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Free Isn't a Feature -- Deploying Ed Tech in the Age of Coronavirus

Reposted from her LinkedIn post of 4 July 2020, Jennifer Carey's thought leadership assesses the value of "free" tools offered to technology leaders during the coronavirus pandemic. Carey, Director of Technology & Innovation at Temple Beth Am Day School in Miami, FL, and member of the ATLIS Board, provides guidance for a community that has been deluged with complications from the numerous offerings of online tools made to teachers and schools. [10-minute read] -- SD

Jennifer Carey
When Coronavirus first impacted US Schools in March, educational institutions scrambled to deploy distance learning with little to no planning or training for faculty. During the rash of school closures, numerous technology companies stepped forward to offer their services for "free."

Initially, many viewed this as a generous, self-sacrificing offer to help schools over the hump of going virtual. Many schools, driven in desperation, quickly took these companies up on their offers, rapidly (often without vetting) deploying numerous new resources to teachers and students. However, the results of this haphazard deployment resulted in numerous problems that at best created confusion through new complexity and at worst, created a privacy and data security nightmare for schools.

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ATLIS Virtual Town Hall, 1 April 2020

Each week technology leaders from around the globe gather to discuss issues and concerns related to the challenges of the day. In this edition, we discussed ways schools are supporting parents who are working from home and helping their children attend school virtually. We also discussed how tech teams need the support of their leadership and schools to maintain self-care during this crisis. Other issues, such as repair and breakage policies, filled out the hour's discussion. -- SD

[10-minute read; 1-hour video]

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Tech Leaders Rally Response to Coronavirus

ATLIS partnered with ISTE's IISN to launch a live chat of technology leaders from around the world to tell their stories and discuss strategies for school continuity in response to COVID-19. Among the many lessons learned was the need to create spaces for this group of forward-thinking technology educators, which is isolated from peers and colleagues even under "normal" circumstances, to create a space for connecting over the course of the coming weeks. To that end, ATLIS has created a weekly Virtual Town Hall tor the community to come together until further notice. Below we share the video from our first gathering, questions raised, and resources shared. -- SD

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Spotlight Speaker Scott McLeod Designs the Future for Independent Schools

Welcome to the first in our series of interviews with our Spotlight Speakers for the ATLIS Annual Conference. Here we share insights from Dr. Scott McLeod, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Colorado Denver and author of Harnessing Technology for Deeper Learning and the blog Dangerously Irrelevant. McLeod is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on P-12 school technology leadership issues. For Monday's Spotlight Speaker format at the Annual Conference, we ask the same question of three experts for them to address from different perspectives. This post provides a glimpse of McLeod's response to "How would you design the future for independent schools?" -- SD

Annual Conference 2020 Logo

How would you design the future for independent schools?

[10-minute read]



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Meet Vidigami at the ATLIS Annual Conference 2018

We are thrilled to have Vidigami's support as a Platinum Sponsor of our Annual Conference in Crystal City, Virginia, April 15-18. We are reposting this March 5, 218 blog from the Vidigami website as an introduction to the workshops Vidigami will host at the conference (plus contests!) and to the photo portal they will provide to the ATLIS community for the coming year, starting at the conference. We look forward to sharing photos with you about the learning that is happening at your schools and in your own professional lives. -- SD

[10-minute read]

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Technology and Accreditation, Together at Last!

Dawn Jenkins Klus, Director of Accreditation for the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS), came to her position after a long career as technology director and senior administrator at a Midwest independent school.  Here Dawn shares her insights into the self-study guidelines she and her cohorts on the Technology and Accreditation Task Force for ATLIS produced last year. Whether you are taking part in a self-study for accreditation soon or reviewing your technology goals for next year, you should find this tool and Dawn’s insights helpful to your process. -- SD

(10-minute read)

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What Research Says...Or Does It?

