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Project Share and SXSWedu The Texas Education Agency is pleased to continue its partnership with South by Southwest in support of Project Share. SXSWedu is scheduled for March 6-8, 2012 in Austin, Texas. A specific content strand at SXSWedu is devoted to Project Share. Presenters have submitted their session proposals highlighting their effective implementations and applications of Project Share and other topics relevant to innovations in learning. For additional information, visit www.sxswedu.com. Project Share’s Content Repository The Project Share content repository continues to grow! Be sure to check out the new tabs, including McDonald Observatory’s StarDate, Texas PBS Learning Media, and NASA. To access the repository, log in to Project Share at www.projectsharetexas.org. From your My Portal page, select Content Repository in the left-hand toolbar and then select Open the Content Repository. Enter search terms in the new window. To see results, click on the tabs across the page. Please be sure to note that, depending on each content provider’s area of specialization, not all tabs will provide results. OnTRACK Lessons for Students OnTRACK lessons, funded by the Texas Education Agency, align with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills in ELAR, mathematics, science, and social studies. Each lesson includes engaging content, interactive experiences, assessment and feedback, and links to additional resources. Available in TEA’s Project Share, OnTRACK lessons supplement classroom instruction and intervention with dynamic learning experiences that use video, graphics, and online activities. The majority of OnTRACK lessons are intended to supplement classroom instruction and intervention. While these lessons are organized into Project Share “courses,” they do not cover every student expectation in the TEKS for the corresponding SBOE-approved course. Students cannot earn course credit by completing OnTRACK lessons. OnTRACK self-paced, credit-bearing courses using OnTRACK materials are available in Algebra I, Algebra II, and geometry through the Texas Virtual School Network. Visit www.projectsharetexas.org for more information. Project Share Student Accounts Now Available Texas public school districts are invited to create student accounts in Project Share. For more information, please see the Letter to the Administrator Addressed dated May 12, 2011. Project Share Student Guide A student guide to Project Share is available. It is called Know the Rules Before You Use the Tools: Student Guide to Project Share. A Spanish version is also available. To see and download the document, visit www.projectsharetexas.org. Project Share Brochure A new online Project Share booklet is available at www.projectsharetexas.org. Texas Education on iTunes U Explore the possibilities of OnTRACK in the sample content available as either PDFs or ePubs via Texas Education on iTunes U. Also available on iTunes U, Algebra and Geometry OnTRACK Kid2Kid videos are a collection of math concepts taught to a student by a student. Complete and interactive OnTRACK Lessons are available to districts through Project Share. For more information on OnTRACK Lessons, contact your Regional Education Service Center. For more information on Project Share and Texas Education on iTunes U, go to


www.projectsharetexas.org. Watch for upcoming OnTRACK content on Texas Education on iTunes U. STaR Chart, ePlan, and E-Rate Update At this time of the year, many Texas teachers and librarians are in the process of completing their Texas Teacher STaR Charts. As of November 10, 2011, more than 127,238 teachers have completed their STaR Chart out of the more than 329,632 teachers in the STaR Chart system. This represents more than 38 percent of all eligible teachers. Once teachers have completed their charts, campus principals are able to complete the Campus STaR Chart. The campus charts roll up to provide a District level STaR Chart. To date, more than 2,158 campuses have completed the Campus STaR Chart out of the 8,339 campuses in the STaR Chart system. This represents more than 25 percent of all eligible campuses. The STaR Chart system is located at http://starchart.epsilen.com/. Support for the STaR Chart system has moved to the Texas Education Agency. The address for support is starchart@tea.state.tx.us. Completion of the STaR Chart is generally the first step in the process as Texas school districts file each year for E-Rate discounts under the federal universal service program. The next step in the process is usually the filing of a school district technology plan in the state’s electronic technology planning system known as ePlan. To access your district plan, see https://www.sedl.org/cgi-bin/mysql/eplan/eplan.cgi. As of November 10, 2011, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has not approved the opening of the yearly E-Rate filing window. Generally, the window opens in December or January and closes in February or March. See http://www.usac.org/sl/ for more information of the E-Rate program and for dates for the filing window. Statewide support for the E-Rate program has moved to the Texas Education Agency. Support is also available through the regional education service centers. SBOE Approves Standards for Technology Applications The State Board of Education gave final approval to revised Technology Applications curriculum standards in July. The board approved Technology Applications Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for kindergarten through eighth grade as well as 19 high school courses. The adopted revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 126, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Applications, became effective September 26, 2011. The rules are located at http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter126/index.html. The technology applications curriculum has six strands based on the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS•S) and performance indicators developed by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE): creativity and innovation; communication and collaboration; research and information fluency; critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making; digital citizenship; and technology operations and concepts.


