Amid a heightened awareness of school safety issues in the wake of shootings this spring, local districts could spend thousands of dollars next year to identify and receive instant alerts of potential threats made on social media. They're considering joining together to pay for a Vermont-based company, Social Sentinel, to screen public posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites for language that indicates possible threats. Region 5 superintendents met Wednesday at the Education Service Center to discuss the program, which sends a notification to designated administrators when a possible threat is identified. view article arw

A small robot, about a cubic inch in size, glowed brightly as it rolled around desks and expanded minds during Waco Independent School District’s inaugural Tech Summit on Thursday. Dozens of teachers attended the event at University High School to learn new classroom tools and earn professional development hours. “We’re pretty happy with the (attendance) number since it’s our first go-round,” professional development director Patrick Uptmore said. view article arw

Parents today struggle to set screen time guidelines. One big reason is a lack of role models. Grandma doesn't have any tried-and-true sayings about iPad time. This stuff is just too new. But many experts on kids and media are also parents themselves. So when I was interviewing dozens of them for my book The Art of Screen Time, I asked them how they made screen time rules at home. view article arw

Ten SFA Middle School students competed in the National Technology Student Association conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in June after finishing second in Texas at a state qualifying event in April. view article arw

With recent recognition as a Google Reference District, the Canyon Independent School District is working to ensure digital readiness in both students and teachers. Google Reference Districts are ones that demonstrate excellence and thought leadership through the innovative use of technology to drive impact and positive learning outcomes. "If you look at Google and Apple, over technical aspects, companies like this look for social skills," said Director of Digital & Academic Innovation for CISD Christopher Norton.  "Companies want to know, 'Are they able to communicate? Are they able to collaborate?'" view article arw

More businesses moving to Collin County means more competition for employees, especially in some in-demand fields. An estimated 2.4 million jobs will go unfilled this year in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math -- or STEM. In Collin County, much is being done to close the gap. view article arw

With STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) occupations increasingly taking center stage in the job market of tomorrow, Harlingen CISD is ensuring its students have access to quality STEM learning opportunities. For the 2018-2019 school year, the district will launch a new STEM2 Preparatory Academy that aims to engage middle school students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medicine. “As we transform Harlingen CISD, our goal, our purpose, and the reason that we exist is to provide our students with a quality education grounded on strong character values,” said Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos. view article arw

Fourth-grader Oscar Huerta Cruz’ summer began with excitement about free hot dogs. The hot dogs, though, were just a small part of a May festival at the Tanner Road Mobile Home Park where Oscar lives. The event was held to kick off a new internet-based iConnect initiative from Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. view article arw

The 7th grader looks desperate as she approaches. She's just been to a cybersecurity talk at her school, where she raised her hand when asked if she has a social media account - Snapchat, in her case. Most students at Chicago's Nathan Hale Elementary School, many of them younger than the required social media age of 13, did the same when retired police detective Rich Wistocki inquired about Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or any other number of applications and games. view article arw

Bryan school board members on Monday approved a contract to implement a software system that will allow parents to track school buses and get alerts if they are running late. The system, called Zonar, uses cellular technology through AT&T to track bus locations, replacing the radio-based system the district currently uses. "If they're out in the county in places where we can't reach with our radios, we're not going to see them. Any time we take a bus out of Bryan-College Station, we are not going to know where they're at no matter what," Bryan school district Director of Transportation Warren Lanphier said about the radio-based system. "If they're gone for sporting events or whatever that may be, we just won't know where they are." view article arw

A new mobile app launched after a southeast Texas high school shooting last month will allow Texans to report on suspicious activity happening in their own communities and schools. The iWatchTexas app, introduced this week, will help Texans report potential crimes, terrorism or threats to school safety, according to Gov. Greg Abbott, who directed the Department of Public Safety to develop the app.  view article arw

Thirteen Pflugerville school district students recently took part in a unique high school paid internship program, working on a virtual reality project at Dell with the support of the company’s product engineers. Qualifying students with biomedical, computer science and engineering backgrounds from Connally, Hendrickson and Pflugerville high schools worked at the Dell campus on Parmer Lane in Austin alongside software developers in the Client Product Group-Software Engineering section. view article arw

When Donald Elementary School begins the 2018-19 school year as a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Academy, it will be well equipped to do so. After all, the school recently became a nationally recognized STEM campus by the National Institute for STEM Education. Donald is the first elementary school in Texas and fourth in the country to receive that distinction. view article arw

