Friday, November 20, 2009

Input Needed - Revised CT Common Core of Teaching

The new 2009 Common Core of Teaching (CCT) standards document has been drafted and is open for comment. Though not directly an ed-tech document, this important document will be used to revise pre-service programs, frame the new beginning teacher support program and
design new teacher evaluation plans. The way I see it, technology MUST have a part in all each of those things - so I am asking ed tech folks to provide comments on the draft.

An online survey is available to both review the draft and give input on the proposed new CCT. The survey can be found at It asks for educators’ opinions regarding what both beginning teachers and experienced teachers need to know to be effective. Let it be known that skills in using technology purposefully in teaching and learning are essential for novice and experienced teachers!

Responses to the survey are due by November 25th. No turkey for you until you complete the survey. :-) (Thanks!)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Title IID Entitlement Applications - HELP!!!

The applications are beginning to come in from districts for their share of the Title IID ARRA entitlement funds. I have had to ask for changes in several of those that I have received, because they were not done correctly or were incomplete. I am hoping that you can help me correct any confusion about how to complete this application, whether you are a person in district assisting in the writing of your own application or a regional consultant helping several districts with theirs.

There are two major issues:

The first deals with not completing all required sections, in particular both columns of page 5 that ask for the applicant to describe the planned use of funds and the accountability measures (how you will evaluate your use of funds in meeting Title IID program goals). Both of these sections must be completed for an application to be reviewed.

The second issue relates to the equitable services provision for private schools. Only ONE budget should be submitted with an application, and this should be for the total amount for which the district is eligible, including private school amounts. The detailed budget should note the private school expenses, but you do not need to submit separate budgets for private schools under Title IID, as the LEA is responsible for all expenditures. As stated in the USDoE guidance document for Equitable Services, “Under section 9501(d) of ESEA, the LEA must always maintain control of the program funds as well as title to all materials, equipment and property purchased with federal funds… only the LEA may obligate and expend federal funds on behalf of private school students and teachers. Thus, the LEA must purchase materials or procure services on behalf of the private school students and teachers. However, the LEA may use federal funds to reimburse an individual private school teacher, administrator, or other educational personnel for professional development that the LEA has pre-approved and that meets the reasonable and necessary cost principles of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-87.”

Still have questions? Contact me at

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Title IID ARRA Entitlement Application Posted

The moment you have been waiting for has arrived... The Title IID ARRA Entitlement Application has been posted! You can find it on the CSDE Website under the Request for Proposals link, or go directly to the Title IID ARRA page. (The application is located near the bottom of the Title IID ARRA page.)

Also on the Title IID ARRA page, you will note there are links to two other important documents. These documents list the amounts that must be considered when satisfying the equitable services provision of the law. You will need to review these documents in order to complete your entitlement application.

Applications are due no later than December 31, 2009, but will be reviewed and awarded as they are received. After the deadline, any unclaimed entitlement funds will be distributed via the competitive segment of the CT Title IID program. RFPs for competitive funds have not yet been announced, but information about them will be posted on this blog when available.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Computer Assisted Writing Grant Awards

Congratulations to the following schools/districts for their successful proposals for the Computer Assisted Writing Program:
  • Brooklyn Middle School, Brooklyn
  • Roger's Park Middle School, Danbury
  • Eastford Elementary School and Union School (Consortia), Eastford (fiscal manager)
  • Fitch Middle School, Groton
  • Hamden Middle School, Hamden
  • Scofield Magnet Middle School, Stamford
  • Sterling Community School, Sterling
  • Windham Middle School, Windham

Unfortunately we could only fund the top eight scoring proposals - there were several others that were recommended for funding but we just didn't have enough to get to them! :-(

We look forward to hearing about the implementation (and successes!) of the above funded projects.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Title IID Entitlement Awards - Consortium Option

Although the application is not yet available (keep checking the Title IID Website and watch for notifications on this blog), there have already been many questions about obtaining these funds.

One question has been raised by some districts eligible only for very small entitlement (formula) amounts. The question is whether or not districts can apply as a consortium, thus combining their entitlements to receive enough money to actually make some impact. Though not explicitly discussed in the about-to-be-released application, the answer is YES.

To quote from the USDoE “Guidance on the Enhancing Education Through Technology (Ed Tech) Title IID Program:

“An eligible LEA may apply for Ed Tech formula grant funds as part of a consortium that includes other LEAs, institutions of higher education, educational service agencies, libraries, or other educational entities. Only an (eligible) LEA may serve as the fiscal agent for Ed Tech funds.”

