New Updates for Microsoft for Education and Google Chrome Management Licensing

As we all look forward to warmer days ahead, the Illinois Learning Technology Purchasing Program (ILTPP) has announced several updates to two of their most popular contracts. These updates will help your school or district blossom into new learning opportunities this spring and budget more effectively for the 21-22 school year.

Imagine Academy Included in Microsoft for Education Contract

First, ILTPP is excited to announce an upgrade to their current Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES) Microsoft contract. Specifically, participants in these contracts can now look forward to accessing top-quality technology teaching and professional learning materials through Microsoft’s Imagine Academy program.

That’s because, going forward, all ILTPP ESS contract participants will receive access to Imagine Academy for FREE.

Through Imagine Academy, teachers can find lesson plans and other curricular materials that cover a wide range of subjects, from computer and data science to IT infrastructure and productivity. These materials are all aligned to current, in-demand tech industry certifications, ensuring that students walk away with career-ready skills.

Imagine Academy also provides educators access to Microsoft-specific certifications and other professional development resources that can help them stay at the top of their game. This includes the ability to add certification exam vouchers to an existing licensing agreement, thus reducing the cost of certification for both individuals and teams.

Interested in learning more about how you can utilize Imagine Academy through a new or existing ESS Microsoft contract? Check out ILTPP’s new blog post for more information.

Upcoming Price Increase for Google Chrome Management Licenses

Last year, Google announced that it would be increasing the price of its Chrome Management license. Though this price hike has been delayed until March 9, 2021, ILTPP wants to remind districts to plan ahead when it comes to edtech budgeting for the 21-22 school year.

As before, ILTPP members will continue to receive a discount on these licenses. However, this price increase will result in a noticeable change in per license costs, even with the discount.

New licenses may be purchased prior to this increase, but they must be invoiced before March 9. To learn more about this fee increase, visit ILTPP’s website.

Always Prepared to Meet Your EdTech Purchasing Needs

Whether you’re looking for great pricing on edtech hardware or software, ILTPP has you covered with its vast catalogue of pre-negotiated contracts. Schools and districts across Illinois can save time and money by utilizing ILTPP’s competitive pricing options on everything from Chromebooks and wi-fi hotspots to cybersecurity and LMS software.

Most importantly, ILTPP is FREE to join. To learn more about ILTPP and the benefits of membership, visit their website or contact the ILTPP team at learnmore@iltpp.org

About ILTPP

The Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) is a statewide cooperative of Illinois educational entities that aggregate buying power and expertise to procure technology products and services from quality vendor partners while providing valued communication and collaboration.

ILTPP is an initiative of the Learning Technology Center (LTC) and contributes to the LTC’s mission of building statewide capacity for educational change through technology-related professional learning, programs, initiatives, and support.

Cybersecurity in K-12 Post 2020 – What to Focus On

Join the Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP), Howard Technology Solutions, and Palo Alto for an interactive roundtable discussion highlighting the main areas of focus for K-12 cybersecurity in 2021, in light of 2020 events. We invite you to engage in the conversation with your experiences from 2020, opinions on what’s worked, and predictions for what’s to come in 2021.

This hour-long roundtable discussion will focus on the following areas:

Securing remote learning
Defending against ransomware
Equity challenges
Funding

Building on Digital Citizenship Week 2020

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

Securly Auditor

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 Back:drop

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.