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Articles: Infrastructure

TECH PREP—Student interns, such as the young man above, develop valuable career skills handling much of the IT support at Leyden 212 High School District near Chicago.

Whether it’s a small district with just a few schools or a mammoth operation that spends billions of dollars, one thing is certain: getting tech support in the right place at the right time is mission critical.

BROADENING HORIZONS—Tech staff at Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District near Minneapolis coach teachers to help students use technology to bridge cultural barriers.

Instructional technology directors serve as classroom coaches and content experts in districts determined to use devices, digital learning and other technology to their full instructional potential.

A new movement that promises closer cooperation between higher ed and K12 aims to end this legacy of passing the buck.

Growing mental health needs of students ranked as one of the major issues facing educators who participated in DA’s 2018 Outlook Survey.

Three years ago, Rob Stratton was seeking a way to simplify access to online resources for more than 93,000 students and 11,000 staff in Florida’s Lee County School District. Stratton, who is the coordinator for K12 instructional technology for Lee County, wanted students and teachers to spend less time managing accounts through the district’s website and more time using instructional software in the classroom.

“We spent more time talking about how to log in and not enough time about how to use the resources,” Stratton says.

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. 

The percentage of Arkansas high school graduates who have taken an AP exam is nearly 50 percent. ( baona).

Requiring high schools to offer at least one AP course would help increase rural student access to rigorous pre-college work, according to a recent report.

Here are five strategies that school administrators are adopting to support the rising demand for special education.

GREEN IS GOOD—In this propagation map of Albemarle County, colors show signal quality for broadband. Green is nearly unobstructed.

Free internet access at home will soon be a reality for students in Albemarle County Public Schools.

Since Houston ISD started using Online Assessment Planning Tool in 2015, web-based assessments there rose from 3 percent to an estimated high of 50 percent by late May 2017. (

Making the transformation from traditional to online assessments can cause confusion for many districts, even when it comes to basic definitions.

Ultimately, the answer to delivering school bandwidth might require a radical rethink in which districts scrap expensive IT infrastructure in favor of pure wireless connections.

Source: The Broadband Imperative II: Equitable Access for Learning, SEDTA (

Educators and students, of course, increasingly rely on the internet for everything from online curriculum and research to playing edu-games and posting grades.

The IRS is warning district officials: Be wary of phishing scams targeting tax forms and other sensitive employee data. Over two dozen school districts have fallen victim to these attacks in recent months.

The E-rate program, which is entering its 20th cycle and is worth about $4 billion, is still giving. It can still help districts connect their school buildings to the internet—unbeknownst to some leaders, says John Harrington, CEO of Funds for Learning consulting firm.

When the central Connecticut town of Cheshire moved to reduce power use, it upgraded six of its eight public schools with the latest internet of things technology. The plan combined energy-efficient LED fixtures with sensors and cloud-based servers that automatically turn the lights off in an empty room or adjust brightness.

The district cut its electricity bill by 84 percent, saving about $390,000 out of an annual $65 million budget.