K-12 Tech Trends :: February 14, 2007



Data Protection: Make a Wise Decision

It's not unusual for school district staff members to emulate Lewis Carroll's Mad Hatter, wearing six or eight hats simultaneously in their everyday efforts. Sometimes, the hat hardest to wear is IT management, which is important and challenging at the same time.

School districts operate on information; more importantly, available information. When that information is lost or access is interrupted, the impact can be felt among parents, students, faculty, and staff. The permanent loss of budgeting documents, student records, e-mail messages, or class registration data for thousands of students and employees would be catastrophic.

Potentially fatal data loss puts a priority on protecting and securing information. Smaller school districts are often at a disadvantage when trying to protect valuable business information, as they typically lack in IT budgets. Gartner estimates that less than half of all mid-size and only 25 percent of small organizations have disaster recovery plans in place.

Smaller schools face the same fundamental backup and data protection concerns as larger ones: What is the most cost-effective method to reliably protect and recover critical information? For many of these schools, the problem is even more difficult because they do not have ample IT staff to design, deploy and manage data storage backup and recovery systems....

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News Briefs

Groups Respond to Proposed EETT Cuts

The United States Department of Education last week posted details on the Bush administration's proposed FY 2008 budget as it pertains to education. The proposed budget calls for a number of program eliminations, including the elimination of the sole funding supporting Title II D of the No Child Left Behind Act, Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT). The information comes on the day the State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA) released its findings on the effectiveness of EETT in its 2007 National Trends Report. SETDA responded to the proposed cuts immediately with a call for direct action from its members....

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Conroe ISD To Improve Emergency Response with SASI

Conroe Independent School District (CISD) in Conroe, TX has contracted with SASI Consulting to work on the district's emergency response and preparedness programs in conjunction with Harris County Department of Education. Last summer the district received a grant from the United States Department of Education for the purpose. (2/8/2007)....

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Texas SBE Adds Saxon Math to Adoption List

According to Harcourt Achieve imprint Saxon Publishers, the Texas State Board of Education has approved Saxon Math Courses 1, 2 and 3 for its instructional materials adoption list for middle school students. The company said yesterday that the curriculum "is 100 percent conforming and covers each required element of essential knowledge and skills." (2/8/2007)....

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Corel Launches Painter X Curriculum

Corel Tuesday launched a new version of its painting an illustration suite, Painter X. Following that release, the company also announced a new visual arts curriculum at the annual convention of the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA). The first part of the curriculum, called "Digital Painting and Sketching Using Corel Painter X," is now available free of charge....

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Cherokee County Uses ViewCast for Distance Learning

Cherokee County School District in South Carolina has implemented new technologies in two of its high schools to support its distance learning courses. The district has adopted ViewCast's Niagara GoStream portable streaming media encoder to capture and encode classes, which are then broadcast to students unable to attend in person....

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Hatboro-Horsham Implements IP Phone System

Hatboro-Horsham School District in Pennsylvania has implemented a new IP-based phone system throughout the district. The new system, from Siemens Communications, replaces five separate systems in 11 locations throughout the district....

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Wisconsin Online High School Launches

Insight Schools has partnered with the Grantsburg School District in Wisconsin to launch a new online high school. The Insight School of Wisconsin debuted last week and is opening its virtual doors for the 2007/2008 school year. Information sessions for parents and students will be held beginning today and running through Feb. 23, 2007....

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Grants & Awards

2007 Sylvia Charp Awards

T.H.E. Journal and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) are pleased to announce the 4th annual award program in honor of Dr. Sylvia Charp and her groundbreaking contributions and extended service to the education technology community....

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Products & Services

TCEA: Learning.com Debuts K-5 Math Curriculum

At the annual convention of the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA), online instruction provider Learning.com today debuted a new supplemental math curriculum for K-5 students. Dubbed Aha!Math, the new service combines math instruction with gaming and offers tracking and assessment features through the Learning.com management system. (2/6/2007)

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TCEA: Discovery Upgrades PowerMediaPlus

At the annual convention of the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA), Discovery Education announced upgrades to PowerMediaPlus.com, the company's curriculum-oriented media on demand system. According to Discovery, the new features add enhancements to the site's usability....

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Coming Up

  • JUNE 24-27, 2007
    NECC 2007
    28th-Annual National Educational Computing Conference
    Atlanta, GA

THE Journal Opportunities

Share Your Best Practices

T.H.E. Journal is currently looking for the following types of articles for future issues and for our eNewsletter, T.H.E. SmartClassroom:

  • School Perspectives - discuss a specific topic, trend, or concern about education technology.
  • Case Studies – have you implemented technology and learned a lot from the experience? If so, share your efforts about what worked -- and what didn't.

If you have a potential article, or questions about the above topics, please e-mail [email protected]

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