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
- Technology Standards for Students
- Student Data Privacy
- Annual Technology Survey
- E-Rate: Affordable Broadband for Schools and Libraries
- State Education Technology Directors Association
- Computer Science Teachers Association Vermont
- Cybersecurity Resources
- SketchUp Pro
- Lottery Grant
- Open Education Resources
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 email@example.com.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Annual Technology Survey is required of all Vermont schools 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.
2021 Annual Technology Survey
The survey gathers information about education technology in supervisory unions/districts and schools for the 2020-2021 school year. The information is a tool AOE uses to determine how technology is supporting student-centered learning. The survey is in five main parts: school specific data; district-wide connectivity information; tech platform functions; tech administration; and survey conclusion. As was done last year, the survey is structured to enable a supervisory union or school district representative to complete data for multiple schools in one form. The survey is commonly completed by the SU/SD technology director. Below is a link to the online survey and a preview document of the questions. It is recommended that the preview document is read before starting the survey itself. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Lisa Helme at email@example.com. The deadline to complete the survey is September 30, 2021.
Previous Year Annual Technology Survey Results
- 2020 Annual Technology Survey Results
- 2019 Annual Technology Survey Results
- 2018 Annual Technology Survey Results
- 2017 Annual Technology Survey Results
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Cybersecurity for Schools Fact Sheet
- Cybersecurity Resource Guide
- Cyber Safety Considerations for K-12 Schools and School Districts
- School IT and Law Enforcement Coordination
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Sketching!
Through a partnership with the Vermont Lottery, the Vermont Agency of Education offers a competitive grant program that seeks to further school education technology programs. With the continued disruption due to COVID-19, educational practices underwent a tremendous shift from in-person to remote learning to hybrid models. The 2021 grant aimed to support schools that can integrate the use of technology into the curriculum to create or further an innovative program that supports the Education Quality Standards. 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 2021 winners of the Educate/Innovate Grant program are Rutland Middle School and the Orange Southwest Supervisory Union. The Rutland Middle School will use the grant to expand a program created in response to the pandemic to utilize technology to encourage student learning progression and content engagement. Technology integrationists devised a modular course sequence in which students earn badges as they successfully complete coursework. The self-paced modules utilize a variety of technology and require students to demonstrate knowledge. The grant will enable the school to purchase equipment to expand the course offerings.
The Orange Southwest School District will use the grant to create a K-6 robotics program directly embedded into the core curriculum of science and math. The grant will fund the purchase of robotic kits and supporting curriculum for the district’s three elementary schools. In addition, the district hopes to implement the program this school year to provide immediate student collaboration opportunities to address the social and emotional needs of students created by the pandemic.
Applications for the 2022 grant will open after the first of the year.
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 email@example.com.
Please contact Rose Wheeler at firstname.lastname@example.org, who will direct you to the appropriate AOE staff.