Tech & - Securing the Future: Online and In the Classroom - March 2021

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MARCH 2021


Securing the Future: Online and In the Classroom

Also In This Issue:

Reconnecting with Unplugged Students Updating Bloom’s Taxonomy in the Digital Age


VIRTUAL EVENT APPLY TO ATTEND Tech + Curriculum: Saving the “Marriage” Through Collaboration, Communication & Leadership Tech & Learning, the magazine and website that has been hosting professional development events for over 20 years, is launching a new Regional Leadership Summit event series, sponsored by Defined Learning and Nureva. The Tech & Learning Regional Leadership Summits bring together the Instructional and Tech District Leaders from 15 districts in a relaxed virtual setting where attendees can talk candidly about how collaboration between these departments is key to developing effective district strategic plans. Each Tech & Learning Leadership Summit focuses on the unique needs of specific regions to give attendees the valuable insight they need to develop action plans.

Who should attend: CTOs, CAOs, Instructional/Tech District Leaders

Why attend: –C ollaborate with other technology and curriculum district leaders –S hare ideas and best practices –E xpand your PLN through this new community –G et the latest news about school funding –W alk away with specific actions for your strategic planning

Interested in sponsoring? Contact

OUTLINE AGENDA... 10:00 AM Welcome 10:15 AM Introductions 10:30 AM Research Round Up: Hear research related to important topics for the region. 11:00 AM Topical Round Table: Group discussion about what is currently going on in their districts. 12:00 PM Networking Lunch and Learn: Lunch, courtesy of Tech & Learning, as they meet with partners to learn more about their offerings. 1:30 PM Reflections and Next Steps: Reflective discussion around what has been discussed, including next steps for the participants. 2:15 PM Closing

March 26: Texas


May 21: California


June 21: Georgia


April 23: Mid-South





How to Reconnect with Students Who Have Logged Out By Erik Ofgang


5 Ways to Boost School Cybersecurity

Where were you on March 13, 2020? This question has become the COVID generation’s “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” I was getting ready for our preCoSN Tech & Learning Leadership Summit in Washington D.C.: quadruple-checking our attendee’s personalized schedules, confirming final menus with our events team, arranging interview schedules with our video crew. Most of all, I was really excited to see the T&L advisors who have become good friends. You know what happened next. And here we are, one year later. Our Remote Learning Playbook by Dr. Kecia Ray remains our most popular issue to date with more than 70,000 reads. A new set of words have entered into our vernacular: sync or async, hybrid classrooms, quarantinis, Zoom fatigue. In this issue, we present more tips for your COVID toolkit: How to Reconnect with Students Who Have Logged Out (p. 4); a cybersecurity guide (p. 6); tips for securing the critical funds that schools need to do their important work (p. 14); the best masks for teachers (p. 16); and Bloom’s taxonomy goes digital (p. 18). We hope these articles help you through the Spring as we wait for the green light from Dr. Fauci to see one another again. In our most recent virtual “Leading Beyond COVID Summit,” 8th grader Lane Rominger said, “I miss hugs.” It was all I could do not to burst into tears as I was moderating the session. I still get to see our friends in the T&L community at our virtual events, but I can’t wait to get back to hugs.

By Erik Ofgang

10 Free Professional Development Helps Educators Teach Cybersecurity By Annie Galvin Teich

12 How Education is Handling Cybersecurity During COVID-19 By Erik Ofgang

14 The 8 Key Parts of A Grant Proposal By Gwen Solomon

16 What Type of Mask Should Educators Wear? By Erik Ofgang

18 Updating Bloom’s Taxonomy for Digital Learning

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HOW TO RECONNECT WITH STUDENTS WHO HAVE LOGGED OUT Strategies for keeping students from disappearing from online classes and remote learning


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By Erik Ofgang



ducators teaching online classes across the country have noticed a disturbing trend: Many students have stopped logging into their online classes altogether. In Hillsborough County, Florida, more than 7,000 students were missing at the beginning of the school year, and in Los Angeles, kindergarten enrollment dropped by 6,000, according to USA Today. Desperate to locate these missing learners, some teachers have started making house calls hoping to find them. Keeping students from disengaging with their education has long been a focus of Robert Balfanz, PhD, a research professor and scientist at the Center for the Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, where he is the director of the Everyone Graduates Center. He also co-founded Diplomas Now, an evidence-based model designed to transform high needs middle and high schools. Balfanz shared thoughts on why students are disconnecting and what educators can do to bring them back.


pure energy to do it may not, given everything else the teachers are doing, and also working with their own families who are often doing remote schooling.”


