Illinois ASBO Summer 2015 Update

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of Education p. 24


Deployment Playbook p. 30


Your Technology Dream Team p. 34


TechCon 2015


“We really enjoyed the sessions. It was great seeing the 21st century classroom and the things we’d like to do. We just need to figure out a way to do it!” — 2014 TechCon Attendee


Illinois Association of School Business Officials UPDATE Magazine / Summer 2015 / v.22 / i.04




The Business of Facilities From Plan to Reality

THE NEXT ISSUE: FACILITIES Extending the value of your largest asset.

A NEW PARADIGM | 24 The Future of Technology in Education In a few years, classrooms will not exist without technology. However, the future goes beyond simply using technology. It transforms teaching and learning to allow for new tasks that were previously inconceivable.

LOOKING FOR PAST ISSUES? Visit and search for Illinois ASBO.

Cover Story By Matthew Silverman, Ed.D.

The Innovation Equation

Even if technology is a priority, not every funding request can be successfully supported. A standardized procedure for considering and implementing approved requests is key as schools adopt 21st Century learning tools. By R.J. Gravel, Ed.D. and Hayley Mayall, Ph.D.


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FROM-THE-PODIUM The CSBO as a Change Leader. 07

The Death of a Device

What happens to your devices after they die? Learn how to start the conversation sooner to avoid the risks of improper asset disposal. By Cathy Hill and John D. Vonder


FROM-THE-OFFICE Addressing Issues of Equality and Access. 09

FROM-THE-FIELD The ABCs of Nutrition Communication. 11

PD AT YOUR FINGERTIPS Two Takes on the Power of Social Media. 16

YOUR TECH DEPLOYMENT PLAYBOOK Before pressing the “play” button on new technologies, many important factors must be examined — including instructional needs, infrastructure and financial implications. By Keith A. Bockwoldt, CETL

BUSINESS PARTNERS Forecast5: Business Intelligence Goes Public! 18


SCHOOL BUSINESS 101 Preparing for the Future: Resources, 1:1 Initiatives, Infrastructure and More. 19

Building Your Technology Dream Team Understanding the roles of key personnel and bringing the right individuals together creates a dream team that will ultimately bring the best decisions for students. By Stacey Gonzales, Ed.D. and Stacy Hawthorne 4 |

UPDATE Magazine / Summer 2015


Connecting to the 21st Century An update on the E-Rate program as it transitions away from legacy technologies to enhance 21st century connectivity.


By Melinda J. Fiscus

38 s t n u o C d n o c e S y r e v E n e Wh

ON MY LIST The environment as an essential element of learning.


Leverage technology to communicate timely information to staff, parents and the community in times of crisis. By David H. Hill, Ed.D.


The Final Word Kevin Dale

Business Manager, CSBO Rochelle Twp. HSD 212 As a school business official in a small district, Kevin needs to know the direction the district is moving to help allocate funds and resources to technology. He believes that constant communication about current and future needs is key to the district’s success.


A NEW MINDSET Begin your paradigm shift, plan for crisis communication and access tech financing.


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July 2015

S M T W T F S 31 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

S 28 5 12 19 26 2

28 29 30 5 6 7

1 8

2 9

3 4 10 11

M 29 6 13 20 27 3

August 2015

T W T F S 30 1 2 3 4 7 8 9 10 11 14 15 16 17 18 21 22 23 24 25 28 29 30 31 1 4 5 6 7 8

S 26 2 9 16 23 30

M 27 3 10 17 24 31

T 28 4 11 18 25 1

September 2015

W 29 5 12 19 26 2

T 30 6 13 20 27 3

F S 31 1 7 8 14 15 21 22 28 29 4 5

S 30 6 13 20 27 4

M T W T F S 31 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 22 23 24 25 26 28 29 30 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10







The 360 Degree Leader: Creating a Positive Leadership Culture - AAC #1164



8:00am School District Auditing & Reporting Seminar



Leadership Requirements for Moving from Good to Great - AAC #1164



Learning to Lead by Applying the Five Levels of Leadership - AAC #1360



The 360 Degree Leader: Creating a Positive Leadership Culture - AAC #1164



The Value of Lasting Leadership - AAC #806


8:00am ASBO International Eagle Institute



ISDLAF+ School Finance Seminar




ISDLAF+ School Finance Seminar

East Peoria



ISDLAF+ School Finance Seminar



9:00am PDC Networking Meeting


8:00am SupportCon South


9:00am PDC Networking Meeting






2:00pm Forecast5 Analytics Fall 2015 Conference




ISDLAF+ School Finance Seminar

East Peoria



ISDLAF+ School Finance Seminar







CPMM Facilities Certification Training & Exam


8:00am ASBO International Annual Meeting & Expo

Grapevine, TX


8:00am 2015 Midwest Facility Masters Conference

Wisconsin Dells, WI


8:00am CPS Facilities Certification Training & Exam



8:00am IASB/IASA/Illinois ASBO 83rd Joint Annual Conference



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ISDLAF+ School Finance Seminar


UPDATE Magazine / Summer 2015

Northern Illinois University, IA-103 108 Carroll Avenue DeKalb, IL 60115-2829 P: (815) 753-1276 / F: (815) 516-0184 /

UPDATE Editorial Advisory Board

Check out or the latest Calendar of Events included in the UPDATE mailing for full seminar listings including location and PDC sponsorship and register for professional development today. June 2015

Illinois Association of School Business Officials

Naperville Mt. Vernon Peoria Bourbonnais Naperville Alexandria, VA

Elk Grove Village Normal

Naperville TBD

Chicago Naperville

PDC MEMBERS Richard A. Lesniak Ancillary Services Kristopher P. Monn Educational Enterprise Yasmine Dada Financial Resource Management Robert J. Ciserella Information Management Kevin Dale Information Management Amy McPartlin Materials & Services Management Paul A. O'Malley Sustainability BOARD & EXTERNAL RELATIONS MEMBERS Hillarie Siena Past President Mike McTaggart SAAC Chair AT-LARGE MEMBERS Seth Chapman St. Charles SD 303 Anton Inglese Batavia USD 101 John A. Gibson Homewood SD 153 Dean Langdon Illinois Association of School Boards Eric Miller Skokie SD 69 STAFF MEMBERS Michael Jacoby Executive Director (815) 753-9366, Susan P. Bertrand Assistant Executive Director (815) 753-9368, Angie Byers Communications Coordinator (815) 753-9371, Rebekah L. Weidner Staff Writer/Editor (815) 753-9270, Tammy Curry Senior Graphic Designer (815) 753-9393, John Curry Graphic Designer (815) 753-7654,

Illinois ASBO Board of Directors Nelson W. Gray President Susan L. Harkin President-Elect Jennifer J. Hermes Treasurer Hillarie J. Siena Immediate Past President 2012–15 Board of Directors David H. Hill, Luann T. Kolstad, Ann C. Williams 2013–16 Board of Directors Dean L. Gerdes, Cathy L. Johnson, Lyndl A. Schuster 2014–17 Board of Directors Barry Bolek, Dean T. Romano, Paul Starck-King

Illinois ASBO Board Liaisons

Michael A. McTaggart Service Associate Advisory Committee Chair Audra Scharf Service Associate Advisory Committee Vice Chair Terrie S. Simmons ASBO International Liaison Debby I. Vespa ISBE Board Liaison Sherry Reynolds-Whitaker IASB Board Liaison Paul McMahon Regional Superintendent Liaison Calvin Jackson Legislative Liaison

Privacy Policy

All materials contained within this publication are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, displayed or published without the prior written permission of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. References, authorship or information provided by parties other than that which is owned by the Illinois Association of School Business Officials are offered as a service to readers. The editorial staff of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials was not involved in their production and is not responsible for their content.

PERSPECTIVE / Board President

FROM–THE–PODIUM The CSBO as a Change Leader “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future” — John F. Kennedy We all go through it. In our personal and professional lives change seems to be ever-present. In our roles as business managers there is always change — statutory, funding, operational, instructional, organizational and relational just to name a few. Some are for the better and some are for… well let’s face it, change is hard! But it is also necessary and how it is managed determines how successful a change will be.



