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Where should schools start when it comes to implementing technology?

GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNIN’—A typical class at  Tahoma High involves students working on separate machines, including a tire balancer. Instructor Luke Thompson also provides writing assignments. Documenting work, he says, is an industry standard for tasks such as repair orders.

Schools have started fine-tuning their automotive tech programs to make them ideal vehicles for STEM instruction.

Districts must start crunching the numbers based on their state regulations to meet the ESSA mandate. (Gettyimages.com: alex_doubovitsky).

In light of a looming ESSA mandate to increase transparency around education spending, district leaders have been struggling to calculate per-pupil spending by school in accordance with state and federal requirements.

LEANER & GREENER—An MIT supercomputer remapped bus routes for Boston Public Schools (above). The district trimmed its fleet by 50 vehicles, saved about $4 million and cut carbon dioxide emissions.

The techniques for streamlining bus transportation range from a variety of off-the shelf routing programs to relying more on an administrator’s experience with local conditions.

PROOF OF PURCHASE—Educators at Dysart USD must justify the learning value of all technology purchases, such as the laptop (above) being used by a student at Sonoran Heights Elementary School.

Administrators now strive to align strong technology plans with district strategic goals.

Source: Compiled by USCCR from U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data “National Public Education Financial Survey” fiscal year 2014, and NCES, “Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education School Year 2013-14” p.5 Table 1. The graph is derived from one published by USCCR p.28, http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/2018-01-10-Education-Inequity.pdf.

The federal government must take “bold action” to make education funding more equitable, says a recent report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. 

Schools and districts in nearly 30 states—including Lyon County School District (Nevada)—use the Edthena platform to video coach educators. Lyon County began video coaching its 200 elementary school teachers in the 2017-18 school year. The PD was made possible by a grant from the Nevada Department of Education.

MAGIC SCHOOL BUS—The 71-passenger all-electric school bus has a range of 100 miles per charge and zero emissions.

Districts in Minnesota and California are participating in pilot programs that provide all-electric, zero-emissions buses that should cost much less to power and maintain.

Wealthy schools can raise eye-popping amounts from fundraising that add to the opportunities for well-off students, while the neediest schools struggle to keep up.

Nearly 4,000 K12 schools have been fitted with solar installations as of 2014, according to the “Brighter Futures” report for the U.S. Department of Energy, based on data from the Solar Energy Industries Association.

SEAT BELTS MAKE THEM SIT—New Hanover County Schools in North Carolina is adding seat belts to some buses as part of a state study. Ken Nance, transportation director, says just having students staying put in their seats reduces distractions to bus drivers, two of whom are pictured above.

More districts are adding seat belts to their bus fleets, following the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s 2015 recommendation that “every child on every school bus” needs a seat belt. 

Procurement is only the latest big step Amazon has taken into education. Earlier this year, it launched an online clearinghouse for open-education resources. (Photo: Thinkstock.com/Antomanio)

Administrators, teachers and other school personnel have been ordering supplies from Amazon.com for years, but the e-tailing colossus has now jumped formally into the education procurement market. And some in the procurement business see benefits.

Follett takes resource tracking to the next level with four new services

Juli Hubbard
Vice President, Purchasing
Follett

The education landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. The emergence of new standards, new evaluations and new technologies has placed more strain on school administrators than ever before. We have witnessed how our education partners now have less time to spend on core administrative tasks that once made up the majority of their workload.

There’s a new purchasing system in town, and it’s saving time, money and stress for folks at the Grinnell-Newburg Community School District in Iowa.

Click to enlarge: Five steps districts can take to save money on edtech purchases. (Source: Foundation for Excellence in Education)

As the lines between instructional and technology budgets blur, CIOs can improve their district’s procurement procedures to get what their classrooms need from an increasingly complex edtech market.

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