Project Based Learning Prepares Students


While looking for a way to help her students with a range of learning difficulties, high school special needs teacher, Jill Koenemann, discovered project-based learning: new way to help them learn real-world problem solving skills in the classroom.  Project-based (PLC) learning allowed her students to master important skills while working at their own pace.

Koenemann tries to pair up higher and lower functioning students for these projects.  While the students are working towards a larger goal, they learn how to collaborate with a team and use their own special skill-sets to contribute.  Using technology and introducing problems that students can identify in their own lives also helps keep them interested and engaged in the project.

When beginning to use PLC in their classrooms, Koenemann recommends that teachers find a supportive group of other educators also using PLC in their classrooms.  Staying connected with others helps teachers feel supported and can even help spark new ideas.

She recommends that teachers plan out all of their projects and consider using a PCL platform with strong customer support.  Starting with smaller projects and working up to larger projects will also help you adjust to this new teaching style.

You can learn more about Project Based Learning by checking out the 2018 NEOTD Project Based Learning and Development Presentation by Dr. Kate O’Hara on our website.

Story via The Edvocate

Keeping Your Students Safe Online: The 3 Pillars of Digital Citizenship


With more and more technology becoming available to students both at school and in the home, teaching Digital Citizenship is becoming increasingly important.  The more digitally literate students are, the more likely they are to have positive online experiences.

According to Roger Riddell at Education Drive there are 3 main pillars of digital citizenship to emphasize to students.

1. Stay Safe.

Teach students how to keep private information safe online.  Teach them what to be wary of online, and how to avoid dangerous situations.

2.  Balance your time.

It is important to live a balanced lifestyle and that making sure you spend a portion of your day logged off.  Teach students the importance of interacting with others face-to-face and encourage them to build lasting relationships offline.

3.  Be respectful.

Thinking critically about online content and treating people with respect is a vital part of being a good digital citizen.  Teach your students that their digital footprint is more like a digital “tattoo.” Everything they post online is permanent.  Treating people with respect will ensure that students leave a positive digital footprint that they can be proud of.

Story via Education Drive

Ransomware Attacks The Atlanta Police


The Atlanta Police Department lost years of dashcam footage after a ransomware attack in March.  

According to David Bisson of  Tripwire, the Atlanta police refused to pay the ransom of 60 bitcoins worth $51,000 at the time of the incident.    There were 105,000 files corrupted by the criminals.

Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the data loss was minimal.  Shields said that she is not concerned that the loss of dashcam footage will effect pending court cases.

However, Ken Allens of the Atlanta police union is concerned that the loss of footage will affect the already strained relationship between the police and the public.

The incident serves as a reminder about the vulnerability of municipal organizations and the need for increased cybersecurity efforts within the government.

Our NEOTD Tech Symposium back in April covered several multiple aspects of cyber security pertinent to your organization.  You can view SonicWall’s security presentation below. To view all of the presentations from our 2018 events, visit

Story via Tripwire

Modernizing Local Government Services


With so many businesses and organizations quickly moving into the modern age, many people have grown accustomed to making transactions quickly and easily online.  However, one place that is often still in desperate need of an upgrade is local government organizations.

According to Steve Ressler at Harvard Business Review, there are 5 main ways that local governments can effectively integrate technology into their services

1. Target a Wide Audience.

Aim to get as many users on your website or app as possible.  You can do this by making your app versatile and useful to a wide variety of different people.  For example, create an app where citizens can renew their fishing license, check their voter status, or pay local taxes all on the same app.

2.  Make Everything Cohesive.

Keep your message the same across all platforms both online and offline.  Make sure you are always cross-promoting yourself even if you are just having office receptionists tell callers about the online options available to them.

3.  Make Logins Easy.

Allow users to use the same username and password for multiple services.  Ressler also recommends local organizations creating one app to get information for both your city and surrounding areas.  Talk to other nearby government agencies and share information to make it easier for users to find what they are looking for.

4.  Segment by Location.

Make it easy for citizens to find out what is going on where they live.  For example create a service that reminds residents one week prior to junk pick-up based on their location, making it easy for them to find out when it is happening.

5. Find Community Influencers.

If you can get influential community members to share your message, more people will learn about and try your digital services.

Story via Harvard Business Review

Clearing up Cloud Sprawl


The Cloud helps make sharing and collaboration seamless in today’s workplace, and with so many different options and free trials out there it is easy for companies to figure out which service best fits their needs.  However, some companies, especially small businesses, are subscribed to too many different cloud services causing them to suffer from cloud sprawl, according to Mike Grisamore at BizTech Magazine.

Cloud sprawl can become expensive, confusing, and dangerous.  It is difficult for managers to monitor so many different systems, and sensitive company data could end up anywhere.

Getting rid of cloud sprawl can be difficult, but here are 3 steps that Grisamore recommends you take eliminate it in your company.

1.  Figure out all of the services you subscribe to.

Take an inventory of every cloud service your company is using.  Find out which ones are out-of-date, redundant, or unused.

2.  Establish policies for subscribing to new services.

Sometimes businesses will use a service at the request of a single employee, and that employee ends up being the only person using the software.  Make sure there is a policy on integrating new cloud services.

3.  Adopt a Cloud Hub.

A cloud hub is a unified cloud manager that serves as the single entry point for each employee to log in.  This keeps your cloud secured and consolidated.

Story via BizTech Magazine