Change only begins when an organization can SEE the next step, COMMIT to the next step and APPLY the resources needed to achieve it. “Change starts when someone sees the next step.” This issue of the UPDATE addresses the changing face of — Bill Drayton, Founder of ASHOKA education through technology integration. With 20 plus years of adding technology in classrooms with little effect in student While many changes are forced on us, there are opportunities learning, someone needs to lead the next steps towards the to initiate change to move your organization in the next new horizons of technology integration — to engage students direction. Districts are not typically characterized as “nimble” where they learn. Will it be YOU that leads the way? when it comes to change. Yet, maybe because it’s inherent in our DNA, CSBOs tend to embrace change a little quicker in a Last Words — Keep the Change culture whose mantra is “we have always done it this way.” It has been an honor to serve as President of Illinois ASBO this past year. It is clear that the Association benefits greatly The challenge facing all school leaders is how to start down from a group of passionate and dedicated volunteer leaders. the road to the “next step.” Change only begins when an When I began, I noted that Illinois ASBO must find ways to organization can SEE the next step, COMMIT to the next step honor the past, while continuing to make changes that will and APPLY the resources needed to achieve it. meet the future needs of its members. As my year comes to an end, I am excited to pass the mantel of leadership on to Commitment is at the heart of leading change. We often future leaders — they will be the ones to chart our “next steps.” have a broader perspective as we understand the research, background, required financial support and allocation of To the Illinois ASBO Staff — Thank you for everything you do! resources, both material and personnel, to achieve the measurable results and outcomes we seek. We need to engage early in the planning process and be at the forefront of guiding change.

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TAKE YOUR TEAM TO THE NEXT LEVEL Bring in Illinois ASBO facilitators to lead the discussion and help your team members analyze their personal leadership behaviors.
















Choose from one of two proven trainings: Life Orientations (LIFO速) 速 Academy

Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI速) 速 Academy

A full day training that allows each participant to identify their own behavioral leadership style and then learn to flex or bridge their style to the style of others.

A two-to three-day training where leaders gain perspective into how they see themselves as leaders, how others view them and how they can improve their effectiveness.

Find more information on these trainings at: 8 |

UPDATE Magazine / Summer 2015

PERSPECTIVE / Executive Director

FROM–THE–OFFICE Addressing Issues of Equity and Access “We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world.” — David Warlick, Retired Educator and Blogger As you flip through the pages of this issue of UPDATE, you will find everything from a forecast into the future of technology in education, to the finer details of how to implement technology infrastructure effectively and affordably.


21st century learning is the common denominator for all of these topics. It is also one of the four pillars of Illinois Vision 20/20. The policy brief (available at emphasizes the importance of all students having access to a modern learning environment that is not limited to the classroom or school day. Unfortunately, that is not currently possible across Illinois. SIMPLY SAYING

It is important that stakeholders from every side of the school technology discussion cast a vision for the future of education in Illinois. A Technology Gap One of the guiding principles of Vision 20/20 is high-speed Internet access as a fundamental infrastructure component to the 21st Century learning experience. Access to adequate bandwidth opens the door for students to a world of learning materials. Yet, research indicates that only 26 percent of Illinois districts even have the adequate infrastructure to administer the state test (PARCC) online. To address this issue, a few recommended state policy directions emerged: 1. To provide high-speed Internet connectivity to every school and community — through large investments in technology infrastructure to ensure adequacy and equity.

A New Mindset It is important that stakeholders from every side of the school technology discussion — from school administration to teachers, legislators and the community at large — all cast a vision for the future of education in Illinois. Illinois ASBO is committed to helping you any way we can to make 21st century education a reality in your district. I hope you will read this issue cover to cover and take inspiration from our authors. I also look forward to seeing you and your team at TechCon this fall. Watch for more information soon on how we are working to make this conference even more relevant to your needs!

2. To incorporate technology into state learning standards — through ISBE consolidating the existing state technology standards with the new Illinois Learning Standards.

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CONNECT IN TEXAS Networking is essential, and nothing beats face-to-face interaction. In fact, attendees from the 2014 Annual Meeting & Expo ranked networking with colleagues as one of the most valuable aspects of the meeting—second only to the quality professional development. Mark your calendar for ASBO International’s 2015 Annual Meeting & Expo, October 23–26, and make plans to connect with your colleagues from Illinois and school business ofcials from around the world.

Learn more about ASBO International’s Annual Meeting & Expo




The ABCs of Nutrition Communication Have you considered how you will face the ever-increasing need to communicate nutrition information to your stakeholders? Requests for districts to provide detailed nutrition and allergen information on the items that they serve are on the rise. This poses a challenge to many districts to not only gather the data, but also communicate it in a meaningful way. Before starting this process, consider these ABCs.



Taking the time to understand the needs of the district’s stakeholders and planning for the necessary resources is key to successful menutechnology communication.


Assess what information your community wants. Determining the depth of information — such as detailed nutrition information, a logo that communicates a nutritional attribute about a menu item (vegetarian, wellness, etc.), a complete ingredient list or identifying the presence of the eight major allergens in menu items — will help determine the scope and timeline of the project.


Build your database. Utilizing a registered dietitian and/or an experienced culinary expert to help compile an accurate database of information is critical. Nutrition and allergen information does not just need to be available; it is critical that it is accurate. Be sure to also plan on updating this database regularly to capture the inevitable changes to ingredients and recipes.


Communicate the information in a meaningful way. How do your stakeholders — students, faculty, staff and families — want to access the information? Students will likely use their smartphone, if you have information on your district’s Web site, is it mobile-friendly to allow for easy visibility? Would your tech savvy students prefer scanning a QR code that is posted next to menu items? When viewing the monthly menu parents may prefer to access this information online. Administrators are simply expecting that the information is accurate and complete. The bottom line: There is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution, so taking the time to understand the needs of the district’s stakeholders and planning for the necessary resources is key to successful menu-technology communication.

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Keith A. Bockwoldt, CETL

Warletta Brookins, Ph.D.

Melinda J. Fiscus

Dir./Technology Twp. High Sch. Dist. 214

Superintendent Pembroke CSD 259

Director Learning Technology Centers

Serves as a Board Member for the IlliniCloud and Chair of Smart Education Networks by Design, a CoSN Leadership Initiative. Keith is a visionary leader and a champion for public education, playing a pivotal role the district’s move into a 1:1 learning environment and digital transformation.

A national educational speaker and presenter, former journalist, public school teacher, educational consultant and state level education administrator, Warletta is currently enrolled in the Northern Illinois University School Business Management Program.

Serves as Director of Learning Technology Center 6 in southeastern Illinois. LTCs assist ISBE with statewide initiatives by supporting Illinois Regional Offices of Education and school districts with technical support and technology professional development.

Stacey Gonzales, Ed.D.

R.J. Gravel, Ed.D.

Stacy Hawthorne

Dir./Instructional Technology Indian Prairie SD 204

Dir./Instructional Technology Johnsburg CSD 12

CEO and Lead Strategist Hawthorne Education

A student-centered leader at the third largest district in Illinois, Stacey has been instrumental in developing the Expanding Learning Opportunities Consortium, a group of three school districts that have joined together to provide online courses for district students.

Prior to Johnsburg, R.J. was a Technology Coordinator and Liturgical Music Educator and Director with the Arch Diocese of Chicago. He is an active presenter and researcher in PreK-12 tech integration and is currently completing his dissertation at Northern Illinois University. R.J. teaches graduate and undergraduate coursework.

Works with districts across the U.S. to implement innovative, technology rich educational models. Stacy has been a classroom teacher, technology coordinator, creativity & innovation strategist and most recently a blended learning strategist. She is the current President for ISTE’s administrator professional learning network.

Cathy Hill

David H. Hill, Ed.D.

Hayley Mayall, Ph.D.

CEO HOBI International, Inc.

Asst. Supt./Business Services Comm. Cons. Sch. Dist. 93

Assoc. Professor Northern Illinois University

As the founding member of HOBI’s board, Cathy has overseen the growth both operationally and strategically. She continues to be responsible for day-today operations of HOBI’s Batavia facility. Cathy was educated in Naperville, IL, receiving her B.A. summa cum laude in international business from North Central College.

Earned his Chief School Business Official endorsement from NIU, his Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Change and his M.A. in Secondary Education from Roosevelt University. David is a member of several professional organizations and serves on the Board of Directors for Illinois ASBO.

Teaches graduate and doctoral coursework in instructional technology and is an active researcher in the field of K-12 technology integration.

Amanda Pelsor

Matthew Silverman, Ed.D.

John D. Vonder

Instructional Tech Coach Park Ridge Niles CMCSD 64

Asst. Supt./Curriculum & Instruction River Trails SD 26

President Providence Capital Network, LLC

Works with teachers to improve instruction and effectively implement technology with a focus on getting the best outcome for students. Amanda believes that connecting with others makes her a better educator and is active on social media, volunteers and attends and presents at conferences.

Has worked extensively in all areas of K-8 education, as well as at the graduate level. Matthew has coauthored a professional development academy for administrators, as well as numerous workshop presentations for administrators, teachers and school boards.

Has worked with hundreds of schools on projects ranging from $5,000 to over $5 million. With over 20 years experience, John has presented on remarketing and school finance specializing in 1:1 programs. He supports schools with equipment financing and technology remarketing solutions.

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The Death of a Device What happens to your devices after they die? Too often, asset disposal is an afterthought for organizations. Planning for the end-of-life disposition of tech products needs to happen sooner rather than later to avoid the potential risks.

