District CIO

Teachers take charge of mobile devices

Mobile device management is now a central part of classroom supervision as teachers compete with laptops, tablets and phones for students’ attention. The ability to freeze a device’s screen, block inappropriate apps or lock students into particular educational content can help teachers transition smoothly to online testing, 1-to-1 and BYOD.

South Carolina career and technology center names new director

The Aiken County Career and Technology Center appointed Will Hudson, a former North Augusta High School assistant principal, as the center's new director. He will work with instructors from a range of programs, including electricity, machine tools, CADD, health science and automotive technology.

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Aaron Hyre brought in as Massachusetts district's new IT director

Foxboro Public Schools named Aaron Hyre as its new information technology director. His mission for the upcoming year will be to design a joint town-school data center, finish wireless service installations and upgrade content filtering and firewalls.

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South Carolina online school programs growing, despite challenges

Since South Carolina's first three online schools launched in 2008 with 2,175 students, the online student population has grown fourfold. But the fact that some students don't do well in the less structured environment has hurt the overall academic standing of the six virtual charter schools, with none achieving a grade higher than C.

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Tennessee county unveils first STEAM school

Shelby County Schools cut the ribbon on Maxine Smith STEAM Academy, a first-of-its-kind public school that is partnering with Christian Brothers University. Although the county already has STEM schools, this is the first to factor the arts into science, technology, engineering and math.

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Who should pay for classroom technology?

As more school systems embrace online education, questions of who pays for the technology keep cropping up. For some systems, obtaining the technology to advance their students' skills means adjusting their school budget priorities. The ultimate solution, however, may be for foundations, donors, or tech companies to step in and cover the cost of tablets for every student.

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What are schools doing with students’ data?

The student privacy debate is highly political. Big data collections can be very useful for determining patterns and changing programs. But schools also need to be extremely careful in what they collect, the companies they share it with, and what happens to the data later. And they need to do a better job of informing parents.

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L.A. Unified exemplifies the forces that stifle public school reform

By now, Los Angeles Unified was supposed to be the technological model for big-city school systems with its iPad project. Instead the district has become a national model of the tensions that stifle public school reform. Our technology projects were stranded between high-minded ideals and grass-roots realities; tripped up by jockeying over priorities, politics and power.

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Colorado schools finding ways to bring digital devices into classrooms

Ending what some thought to be a futile fight to keep digital devices out of the classroom, schools around Denver are experimenting with ways to embrace personal technology. Administrators are working to design the best implementations while making sure that financial differences don't create equity gaps and that Wi-Fi networks can support the large volume of devices.

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High-tech tutoring: Big media, big startups and big money

The $7 billion market for tutoring services is in the midst of a transformation, driven by new technology. And it's not just nonprofits like Khan Academy and for-profit online schools like University of Phoenix that are making it happen.

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