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Articles: Infrastructure

Project Unicorn does not leave data interoperability to the imagination. The InnovateEdu initiative, which has grown from 25 districts to over 400 in just the past year, compels edtech companies to create compatible software that can share data.

The New York-based nonprofit also has recently partnered with nearly three dozen edtech companies that have pledged to prioritize data interoperability during software development.

School districts will likely deal with network failures or breaches. To recover effectively, district technology professionals can respond with the following strategies.

Every school district in North Dakota should reach 1 gigabit per second of connectivity by summer 2019. For some, that could mean a tenfold increase.

The 100-gigabit upgrade to North Dakota’s statewide STAGEnet network will also provide faster service for higher education institutions and governments.

The state’s core network and internet capacity will see a 150 to 200 percent increase.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy / Source: Orlando Utilities Commission

Faced with tight budgets and the expanding use of electricity-hungry technology, districts are turning to energy efficiency solutions that don’t sacrifice learning power.

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.

The next generation of IT infrastructure, hyperconvergence is a framework that combines computing, storage and networking into a single, simplified, automated and easy-to-use system. It’s a perfect fit for school districts, which have limited budgets and few staff members to maintain and operate their IT systems. In fact, hyperconverged IT infrastructures—even in large and complex environments—can be run and managed by users with no certifications or training beyond basic computer skills. 

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. (Gettyimages.com: 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. (GettyImages.com).

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

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