Technology is dominating the classroom due to its portability, convenience, declining cost and increased relevance as an instrument to advance education. For IT departments, this means shouldering increased responsibility for managing the device applications and operating systems, protecting both organizational and personal data, providing access to a reliable user experience and procuring the proper equipment to best support the advancement of the curriculum. Of course, all of this must be done on a budget! If this is not a big enough job, consider taking on the burden to safely and responsibly dispose of aging and non-working assets in a manner beneficial to both the organization and the environment. No wonder this final task is often left literally untouched. There are three reasons that planning for your device “afterlife” should be considered sooner than later: data security, financial benefits and environmental sustainability and compliance.

Data Security Have you considered the risks of those devices sitting around? If confidential data entered the public arena and/or criminal activity resulted due to negligence by the school, the exposure is significant. Legal, financial, operational and reputation risks are at hand. Computers, including mobile devices, represent a significant data security issue for schools. Even though many applications have remote disabling, pin destruction or encryption, the fact that data still exists on a device is often overlooked by IT departments. Retired and discarded devices carry risk in the form of personal or institutional data remaining after it is no longer in use. 14 |

UPDATE Magazine / Summer 2015

Responsible asset disposition ensures no personal or institutional data ever falls into the wrong hands and that proper data erasure measures are taken. Strategically partnering with an experienced and certified IT and mobile asset disposition provider addresses the challenges of erasing data from a vast array of equipment technology. Data is purged in a safe and secure environment so the devices can reenter the marketplace or be recycled responsibly.

Financial Benefits There are many financial implications when a school considers retiring devices. Beyond the indirect costs such as storage space and teacher/administrator time, there are many direct costs or opportunities for gain. A practice known as remarketing involves recovering value from equipment no longer intended for use within an organization. Many districts have benefitted from this practice either through contracting with a qualified remarketing partner or reselling equipment directly to members of the school community and/or general public. As you are considering your project, here are a few added helpful tips:

• Device Values are higher earlier in the summer than later. • AC Adapters and stylus pens also impact the value. • Proper packing for shipping is paramount. Don’t lose substantial value due to shipping damages. Seek a partner who can help you pack and/or ship. • Devices Five years old and newer routinely receive a positive return.


By Cathy Hill


John D. Vonder


Environmental Sustainability and Compliance E-waste statistics are staggering. As of the latest EPA report in 2009, over 2.4 million tons of E-waste was disposed in the United States. Of that amount, only 19% was recycled. The data is six years old and given Americans’ appetite for technology, one can imagine the current statistics are even more extreme. Beyond moral or social beliefs about the environment, a school administrator must concern themselves with compliance. The rapidly changing landscape of local, state and federal legislation in regards to electronics recycling is creating an ever-increasing burden on Original Equipment Manufacturers and users of technology and communications equipment. Ensuring compliance not only requires a knowledge of the legislation and reporting requirements themselves but

also a working knowledge of recycling and data security technologies and techniques. Our advice is to seek a certified partner seasoned in electronics recycling and one who offers documentation confirming what has happened with your data and equipment. Compliance services should include: • Local, State and Federal Reporting • Date Privacy Assurance and Reporting • Sustainability Reporting • Materials Analysis

The SMART Way to Plan Your Device Afterlife As you consider the implications of device lifecycle management, there is a S.M.A.R.T way to go about it: Secure data Maximize return on assets Ask for references Recycle responsibly Timely action

Get Help to Relieve Your Staff Burden Managing the process internally has been known to create additional burdens. Your team needs to ensure all data is removed, equipment is cleaned and prepared for marketing, operating systems are properly licensed, sales are maximized, customer service/help desk issues are addressed and tax collecting and reporting is fulfilled. This can be costly and time consuming, draining both financial and human resources. If you do not want to take on this task internally, here is what to look for in a partner. Responsible IT remarketers should have credible references and certifications (R2, RIOS, ISO 14001) and understand the process of redeeming assets to extend their life and maximize economic value. They are equipped to handle every step of the disposition process for clients, including:

• Logistics • Data erasure • Auditing • Online Retail Channels

• Access to Domestic & International Buyers • Recycling and Environmental Compliance

Professional Development at Your Fingertips Two Takes on the Power of Social Take


The explosion of social media has changed communication methods worldwide and schools are no exception. School districts across the country have become very social media savvy, using it to communicate with parents and provide professional development for staff and parents.

A Space for Professional Conversations Social media is a great place for school practitioners to gather and receive professional development. Videoconferencing, Skype, webinars and training by Google Hangouts are some samples of how social media is currently being used. Teachers use social spaces to talk, share and learn from each other. They are creating their own spaces by using social media and to support both autonomous professional learning and new forms of activism.

Bringing Information Straight to your Desk Most recently, the Illinois State Board of Education provided Race to the Top phase three schools options to travel to a central location for professional development or to participate via webinar. This provided great savings on travel and lodging typically required to participate in statewide meetings.

Through social mediums, individuals who were unable to attend in person have an opportunity to go back and review missed sessions. This has become so commonplace that it is hard to believe social media is less than 20 years old.

A Growth Area Moving Forward A 2010 Principal Partnership Poll involving 306 principals revealed three important points that are still relevant today: 1. Help in integrating social media into the curriculum is necessary. 2. When social media comes into the schools, legal and policy implications arise. 3. Professional development for teachers and other adults is necessary. School leaders recognize that many educators are not as familiar or comfortable with social media as students are. Therefore, teachers require training to understand the most effective ways to bring social media into the curriculum.

- Warletta C. Brookins, Ph.D.

Not sure where to get started? Check out these helpful lists of social resources for educators: Twitter Chats -

The Evolution of Social Media 16 |

UPDATE Magazine / Summer 2015

Hashtags -



The first recognizable social media site enabled users to upload a profile and make friends with other users.

LiveJournal was a social network built around constantly updated blogs.

2003 MySpace allowed users to customize their profiles; by 2006 it was the most popular social site. LinkedIn was the first social site devoted to professional networking.

By Warletta C. Brookins, Ph.D.



Amanda Pelsor




As professional educators, we owe it to our students, fellow educators and communities to continue to improve our practice. For many years, this has been met with formal professional development such as workshops, conferences and in-service days. But we now live in a world where there is an abundance of information at our fingertips.

Rather than waiting for someone to impart information, we can seek answers and find them within minutes. Why should professional learning be any different? We do not have to wait for conferences or in-service days. We can look online to learn and challenge our thinking any time of the day on nearly any topic.

Social Tools for Educators There are a variety of different social media tools that you can use to connect and learn including but not limited to Twitter, Google+ and blogs. Twitter is a great way to connect with other educators or experts any time on any topic. Send a question, share an idea, participate in a chat or just follow a hashtag. You are limited to 140 characters, so every word counts. In Google+ there is a plethora of active communities for educators to connect and share on a specific topic or theme.

Blogs are not limited in length so they can delve deeper into sharing ideas and concepts. To avoid getting overwhelmed, try utilizing a tool like Feedly, which brings all the blogs that you read and subscribe to into one place.

Tips As You Get Connected No matter which platform you choose to connect with, there are a few things to remember. 1. Find others that challenge your thinking. It is easy to just connect with others that are like-minded. They are valuable to our learning, but so are people that challenge our thinking and give us new perspective. When you jump in and start connecting, balance who you follow so you do not end up in an echo chamber. 2. Be an active social learner. Just like anything, you will get out what you put in to it. If you share what you are doing, answer questions and be an active learner, you will form deeper connections and people will be more willing to support you. It is also important to be an intelligent consumer of the information being shared. Our students are growing up in a global society. No longer is it enough for us to connect locally to prepare them. We must seize the opportunity to connect globally and take charge of our learning. In the words of George Couros (@gcouros), “Isolation is now a choice that educators make.” Do not isolate yourself; connect with others to continue to learn, share and grow.

- Amanda Pelsor

2003 - 04 Following on the heels of Photobucket, Flickr took off and claimed to host more than 3.6 billion images by 2009.

Source: The History and Evolution of Social Media from

2005 YouTube introduces social video sharing.

2006 Facebook was made available to everyone by 2006. Twitter began the “status update” trend that became the new norm in social networking.

2007 - Today Other sites like Tumblr, Spotify, Instagram and Pinterest have continued to pop-up filling specific social networking niches.

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By Scott K. Smith

BUSINESS PARTNERS / Forecast5 Analytics, Inc.



