Category: Organization Updates

VOTE NOW for the 2020 Advisory Council Election

The 2020 ILTPP Advisory Council Election is open for voting!

The Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) Advisory Council supports ILTPP by providing insight from represented schools, vendor partners, and other Illinois organizations regarding educational technology products, services, and purchasing best practices. The current council consists of leaders in the educational technology and purchasing/procurement fields, serving as Superintendents, Principals, Technology Directors, School Business Officers or Managers, and liaisons to other Illinois organizations. Currently, the ILTPP Advisory Council has two open seats available for 2020.

In addition to a one year term, council members advocate for the program among colleagues and/or constituents. Responsibilities of a council member include attending a minimum of three onsite or virtual meetings per year, providing guidance on program objectives, including the formal bid process, RFP vendor selection, and product selection. Each nominee was required to submit the following for seat consideration:

  • Be a registered ILTPP Member (If not already a member)
  • A one-page letter of interest indicating why they would like to be on the council
  • A one-page resume
  • Professional headshot
  • 250-word bio

YOUR VOICE IS IMPORTANT TO US

Each of these individuals are qualified, distinguished, and deserving of an Advisory Council seat. However, we only have room for two additions to the 2020 ILTPP Advisory Council. This is why your vote counts! Be sure to vote for the individuals you believe will guide Illinois schools, no matter the size, in technology-related procurement needs. Please review each candidate before casting your vote.

National Business Furniture Promotions & Offerings!

National Business Furniture (NBF) is pleased to partner with the Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP)! NBF offers a wide variety of furniture for both K-12 and Higher Education institutions. As an ILTPP cooperative vendor partner, NBF can assist you in creating spaces that are versatile, tech-savvy, and collaborative while providing the affordability your district deserves!

NBF provides a robust, “Ships Today” program with hundreds of products ready to ship, TODAY! In addition, all products are covered by NBF’s Exclusive Lifetime Guarantee.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Teresa Darden
Education Sales Manager
972-764-2210
teresad@nbf.com

Call for Advisory Council Nominations

Join the collective voice of the Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) to influence edtech in Illinois. ILTPP is extending the cooperative’s reach to allow you to nominate an edtech leader for this year’s Advisory Council openings. The call for nominations begins tomorrow, November 1, 2019! ILTPP members will have the chance to vote two individuals into the Advisory Council. These two seats will be awarded to those considered most qualified and impactful by ILTPP members. This opportunity is available to all ILTPP registered members.

Who is the Advisory Council?

The Council supports ILTPP by providing insight from schools, vendors, and other Illinois organizations regarding educational technology products, services, and purchasing best ­practices. The Council members are leaders in the educational technology and purchasing/procurement fields, serving as Superintendents, Principals, Technology Directors, School Business Officers or Managers, and liaisons to other Illinois organizations.

If nominees are advanced to then voting ballot, the letter of interest, headshot, and bio will be displayed in the online ballot for member-wide voting.

Council seats are open to representatives from every institution and time commitments are flexible. ILTPP members are encouraged to apply if they are interested in volunteering or assisting with program activities.

Easy Ways to Bring Assistive Technology Into Your Classroom

By Jennifer Sullivan
May 28, 2019

Free or low-cost tools can help all students—with and without learning differences—better access course content.

Teachers put a lot of time and effort into designing classroom activities that encourage students to read, write, communicate, play, move, and socialize. They strive to ensure that all students have opportunities to grow and learn, but children with disabilities can face barriers to their participation in classroom activities. To lower those barriers, teachers can access a set of tools—collectively called assistive technology—that have been designed to help these students participate fully and naturally in inclusive learning environments.

Assistive technology (AT) is “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” AT includes a wide variety of no-tech, low-tech, and high-tech tools. Some assistive technology tools cost nothing, and others can be fairly inexpensive. Many teachers are using some tools that function as AT—even if they don’t think of them that way.

Simple Ways to Incorporate Assistive Technology

Closed-captioning in videos: Adding or turning on closed-captioning in all videos, including YouTube and GoNoodle, assists students in making connections between text and audio representations of language. Captioning is an assistive technology tool that is free and easy to use: simply push the CC button underneath a video.

Closed-captioning provides missing information for individuals who have difficulty processing speech and auditory components of visual media. It is crucial for students who are hard of hearing and can support students’ reading skills.

Graphic organizers: Graphic organizers are a no-tech AT tool that offers a simple, effective way to provide writing support to elementary, middle, and high school students who have dysgraphia, executive function challenges, and other learning challenges.

Students with executive function challenges who struggle with organization, for example, can benefit from the visual organization of their thoughts and ideas, and graphic organizers “clarify implicit relationships contained in the text in a way that text alone may not.” Likewise, students with dysgraphia—which affects handwriting and fine motor skills, word spacing, and the general ability to put ideas and thoughts onto paper—can benefit from graphic organizers.

