IT Management

Buildings are closed, but this district is still teaching and feeding its students – Education Article

Up until schools started shutting down in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, teachers in Dawson Independent School District didn’t use our website much. This wasn’t because they didn’t want to. It was because, like most teachers, they were more focused on all the other hard work of teaching young people. With all of our buildings closed since March, they’re all online teachers now, and they got up to speed on running their teacher pages on our site in less than…

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10 priorities for K-12 IT leaders – Education Article

School districts are moving to highly digital ecosystems, and K-12 IT leaders have more and more to manage to ensure that teaching and learning can go on uninterrupted by failing or clunky technology. CoSN’s annual IT Leadership Survey offers critical insight into what’s expected of today’s K-12 IT leaders. The survey’s findings help to identify areas where IT leaders might need more support and assistance as they work tirelessly to meet the IT needs of administrators, teachers, and students. Related…

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5 ways our district tech enhances student safety – Education Article

We live in a society where student safety and privacy have become core responsibilities for school districts nationwide. They’ve always been there, but with recent tragedies and incidents, the safety factor is more important than ever. The issue is two-pronged: we have to be able to protect our students while they’re on campus (the “physical security” aspect) and also make sure that we’re paying close attention to potential mental health issues. Related content: Schools need interoperability for safety plans This…

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The challenges of broadband access in rural schools – Education Article

Rural school districts face many unique trials, and access to educational technology is no different. But the obstacles aren’t just about location. In many cases, school leaders need to justify why the district should invest in the first place. During the edWebinar “Technology in Rural Schools: Leading with Why,” presenters discussed how they overcame challenges and helped the community understand the value of tech in schools. Related content: 7 broadband best practices How do rural schools tackle broadband access? The…

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3 amazing findings about digital and mobile learning – Education Article

In order to support digital and mobile learning, students in K-12 classrooms need access to sufficient bandwidth, scalable and affordable broadband infrastructure, and robust Wi-Fi. And for the most part, they have it. Educators and school IT leaders have worked tirelessly toward this end, and according to the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway, 99 percent of school districts across the nation are now on scalable fiber connections with a “clear path” to supplying enough bandwidth for digital and mobile learning in every classroom.…

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How the E-rate and grants can help fund your edtech plans – Education Article

As schools and districts strive to meet their existing technology needs and prepare for the future, access to federal and state funding, along with other grants, is making a major difference in whether students engage in 21st century learning or are left behind. And with online assessments now being required in many states, reliable broadband access is also essential so that students’ knowledge and skills are accurately represented, and technology is not a barrier to achievement and its documentation. Related…

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New Zealand is putting student empowerment at the heart of its data drive – Education Article

New Zealand is a small, some would argue, perfectly formed, country. We’re diverse and proud of it. That diversity is reflected in our education system. Our roughly 5,000 early childhood education providers, 2,500 schools, 30 universities and polytechnics, and more than 400 private training establishments all run relatively autonomously. That autonomy creates a lot of choice for students and their families, as each provider reflects the diversity of its community in both its values and the local curriculum they offer.…

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5 steps to closing the homework gap – Education Article

Schools are facing new challenges now that most learning involves the web—chiefly, the ability to do work at home or anywhere away from school grounds. While many are looking for ways to provide all students with a device, just having the device does not mean equitable learning–especially when it comes to closing the homework gap. All students need to have the same access to WiFi, and thus the ability to use the device, whether they are at school or not.…

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4 strategies to close the digital equity gap – Education Article

According to Davis, Fuller, Jackson, Pittman, and Sweet (2007), the definition of digital equity is “equal access and opportunity to digital tools, resources, and services to support an increase in digital knowledge, awareness, and skills.” With that in mind, school leaders are working to strategically close the digital equity gap. In a recent edWebinar, Sarah Thomas, educator and founder of the EduMatch movement; Nicol Howard, assistant professor in the School of Education at University of Redlands (CA); and Regina Schaffer,…

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3 things to know about school network security – Education Article

Cyber attacks account for more than half of all incidents in education–all the more reason why school network security should be a top priority for IT leaders, according to a new report. Education is still one of the sectors most at-risk for data breaches, as the Verizon 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report details. “Education continues to be plagued by errors, social engineering, and inadequately secured email credentials,” it notes. “With regard to incidents, DoS attacks account for over half of…

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7 things supporting broadband best practices – Education Article

State leadership can have a powerful impact on broadband best practices in K-12 schools–and a new report highlights success stories and strong policies supporting broadband connectivity. State K-12 Broadband Leadership: Driving Connectivity, Access and Student Success, the new report from SETDA, highlights how state leaders are instrumental in advocating for policies and policy decisions that focus on broadband networks, bandwidth capacity, Wi-Fi implementation, and off campus access for low-income families. “In order to provide personalized learning experiences for students to…

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4 ways to improve digital equity in your classroom – Education Article

As a former middle school teacher who taught in a lower-income, majority-minority school equipped with lots of “high tech” tools, I often wondered about digital equity. For me, students’ access to tech at school wasn’t the issue. However, I knew that things were a lot different once students left my classroom. Because the majority of my students lacked internet access at home, I never assigned homework that required technology. But that was over 10 years ago, and a lot has…

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5 of the coolest edtech tools since sliced bread – Education Article

It seems like new edtech tools are developed each day, and while many of them serve practical purposes without too much fanfare, there are some edtech tools that sound super exciting. When a tool excites teachers and students, the ingredients are all there for increased learning engagement–and we all know how challenging it can sometimes be to keep students engaged in and take ownership of their own learning. If you want language immersion or new resources for visually impaired students,…

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How we turned around our new teacher retention – Education Article

Demographics: Gaston County Schools, located in North Carolina, is the 10th-largest district in the state. We have a very diverse, economically challenged population in our school system, with roughly 65 percent of our student population eligible for free and reduced lunch. Biggest challenge: Three years ago, when I started as executive director for high school instruction, our state of student achievement was average. That was not good enough for us. Like districts all over North Carolina, we were also facing…

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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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