Five Strategies for a Great Virtual Meeting

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Posted:
September 09, 2020 08:32 am

Ready or not, here they come. It’s that time again. It’s time for the students to return, and with that it’s time for the infamous back-to-school district kickoff meeting. It’s no secret that this year is so, so different than the kickoffs of years prior. Most years, administrators, teachers, and support staff return rested, having just come off a needed break and some well-deserved downtime. This year, anxiety is high, questions remain, fear surrounds us, and adversity can be seen in every direction.

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Future Ready, Technology

Closing the Homework Gap: Questions from Superintendents to the Federal Communications Commission

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Posted:
May 14, 2020 11:25 am

It’s no secret that the current global pandemic has completely derailed many aspects of everyday life. We’re all living it. Some of the things we’ve taken for granted, from social interactions with friends, to gathering at a place of worship, to attending a local sporting event, have come to a standstill. Statewide shutdowns also have forced educators to redefine their practice, some literally overnight. For students, cancelled sports seasons and proms, postponed graduations, and the loss of instructional time and social interactions, have become their new normal. For all Americans, many facets of everyday life as we’ve known them have been completely altered. Yet, in the midst of such a drastic paradigm shift, there are some things that remain exactly the same.

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Categories:
coronavirus, Digital Equity, E-Rate, Equity, Federal Communications Commission, Future Ready

Learning Transformed: Ensuring a Return on Instruction

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Posted:
June 06, 2017 03:24 pm

A portion of the following is an excerpt from the new ASCD book, Learning Transformed, authored by the Alliance for Excellent Education’s Thomas C. Murray, and his co-author, Eric Sheninger.

For decades, school leaders have discussed “the need” to integrate technology. The problem with these conversations has been a lack of focus on the why and how technology can support a learning transformation. The greatest technology in the world will not garner hypothesized improvement if a concerted effort to change pedagogy isn’t the foundation. As evidenced in various reports from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on the topic, the problem isn’t the technology itself per se but the lack of high-quality pedagogy, which often stems from a lack of high-quality professional learning to support educators with effective implementation.

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Open Education Resources: Where do I begin?

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Posted:
June 06, 2016 12:29 pm

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Andy Marcinek, Chief Open Education Advisor at the US Department of Education (ED), to explore how schools can benefit from Open Educational Resources (OERs) and what is being done in this area nationwide. With support from ED, state leaders, and new platforms for curation and discovery, there has never been a more exciting time to rethink traditional, static instructional materials. Open Education Resources were the highlight of this Future Ready webinar as they align to the Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment gear of the Future Ready Framework. From equity, to cost, to teacher empowerment, many benefits of open resources exist.

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Future Ready

The New National Education Technology Plan: What’s in it for Me?

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Posted:
April 28, 2016 03:31 pm

In December of 2015, on the same day that President Obama signed the “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA), the U.S. Department of Education released the 2016 National Education Technology Plan (NETP). First released in 1996 and updated every five years since, the NETP is the flagship educational technology policy document for the United States. The 2016 Plan, Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education, articulates a vision of equity, active use, and collaborative leadership to make everywhere, all-the-time learning possible.

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Future Ready

Let’s Celebrate Great Things in Education!

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Posted:
April 23, 2015 04:09 pm

Much of the great work being done in our schools every day by teachers, administrators, school staff, parents and students is unknown to the general public. The exceptional commitment, extraordinary contributions and innovative collaborations among educators around the nation are generally hidden and unrecognized.  Yet, every day, educators are doing great things for the children they serve.

Today, changing conditions, a new culture of transparency, along with the need to share best practices and inspire others is breaking the historical silence among educators.

This year a passionate network of education organizations are working together to encourage educators in every sector of the community to share the stories of the great things happening in our schools.

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7 takeaways from ConnectED to the Future

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Posted:
November 25, 2014 12:00 pm

President Obama announces Future Ready

This blog was written by Tom Murray, the state and district digital learning director for the Alliance for Excellent Education. It originally appeared on SmartBlogs.com


On Wednesday, Nov. 19, 110 of the nation’s top superintendents, U.S. Department of Education officials and representatives from a myriad of organizations, convened at the White House for the Superintendents’ Summit, declared “ConnectED to the Future,” by President Obama. The event was an an extension of the ConnectED Initiative launched earlier this year.

Obama kicked off Future Ready, a bold new effort to maximize digital-learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, a career and citizenship. In his speech, he said that it’s time to “yank our schools into the 21st century when it comes to technology, and provide the training and tools our teachers need” and that “every child deserves a shot at a world class education.”

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Connected Learning, Digital Learning Day, Future Ready

Why #Internet4Schools matters

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Posted:
November 12, 2014 11:00 am

This blog was written by Tom Murray, the state and district digital learning director for the Alliance for Excellent Education. It originally appeared on SmartBlogs.com


Personalized learning. One-to-one implementation. Bring your own device initiatives. All of these, when combined with high-quality instructional practice, can systemically change a classroom learning environment. However, these instructional practices and tools are essentially useless without an infrastructure that can properly support them.

Although the topic of E-Rate has come to the forefront in recent months, in the not-too-distant future the program will turn 20 years old. Section 254 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, expanded the traditional goal of universal service to include increased access to both telecommunications and advanced services, such as high-speed Internet, at “just, reasonable and affordable rates.”

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Categories:
Connected Learning, Digital Learning Day

School District Transformation through the Future Ready Initiative (#FutureReady)

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Posted:
October 29, 2014 10:15 am

The Future Ready Schools Initiative is a bold new initiative, led by the Alliance for Excellent Education, supported by the US Department of Education, and in partnership with the LEAD Commission and a vast coalition of organizations, working to support school district superintendents and their leadership teams on district-wide transformation. The vision of this new initiative is for district leaders to develop and implement a sustainable, forward thinking roadmap for effective digital learning transformation. This transformation ensures that an effective technology deployment aligns with instructional best practices and is implemented by highly trained teachers, so that the learning is effectively personalized for every student. In turn, students will experience greater success and ultimately be better prepared to succeed in the competitive global workforce that they will face upon graduation.

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Categories:
Connected Learning, Digital Learning Day, Future Ready Blog Series

Six Keys to a Classroom Makeover

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Posted:
October 06, 2014 11:20 am

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with three of the nation’s leaders in classroom design, and founders of the MTV-meets-classroom style resource, Classroom Cribs: elementary school principal Ben Gilpin, technology specialist AJ Juliani, and classroom teacher and award winning blogger, Erin Klein. In this Alliance for Excellent Education Project 24 Leadership Series Webinar, we discuss a number of keys to classroom redesign, the research behind designing a brain-friendly learning environment, and cost effective ways to transform student learning spaces. During the conversation, the following six keys to transformation became evident:

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