This tool can help struggling writers show what they know and organize their thoughts before they start to write, which can make writing less intimidating. Having printed graphic organizers available in your classroom for all students is an easy way to provide an assistive technology tool to struggling writers of all ages.

Classroom seating: To help students focus their attention in order to learn, it’s helpful if teachers are able to provide a variety of seating options in the classroom. Examples of supported seating include beanbag chairs, yoga balls, wobble stools, carpet squares, and wedges for active sitting, which is “seating that naturally encourages us to stay in motion, rather than passively relaxing into a slouch or attempting to rigidly hold a ‘correct’ pose.”

My daughter’s fifth-grade classroom has a variety of seating options, and one of her favorite seats looks like an old wooden train bench with pillows. Her third-grade classroom had a reading corner with beach chairs. Metal chairs arranged in rows don’t need to be the only seating choice in our classrooms, and involving students in the seating design process—by having them help arrange the room or develop the norms for using the options, for example—can create excitement and engagement.

Visual timers: Time can be abstract for students with executive function challenges or autism. Students may become anxious when a teacher says, “You have 10 minutes left to work on this test.” Using a visual timer—a device that makes the concept of time easier to understand and monitor by providing a clear indication of the time remaining and elapsed for tasks—can help students prepare for transitions and ease test anxiety as they are able to see at a glance how much time is left.

Teachers can place a physical visual timer on their desk or elsewhere at the front of the classroom, or project one on their interactive whiteboard during timed class activities, projects, or tests.

Speech-to-text software: Students with print disabilities such as dyslexia can struggle when producing written assignments. However, if your classroom uses Google Docs, all of your students—those with and without disabilities—have access to an important free tool called voice typing, which is found under the Tools tab. (Dragon Dictation and VoiceNote are similar tools that are also worth trying.)

Speech-to-text is a form of assistive technology that allows students—and teachers—to dictate into their computer and watch their words appear as text on the computer screen, without typing. I’ve found that students with and without disabilities like using this tool.

Teachers may want to create a space for voice typing in a corner of the classroom, where classroom sounds won’t be picked up by the computer microphone. If all students have the opportunity to rotate through this area, voice typing should not carry any stigma.

Read Original Article


The George Lucas Educational Foundation is dedicated to transforming K-12 education so that all students can acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to thrive in their studies, careers, and adult lives. Founded by innovative and award-winning filmmaker George Lucas in 1991, the foundation takes a strategic approach to improving K-12 education through two distinct areas of focus: Edutopia and Lucas Education Research.

Pitsco Education – Get 2% Discount & FREE Shipping on ALL Orders Over $100

Pitsco Education is excited to be partnered with ILTPP to assist students and teachers alike with their STEM needs.

Pitsco Education is the leading provider of hands-on K-12 STEM solutions. Career-based STEM education prepares learners for the future through the integration of science, technology, engineering, and math concepts using relevant hands-on applications to connect school, community, and work. The company’s various products, activities, curriculum, and solutions promote relevant learning experiences and development of 21st-century soft skills.

Recently, Pitsco has released its brand-new Coding and Robotics catalog, that showcases the company’s diverse and robust K-12 coding and robotics continuum. In addition, Pitsco prides itself on strong customer support and fast, friendly service.

Reach out to your ILTPP Account Manager, Preston Frazier at pfrazier@pitsco.com for any questions or projects you may be working on.

Be sure to reference code AEPA22 on ALL orders and purchase orders for a 2% discount and free shipping on all orders over $100.


Resources

Pitsco pulled together all its ready-made resources, samples, examples, and publications, and catalogs with thousands of hands-on products for your classroom.

Funding & Grants

Pitsco believes engaging the whole student through hands-on, minds-on learning initiatives is central to growth and success, both in the classroom now and later in life. Pitsco is a great resource if you are looking for a way to fund those types of opportunities for your students.

The Pitsco Blog

Pitsco’s blog shares everything from new products and funding opportunities, to techie tips and inspiration.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Preston Frazier
Illinois Sales
800-835-0686 Ext. 4559
pfrazier@pitsco.com

Advisory Council Member Spotlight: Superintendent Todd Dugan

Todd Dugan is the Superintendent of Bunker Hill CUSD #8 located in rural Bunker Hill, IL. Dugan has been a junior high Social Studies teacher, Principal, and Superintendent. He recently received Illinois State University’s EAF Superintendent of the Year 2018 Award. Prior to that, he received the Tech & Learning Leader of the Year in 2017 for his work in overcoming digital inequity in rural Illinois. A proponent of innovative educational technology, Todd’s passion is ensuring that all students, regardless of geography or socio-economic status, receive an engaging and top-quality education.

The Council supports ILTPP by providing insight from schools, vendors, and other Illinois organizations regarding educational technology products, services, and purchasing best ­practices. The Council members are leaders in the educational technology and purchasing/procurement fields, serving as Superintendents, Principals, Technology Directors, School Business Officers or Managers, and liaisons to other Illinois organizations.

