Friday, December 15, 2017
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Advocacy Alert: Net Neutrality
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
Sunday, November 19, 2017
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
Friday, November 17, 2017
Friday, November 10, 2017
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.
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:
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.
If you prefer, you can download an application form and mail it to:
P.O., Box 44578
Madison, WI 53744-4578
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Monday, October 30, 2017
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Thursday, October 12, 2017
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:
- 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.
- 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 ...
- 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:
- Go to fcc.gov/ecfs/filings.
- Fill out the required sections of the form, inputting 13-184 into the "Proceedings" line.
- Upload your filing.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
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
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,
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!
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Friday, June 16, 2017
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
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:
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/aV1
Thank you in advance.
WEMTA Legislative Committee
Monday, April 3, 2017
- Sign up for the ISTE Advocacy Network, a 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 @isteconnectsupdate
- 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.
Saturday, April 1, 2017
- 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.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Friday, March 24, 2017
Thursday, March 23, 2017
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.
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.