OCTAE Applauds New Rules That Will Help Make Home Broadband More Affordable for Low-Income Americans
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has modernized and reformed its Lifeline programto help low-income consumers afford access to broadband Internet access. Lifeline is a program that has helped make telephone service affordable for low-income Americans since 1985.
OCTAE has long championed increased access to the Internet for teachers, students, and classrooms, spreading the word of opportunities such as ConnectED, ConnectHome, and EveryoneOn. We recognize the importance of Internet access to increase the rigor and relevance of classroom teaching and homework; make learning anytime, anywhere a possibility for all; and provide families with connections to information, civic opportunity, health information, and consumer savings.
According to the Pew Research Center, just over 30 percent of households whose incomes fall below $50,000 and with children ages 6 to 17 do not have a high-speed internet connection at home, and this low-income group makes up about 40% of all families with school-age children in the United States.
There is one week left for schools to enter the CTE Makeover Challenge and compete for a share of the $200,000 cash prize pool and additional in-kind prizes! The Challenge was launched on March 9, 2016 and calls on high schools to design makerspaces that strengthen next-generation career and technical skills.
Schools can join the Challenge by visiting CTEMakeoverChallenge.com and completing a short submission form. The Challenge website also contains more information about the Challenge as well as complete rules, terms, and conditions.
On December 10, 2015 the U.S. Department of Education announced the release of the 2016 National Education Technology Plan and new Future Ready commitments to support personalized professional learning for district leaders and educators working to improve teaching and student learning through the effective use of technology. As educators, advocates, parents, and policymakers, we must work to ensure equity of access to transformational learning experiences enabled by technology and personalized professional learning opportunities for educators and district leaders. The 2016 National Education Technology Plan, Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education, articulates a vision of equity, active use, and collaborative leadership to make everywhere, all-the-time learning possible.
The plan recognizes the role that informal learning spaces play in closing the digital use divide and achieving equity, including spaces such as libraries, maker spaces, museums, clubs, workplaces, adult education programs, national parks, and online learning environments such as games, simulations, and educational apps.
OCTAE celebrates the 2016 Plan and the added energy it brings to our ongoing priorities, including:
The LINCS Learner Center, making high-quality learning opportunities available on demand for adult earners
This announcement is cross-posted from the IES NewsFlash of 12/08/2015.
ED/IES SBIR Fiscal Year 2016 Program Solicitation is Now Open
Through its annual competition, the Small Business Innovation Research program at the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences provides funding to firms and partners for the research and development, and evaluation of commercially viable education technology products.
On December 7, 2015, ED/IES SBIR released its Fiscal Year 2016 solicitation:
• Fiscal Year 2015 “Phase I” Solicitation: Solicitation #ED-IES-16-R-0003, is a request for Phase I proposals for awards up to $150,000 for 6-months. These proposals are for the development of prototypes of education technology products to improve relevant student, teacher, or administrator outcomes in education and special education settings.
To access to the Phase I solicitation on the FBO.gov website, click here.
The submission deadline for all Phase I proposals is January 21, 2016, at 2 P.M. EST.
Please Note: ED/IES SBIR is not offering a Fast-Track (Phase I & II) program solicitation in FY 2016.
For more information about the Institute’s SBIR program, visit the program website here.
We want to hear your thoughts, and hope you will participate in this open call!
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) will launch the EdSim Challenge, which will call upon the gaming, developer, and edtech communities to design simulated environments that prepare America’s students for a more competitive world through high-quality career and technical education.
On November 5th, OCTAE launched a call for public feedback to help inform the Challenge design. Public feedback will be accepted through December 6, 2015 regarding topics such as simulated learning subject areas, skill sets, and technical considerations.
Following the call for public feedback, ED will finalize the EdSim Challenge design. In Spring 2016, the EdSim Challenge will open for submissions, seeking engaging educational simulations that will help define the next generation of applied learning and pair immersive technologies with rigorous educational content and integrated assessment.
Simulated learning experiences, such as immersive gaming environments, virtual reality, and training simulations, represent an emerging class of instructional content delivery in education. Research indicates that simulation-based learning holds advantages for students in terms of information retention, engagement, skills training, and learning outcomes. We are excited to help move these technologies forward for the benefit of our nation’s students.
The Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education is excited to launch the App Challenge in collaboration with the First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative.
We are eager to see the innovative solutions that developers, educators, and anyone interested in helping students map their futures, submit to the challenge and compete for a share of the $225,000 prize pool.
You can find all the information about the Reach Higher Career App Challenge on Challenge.gov and enter the challenge at ReachHigherChallenge.com.
You can also view the complete Federal Register Notice here.
How can games transform education? That question was at the core of the Games for Learning summit that was held in New York City in conjunction with the 12th Annual Games for Change Festival. The Office of Education Technology led the day-long event that convened educators, game developers, and technology companies to discuss the latest trends, products, and barriers to developing games that effectively deliver education content.
Game developers try the latest educational games at the Games for Change Festival in New York City.
OCTAE had the opportunity to announce the EdSim Challenge that will be launching soon. The EdSim, or Educational Simulations, Challenge seeks to demonstrate the value of establishing a predictable framework for developers, schools, and businesses to develop and use high-quality immersive 3D simulations to deliver high-quality CTE. The framework will be developed through a crowdsourced comment phase through which the public can recommend technology and educational approaches to integrate into the challenge.
To stay updated on the EdSim Challenge and receive notification when the public comment period opens, register for email notifications on EdPrizes.com.
On Friday, August 8, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education issued a solicitation for companies to provide OCTAE subject matter expertise and assistance in advancing the use and development of emerging technologies to expand the capacity of Career and Technical Education (CTE). The five-year contract will enlist a contractor to design and administer public competitions and challenges for OCTAE. Included in the solicitation are task orders to organize and manage challenges for Career Counseling Apps and Education Simulations. Proposals are due not later than August 22, 2014 at 10:30am Eastern Time. You can view the full solicitation on FedBizOpps.
Over 6,800 students, parents, and advisors attended the 36th Annual National Technology Student Association (TSA) Conference in Washington, DC last week. I was privileged to be one of those. TSA is committed to students studying in Technology Education and those interested in a STEM career. Middle and high school TSA students traveled to DC from across the nation to network, compete, and share new ideas and skills that could be used in the future.
Elisabeth Stansbury, left, and Caleb Gum, right, pause for a quick photo at the 36th Annual National TSA Conference in Washington, DC.