COVID-19 and distance learning have presented a myriad of problems for students and educators. For example, FAFSA applications are down 15% this year and 29% of parents that feel their child is experiencing harm from social isolation. Meanwhile, students are missing out on in-person job-training experience, and recent events have heightened a need to teach students about diversity, equity, and inclusion. How can we tackle these issues head-on with students?
During the presentation, we will cover each of these problems broadly, then jump into breakout rooms to learn about resources and best practices for covering different topic areas. Educators will leave with access to online and offline resources that are student-driven, standards-aligned, self-graded, and FREE to use. Breakout rooms will cover:
1. Best practices and resources for culturally relevant teaching
2. What’s next after high school? Helping high school students with financial literacy and employability skills
3. Combatting the current mental health and substance abuse crises
4. Elementary education: addressing social-emotional learning and math/literacy skills at a young age
This PD is ideal for educators covering ALL grades and content areas.
Over the course of February, the Learning Technology Center (LTC) team has been hard at work helping districts across Illinois prepare for the new Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA), which goes into effect on July 1. This has included creating and publishing a variety of resources designed to make understanding compliance stream-lined and intuitive.
Here are a few of our newest SOPPA-related resources, as well as complete listings of all of the new originating data privacy agreements added to the Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC) database over the course of this past month.
February 9 Updates
Videos related to SOPPA and ISPA. Current videos include walkthroughs of the IL-NDPA and the ISPA/SDPC Database Tools
Recent Originating Data Privacy Agreements
Big Ideas Math
CPM (College Preparatory Mathematics) ebook
Holt McDougal Curriculum Resources
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Ed Your Friend in Learning
PLATO Courseware | EdOptions Academy
February 16 Updates
New LTC-published document, “Sample ISPA Communications”, for initiating the agreement procurement process and possible ongoing conversations with vendors and operators
One of the keys to SOPPA compliance is staying on top of the latest recommendations and suggestions from seasoned experts. The LTC makes that easy through our weekly “All Things SOPPA” webinar series.
Each Tuesday, join the LTC’s Chris Wherley for a focused discussion on the process and procedures of achieving SOPPA compliance. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences with peers around Illinois, as well as receive the latest SOPPA updates as July 1 approaches.
Be sure to bookmark the LTC’s Data Privacy hub, as well. There, you’ll find regular updates about the latest best practices for protecting student data – including new resources for achieving SOPPA compliance.
Resources and updates like those listed above are provided regularly to Illinois Student Privacy Alliance (ISPA) members. ISPA is a free consortium that allows school districts to access tools and resources for managing data privacy agreements. When used in conjunction with clear policies and procedures, ISPA allows districts to comply with Illinois’ new Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA).
All Illinois school districts are invited to join ISPA. Membership is free and can offer districts access to resources through the Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC), a collection of 31 states working collaboratively to address similar data privacy concerns and legislation.
To learn more about ISPA and its benefits to all Illinois school districts, visit the group’s homepage on the LTC website. Questions about joining ISPA can be directed to Angela Veatch at email@example.com.
Chris Wherley (@chriswherley) is the Network and Technology Coordinator at the Learning Technology Center. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Chicago Blackhawks alum Jamal Mayers, the Learning Technology Center, and EVERFI as they introduce the Future Goals – Hockey Scholar program. Educators will learn about and gain access to a free online course relating math and science concepts to the exciting game of hockey.
Whether your district is returning to school under a hybrid model, full remote learning, or traditional in-person instruction, this program will conserve your time while keeping students engaged with STEM and career exploration. Jamal and the Blackhawks will also be sharing info on upcoming virtual events and opportunities for students!
Digital Citizenship Week 2020 (October 19-23) has come and passed, but that doesn’t mean your students have missed out on an opportunity to grow their 21st century skillset. Many leading EdTech companies and organizations offer resources and tools for year-round digital citizenship education.
If you’re still looking for ways to include digital citizenship essentials in your class’ curriculum, be sure to check out the following resources and tools while drawing up your lesson plans.
What is Digital Citizenship?
In essence, “digital citizenship” is a collection of thoughts and actions that promote positive, honest, and critical discussions among digital community members. Often, digital citizenship takes the form of adaptable routines that allow an individual to safely and securely navigate digital content – both in and out of the classroom.