To apply as part of a consortium, the same application form is to be used. On the Cover Sheet (page 3) of the application, under NAME OF APPLICANT DISTRICT", write the name of the LEA that will serve as the lead applicant, followed by the word CONSORTIUM APPLICATION. On the next line, ENTITLEMENT AMOUNT, list the total amount for which the consortium is eligible (total of all LEAs in consortium). On the bottom of the Cover Sheet list all the LEAs that are part of the consortium, followed by their entitlement amounts.

I know this is a bit confusing - especially prior to the release of the application - but I wanted to give everyone as much notice as possible so that planning for use of these funds can begin and LEAs are ready to move quickly once the application is released.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

CT Title IID ARRA Fund - Website Posted

We have just posted a new page to the CSDE Website that explains Title IID ARRA fund distribution in CT. The Website is still evolving, and as new information and RFPs are available, they will be posted on this page. Currently of note, you can find a link to information on the amounts that districts will receive on an entitlement basis through Title IID ARRA funds. (Note: The application for these entitlement funds is NOT yet available - but it is expected to be posted later this month.)

Competitive fund RFPs will be announced in the coming months.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Looks like the lights are staying on...

As you may have heard or read, The CT Legislature has reached agreement on a budget, which the Governor now has 5 days to approve or not. In the budget, there is full funding to keep the CEN on and happy :-), providing Internet and support to each of the schools, colleges, and libraries in the network. Also in the budget is funding that is necessary to keep iCONN databases available to all CEN connected sites.

It's not yet a done deal, but things look better than they have for several months, so I remain optomistic that we ed-techies will be OK during these difficult fiscal times.

Update: Computer Assisted Writing Grant

The calls and emails keep coming in... so here's an update on the Computer Assisted Writing Grant:

The final review and scoring for this last round of Computer Assisted Writing Grants will be held on September 9th. After the final scores are in, there is a minimum of about 10 days of beurocracy before the winning projects can be announced.

The moment that I have the list of approved grantees, letters of award or denial will be mailed to superintendents who applied, and I will post the list of districts who will receive the grants on this blog. I expect that to happen in late September. At that time, grantees may begin immediately implementing their projects.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Help! Restore EETT Funding!

SETDA (the State Educational Technology Directors Association) has asked those states who have a Representative and/or Senator on the House Committee on Appropriations, Education Subcommittee or Senate Appropriations, Education Subcommittee to reach out and let them know how important it is that the FY10 Appropriations for EETT, which was included at only $100 million in the President’s budget, be included at a minimum at the level funding level of $269 million. Please be sure to provide one key example from your district of how EETT has been a catalyst for improvement. Please call the offices of your member(s) below and ask specifically for the Education Appropriations staffer. Time is, as usual, of the essence, so please call by Friday if possible. You can access all phone numbers at or If you have a contact in those offices other than the Education Appropriations staffer, please contact him/her, as well.

FYI - Rosa DeLauro is on the Committee on Appropriations, Education Subcommittee.

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Computer Assisted Writing Grant Posted!

It's finally here - RFP 977 (Local Competitive Grant for Computer Assisted Writing) has been posted to the SDE site! You'll find it under Request for Proposals in the right navigation bar, under Curriculum and Instruction. Here's the direct link to the RFP.

Note that only "high needs" districts are eligible to apply. The list of eligible districts can be found on page 21 of the RFP. Proposals are due on July 30, 2009.

Because of the timing of this RFP's release, there will be no bidders conference. Anyone with questions should contact me directly at or 860.713.6781.

Good luck!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

CEN Funding

If you read Bill Cibes' op-ed piece in last weekend's Courant you know that the latest state budget proposes eliminating funding for programs such as the Connecticut Education Network and iCONN. As you are probably aware, however, the budget is not yet final. Members of the CT Commission for Educational Technology, the body that oversees and sets policy regarding CEN and the Digital Library, have communicated to the CT Office of Policy and Management (OPM) the programs’ reliance on general fund allocation in order to operate and provide vital services to the state’s school districts, colleges and universities, and libraries. At this point, OPM has agreed to put the CEN line item on the list for review.

