Toolkit to Help Districts Support Interoperability of Technology
The nonprofit Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has released a toolkit to help K–12 school districts increase the interoperability of their academic and operational systems. The toolkit contains a quiz that allows institutions to self-assess their systems’ interoperability, a calculator to estimate the costs associated with systems that do not work well together, documentation on interoperability standards, case studies, language for drafting procurement documents that keep interoperability in mind, and communication tools for opening discussions about interoperability with school administrators who may not have the technical expertise needed to understand the full importance of the issue.
Merriam-Webster defines “mentor” as “a trusted counselor or guide.” The actual origin of the word dates back to the end of the eighth century when Homer wrote The Odyssey. Mentor was a trusted friend of Homer and he stayed behind during war to watch over Odysseus’ son. The word was then adapted to mean “someone who teaches or gives help and advice.”
Students come to school with, as Dr. Adolph Brown describes, two backpacks. One of the backpacks contains academic tools, such as pencils, calculators, and textbooks, that represent their readiness to learn. The second backpack represents the invisible emotional weight that burdens each student entering our school buildings. Anxiety, stress, rage, self-doubt, and low self-worth resulting from bullying, child abuse, substance abuse, and neglect cannot be unpacked and shoved into a school locker. This backpack accompanies students throughout the school day and impacts their engagement, attentiveness, and interactions. Educators don’t always see the contents of this backpack, yet they witness its negative impact on student learning every day. So how can educators and leaders reach these students? How can we unburden them and teach them coping and relationship skills that allow them to participate in their education fully?
Since 2009 the National Book Foundation has awarded the Innovations in Reading Prize to an individual or organization that inspires readers and engages new audiences with literature. From bicycle-powered libraries that serve a homeless community to empowering Harry Potter fans to build libraries around the world, the Innovations in Reading Prize recognizes literary activists who share the National Book Foundation’s aims to engage readers from all backgrounds.