Without a doubt, digital citizenship is important for students to learn year-round. Even a lesson or two on the core principles of digital citizenship can help students implement it in their daily lives. Building awareness for these principles starts in the classroom, though, which is why educators across the spectrum should consider utilizing the following digital citizenship tools and resources.
Resources for Year-Round Digital Citizenship
Be Internet Awesome
Be Internet Awesome is a recent Google-led initiative to empower students to make educated decisions online.
This initiative’s curricular materials focus on teaching students both the knowledge and practical skills needed to be smart, alert, strong, kind, and brave online. Each lesson has also been designed to stand on its own. As a result, educators who want to make the most of their classroom time can drop a lesson into their pre-existing curriculum.
Google has also produced a high-quality, interactive adventure – Interland – that students of numerous grade levels can enjoy. Each Be Internet Awesome curriculum lesson is capped with an Interland experience, so students will be able to immediately put what they’ve learned into practice.
Common Sense Education
Common Sense Education has recognized an ongoing need to build flexible, contemporary skillsets for navigating the open internet. That’s why they’ve created a variety of curricular resources for grades 5-18 – each of which include age-appropriate activities that will help students take ownership of their digital lives.
Common Sense Education’s digital citizenship content is also designed with simplified incorporation in mind. That’s why they’ve also put out this useful Implementation Guide for free. In it, you’ll find planning guides, case studies, and classroom posters that can help your department form a unified approach to teaching digital citizenship.
New for 2020
This year, Common Sense Education again added to their Digital Citizenship Week catalogue of free resources. In particular, their Digital Citizenship Week 2020 collection includes new ways to engage grade, middle, and high school students. This includes short and long lessons centered around open-ended questions, such as “how am I being a digital citizen today?” and “how can I think critically about the things I see, create, and share?”
All of these new resources can be implemented efficiently, as well. Each set of lessons comes with a customizable planning calendar and student activity sheets that align with each lesson’s goals.
Tools for Supporting Digital Citizenship
One key aspect of digital citizenship revolves around the prevention and elimination of cyberbullying, as well as other negative online behavior patterns. While that can take some practice over time, Securly’s Auditor engine can support an educator’s efforts to spot violence and graphic content in student-related communications before they become a problem.
At the same time, Auditor can help identify at-risk students early on. In particular, Auditor’s interface allows educators to continuously scan emails, attachments, and documents – all within Google Suite. Any tagged material is then brought immediately to an admin’s attention via a responsive alert system.
Impero’s back:drop is another well-regarded digital classroom management platform that digital citizenship-focused educators should take note of. This free-forever platform is FERPA-, COPPA-, and HIPAA- compliant, making it ideal for use in schools where student data security is a top priority.
Purchasing Opportunities through ILTPP
Several of the companies mentioned above – including Impero and Securly – are vendor partners of the Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP). ILTPP is an LTC cooperative program that aggregates buying power and expertise to procure technology products and services for educational institutions across the state.
Through ILTPP, your school or district may be able to obtain a discount when purchasing several of the digital citizenship-building resources and tools outlined above. Check out their website to learn more about ILTPP’s current purchasing opportunities.
The LTC also provides additional support and resources for educators who are looking to enhance their curricular offerings. Be sure to check our website often for new online courses, PD opportunities, and more.
The Learning Technology Center (LTC) is an Illinois State Board of Education program that supports all public PK-12 districts, schools, and educators through technology initiatives, services, and professional learning opportunities.
In this webinar, educators will learn about and gain access to EVERFI’s FREE remote learning resources covering topics such as social-emotional learning, early literacy, career readiness, digital literacy, financial education, and more. EVERFI’s online resources are self-graded, student-driven and standards-aligned. Teachers will also be provided with access to offline resources and an instructional plan for how to integrate the resources during remote learning.
Whether your district is returning to school under a hybrid model, full remote learning, or traditional in-person instruction, these resources will conserve your time while keeping students engaged with critical life skills instruction. Attendees will receive login credentials, ongoing support, offline lesson plans and access to scholarship opportunities for students. To learn more visit everfi.com/k-12
Join Anne Nash, the Chicago-based Regional Program Manager on the Google for Education team, as she shares the latest resources and updates on Google products and programs ahead of the 2020-2021 school year and all that it may bring.