As the budget discussions continue and as decisions are finalized, we will keep you informed, both on this blog and through direct communication from CEN staff to tech directors.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NEW RELEASE DATE: Computer Assisted Writing RFP - for High Needs Districts

Well, it’s not all I had hoped for, but using Title IID funds, we have been able to somewhat resurrect the Computer Assisted Writing grant program that lost state funds earlier this year. Unfortunately, the use of these funds is restricted to high-needs districts so only those districts are eligible to apply. (The list will be included in the RFP, and will likely include those previously eligible for Title IID grants.) A total of $450,000 is available, with individual awards of up to $60,000.

There are two significant changes to the new RFP: The first is that at least 25% of funds must be devoted to professional development activities. This is a requirement of all Title IID activities. The second change is that you must implement and run your program during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years. Different students may be involved in each year.

UPDATE: The RFP should be posted on the CSDE Website on June 19, 2009, with a due date of July 30, 2009.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Discovery Education's Young Scientist Challenge

Does one of your students have what it takes to be America's Top Young Scientist? Discovery Education and 3M are looking for a few great students to inspire them with their enthusiasm for science! Students create a short (1-2 min.) video about one of this year's scientific topics. Finalists win a trip to New York City to compete in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge finals. More Details:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Free Workshop Opportunity

For all you Mac-friendly districts, CREC is offering a free workshop that shows how features built into Macintosh computers provide innovative solutions for students with vision, hearing and motor skills challenges. Learn how to break down the barriers to accessing information technology - and how to maximize the independence, participation and productivity of students with learning hurdles.

Curriculum directors, special educators, and technology specialists are particularly encouraged to attend.

MAY 28, 2009, 8:30 - 12:30
CREC-Coltsville, Rooms 1 & 2, 34 Sequassen Street, Hartford, CT 06106
To register:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ed Tech Data Collection - National Data Points

As you may know, state educational technology directors are meeting next month in Washington to learn about all the new things happening with Title IID and the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program. In preparation for the meeting, the US DOE is asking states and districts to provide feedback on the current and potential data collection points to help ensure the quality of data collection in educational technology.

A survey has been created to collect feedback. The survey is divided into four short sections that align with the goals of the EETT program with possible data elements and data collection methods for each of the goals. I urge you to complete this brief survey so that the US DOE is provided with sufficient information on possible data elements and data collection methods. The deadline for state and district submission is April 30, 3009. (Consider doing it now while you are thinking about it! It will take you less than 5 minutes.)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

John Kalinowski

Our dear friend and tech-colleague, John Kalinowski, lost his battle with cancer on Monday, 3/30/09. John's good work was known around the state and he will be greatly missed by all he touched. Our world is diminished by this loss.

If anyone is interested in making a donation in remembrance of John, the family would like donations in John's honor sent to the Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center, 536 Saybrook Road, Middletown, CT 06457.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So Long Art!

On March 30th, Art Skerker traded in his blue SDE security badge for a flannel shirt and boots, and headed to his new home in Woodstock Vermont! I can't imagine what this blog (or SDE) will be like without Art!

I have taken over Art's educational technology responsibilities at SDE, including this blog, and will do my best to keep the ed tech ship afloat. Art's shoes are tough to fill - but hopefully, we'll do some wonderful things in the months and years to come that continue the great work he has begun here in Connecticut.

I am grateful for all Art has done for me, and will miss his leadership, humor, and friendship. I know that all you blog-groupies join me in wishing him well in his new life in Vermont. (You may contact Art @

-Karen Kaplan

The 7th annual Northeast Media Literacy Conference

when: Friday, April 3, 2009
where; The Bishop Center - University of Connecticut - Storrs, Connecticut Conference Registration Now Available
UPDATE - 3/24/2009 List of Workshops Now Available

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Congratulations to EETT grantees!

The following schools/districts are our new grantees: Stafford, Windham,Park City Prep, ACES, Meriden, CREC, Vernon, Hamden and Sprague. For a copy of your readers' summative evaluation of your prosposal, send me an e-mail.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Summary of conference call with Janelle Leonard (USDOE) March 13th