A growing body of research on school connectedness that predates the pandemic shows kids are connected when four things are true, Balfanz says. They know that there is an adult or adults at the school who cares about them as a person. They have a supportive peer group. “It could be a shared interest, it could be a club, it could be theater, it could be sports, it could just be you just hang out and play video games together,” Balfanz says. They engage in prosocial activities (activities that are meaningful to them or help others). While adolescents are often thought of as “me”-oriented, Balfanz says they are more motivated by helping others than themselves. “We often say, ‘You have to do this for your future,’ which has its place, but it’s clear that kids are actually more motivated, if we say, ‘Let’s work together on this project. You’ll learn stuff, and we’ll also do good.’” They find school to be a welcoming place that accepts them for who they are. “The truth is there’s not a lot of kids who check all those boxes,” Balfanz says. “But most TEACHERS ARE GOING TO kids check at least some. If you don’t check HAVE TO SPEND A LITTLE any, that’s usually your disconnected kid.”

This is occurring for reasons ranging from poor connectivity -- even with schoolprovided devices and internet access -- to older students working jobs and students who moved over the summer and have no idea what school they are supposed to log into. “If it’s a physical world, you show up TIME . . . JUST RECONNECTING at a school building. If it’s a virtual world, AS PEOPLE TO TELL YOUR how do you find a new virtual school?” HOW CAN YOU FOSTER STORIES AND CREATE A Balfanz says. THIS CONNECTEDNESS COMMON NARRATIVE THAT The way online learning was IN A PANDEMIC WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.­ implemented as a stopgap measure last “Some folks have been very inventive about spring also signaled to many students that finding ways to do student club activities —­ROBERT BALFANZ online school wasn’t something to take online,” Balfanz says. For instance, some seriously, he says. schools have done radio dramas together Students who entered middle remotely, while others have encouraged school or high school this fall may be students to participate in esports instead of particularly vulnerable. “We know from physical sports. research that the sixth and ninth grade are very critical times when you’re While there are also examples of educators who have had virtual office sort of deciding, ‘Is schooling for me, is it worth investing in?’” Balfanz hours, another effective strategy some schools have employed is peer says. Now, because of the pandemic, many students are going to new tutoring in which older students help younger ones. “It gives you that schools and haven’t met their teachers or classmates in real life. prosocial purpose,” Balfanz says.

HOW CAN EDUCATORS RECONNECT? “There is no shortcut to actually establishing a direct human connection with these students,” Balfanz says. “Somebody’s got to make the human connection to say, ‘How are you doing? What’s going on? What’s your situation? We really want you to be in school, we’re gonna try to troubleshoot for you. Can you at least come three days a week?’” Even just finding those students to make that connection can be difficult. Balfanz says some districts have been able to successfully partner with community organizations to track down students. However, Balfanz emphasizes that this is not an easy situation for already overtaxed educators. “It would be sugarcoating it to say, ‘Oh, yeah, just add the human touch to what you’re doing.’ Because that’s time and energy for teachers, and the heart may be there, but just the

WHAT TO DO TO REESTABLISH CONNECTION WHEN IN-PERSON CLASSES RESUME As the pandemic eventually ends and schools resume in-person classes, Balfanz says educators should acknowledge the difficulties of the Covid era. “Teachers are going to have to spend a little time--we’re not talking months or weeks, but a couple of days--just reconnecting as people to tell your stories and create a common narrative that we’re all in this together,” Balfanz says. “We all experienced Covid in different ways, but we all experienced it. We can work together to reconnect those bonds at an interpersonal level, before diving in and saying, ‘Well, what didn’t you learn, let’s establish your learning loss, and figure out a plan to recover it.’ That’s all important but first [priority] is reestablishing those connections and creating a group sense.”


