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Happy Connected Educator Month! We Can All Help Enhance Learning.

In a video address at the  June ISTE conference, U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, announced that August will be Connected Educator Month.  To kick off this event The Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology (OET) will convene Connected Educator Month in conjunction with the American Institutes for Research (AIR), a nonpartisan nonprofit organization. Connected Educator month is part of the Office of Educational Technology’s Connected Educators initiative, which is supporting informal, online, social and professional learning for educators by conducting research, hosting communities, and working with the field.

Do you want to help transform the way we learn? In the video below, Darren Cambridge of the American Institutes of Research explains how you can participate and help transform education.

You should also check out the Connected Learning Exchange (CLX) Community Open House on Monday, Aug 20, 2012, from Noon – 3 pm, EST to learn more!

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Olympians: Connecting Students with Classroom Champions

Ah, the excitement and power of the Olympic Games – and what an inspiration it is to young athletes and students! Watching the coverage of the lead-up to London 2012, I can’t help but contemplate the potential impact of collaborative technology on not only the games themselves, but those participating in and watching the games.

For those who know me, it’s no surprise when I say I’m a big wrestling fan. My husband is an accomplished wrestler and head high school wrestling coach here in Allen, TX, and I have seen firsthand the positive impact the sport has had on the lives of young men and women. Unfortunately, in the U.S., wrestling is somewhat of a second tier sport in the mainstream sports world. So, when the Olympics come around, excitement builds for wrestling fans as we prepare to watch the wrestlers we have admired for so many years get a spotlight on the global Olympic stage.

With my experience in the videoconferencing industry and my underlying passion for the sport of wrestling, I was especially intrigued last year when I heard about the organization called Classroom Champions. They connect students in high-need schools with top performing athletes in order to motivate them to recognize their potential, set goals and dream big, while educating them in the practical use of communications technology. Read More »

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Southern Colorado University Extends Courses to Rural Areas, Keeps Nurses Local

With growing concern about the education systems in rural areas, rural schools have recently captured the attention of the federal government, which has redoubled its efforts to improve education in these areas. Fortunately, we’ve seen a number of efforts being made across the country to look for ways to address this issue. One of my favorite examples right now is the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS).

While the university provides other education programs, its main focus is the nursing program, which was suffering from the lack of geographical reach of UCCS’ courses. UCCS recognized the potential to harness collaboration tools to build out its distance education program, reach more nursing students and keep rural nursing students working in their local communities. Read More »

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Tennessee School System Bridges Gaps Between Rural Classrooms

PCSS VITAL program reaches more studentsIt seems school grants have become commonplace as education budgets continue to be cut, and therefore, the fight to win a grant is increasingly becoming more difficult. I recently had an interesting conversation with Stephanie Jones, Manager of the Cisco Grant Services Team, and Hillary Janison, Regional Grant Manager for Cisco about Putnam County School System (PCSS) in Tennessee. PCSS worked with the Cisco team to implement a comprehensive grant initiative to bridge the distance gap between the state’s classrooms.

The wide physical distribution (17 campuses) of students among multiple classrooms throughout the state presented PCSS with a number of challenges, including inability to sustain IT and teaching resources, manage personnel, and provide appropriate opportunities for advanced learners. Additionally, faced with an ever-shrinking pool of personnel and classroom resources, PCSS officials knew they would need to maximize their efficiency. Read More »

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Maine State Library Network Breaks Communication Barriers

With the radically changing technology landscape and evolution of e-readers, tablets and notebooks, the traditional city or county library has been forced to move beyond “checking-out books” to become a center of resource for entire communities. It has truly been exciting to see the transformations taking place.

To meet new resource demands, libraries have been increasingly making efforts to have state-of-the-art technology in place. The Maine State Library Network (MSLN), which works with 269 public libraries throughout Maine, has taken great strides to ensure it is keeping up with the times. Read More »

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