"Within our region, only two teams are advancing so it's a really big deal," explains Monica Benavides, assistant principal at Moody High School. "So we're really excited, super proud of all the kids." However, students will be the first to admit that, a couple of years ago, their outer appearance didn't match their inner confidence. Recent Moody graduate Madelyn Perez recalls, "When we went in 2016, we had to kind of gather what we had here and there." When she and other students arrived at that competition, they found their competitors dressed to the nines.  view article arw

The facial-recognition cameras installed near the bounce houses at the Warehouse, an after-school recreation center in Bloomington, Ind., are aimed low enough to scan the face of every parent, teenager and toddler who walks in.  The center’s executive director, David Weil, learned earlier this year of the surveillance system from a church newsletter, and within six weeks he had bought his own, believing it promised a security breakthrough that was both affordable and cutting-edge. view article arw

On Thursday, Lewisville ISD officials and staff from Donald Elementary School in Flower Mound gathered to celebrate the campus’s recent recognition as a nationally recognized STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) campus by the National Institute for STEM Education. view article arw

Educators are using diverse technology to better reach and teach students, which is also helping empower both teachers and students. Google for Education is bringing a global class to teachers across the South Plains.  "They are learning all kinds of thing from being able to create apps, develop and design apps on mobile devices, to playing with virtual reality through 360 content," said Monica Martinez, with the Ed Tech Team. "They are even creating virtual reality tours to other things that would be for productivity for a teacher like using google calendar, to gmail for productive communication."  view article arw

Canyon ISD Plans Google Summit

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Every year we see new technology develop, especially in the classroom. Canyon Independent School District is working to make sure local educators are learning how to use this new technology to teach students of all ages by participating in the Google Summit.  view article arw

Millions of Texans will soon have the ability to help prevent school shootings in the palm of their hands. Governor Gregg Abbott said Wednesday that the state wants to make it easier to report concerns directly to the Department of Public Safety by using smart phone technology. view article arw

Less than two weeks after the deadly school shooting in Santa Fe, KTAB News is digging deeper to find out how Big Country schools are working to keep students safe. Sweetwater ISD began using an app called 'Crisis Go' at the beginning of the spring 2018 semester. The app is free and users can create 'circles' including that can include a single campus, the entire district and even first responders. If there is an emergency, big or small, a user can press the 'panic' to the circle that needs to be alerted and a siren will sound on each users smart phone. view article arw

The International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE), whose mission is to challenge, inspire and equip today’s educators to prepare students for lifelong success, has named the Prestwick STEM Academy as a Model School for 2018.  “We applaud these inspiring schools for persevering on a path to rapid improvement by creating a positive systemwide culture of high expectations and strong, positive relationships,” said Dr. Willard R. Daggett, Founder and Chairman of the International Center for Leadership in Education. Prestwick STEM Academy is being recognized for its future-focused approach and the implementation of a rigorous and relevant curriculum that challenges students to think beyond the classroom to solve real-world problems. view article arw

Signing Day is often reserved for athletes looking to continue their athletic careers at college, but a recently formed tradition is dedicated to honoring FIRST Robotics Competitions or FRC students who plan to pursue STEM and engineering careers after graduation. Parents and coaches congratulated seniors from Plano Senior High School and Plano ISD Academy High School Monday night, wishing them success and happiness in college. After years of dedication and sacrifice, they pledged to take their talents to Kansas State University, Texas A&M, University of Texas in Austin and beyond. view article arw

Hallsville ISD signed two agreements Monday at its board of trustees meeting, and both agreements will help Hallsville students further their education. Trustees unanimously agreed to the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the planned East Texas Advanced Manufacturing Academy. The academy is a partnership among area industries, colleges and Longview, Pine Tree, Spring Hill and Hallsville ISDs. view article arw

The McAllen Education Foundation is to donate $65,000 to McAllen ISD in order to boost the number of students participating in FIRST RGV’s robotics competitions. MEF is a a philanthropic, tax-exempt, public corporation that operates independently of McAllen ISD and is governed by a board made up of business and civic leaders from the community. FIRST RGV is a non-profit that runs robotics competitions in conjunction with career and technical education departments at Valley school districts. view article arw

