In late December of last year, Congress approved the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 in response to the challenges the Covid-19 pandemic has created. In the CAA, over $54 billion is available for K-12 schools to use, which is in addition to what was provided in the CARES Act ($13.2 billion). The purpose of these funds includes purchasing materials and education technology to address learning loss and improve school facilities and infrastructure to reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus. Funding will be available through September 2022. There will be instructions from both the federal government and each state to explain the process the overall process of using the funding.
Boxlight recently welcomed Aleasha Stevens to the company where she will serve as Education Consultant and lead the development and delivery of the company’s virtual learning center. In this role, she will use best practices to facilitate demonstrations on Boxlight education technology solutions including interactive displays, MimioStudio lesson creation and presentation software, and the MimioConnect blended learning platform. Stevens is driven by a passion to advocate for the needs of all learners, particularly those who have not been empowered to do so for themselves. This has led her to dedicate her life to advocating for the needs of children as a classroom teacher, literacy program director, VP of Education Services, and an education technology consultant.
Bob Wallace, a now retired high school biology teacher in Crawfordville, Florida, was resolute in his goal that his students graduate with a full range of academic skill sets and technical knowledge that would prepare them for a successful future. In his over 30 years of teaching, he found that textbooks alone could rarely explain important concepts that kept his students engaged and employed a variety of strategies to explain difficult science concepts to his students. He was consistently on the lookout for options that would keep his students engaged. He stated, “Over the years, I’ve used a lot of different things. I have done drawings on boards, still magnets, and I’ve used beads – the beads go bouncing all over the place and you end up losing all of them.”
ACE Energy Solutions, an oil gathering and marketing firm based in Katy, TX, decided to upgrade their connectivity technology to boost company productivity. They were specifically looking for an audio-visual solution to simplify team connectivity, streamline meetings, and facilitate active collaboration.
The Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) has been redesigned as a virtual conference for administrators, technology leaders, and teachers this year, starting February 1, 2021. Attendees can choose to visit sessions live or view recorded and on-demand sessions when it is convenient for them (access to March 5, 2021).
Christine Tarver, a former 5th grade teacher in Florida, was determined that her students advance their abilities and skills using education technology. She wanted her students to experience hands-on learning combined with emerging technologies, understanding that by doing so they were more likely to develop the critical skills necessary for the 21st century.
The landscapes of our classrooms have undoubtedly been changed this past year. Educators around the globe have been inspiring, demonstrating innovation and creativity in remote and hybrid classrooms. Technology has been at the forefront of lesson planning, design, and delivery allowing teachers to teach and students to learn.
Cañon City Schools is a school district in Colorado and funding is generally difficult to obtain. In 2017, the Mill Levy allowed funding to be designated to specific devices which helped the school district move toward a more ‘Future Focused’ educational approach. The district’s goals included incorporating more interactive technology to adapt to students’ learning needs. The mill levy allowed schools to implement a 1:1 Chromebook program and start investigating interactive devices for classrooms to work alongside Chromebooks.
The Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) is going virtual this year! FETC will be a free interactive, online event being held from January 26-29, 2021. This annual conference emphasizes the critical role that education technology plays in providing complete teaching and learning experiences and this year is no different. Expect to hear from ed tech leaders about the strategies and tools they use, and how they have proven to positively impact and benefit their school communities.