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The FBI recently warned that cyber attacks of schools are on the rise but an IBM survey suggests many schools are not taking the threat seriously enough By Erik Ofgang


ansomware attacks on schools are on the rise. More than 1,600 schools were targeted by ransomware in 2020. In December, the FBI, along with the Infrastructure Security Agency and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, issued an alert that nearly 60 percent of ransomware incidents between August and September 2020 involved K-12 schools, which was nearly a 30 percent jump from the two months previous. Despite this, many schools do not appear ready for the threat. A recent study by Morning Consult that was sponsored by IBM Security surveyed 1,000 U.S. educators and administrators. Findings include: • Nearly 60% of educators and administrators say they haven’t been given cybersecurity training for remote learning, despite nearly 80% of educators reporting they’re using online learning. • Despite the FBI’s recent warning to schools, half of educators and administrators still aren’t concerned about impending cyberattacks. • More than half of administrators and educators say budget is a barrier in securing cybersecurity for their schools.


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• 60% of educators are using their own personal devices for remote learning, and 34% are doing so without any guidelines to protect those devices. IBM is also offering $3 million in grants aimed toward improving cybersecurity in schools. The deadline for districts to apply is March 1. IBM’s Christopher D. Scott, director of Security Innovation and Remediation, office of the CISO, offers takeaways from this survey and tips for better preparing yourself and your school to ward off potential cyber attacks.

RECOGNIZE THE NEED FOR CONVERSATIONS AROUND SECURITY Since the mass migration to remote and hybrid classes began, Scott says teachers have been rightly focused on getting systems set up to serve the educational needs of their students, but they shouldn’t forget about securing those systems. When classes first went to video, educators realized they had to protect those video sessions against so-called Zoom bombing. Today, Scott says we need to think about the data and how to secure it. Sometimes merely raising questions about online school security can get the ball rolling. “I found that starting that conversation is powerful,” Scott says.




Empowering educators with the online tools they need to engage students in meaningful PBL. LEARN MORE TLE10.AD_.indd 5

3/8/21 12:51 PM

SCHOOL CYBERSECURITY MORE COLLABORATION BETWEEN SCHOOLS AND WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT “What I’m hoping that we’ll see in the future is more partnering and collaboration between law enforcement, districts, and subject matter experts in cybersecurity to build out this infrastructure in a way that secures the data better,” Scott says. “You may have something where you’re reporting different concerns from a physical security aspect, but maybe now we say do we have the cyber contacts at the FBI?” He adds you should also reach out neighboring schools, take advantage of free threat sharing services, and try to share as much intel as possible within and between districts.


INDIVIDUAL TEACHERS CAN HELP While district-level security planning is needed, the actions of each teacher can make a difference. Scott says that just as teachers are able to physically lock CONSIDER THE EXTRA their classrooms if there’s a threat in their physical PASSWORD TO ACCESS school, they can also take steps to protect their A MEETING. CONSIDER remote classes. LOOKING AT THE EMAIL “Consider the extra password to access a AND GOING, ‘IS THIS meeting. Consider looking at the email and going REALLY AN ATTACHMENT ‘Is this really an attachment I’m expecting?’ before I open it. It’s just that little moment of thought that I I’M EXPECTING?’” think each individual person can take,” he says. — CHRISTOPHER D. SCOTT Providing educators with training and simple tips on how to recognize cyber threats, such as keeping an eye out for suspicious attachments, can really help, says Scott. “When they have the information, people make really great decisions,” he says.

REMEMBER THAT RETURNING TO IN-PERSON SCHOOL DOESN’T ELIMINATE RISK As more and more schools resume in-person learning, the risk of cyber attacks won’t decrease. One security advantage of remote school is that educators’ devices spend less time connected to a central system. When more educators return to physical buildings, their devices will spend more time connected to the central system and will talk to each other more, Scott says. “I actually think the risk gets a little greater as we move back,” says Scott.


Conversations around cybersecurity should also include parents. “There’s a lot of [cybersecurity] experience within the parents,” Scott says. In 2019 when a school district in Louisiana experienced a ransomware attack, many parents in the area, who were also experts in cybersecurity, helped the district recover. The discussions around cybersecurity not only help protect schools but can build interest in potential careers for students one day. “At IBM we talk about ‘new collar’ jobs, we talk about the fact that cybersecurity is one of the biggest growing fields, and we don’t have enough people for it,” Scott says.


