Learn, Connect, and Explore at IETC 2020

Classrooms across Illinois and the world look different this year. As educators and students alike work to accept and embrace this change, the 27th annual Illinois Education and Technology Conference (IETC) has also transformed into an immersive, digital experience.

Now, more than ever, educators are looking for opportunities to learn, connect, and explore as a community of peers. The IETC community continues to provide those opportunities, as well as the chance to foster the creativity and perseverance needed for today’s digital classrooms.

“The IETC Conference is my favorite conference every year because of the community,” says Julie Powell, IETC Committee member, “ Everyone is so friendly and each year, more and more people are brought into the family of attendees like they’ve always been there.”

This year, the IETC has renewed its commitment to providing educators, administrators, and IT staff with an engaging, insightful experience via its new, digital format. To do that, the conference has been extended over the course of a week (November 15-21), with session times tailored to fit your schedule. To that end, IETC 2020 will offer new sessions each weekday from 3:30 PM to 5:25 PM and on Saturday, from 8 AM to 11 AM. All sessions will be recorded and made available for a limited time, as well, so you won’t need to worry about attending conflicting sessions.

IETC 2020 will also utilize the conference platform HopIn. Through it, attendees will be able to network with their peers, visit the virtual exhibit hall, and interact with presenters during their breakout sessions. The conference’s much-beloved social events will also be returning this year, including a kick-off event Sunday evening and IETC Bingo Friday afternoon.

Butch Wilson, IETC Committee Technology Lead, summarizes this year’s IETC best: 

“In the most flexible, most accessible school years of the last two decades, IETC has consistently been a highlight. It is that treasure chest of new ideas and boundless outpouring of inspiration that motivates us and lifts us up so we can see what possibilities are on the horizon.  This year? Any opportunity to share thoughts and concerns, any insights that will help us find our centers and help us reach our teachers and districts, any ‘here, let me help you get over this hill’ that we can get is priceless. IETC is beyond priceless.” 

To reserve your spot at this “priceless” conference, head over to www.il-edtech.org for more information and to register. Questions? Interested in sending a group? Reach out to us at events@ltcillinois.org for registration information and group pricing.

Earn PD Hours through the LTC for Google’s Distance Learning Course

Recently Google for Education created an excellent course showing how to leverage GSuite tools for Remote Learning or “Distance Learning.” Google’s Distance Learning for Educators Course is a free online learning course that is available to anyone, anywhere, at any time. The course demonstrates how to use tools like Google Meet, Google Classroom, and others to support student learning. It also includes suggestions for social-emotional learning and ways to keep open the lines of communication with students and families. 

The Learning Technology Center is happy to provide Illinois educators with 2.75 hours of Professional Development Credit for license renewal for completing this course.

Here’s how to Receive Free PD Hours from the LTC

  • Register through the LTC’s website.   
  • Complete Google’s Distance Learning for Educators Course. 
    • Any questions regarding the content of the course should be directed to Google through their website. 
  • Upon successful completion of this course, Google will generate an onscreen certificate. 
    • If you have already completed the course, simply go back to the course homepage and click the “View Certificate” button.
  • Highlight and copy the URL (or “web address) of your unique certificate.
  • Open THIS FORM to request PD and enter the required information.
  • Paste the URL for your unique certificate into the space provided.
  • Submit the form. Within 5 business days we will email you a link to an evaluation form. After you complete and submit the evaluation form, your PD Credit Evidence of Completion form will be emailed to you within a few days. 

New Online Courses Available

Our online courses have become extremely popular for educators interested in learning professional development hours from home. We are expanding our course catalog to include new interactive self-paced, video-based lessons that you can complete on your own schedule. These courses are available now, and they are completely free. Our newest courses include:

Getting Started with Google Hangouts (1 hour)

This course gives participants an overview of the basic features of Google Hangouts. Hangouts is the consumer version of Google Hangouts Meet and Google Hangouts Chat, and has become very popular during remote learning. Having a basic working knowledge of Google Hangouts’ video and chat features will support teachers using these platforms to interact with students through video and text. 

