Friday, December 15, 2017

$$WEMTA PET$$ Outreach Grants $$ Deadline Extended!!!

Are you looking for a way $$$$$ to expand or fund an innovative program at your school? The Outreach Grants from the WEMTA PET (Permanent Endowment Trust) are a great opportunity for you. These are the three factors to consider when creating your application:

1. Does your project provide a direct and recognizable benefit to WEMTA members?
2. Does your project support innovation in school library media or instructional technology programs?
3. Is your project a community-based one that promotes professional partnerships?

Examples of previous outreach grants include a Learning4Life professional development program, a book study on Invent to Learn along with accompanying makerspace technology, and the integrations of iPads into a literacy program for students in transitional housing.

WEMTA membership is required for applicants of grants!

Application forms are due  DECEMBER 22, 2017 December 15, 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

It's not too late to get someone you know on the Nice List!

Please consider nominating someone you know for an Award through WEMTA this year.  Do you know of an emerging leader, a recent retiree or an administrator who is exceptionally supportive of the library, media or educational technology? If so, consider recognizing her or him with a WEMTA Award nomination.  

Visit the Awards page on our WEMTA website for more details on how to nominate someone today. http://www.wemta.org/awards/index.cfm

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Net Neutrality Update

WLA shared this important update on Net Neutrality. Please contact your member of Congress about this important issue!

Advocacy Alert: Net Neutrality


What Happened:

The day before Thanksgiving, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Pai publicly shared his plan to dismantle network neutrality protections approved by the FCC in 2015 and affirmed by the federal appeals court in 2016. The new draft order is scheduled to be voted on by the five FCC commissioners on December 14.

Why It Matters:

Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) must enable access to all legal content and applications regardless of the source and without favoring or blocking specific services or websites. Strong, enforceable rules are critical to the functioning of modern libraries because we rely on the internet to collect, create and disseminate essential online information and services to the public. Libraries and our patrons cannot afford to be relegated to "slow lanes" on the internet. ALA has two resolutions regarding net neutrality: the first affirms net neutrality and the second reaffirms our support.

What You Can Do:

Right now, the FCC is not accepting public comments (that may come later), but strong disapproval from members of Congress (especially from Republicans and those that serve on committees with oversight for the FCC) could force a pause in the December 14 vote to derail net neutrality. Make your voice heard now by emailing your member of Congress to support net neutrality protections.

Send an Email

WEMTA Legislative Advocacy

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Who are you thankful for?

With the holidays upon us, this is the time to think about the people we are thankful for!  Do you know anyone who you could nominate for a WEMTA award this year?  For a list of the award categories, check out our Awards page. www.wemta.org



Saturday, November 18, 2017

WEMTA Proposal Deadline Extended



You still have time to submit your proposal for WEMTA 2018! The deadline has been extended through November 30th. If you have any questions, email program@wemta.org.

Friday, November 17, 2017

December 15: WEMTA PET Grant & Scholarship Applications DUE!!

Are you looking for a way to expand or fund an innovative program at your school? The Outreach Grants from the WEMTA PET (Permanent Endowment Trust) are a great opportunity for you. These are the three factors to consider when creating your application:

1. Does your project provide a direct and recognizable benefit to WEMTA members?
2. Does your project support innovation in school library media or instructional technology programs?
3. Is your project a community-based one that promotes professional partnerships?

Examples of previous outreach grants include a Learning4Life professional development program, a book study on Invent to Learn along with accompanying makerspace technology, and the integrations of iPads into a literacy program for students in transitional housing.

WEMTA PET also funds scholarships. One of these is the Lowell Wilson Scholarship, which provides $1500 to cover tuition costs of graduate level coursework in a licensure program. Preference is given to practicing, certified teachers in a Wisconsin school, including those working as library media specialists on an emergency license.

WEMTA membership is required for applicants of grants and scholarships.

Application forms are due December 15, 2017.

Friday, November 10, 2017

WEMTA PET Grant Applications & Lowell Wilson Scholarship Applications DUE 12/15/17

Why Join YOUR Professional Community?

 

People join WEMTA for many reasons.  Here are a few.