- Guidance document for IID stimulus funding not available yet,
- IID (stimulus) funds to be awarded in fall…not sure if 9/1 or 10/1,
- DOE’s priority for IID is to get out regular funding July 1 (this requirement is statutory),
- Current focus for DOE is stabilization and Title 1 funds…target for distribution is March 25th…but since DOE is still calculating, the March 25th date may not be met,
- DOE has met with Mike Smith (White House)…he is to lead discussions about IID…both guidance for spending and timeline…these discussions have not begun,
- The IID stimulus money and the regular IID $ must be distributed separately and handled as two separate grants; DOE is determining as to whether or not to allow for one application with separate accounting and separate evaluations,
- The stimulus funds will have more stringent evaluation requirements than the regular funds,
- Stimulus IID money will have 5% administrative set-aside (40% of which remains for evaluation),
- New conditions are coming from OMB, DOE and from stimulus package…primarily on reporting requirements, + what you can and cannot do with the money, a must “buy American” clause…all of these conditions are currently in the office of the General Council and are being assessed,
- Regular IID funds will increase from $267M to $269M nationally...estimates for funding are available on the website [no change to regular funds…5% admin…total balance may be used for competitive]
Additional comments…

SETDA has begun meeting with NAEP to develop technological literacy assessment which is due out in 2010

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

President Obama signed HR 1005 this morning!

The Senate approved HR 1005 – the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 which included EETT at $269 million. The bill was signed by the President this morning.
Many different iterations for the timing and process of the EETT Stimulus Funding have been reported in the last few weeks. SETDA believes (thanks to Steve Sanders from WI) that we have the latest information available in terms of when this funding will be made available to states. The “fall 2009” that many of you have inquired about seems to have been replaced with 50% in June/July and 50% in September/Oct. For more detailed information please see the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Timing Spreadsheet

Monday, March 09, 2009

Have you been to the iCONN Blog?

Check out the hints for use on iCONN's blog including the new video.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Online Writing Grant Status

This morning we received notice that sometime yesterday a deficit mitigation bill was brought to our legislature which was passed unanimously by both houses. The bill eliminates funding for the online writing grant. The legalisation is on its way to the Governor’s desk…we anticipate that it will be signed. As soon as more is know, I'll post...

Friday, February 20, 2009

AASL's longitudinal survey

AASL has just launched our third year of the longitudinal study "School Libraries Count!" All K-12 schools, public and private, are invited to participate on a voluntary basis. Past participant's continued involvement is crucial when examining trends over time, as well as new participants so that an accurate reflection of the US educational demographics are represented.

Additional questions were added to last yearʼs study that focused on the use of social networking in the classroom. Findings showed that the majority of public and private schools were incorporating social networking tools into the classroom to aid in collaborative learning. This year's study will include additional questions regarding English Language Learners (ELLs) and resources made available to them through school library media programs.

The number of participants between years one and two of the survey almost doubled, in large part due to the collective efforts of AASL volunteers getting the word out. We hope to double again in 2009.

Please spread the word now! Post to your Web site, listservs and blogs! The survey may be accessed directly at The last day to complete the survey is March 12.

Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

CET Meeting Feb. 19th @ Charter Oak State Univ.

The Commission for Educational Technology (CET) Meeting has been rescheduled to Charter Oak State University, Thursday February 19, 2009 @ 9:30AM. The public is invited.

Since the CET is on the Governor's list of commissions to be eliminated, this may be the last meeting.

Directions to Charter Oak State University.

Friday, February 13, 2009

American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009

The House and Senate have conferenced...the legislation is on its way to the President. The anticipated amounts for EETT (along with Title 1, School Improvement, etc.) may be found on the chart developed by the NEA released on February 12th. In 2008, CT received just over $1.98M, in the new legislation, CT should receive almost $4.9M. Details have not been released as to the percentage allocated to formula-based or competitive funds but the suggested percentages are as follows: 3% for state administration, 2% for state evaluation, the remaining 95% would be divided equally between formula-based (which is based on a district's Title 1 allocation) and competitive.

So...what does this mean for your district? In 2009, each district should receive approximately 4 times the amount of formula-based money that it received in 2008.

Friday, February 06, 2009

AASL Survey-LMS Please Respond!

AASL has just launched our third year of the longitudinal study "School Libraries Count!" All K-12 schools, public and private, are invited to participate on a voluntary basis. Past participant's continued involvement is crucial when examining trends over time, as well as new participants so that an accurate reflection of the US educational demographics are represented.

Additional questions were added to last yearʼs study that focused on the use of social networking in the classroom. Findings showed that the majority of public and private schools were incorporating social networking tools into the classroom to aid in collaborative learning. This year's study will include additional questions regarding English Language Learners (ELLs) and resources made available to them through school library media programs.

The number of participants between years one and two of the survey almost doubled, in large part due to the collective efforts of AASL volunteers getting the word out, and we hope to double again in 2009.

