AEA PD Online and AEA K-12 Online Blog Updates – May

The May AEA PD Online and AEA K-12 Online updates are now available. For real time updates, follow AEA PD Online on Twitter @aeapdonline or on your mobile device by accessing our app at

Iowa's AEAs Create Blogs for Online Learning Updates

Iowa's AEAs Create Blogs for Online Learning Updates


For more information about AEA PD Online and AEA K-12 Online follow us on Twitter @aeapdonline.

The Cornerstone – May 2013

Enjoy the final issue of 2012-13 The Cornerstone! Stay connected throughout the summer: Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter or Subscribe to GPAEA News (right column scroll)

Download a PDF copy May 2013

It’s Time to Restore Full Funding to the AEAs

It’s Time to Restore Full Funding to the AEAs by Dr. Jon Sheldahl, Chief Administrator

Jon's Blog

aea_final2_C6A2E8EA1554F1975 was a significant year in education reform in Iowa and in the United States as a whole.  It was the year that the U.S. Congress ratified Public Law 94-142.  Known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, Public Law 94-142 mandated that all school districts receiving federal money provide all students, regardless of physical or mental disability, with equal access to a free and appropriate public education. All districts would also be required to evaluate handicapped children for the purposes of creating an individualized educational plan (IEP) that would assure this equal access.  The law also required that students be placed in a least restrictive environment, or one that allowed the maximum possible interaction between those students with disabilities and those without.   The advent of PL 94-142 caused school districts across the nation to take on a whole new set of responsibilities.  Mainstreaming students into least restrictive environments…

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BrightBytes Indicates GPAEA Districts Are Technology Proficient

Dr. Sally Lindgren, Coordinator of Technology

2013040395091157Earlier this spring, 31 area public school districts and four non-public districts participated in GPAEA’s BrightBytes Survey.  The Survey was the result of this years planning with area superintendents to continue support toward the integration of technology and 21st Century Learning. The results of the survey were shared with district teams April 3rd at Heartland AEA.  Approximately 100 people attended this training including some guests from three other AEAs that are considering BrightBytes for their schools too. Rob Mancabelli, author of Personal Learning Networks, award-winner for Education Book of the Year in 2012 provided training on the advanced data platform (also known as the Clarity platform) as participants logged into their “dashboards.”  Rob is the co-founder and CEO of BrightBytes.

The following represents the dashboard of the aggregate data representing all but 2 public districts, and 2 non-public districts/schools within Great Prairie. The dashboard shows scores built around the CASE Framework.  The CASE framework is a research-based framework consisting of 22 known factors that determine the effectiveness of technology in improving student achievement.


Rob commented on how high the Access factors are within the Great Prairie region. I contribute this primarily to the connectivity that schools have with the ICN and with local telecommunication providers.  Home access has also improved substantially over the past few years with a variety of communication providers.

Great Prairie ranks proficient in the area of Skills and Environment. Teachers and students need to have the foundational skills to navigate and use their technology devices before any other use can occur. Environment includes the factors around policies, practices and procedures along with technical support and professional development. I believe the work of the district technology coordinators and of the AEA technology and network specialists contribute to the ranking of these factors.

The Classroom area of the framework is the lowest scoring within the region and will become a focus area for GPAEA Technology Specialists for the 2013-2014 school year.  The score in this area is derived from questions on the survey that focus on how much time is spent using various types of technology and on how teachers and students are presently using technology in the classroom. The 4Cs are defined as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. These are instructional attributes that engage student learning. Other factors include the use of assistive technology, the understanding of digital citizenship and assessment.

All schools within Great Prairie region will continue to have access to the survey tool, dashboard and CASE frameworks for the next year.