 

     Keep current and on the cutting edge, get ideas of best practice, and network with other professionals through:

o     The Google Community (WEMTA PLC)

o     Twitter (@WEMTAOnline)

o     Facebook (WEMTA)

o     The annual conference (March 25-27, 2018 at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells)

o     Other WEMTA-sponsored professional development activities

     Share one's own knowledge through WEMTA's conference and WEMTA PLCs

     Participate in programs for K-12 students like Battle of the Books and the Golden Archer Award

     Get resources like The Digital Dispatch

     Support advocacy and promote intellectual freedom

     Get discounts on fees for other organizations like the Wisconsin Library Association and ISTE.

     Apply for Scholarships & Grants:  WEMTA's Permanent Endowment Trust (PET) funds scholarships & grants

The Lowell Wilson Scholarship ($1500) is available to students like you, who are:

       currently enrolled in a Wisconsin library media education program;

       working toward a 902 license;

       living in Wisconsin and planning to work in a Wisconsin school; and

       members of WEMTA.

 

Outreach Grants normally have a maximum funding limit from PET of $1,000-$1,200, but a few have been approved for larger amounts.  Funding for successful grants is made available in early spring.

 

Applications and more information are available at http://www.wemta.org/awards/scholarships_grants.cfm and must be received by December 15.

 

 

MEMBERSHIP OPTIONS

 

WEMTA Student Membership:

If you are enrolled in an education program at least half time during an academic year, you can join WEMTA at the student membership rate of $25 per year.  

If you are only taking one class at a time, you can enroll as a student member for one year.  This doesn't apply if you are taking classes just for license renewal. 

 

Regular Educational Members:

If you don't fit under the student membership category, you can become and Educational Member at $60 per year.  Many people choose to do this at the same time they register for the annual conference to make it easier for their school districts to pay for it.  Your membership year runs one year from the time you first become a member, so your membership may be from March to March if you register with the conference or from September to September if you do it at the beginning of the school year. 

 

TO BECOME A MEMBER:

 

Online

1.      Go to  http://www.wemta.org.

2.      Click on Register in the upper right corner.  (If you have previously been a member, click on Login in the upper right-hand corner and enter your email and password and skip step 3.)

3.      Fill in the New User information.  Click on Save Profile Information / Become a Registered User.

4.      After you have registered, click on Login on the next screen.  Enter your email and password.

5.      Then click on Become a WEMTA Member.

6.      Check the box to make a WEMTA Membership payment.  Choose your membership type, indicate your payment method, and click submit.

 

By mail

If you prefer, you can download an application form and mail it to:

WEMTA Manager

P.O., Box 44578

Madison, WI  53744-4578

 

 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Battle's Early Bird Fee Available Only Through November 15

You only have a few days left to register for Battle of the Books at the early bird rate of $15 per team.  The registration fee will go up to $30 per team on November 16th.  Don't wait, register now!


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Call for WEMTA 2018 Conference Proposals

There's still time to submit a proposal to present a breakout or poster session at the WEMTA 2018 Conference March 25-27.  WEMTA Conference attendees appreciate hearing practical sessions from professionals working in the field.  We'd love to have you share your stories of success (or lessons learned!) with our attendees.  Fill out the proposal form by November 17 for consideration.  If you have any questions, email program@wemta.org.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Submit your proposals for WEMTA!


Don't forget to submit your proposal for a Breakout or Poster session at WEMTA Conference March 25-27, 2018! Tell us what you are doing to be Future Ready in your classroom or library. Proposals for a breakout session or poster session are due November 17.  If you have any questions, email program@wemta.org.



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Keeping Kids Safe Online Month

Join us as we learn more from each other about Keeping Kids Safe Online. Share before November 6th for a great opportunity to win a $25 Amazon gift card!





Call for WEMTA Conference Proposals

Have a cool idea or experience to share with others?  Present it at the WEMTA Conference March 25-27, 2018!  Proposals for a breakout session or poster session are due November 17.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

E-Rate Wi-Fi Funding At Risk. We Need Your Help!


ISTE is a strong supporter of the E-Rate program. When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) modernized this program in 2014, it focused funding on broadband internet service (Category 1) and Wi-Fi and internal connections (Category 2). For Category 2, E-Rate provides schools with a formula distribution of $150 per pupil that is supposed to last schools five years and that schools have five years to use.

