a home in New York City. Later this year, a New York City public school in the Bronx will be the first school to bring YouthTalk to the area and will simultaneously pilot a new middle school curriculum, Bridges at School.

“As an educator and school principal, my role is to help students develop socially and emotionally, so that they can become thoughtful, engaged, global citizens,” says Brandon Cardet of the Urban Assembly Bronx Academy of Letters, “Bridges of Understanding’s programs allow students to participate in rich content acquisition, while also strengthening their ability to interact and build relationships with young people from another part of the world—a part of the world that may often feel foreign for our students. Together, we are providing our students with global access through bi-national exchange; skills that will position our young people for success.”

The Building Bridges Award Dinner will take place at The Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, Samuel B. & David Rose Building, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza (165 West 65th Street), New York, New York 10023. For more information, visit:


As Many as Two Million Students Could Receive Associate Degrees
through National Student Clearinghouse’s Reverse Transfer Project

Lumina Foundation Grant Awarded for Landmark Reverse Transfer Project

Herndon, Virginia, Oct. 21, 2014 – The National Student Clearinghouse™ has been awarded a Lumina Foundation grant to work on a landmark project to provide the first national automated solution for exchanging reverse transfer student data. Through this initiative as many as two million eligible students could be awarded associate degrees.

Reverse transfer of credits occurs when a four-year institution transfers student credits back to any two-year institution from which a student has transferred. It doesn’t matter if the student transferred to another associate degree granting institution first or a bachelor’s level institution, attended public or private institutions, or transferred across state lines. If eligible, the student is then awarded an associate degree.

Seventy eight percent of students transfer from a community college to a four-year institution without a degree, according to a Lumina-funded study. Eligible students will now have the opportunity to be awarded a first associate degree that reflects their educational achievement and allows them to compete more successfully in advanced higher education pursuits as well as the workforce.

Lumina seeks to encourage partnerships between community colleges and universities, thereby significantly expanding programs that award associate degrees to transfer students who complete the requirements for the associate degree while pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

“The Clearinghouse Reverse Transfer project is a major step in improving higher education outcomes, which will benefit us as a nation. More students will get the degrees they deserve. Community colleges will be recognized for the value they add to education. And – by granting more degrees — states will be better positioned to attract new business,” said Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, President and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

“Reverse transfer also boosts college completions rates. Our research shows that those transferring to a four-year institution, after having received an associate degree, are more likely to complete,” added Dr. David Pelham, Vice President, Higher Education Development and Client Relations at the Clearinghouse

The importance of reverse transfer of credits has quickly gained national recognition. Many states are developing programs, including Texas, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee. More are expected to follow suit. This past summer, Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the Correctly Recognizing Educational Achievements to Empower (CREATE) Graduates Act legislation to encourage states to establish or expand reverse transfer programs.

For its Reverse Transfer project, the Clearinghouse is creating a standardized, streamlined, and technologically enhanced process to assist four- and two-year institutions in transferring student credits more efficiently, securely, and successfully. There will be no fees for the service. The Clearinghouse is the largest education electronic data exchange service provider, performing more than one billion exchanges annually with its over 3,600 participating institutions.

During the initial phase of the Reverse Transfer project, four-year institutions will send academic data files to the Clearinghouse whenever a student who has provided consent reaches a specified number of credit hours, thus indicating his or her possible eligibility for an associate degree. Upon receipt of the file, the Clearinghouse alerts the appropriate two-year institution(s) that the record is available for downloading. Two-year institutions can download all records from all four-year institutions to which their students have transferred, for consideration of a reverse transfer degree. The Clearinghouse is working with institutions in Missouri, Texas, and Wisconsin on phase one development.

The second phase introduces enhanced data transparency tools, such as allowing individual students to access all information on them held by the Clearinghouse and providing mechanisms to dispute the information held. Because all data is provided to the Clearinghouse directly by institutions, students will be directed to the appropriate party at his or her institution to resolve any perceived discrepancies, as required today by FERPA. Also as part of phase two, the Clearinghouse plans to roll out a nationwide data mart to enable enrollment records to be cross-checked against the student’s academic records to ensure greater data accuracy.

“We’re pleased to support this effort to help increase associate degree completion through reverse transfer,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “The data capacity of the Clearinghouse will allow institutions to assist students who have transferred from a community college in one state to a four-year institution in another state. Institutions will now have better data to conduct degree audits on students’ accumulated records and students will have recognition for achieving their associate degrees.”

Details of the project will be presented by Dr. Pelham on October 28 at the 2014 AACRAO Strategic Enrollment Management Conference in Las Vegas. Dr. Pelham will also participate in the Reverse Transfer Policy Summit, jointly sponsored by the National Student Clearinghouse and the Institute of Higher Education, University of Florida, in Orlando, Florida, on January 24 and 25. There national, state, and institution-level higher education officials from all 50 states will gather to learn about facilitating the reverse transfer of credits.

