Digital Learning

The Agency's Educational Technology program works to provide guidance in policy and practice related to implementing Digital Learning programs at schools. Some of the areas of focus include providing vision on sound education technology practices through the State Digital Learning Plan, leveraging broadband acquisition, providing information on E-rate and other federal funding programs, bringing opportunities for expanded learning with technology to schools, keeping schools abreast of promising trends and maintaining a sound working relationship with educators on the local level.  A noted focus is on providing opportunities for ways technology can support aspects of Act 77, an Act related to providing flexible pathways for learning for all students.  Follow Educational Technology on Twitter

Educate Innovate Grant

Annual Technology Survey

The Annual Education Technology Survey is required of all Vermont schools in order to collect important data about many aspects of the education technology landscape in our schools. 

Open Education Resources

The AOE is committed to supporting school districts and educators transitioning to the use of high-quality, openly licensed educational resources (OER) in their schools.

Digital Learning Plans

The statewide Digital Learning Plan is in draft form and will be available for comment shortly.

Locals are still being required to submit their own Digital Learning Plan to the Agency of Education sometime in early 2017. This time the plan is going to be tied to your continuous improvement plans and work is underway to streamline that process.

This requirement is an amendment to the Technology Plan requirement in the past. The Agency of Education still sees tremendous value in having Supervisory Unions and Supervisory Districts create and turn in a three-year plan for how technology will support learning. The new plan, now known as the Vermont Digital Learning Plan, will be on a three-year cycle and will be required to be turned in at the start of each 3 year period.  While some plans in the past were on a different cycle, all will be on the same cycle, meaning there should be a submission from each SU or SD in this next iteration. Some have already passed in plans from the earlier request.  Those will be considered valid and will be reviewed in the same process. To reiterate, plans will be due in early 2017.  A date has yet to be set, pending various weigh-ins from the constituent groups involved internally at VTAOE.  Webinars and how-to’s will commence in the Spring of 2017 to further support this work.   Stay tuned as we transition into 2017. 

Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative

The Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative (VTVLC) is providing online learning opportunities to students across the state. Begun in 2009-10 with an ARRA federally funded grant, the VTVLC has orchestrated many partnerships with schools across the state providing courses in a variety of curriculum areas available to high school and middle school students. VTVLC also has an extensive online professional development catalog. Summer school and learning recovery opportunities are also available. VTVLC supports schools’ work within Act 77.  

State Education Technology Directors Association

The State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA), has released a comprehensive resource meant to guide schools towards the implementation of digital learning across all grade levels. Personnel at the Agency of Education played a role in some of the resources and guidance provided by this resource. The AOE fully supports and encourages schools to look closely at the various sections within this resource to gain valuable insight in how to implement a digital learning solution at local schools.  

Technology Funding

E-Rate: Affordable Broadband for Schools and Libraries

The Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries, also known as the E-rate program, makes telecommunications and information services more affordable for schools and libraries in America. Mandated by Congress in 1996 and implemented by the Federal Communications Commission in 1997, the E-rate program provides discounted telecommunications, internet access, and internal connections to eligible schools and libraries, funded by the Universal Service Fund. All schools are eligible, the amount of funding is related to the local Free and Reduced lunch programs.

E-rate Modernization, from 2014, provides significantly more funding and opportunities for schools to benefit around internal connections. Wifi in particular is a focus of support and schools should look carefully at options for funding opportunities. The Agency of Education is a resource on all things E-rate and encourages all schools to apply to the program. 

Update on the E-Rate Program

On February 6, 2017, a webinar was conducted to share news and views on the 2017 E-rate season.  The approximately one-hour-long E-Rate webinar is available for your review.  Topics covered included a brief primer for those new to E-Rate and then some general information on new rulings and possible changes we might see in the future with the leadership change at the FCC.  Expertise was provided from a number of sources and good questions were posed by participants.

State Master Contract for Broadband Services

Related to E-rate, the Agency of Education embarked upon its own state-level 470 process in the Spring of 2011 on behalf of all schools in the state. This process resulted in Education Networks of America (ENA) being selected to provide broadband access for schools that wish to avail themselves of the service. Schools are free to take advantage of this contract on their own behalf.  This process fulfills the bidding process for schools and there is no need to file their own 470 if they choose to avail themselves of ENA’s services under this contract.  

State Master Contract For Broadband Services from Education Networks of America

Contract Begin Date:  7/01/2015  (Contract End Date: 6/30/2018) 
VTAOE 470 Application Number:  168900001238987
Master Contract # with BGS  State of Vermont:  28347
Allowable Contract Date:  7/01/2015
Date of Contract Signature: 2/24/2017

Purchasing Contracts

Active contracts as of July 2016 include Hewlett Packard (HP) and Computer Technology Link (CTL) were amended in late 2014 to include a CHROMEBOOK solution. To take advantage of this offering you can refer to the actual contract #’s:

CTL   #26003 - CTL Additions and Price Modifications to MLTI Vermont PA 5.17.2016
Contact: Gary Welk, gwelk@ctl.net
Status: UPDATED - models and pricing May 2016

HP   #25928
Contact: Amy Dupuis, amy.dupuis@hp.com
Status: AVAILABLE

It should be noted that the amended contracts are structured in a way that schools may choose a menu of options, i.e. device alone, device plus management console, device plus extended warranty, etc.

SketchUP Pro and the Vermont Statewide License Grant Program

SketchUP Pro, an industry standard architectural design software, is provided for free to all of Vermont’s public K-12 schools.  To request your licenses, (2015-2017 now available) send a request to Jane Murtagh at the Agency of Education.

Microsoft Enrollment for Education Solutions Agreement Details

The Microsoft Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES) agreement is a 3-year agreement, and provides competitive pricing for schools wishing to purchase Microsoft products. The Agency of Education provides this as a service to schools and wishes to make clear to schools that this is an OPT-IN opportunity. To best serve your schools and districts, review the materials carefully to determine if they meet a current need.


Questions?

Email Peter Drescher or call (802) 479-1169.

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Contact Us

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Rebecca Holcombe
219 North Main Street, Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641

(802) 479-1030 | aoe.edinfo@vermont.gov
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