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FREE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT HELPS EDUCATORS TEACH CYBERSECURITY Foundational cybersecurity skills align to science, math, and ELA learning standards 10

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By Annie Galvin Teich


istrict leaders consider cybersecurity their No. 1 technology priority, with 69% saying they are proactive or very proactive in this area. However, only 18% have a full-time staffer dedicated to cybersecurity according to CoSN’s latest edtech leadership report. Cyberattacks against education institutions continue to increase as student and school data present an attractive target for cyber criminals. Less than half of K-12 students receive any education about cybersecurity, which is surprising since the issue is a priority for districts and the cybersecurity workforce shortage is considered a national security weakness by the U.S. government. Districts have an opportunity to raise the level of awareness about the need for strong cybersecurity with educators and students while teaching valuable and transferable skills. “We need to invest in K-12 education and introduce students to the knowledge, skills, and capabilities around cybersecurity if we want to have a long-term, disciplined approach to closing the cybersecurity workforce gap,” said Kevin Nolten, academic outreach director for the nonprofit CYBER.ORG. Working under a grant from the Department of Homeland Security, CYBER.ORG provides a no-cost professional development, curriculum, and resources for teachers who want to integrate cybersecurity lessons


into their classrooms. By teaching cybersecurity concepts, teachers can help shape students’ confidence to succeed in the future workplace. Cybersecurity skills can also be integrated into content areas, such as math, science, and ELA, that are already aligned to learning standards. “For example, there’s been a cyber-attack on the nation’s power grid. The lights are out and we need light to investigate the problem,” says Nolten. This scenario is the context for teaching a lesson on series circuits and parallel circuits–a concept required by academic standards. “By creating a real-world scenario, relevant to the content, we begin engaging students within their math, English, and/or science classroom.” Even if students don’t move into cyber careers, what they learn and having awareness can create opportunities for employment as technology plays a role in all industries now.


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR TEACHERS CYBER.ORG partners with the Louisiana Tech University’s Science and Technology Center in the College of Education to offer an online Cyber Education Certificate program for K-12 educators and administrators. The organization’s goal is not to supplant any district’s existing curriculum but to complement existing content with its free digital courses. Courses include cybersecurity, computer science, advanced math, physics, engineering, and robotics. During the PD workshops, teachers are guided through the curriculum

as if they were students. Teachers experience projects through hands-on activities such as programming a robot to navigate a maze using sensors, programming a device to send an encrypted message, and building an enigma machine out of a piece of paper and a round chip can, just to name a few. After receiving training: • 93% of teachers said the program was effective in promoting student achievement. • 92% of teachers said the program was effective at helping students understand cyber career pathways. • 84% of teachers found the program effective in promoting interest in STEM and cyber. More than 21,000 educators have received training or use resources from CYBER.ORG, and it has impacted 3 million students so far. CYBER.ORG has also reached out to develop relationships with state departments of education to recognize the IT demands that districts have and to work together to solve those challenges

through teacher PD. Bottom line for Nolten and his colleagues is the belief that if we do not invest in quality education programs, our future—even our country—will be hurt. “It’s our responsibility to ensure our next generation workforce has the knowledge, skill, and ability to protect ourselves in cyberspace,” says Nolten.


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HOW EDUCATION IS HANDLING CYBERSECURITY DURING COVID-19 Cybersecurity during COVID-19 has been a priority for K-12 districts and higher ed institutions as attacks have increased

By Erik Ofgang


s with many other areas of society, the pandemic hasn’t changed threats to cybersecurity in higher ed but has amplified those that already exist, say experts. Phishing attempts are up as hackers try to take advantage of the uncertainty pervading campuses and confusion about things such as testing. As more classes have gone hybrid or online, Zoom bombers and the like are back at it trying to disrupt video sessions. Perhaps most significantly, campus research institutions are seeing an uptick in attacks from groups associated with nation states as they try to steal data about coronavirus vaccine trials and other COVID-19 research.


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“What we’re seeing more of right now are people taking advantage of a lot of the disasters or worries that are out there,” says Sandy Silk, director of IT security education and consulting at Harvard University. Emails about free coronavirus testing or time-off policies can be easy to fake. “We have a lot of information coming to us in email and other ways, too,” says Silk. “And we’re exhausted from everything spinning. So even the best of us are probably apt to click on something just without thinking.”

HOW TO GUARD AGAINST IT: “I’m hoping that most schools are encouraging two-factor authentication wherever they can,” Silk says. With two-factor verification, a hacker won’t be able to access your

These are very sophisticated attacks and it’s probably every single week the FBI is reaching out to me.” — Curtis A. Carver Jr. At UAB researchers are studying a potential coronavirus vaccine. In July security officials in the U.S., United Kingdom, and Canada warned that a hacking group associated with Russia was targeting institutions associated with coronavirus research. Carver says that while similar attacks occurred in past years, incidents have intensified since the pandemic began. “These are very sophisticated attacks and it’s probably every single week the FBI is reaching out to me,” Carver says.