 

Since the modernized E-Rate with a higher spending cap rolled out in 2015, schools have made active use of their Category 2 allotments. However, not all schools have used their full allotments yet. According to data gathered by Funds for Learning, "more than a third (37 percent) of participating sites have not touched their Category Two (C2) budgets, and another quarter (23 percent) have used less than half of their budgets. Only a relatively small percentage of sites (18 percent) have maxed out their C2 discounts." In total, $2.35 billion in Category 2 funds remain unclaimed and unspent.


Last month, the FCC's Wireline Bureau launched a public notice seeking comment on Category 2 budgets. Specifically, this public notice asks how schools have used their allotments and whether schools made Wi-Fi purchases without E-Rate support. The public notice also asks why some schools have not used their allotments yet and whether they plan to do so before the end of the five-year formula cycle.


What's at stake?

ISTE is growing concerned that the FCC is not asking these questions merely for data-gathering purposes, but for another end entirely. Two of E-Rate's sister universal service programs, also administered by the FCC, are short of funds. The data collected in this rulemaking may stand as evidence that schools are not using or do not need some or all of their Category 2 funds, providing the FCC a pretext to transfer E-Rate dollars to other universal service programs. Once those dollars are transferred out of E-Rate, they may be gone forever and stand as a precedent for lower overall funding for E-Rate for years to come.


What you can do?

The FCC has asked  the public to submit initial comments on this public notice byOct. 23.  and reply comments by Nov. 7.  Schools, districts, educators and parents should file comments in the next month that tell the FCC: Hands-off E-Rate Category 2 funds. A strong response from the education community might prevent the FCC from taking action to transfer E-Rate funds.


What should you say?

Comments can be short and to the point, saying:

  1. The E-Rate's investment in Category 2 Wi-Fi and internal connections funding is extremely valuable and could not be replaced by school, district or state funds.
  2. Either:
    1. Your school or district has already used some or all of its E-Rate Category 2 allotment for the following items: ___________. The connectivity provided by these Category 2 items has improved our school or district's educational experience in the following ways: ___________.  Or ...
    2. Your school or district plans to use all of its E-Rate Category 2 allotment by 2020 for the following items:_____________. We anticipate that the connectivity provided by these Category 2 items will improve our school or district's educational experience in the following way:____________.

How do you file?

To submit comments to the FCC:

  1. Go to fcc.gov/ecfs/filings.
  2. Fill out the required sections of the form, inputting 13-184 into the "Proceedings" line.
  3. Upload your filing.

WEMTA Legislative Advocacy

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

#WEMTA18 "Linking Your Thinking"

The Conference Committee is proud to announce the #WEMTA18 theme is "Linking Your Thinking." We are also celebrating 70 Years of WEMTA!


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

September Digital Dispatch

All WEMTA Members...The September issue of the Digital Dispatch was sent out this morning, so please check your email for this informational newsletter. (Please check your SPAM folders as these types of mailings get flagged often.) If your membership is current and you did not receive it please contact us at wemta@wemta.org.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Celebrate and Share with WEMTA: Banned Books Week

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Are there any Good Apples?

Fall is here! Do you know any "Good Apples" we should pick to receive a WEMTA Award this year?  Nominate someone today! www.wemta.org


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Deadline 9/29: Submit for ISTE 2018 in CHICAGO

iste2018.png

Think big. Be bold. Submit for ISTE 2018.

Think back to that lightning-bolt moment that changed everything — that tech innovation you brought to your classroom, that scalable program you implemented, that successful edtech initiative you led. Wouldn’t it make an amazing ISTE 2018 conference session?

The ISTE 2018 call for proposals is now open. Get serious about that jolt of an idea you have and turn it into a bold conference proposal.

SUBMIT A PROPOSAL

Call for proposals ends September 29. Why not wow ‘em in Chicago?

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Battle of the Books Online Registration Available

WEMTA's Battle of the Books 2017-18 season can begin as soon as you are ready!


The booklists are available on WEMTA's website.


Online Registration is now available. Instructions can be found at this link,

(http://www.wemta.org/programs/registration-instructions.cfm)


Registration fees are as follows:

$15 per team until November 15, 2017.