Pages for Mac and iPad (1 hour)

Apple’s very popular and powerful Pages application for word processing is free for any Mac or iPad user. This one-hour video-based course will provide the basic knowledge needed to use Pages in your classroom with students. The course covers the basic functions of pages for Mac and shows how these skills can be transferred to an iPad. The course closes with several ideas to help you integrate Pages into your elementary or secondary classroom. Note: the use of a Mac is highly recommended for this course.

Keynote for Mac (2 hours)

Keynote offers an extremely flexible and powerful presentation platform for Mac users. Keynote can also be used on an iPad or even on a PC. This course will help educators learn the basics of Keynote as well as some helpful tips to make your Keynote presentations more engaging for your students. Note: This course does not address the use of Keynote on an iPad. The use of a Mac is required to complete this course. 

These courses are offered in addition to our existing free courses: 

  • Save Time with an Organized Google Drive (2 hours) 
  • Understanding the Power of Google Docs(2 hours) 
  • Maximize the Power of Google Classroom (2 hours) 
  • Google Forms Essentials: Creating Digital Assessments (2 hours) 
  • Google Slides: More Than Presenting Content (2 hours) 

Visit our Online Learning Courses page to register.

Tech With Heart Book Study

Academic-related anxiety is common in high-achieving and struggling classrooms alike. So how can teachers calm students’ fears and empower them as learners? Educator Stacey Roshan found the answer with technology. In Tech with Heart, Stacey shares that the fight to be first, the pressure to be right, and the stress surrounding test scores were just a few of the many reasons she chose to flip her class.

During this five-week online book study, we’ll explore how Stacey flipped her classroom to help reduce student anxiety and increase student efficacy. We’ll practice using some of the tools that Stacey used and reflect on how our new skills can help our student increase their academic skills and social-emotional learning.

Visit ltcillinois.org/online to register! We look forward to learning with you!

Extend Your Learning With Online Courses and Book Studies

We are excited to announce our Spring 2020 Online Learning Courses for education professionals! These free or low-cost courses can be taken on your own schedule in the comfort of your home, office, or classroom. These learning opportunities will support your professional growth in the areas of classroom technology integration throughout your career. Plus, we can also provide you with Illinois Professional Development Credits to support your License Renewal activities.   

Spring 2020 Online Learning Courses

Join us for these FREE Online Courses to learn more about Google’s GSuite tools:

  • Save Time with an Organized Google Drive (2 PD credits) 
  • Maximize the Power of Google Classroom (2 PD credits) 
  • Understanding the Power of Google Docs (2 PD credits) 
  • Google Forms Essentials: Creating Digital Assessments (2 PD credits) 
  • Google Slides: More Than Presenting Content (2 PD credits) 
  • More courses, including Google Drawings and others!

These FREE Online Courses will allow OPEN ENROLLMENT, which means you can start the course that interests you most within a just few days of registering. When you’re done you can register for another course and complete that one at any time during the semester. Registration for any of these courses opens February 1. All courses will close May 4, 2020. 

If you’re interested in taking your professional learning to the next level, try: 

  • Transforming Instruction with Digital Tools (Mar. 1- Apr. 19; 14 PD credits; $50) 

Spring 2020 Online Book Studies

Last, if you’d like to join in a community of learners in both synchronous and asynchronous discussions surrounding recent releases in books about technology integration, join us for our Spring Online Book Studies: 

Tech with Heart: Leveraging Technology to Empower Student Voice, Ease Anxiety, & Create Compassionate Classrooms, by Stacey Roshan (Feb. 23 – Apr. 5; 5 PD Credits; $35 plus book, available from Amazon and other booksellers)

DON’T Ditch That Tech: Differentiated Instruction in a Digital World, by Matt Miller, Angelia Ridgway, and Nate Ridgway (Apr. 1 – May 10; 5 PD Credits; $35 plus book, available from Amazon and other booksellers)

Get all the details and register at ltcillinois.org/online. We’re looking forward to learning with you!

