Tech Talk Tuesday

The first one for you of school year '21-'22!

Welcome Back!

I am so excited to be back! Don't get me wrong; the last 18 months have been exhausting. In many ways, I feel like I missed out on two summers; but our kids are back. Our desks are filled! Our halls hum with same youthful energy we took for granted just a short time ago.

I am also reinvigorated. I am more keenly aware now than ever of the role that public education plays in our community. Our students need now the structure, stability, and resources that a school provides as much they ever have. It is because of this keen awareness that I am so impressed with you, our teachers, continually rising to these challenges in this new paradigm of education. It has been a privilege to work with and support you. You are the reason I feel I must give my very best each and every day.

By and large, chromebook distribution is complete! There are still a few loose ends to tie up, but these should be tied pretty easily. Recalling where we were a year ago, rolling out 1:1 for the first time with all of the apprehension of delivering sound education solely through a medium that was a relatively new to a lot of us, is such a juxtaposition to where we are now. Teachers and students alike are clamoring to begin utilizing these tools in their classrooms. I am filled with the eager anticipation that the title of Coordinator of Instructional Technology promises. I can not wait to help you facilitate the transformative learning experiences that educational technology can create in a classroom.

After a more than a year where so much has been taken from us, we now begin a year of untapped possibilities. We have motivated, talented educators; we have students who are as ready to be molded and lifted as ever in their educational journeys; we have more 21st Century tools at our disposal than we have ever had. Most importantly, we have the flame and passion of our profession breathing more freely today than it has since we first put on the masks. Now, let's get at it!

SOPPA and You!

On July 1, 2021, the Student Online Privacy Protection Act went into effect (105 ILCS 85). At its most basic description, SOPPA requires any student data gathered by educational technology programs to be used for purposes beneficial to the mission of schools. In short, it protects student data from commercial exploit. Assurances of such protections must be made in the form of a Data Privacy Agreement between the school districts and digital education vendors.

Teachers are prohibited from having students log into any accounts whether by "Sign in with Google" or any other means on services without a district approved Data Privacy Agreement in place. Thankfully, the district's SOPPA committee has been working diligently and created an extensive battery of resources for teachers to utilize.

Please review the image below for most of the approved services or see a written list here.

Not seeing a resource you love? Ask the SOPPA Committee to vet a new resource here.

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