The new curriculum standards will be implemented in the 2012-2013 school year. They will replace standards that have been in use in Texas classrooms since 1998. 32nd Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Annual Convention & Exposition The 32nd TCEA Annual Convention & Exposition will be held February 6-10, 2012, at the Austin Convention Center. The TCEA convention showcases the latest in educational technology professional development, nationally relevant speakers, cutting-edge products, numerous featured speakers, plus more than 400 sessions and 900 exhibitor booths. For more information, visit www.tcea.org. Technology Applications Teacher Network (TATN) Event at TCEA Convention & Exposition New TA-TEKS = New TATN event! The Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) event will be held on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM at the Austin Convention Center in Ballroom D. A change in this year’s event is the focus on getting to know the newly revised Technology Applications Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TA-TEKS). As in the past, exemplary teachers from across the state will share lessons plans, student projects, and classroom resources. Strands will be provided for teachers involved in teaching the Technology Applications TEKS and the seamless integration with mathematics, science, social studies, and English language arts. For more information, visit www.tcea.org. TxVSN Virtual Learning Scholarships School districts and open-enrollment charter schools participating with the TxVSN will have the opportunity to apply for TxVSN Virtual Learning Scholarships. Informational webinars are being held to assist potential participants understand the process. Check the upcoming events section at www.TxVSN.org for dates and times. More information about the VL Scholarships can be found on the TxVSN home page. 2nd annual speaks VOLumes Conference -- August 1- 3, 2012 Bring a community of educators with an interest in online learning - right to your desktop! * No travel needed * No substitute needed * All live sessions recorded * CPE available * FREE, FREE, FREE Call for Proposals - July 1, 2012 Act now for your best timeslot selection. Submit proposals at http://pd.txvsn.org. For more information visit the website, or contact Connie Swiderski at 972.348.1094, or email to connie.swiderski@region10.org. Spotlight on TxVSN Video Series Texas Virtual School Network Accessibility Texas is setting the standard in addressing accessibility of online courses offered through the Texas Virtual School Network. We continuously strive to provide online courses that meet the needs of ALL Texas students - including the unique needs of students with disabilities. ‌ watch at http://tinyurl.com/6nunf2t


More information is available from our TxVSN Project Share Corner. http://www.epsilen.com/Inst/TxVSN Follow TxVSN on Twitter, Facebook, and Project Share. Speak Up 2011 Survey Is Open until December 23, 2011 You can join with educators from across the country and use the Speak Up Surveys to identify how your students, teachers, administrators, and parents want to use technology for learning, communications, and collaboration. The survey data is free for schools. Schools can use the survey to: • •

Conduct a needs assessment and create vision for 21st century learning in school/district/state Create and inform technology initiatives or create strategic technology plans

To begin participation, a school or district needs to register. Assistance with the registration process is available. Please send an email with your registration request to jhostert@tomorrow.org. Please include the name of your district or school, state and any new contact information that needs to be updated. You will receive a follow up email with a PDF of your school list and passwords to confirm that your district/school has been registered. If you would like to register on your own, please visit http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2011/. For additional information and updated Promotional Material for Speak Up 2011, visit their http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/index.html. The survey will be open until December 23, so please share this with your schools. Tech Forum Texas: Insight & Innovation for Technology Leaders The Tech Forum Texas was held on November 4, 2011, at the Austin Airport Hilton. The presentations are now available online and may be viewed at http://www.techlearning.com/events/techforum/texas11/program. Grant Spotlight Beckville ISD Through the Connections Grant, teachers and students at Beckville ISD are connected to online resources and social and professional networks 24/7. The district’s Connections project is focused on project-based learning that provides flexible opportunities for teachers and students to create, communicate, and collaborate. Teachers and students now have access to online math and language arts textbooks, online assessments, benchmarks, and a wealth of other online curriculum resources. Prior to the start of the Connections grant, Beckville ISD used local funds to provide tablet PCs to all 9-12 grade students. Through grant funds, students in grades 6-8 were provided with tablet PCs in spring 2011. Students in grades 3-5 are being provided with mobile computing devices at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year. The use of instructional technology in Beckville ISD is increasing, and all populations, students, teachers, administrators, parents, and adults in the community are excited and participating in the Connections project. Beckville ISD hosted a district-wide open house in March and continues to open its doors to visitors through scheduled site visits. Grant collaborative districts, Harleton ISD, Waskom ISD, and Panola Charter are also experiencing successes through the distribution of mobile devices to students, increased professional development, and opportunities for site visits and collaboration with teachers at Beckville ISD and other Connections grant model sites.


To learn more about Beckville ISD Connections grant program and its collaborative districts, or to schedule a visit to their technology demonstration site please visit the Beckville ISD Connections website or join the Beckville ISD Project Share Group.


TEA November Ed Tech Newsletter