Tuesday, April 11, 2017

WEMTA Members: We need more of your stories!

Dear WEMTA Members,

Several weeks ago we asked you to share stories about your libraries with us so we could share them with legislators at National Library Legislative Day on May 2.  Thank you to those of you who shared your stories! We need more stories from the following congressional districts:

District 2 Mark Pocan 
District 4 Gwen Moore
District 6 Glenn Grothman
District 7 Sean Duffy
District 8 Mike Gallagher

If your school is in one of these districts, please complete the form at the link below, and please include a picture or video along with your story. You can find your congressional district by typing in your school's zip code at http://www.house.gov/

On May 2, Janet Vraney (Green Bay PS) and Amy Pugh (Pewaukee School Dist.) will attend a National Library Legislative Day in Washington D.C. where they have an opportunity to meet with legislators and/or their aides to share the wonderful work that is happening in our school libraries across Wisconsin. They need your input on the survey linked so they can share the stories of the great programs and resources that are extending student learning in our school libraries.

Your participation in this short survey by April 20 is greatly appreciated. If you know of another library staff member in your district or region that is not a WEMTA member, you may also share this survey with them. (Survey/Form link: https://goo.gl/forms/aV1Yn8CDMpNC6anx1)

Thank you in advance. 

WEMTA Legislative Committee


Monday, April 3, 2017

Advocate for edtech funding!

Dear WEMTA Members,

Your support and participation is needed to advance advocacy efforts on the following issues. ISTE's advocacy work over the last several years is under attack. Progress on E-Rate, the Lifeline program and educational technology funding via the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is at stake with the new Congress and Presidential Administration. Please take action by doing the following:

  • Sign up for the ISTE Advocacy Networka one-stop source for information about edtech policy. Each week in April ISTE will be sending a policy update email that also includes an action item you can take to directly benefit edtech policy.
  • Participate in our advocacy campaign by following#Act4Edtech on Twitter and retweeting @isteconnectsupdates.
  • Watch and share this video from ISTE Board President Mila Fuller to learn more about ISTE's advocacy priorities and how you can help advance our efforts.
Visit ISTE's Take Action Page today and learn how you can win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Digital Wish has just launched a massive hotspot donation program for educators

Now on the Sprint network, Mobile Beacon's 4G LTE Program has donated hotspot modems and discounted $10/month wireless service for educators.  You get unlimited, high-speed 4G LTE mobile broadband service and a high quality, 10 hour battery life hotspot modem that can connect up to 10 people to the internet on only one plan!

You can expand your internet access at school, on field trips, at sporting events or while working at home.  The coverage area is now over 5 times larger and internet speeds are a lot faster at 6 to 9 mbs.  
Mobile Beacon’s 4G LTE Internet service can help districts fill in critical access gaps, including:
  • Providing instant wireless access to teachers who struggle with unreliable Internet access at their homes or schools.
  • Provide out-of-school access to disadvantaged or at-risk students.
  • Providing mobile Internet access on field trips and off-campus events.
  • Creating a low-cost, back-up Internet source at schools to prevent lessons from being disrupted if the school’s primary Internet connection fails.
  • Bring wireless access to areas of the school building with spotty internet
  • Offer video-streaming of school events to engage families and communities.
Teachers and administrators can order the modems and Internet subscriptions individually with their own credit card as long as they are employed by a district and have a proper school email address. They can also order the donated modems now and wait until June 30th before setting up the subscription. An $18 admin fee applies for a single modem donation and subscriptions must be paid for a full year.


Please share the news with your colleagues and WEMTA!

All the best,

Gordon Woodrow

Executive Director
Digital Wish

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

We Need Your Stories!

Thank you for being a WEMTA member.

On May 2, Janet Vraney (Green Bay PS) and Amy Pugh (Pewaukee School Dist.) will attend a National Library Legislative Day in Washington D.C. where they have an opportunity to meet with legislators and/or their aides to share the wonderful work that is happening in our school libraries across Wisconsin. They need your input on the survey linked so they can share the stories of the great programs and resources that are extending student learning in our school libraries.

Your participation in this short survey by April 20 is greatly appreciated. If you know of another library staff member in your district or region that is not a WEMTA member, you may also share this survey with them. (Survey/Form link: https://goo.gl/forms/aV1Yn8CDMpNC6anx1)

Thank you in advance.

WEMTA Legislative Committee

Friday, March 24, 2017

Correction on early voting deadline

Dear WEMTA Members,

Early/absentee voting ends Friday, March 31st in most municipalities. Find out when you can vote early by calling your municipal clerk's office. You can find your polling place here.  See what's on your ballot here. If you're not voting early, be sure to schedule it into your day for Tuesday, April 4th!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

WEMTA Members: Early/Absentee voting ends soon!

Dear WEMTA Members,

Early/absentee voting ends Friday, March 31st in most municipalities. Find out when you can vote early by calling your municipal clerk's office. You can find your polling place here.  See what's on your ballot here. If you're not voting early, be sure to schedule it into your day for Tuesday, April 4th!

Tony Evers, incumbent:

  • Position on Libraries: "Under my leadership, we launching new technology activities in libraries, like the coding project giving librarians the background and resources to nurture development of these skills with youth in their communities."
  • School choice: opposes expansion of the voucher program, wants focus on resources for public schools.
  • Common Core: Evers has supported the adoption and implementation of Common Core
  • Running on: fixing the school funding formula; increasing graduation rates/reducing achievement gaps; and making sure students graduate ready for college and careers.
  • Endorsements
  • Website


Lowell Holtz, Superintendent, Whitnall School District:

  • Position on Libraries: "Libraries are a seamless extension of our K-12 school system – before pre-school is commenced, throughout the calendar year, and after diplomas are earned."
  • School choice: supports the school choice program, saying: "I have no problems with the concept of a voucher in every backpack."
  • Common Core: supports the immediate elimination of the Common Core curriculum
  • Betsy DeVos: Holtz congratulated DeVos on her confirmation, focusing on DeVos' support for school choice.
  • Other positions: promises to close the achievement gap, reduce administrative burdens on teachers, and return control of education back to local communities and parents.
  • Endorsements
  • Website
WEMTA Legislative Committee

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

WEMTA Legislative/ISTE Advocacy Booth Winners!

If you joined our drawing at the WEMTA/ISTE Advocacy Booth, be sure to check if you are a winner here. Stop at the prize table at 9am. Remember to like our WEMTA Facebook page and subscribe to our Legislative Blog.

Thanks everyone!
WEMTA Legislative Committee