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 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 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

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 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 We are currently scheduling sessions for the Spring semester. If you would like to present on a topic, please contact Brian Bates (

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:

Recapping the Redesigning Learning Spaces Summits

On January 17th and 18th, the Learning Technology Center partnered with two amazing schools, Buffalo Grove High School, Buffalo Grove, and Middletown Prairie Elementary School, Mahomet for the inaugural Redesigning Learning Spaces Summit. Educators from across the state attended both sites to better understand the design process and learn from each school’s unique experience.

David Jakes

David Jakes started both mornings off with an engaging keynote presentation that focused on why schools were deciding to redesign their spaces. David paid special attention to the details that education teams need to consider when undertaking a project of this scale. Discussion ranged from paint colors in rooms (#beyondbeige) to the specific types of furniture available for purchase. After the keynote, attendees were able to ask David about his experience in consulting schools through the redesign process.

In the afternoon, educators went on school tours by building administrators and teachers. During the tours, attendees were given detailed information on many different aspects of the redesign process including budgeting, professional development provided, and lessons learned throughout their experiences.

At the end of the day, attendees interacted with a panel of host school personnel. Each panel discussed the decision-making process and the fundamental reasons for changing their learning spaces. Attendees came away extremely impressed with both schools, and conversations sparked at how to build off the knowledge gained at the summit.

The LTC would like to thank both Buffalo Grove High School and Middleton Prairie opening their doors and being exceptional host schools. We would also like to thank David Jakes for keynoting the event and bringing his expertise to the day. If you would like the resources David shared during his presentation, please email him at