UAB has an extensive Defense in Depth security system that researchers are required to store data behind, and which so far they believe has fended off attacks. “It’s always hard to determine whether you’re successful or not; it appears that we’re being successful,” Carver says. “We have communicated with our research community that they are under attack and to follow the appropriate protocols.” It’s also a reminder for all researchers and faculty to store any sensitive data on the universities’ approved systems, as you never know who might be trying to hack into the system and how sophisticated an attack may be.

accounts even if they’re able to steal your password. Some learning management systems, such as Google Classroom, have this capability builtin, and Silk urges faculty members to encourage students to use it. She adds faculty should store data on their university systems, which are vetted by their IT teams and updated constantly.



While Zoom has become the most prominent video conferencing tool, Silk says other communication platforms are also vulnerable to Zoom bombing if not protected. “If you are just using the same personal room all the time without any passcode, as soon as that gets posted anywhere public, it’s not secret,” Silk says. “Once it’s posted publicly and shared, if you’ve never changed it, anyone can tune in at any time to something in your Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, whatever it may be.” Hackers can even find links to video conferences that have never been posted. “There are tools that will go out and look for those potential combinations of letters and numbers that will give you a real Zoom conference,” she says.



“Our number one concern right now has been attacks from nation states specifically focused on Covid-19 research,” says Curtis A. Carver Jr., vice president and chief information officer at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. “We’re definitely seeing a lot of activity, as people are trying to break in and they’re targeting those researchers, trying to get into those particular systems.”

Setting up your video meetings with your learning management systems will put them behind the two-factor authentication system your institution hopefully has in place, Silk says. In addition, passwords and waiting rooms should be used, and the host needs to be aware of capabilities. “How do I kick people out? How do I lock the meeting once everybody’s there, so no one else comes in?” Silk says. She adds, these are important tools for hosts to familiarize themselves with.



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THE 8 KEY PARTS OF A GRANT PROPOSAL Any grant proposal needs to include these critical details for success By Gwen Solomon


f you’re aiming to win a grant this year, you’ll be happy to know that writing a proposal for any specific RFP (Request for Proposals) has a lot of common ground with the others. The first thing you’ll notice is that almost every grant asks for the same kinds of information. Being organized is a plus: Keep track of these details; revise any as needed, and update it all whenever things change. In addition to writing a well-organized proposal now, you’ll have a template to start with for the next grant you want to apply for.

SUMMARY Being clear about what you want to do and how you will use the funding if you get it is very important. It may seem odd to list the summary before the other parts of the proposal but this is where it will go when you submit your plan. You’ll write this overview statement last – after you have all of your ducks in a row – but keep thinking about making the other parts clear and concise. Then all you have to do is use short, clear excerpts for the summary.


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NEEDS Schools are always in need of something, especially now that technology has become so entrenched in learning. Hopefully your district can provide the basics and your need is for something extra that can help students succeed. The needs section should be a clear look at the district but not a plea for general funds. When you write, detail the needs of your school, district, or community, but don’t dwell on poverty. Instead, focus on why your organization should get funded to run this important project. Write such a compelling argument that no one could resist funding your proposal.

GOALS As you form your ideas for a proposal, be explicit about what you hope to accomplish. You’ll describe these items in the goals section; be sure that the goals you identify are important ones to achieve. To get funded, your purpose or ends must matter. These should show that the plan is clear, critical to the learning community, and will have a major impact on student learning.



Your objectives will describe how you expect the project will accomplish the goals. The objectives should be aligned with both the needs and goals. Clearly describe the specific methods that you and your team will use to reach each goal. In addition, make sure to have measurable objectives to track how you will know that the project is reaching its targets. Offer clear benchmarks that will be used to evaluate success.

Include a personnel page to show the staff members who will be part of the program and what each will do. List each person’s qualifications to demonstrate that the expertise you’ve put together will make the program a success.

NARRATIVE This is the plan of action that leads to success: What you’ll do; how you’ll do it; where you’ll do it; and who’s going to do what. Write this section clearly but concisely. Include specific details and examples, and reinforce that your idea is a sure winner. The clarity of this section and compelling detail is what will persuade the grant reader that this is an important idea to fund.

