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Articles: Technology

Six years ago, Waconia Public Schools, which is 35 miles west of Minneapolis, launched a 1-to-1 technology initiative. It purchased tablets as part of a pilot program for 10th-grade students. 

After determining that the pilot program was successful, the district expanded it to include students in fourth, eighth and 11th grades. At that point, the district realized that this was not a sustainable program for the long term. 

Putting technology into classrooms has been a focus for Gwinnett County Public Schools, located in a suburb of Atlanta, for decades. First it was using overhead or slide projectors, and later televisions. Before the district made the decision to add projectors to all classrooms, schools would buy a few on their own, but there was no standardization across schools. 

According to Bruce Gardner, North America Program Director for IBM’s Education Industry Group, IBM is excited to now be helping schools deliver on the promise of personalized learning. When Bruce began working for IBM in education more than 30 years ago, IBM was introducing networking to schools, with servers delivering instructional courseware to workstations moved from the lab into the classroom.

Blane McCann is the superintendent of Westside Community Schools in Omaha, Nebraska.

Giftedness is not just a test score. How many students have we seen who did not have a test score to qualify for a gifted program but became an expert in an area of passion and interest?

What are some of the key benefits of hyperconvergence for K12? 

Hyperconvergence is going to save schools money. The deployment is very easy, and the biggest driver of all is ease of use. School districts often have limited resources and IT specialists, so hyperconvergence is really about being able to take an infrastructure and allow for an IT generalist to be able to manage the infrastructure. 

Talk about managing complicated systems with limited resources as school districts face budget cuts. 

A project by the University of Wyoming allows college students to fine-tune their teaching skills with a roomful of virtual students animated by an actor.

As the internet and social media become entrenched in classrooms, more schools teach students how to behave responsibly online and how to gauge the credibility of the web’s resources.

MOBILE PLATFORM—La Joya ISD’s new mobile tech lab brings ed tech and internet access to low-income students in rural areas.

A custom-made mobile tech lab brings tech and internet access to the neighborhoods of low-income students in La Joya ISD (7,000 students) on Texas’ Mexican border.

Crafting a strong and well-balanced social media policy requires considerable time and effort. The policy must be flexible enough to accommodate new tech trends yet thorough and specific.

Due to property tax reform in Indiana, the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township experienced a $14 million to $17 million shortfall and was facing tough financial decisions surrounding its capital projects, debt service and transportation expenditures.

To search for efficiencies in transportation, Superintendent Jeff Butts engaged with Transfinder, specifically looking to leverage their software solutions and expertise in transportation routing, scheduling and communications.

K12 STEM programs are evolving, incorporating new tools and technologies to better prepare students for rapidly changing college and career environments. Makerspaces, drones, coding and robotics are all part of this next generation of STEM learning that is just beginning to have an impact in districts.

Little Falls City School District’s standards-based Engineering by Design program strives to build students’ resilience while developing their real-life problem-solving skills.

The Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative hopes to build a drone-port and collaborative community workspace atop a coal-mined mountain.

IBM’s Watson computing system identifies the academic prerequisites and standards mapped out for each lesson. (Gettyimages.com: just_super).

IBM’s Watson computing system—perhaps the world’s most well-known artificial intelligence technology—now provides K5 educators with a database of open educational math resources.

In the Ventura USD in California, one low-achieving middle school at risk of closure was instead transformed into the De Anza Academy of Technology and the Arts (DATA), a high-achieving magnet school. A significant component in DATA’s dramatic turnaround has been its innovative project-based and collaborative learning environments and makerspaces, which employ technology as a central component. 

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