In October 2012, Forecast5 Analytics began delivery of business intelligence and data analytics to schools across Illinois, providing the opportunity for district administrators to unlock the power of statewide and regional data. Three years ago, when the leadership at PMA Financial Network, Inc. saw the potential GASB initiative coming down the path that would require all local governments to produce a five-year projection on an annual basis, the idea of Forecast5 Analytics was born. They set out on a plan to build and scale financial planning software that would handle the nuances of local government finance, regardless of the state or type of entity. As they began brainstorming, they kept relating back to the questions school business officials were asking during their financial planning consultations at PMA: How do we compare? Are we being efficient? How can we better optimize our resources? Is our program spending in line with our strategic plan? Recognizing that those and other benchmarking questions could be better answered if business officials had easy access to data, Forecast5 built a business intelligence model that could be utilized by any district across Illinois. This type of model would allow schools to ultimately build a “smarter� forecast and better communicate their situation. PUTTING THE DATA TO WORK The first step was to gather all of the public data that school districts have submitted to the state for years and bring that data into the Forecast5 data warehouse. This allowed the team to turn very large data sets that had historically been submitted for compliance purposes into valuable information. After nearly a year of planning and development, Forecast5 partnered with Illinois ASBO, IASA and IASB to deliver the solution to Illinois schools. 5Sight is a business intelligence model now used by over 150 districts to make

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UPDATE Magazine / Summer 2015

informed decisions and foster better communication with stakeholders. The co-development process with Illinois ASBO and other partners ensures that 5Sight continues to focus on what is relevant. With this approach, practitioners drive how the platform evolves by sharing ideas for new data or timely analytics that will enhance the platform for everyone.

CREATING NEW SOLUTIONS FOR DISTRICTS After introducing 5Sight, Forecast5 has continued to develop and roll out new products for local government administrators: is a unique collaboration tool used to tap into the knowledge of colleagues, build and share analytic creations and other high-value, operational data that does not reside at the state level. allows local governments to analyze their own data with the power of Google Maps. is the most recent development and introduces a powerful financial projection tool for school district or other entities to build their budget and a longer term forecast. Since the initial corporate partnerships with Illinois ASBO, IASA and IASB, Forecast5 has partnered with more than 20 education associations and is delivering the analytics ecosystem in 12 different states.

PERSPECTIVE / On the Profession

SCHOOL BUSINESS 101 How is your district preparing for the classroom of the future? We’re dividing our resources pretty equally between infrastructure, redefining current “ positions and maximizing their effectiveness. We’ve moved to a 1:1 initiative in the middle school and we’re looking at going K-8 with that. We have increased our wireless hubs. We’re not just out trying to do something fanciful; we have to have a good academic reason for doing it. My students and teachers recognize technology as a tool, rather than an entity unto itself, so it’s very well integrated into our curriculum and instruction.” DR. JOSEPH F. BAILEY Superintendent, Lincolnwood SD 74 are hiring an internationally known consultant to come out to our school district to share “ We with us the latest research on technology in the classrooms. Based upon his research and recommendations, we’ll then convene a focus group of parents, teachers and administrators to develop the next steps in terms of implementing his recommendations.” GARY N. FRISCH Asst. Supt./Business & Operations, Comm. Cons. Sch. Dist. 181

We recently launched a 1:1 initiative for grades three through eight. The initiative “ included implementing more digital media and online resources and applications into the classroom as opposed to strictly textbook instruction. It also required network upgrades to accommodate the increased number of devices that would be online throughout the day. We are currently undergoing both strategic planning and facilities master planning to help identify the vision, priorities and goals for 21st century learning in our district.” BRIAN IMHOFF Asst. Business Manager, Park Ridge Niles CMCSD 64 currently have a referendum out to move towards 1:1 technology for our students, “ We which will change the way the classroom operates. I’ll have to make sure I have enough electricity in the classrooms for students to power up their devices, put in projectors if they are going to run off of smart boards, etc. The infrastructure will probably need to be upgraded and we may replace desks with tables. Who knows what could happen?” DONALD R. SELZER Dir./Operations & Facilities, Woodland CCSD 50

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The Innovation


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With new digital learning solutions emerging daily, innovation has become a common theme in school districts across the state. Yet, even if technology is a district priority, not every funding request can be successfully supported. Having a standardized procedure for considering and subsequently implementing approved requests is key as schools adopt 21st century learning tools.

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UPDATE Magazine / Summer 2015



By R.J. Gravel, Ed.D.



Hayley Mayall, Ph.D.



Start with a Plan

Whether a teacher is seeking funds to purchase an online behavior management tool, or a principal would like teachers to participate in a 1:1 pilot of tablets, each technology-centric request should be accompanied by a written proposal. Proposals can be as detailed as a CSBO might desire, or as extensive as a school board might require. Regardless of form, each proposal should consist of the following elements: • Project Title Like a headline in the newspaper, the title should provide readers an immediate sense of what the proposal is about and how it relates to the school district’s mission. • Participants To ensure equity and transparency, all staff members, student populations and external stakeholders that will be impacted by this proposal should be clearly identified. • Academic Subjects Writers should identify the curricular areas that will benefit from this technology adoption and describe the impact to student learning. • Measurable Goals and Anticipated Milestones In order to track progress, a series of measurable goals should be identified. Staff participants in the project should also identify project milestones where they commit to provide a status update to school leaders. • Support Requested It is unreasonable to assume that a classroom teacher or a principal is knowledgeable about how to manage a collection of new hardware devices or how to implement a new web-based subscription service. As a result, it is important for staff participants to identify the support that they anticipate needing in order to be successful.

• Itemized Request for Funding Proposals need to include an estimated, itemized funding request. Included in the request should be any anticipated release-time and substitute coverage necessary for professional development purposes. • Leadership Endorsement Each proposal should be accompanied by an endorsement from an administrator, along with a brief statement of rationale.


Make the Difficult Decision

Ideally, every well-intentioned proposal would be funded each school year. Unfortunately it is more likely that only a limited number of requests can be approved based on available funding. To ensure every proposal is given fair, impartial consideration, schools are highly encouraged to establish a review committee responsible for conducting a “blind” review and prioritization of all proposals. The review committee should include leaders representative of several key distinct functions. This includes: • A curriculum and instruction specialist for the gradelevel in which the proposal was submitted (ex. district curriculum coordinator, student services administrator or building principal). • An individual representing the instructional and information technology departments (knowledgeable of best practices related to software, hardware and hosted application environments). • An individual representing the business office with budgetary authority to provide financial recommendations and feedback.

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Before reviewing submissions, a series of criteria should be defined to fairly judge the merits of each proposal. Sample criteria include: • Alignment with Educational Goals How does the proposal relate to the established mission and vision of the school district? How will the proposed expenditures support the state’s goal of preparing all students for colleges and careers? • Measurable Impact on Student Learning Are the documented student-learning goals measurable and realistic? Are the anticipated milestones appropriate and cohesive with the district’s expectations? • Financial Impact on School District Taking into consideration the itemized request for funding, how much additional labor will need to be provided by the instructional and information technology departments to support the implementation of the proposal? • Alignment with Existing Technology Initiatives Does the requested hardware and software align with existing school commitments to a particular product line and/or standardization? • Equitable Funding Distribution Are the funds for all submitted and approved proposals equitably distributed amongst schools, grade levels (or groupings) and student populations? • Professional Development and Project Awareness How will the school district support the professional development of staff participants to effectively implement the acquired technology into their learning environments? How will the school district expand the awareness of the project to the school community beyond the staff participants submitting the proposal?

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Support a Smooth Implementation Process

Work Together Toward a Shared Goal Once a committee of school leaders has committed to adopt new technology, it is the responsibility of the instructional and information technology teams to support a smooth implementation. This requires a series of conversations with the staff participants that submitted the proposal, as well as with one or more vendors who provides the resources. As these conversations take place, a mutual relationship of support should be developed between the technology professionals and the staff participants to ensure everyone is comfortable working with each other. Forming a positive partnership from the beginning will ensure a project is on track for success. Provide the Necessary Tools for Success As proposals are approved, it is important that the business office support staff participates in filing the necessary paperwork for purchase orders and other financial expenditures. The excitement of an approved proposal is the perfect time to ensure that staff can gain access to the technology as soon as the fiscal year begins.


Play in the Sandbox The best method to understand how an educational tool can be leveraged for instruction is to use the tool from the perspectives of a student and teacher. It is likely that the staff participants have seen the tool in action, but in order for them to develop their own technology knowledge, it is essential for them to use the tool in a sandbox environment (a pretend environment where the teacher can be one of the students, or the facilitator). As educators become familiar with the tool from multiple perspectives, they will increase familiarity with the affordances and constraints of the tool prior to using it with their students. School leaders should challenge staff to discuss their sandbox and actual experiences throughout the implementation process to ensure they have an acute awareness of the impact of technology on the learning environment.

ARTICLE / Technology Implementation Model


Innovation is happening all around us. Has your school district implemented a method to promote, support and encourage IT?

