Catch Up on the LTC’s Top Resources and Services

July 1 marked the beginning of the 21-22 fiscal year and the push toward the new school year in districts across Illinois. Here at the LTC, we’re also looking forward to the upcoming semester and all the fresh potential it holds for student learning and enrichment.

Whether you’re in the classroom, supporting educators, or striving to keep your district’s IT infrastructure humming, the LTC wants to help you start out the new year with as much access to high quality professional learning as possible. That’s why we’ve taken the time to collect some of our most popular resources from the past fiscal year and package them together for easy navigation.

Take a little time and see what the LTC has shared over the past year. You’re sure to find some new insights or resources that’ll help you hone your craft and bring learning to life through technology this coming school year!

Top Blogs

How to Become a Google Certified Educator

Google Educator certifications are among the most popular educator credentials today. But how exactly do you become “Google Educator Certified”? What sort of tests do you need to take and how can you prepare for the certification process? You’ll find those answers and more in this handy guide to becoming Google Educator Certified.

Resources and Reminders for 2021 License Renewal

The Illinois State Board of Education opened the window for this year’s teacher license renewal cycle on April 1, 2021. Check out our guide full of important reminders and resources geared toward helping you renew your teaching license without half the hassle.

Data Privacy Resources for 2021 and Beyond

To help your district stay out in front of emergent cybersecurity threats, the LTC team has gathered some of our most popular data privacy and cybersecurity resources into one place. Check out each of these overviews, online classes, and more if you’re in the process of upgrading your district’s data protection policies to comply with SOPPA.

Choosing the Right Chromebook for Schools and Districts

Many schools in Illinois and around the US are interested in purchasing new Chromebooks. But which Chromebook model is best? Which model offers the best value? You’ll find those answers and more in this guide to choosing the right Chromebook for your school or district.

Start your Professional Learning Journey with the LTC’s New Education Certification Collection

Certifications have become an increasingly popular option for professional learning in the education field. The LTC has scoured the internet for the best certifications and collected them here, in our new Educator Certification Collection. Be sure to check back regularly for updates on the latest education certification opportunities!

LTC Joins Google Cloud Partner Program

The Learning Technology Center of Illinois (LTC) is proud to announce its recent acceptance into the Google Cloud Partner Program. Through this program, the LTC will receive access to early-adopter information, priority access to new services, staff training, and further partnership opportunities. 

E-Rate Emergency Connectivity Fund – What You Need to Know

On May 11, 2021, the FCC announced a finalized rule set for the administration of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), a $7.1 billion appropriation derived from the larger $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan stimulus package passed by Congress in March 2021. Learn more about the ECF, its eligibility requirements, and its E-Rate application process in this detailed program brief.

New and Improved Resources

Data Privacy and SOPPA

As the new school year approaches, now’s a great time to evaluate your district’s data privacy regimen to ensure it complies with Illinois’ SOPPA mandates. The LTC is here to support those efforts through virtual PD, one-on-one consultations, and free resources for managing workflows.

As a member of the nationwide Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC), the LTC also offers free access to a variety of tools that can make managing data privacy agreements a sure thing. Be sure to check out our Illinois Student Privacy Alliance (ISPA) homepage to learn more, including how to login in to and utilize the ISPA/SDPC database.

Connectivity and E-Rate

Each year, the LTC provides a variety of in-person and virtual services to assist schools as they seek out and apply for state and federal grant funding, including E-Rate. Keep an eye on the Connectivity and E-Rate homepage for the latest program updates and workshop opportunities, including for both the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) and Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) programs.

Google Certified Coach Mentor Program

The LTC Instructional Technology Coach Program is a year-long program through which participating schools gain access to a highly qualified Instructional Technology Coach by utilizing a specialized cost-sharing model. Coaches hired through this program work 1:1 and in small groups with teachers to tackle classroom goals and challenges with technology-based strategies. Districts interested in participating can learn more on the program homepage.

Fresh Ways to Learn and Connect

New LTC Community

Edtech collaboration, networking, and peer-lead problem solving now have a new online home in the Prairie State. This past spring, the LTC launched our new online platform – the LTC Community. Designed with educators, administrators, tech coaches, IT professionals, and library media specialists in mind, the new LTC Community will make it easier than ever to seek insights and share knowledge with your in-state peers.

The new LTC Community has so much to offer edtech professionals like you, starting from the minute you join its growing list of 1,100+ members. If you’re looking to grow your professional network, share a useful resource, or even ask a question to other individuals in your field, the LTC Community will help you do it from a single, user-friendly interface.

Best of all, membership in the LTC Community remains entirely FREE.

Free, On-Demand Online Courses

Whether you’re looking to learn how to use Google Classroom or grow your understanding of Gmail, OneNote, or Google Drive, the LTC has a variety of on-demand online courses available for free over on our Online Courses hub. Keep your eyes on this page, as well – the LTC will launch a fresh slate of classes this fall to help educators get back into the teaching groove.

Coming Soon – An All-New LTC Community Experience

This past year of remote and hybrid learning has taught Illinois’ edtech community a lot, including the necessity of collaboration. Working together with in-district teachers and support staff was always a given before. Now, though, collaboration can and must cross district boundaries and extend to every corner of the Prairie State.

In 2021, the Learning Technology Center (LTC) remains committed to fostering this kind of collaboration, especially between like-minded educators around our broad state.

That’s why we’re proud to announce a new home for productive collaboration and effective networking in Illinois’ edtech community – our redesigned online Community.

Soon, this new Community will offer a unified space for asking questions and offering advice to your peers, no matter what region you live in. With a redesigned user interface, this new Community will be easier to navigate and will offer users more options for subscribing to noteworthy discussion threads.

At the same time, our new Community will retain many of the best functions of our current online community. This includes the ability to post and comment via email. Also, many of our current topic-based sub-groups will make the transition to our new platform.

Currently, our team is hard at work putting the finishing touches on the new Community. We’ll have more exciting news about our new Community soon, including its upcoming launch date.

You won’t want to miss these important updates. To keep tabs on the latest about our new Community, subscribe to our newsletter and follow the LTC on social media (@ltcillinois on Facebook and Twitter).

Questions about our new Community? Email us at community@ltcillinois.org.


Frequently Asked Questions

When will the new LTC Community launch?

Currently, our team is hard at work preparing the new LTC Community for public access. Once we are ready to launch, we’ll let you know.

To stay on top of new Community updates, we recommend joining our current Community and signing up for our newsletter. You can also follow us on social media (@ltcillinois on Facebook and Twitter).

What discussion groups will the new Community offer?

Our new Community will feature many of the same discussion sub-groups that you’ve come to appreciate. In particular, platform-specific groups for Apple, Microsoft, and Google products will return in the new Community. Topic-specific groups for E-Rate, Computer Science, and Instructional Technology will also make the transition to the new platform.

If the new Community is coming soon, should I still join the current Community?

Absolutely! We want educators, administrators, and edtech leaders like you to make full use of our existing Community while we put the finishing touches on the new Community.

Our current Community remains one of the best places to ask questions and share knowledge about edtech integration. When the time comes, we will help current Community members smoothly transition to our new platform. Current Community members should keep an eye out for future communications regarding this simple transition process.