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As districts transition into the digital age, technology certification programs are growing in number to meet the needs of tech-savvy students.

As tablet integration becomes increasingly prominent in U.S. classrooms, administrators face challenges preparing district infrastructures, teachers, students and parents for a shift to digital learning.

Here are some tips from two district leaders who have successfully undergone the change to those considering a move to tablets.

The changing nature of homework and increased use of technology in assignments have affected tutoring companies and the services they provide. Personalized learning is an increasingly important concept for homework help, says Lynn Fontana, chief academic officer of Sylvan Learning, a national tutoring center chain that provides homework help for pre-K12 students.

Some say that homework favors more advantaged students who have access to technology at home and, likely, an engaged parent to help them complete assignments.

A robust network that allows students and staff to access the internet is critical for every school district. However, to protect students and comply with CIPA and local regulations, a multi-strategy approach with reporting, monitoring, and flexibility tools is essential.

In Arizona’s rural Cottonwood Oak Creek School District, 70 percent of students receive a free or reduced-price lunch. Because many students do not have the resources at home to learn about and interact with technology, the team at Cottonwood wanted to foster improved technology skills, while also promoting student engagement in class.

Glastonbury (Conn.) Public Schools is the latest district to roll out a plan to provide iPads to its 2,200 high school students—and it is only the first step to significantly reduce textbook costs and focus on providing a 21st-century learning environment for its students.

Five years ago, the Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina went digital, with laptops and MacBook Air computers districtwide.

The district has not purchased a textbook in over five years, with the exception of those required for high school Advanced Placement classes.

Helen Gooch, middle,  the instructional technology coordinator for Clarksville-Montgomery (Tenn.) School District, is with two technology integration coaches at the Kilobyte training lab at Greenwood Technology Center, getting quick tips for using Windows 8.

The Windows 8 operating system, which splashed on the market in October 2012, is changing the landscape of Microsoft-based computers. The once traditional PC operating system is making the move toward a more mobile, tablet-based environment in schools. With it comes a drastic change that will affect how educators interact with computers in a Windows-based system. The last major change in Windows OS was in 1995, says Cameron Evans, Microsoft’s chief technology officer for U.S. education. “The world has changed,” Evans says.

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