With remote learning, educators, administrators, and learners are attempting to navigate a new, shifting educational landscape. EVERFI provides digital resources to schools covering topics like social-emotional learning, financial literacy, career exploration and more. The resources are student-driven, standards-aligned and something that will create time for teachers and provide them with a plan for remote learning. The resources, training and ongoing support are FREE due to state and national sponsors.
During this webinar, you will learn about EVERFI’s resources, see the qualitative and quantitative impact the programs had on the 100k+ students in Illinois that used EVERFI’s resources in 19-20, and learn how administrators and educators can use the resources to prepare for next school year. To learn more visit everfi.com/k-12
As teachers begin preparing for the upcoming school year, one thing is certain. The need to connect with students virtually is crucial. Zoom is a videoconferencing tool that can be utilized to help connect teachers and their students in a remote learning environment. During this webinar, we’ll discuss tips and tricks for using Zoom with students in a safe, secure, and manageable environment. We’ll also highlight some best practices for teaching in a remote learning setting.
Brian Bates is the Director of Professional Learning for the Learning Technology Center of Illinois (LTC). Brian leads and develops events, programs, and resources in support of digital learning, digital citizenship, emerging technologies, instructional issues and trends, technology integration, and teacher practices for educators across the state.
Prior to joining the LTC, Brian spent nine years at the middle school level as a math and science teacher, integrating technology into his classroom through the use of Chromebooks, flipped/blended learning practices, authentic assessment, and self-paced instruction. He also served one year as a middle school assistant principal. After leaving the classroom, he coordinated and facilitated professional learning activities at the regional level.
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
NIST Cybersecurity Framework
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 (email@example.com).
Brian Bates (@_brianbates) is the Digital Learning Coordinator at the Learning Technology Center. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Buck Institute for Education’s new PBLWorks website features 63 downloadable projects for K-12 in English language arts, math, science, social studies, world languages, fine arts, health and physical education and other STEM topics.
Open Google Drive through your web browser and select a file or folder. Now press Shift + Z. You’ll see an “Add to Folder” pop-up. Next, select the folder where you wish to add the selected files and click OK. Your file will be in both places, without making a separate copy of the file!
Add Screencastify Videos in Google Slides
You can add Screencastify videos directly to your Google Slides with the Screencastify for Google Slides Add-On. Open a slide deck and click on Add-Ons, then Get Add-Ons. Search for the add-on and then click the “+ Free” button. Now, when you record a screencast using Screencastify, you can just go to your add-ons and add the video directly to the slide!
Organize your Google Keep
Using the Category Tabs for Google Keep Chrome extension allows you to use colors in Keep to organize your notes. Learn more about this process in this helpful article from Carlos Jeurissen.
Add Emojis to Google Drive Folders
Do you love a good emoji? Add some to your Google Drive folder/file names to spice them up! In order to do this, add an emoji keyboard to your Chromebook’s keyboard options, or simply search for an emoji keyboard in a Google search. When you find the emoji that fits your folder or file name, copy and paste it into the name area. Now you have an exciting way to organize your Google Drive! 🤗 🤩
Manage Your To-Do List with Google Tasks!
Have you taken advantage of Google’s new and improved Tasks feature? Tasks is now located in the sidebar of Gmail, Calendar, and all other Google apps! This great feature allows you to create checklists that are manageable throughout the Google Suite of tools!
Follow Twitter Hashtag without a Twitter Account
Have you seen a Twitter Hashtag advertised but you feel left out because you don’t have Twitter? Well, it is possible to follow conversations on Twitter without a Twitter account! For example, if you would like to revisit the conversation that took place during the recent ICE Conference, cut and paste the following URL into your browser: https://twitter.com/hashtag/ice19?f=tweets&vertical=default . As Twitter users post about the things they are learning and sharing at the conference using the hashtag #ice19, the posts will show up on this webpage. So even if you don’t have a Twitter account, you can see what people are sharing from the conference.
Force Copy (and Preview!)
Do you know how to force someone to make a copy of a Google Doc? Did you also know that you can preview these documents before making an actual copy? Check out this 1-pager that shows you how to do both! Force Copy in Google Docs
Ben Sondgeroth (@Mr_Sondgeroth) is a Regional Educational Technology Coordinator at the Learning Technology Center and works in Northern Illinois. He can be reached at email@example.com.