WANTED: CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER: Looking for a technology expert, experienced with Mac and PC; servers; mobile technologies—including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and netbooks; coding; and helpdesk.
Just five years ago, a student information system was used to take attendance and add or change grades. The tech director chose one, installed it and, in about two minutes, showed teachers how to use it.
The shift in CIO responsibilities has also trickled down to the rest of the tech team. No longer is it enough to be knowledgeable in computers. IT employees must have strong people skills as well. Here’s what CIOs said they look for:
Districts that don’t have a full time chief technology officer may have a harder time keeping up with E-rate modernization and the shift to online testing, technology experts say.
Administrators in the Los Angeles USD may tap the skills of students who hacked school-purchased iPads to strengthen security on the mobile devices.
Kansas City Public Schools in Missouri lost accreditation in January 2012. As part of the effort to improve schools, district leaders asked MindMixer to create an engagement platform, the KCPS Forum.
The Brevard County Public Schools in Florida has instituted energy-saving measures that have cut electricity costs by almost $4 million—or by 25 percent. In upstate New York, the Beaver River Central School District has a plan that could save and restore teacher jobs.
New platforms are giving parents the chance to track their children’s progress without having to schedule a parent-teacher conference.
New helmet sensors are helping high school football coaches identify students at risk for concussion by recording the severity each time a player is hit in the head during a game.
Geographic information systems data, or GIS, is making districts smarter about everything from safe walking routes to enrollment.
A new flexbooks program will be implemented this fall in math classrooms across a suburban Atlanta school district to keep up with changing state requirements and reduce textbook costs.
A new pilot program aims to address the lack of women in technology fields by starting early—giving more middle school students a deeper knowledge of computing.
Districts may have more affordable access to broadband internet service as early as fall 2014, thanks to an FCC proposal to reform the federal E-rate program that connects schools and public libraries to the internet.
Visit the classrooms of Burlington High School in the Burlington (Mass.) Public School District and you’ll see the school’s two-year-old 1-to-1 iPad initiative in action. Some students might be taking notes using Evernote, rather than pen and paper.