Please spread the word now! Post to your website, listservs and blogs! The survey may be accessed directly at The last day to complete the survey is March 12.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Would you like to be a reviewer for the Computer Assisted Writing grant?

As a reviewer, you will be sent four-six grant proposals to read and score according to a rubric that will be provided. You will have approximately two weeks to complete your review of these proposals. Then, on March 16, 2009, all reviewers will meet for the day at ACES in Hamden. Lunch will be provided. During the session at ACES, reviewers will be divided into groups with others who have read and evaluated the same proposals. Together, groups will discuss each of the proposals and arrive at a final score to award each proposal, again, based on the rubric.

Even if you or your district is applying for a grant in this new round of funding, you are eligible to be a grant reviewer. You will of course, not read and score your own proposal (!) but will review proposals submitted by districts outside of your region.

Most people who have participated in reading grants in the past have expressed that it was an extremely positive professional experience, and one that has helped them in a variety of ways, including future grant proposal writing. Being a grant reviewer is also a great professional service to Connecticut’s education community.

If you are interested in reviewing grant proposals and are available on March 16, please let us know by sending an email to

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Computer Assisted Writing RFP due Feb. 20th

Since this is a state grant, all districts may apply. Questions about RFP or by phone at (860) 713-6781.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

EETT proposal due date changed to February 13th.

I was just informed that not only will the state office building be closed on the original due date (February 12th., Lincoln's birthday) but that no guards will be here to accept the grant submissions. Grants are now due on or before 4:00 PM on Friday, February 13, 2009.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New Proposed CT Legislation

Proposed S.B. No. 469


To require schools to offer instruction in Internet safety and online sexual predator awareness

1/22/2009; Referred to Joint Committee on Education

...thanks to Doug Casey for bringing this to my attention...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This was just e-mailed to me...

Estimated allocations to Connecticut LEAs for education under House Appropriations Committee Draft 2009 Stimulus Bill, the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009"
Notice: These are estimated grants only. These estimates are provided solely to assist in making comparisons of the relative impact of alternative formulas and funding levels as part of the legislative process. They are not intended to predict specific amounts LEAs will receive. In addition to other limitations, much of the data that may be used to calculate final grants are not yet available.

Cross Your Fingers!

A BILL entitled ‘‘American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009’’ was just released from the House Appropriations Committee on January 15th. Lines 22 (page 165) to line 2 (page 166) refer to the new projected funding for Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT). The amount represented is more than double what is currently available. Before you start jumping up and down, note that what you are reading is a BILL which has a long way to go before it might be signed into law. Certainly, if you like what you read, you might share your feelings with your elected representatives.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January 29th CET meeting has been posponed

As soon as a new date, time and location are announced, I will post the information.

Education Leaders Call on Congress...

January 14, 2009 - read the press release...Education and Business Leaders Call on Congress to Meet President-Elect Obama’s Call to Target Classroom Technology Modernization in Economic Recovery Legislation

January issue of iCONN Tmes

Did you know that both Popular Magazines and HertitageQuest are accessable from the startup page? Check out the January issue of the iCONN Times for the latest usability upgrades.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Flash Message from ETAN!

Congress is poised to determine how much federal economic recovery funding -- perhaps billions, perhaps nothing -- will go towards supporting education technology. Congress needs to hear from you right now about the value of investing in classroom learning technologies to prime the economy, create jobs and prepare today's students for tomorrow's jobs. NOW is the time to make your voice heard.

President-Elect Obama has made it clear that providing substantial funding for classroom technology in his economic recovery package is one of his top priorities. Just last week, he gave voice to this vision, saying: "To give our children the chance to live out their dreams in a world that's never been more competitive, we will equip tens of thousands of schools, community colleges, and public universities with 21st century classrooms, labs, and libraries. We'll provide new computers, new technology, and new training for teachers so that students in Chicago and Boston can compete with kids in Beijing for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of the future."

Now, it is up to Congress to implement this vision by including substantial funding in the economic recovery package that its leaders are preparing. They are expected to complete work on this legislation before Presidents' Day.

We urge you to contact your Congressional members now. Tell them what an infusion of K-12 educational technology funding will do for America's economy and for its K-12 students. Please click here to share with your members of Congress the importance of education technology for your school, district and state.

Please do not let this opportunity to dramatically improve American education and jump start our nation's economy slip away. Act today.

ETAN updates are brought to you by the Consortium for School Networking and the International Society for Technology in Education.