Document Successes and Challenges From the moment an educator begins to utilize a technology in their instructional activities, they should document the successes and challenges they experience. In today’s culture, this could be accomplished by taking a picture of a learning activity and appending a brief caption describing what has been photographed. The use of custom hashtags can serve as a method of compiling a comprehensive account of an implementation effort. At the end of the day, some innovative ideas will be extremely successful and lead to measurable student growth, while others might not. As long as the teachers and administrators work together in support of student achievement, the majority of successes and challenges will be revered as an effort to redefine instruction and to engage students.


Promote the Experiences of Students

We all have seen the daily tweets from educational advocates highlighting innovative classroom instruction. But truth be told, innovation is happening in our own classrooms every day. As educators try new technologies, leaders should promote these experiences beyond the confines of the classrooms where they occur. Sharing the successes and challenges of using technology to support instruction with the larger school and district community will lead to a greater awareness of the school’s support of innovation in the classroom. Ultimately, this awareness will lead to the establishment of a dynamic professional learning community promoting and supporting innovation in the classroom.


Solving the Innovation Equation

There is no single recipe or budgetary allocation that will result in effectively implementing technology into classrooms. Ultimately effective technology integration comes down to providing tools and resources to educators committed to improving and enhancing the experiences of their students and promoting their valiant efforts. Encourage your teachers to think outside of the box and to look around at what is happening in classrooms in their own school building or district.

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By Matthew Silverman, Ed.D.



PARADIGM The Future of Technology in Education

The future of technology in education is really about the future of learning in the 21st century. The connection between technology and education has created a resource and innovation tipping point. This tipping point creates a new paradigm in which the future of education is technology. Technology is changing how we learn, when we learn and why we learn. It provides the opportunity to learn about our interests and our curiosities, all while connecting with people, content and ideas like never before in modern society.

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A Brief History of Technology in Education 1960s Seymour Papert started researching how computers could be used to increase learning and enhance creativity.1 Dr. Papert was one of the first educators to create software and hardware specifically for children and classrooms. The timing of this is amazing to think about considering that color television for the masses was just becoming available! Dr. Papert’s first program developed in his MIT labs, Logo Programming language, was created so that with minimal instruction, children were able to write – and debug – programs that controlled the movements of a turtle robot.2

1970s In 1971 the first microcomputers (PCs) were made available. In the mid-1970s, Apple 1 PCs were brought into schools.3

1980s and 1990s Bringing it full circle, the late 1980s and early 1990s brought growing access to the World Wide Web.4 This means that in a span of just 30 years, higher education laboratories were creating programming software for children and personal computers were becoming readily accessible in schools, followed by the start of the information age and the World Wide Web moving into the foray of our lives.

Current Times A jump from the early 1990s to current standards can be summarized in the International Society for Technology in Education Standards for Students introduction, which states that, “Today’s students need to be able to use technology to analyze, learn and explore. Digital age skills are vital for preparing students to work, live and contribute to the social and civic fabric of their communities.”5 The idea that these skills are vital for our society is powerful and supports the changing landscape in education. Vital skills used to revolve around reading, writing and arithmetic. While the Common Core State Standards have refocused most parts of the country into these areas, today’s students require an integration of all vital skills, from traditional learning to digital proficiencies. In current times, the integration of basic skills with technology skills is changing the classroom, the teacher and most importantly, the student. Technology for children and students is becoming as common as textbooks and notebooks.

TECHNOLOGY ACCESS TODAY According to the Pew Research Internet Project, as of September 2012: 6


TEENS who own a desktop or laptop computer


ONLINE TEENS who own a cell phone

ARTICLE / Future of Technology



So what are students and teachers doing with all of this access and connection to the information superhighway? Teachers and students are interacting with digital whiteboards, presentations and projects are becoming digitized, feedback is provided in a shared digital document, teachers are using social media to communicate with families, as well as a plethora of other current applications of technology in education.

Redefinition may just indeed bring the future of technology into classrooms. Educators are already beginning to implement technology that allows for new tasks that were previously inconceivable. Take for example, the flipped classroom. It was never before conceived to bring the teacher and/or instruction into the home, specifically, the child’s family room. However, with some basic recording software and an Internet connected device, teachers can record lessons and share those with children for viewing anytime/anywhere with an Internet connection.7

One type of measurement protocol for the implementation of technology into learning is the SAMR model, which was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura. There are four levels: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition.7 Most of the previous ideas revolve around the Substitution level where, “computer technology is used to perform the same task as was done before the use of computers.” Ideally, teachers and students are moving up the levels into Redefinition which is when, “computer technology allows for new tasks that were previously inconceivable.”7

CHANGING HOW STUDENTS “GO” TO COLLEGE Online access is dramatically changing how students “go” to college and work towards a career. According to survey research from the Online Learning Consortium: 9 • Over 6.7 million higher education students took at least one online course during the fall 2011 term, an increase of 570,000 students over the previous year. • As of 2012, 32 percent of higher education students took at least one course online.

23% 99%

The spirit of the flipped classroom comes from the idea that the direct instruction or teacher presented lesson is delivered outside of the traditional class period. Then, during the class period, the teacher can provide small group and differentiated support to students based on the lesson they experienced outside of the class. This is using technology to allow for new tasks that were previously inconceivable. The flipped classroom is just one example of how the future of technology in education is slowly going to change the way we know and do education. Take higher education as an example. Technology is creating shifts in higher education and schools are responding. Massive Open Online Courses are free college level classes taught by over 200 universities throughout the world.10 According to the research of Shah, over 10 million people have registered for a MOOC since 2011 (2013). In a couple of years, most likely, half of all higher education students will take at least one course online. In essence, it will be the norm.

TEENS who have a tablet computer VIRTUALLY EVERY STUDENT has access to a device and the Internet between school, home and mobile technology

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The future of technology will start to create a new norm in K-12 education. Educators will increase the amount of flipped classroom time, public schools will begin to increase the number of online classes available for all students and technology devices will become as critical as pens or pencils. Teachers and students will expect highspeed Internet access in all classrooms and students will interact with all types of media. Students will communicate with their teachers in class, in email and on social media. Internet safety will permeate the character of every student and teachers will not be able to teach without technology.

The future of technology in education is going even beyond the blended, flipped and online class environment. When students are in classrooms, their environment will be one of inquiry and touch. Virtual learning stations and resources will be available for students to use while solving problems and connecting with each other.

However, the future of education goes beyond using technology that allows for new tasks previously inconceivable. It will also reconceive why children go to school. From an academic perspective, children go to school to gain access to knowledge, thinking and creativity.11 That means children literally use some mode of transportation, enter into a facility and sit in a room for this experience. We can already experience the future of technology in higher education as college students looking to gain knowledge, think and be creative need only open their device and connect to the Internet. What might this look like for K-12 public schools? Blended learning provides a glimpse into the future.


Technology in the classrooms will allow students to experience simulated learning from all parts of the world. Technology such as 4D screens, fully automated robotics programming and nanotechnology will fully immerse all of the senses of the student. Technology in education will transform learning into a multi sensing experience in which teachers work to bring an emotional connection to students by using such tools as virtual desks in which the student literally sits around her computer and interacts with text, numbers, science and other areas of curricula. Many students already come to class, open a device and start interacting with content. Video games already allow students to engage in 4D technology. It is only a matter of time before these two arenas merge and become a highly effective learning platform. It is difficult for educators to admit, but learning is gaming and gaming is learning. The future of technology will bring these frameworks together for maximum student engagement. In a few years, classrooms will not exist without technology. Schools will need to stay relevant to students by innovating in this space. The future of technology in education is education. The future of technology is the future of education. Visit the Kahn Academy (www.khanacademy. org) and you can learn anything. No really, you can learn anything. In the future, when students start coming to school, they are going to expect to learn anything. Now great teachers will be there to facilitate, deliver, guide, engage and measure this learning, but really, kids can do that now.

FOOTNOTES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Professor Seymour Papert. (n.d.). Retrieved December 26, 2014, from Boss, S. (2011, September 11). Technology Integration: A Short History. Retrieved December 26, 2014, from History of Computers in Education. (n.d.). Retrieved December 26, 2014, from Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts and other powerful web tools for classrooms (3rd ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. ISTE Standards For Students. (2007, January 1). Retrieved December 26, 2014, from Device Ownership Over Time. (2013, December 16). Retrieved December 26, 2014, from SAMR Model – Technology Is Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved December 26, 2014, from Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2014). Flipped learning: Gateway to student engagement. International Society for Technology in Education. 2012 – Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States – OLC. (n.d.). Retrieved December 26, 2014, from survey_report/changing-course-ten-years-tracking-online-education-united-states/ 10. Shah, D. (2013, December 22). MOOCs in 2013: Breaking Down the Numbers (EdSurge News). Retrieved December 29, 2014, from 11. Urban, W., & Wagoner, J. (2014). American education a history (5th ed.). New York: Routledge.

