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Since Houston ISD started using Online Assessment Planning Tool in 2015, web-based assessments there rose from 3 percent to an estimated high of 50 percent by late May 2017. (GettyImages.com).

Making the transformation from traditional to online assessments can cause confusion for many districts, even when it comes to basic definitions.

School system leaders need guidance to advance and achieve technology goals.

Despite the challenges of making all school learning materials accessible to students, district technology leaders should be as proactive as possible. (GettyImages.com: KOHB)

Districts must provide learning materials that are accessible to all students. The consequences of failing to do so can be significant.

While robotics is two to three years away from mainstream adoption in K12 education, potential uses are gaining traction for hands-on learning. Many classes and clubs incorporate robotics and programs to help develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in students.

Robots Rev Up Classes: Advances in technology bring the use of more robots, like the one at the right, to K12 classrooms—to help students with everyday core subjects, or to cater to homebound students.

McKenna Smith, a high school student in Missouri’s Nixa Public Schools, had been unable to attend classes since elementary school because of chemotherapy treatment. But she didn’t miss as much interaction with teachers and classmates as she could have because she connected with them remotely—via robot.

A new survey says "increasing knowledge"—rather than increasing salary—motivates teachers to take online professional development. (Gettyimages.com: Dragan Radojevic)

Most educators are enrolling in online professional learning courses. The most common areas are classroom and behavior management, education software training and digital device training.

Egg cartons and Chinese food containers: Comprised of Washington public school teachers, MESA and Washington STEM Engineering Fellows take part in PD activities to bring innovative STEM lessons to students.

The technology sector is one of the least diverse industries in the U.S. Only 25 percent of women participate. Less than 1 percent of computer scientists are people of color.

More relevant library: Students from Vista USD in southern California work on a project in their school makerspace.

Future Ready Librarians expands concepts of literacy—from books to tech to STEM. The initiative also drives the nationwide transformation of libraries, as librarians take the lead in creating makerspaces in their districts.

In 2012, 30 percent of teachers said they use games in their lessons. In 2010, the number was only 23 percent. (Click to enlarge)

The use of game-based learning in the nation’s classrooms has doubled over the past five years. In 2015, 48 percent of teachers said they use games in their lessons, making them the second-most common form of digital content consumed in the classroom.

More data privacy bills are expected to be signed into law by the end of the year.

Laws already passed in 2016 focus on data governance, transparency and leadership.

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