IT Infrastructure

Top Picks

September 12, 2007 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Technology Information Center for Administrative Leadership

This site clearly recognizes that school administrators are busy people who don’t have the time to surf the Internet indiscriminately for answers to their problems. It is a one-stop shop of content, expert advice, and interactive tools designed to solve problems or at least point ed. tech. leaders in the right direction. It includes numerous articles on a host of topics, such as relevant research on technology’s impact on education, what data-driven organizations look like, how to acquire technology through commercial partnerships, the best hand-held technologies for administrators, and how to find, hire, and keep skilled technology professionals. It also offers short profiles of more than 60 ed. tech. leaders, as well as a blog called TBLOGICAL, which has thoughtful but infrequent posts on topics such as multitasking, personalized learning, and the iPhone. One caution: The California Department of Education commissioned the creation of this site to serve the needs of school administrators in its state; as a result, much of the material is California-centric. Even so, ed. tech. leaders in other states would likely find that most of the material addresses their concerns, too.

BRIC ARCHIVE

ISTE’s ‘Second Life’ Headquarters

The International Society for Technology in Education has developed an “island” on Second Life, the 3-D virtual world that allows users to create avatars, or virtual people, to explore places, interact with other people, and share ideas. Iste sees its Second Life outpost as a place to showcase best practices in online learning, for collaboration among educators on ideas and projects, and for professional networking. The site hosts weekly networking socials and topical events and sponsors a twice-monthly speaker series. Since the site is relatively new and it would take some time using it to appreciate its real possibilities, judgments about its usefulness are best left to the reader. But it’s at least worth checking out. It may unleash the computer gamer inside you.

National School Public Relations Association

To be sure, there is plenty of material on this site geared toward teaching school leaders how to spin the positive news about their districts. But in today’s high-tech world, having a good public-communication plan has quite a bit to do with how well your district understands the use of new technologies by students and parents, and then figures out how to harness those uses, especially in times of crisis. That’s why this site is worth running your eye over occasionally. A recent article on the site, titled “Online Wildfires: Coping With the Digital Media That Are Rewriting the Rules for Crisis Communication,” recounts how a lockdown at a New Jersey high school prompted intense media coverage and public complaints. Parents were apparently receiving text messages and cellphone calls from their children before school officials could explain what was going on. That was a useful article for school leaders, but the site itself probably could use more material that addresses how new technologies can be used to improve communication with parents and the community.

Computer Science Teachers Association

This site recently launched an online repository of computer science teaching materials, including lesson plans, learning modules, presentations, and course descriptions that might be useful for computer science teachers in your district. All the materials are in a searchable database that can be used to match resources with specific courses and student learning levels. It’s also worth noting that the site has a database to help teachers and administrators access computer science teacher-certification and -endorsement requirements across the country. One caveat: You have to be a CSTA member to use all the features in the databases.

Wikipedia: Educational Technology

For ed. tech. wonks who appreciate the big picture, it’s worth reading the educational technology page on Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that is continually updated by Internet users from around the world. The definition of educational technology has been revised a number of times, and past versions are available from the site’s archives. The page offers a host of links to entries on issues such as technology integration, multiple-intelligences theory, constructivism and technology, and e-learning. Its list of societies and journals involved in educational technology is a bit thin, however, and could use updating. You might want to consider adding some content to the page.

Related Tags:

Compiled by Kevin Bushweller
A version of this article appeared in the September 12, 2007 edition of Digital Directions as Top Picks

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Education Insights with Actionable Data to Create More Personalized Engagement
The world has changed during this time of pandemic learning, and there is a new challenge faced in education regarding how we effectively utilize the data now available to educators and leaders. In this session
Content provided by Microsoft
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Accelerate Learning with Project-Based Learning
Earlier this year, the George Lucas Educational Foundation released four new studies highlighting how project-based learning (PBL) helps accelerate student learning—across age groups, multiple disciplines, and different socio-economic statuses. With this year’s emphasis on unfinished
Content provided by SmartLab Learning
School & District Management Live Online Discussion Principal Overload: How to Manage Anxiety, Stress, and Tough Decisions
According to recent surveys, more than 40 percent of principals are considering leaving their jobs. With the pandemic, running a school building has become even more complicated, and principals' workloads continue to grow. If we

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

IT Infrastructure School Districts Seek Billions in New Federal Money for Connectivity, FCC Announces
The Federal Communications Commission received $5.1 billion in requests for new funding to purchase devices and improve internet access.
2 min read
Image shows two children ages 5 to 7 years old and a teacher, an African-American woman, holding a digital tablet up, showing it to the girl sitting next to her. They are all wearing masks, back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
IT Infrastructure School District Data Systems Are Messed Up. A New Coalition Wants to Help
Organizations representing states and school districts have teamed up with ISTE to help make data systems more user-friendly and secure.
3 min read
Conceptual collage of arrows, icon figures, and locks
Sean Gladwell/Moment/Getty
IT Infrastructure More Families Have Internet Access. So Why Hasn't the Digital Divide Begun to Close?
A new study says low-income families’ access to the internet has soared in the past six years. But there are other barriers to connectivity.
3 min read
Glowing neon Loading icon isolated on brick wall background. Progress bar icon.
Mingirov/iStock/Getty Images Plus
IT Infrastructure Remote and Hybrid Learning Are Declining. But the 'Homework Gap' Will Still Be a Problem
Schools are returning to in-person instruction, but students' connections to the internet at home remain spotty.
2 min read
Sam Urban Wittrock, left, an advance placement World History Teacher at W.W. Samuell High School, displays a wifi hot spot that are being handed out to students in Dallas on April 9, 2020. Dallas I.S.D. is handing out the devices along with wifi hotspots to students in need so that they can connect online for their continued education amid the COVID-19 health crisis.
Sam Urban Wittrock, left, an Advanced Placement World History Teacher at W.W. Samuell High School in Dallas, displays one of the Wi-Fi hotspots that were given to district students during the pandemic.
Tony Gutierrez/AP