School CIO: Back Office Business
Pennsylvania districts get low-cost Ethernet services
Challenge: Several school districts across three Pennsylvania counties
needed infrastructure upgrades to support a variety of cloud computing
and disaster-preparedness initiatives being developed.
Solution: The districts will receive Comcast Ethernet services through
the Lincoln Intermediate Unit, which offers educational and technology resources to more than 96,000
students and teachers. Comcast Business will connect the districts to PA IUnet, an online, statewide,
private network that allows teachers and students to communicate, collaborate, and share resources.
“Comcast has allowed many of our districts to increase their bandwidth exponentially—and in some
cases for half the price—which has given them access to cloud computing, video conferencing, and other
online educational tools that had previously been cost-prohibitive for them,” says Jared Mader, director
of education technology for the Lincoln Intermediate Unit.
Flipped classrooms choose a
plat form to support their initiatives
Challenge: One school in Connecticut and another in Michigan
needed to find platforms to support their flipped learning
initiatives. They were both seeking something that would
encourage collaboration and communication among students.
Solution: Both schools chose EDU onGO. “Our students
responded really well to the flipped learning model, but I knew
that was just the beginning,” says Greg Green, principal of
Clintondale High School in Clinton, Mich. “I needed to take flipped
learning to the next level and make it a real success at our school. With EDU onGo we are receiving a
straightforward, intuitive platform for teachers to create the collaborative and customized learning
environments necessary to generate higher-level thinking and participation among students.”
Six New Jersey districts select a data solution
Challenge: The AchieveNJ educator evaluation and support system
relies on multiple measures of performance to evaluate teachers. Six New
Jersey districts needed to find a way to manage the onslaught of data from
these measures—including Student Growth Percentiles, Student Growth
Objectives (SGOs), and classroom observations.
Solution: Butler Public Schools, Cherry Hill Public Schools, East Brunswick Public Schools,
Franklin Township Public Schools, Freehold Regional High School District, and Garfield Public
Schools all purchased Performance Matters, which offers an assessment and data management
system, along with the newly released SGO module to assist in the creation, management, and
monitoring of SGOs. Three of the districts will also implement FAST e (Formative Action System for
Teacher Effectiveness), a turnkey system for evaluating educator effectiveness with a framework that
can be customized for each school system.
Spring ISD delivers
wanted to provide
students with more personalized and blended learning
opportunities inside and outside of the classroom.
Solution: The district partnered with itslearning,
a cloud-based learning management system that lets
teachers differentiate and deliver instruction. The
learning platform lets teachers share instructional
resources, assignments, activities, and assessments
with students and parents via personalized dashboards.
“We assessed our current standing and felt there was
more we could do to prepare our students for digital
1:1 learning, collaboration, and truly self-directed
academic experiences,” says Regina Owens, executive
director for instructional engagement at Spring ISD.
The fourth-largest U.S.
school district expands
its digital offerings in
Dade County Public
Schools is working
to transform teaching and learning by providing dynamic
and interactive learning opportunities to all students.
Solution: As part of its continued digital
conversion, the district expanded its partnership with
Discovery Education to provide all of its 348 schools
with Discovery Education Streaming Plus, a collection
of rich multimedia assets aligned to state academic
and testing standards, as well as Discovery Education
Science, a multimedia curriculum supplement for
elementary and middle school science education.
In addition, district educators will be provided with
extensive professional development preparing them for
life inside a digital classroom.