Do You Understand the Legal Implications of Using Technology in Schools?

On October 30, 2019, attorneys from Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller generously shared their slide decks with participants and fielded several questions about specific situations. Examples of rulings that have shaped our use of technology in schools were featured. Following is a list of topics that were covered and an interesting fact or two I took out of each presentation. Note: I am not a lawyer!  My takeaways should not be considered as legal explanations, just thoughts from an educator that I found impactful. 

Disclosure of Photos and Videos of Students under FERPA and ISSRA: A video may become part of a student’s school record if it directly relates to a specific student. Other students that are in the video but are not involved are considered “set-dressing” and will not have the video added to their student record. 

Staff Use of Technology: Schools cannot require staff to provide passwords or login credentials to social networking and email sites.

Data Security and Online Privacy: Changes to SOPPA (a.k.a. HB 3606) take effect for public schools in July 2021 and has new guidelines for data breaches: schools must notify affected parties no later than 30 days after the breach. 

Disciplining Student Use & Abuse of Technology: Schools can only restrict student speech when it can be reasonably assumed that a substantial disruption of the educational environment will take place or the speech invades the rights of others (Tinker v. Des Moines, 1968).

Use of Electronic Devices in the Classroom: Teachers should hold no reasonable expectation of privacy in communications taking place in the classroom (Plock v. Freeport School District 2007).

Developing an Internet Acceptable Use Policy: Schools receiving E-Rate discounts for Internet service are required to teach an internet safety lesson to students once per year.

Copyright in the School Setting: Children have the same copyright rights as any other creator. Copyright law provides that “works for hire” (i.e. lesson plans, materials created for classrooms) are the property of the employer (i.e. the school district). 

Open Meetings & FOIA: Public records can include electronic communications such as emails and text messages. 

Sexting and Cell Phone Searches: Cell phone searches should be directly related and limited to the infraction and not other content on the phone. 

Related Opportunities

Legal Implications of Technology Use in Schools held at ROE #11

February 20, 2020 | 8:30 am – 3:00 pm | $15

Laws Affecting Technology in Illinois School Districts Resource Guide | Free Download

Next Round of Google Online Courses Begin in November

Our first offering of these online courses, which were created by the LTC Regional Educational Technology Coordinators last October, was highly successful, and we have refreshed and realigned the content to ensure an even greater learning experience.

We are offering the same 5-week courses from November 18 through December 20, 2019. All courses will be free-of-charge and can be taken on your own time in the scheduled week. The topics will include: 

  • Getting Started (2 PD credits) 
  • Save Time with an Organized Google Drive (2 PD credits) 
  • Maximize the Power of Google Classroom (2 PD credits) 
  • Understanding the Power of Google Docs (2 PD credits) 
  • Google Forms Essentials: Creating Digital Assessments (2 PD credits)

Please re-Tweet the post below to help spread the word!

Learning Tours: Seeing Change In Action

“This sounds great, but what does it look like in action?” This question is often asked at professional learning events by administrators, teachers, or coaches. For many in education, seeing is believing and school visits can be one of the best forms of professional learning for all educators. 

Site visits allow educators, especially those responsible for leading change, with the opportunity to learn from others who have navigated the challenge already. School site visits provide three major benefits to all educators.

  1. Learn from Experience
    The best way to find out how to embark on a new path is to hear from someone who has already walked it. Site visits provide educators the opportunity to hear the lessons learned from those who have led the change. Instead of attending a workshop or a conference and hearing theoretical ideas, visitors learn directly from those who experienced the challenges and successes and how they approached the change from the start.
  2. Learn What Will Work, What Might Not, and What to Consider
    It’s an obvious statement that no two districts are the same, which can also be said about leading change in different districts. Site visits provide educators the ability to see multiple approaches to similar ideas. For this reason, it is important to visit a variety of schools that have embarked upon a similar change. Doing so will provide educators numerous ideas on how to lead the change in their district. Some ideas may be replicable, others may not. Some site visits may provide ideas for possibilities not yet considered.
  3. Connect and Collaborate
    Learning from peers does not, nor should stop after the site visit. As educators begin the change process, they have the opportunity to stay in touch and ask questions from peers along the way. These connections can also lead to future collaboration opportunities and relationships in the future as well.