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ARTICLE / Future of Technology

A NEW PARADIGM Technology is implicitly and explicitly linked with the future of education. Students will not be able to maximize their learning without the use of technology both at home and in the classroom. Teachers will not be able deliver best practice learning without technology. Schools will not be able to function as institutions for learning without technology. Educators are beginning to understand the connection between the future of technology and highly effective learning environments. The future of technology in education is poised to become more ubiquitous in schools, more powerful for students, more valuable for teachers and critical for a comprehensive 21st century education.


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More and more teachers, board members and administrators are realizing the impact technology has on instruction. They bring back the latest information and trends after attending a conference and so begins the process of exploring the district’s next big technology purchase. Yet, before pressing the "play" button on new technologies, many important factors must be strategically examined — including instructional needs, infrastructure and financial implications.

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UPDATE Magazine / Summer 2015



Last year, John Hopkins University issued results of a study on Improving Ed-Tech Purchasing. The study suggests that for learning technology to truly become a reality for students and teachers, classrooms have to be equipped with the tools that fit their needs. The explosion of districts moving to 1:1 implementations and all students having a device is quickly becoming the nationwide norm. Districts that are considering such programs tend to focus heavily on price. While the price of any technology is a consideration, districts must first and foremost focus on instructional impact: • Will teachers have a say in the selection of the technology being proposed? • What gains does the district expect when introducing new technology to students? • How will the technology change classroom instruction? • How will teachers be trained? • Will the infrastructure support the amount of devices being deployed? Some of the most successful 1:1 programs have come from teachers being an integral part of the selection process. Working systematically through a selection process will help define your strategy moving forward.



Providing a device to every student will put a significant strain on the wireless and data network. Does your district’s data network have enough capacity for a 1:1 or Bring Your Own Device program to be fully implemented? Unless you have planned for this, the answer is most likely no. Network capacity planning is an essential foundation of implementing a 1:1 program, as well as providing the learning environment our students are used to in the new digital age. Not only are our students growing up using technology, districts are faced with providing enough access for online testing and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. This testing alone requires specific technology hardware, software and Internet access standards. It is not enough to have some wireless available for access. Wireless coverage is crucial when every student has a device. School networks must be flexible and have the capacity to scale at a given notice. Districts must think strategically and long-term when upgrading infrastructure. If the foundation is not in place for the many devices coming into our schools, we’re at risk for loss of instructional time. Teachers will lose trust if the district’s network is not reliable when using technology tools in the classroom. This can be a recipe for failure.

Some items to consider when planning for 1:1: • Include teachers as part of the committee. Include the instructional and technology departments along with administrative teams. • Create a rubric of items to be considered when selecting a device. • Examine specific questions regarding the device and its potential classroom impact. Does it have a strong educational ecosystem? Does it have a strong back-end management ecosystem? Can the traditional textbook be accessed in a digital format on the device?

Districts must think strategically and longterm when upgrading infrastructure.

• Visit other districts that have been successful with 1:1 deployment.

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When you are ready to start rolling out a 1:1 program, how will the district pay for it? Can the district sustain the longterm financial impact? There are many ways to accomplish this. Consider which of these savings opportunities you can take advantage of, depending on your Board of Education and philosophy: 1. Technology Replacement — Will the students’ device replace traditional desktop computers or computer labs? In many circumstances this will be the case. Instead of having a replacement cycle for these computers, can those funds now be reallocated to student devices? 2. Cloud-based Services — Is your district using Google Apps for Education or Microsoft’s Office 365 Live? If so, dependency on Microsoft Office Suite can be reduced, since these programs are free. Students can start saving their work to Google Drive or Microsoft’s OneDrive, eliminating the need for many file servers.

Many successful programs also administer a yearly technology fee to help offset some of the cost. This not only helps the district subsidize the cost of the device, but also gives parents and students more stake in the initiative. Once they know they’re responsible for paying a fee, it can reduce the amount of damage or neglect to the device. When planning for the next generation network, similar principles can be applied to network upgrades. Ask yourself: • Will server virtualization yield savings that can be reallocated? • Is there an opportunity to purchase or lease fiber for your campuses instead of procuring from a Network Service Provider? This option provides much more flexibility for school districts in the long-term. • Can the network infrastructure be leased over a period of years to reduce the financial strain of purchasing all at once?

3. Reduced Textbooks — Does your district have a shortand long-term strategy for migrating to digital content and curriculum? There can be potential savings moving away from traditional textbooks. has FlexBooks that are free. Teachers can use the books from CK12 to start moving toward a digital curriculum to augment other resources from traditional publishers.

The recent FCC E-Rate modernization changes have created transparency in the pricing model for Internet and Wide Area Network bandwidth from Network Service Providers. Bandwidth is now considered a utility similar to your electric. Pricing for Internet and WAN bandwidth is now less expensive with more competition in the market.

4. Whiteboard Maintenance — Can the devices replace the need for Interactive Whiteboards? This can reduce future maintenance costs.

In the end, the goal is always to support instruction. It is important to ensure the purchase of technology can be sustained and improve student engagement and instruction, as technology is here to stay in school districts. Planning for more technology in the hands of our students is not an overnight process. It takes years in many cases to plan and implement successfully. Following systematic processes and learning from other school districts can help your district be successful.

5. Leasing Options — Can the devices be leased over a period of years? Leasing provides flexibility for districts to pay over time. In today’s economy, leasing rates are very low.

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ARTICLE / Tech Deployment Playbook


The Consortium for School Networking has a leadership initiative — Smart Education Networks by Design — that provides the tools for district chief technology officers to analyze and plan for the next generation network. According to SEND, there are quite a few things to consider when redesigning your network: • The Internet is mission-critical and will continue to grow in use. • 24/7, mobile, anytime computing is imperative to the support of Personalized Learning Environments. • Private, hybrid and public clouds are education network requirements. • Internet services will grow substantially, meaning that associated school Internet infrastructure components must be sized adequately and scalable. • The WAN and Internet service design directly correlates to the viability of managed services as a valuable option for schools. • Wireless network design is about capacity and access.

• Student computing, BYOD or technology and mobile devices are untrusted and will likely be the primary devices accessing the network. • Consider point-to-multipoint network designs. • Describe and define the current and future roles for mobile broadband (3G/4G) with respect to district network strategies. Wireless Internet (3G/4G) services are eligible for E-Rate under certain circumstances. • Security models are changing. • Software-defined networking will impact school network designs. • Virtualization is an important education network component.


Devise a plan for teachers to pilot different devices that have been proven in education. Pilots are an essential way to determine what works best for your students and teachers. • Have teachers assess the impact of the device being used in the classroom? Have they seen significant gains in student engagement and achievement? • Embed professional development as staff pilot devices. • Create Professional Learning Communities for teachers to discuss the use of technology in a 1:1 environment. • While the pilot of devices is taking place, consider the impact to the network infrastructure.

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Building Your Technology Dream Team Building a bridge between the school’s technology and administrative team can seem like a daunting challenge. For many schools across the nation, the pressures on administrators from teacher evaluation, Common Core curriculum and new assessments are overwhelming. While many districts across the country are moving to a 1:1 deployment, some districts may feel pressure to bring in technology for technology’s sake and overlook the importance of making technology decisions based on its ability to positively impact teaching and learning. It takes a technology dream team to keep the emphasis on pedagogy and not just technology. 34 |

UPDATE Magazine / Summer 2015

For many districts, the educational team is comprised of the district and building educational leaders, which may include principals, curriculum directors and the superintendent. Depending on a district’s size, the technology team may consist of experts in hardware, infrastructure and software. It is not uncommon for members of the technology team to come from outside the field of education. The school business official or CFO is often the sole party responsible for all of the budgetary needs in the district.


By Stacey Gonzales, Ed.D.


Stacy Hawthorne


When looking to develop a strategic technology plan, all of these roles should bring their unique perspectives to the table. Understanding the roles of key personnel when it comes to educational technology decisions and bringing the right individuals together to create a dream team will ultimately bring the best-informed decisions for your students. THE SUPERINTENDENT ROLE: Sets the vision and is the leader of the district. They should establish a Technology Advisory Committee for the district with representation from the key stakeholders mentioned in this article. The superintendent of a school district is charged with setting the vision and ensuring that the executive leadership team executes that vision. Superintendents today struggle with competing priorities and shifting mandates. They are continually striving to hit higher outcomes with fewer resources. Federal and state unfunded mandates often keep them busy putting out daily small fires instead of conserving water for a draught. As superintendents strive to juggle the demands of a high profile, public position, they must ensure that they have a “dream team” behind the scenes to support those efforts. While the superintendent does not need to know the details of the technology systems, they should have a solid understanding of technology-rich educational models. As the leader of the district, the superintendent should: • Keep technology a priority by reaching out to other local districts and visiting high-achieving technology model districts such as the League of Innovative Schools ( • Stay up-to-date on current trends and practices by joining academic organizations like The International Society for Technology in Education ( • Set the tone for an open and trusting relationship between team members so that the best interests of students and the district are served with every decision and implementation.

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER ROLE: Looks for ways to allocate funding and determine possible revenue streams to support technology adoptions. For example, since many districts are using digital resources, the cost of traditional textbooks can be reduced or eliminated to offset some of the cost of devices. A savvy CFO will offer the team creative solutions. The CFO reports to the local school board and is charged with ensuring that the district operates in a fiscally sound manner. This is a challenge because they must balance the educational vision of the board and superintendent with the reality of changing revenue streams. With the majority of funding coming from local and federal funds, many CFOs attempt to run their district as a lean corporation, but this is very difficult because the final product of a well-run school district is an educated student not a “widget.” When it comes to the technology team, an excellent CFO knows how to skillfully work with her educational counterparts to allocate funding for resources and maximize a return on technology investments. The CFO should stay current by joining organizations like Illinois ASBO, which promote best practices in education for school business officials and can provide resources and support for technology-related adoptions.

It takes a technology dream team to keep the emphasis on pedagogy and not just technology.

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Members must be dedicated to listening to other perspectives and considering alternative solutions. INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY TEAM ROLE: Acts as a liaison between curriculum leaders and technology leaders. Serves as the bridge between the needs of the curriculum department and the needs of the technology services department.

TECHNOLOGY SERVICES ROLE: Brings the technical expertise perspective to the committee. This perspective should not limit the vision of the superintendent but inform the committee’s work moving forward.

CURRICULUM TEAM ROLE: Explores and recommends implementation of digital curricular resources that best support teaching and learning.

An assistant superintendent for technology or technology director often heads technology services. The technology director is responsible for designing and maintaining the network infrastructure, supporting all district-owned devices and in some cases selecting and supporting district educational and productivity software.

An assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction or curriculum director often leads the curriculum team. This person is almost always a former teacher and expert in curriculum. They are responsible for ensuring the district teaching staff has the tools necessary to deliver high quality instruction so that students are prepared to excel on state assessments and are college and career ready when they graduate.

The level of technical expertise needed to lead the technology services department is often beyond the scope of educational technologists, which explains why many school districts hire outside the education field or outsource parts of this vital role. The technology services department, like other district departments, is competing for limited funds in a period of unprecedented technological advancement and demand.

Curriculum directors must balance the skills of the teaching staff with the technological advancements in curriculum that are allowing for a more personalized approach to learning. Curriculum purchases are a huge expenditure and are often designed to last five or more years. Making these decisions in a time of changing standards and technology can be very daunting. Securing the human resources to support teachers at the instructional level can also be difficult.

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An assistant superintendent of instructional technology or director of instructional technology is the perfect way to bridge the divide between the various stakeholder interests when it comes to making technology decisions. The director of instructional technology is someone with an extensive background in education and educational technology. This person does not need to know how to configure a district network, but they do have expertise on the latest devices and software as well as how they will impact teaching and student learning. Having a firm foundation and understanding of the district’s curricular needs is key. The instructional technology director is responsible for advocating for technology that supports student learning. By listening to the other stakeholders and advocating for decisions that promote teaching and learning, the director of instructional technology can help a district fully realize its vision. While challenging, it is vital that a human liaison allow all sides to work in collaboration in order to ensure student learning outcomes are rich with the appropriate technological support.

ARTICLE / Technology Dream Team

BRINGING THE TEAM TOGETHER The superintendent, CFO, technology director, curriculum director and instructional technology director are vital members of a technology dream team. However, each of these parties may have different, but important objectives in making technology decisions. For example, while the CFO may be focused on the most affordable technology, the technology team may be focused on technology that is easiest to integrate into the current infrastructure and the educational team may be focused on a variety of devices that meet unique teaching and learning needs. In addition to different priorities for decision-making, the curriculum team and technology team are also competing for a limited pool of funds. Given the varied interests of key decision makers, it is easy to see why a communication breakdown may occur leading to a dysfunctional team and not the dream team that was originally designed. To avoid this breakdown, the team needs a fully functional bridge that will ensure the gaps between technological advances and student learning are addressed.

REALIZING THE TEAM’S POTENTIAL In order to fully realize the district’s vision, the superintendent should create a district technology advisory committee chaired by the director of instructional technology. The group should meet monthly to discuss progress on projects, areas of impasse and future planning. The team should evaluate progress and assess if the district is meeting the technology strategic goals. If strategic goals do not exist, the team should begin work to establish those goals. Just like any committee, it is important to establish group norms. Ensuring that members can work together is vital in order to make progress. A trusting, open and collaborative tone is absolutely necessary when beginning a new committee. Members must be dedicated to listening to other perspectives and considering alternative solutions. By working together consistently and diligently, a district can realize its full potential to enhance student learning through the use of technology. Having an appreciation for the other team members’ strengths and perspectives will allow for all voices to contribute to the process and ultimately share in the success. In this way, you can start building your DREAM team today!

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“We applied for an E-Rate grant to upgrade our wireless infrastructure because the future, technology-wise, is probably going to move away from computer labs and include more 1:1 devices like iPads, Chromebooks, etc. Eventually, figuring out how to fund buying all those devices will be critical, because it’s not just the first up-front cost, but also the rotation of replacing those consistently.” Robert Groos Business Manager, CSBO New Lenox SD 122

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By Melinda J. Fiscus



The FCC’s E-Rate program is the government’s largest educational technology program, focusing on providing Internet access to the nation’s schools and libraries. When it was established in 1996, only 14% of the nation’s K-12 schools were connected to the Internet. Today, virtually all schools and libraries have Internet access. The program is going through some changes this year since the FCC passed two Modernization Orders. These orders place the focus of the program on broadband access and expanding wireless Internet access within the buildings, while transitioning support away form legacy technologies to 21st century connectivity.

MOVING AWAY FROM LEGACY TECHNOLOGIES Discounts and reimbursements towards telecommunications, such as phone and wireless phone lines are being gradually decreased over the next five years. Districts participating in the program this year will see a 20% decrease in funding for these services. Broadband connectivity service discounts will not change.

FUNDING 21ST CENTURY CONNECTIVITY The changes also allow districts the opportunity to apply for Category Two funding. Category Two funding includes internal infrastructure such as routers, switches, wiring and wireless access points. Funding for this category is figured on a formula budget and districts are limited to what they can ask for. However, more funds were put into the program and reserve funds were rolled back into circulation to hopefully fund more schools this year than ever before for these types of services!

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED ON CATEGORY TWO FUNDING How do the budgets for Category Two services work? Starting in FY2015, requests for Category Two funding — that is, Internal Connections, Managed Internal Broadband Services and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections — are limited to a budget based on the number of students in a school. A school can decide if it wants to spend its entire budget in one year or if it wants to spread it out over any of the five years. What are the Category Two budgets for schools? Individual schools are eligible for E-Rate discounts on pre-discount purchases of up to $150 per student over a five-year budget. To ensure that all schools receive sufficient support, there is a pre-discount funding floor of up to $9,200 over five years for each school. How long will the Category Two budgets be in effect? The category two budgets are in effect for schools and libraries that receive Category Two funding for one or more funding years between FY2015-19. The first year that an eligible school or library receives E-Rate support will be the first year of its five-year funding cycle. Source: Universal Service Administrative Company Schools and Libraries Program News Brief


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Newer technologies have made communication faster, more efficient and targeted to the audience you want. In Comm. Cons. Sch. Dist. 93, technology was incorporated into the crisis communications plan in an effort to provide timely information to administrators, staff, parents and the community.

STEP ONE: Every school is vulnerable to crisis. It does not matter how specific your plans are, your commitment to drills or how often you share roles, responsibilities or expectations with your stakeholders. When it happens, there will be anxiety, stress, confusion and uncertainty. In these times, it is essential that school districts have a comprehensive crisis plan that coordinates communications both within the district and between the district, the media and the public.

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Identifying Distinct Informational Needs As the plan was being updated to include newer technologies, it was important to take a step back and review the district’s communication objectives in a crisis situation. After determining that there were different audiences with different crisis information needs, the district decided to utilize several different technology modalities to deliver information. Four key informational goals included: • Communicating facts about the crisis • Minimizing rumors • Restoring order and confidence • Safeguarding the reputation of the school district

By Shawn M.Hill, McLain David H. Ed.D.




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question was raised about the practicality of the crisis binder. If the binder is on a shelf during a crisis and the administrator is in the lunchroom, how effective is that?

The district identified four different stakeholder groups (not including the media) with unique informational needs in a crisis situation: • Administrators who need access to information as quickly as possible as they most likely will be handling the crisis at their building.

• Staff and parents who also need information very quickly but it could be different from what is needed by administration. • The community who is also entitled to information during a crisis, but may not be as crucial as the other stakeholders.


Replacing Outdated Systems with New Technologies Administrators: From the Binder System to an App for That Administrators need information in a crisis as quickly as possible so that they can effectively manage the situation. As the district investigated ways to provide them with crisis information, they reviewed their current system. Each administrator had a crisis binder that provided all the policies and procedures on how to handle a multitude of situations including fire, tornado, poisoning, intruders and so on. However, as they began to dialogue, the

As a result of these conversations, it was decided to investigate options to provide crisis information to administrators in real time. All the administrators already had district-issued iPhones, MacBook Air laptops and iPads. They asked themselves, “Is there a way to leverage existing technologies to provide real time information during a crisis?” After investigation into options that could provide immediate dissemination of information to administrators, an application called CrisisGo was purchased and implemented. CrisisGo was selected because it accomplished the two things that the district was looking for: electronic access to crisis plans and immediate information dissemination. CrisisGo provides all users access to the district’s crisis plans, checklists, emergency contact information, building floor plans, utility account, phone numbers and security information on a mobile device, tablet or computer. Additionally, it can provide live-streaming video to assist in the assessment of a situation. Because the information is located on a Web-based portal, it is easy to update or add new information and then simply publish it to all account users. Now, instead of a building principal thumbing through a three-ring binder for information, they can access the necessary information immediately from their device no matter where they are. Additionally, CrisisGo provides the option of sending a message to all or some administrators via their device. This provides the district with the capability to provide timely, accurate and essential More>>> information in a time of crisis.

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ARTICLE / Communication in Crisis

Staff, Parents and Community: From Phone Trees to Rapid Response and Web Presence Next, communication with staff and parents was evaluated to ensure that technology was incorporated into the delivery of information during a crisis. These stakeholders need information, yet unlike the administrators, their needs and experiences are different and require different communication platforms. In an effort to communicate with as many staff and parents as possible, the district reevaluated their communication tools. In the past, many school districts used phone trees and numerous staff members had the responsibility of making several phone calls to distribute information. This process was very time consuming and did not ensure that the message was delivered accurately. To solve this problem, District 93 contracted with a rapidresponse calling system to be able to deliver phone, text and/or email messages. The rapid-response system has the capacity to call, text or e-mail thousands of users in a very short period of time, which permits the district to deploy crisis information rapidly as well as ensure message consistency. The second modality that was determined necessary to share information was social media. The district created both a Facebook and Twitter page that would be used to notify stakeholders of a crisis situation and request that they check a different platform to obtain more specific information. Finally, the district’s Web site would be utilized to communicate information. A scroll at the top of each page was instituted to post emergency or immediate news items so that they would be noticeable to all who visit the Web site. The district is also investigating use of a “dark” Web

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site, which would only be used in the event of a district-wide emergency or crisis. A “dark” site is a scaled down version of a district’s Web site, which is tailored specifically to meet the needs of the stakeholders during a crisis situation.


Improved Speed, Accuracy and Efficiency in Crisis As our society continues to improve its technology acumen, it is essential for school districts to incorporate technology into their crisis communications plans. District 93 determined that getting information quickly and efficiently to our stakeholders was paramount. As a result of this conversation, they were able to implement solutions including the CrisisGo App, a rapid response calling system and better utilizing their Web site and social media to communicate during a crisis.

Although school districts remain vulnerable to crisis, utilizing technology can ensure that decision makers, as well as other stakeholders will receive the information they need as rapidly, accurately and efficiently as possible.

RESOURCES Environment: An Essential Element of Learning Whether playing, sitting in a classroom or watching television, children are always learning; it is in their genes. In the 1940s, a pioneering Italian teacher and psychologist founded the premise that children develop through interactions first with parents, then peers and ultimately the world around them. He called the environment the “third teacher.” Based on this conviction, three creative professionals — an architect, a furniture designer and a book designer — embarked on a journey. They visited classrooms, attended workshops, combed through journals and learned from innovators. In their groundbreaking work The Third Teacher, they compile this research into 79 principles any school can implement.

It Begins With Basic Needs Anyone who has studied Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs knows that in order for creative potential to be realized, basic needs of shelter and safety must be met. In this vein, The Third Teacher begins by examining the basic needs of the child and learning environment. The authors assert that, “unless those environments are safe and clean, it will be a challenge to achieve any learning and teaching that itself is more than primitive.” They address topics including indoor air quality, cleaning products, sound and sunshine. Incubators for Innovation What if schools were no longer factories to produce specific learning outcomes, but instead incubators for new ways of thinking? The second portion of The Third Teacher focuses on classrooms as spaces to foster experimentation and creativity. This could include freeing teachers from the traditional desk, catering the classroom to different learning styles or bringing outside inspiration in. All of these support the premise that “teaching and learning should shape the building, not vice versa.” With the help of experts in each subject area, the book moves on to important topics including physical activity, involving the community, sustainability and the “realm of the senses,” accessibility and technology.

On My List The Third Teacher: 79 Ways You Can Use Design to Transform Teaching & Learning A Collaborative Project by Cannon Design, VS Furniture and Bruce Mau Design

Overview: With the future of learning in focus, three firms embarked on a learning experience of their own. Their journey around the world and extensive research led to the innovative ideas found in The Third Teacher. This inspiring read compiles case studies, statistics and insights from scientists, inventors, environmentalists and more — all presented in an easy to digest format. If you are dedicated to improving your schools, this is a must read!

It all adds up to 79 ideas to inspire anyone responsible for shaping future schools.

What if schools were no longer factories to produce specific learning outcomes, but instead incubators for new ways of thinking?

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A New Mindset

For the Future of Technology in Education Begin Your Paradigm Shift pg. 24-29 ISTE Standards For Students

Use these standards as a baseline to describe “the skills and knowledge students need to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly global and digital society.” Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) Model

Dive deeper into this often-referenced model, providing a “progression that adopters of educational technology often follow as they progress through teaching and learning with technology.” Blended Learning: A Disruptive Innovation

Take a look at this infographic for a quick view of what blended learning is, why it’s spreading and how it works in real and virtual classrooms! A Quick History Lesson in Technology Adoption

Take a look at these two resources for a brief timeline of computing and teen device ownership, both inside and outside the classroom: ••Device Ownership Over Time — ••History of Computers in Education —

Apps, Chats and Hashtags for Educators pg. 16-17 Make the most of the professional development at your fingertips! Check out these useful lists of social resources that can benefit you and your staff:

• Twitter Chats — • Hashtags to Follow — • Top Apps for Education —

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A Plan for When Every Second Counts pg. 40-42 Need some inspiration to get you started on your crisis communication plan? Get inspired by checking out these communication plans from across the U.S.

••Jordan School District, West Jordan, UT

••Columbia Public Schools, Columbia, SC

••Orange Unified School District, Orange, CA

••Rockwood School District, Wildwood, MI


••Tucson Unified School District, Tucson, AZ

Access Tech Financing Solutions pg. 38-39 Illinois Learning Technology Centers

Every district in Illinois can utilize their local LTC to access technical support, professional development, E-Rate and grant application assistance, technology purchasing solutions and more as part of a local community of professionals. Universal Service Administrative Company

Find more information about E-Rate including the latest news, application support, FAQs and anything you need to know to take advantage of this funding program.

Illinois ASBO members can find all of these resources on the peer2peer Network online community under UPDATE Resources.

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We are in constant communication about current and future needs… and the direction the district is moving regarding technology. As a school business official in a small district, I need to know the direction the district is moving to help allocate funds and resources. Our director of management information systems reports not only to the superintendent but also to the SBO first.

A successful district should have its curriculum needs driving technology… rather than letting technology drive the curriculum. Understanding the different technologies within your district and the role they play allows the SBO and IT director to effectively communicate and manage the current and upcoming technologies. This focus will not only support and promote the district but will complement the innovative thinking and instruction occurring in the classroom.

We are seeing learning environments evolve in content and curricular presentation. As we look at today’s students and how they learn, districts have begun to adapt new technologies to the innovations coming out of the classrooms. Blended learning and mobile learning are rising as innovative approaches. With the increased use of BYOD or 1:1 devices, flipped and virtual classrooms will probably rise in popularity. New approaches to content delivery will change the way districts look at future technology needs. The “why” we need the new technology will cause us to focus on the “how, what, where, and when” to deliver content to today’s tech savvy learners.

By allowing open communication and creative thinking within your team, you will know what is coming.


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A practice that I try to implement is constant communication and “outside the box” thinking with my director of MIS. Developing a good open relationship with your team is key to staying current on the technology and curriculum issues. An SBO can’t keep current in all the areas, but by allowing open communication and creative thinking, you will be prepared to implement the technology that will benefit your district.





Two EXCEPTIONAL Opportunities For Business Office Staff



Friday, December 4, 2015

NIU Naperville Conference Center

SupportCon South

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

Save the date

and plan now to attend!

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“Great opportunity to network and learn from other professionals!” - 2014 Attendee