$30 per team November 16 through December 15, 2017.

$45 per team December 16 - January 15, 2018.  Must call WEMTA office (608 848-1232) with a credit card only. No registrations after January 15 will be accepted.


Each team receives 5 ribbons as a part of the registration.  Additional awards (in increments of 5) can be ordered when registering.  5 ribbons would be $1.   5 pins would be $10.


Online registration will close December 15th, so make sure you register by then.  The Moodle site will be available in December for those who have paid. So ... be sure to keep track of your payment in order to begin using the Moodle practice opportunities. It is highly recommended that you use a credit card so that your payment will be processed more quickly.


Here's the Battle Timeline for your reference.  



Looking forward to a great season!


Battle of the Books Committee


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Don't miss #MWISTE & BS tonight!


Are you attending #ISTE17? Don't miss #MWISTE17? RSVP at bit.ly/MWISTE17 & share your thanks to @bytespeed for supporting us!

Don't miss #MWISTE & LNC tonight!


Are you attending #ISTE17? Don't miss #MWISTE17? RSVP at bit.ly/MWISTE17 & share your thanks to @LocknCharge for supporting us!

Don't miss #MWISTE & CA tonight!


Are you attending #ISTE17? Don't miss #MWISTE17? RSVP at bit.ly/MWISTE17 & share your thanks to @CurriculumAssoc for supporting us!

Don't miss #MWISTE & TRA tonight!

Are you attending #ISTE17? Don't miss #MWISTE17? RSVP at bit.ly/MWISTE17 & share your thanks to @TRAChromeCare for supporting us!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Thank you TRA #MWISTE


Be sure to RSVP for the Midwest #ISTE17 Affiliate Reception on 6/25 bit.ly/MWISTE17 Send a thank you to our #MWISTE17 sponsor @TRAChromeCare!

Thank you Curriculum Associates #MWISTE


Be sure to RSVP for the Midwest #ISTE17 Affiliate Reception on 6/25 bit.ly/MWISTE17 Send a thank you to our #MWISTE17 sponsor @CurriculumAssoc!

Thank you LocknCharge #MWISTE



Be sure to RSVP for the Midwest #ISTE17 Affiliate Reception on 6/25 bit.ly/MWISTE17 Send a thank you to our #MWISTE17 sponsor @lockncharge!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

WEMTA Update: Joint Finance Committee Approves Increased Funding for Teach, Public Library System

The Joint Finance Committee met Wednesday to vote on the state budget. They approved several items of interest to WEMTA. They will vote on the full Department of Public Instruction budget either next Tuesday or Thursday.

TEACH Grants:  The Joint Finance Committee voted 16-0 to adopt a motion authored by Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) to provide an additional $6 million to the TEACH program. It continues the information technology block grant program until July 1, 2019, and expands the permitted uses of grants under the program to include providing mobile hotspots on buses and purchasing mobile hotspots for individuals to borrow from schools. In addition, the eligibility for these grants is expanded to include school districts that have up to 16 pupils per square mile. The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates that 278 school districts would meet this eligibility criteria. The Governor had originally proposed a funding increase of $7.5 million to TEACH, but this motion reduced funding by $1.5 million to increase aid to public libraries.

Public Library Funding:  The motion authored by Senator Marklein increases aid to public library systems by $1.5 million.

Teacher Development Program Grants: The Committee voted 12-4 to adopt a motion authored by Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) to approve the Governor's proposal to create a Teacher Development Grant Program administered by the Department of Workforce Development with some modifications.  DWD would be required to award grants to eligible school districts, private schools or charter management organizations in consultation with the Department of Public Instruction. The teacher development program must be designed and implemented in partnership with an "educator preparation program" approved by DPI.  Individuals who don't yet have a bachelor's degree would be permitted to enter the program.

Grants for Teacher Training Recruitment: The Committee voted 12-4 to adopt a motion authored by Representative Felzkowski (R-Irma) to transfer the Teach for America grant program from  DPI to the Department of Workforce Development. The motion changes the name of the grant program  to "Grants for Teacher Training and Recruitment" and allows organizations other than Teach for America to receive the funding.


Board of Commissioners of Public Lands: No motions offered. 

WEMTA Legislative Committee

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