LTC Learning Tours

The Learning Technology Center’s Learning Tours are an opportunity for educators and district leaders to visit other districts in order to experience innovative, best practices in learning space design, digital learning tools, 1:1 implementation, personalized learning, and more. The districts hosting Learning Tours drive the agenda, showcasing everything from instructional practices, resource adoption, infrastructure, community partnerships, use of space and time, physical security, and culture.

Be a Part of the First Learning Tour

On October 18, 2019, the Learning Technology Center and Yorkville Community Unit School District 115 and present the first Learning Tour, focusing on Redesigning Learning Spaces. Attendees will learn from district and school administrators on the learning space design process. A panel discussion will provide participants the opportunity to hear from teachers and students about the spaces, as well as ask questions. The tour will include Project Lead the Way rooms, Learning Stairs and Library, and student collaboration spaces throughout the high school. An optional tour of the Center for Innovation at the District Office will be available at the conclusion of the high school tour.

Yorkville Learning Tour Information
October 18, 2019
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Focus: Redesigning Learning Spaces
Cost: FREE

For more information about the Yorkville Learning Tour or to register for the event, please visit ltcillinois.org/learningtours.

Host a Learning Tour

We are looking to partner with schools across the state and showcase instructional practices, resource adoption, infrastructure, community partnerships, use of space and time, physical security, and culture.. To find out how your school can host a Learning Tour, visit ltcillinois.org/learningtours for more information or to complete the online application.

The LTC EdTech Webinar Series Returns for the 2019-2020 School Year

The Learning Technology Center’s EdTech Webinar Series is back for another exciting year of anytime, anywhere learning. Hear from state and national experts on innovative classroom practices, educational apps/tools, networking and infrastructure, data security, accessibility, and more. The 45-minute sessions are free and open to all educators to attend. Each session will be made available on-demand, too. 

Last year, the EdTech Webinar Series had over 500 viewers from all across the State of Illinois. Based on the feedback from last year’s series, we have a few changes this year: 

  • Webinars have been labeled based on target audiences.
  • Sessions for Classroom Teachers, Instructional Tech Coaches, Library/Media Specialists, and Administrators will be held Tuesdays at 3:30 pm.
  • Sessions for Technology Leaders, IT Staff, and Administrators will be held on Thursdays at 1:00 pm.
  • Webinars have been increased from thirty minutes to forty-five.

Currently, sixteen sessions have been scheduled on a variety of topics such as:

  • Digital Wellness, Online Safety, and Digital Citizenship
  • E-Sports
  • NIST Cybersecurity Framework
  • E-Rate
  • Design Thinking
  • STEAM Resources

Find more information about all of the sessions and register today by visiting ltcillinois.org/webinars. We are currently scheduling sessions for the Spring semester. If you would like to present on a topic, please contact Brian Bates (bbates@ltcillinois.org).

Data and Security Summit

Doug Levin, the CEO and Founder of EdTech Strategies, kicked off the event by sharing his work tracking publicly school cybersecurity incidents as part of the K-12 Cyber Incident Map, driving home the point that schools across the county, including Illinois, are dealing with cybersecurity incidents.

Breakout sessions and whole group conversations throughout the day were facilitated by Ross Lemke, the Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy and Technical Assistance Center; Chris Hill, the Chief Information Security Officer for the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology; and Chris Wherley, the Learning Technology Center’s Network and Technology Services Coordinator.

As the day progressed, common themes surfaced in many sessions: school districts are vulnerable, communication and planning is essential, and security is a shared responsibility between all district leaders and not just the technology staff.

In case you missed the events, here are the presentations and resources:

Among our favorite tools referenced are: