Monday, October 9, 2017

News page is moving

Greetings! Rather than continue with this blog site, we are moving our Digital Learning News to a news feed page on the Region 7 ESC website.  For relevant and up to date news for Region 7 Digital Learning, please visit and update your favorites to include this new page: 

If you have questions, feel free to email Donna Stanley at 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

10.4.17 - Digital Learning News

October 4, 2017

Register Now for E-rate Training for Business Managers and Technology Directors – November 8, 2017

The full day workshop, scheduled for Wednesday, November 8th, is designed to give the participant all the knowledge needed to file for E-rate for the upcoming funding year 2018-2019.  

The E-rate system recently made changes to move away from funding traditional telephone services and in turn, providing funding for WiFi connectivity to classrooms - including hardware, infrastructure, Internet access, and construction of inter-campus networks.  

This workshop will enable you as an E-rate applicant to get the most from the new system.

Andrew Eisley of E-rate Central Consulting, has over 18 years of E-rate experience, including 13 years as Manager and Senior Manager at the Schools and Libraries Division of USAC.
The deadline for registration is October 25, 2017.
Lunch will be provided. 

To Register for this session, click here.

October 4, 2017

Make plans now to attend the UN-Conference for Technology Directors (and technical staff).  We had a great turnout in spring and summer and hope you'll join us on November 29 at Region 7.  We have three generous sponsors for the event so we'll have a catered lunch and door prizes to add some festivity to the day.

Ready to register?  Click here!

Visit the UN-Conference website by clicking on the graphic above or using this link:

We hope you'll join us.  Contact Donna Stanley with any questions.

October 2, 2017

To the District and ESC Testing Coordinator Addressed:

Pearson has created a Headset Test for districts to test connection, recording, and audio playback of their headsets prior to the TELPAS Listening and Speaking assessment. This test is available now. To test your headsets, open the TestNav app, click on Practice Tests, and select "Start" next to "TELPAS Headset Test." To download TestNav 8, visit

Before starting the Headset Test, confirm that your equipment meets the minimum requirements listed below.

Desktop/Laptop Headphones and Microphones
Head-mounted USB headset with microphone and headphones must be compatible with the requirements below:
Headphone Features:
Sound mode: Stereo
Earpiece: Double
Driver Unit Size: 32 mm
Frequency Response: 20 – 20000 Hz
Impedance: 32 ohms
Microphone Features:
Frequency Response: 100 – 12000 Hz
Impedance: 3320 ohms

Handheld Device Headphones and Microphones:
1. 3.5mm single jack
2. Over-the-ear style (non-earbud)

If you want to practice creating students, setting up test sessions, and printing student testing tickets, you can sign in to the training site and select "2017–2018 Infrastructure Trial" from the administration drop-down menu. Click on the Infrastructure Trial Instructions link at the bottom of the page for step-by-step directions on how to set up these tests.

If you have any questions, contact the Customer Service Center at 800-627-0225.

October 2, 2017

The deadline to register for the FITT conference is October 19.  Please register at this link.  See the schedule and read the registration information at

Examples of session topics
   Gamification (BreakoutEDU and more!)
   Inquiry based instruction
   and if it can be done with Google, someone will be talking about it!

September 22, 2017

Also this fall we have special events for both the network/infrastructure folks and the instructional technology (digital learning) folks that are open at no cost to you.  The two graphics below are to remind you of the dates for each group's events.  For the Instructional Technology Support Meetings, please direct any questions to Andy Adams or Holly Curry. You're welcome to attend any or all of those meetings.  For questions about the Technology Directors' Unconference, contact Donna Stanley.  

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

8.8.17 Digital Learning Update

Whether we are ready or not, August has arrived!   Digital Learning is providing high quality professional development and working to bring you several conference experiences over the next school year.

Please visit the page using the link on the right under PAGES to learn more about a FREE webinar from TCEA regarding SB 179 and SB 7 coming up on 9.11.17.  It's available at no cost to members and non-members of TCEA.

