In The News

Illinois district approves $1 million tech plan

Alton School District's Board of Education approved a $1 million lease agreement to purchase about 3,200 Google Chromebooks for student use and 220 laptops for teachers. The district had already been on a one-to-one system at some grade levels, but the new agreement will allow the program to be districtwide.

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New York City vows to expand tech programs hatched by Bloomberg

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will continue the planned expansion of a Bloomberg-era pilot program where students learn about computer programming, robotics and web design. He also promised to open more technology-focused schools, including six-year high schools.

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Bullying drives districts to block new social media app

High schools in Connecticut and Texas have blocked a new social media app, “Gaggle-Local Message Board,” from school Wi-Fi servers after several reports of cyberbullying. They discovered that students were using the app, which is not associated with the Gaggle education platform, to ridicule classmates and teachers.

Robots revolutionize STEM in schools

The new breed of robots rolling, dancing and flying into classrooms is giving educators at all grade levels an engaging new tool to fire students’ enthusiasm for math, computer programming and other STEM-related subjects.

Michigan University creates robotics center for high school students

An old gymnasium at Kettering University is being transformed into a FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Community Center, which will house eight high school robotics teams. There, the teams can build robots, practice, collaborate with other teams, and get assistance from professors and students from the college.

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Tech goes back to school for community relations

Venture investor Ron Conway's alliance of tech companies,, has decided that its signature initiative of 2014 will be to start linking its 900 members with volunteer programs in San Francisco's 116 public schools. The beauty of this program is that it won't be a top-down, self-interest-driven outreach. The principals themselves will be asked what they need at the classroom level.

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High-tech virtual classrooms arrive at New Jersey school

At one New Jersey high school, it’s all about thinking outside the box. New Milford High is going super high-tech with 3D “virtual classrooms.” It’s part of a pilot program where students and teachers explore the possibilities of virtual learning by breaking down the barriers of a traditional classroom.

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Tech upgrades for Pennsylvania district

Various schools in the Nazareth Area School District soon will have technology upgrades as a result of $175,000 in expenditures for new equipment. The expenditures are part of the district's five-year technology plan. The upgrades include $127,970 worth of wireless systems throughout Nazareth Area High School and Nazareth Area Intermediate School to address Internet "dead" zones.

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Ed-tech startups raise $500 million this year

Education technology-focused startups are experiencing their biggest boom ever, with 99 new companies raising over $500 million in the first quarter of 2014. This is up from just 20 companies that raised $64 million in 2009, according to startup activity database CrunchBase.

BYOD success stories

Districts that have implemented BYOD successfully have found building a powerful Wi-Fi network, developing explicit acceptable use policies, and communicating those policies clearly to students, parents and teachers are critical steps in the technology transition.