BUDGET It all comes down to money. Go over the details of your plan and how much you will need to accomplish each part. Create an outline of the funds you need for everything you want to do. In addition to your list, you will write a budget narrative. Use this to explain clearly all the items listed to show that every cent is required to guarantee success. You should itemize the expenses in an easy-to-read format and make sure that every budget item is clearly distinctly explained.

EVALUATION PLAN The program’s funders will want to know how you will know if and when you’ve accomplished your goals. In this section, tell what you will measure and how you will measure it so it is unmistakable how the project will demonstrate that it achieved its targets. You should include clear benchmarks that will be used to evaluate success. Don’t do the evaluation yourself. Hiring outside evaluators shows how serious you are about determining if your plan worked.

SUMMARY We’re back to the beginning! We said to write the summary after all of these parts are done and then put it up front, so it’s time to excerpt your sections to summarize. There’s a little trick called an elevator speech that can help you be clear and concise. Condense your proposal into one sentence -- the amount of time you would have to tell someone in an elevator. It will come in handy and guarantee that you know exactly what you’re doing and can tell anyone who needs to know. T&L’s Grant Guide has what you need to research, write, and apply for grants.

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WHAT TYPE OF MASK SHOULD EDUCATORS WEAR? Educators should be wearing better masks as they return to in-person learning By Erik Ofgang


e’ve reached the point in the pandemic where it’s time to up our mask game. That’s what many experts are saying, including Dr. Joseph G. Allen, director of the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and chair of The Lancet’s Covid-19 Commission Task Force on Safe Work, Safe Schools, and Safe Travel. While it made sense at the start of the pandemic to prioritize any type of mask wearing, now Allen urges educators, and other essential workers, to put more thought into mask quality. “We’re past the point where any mask will do,” he says. A good cloth mask might get to 60 or 70 percent protection while a highquality surgical mask can range from 70 to 80 percent protection, Allen says. However, he advocates for everyone to wear a mask that filters 95 percent of airborne particles, and to make sure it is properly sealed against your face.

THIRD CHOICE: K95* In theory these masks made in China are the equivalent of N95s but it’s not quite that simple. “Here, you need to be very cautious because there have been counterfeit KN95s,” Allen says. “So if you’re going to use a KN95 you need to do your homework.” He advises checking FDA and CDC websites to be sure the mask is what it claims to be and has a real NIOSH certificate.

I CAN’T FIND THESE MASKS. WHAT CAN I DO TODAY? “If a teacher wants better protection right now you can double mask,” Allen says. “I like the strategy because it’s using materials that most people can access and are very cheap and affordable. So you wear a surgical mask, which has good filtration, and then a cloth mask on top that helps improve the seal, and that can get you over 90 percent.”

HOW SHOULD I PUT THE MASK ON? Even the highest-quality filtration won’t do anything if you don’t wear the mask right and your breath escapes through the top and sides. “The mask needs to go over the bridge of your nose, down around your chin and be flush against your cheeks,” Allen writes in a recent op-ed in The Washington Post: “Americans should become familiar with ways to test a mask’s fit. Every time you put on a mask, do a ‘user seal check.’ Put your hands over the mask to block the air moving through it, and exhale gently. You shouldn’t feel air coming out the side or up toward your eyes. Then, test to make sure it stays in place by moving your head side to side and all around. Read passages of text, like the ‘Rainbow Passage’ that’s commonly used for respirator fit testing, and see whether the mask slides around too much when you talk.”

FIRST CHOICE: N95 This mask is one we’ve all heard of for good reason. If worn correctly these masks will block 95 percent of airborne particles. But since these are still hard to come by and can be expensive due to the limited supply and intense demand, Allen suggests some alternatives that can be nearly as good.

SECOND CHOICE: KF94 Made in South Korea, these high-quality, certified masks block 94 percent of airborne particles. “It’s very comfortable and it’s what I’ve been wearing,” Allen says.


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ARE FACE SHIELDS NECESSARY? Allen says that face shields can be helpful as an add-on to a mask in a healthcare setting as they provide eye cover but that they are not necessary for educators. “This virus spreads through some combination of these large ballistic droplets that masks catch and these smaller aerosols that will float through the air beyond six feet,” Allen says. “The mask is the most important thing, and certainly a face shield should not be worn in place of a mask. Could it provide some extra protection? It can from those direct ballistic droplets, but I think in most settings, a school included, that’s not necessary.”