In a post-Thanksgiving webinar, as part of our "How To" series, Sarah Hanawald interviewed Beth Holland on the topic of evaluating research. Beth is a doctoral candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of Education and a well-known member of the independent school technology community,  During the interview, Sarah and Beth discussed the critical role that educators play in actively reading, interpreting, and analyzing research. They covered a host of disparate ideas, from determining the credibility of the source to questioning whether the results of a study can be generalized to other contexts and settings. On her "EdTech Researcher" blog at Education Week, Beth has written several posts about reading and interpreting research that may be helpful. Links to these posts are shared below the video.  -- SH

(5-Minute Read)

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We're Not Just Making This Up

In September, Susan M. Bearden joined ATLIS for a webinar on Building Technology Infrastructure for Learning, the product of her year-long residency at the Department of Education. Now a private-sector educational consultant in Washington, DC, Bearden shared with ATLIS her goals for the project, the importance of envisioning the learning first, the significance of cybersecurity for education, ruminations on how public and independent schools can learn from one another, and a look forward to what the future holds for technology and education. We are happy to share Bearden's interview, also available in video format elsewhere on this website, in the blog post that follows. -- SD

ATLIS Leadership Webinar
Susan M. Bearden on Building Technology Infrastructure for Learning
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

(20-minute read)

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5 Ways Edtech Leaders Can Support Academic Programs

This month, as part of our year-long program for aspiring technology leaders, ECATD, ATLIS convened on September 11, 2017, a panel of academic leaders to discuss the relationships between the academic programs in independent schools and technology. Sarah Hanawald, ATLIS Executive Director, interviewed Jim Foley (Assistant Head of School for Leadership and Innovation, St. Luke's School, CT), Marsha Little (Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs, The Lovett School, GA) and Derrick Willard (Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs, Providence Day School, NC).  An excerpt from that interview follows. -- SD

(5-minute read)

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6 Steps for Polishing Your Proposal for ATLIS 2018

Lots of people have trouble turning their grand ideas or best practices into a presentation, even if they know their content backwards, forwards, and sideways. They freeze up despite the huge need the audience may have for what the proposal writer hopes to share. You may feel daunted by the writing, or you may not feel that you have put all the pieces of your idea together yet. This post can help you get started with the proposal writing process for ATLIS 2018. Remember, the proposals are due on September 30! -- Susan Davis, Professional Development, ATLIS

You can find a video of the webinar I made on proposal writing here. See a preview of what's on the submission form here.

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July Webinar Round-Up

July was jam-packed with learning opportunities through our ATLIS webinar series. We featured Amanda Cadran of Learn on how to make the most of the data you can collect about how your users are employing online tools; maker inspiration from Sean Justice of Texas State University; our regular G Suite User Group meet-up, which focused on starting the new school year; and ATLIS co-founder turned entrepreneur Stuart Posin on how our phones collect and share data completely unbeknownst to us while we are sleeping or walking or ... you get the picture. This post provides a summary of each of these webinars, along with links to videos and resources when available.

Amanda Cadran on “Optimizing Your Edtech Tools”
(July 26, 2018)

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Having Your Say: Attendee Responses to ATLIS AC 2017

As we studied the responses of this year’s attendees to our annual conference held last month in Los Angeles, we were pleased to find that the data reinforced the positive zeitgeist we had detected from personal interactions with attendees. We saw that you valued the inspiration of both keynotes and that you sought information and new connections to stretch your thinking. You found your investment of time and money yielded important interaction with trusted mentors and colleagues. This was the magic of the 2017 ATLIS annual conference: a community abuzz with the opportunity to learn together.

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ATLIS Adds Pricing Transparency

ATLIS Data Platform allows members to see peer reviews and the actual prices paid by schools for key technology resources, using LearnPlatform as the analytics engine.  

Join us March 9 to learn more

Our platform now gives ATLIS independent school technology leaders a tool to improve educational technology purchasing decisions for both hardware and software purchases. The platform now allows members to access price reports on the products they are considering for first-time purchase or renewal. Members will have access to easy-to-read graphs that provide insight into how other member schools are buying and utilizing edtech. This transparency will allow schools to make better-informed decisions that improve efficiencies and increase cost savings for ATLIS members.

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What impact have online and blended learning had on your school?

On October 20, 2015

 Eric Hudson hosted "What impact have online and blended learning had on your school?"

$60 Billion Dollar Hoax?

Are Screens in Schools a $60 Billion Dollar Hoax?

 Dr. Kardaras is the author of the new book Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction is Hijacking Our Kids—and How to Break the Trance.  Time published an article titled Screens in Schools are a $60 Billion Dollar Hoax.  ISED chat tackled the article in a lively discussion hosted by @dwillard Derrick Willard, Assistant Head for Academic Affairs at Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC