IT Management

Spotty internet access for rural students limits achievement – Education Article

Technology and internet access for rural students in some parts of the U.S. is unreliable at best, and this limited access could adversely affect their learning. Rural students are less likely than non-rural students to claim that their home internet access is “great” (36 percent versus 46 percent). Home internet access for rural students is vital for learning, as report after report consistently identify the growing homework gap as detrimental to student achievement. Related: Learn how districts are trying to…

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10 classroom apps for coding, philosophy, fractions, and more – Education Article

Apps are often a great way for educators to leverage classroom mobile devices and engage students in different concepts. And by now, “there’s an app for that” certainly rings true in most situations. But educators don’t necessarily have time to sift through lists of apps and vet their functionality and content to ensure the apps will actually benefit students. The editors of Common Sense Education review and rate apps for students of all ages. Common Sense Education helps educators find…

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How we increased our graduation rate and student achievement – Education Article

[Editor’s note: Welcome to our newest feature, Turnaround Tuesdays. Each week, we will share a story about how a district used technology in schools to improve something. Come back each week for insight on transforming everything from reading scores to wireless network performance.] Demographics: Miami-Dade County (FL) Public Schools (MDCPS) is the fourth-largest school district in the United States, comprised of 392 schools, 345,000 students, and over 40,000 employees. Located at the southern end of the Florida peninsula, the school district…

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6 lessons our district learned from our move to blended learning – Education Article

Temple Independent School District (ISD), which is located north of Austin and south of Waco, Texas, has a very diverse student population. More than 75 percent of our students are economically disadvantaged and our ethnicity is comprised of roughly equal distribution of African-American, Hispanic, and Caucasian. Like other similar districts, we meet our students’ needs through enhancing instruction, building strong relationships between students and their teachers, and creating opportunities for students to take ownership of their learning. Despite our success,…

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How we turned around our wireless network performance and security – Education Article

[Editor’s note: Welcome to our newest feature, Turnaround Tuesdays. Each week, we will share a story about how a district used technology in schools to improve something. Come back each week for insight on transforming everything from reading scores to wireless network performance.] Demographics: Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD), with 67 schools, 6210 employees, and 63,061 students is the largest school district in northern California and fifth-largest in the state. Biggest challenge: Like most school districts, EGUSD is part…

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How to transform a library into a makerspace – Education Article

In a recent edWebinar, hosted by edWeb.net, Michelle Luhtala, library department chair, and Donna Burns, technology integrator, both from New Canaan High School (NCHS) in Connecticut, showcased the transformation of the NCHS library from a collection of used reference and biography books into a living, breathing makerspace. Using mostly recyclable materials, equipment, and furniture, these educators are providing learning opportunities for students and teachers that have changed the school climate and culture. “Making learning more real for students allows them…

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10 K12 education trends to look for this year – Education Article

We may technically be in the middle of a school year, but starting a new calendar year has us looking at and forecasting the new K12 education trends we expect to see in 2019. In the first half of this school year, we’ve seen some of these ideas start to emerge, and we suspect that as we close out the academic calendar, they will become more prominent. In fact, we’re excited to see what role these trends will play going…

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A 3-step plan for smart edtech maintenance – Education Article

In the past several years, school districts have invested time and money to upgrade and integrate new technology into schools. While K-12 leaders have made inroads in closing the connectivity gap and creating meaningful digital learning experiences, this new technology requires continuous IT support that is challenging to complete while school is in session. According to the 2018 National K-12 IT Leadership Survey Report from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), the majority of IT department time is spent reacting to…

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Data access is easier than ever, but is that a good thing? – Education Article

Tactical student data privacy questions like “What can I do right now?” should be asked by all CIOs, teachers, administrators, and policymakers in this changing landscape of data access, student privacy, and interoperability. In a recent edWebinar, Dr. Larry Fruth, executive director and CEO of the Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community, and Jena Draper, founder and general manager at CatchOn, discussed the challenges school districts face with data access and student privacy. Dr. Fruth suggests that school districts hit the…