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Student Safety & Classroom Management: Building the Roadmap The disruption created by Covid-19 and the move to distance learning forced schools everywhere to adapt how they educate, engage, and protect students. Now, more than a year after the onset of the pandemic, what lessons have we learned, what strategies proved successful, and how will what we’ve gone through inform the choices we make in the future? In this two-part series, Dr. Kecia Ray talks with experts to help school districts to explore this topic in two parts: the first sharing stories and strategies relating to student safety; the second touching on classroom management – both against the backdrop of distance learning and how what we’ve experienced will shape schools going forward. Join us for one of our webinars starting March 17, 2021 REGISTER FOR FREE NOW

Catch up on all the previous roundtable webinars with on-demand available

Part 1: Student Safety Strategies WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17, 2021 3:30 PM EDT I 2:30 PM CDT I 12:30 PM PDT

Part 2: Classroom Management Strategies WEDNESDAY, MAY 12, 2021 3:30 PM EDT I 2:30 PM CDT I 12:30 PM PDT


Bloom’s Taxonomy create

Produce new or original work

Design, assemble, construct, conjecture, develop, formulate, author, investigate

evaluate analyze

Justify a stand or decision

appraise, argue, defend, judge, select, support, value, critique, weigh

Draw connections among ideas

differentiate, organize, relate, compare, contrast, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test

apply understand

Use information in new situations

execute, implement, solve, use, demonstrate, interpret, operate, schedule, sketch

Explain ideas or concepts

classify, describe, discuss, explain, identify, locate, recognize, report, select, translate


UPDATING BLOOM’S TAXONOMY FOR DIGITAL LEARNING Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy is a technology-friendly update of the classic framework By Dr. Kecia Ray


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Recall facts and basic concepts define, duplicate, list, memorize, repeat, state


enjamin Bloom was not a lone duck. He collaborated with Max Englehart, Edward Furst, Walter Hill, and David Krathwohl to publish a framework for categorizing educational goals in 1956 named Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Over time, this pyramid became known as Bloom’s Taxonomy and has been used for generations of teachers and university professors. The framework consisted of six major categories: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation. The creative commons image of 1956 Blooms includes verbs used to describe the action taking place within each category of the taxonomy. In 1997, a new method entered the scene to help teachers in recognition of a student’s understanding. Based on his study, Dr. Norman Webb established a Depth of Knowledge model to categorize activities according to the level of complexity in thinking and stemmed from the standards movement alignment. This model involves the analysis of the cognitive expectation demanded by standards, curricular activities, and assessment tasks (Webb, 1997). In 2001, a group of cognitive psychologists, curriculum theorists, instructional researchers, and testing and assessment specialists joined forces to publish A Taxonomy for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, a revised version of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Action words to describe the cognitive processes thinkers encounter with knowledge were incorporated, rather than the nouns that were used as descriptors for the original categories. In this new Bloom’s Taxonomy, knowledge is the basis of the six cognitive processes: remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and



create. The authors of the new framework also identified different types of knowledge used in cognition: factual knowledge, conceptual knowledge, procedural knowledge, and metacognitive knowledge. The lower-order thinking skills remain at the base of the pyramid with the higher-order skills at the pinnacle. To learn more about the new Bloom’s, check out this guide to the revised revision. The use of technology has been integrated into the model, creating what is now known as Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy. A popular image that districts often create is the pyramid with the digital resources available and promoted in the district aligned with the appropriate category. This image would vary depending on district resources but it is very helpful to create something such as this for teachers to connect technology to the levels of Bloom’s. Beyond Bloom’s, teachers have access to a variety of frameworks and tools to help them construct technology-rich learning. The University of South Florida probably has one of the most robust resources through its Technology Integration Matrix. The original TIM was developed in 2003-06 through funding from the Enhancing Education Through Technology program. Now in the third edition, the TIM provides not only a matrix from low to high adoption and student engagement but also videos and lesson design ideas accessible for free to all educators. Each of these frameworks, models, and matrices help guide teachers in designing instruction that is beneficial and engaging to their learners. Now more than ever, the focus on high-quality technologyrich instruction is essential for increased student engagement and improved student performance.


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