Articles: Infrastructure

The latest notification systems enable district administrators to communicate instantly and across a variety of platforms to parents, teachers, staff and communities, from any location and in multiple languages.

With both Common Core testing and a 2013-2014 districtwide BYOD initiative looming, Rockwood School District in St. Louis County, Mo., required a strong Ethernet connection between buildings. As the district spans 150 square miles, the large area needed high-level coverage. According to Will Blaylock, the district’s CIO, the provider the district had been using prior to July 2013 had been meeting the district’s needs, but they were looking for more.

The influx of devices and applications that result from a BYOD project typically strain a district’s wireless network. Keeping your network secure is also a concern. However, with the proper device and network management tools, these issues can be mitigated and innovative ways of delivering education through technology can be achieved.

The Common Core State Standards assessments will be implemented in the 2014-2015 school year. To prepare, district technology leaders need to look at their networks and systems. Changes may need to be made to handle the challenges of online assessments.

Online learning is an exciting and limitless prospect, but the applications and devices required to support it demand a robust district network infrastructure. Though establishing the necessary broadband foundation can seem daunting, the resulting benefits are worthwhile pursuits.

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

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.

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.

A strong strategy and rock-solid network foundation are necessary to successfully implementing iPads in schools. Administrators in San Francisco’s Archbishop Riordan High School decided to implement a 1:1 iPad environment beginning as a voluntary program in 2012, taking on all infrastructure obstacles head-on. With parent, student, and teacher feedback and support, iPads will then be a mandatory purchase for the 2013-2014 school year.

When Westminster Christian Academy broke ground last year on a 250,000-square-foot building in the middle of St. Louis, technology director Kent D. Kehr Jr.'s excitement was tempered with great apprehension.

AMX SchoolView helped Joe Squiers see the light on energy savings. Or, to be more accurate, the dark.

 

Here's a quick measure of how sold Warsaw Community School District is on the concept of MimioTeach interactive whiteboard system: There's one in every classroom in the district.

When Tyler ISD in East Texas started equipping all its teachers with laptops and docking stations in 2008, it also began to build a model of "baseline technology" devices that district leaders considered essential to teaching and learning.

Round Rock ISD spent the past decade going through a big growth spurt. Along the way, it became clear that its data and communications systems, like an old pair of pants that are suddenly two inches too short, needed an upgrade.

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