Council seats are open to representatives from every school district and time commitments are flexible. ILTPP members are encouraged to apply if they are interested in volunteering or assisting with program activities.

Below, check out Todd’s recent book review of The New Agenda: Achieving Personalized Learning Through Digital Convergence by Dr. Shawn K. Smith in the Illinois ASBO 2019 Fall UPDATE Publication.

View Full 2019 Fall UPDATE Publication

Digital Convergence: When Kids Learn Best

As the world rapidly accelerates with technology advancements, schools continue to adapt, yet often find themselves struggling to keep up. Rather than simply adding devices to classrooms, what schools need is to, “transform our traditional classrooms into modern learning environments,” uniting education and technology forever in order to sustain this model of 21st century personalized learning: Digital Convergence.

If your district is either on the path to a 1:1 learning environment, planning for this eventually or in the midst of it with numerous challenges, then The New Agenda: Achieving Personalized Learning Through Digital Convergence is a book you may want to consider perusing. The entire process of transforming teaching and learning in the digital age is examined, as well as tips to shape the direction from deployment to differentiated learning.

As a rural, downstate superintendent that led my former district to one of the earliest 1:1 conversions, and is in the midst of planning the same or my current district, I was able to relate with several of the struggles identified. Such as, the desire to simplify a potentially messy mass technology deployment with a single point solution, forcing a “one size fits all” model. These approaches, intended to transform learning, instead lead to very traditional classrooms with devices present. The lack of a unified, systemic approach has often led to massive (and expensive) technology deployments that fail to focus on 21st century skills, such as creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication.

In order to successfully achieve personalized learning through digital convergence, author Shawn K. Smith suggests five components that must be addressed in the planning process: leadership, instructional models, modern curriculum, digital ecosystems and professional learning.

What I found most profound was a simple statement referenced several times throughout: “Kids learn best when…?” This rationale truly needs to be the “why” of every shift toward personalized and blended learning. Otherwise, districts run the risk of falling short of the ultimate goal: shifting the focus from the instructor to the learner.

The value in guiding all conversations toward this essential question makes this book not only a resource in regard to educational technology, but also to overall school improvement, which hopefully would become your district’s new agenda.

ILTPP is Seeking a Cooperative Purchasing Coordinator

Here at ILTPP, we are excited to announce an opening of a new role! We invite you to consider applying to the Cooperative Purchasing Coordinator position. The ideal candidate will be eager to gain knowledge and learn the basics of negotiating skills and processes to help support the program. This position requires accuracy in a high amount of data entry, excellent communication skills, and the ability to exhibit independence, flexibility, and good judgment to respond to changing priorities.

We are looking for applicants in the Champaign-Urbana area. If you have any additional questions please email LearnMore@iltpp.org.

CDW-G: ILTPP Contract Becomes Even Stronger

The Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) and CDW-G full catalog contract is stronger than ever thanks to a joint effort made possible by the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA).

 

The Enhanced Ordering Site

An ILTPP-specific ordering site was created by CDW-G for ILTPP members. It allows for quick and easy access to custom, ILTPP-pricing searches on full catalog products and services. Within this page, you can find featured products, categorical interests, dedicated account manager contacts, and ILTPP pricing on all CDW-G products.

See for Yourself

 

The Monthly Flyers

CDW-G’s marketing team is leading the way with the very first edition of an ILTPP Monthly Flyer. ILTPP is excited about this addition due to the fact that others have followed suit. This exclusive inclusion provides monthly, updated information to our members.

See for Yourself

 

The Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies

AEPA is a multi-state non-profit organization made up of Educational Service Agencies / political subdivisions organized through a Memorandum of Understanding between all participating states. AEPA is a national cooperative with contracts competitively bid and tailored to meet each school and agency, no matter the size. With shrinking budgets and fewer resources, AEPA was founded with the sole purpose to leverage equal level purchasing power.

NEW Member Resources

Check out the NEW downloadable Member Resource tools now available to aid your upcoming purchasing needs.

The Technology Partner Directory highlights ILTPP Vendor Partners within key technology categories. It was requested by attendees at the 2019 ICE Conference.

The Interactive Touch Screen Feature Comparison compares 6 popular IFP's within 30 feature categories. This resource was requested via the 2019 ILTPP Showcase Survey.

Invite to ILTPP Advisory Council

We here at ILTPP invite you to consider joining our Advisory Council. With your help, the program can facilitate with educators, administrators, and others to provide resources for schools working in all stages of technology integration.

As ILTPP builds its strategic outreach, it will develop and seek feedback from our council. APPLY TODAY to make a difference throughout the state. All applications must be submitted by August 17th, 2018. We are looking for applicants in various roles within your school/district. If you have any additional questions please email LearnMore@iltpp.org