Education Technology

The Agency's Educational Technology program works to provide guidance in policy and practice related to the use of education technology within Vermont’s local educational agencies (LEAs). Some of the areas of focus include providing vision on sound education technology practices through digital learning plans, 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.


Digital Learning Plans

In 2018, AOE produced a planning guide for creating a digital learning plan. Digital learning plans can assist supervisory unions and school districts in crafting and delivering a vision for how technology will support learning for all students. With input from the education community, AOE created a draft Vermont Statewide 2018-2021 Digital Learning Plan document. This draft includes recommendations on how to create a digital learning plan and provides other resources.

Local digital learning plans are no longer required by the state or other entities. However, it is suggested that supervisory unions and school districts create a digital learning plan that will focus on local needs and less about compliance to any state-level request. The recommendation for a local level digital learning plan is an amendment to the previous technology plan requirement. The Agency of Education still sees value in having supervisory unions and school districts create and submit a three-year plan for how technology will support learning. These new plans should be on a three-year cycle to keep abreast of the rapidly changing landscape in education technology. If your SU/SD decides to draft a local digital learning plan and you need support, please contact Lisa Helme at lisa.helme@vermont.gov.


Technology Standards for Students

The Vermont State Board of Education adopted the International Standards for Technology Education (ISTE) Standards for Student Learning. The adoption of this framework is aligned with the state’s Education Quality Standards. These standards outline what Vermont students should know and be able to do with respect to information technology and will guide and inform the work of our schools as they prepare students for college and careers that have been dramatically transformed by information technology. These new and updated ISTE standards replace outdated standards and will help bring our education in line with innovations and best practice in the use of information technologies in schools.

Explore the Technology Standards for Learning on the ISTE website.


Student Data Privacy

The Vermont Agency of Education has partnered with the Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC), a collection of states that are building awareness around the important topic of keeping student (and parent) data secure in school environments. To that end, the SDPC has created a database of negotiated contracts between vendors of online services and local LEA’s. Vermont is an official partner of this consortium and has its own site where Vermont districts may join the effort and utilize the database. This work is specific to the disposition of data within apps or services that schools use online. Technology directors and heads of IT are invited to attend Vermont Student Privacy Alliance meetings. Courtesy of AOE, membership in the alliance by supervisory union or school district is free. To be added to the VSPA meeting notice list or for more information, contact Lisa Helme at lisa.helme@vermont.gov.


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. Survey information is used by legislators and state and local policymakers. This data is regularly referenced in both state and national press with regards to Vermont’s status around education technology.

2020 Annual Technology Survey

The results of the 2020 survey will be posted here once the report is completed. Questions about the 2020 Annual Technology Survey can be directed to Lisa Helme at lisa.helme@vermont.gov.

Previous Year Annual Technology Survey Results


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 the United States. 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. Funding comes from the Universal Service Fund. All schools are eligible and the amount of funding is related to the number of students enrolled in local free and reduced lunch programs.


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. 


Computer Science Teachers Association Vermont

CSTA Vermont was established as a local computer science community. This chapter was built to connect computer science teachers with each other, provide professional development to help instruction, and provide a local voice to the national computer science education community. More information on CSTA VT is available on their website. Questions? Contact Lisa Helme at Lisa.Helme@vermont.gov.


Cybersecurity Resources

Schools and school districts face a myriad of challenging hazards and threats. In addition to natural hazards, technological hazards, and biological hazards, they now have to prepare for human-caused cyber threats. These incidents can be accidental or deliberate and disrupt education and critical operations; expose sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) of students, teachers, and staff; and lead to high recovery costs. Schools and school districts can take a variety of actions to prevent, protect from, mitigate the effects of, respond to, and recover from cyber threats. Below are resources for you to consult in evaluating the cybersecurity preparedness of your education community.


SketchUP Pro and the Vermont Statewide License Grant Program

SketchUP Pro, an industry standard architectural design software, is provided through a Trimble grant program for free to all of Vermont’s public K-12 schools. To request your licenses, download the IP Address Form and fill it out. Email the form to Lisa Helme at the Agency of Education. Your IP address will be added to the whitelist and the grant license with the actual authorization codes and serial numbers will be sent to you.  You may then use them on any computers within your system. This program is ONLY for Vermont public K-12 schools. Questions? Please contact Lisa Helme at lisa.helme@vermont.gov. Happy Sketching!


Lottery Grant

Through a partnership with the Vermont Lottery, the Vermont Agency of Education is offering a competitive grant program that seeks to further school education technology programs. This program focuses on supporting technological connections for students. With the continued disruption due to COVID-19, educational practices have undergone a tremendous shift from in-person to remote learning to hybrid models. This grant aims to support educators from all content areas in helping create connections between students and curriculum content using technology. There are two grant awards of $15,000 each awarded to two Vermont schools. The funding for this grant program comes directly from Vermont Lottery program funds, not from lottery proceeds. The deadline for application is April 5. For more information, review the grant application. 

2021 Grant Application


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. In 2016, OER Commons was contracted by the AOE to help Vermont's education community collect, disseminate, and catalog Open Education Resources. Our partnership with OER Commons includes some professional development in the form of a train the trainer model. Visit the site to find numerous opportunities. Create an account at the OER Commons website and join the #VTOPEN group to be part of this exciting Vermont initiative. If you have questions, please contact Lisa Helme at lisa.helme@vermont.gov.


Questions?

Please contact Rose Wheeler at rose.wheeler@vermont.gov, who will direct you to the appropriate AOE staff.

Contact Us

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
1 National Life Drive, Davis 5
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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Phone: (802) 828-1130 | Fax: (802) 828-6430
aoe.edinfo@vermont.gov
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