Highlights for major events:
FALL 2017

         G-Suite Administrator Training, Sept 11-12, 
               8 seats remaining as of 8.8.17  Registration
         Technology Adventures for Youth - TAFY (replaces Students in Tech)
               Fall Teacher Training - Elementary K-5 - Sept 21 - Registration
               K-5 Student TAFY day will be September 28.
          Technology Integration Specialists meetings - across the region. 
             Watch for a separate post for dates and locations.       

          Watch for an upcoming announcement for a live virtual event for
               students on September 27 co-produced by the Texas Workforce                        Commission and Region 7.

          Fall Innovative Teaching & Technology Conference, 11.2.17 (see below)

          Un-Boxed and Un-Wired, an Un-conference for Technology Directors
               November 29 at ESC 7 -  Registration


          Technology Adventures for Youth - TAFY 
               Spring Teacher Training - Secondary 6-12 - Jan 30 - Registration
               6-12 Student TAFY day will be February 15   
          Un-Boxed and Un-Wired, an Un-conference for Technology Directors
               April 11 at ESC 8 in Pittsburg/Mt.Pleasant


          Summer Library Conference
          One or two Conferences or Unconferences!  
... and more!

The Call for Presentations is now open.  

Please note these important links

Monday, August 7, 2017

Instructional Materials Allotment - Sent from TEA on July 25, 2017

Instructional Materials Allotment  - Sent from TEA on July 25, 2017.

New Allotment Amounts are Available

The technology and instructional materials allotment amounts for the 2018–2019 biennium can be found at More information about the technology and instructional materials allotment can be found at

Large-print AIM for Proclamation 2017

The large-print titles for Proclamation 2017 are now available to order in EMAT. We anticipate the Proclamation 2017 audio titles will be available to order within the next two weeks. Please contact Debbie Gonzales at or Lea Ann Lee with questions pertaining to accessible instructional materials.

New Opening Page in EMAT

EMAT has a new opening page informing districts about open-source materials. Beginning with the 2017–18 school year, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will provide free open-source instructional materials that meet 100% of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) in Chemistry, Physics, and Statistics. Additionally, TEA will provide free instructional materials that meet 100% of the required College Board standards in Advanced Placement (AP) Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics, AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, and AP Biology. The new opening page is intended to provide awareness of these and other cost-saving options. Additional information about the available open-source instructional materials can be found at

Study Edge Open-Source Instructional Materials

Study Edge (University of Florida) open-source instructional materials are available on the Texas Gateway. Materials are available for Chemistry, Physics, Precalculus, and Statistics. The products created by Study Edge are delivered in short videos with master teachers presenting the material. The videos can be used to teach an entire course or as supplemental material to help students be more successful in these challenging courses.  
Study Edge open-source instructional materials will be fully available in September, but to see the sections of these materials that are available now, visit For more information about open-source materials available through TEA, visit Open-Source Instructional MaterialsFor assistance in locating sample materials, contact 

Changes to IM Allotment Disbursement Requests

To make the instructional materials allotment disbursement requests more user-friendly and precise, some changes have been made within EMAT.
  • The supplemental materials category has changed to instructional materials. The category will change in all disbursement requests, even the completed requests, from supplemental materials to instructional materials.
  • The bilingual materials category has been deleted, so all instructional materials will be placed in the instructional materials category. Disbursement requests already in progress, submitted, or complete will still have the bilingual materials category if it was previously selected and saved.
  • The subject area social studies and history has been changed to social studies.
  • The number of media formats has been reduced.
If you have questions about the changes made to the instructional material disbursement request process, please contact the IM Division at

IM Website Updates

A new training video on submitting a component requisition has been added to the EMAT training section on the TEA website.
The following documents have been updated on the Instructional Materials Ordering Information page:
  • Multiple List Codes for School Year 2017–18
  • Newly Adopted Instructional Materials
  • Publisher & Depository Contact Information
  • Shipment Error Report, TEX-013

Newly Approved TEKS

The State Board of Education (SBOE) approved new English and Spanish language arts and reading curriculum standards for kindergarten through 8th grade at a special board meeting in May. The revised TEKS will be implemented in the 2019–20 school year. The SBOE approved new English language arts and reading and English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) curriculum standards for high school at the June board meeting. The revised high school TEKS will be implemented in the 2020–21 school year.