The Hillsboro Independent School District (HISD) Board of Trustees met in regular session Monday, May 14, and discussed a recent technology grant the district received. In the director’s report, board members were informed that HISD was awarded $50,000 in grant funds, which will be used for the Instructional Material Access for Gains In Education (IMAGINE) program at Hillsboro Junior High. The program will provide Chromebooks for lending to next year’s eighth-grade students, as well as internet access through MiFi checkout for students who do not have internet at home.  view article arw

With today's classrooms depending more and more on technology, a new grant aims to provide Internet access to low-income students. Sprint's 1Million Project Grant will place Wi-Fi devices in the homes of more than 1,300 eligible EPISD students for up to four years, the district announced this week. view article arw

More EPISD students will have access to 21st century learning tools in the incoming 2018-19 academic year as the district prepares to distribute an additional 12,000 laptops to secondary schools.   EPISD this summer will distribute Apple MacBook Air laptops to incoming sixth-graders and high-school juniors, as well as middle-schoolers in selected schools that did not receive similar devices last year.   The laptop distribution is part of EPISD’s effort to provide access to instructional technology to every student in the district.  To date, a total of 45,000 laptops have been issued to students over the past three years. view article arw

Students at Slack Elementary are getting a hands-on approach to learning. With the help of parents, students and community members, a teacher at Lufkin ISD has created a lab for students combining arts, creativity, and STEM topics. "It's not just pencil and paper all the time. Now we get to more technology and stuff like that," said Adam Elgendy, a third-grade student. Elgendy is describing the new STREAM Lab. view article arw

Mineral Wells ISD Information Technology Director David Oestreicher told trustees Monday the district's technology upgrade initiative is not going as planned. "It is going much better," Oestreicher panned. Oestreicher briefed school board members on the next phase of the district's student and classroom technology initiative and received approval to move forward with what will be the second of a four-year plan beginning with the 2018-19 school year. view article arw

While many of us were busy enjoying the onset of spring weather, the Texas State Board of Education quietly adopted criteria, after a bill passed by the Texas Legislature, that threaten the quality of public education in Texas. The Legislature voted last session to change high school graduation requirements to allow advanced computer science courses to replace foreign language instruction. Previously, students needed to fulfill a LOTE (languages other than English) requirement before graduating from high school. Now, those who enroll in an advanced placement or international baccalaureate class in computer science can use that course to fulfill the requirement. Computer science has its place in high school education. Students interested in science and technology careers can gain experience in coding and applied mathematics. However, computer science is not a language. Those who suggest coding is similar to human language fail to consider the complexities of human communication.  view article arw

When the Montgomery High School robotics team arrived at the 2018 VEX Robotics World Championship, co-coach Jennifer Duffer hoped for just one match win against the best of the world for the students' first attempt. They won three. The team, which began only two years ago, competed with 35 teams from Texas among hundreds of teams registered to represent more than 35 countries at the world championship from April 25-28 in Kentucky. view article arw

A high school in Alabama is in a tough spot after grades were hacked, leaving the academic standing of students in question. In what appears to be a computer hack, grades were changed, forcing the school to investigate and leaving the status of the top ten students and valedictorian up in the air. “My son called…and basically told me that there was an investigation going on with the top ten list and [that] someone has hacked into the grades and been changing grades since 2016,” Shannon Odom told WKRG in Alabama. Odom's son is a student at W.S. Neal High School in East Brewton, AL. view article arw

For the past three and a half decades, educators have been taking an increasingly multimedia approach to teaching in an effort to both “meet the students where they’re at” in terms of familiarity and to help them become lifelong learners when it comes to constantly having to adapt to new technology. In order to better meet those demands, school systems now have to maintain and continually upgrade their infrastructure for technology. On May 14, the Royse City Independent School District Board of Trustees will vote on adopting a new technology replacement plan for the 2018-19 school year. view article arw

Kilgore ISD has been granted almost $100,000 from the Texas Education Agency to help increase students’ 24/7 access to digital educational materials and devices. Part of the 2018-2019 Technology Lending Grant program, the funds help local educational agencies ensure children have equal access to tech – KISD’s investment will particularly serve At-Risk, Early Childhood Development and Bi-Lingual students at Chandler Elementary School and Kilgore Intermediate. view article arw

For Enedina Saenz and her daughter, the upcoming school year brings new opportunity and appreciation for La Joya Independent School District. LJISD is making some changes to five elementary schools starting in the 2018-2019 school year. Five of the 23 elementary schools in the district will now be classified as designated schools of choice. As previously reported by the Progress Times, two schools will be focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), two will be focused on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) and one will be focused on Fine Arts. view article arw