Articles: Technology

The need for high-speed internet in schools is growing exponentially. District Administration spoke with four administrators from around the country about what is driving current bandwidth-consumption trends, what impact increased bandwidth has on tight budgets, and what the future of bandwidth looks like for K12 schools.

JIM RARUS

Does your district have 20 minutes every two weeks to get students proficient in technology? That’s all it’s taken for elementary students in the Phillipsburg (N.J.) School District, thanks to EasyTech, a self-paced interactive curriculum that teaches students critical technology skills in the context of core curriculum and real-world challenges.

Located just outside Albuquerque, New Mexico, Rio Rancho Cyber Academy (RRCA) is an accredited, diploma-granting enriched virtual learning school that serves 180 students in grades 6-12, and is part of the Rio Rancho Public Schools. 49 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and 14 percent of students receive special education services.

When deciding whether online learning is right for your district, many questions arise, from deciding on the best curriculum to how to properly onboard families. How to train staff and how success will be measured must also be thought through. This web seminar, originally broadcast on March 13, 2013, joined together online learning experts from across the country to discuss how they were able to successfully introduce online curriculum in their districts.

Blended learning is a disruptive innovation that has been changing how teachers teach and how schools operate. The Innosight Institute and its founder Michael Horn predicted its emergence and believe blended learning will continue to grow at a rapid pace due to the success it brings to students. Rocky Mount Prep (N.C.) saw tremendous growth in its elementary students in several months after supplementing traditional teaching with adaptive online math software.

When principal Jenny Robles learned about MIND Research Institute’s ST Math® program, she was confident it would change the lives of her students. But she had no idea how happy it would make her teachers.

Educators too often treat instructional software for students like physical therapy for the injured: You get diagnosed for your specific injury, you undergo a physical therapy regimen, and one day you’re healthy again.

The first thing Bartow County Virtual Academy students learn is that online classes aren’t as easy as A, B, C. They’re also not for everyone.

As blended learning is implemented in more schools across the country, administrators need to consider which online programs will most effectively drive student success. DreamBox Learning utilizes Intelligent Adaptive Learning™ technology to provide differentiated instruction, maximizing the benefits of the blending learning experience.

Small and medium-sized districts have unique challenges in establishing ongoing technology sustainability. However, even with limited funds and staff, it is possible for schools to have maximum functionality and ease of management with the latest technology products available.

After eight years of employing a 1:1 laptop initiative, the team at Kershaw County Schools in Camden, S.C., chose to investigate alternate options for the 2012-2013 school year. Eventually, the school board decided that a 1:1 iPad initiative was the next logical step in maintaining technological relevance.

A robust network that allows students and staff to access the internet is critical for every school district. However, to protect students and comply with CIPA and local regulations, a multi-strategy approach with reporting, monitoring, and flexibility tools is essential.

In Arizona’s rural Cottonwood Oak Creek School District, 70 percent of students receive a free or reduced-price lunch. Because many students do not have the resources at home to learn about and interact with technology, the team at Cottonwood wanted to foster improved technology skills, while also promoting student engagement in class.

Collaborative virtual workspaces are one of the most effective new ways to assist in providing a high quality 21st century education. ePals’ latest platform, LEARN365, fosters social learning by providing a virtual space that is not bound by space or time for students and teachers to come together and exchange information.

District leaders have a new state-of-the-art data visualization tool at their disposal for making critical decisions. Guide K12’s geovisual analytics integrates student information systems with interactive web-based software to enable administrators to filter on any characteristic and run instant queries. Administrators feel confident expanding a school’s boundary or offering a specific program based on the data the system provides.

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