Newly Approved Adoption Cycle

The SBOE approved a new adoption cycle for foundation and enrichment subjects. The revised document can be found at
Questions on these topics should be addressed to:
Distribution and Accessibility Staff, Instructional Materials Division,, (512) 463-9601

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

7.11.17 Two-Day Google Certified Admin Boot Camp announced

Two day Google Certified Administrator Boot camp – September 11 & 12, 2017


Description:  This intensive training is focused on providing all the skills and understanding necessary to achieve the Google Certified Administrator credential. All areas of the G Suite Admin Console as related to the exam are clearly and concisely covered. An extra focus is placed on the educational K-12 application and how it relates to the exam material. 
Session #067772                                                           Click here to register 

 Day 1:  Admin Console Technical Retreat 
 Day 2:  Google Certified Admin Bootcamp

      (see descriptions online at
The two day event fee will be $695.00, invoiced after the session.
Fee includes the cost of the certification exam to be taken at the end of day 2.

Lunch will be provided both days. 
Please bring your laptop with the Chrome Browser installed. 
You should be familiar with the Google Admin Console and be an administrator on your district's Google Domain.
If you have not yet obtained your Google Domain, contact Donna Stanley and she'll point you in the right direction.

The deadline to register is August 14, 2017 at 4 PM. If we do not have the minimum number of people registered by that date, we may have to cancel the event.  Billing will not be sent to your district until after the session in September.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

6.7.17 Digital Learning Update

Technology Directors:  It's not too late to register for the next
Un-Boxed & Un-Wired Un-Conference will be June 21st at ESC 8 just north of Pittsburg), beginning at 9AM.  This event is geared toward technology directors and technical staff.    I heard several of our tech directors mention how much they enjoyed the event we had at ESC 7 on 4/26.  No one in the room had organized an un-conference before (only two in the room had been to one), but everyone was in the groove within just a few minutes.  
This is an excellent opportunity to discuss and share about topics that truly interest you.  We provide a bit of structure, you provide the content.  By cross-pollinating Regions 7 & 8, it's a great opportunity to network and see how some things are done outside our region.
An excellent lunch, as well as cappuccino/espresso bar are being provided by Gabbart Communications.  We will also have several great door prizes, including Fire HDs, iPod Shuffles, Cyber Acoustics 2.1 speakers, and more thanks to a donation from VTI: Visual Techniques, Inc.
Un-Conference Info Site (includes some archived info from April session):
Registration link:
Please register soon.  Registration will close on Wednesday, June 14th.

This came from TEA yesterday (6/6/17):

​​ The ePlan system will undergo maintenance the week of June 19 through June 23rd.  During this time, the system will not be available for use.  The system will be available again on June 26th.  The new release of the ePlan system includes several updates.  
System Update Summary:
    • Review/Approval process is  removed for plans filed for E-rate funding year 17 and beyond
    • All existing plans for E-rate Funding Year 17 are moved from the approval queue and marked as “Filed” 
    • Plans are submitted for 1 year (no multi-year plans)
    • The WYSIWYG editor is added to all text boxes on the assessment and evaluation pages.  If you copy your plan from last year, you may need to reformat your text. 
    • Some wording changes for relevancy
If you experience any issues or have suggestions for changes, please submit them to    A link to this email address is found at the bottom of the page within the ePlan system. 

​​​​Access to Advanced Academics Grants

TEA has announced the availability of grant funds for the 2017–2019 Expanding Access to Advanced Academics grant program. Request for Application (RFA) #701-17-102 is available at TEA Grant Opportunities. 
Among the options available through the grant, eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) may choose to expand their advanced academic course offerings through Advanced Placement® (AP) courses provided through the Texas Virtual School Network (TXVSN). 
This is expected to be a one-time grant. Applications must be received by the Texas Education Agency by 5:00 p.m. (Central Time), June 27, 2017, to be considered for funding. 

