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Feature for District CIO

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.

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.

For most school districts, internet filters are crucial for complying with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which requires restricting students from accessing inappropriate online content.

Filtering also allows districts to manage limited bandwidth.

Below are a list of internet filtering providers:


Link to main story: Digital gatekeepers for K12


Blocksi, blocksi.net

Steven Langford,  CIO, Beaverton School District (Ore.)

Here are five crucial decisions to make in developing best practices for the wide variety of internet filters—and your options for using them—in K12 schools.

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.

ACADEMIC EFFICIENCY—Los Angeles USD’s CIO, Shahryar Khazei, has integrated enterprise resource planning software (which streamlines administrative functions) with the district’s student information system.

Some early adopters in K12 education have deployed ERP to manage a range of operations more efficiently.

Everything might work smoothly now, but Los Angeles USD’s first try at automated payroll in 2007 failed, with some employees getting overpaid while others didn’t get a check or were underpaid.

“We tried to do this too early, before the software was fully developed,” says Shahryar Khazei, the district’s CIO.

Aimed at automating its payroll, the $95 million system went haywire and took a year and a half to fix and customize to the needs of the district.

Every K12 IT manager wants all school software to work together seamlessly, but incompatible programs often prevent the sharing of key data.

For common communications, such as early dismissal notices, some schools create generic translated versions in key languages.

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