About the National Student Clearinghouse®

The National Student Clearinghouse (a nonprofit formed in 1993) is the trusted source for and leading provider of higher education verifications and electronic education record exchanges, handling more than 700 million verification requests and over 250 million education record exchanges annually. The Clearinghouse serves as a single point of contact for the collection and timely exchange of accurate and comprehensive enrollment, degree, and certificate records on behalf of its more than 3,600 participating higher education institutions, which represent 98 percent of all students in public and private U.S. institutions. The Clearinghouse also provides thousands of high schools and districts with continuing collegiate enrollment, progression, and completion statistics on their alumni.

Through its verification, electronic exchange, and reporting services, the Clearinghouse saves the education community cumulatively over $500 million dollars annually. Most Clearinghouse services are provided to colleges and universities at little or no charge, including enhanced transcript and research services, enabling institutions to redistribute limited staff and budget resources to more important student service efforts. Clearinghouse services are designed to facilitate an institution’s compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, The Higher Education Act, and other applicable laws.

In addition, the Clearinghouse provides accurate, timely enrollment and degree verifications to student loan providers, employers, student credit issuers, the U.S. Department of Education, and others who access its registry more than half a billion times annually.

For more information, visit


Provide children with autism
a safe, effective way
to practice social skillsIntroducing
Robots4Autism™ curriculum

Watch Video

Research-based. Robot delivered.
The Milo robot provides children with autism a low-pressure way to learn and practice their social skills. Milo models facial expressions and appropriate social interactions as he delivers the research-based, multi-phase Robots4Autism curriculum.Why is Robots4Autism so effective?
Children with autism are intrigued by robots and are excited to engage with them.
Robots present perfect lessons repeatedly, without frustration or anger.
Milo interacts verbally with students as well as displays video and other visuals through a connected tablet.
Offers educators a proven way to teach children with autism about social skills at a fraction of the cost.
This revolutionary robot is an exciting and affordable new tool for those working with children with ASD. Milo provides children with a safe, engaging way to practice human interaction and enhance their social skills.
To learn more about Milo and the Robots4Autism curriculum, watch a short video
featuring Dr. Pamela Rollins, Associate Professor, University of Texas-Dallas, Callier
Center for Communication Disorders.

www.robots4autism.com800-494-1206 ext. 102


Expert Panelists to Tackle How to Keep

K-8 Libraries Relevant for Teachers, Students

Nov. 4 webcast co-sponsored by Rourke Educational Media


VERO BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 20, 2014) –An expert panel of educators will analyze how using technology, understanding informational text, and improving literacy are keys to keeping K-8 school libraries relevant for teachers and students as part of a webcast set for Tuesday, Nov. 4.


“Keeping K-8 Libraries Relevant” – co-sponsored by Rourke Educational Media and School Library Journal– is scheduled from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT. The webcast panelists will examine how to:


  • entice and engage students through quality informational text and technology;
  • use audio-assisted or interactive eBooks to support all students, including English Language Learners (ELLs) and striving readers;
  • select and use technology that promotes literacy strategies for reading digital texts;
  • curate a collection to find informational text to curriculum connections for teachers; and
  • connect teachers to digital resources.


The expert panel features Dr. Sandra Agle, current coaching specialist and former longtime director of media services in The School District of Lee County (Fort Myers, Fla.), whose entire career has been focused on education and lifetime learning; and Carl A. Harvey, school librarian at North Elementary School, Noblesville, Ind., who is a well-respected industry thought leader and author, as well as past president of AASL (American Association of School Libraries).


Rounding out the panel are Jenny Meyer, curriculum and professional development specialist for Rourke Educational Media, who as a certified teacher has worked with all types of learners including those in special education and ELL programs; and Ramana Earley, national library relations manager for Rourke Educational Media, who has spent his career assisting media specialists with the selection of educational materials. Webcast moderator will be Rocco Staino, former school librarian and current columnist and contributor for School Library Journal.

To register for the webcast, visit For those who register but can’t attend the live webcast, an archived version will be made available later for on-demand viewing.

All webcast attendees will receive 500 Frequent Buyer Points from Rourke Educational Media, the equivalent of 12 library books.  To sign up for Rourke’s Frequent Buyer Points program, visit

About Rourke Educational Media
Rourke Educational Media, based in Vero Beach, Fla., helps to improve student learning through digital content, traditional print publishing, and response-to-intervention learning solutions that support the Common Core, Next Generation Science, and state and national standards.A global leader in educational technology, print, and distribution, Rourke Educational Media promotes literacy/reading, science and math for the preK-12 market, and offers interactive eBooks, assessment tools, print resources and other learning resources for the classroom, library and parental involvement.For more information, visit


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