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The 7 coolest edtech products I saw at FETC – Education Article

I saw many interesting products at FETC 2019 in Orlando last week, but here are the ones that resonated most strongly because of their uniqueness and immediate classroom application. 1. Lucid for Education Lucid is one of those companies that you may not have heard of, but you definitely should! They have a visual learning toolkit that helps students learn to collaborate using 21st-century skills while making deeper connections to prior knowledge. By creating digital resources and presentations with other students…

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10 findings about K-12 digital learning – Education Article

Digital learning itself is expanding in schools, but access to classroom and home technology still remains a major obstacle, according to a new study from Schoology. The State of Digital Learning report is based on responses from more than 9,200 education professionals and covers challenges, priorities, and student achievement as they relate to digital learning and edtech tools. The study yields significant findings regarding challenges and priorities, the role and impact of technology, digital citizenship and emerging edtech trends, and professional…

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How we turned around our district’s literacy scores – Education Article

[Editor’s note: Welcome to our newest feature, Turnaround Tuesdays. Each week, we will share a story about how a district used technology in schools to improve something. Come back each week for insight on transforming everything from reading scores to wireless network performance.] Demographics: Rowan-Salisbury (NC) School System serves 18,382 students across 35 schools. Biggest challenge: Our school district was considered a low-performing district by the state of North Carolina. Low-performing is given to a district when more than half…

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7 discoveries from an active learning classroom – Education Article

There is a fair amount of research into the impact of classroom design on student learning. Spaces flooded with natural light that allow for a variety of learning methods and activities, and spaces that let students feel a sense of ownership over the classroom, demonstrably affect how well students learn. Active learning applies a similar principle, including minimizing institutional barriers like teacher lecterns, fixed and stagnant furniture, and limited student exposure to real-world experiences. Through active learning, the teacher gradually…

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5 steps to successfully run a student-led tech team – Education Article

One-to-one device initiatives have exploded in popularity and have dramatically changed the classroom environment. Dedicated device access doesn’t just benefit students through improved educational outcomes, but also benefits districts by enabling innovation and providing a clear return on educational investment. IT teams, however, can struggle with the greatly increased burdens of managing fragmented device platforms, and the increased staffing that 1:1 initiatives often demand can limit funding for other important initiatives. In 2016, Lafayette (IN) Catholic School System was preparing…

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5 things standing between K-12 schools and innovation – Education Article

Sustaining and scaling innovation is one of the top hurdles K-12 district leaders face as they strive to bring new and bold ideas to education, according to a new CoSN report. Hurdles are more than just “pesky obstacles” to innovation, the authors note in Driving K-12 Innovation: 2019 Hurdles. These challenges slow down progress and force educators to make sure they’re prepared for the leap to innovation. The report is the first of three in a series focusing on hurdles,…

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5 big ideas for education innovation in 2019 – Education Article

Over the last year, education innovators around the country continued to pursue expanded definitions of student success, personalized approaches, and wholly new models of school. For many, the very real challenges of change management and discovering ways to promote scale with quality dominated 2018. But for those conversations to go a level deeper, we can’t assume that these new measures and new models are fully baked or that everything deemed “new” is at it seems. Looking ahead, here are five…

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Why leveraging computer science is crucial to every classroom – Education Article

In the ever-changing technological world, computer science is not only becoming more prominent in classrooms, but a staple in education. Computer science combines the principles of technology and use of computers to educate learners on both the hardware and software of computer technology. The field of computer science is exceptionally diverse, as the skill sets are in-demand across practically every industry—serving as a lucrative and stable career pathway. In addition, computer science has many facets, meaning educators can leverage various…

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Benefits & advice for transitioning edtech to the cloud – Education Article

At the beginning of the edtech wave, superintendents saw many benefits from using digital resources in the classroom. But, they also saw a large number of resources being recommitted to just this one aspect of education: space for server farms, money for hardware and software upgrades, overworked personnel, etc. District IT offices were taking on the same tasks as Fortune 500 companies without the ability to implement them as effectively. For administrators looking to take the focus of edtech away…

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6 realities about district broadband connectivity – Education Article

School wi-fi and broadband connectivity are showing improvement, due largely to an increased investment from the federal E-rate program’s modernization, according to a new report from CoSN. The results indicate strong improvements, but they also highlight areas where districts continue to struggle. They also underscore why school systems need strong networks and robust, affordable broadband access to fully leverage 21st century educational opportunities. “One trend is clear: Learning is going digital. Improved wireless access and broadband connectivity means more schools…

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8 ways to reduce device damage in 1:1 programs – Education Article

As a technology user, I have over the years: Dropped and broken my phone’s screen Spilled liquid on my laptop’s keyboard, frying the motherboard Pulled the cord out a device, breaking off the connection Pushed a monitor off my desk onto the floor Left my computer bag on top of my car’s roof, and driven off These acts were, believe me, unintentional. The costs of these mistakes wound up coming out of my own pocket. So I have a degree…

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Language barriers still impede home-school communication – Education Article

Just a little more than half (55 percent) of teachers in a recent survey say their schools translate parent correspondence into other languages, despite federal data showing that almost 5 million U.S. students are English language learners (ELL). The survey from communication app ClassDojo highlights the communication challenges teachers and families face each day due to language barriers. Of the teachers who say their school does translate communications, 36 percent say they rely on a teacher who speaks the language…

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4 fresh approaches to coding in the classroom – Education Article

Coding is one of the most crowded categories in edtech. And while there are a ton of great tools for students of any ability level, many of these tools have hit on the same formula. So whether you’re prepping for Hour of Code or looking to launch a coding unit or curriculum in your classroom, lab, or library, it’s tough to find the right solution or even determine what separates one from another. Thankfully, there are a few developers out…

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Improving student achievement through choice – Education Article

Exeter (CA) Unified School District is a small, rural district with approximately 2,800 students, 61 percent of whom are Hispanic and 62 percent of whom are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Approximately one in seven of our students are English language learners. When we looked at our reading and math scores a few years back, we found that we weren’t seeing the growth we were hoping to see. With a renewed focus on the basics of literacy and math, a technology infusion, and a…

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Tech directors: Here’s how to truly support multi-screen classrooms – Education Article

Today, education is far more flexible and collaborative than a generation ago, and technology is key in enabling teachers to quickly adapt lesson plans to suit the moment’s activity. Having multiple screens that a teacher or student can wirelessly project to, along with the ability to switch between sources in seconds, means that teachers aren’t tied to the front of the classroom any more. They are free to roam around to small groups, to see what students are working on…

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15 trends that hinder, accelerate, and enable K-12 innovation – Education Article

While new trends such as extended reality and mobile devices are enabling expansive changes in K-12 education, innovation is often impeded by obstacles such as clunky professional development and digital equity, according to new research. These new insights on what hinders and what support K-12 innovation come from CoSN’s Driving K-12 Innovation series, which highlights new trends supporting the use of emerging technology in K-12 education. As part of the initiative, CoSN convenes a global advisory board of K-12 leaders,…

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7 ways to rethink school/family partnerships – Education Article

The current toolbox for growing the school/family partnership is broken. It is a system built on old communication methods, inequitable access, and ineffective gatherings. This leaves the support and synergy between home and school less than optimal in most situations. The old open house, parent conference, and PTO model leaves all parties disappointed around an essential partnership needed to support students through the growing complexities of school and life. Instead of doing the same things marginally better, schools and districts…

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Cross training can help district leaders sleep more soundly – Education Article

Would you panic if a key employee left your school or district? That should never happen from a business situation, as shortsightedness can cause massive problems for an organization. One of the most inefficient ways to save money in the short term is to not replace employees in mission-critical functions throughout the school or district. Mission-critical tasks are exactly that. Too often, complacency can turn tragic. There are many cases where the district relies on a single long-term employee to…

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