Back Office Business: Edtech in action

3/28/2013 2:33:00 PM

CLICKERS HELP 6TH-GRADE STUDENTS MAKE GREAT GAINS IN MATH

Challenge: With extremely limited funds (this district was second to last in perpupil spending in the state), Esko (MN) Public Schools had to figure out how to boost math scores for 6th-grade students who receive Title 1 funds for reading but not for math.
Solution: Brian Wickenheiser, a 6th-grade math and science teacher, secured grants and outside funding and purchased Turning Technologies’ ResponseCard NXT clickers for the entire grade. For the past few years, the 6th-grade students have been in the top seventh percentile of schools for math in Minnesota. “Formative assessment has never been easier or better,” says Wickenheiser.

A NEBRASKA SCHOOL LAUNCHES AN ONLINE INCIDENT-MANAGEMENT AND PREVENTION PLATFORM

Challenge: The Homer Community School in Nebraska wanted to become more aware of student safety incidents and behaviors within its community.
Solution: The school worked with Awareity, Inc., to launch TIPS, a Web-based incident-management and prevention platform. Anyone can access TIPS from the school’s Web site and report, either anonymously or non-anonymously, an incident of bullying, cyber-bullying, weapons possession, drug or alcohol use, harassment, school vandalism, or other behavior that can have a negative impact on the learning environment.

KENTUCKY FINDS COMMON CORE RESOURCES FOR EVERY TEACHER IN THE STATE

Challenge: The Kentucky Department of Education was looking for a way to provide PD and Common Core implementation resources to public educators across the state.
Solution: A partnership with School Improvement Network lets all of Kentucky’s 52,000 educators gain access to PD 360, Common Core 360, and Heidi Hayes Jacobs’ “Mapping to the Core” on the LiveBook 360 platform. These solutions give educators access to a library of more than 2,000 video segments on 125 educational topics, as well as an online professional learning community with nearly a million verified educators.

TEACHERS IN THIS TEXAS DISTRICT CAN GO ONLINE FOR TECH-TRAINING RESOURCES AND TUTORIALS

Challenge: McAllen (TX) Intermediate School District needed to distribute and manage more than 22,000 mobile devices.
Solution: To train its educators and students on using the mobile devices, district leaders turned to Atomic Learning resources. “Atomic Learning is a key partner in our dedication to providing our teachers with the highest quality technology-training resources available and supporting our students with anytime, anywhere learning,” says Carmen Garcia, director of instructional technology. The Atomic package includes 50,000 step-by-step tutorials that support classroom instruction.

TECHNOLOGY HELPS A MASSACHUSETTS DISTRICT WITH TEACHER DEVELOPMENT

Challenge: Springfield (MA) Public Schools wanted a way to improve professional development for nearly 3,000 teachers in its district.
Solution: By partnering with Truenorthlogic, the district launched an evaluation process that includes data dashboards for teachers, principals, and administrators to drive decision-making and formative and summative assessments to drive instruction.

FLORIDA DISTRICT PARTNERS WITH ASCD FOR COMMON CORE PD

Challenge: Pinellas County (FL) Schools, which serves 104,000 pre-K through 12th-grade students, set a goal of creating a professional development (PD) system for its instructional coaches, teaching and learning and PD staff, and school-based administrators to support all teachers in implementing the Common Core State Standards.
Solution: The district chose ASCD’s Capacity Building because it wanted a school-based, job-embedded PD. Capacity Building can be delivered on site, virtually, or through a blended approach, and delivers knowledge, leadership skills, and tools supporting specific Common Core-focused instructional practices. “In collaboration with ASCD, we are creating a team of district experts equipped to lead research-based PD activities,” says Lisa Grant, director of PD for the district. “These activities will build educators’ background knowledge and understanding of the new standards so that they can be integrated into best-practice strategies for achieving student success in the classroom.”

GOING SOLAR WILL HELP THIS DISTRICT SAVE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS

Challenge: The Murrieta Valley (CA) US D wanted to cut $3.2 million annually from their electricity bill.
Solution: The Murrieta Valley district implemented a plan for using solar power. The district installed SolarCity solar power systems at all 19 schools and the central office. The more than 10,000 solar panels are expected to save the district, at minimum, $1 million per year for the first five years and about $23 million over the next 25 years. “The savings our district will reap from going solar will benefit our general funds and enhance the academic excellence we strive to maintain for our students,” says Bill Olien, assistant superintendent.

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