IMA (Instructional Materials Allotment)

If you are not currently subscribed to the TEA Listserv for IMA, you may have missed the following sent on 6.5.17:  
Revised 19 TAC Chapter 66 AA, BB, and CC
New revised 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 66 AA–CC rules are currently in effect. The revised rules can be accessed at
Changes and Reminders for Allowable IMA Expenses
With the revision of TAC Chapter 66 rules, the agency has determined that some disbursement requests that have been previously approved may not actually be allowed and some things previously not approved may be allowable. Recent decisions have been made by the agency on the following items:
·         Based on the definition of instructional materials, online dual-credit tuition is allowable.
·         The portion of learning management systems (LMSs) that are used to provide access to instructional materials are allowable. Districts will need to determine what that portion is.
·         The portion of single-sign-on services that are used to provide access to instructional materials are allowable. Districts will need to determine what that portion is.
·         Inventory and tracking software is not allowable.
·         Student information systems (SISs) are not allowable.
Disbursement Request Information Form
In an effort to improve disbursement approval turn-around time, TEA has created a new disbursement request information form. This form can be used prior to submitting a disbursement request to help you determine whether your request is likely to be approved. It can also be used after you have submitted a disbursement request if we have questions about the request. The form should be available soon, so watch for additional information.
Sale or Disposal of Instructional Materials
On September 1, 2011, all instructional materials in district inventory became district property. Districts are required to maintain an accurate inventory and must complete the TEX-012 Inventory Adjustment to report state-adopted materials that are lost, damaged, destroyed, sold, or otherwise disposed of. TEA will remove the materials from the district EMAT inventory once the submission is received. Districts are not required to report the loss or sale of non-adopted materials (including out-of-adoption materials) or materials purchased through the disbursement process. The TEX-012 is available through the Lost/Damage/Destroyed link on your EMAT start page. The Sale or Disposal Notification form is no longer required.
High Enrollment Growth
As a result of changes to administrative rules, districts and charter schools will no longer need to apply for a high-enrollment-growth adjustment.  TEA will make these adjustments automatically based on actual enrollment growth and available funding. Once new PEIMS snapshot data is confirmed (February of each year), the districts/charters with the highest growth will receive an adjustment to their IMAs.  Administrative rules governing these adjustments can be found at

The above was sent from 
Distribution and Accessibility Staff, Instructional Materials Division,, (512) 463-9601

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

5.3.17 Digital Learning Update

iPadpaloozaEastTX Schedule is now online!

Please visit the conference site to see the schedule.  Click here to register!  For members of Digital Learning the ticket price is $75.00. The non-member price is $100.00.  Included in registration will be breakfast, lunch, an awesome t-shirt, fabulous professional development from Mr. Brad Waid and your peers, fun music from Mr. Shannon Pickard of Tin Umbrella and of course the opportunity to win one of many door prizes.  New this year is a PRE-PALOOZA contest - learn all about it and submit your entry ASAP!   Winners must be registered for the event and be present on the day of the event to receive their prize.

UN-Conference a Success!

Thank you to all of you who attended UN-Boxed & UN-Wired, an UN-Conference for Technology Directors.  This first of its kind event for those who work with networks, filters, hardware and more was very well attended and very well received.  If you've not yet completed  your online evaluation for the session, please do so today.  I'm anxious to hear your feedback.  By the way, if you checked the box that it wouldn't impact students, think again.  Everything you do, every day has an impact on student learning.  

I heard from so many of you that you came in not being sure if this would work because you like a structured agenda - but that you left with more information and with more connections than in any previous "meeting".  I can tell you that all of us in Technology in Regions 7 & 8 were thrilled that you had a great experience.  If you missed this event, you can see the notes taken embedded in the schedule by clicking here.

Please plan to attend the next UN-Conference for Technology Directors on June 21 at Region 8 ESC (between Pittsburg and Mt. Pleasant).  More information can be found by clicking here, or you can click here to register right now!  The registration link for November 29 at Region 7 can be found here.

SFA needs student workers

At the UN-Conference, we connected via Zoom to Mr. Timothy Lewallen at the Technical Support Center at Stephen F. Austin State University.  They are hoping to recruit workers in their freshman year so that they can keep them longer.  The program affords them the opportunity to learn a lot about computer, tablet and phone service and repair.  Please download and share their flyer by clicking here.  

We have lots of sessions scheduled for the rest of this semester, summer and fall.  Please check out our interactive schedules: