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EdTech Action Network

Today I ran across this wonderful site, EdTech Action Network, that is working to remind our leaders of the importance of educational technology. They have posted the following letter on the front page of their site. You can help out by signing the petition for giving our kids a 21st century education. Please take a minute (that is truly all it takes) to sign this petition. I am assuming that if you are reading a technology in education blog such as this one that you have discovered the importance of technology in education. I love the motto on the EdTech Action Network’s site “Children + Technology = America’s Future” I couldn’t agree more! “Dear Next President, We believe that it is critical that our next President make ensuring our nation’s K-12 students receive a 21st Century Education a top priority. Recent data shows that the stakes for our students acquiring 21st Century technology skills and knowledge have never been higher in terms of their own and our nation’s economic prosperity. For instance: The Department of Labor reports that out of 55 industries, education is last in its use of technology. In the majority of schools, teachers and students cannot maximize the potential of technology. By 2010, if current trends continue, more than 90 percent of all scientists and engineers will be living in Asia. Since the 1960s, the demand for skills has changed significantly – the demand for routine manual task skills have decreased, while the demand for non-routine interactive task skills have increased significantly. Our children not only deserve but require an American education that harnesses the power of technology to individualize learning, one that ensures that they are prepared to compete academically for top grades and globally for the best paying jobs. In our estimation, a 21st Century Education should include the following elements: Every student learning in an environment that reflects the technology replete world in which we live, including ready access to sophisticated computing devices, instructionally sound digital content that facilitates self-paced learning, and broadband-level bandwidth necessary to support cutting-edge digital applications and services. Every teacher possessing the technology tools and skills necessary to use technology in the classroom and to integrate technology and digital resources seamlessly into classroom learning. Every parent utilizing technology to monitor student academic progress, communicate with educators regarding academic matters, and access online and digital resources to assist their children’s studies. We call on the next President, in partnership with Congress, to take these bold steps to ensure a 21st Century Education, including: Supporting access for all students to technology and the Internet. Increasing federal funding for education technology through the Department of Education’s budget. Preserving the E-Rate and providing robust bandwith in all classrooms to allow students and educators to use the cutting-edge digital applications and services. Incorporating technology literacy and facility into state teacher standards, teacher training, and professional development. Encouraging student technology literacy by the eighth grade.” Click here to sign the petition nowOh by the way, they have a great url: onegiantleapforkids.org– how fun is that?!

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Meraki: Manage Mobile Devices from the Cloud…FREE

Posted by admin | Posted in Classroom Management, iPod, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Technology, web tools, Websites | Posted on 20-11-2012

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What it is: Meraki lets you centrally manage mobile devices, macs and PC’s from the cloud based dashboard.  The systems manager makes it simple to centrally manage applications on iOS, Android, Mac and PC devices.  It integrates with Google Play, Amazon Appstore, Apple App Store and Apple’s Volume Purchase Program.  In addition to being able to manage apps, Meraki makes it easy to enforce and deploy restrictions on mobile devices. Choose how your students access the app store, gaming and content, how they connect wirelessly, security settings and remote VPN access.  Meraki has a virtual backpack where content can be shared with devices.  Files and documents can be added and sent wirelessly.  Separate backpacks can be delivered to different classrooms so that the correct documents are shared with the students who need it.  The cloud platform makes 1 to 1 projects and BYOD (bring your own device) roll outs manageable.  The best part?  Meraki is 100% free.  You just can’t beat that!

How to integrate Meraki into the classroom: This is one of those tools that I WISH I had seen before I spent $3,000 on another solution.  Blerg.  Live and learn, right?  Next year, this is the solution I will be using to manage all of our BYOD iPads at Anastasis.  It has everything that we need.  The integration with Apple’s Volume Purchase Program is pretty fantastic.  This is a great way for the school to purchase and manage educational apps that we want to share with students.  The cloud management means that we can manage devices from anywhere and we don’t have to have a dedicated server to do it.  I can do a lot of things, but managing servers is not one of those things that I want to spend my time doing!

Meraki is a great solution for whole schools or single classrooms that need to manage devices.  I love that Meraki can be used for a school initiated roll-out or in a single classroom BYOD initiative.  Either way the tools are easy to use and will make the integration of technology in the classroom run smoother.

Tips: Check out the FAQ page to learn more about how Meraki gets installed on the student devices.  The installation changes based on device.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Meraki in your classroom.

Comments (2)

I passed this along to our district folks today, but it looks like Meraki just got bought by Cisco: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2412479,00.asp. Hope that doesn’t change this free MDM option . . .

This is true, I am hoping for the same!

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