CIOProfile

11/1/2012 12:00:00 AM

Quick Bio

Name: Scott Smith
Title: Chief Technology Officer
District: Mooresville Graded School District (NC)

What are your big-picture tech goals for your district?

We’re in the middle of a digital conversion. We’re a 1:1 district; every fourth- through 12th-grade student has a MacBook Air. The third-graders have MacBooks that stay at school, and there are laptop carts for K-2.

For our digital conversion, we are changing the teaching and learning environment as well as the culture to meet the needs of every student in a technology-rich environment. We can do personalized learning and reach children in new ways. Our professional development effort is huge, and it’s not just the tech side—the culture is shifting, too. When we started on this endeavor it was like every teacher became a first-year teacher again. That gives you a perspective of how massive this is. Our school board was brought in because we knew we needed to do a lot of PD. They gave us six early-release days built into the school calendar. Students go home at noon and teachers have PD the rest of day. Now we have 10. When we sold it to the community, we said, “We know you want your doctor to be up to date and know what’s going on. Why wouldn’t you want that for your kid’s teachers too?”

We haven’t bought a textbook in four years, except for college AP courses. In North Carolina we can use textbook money for other things, so we used it for about 20 different digital resources, including Discovery Education streaming (streaming.discoveryeducation.com), BrainPOP (www.brainpop.com), Study Island (www.studyisland.com), and icurio (www.icurio.com/mktg). We try to buy sources that are aligned to North Carolina standards or Common Core. A high school biology teacher can look for a lesson on mitosis. It’s all vetted and aligned, and it lets teachers use simulations, hands-on projects, and other things that cover multiple modalities. By using digital resources teachers can do so much more to meet the needs of all students.

We’re also using data more intelligently. We have better, just-in-time, real data now so students get instant feedback. A teacher doesn’t have to spend time grading. She can give a quiz, and as soon as the student submits it he knows how he did. We do quarterly assessments. We were using Scantron, but we outgrew it and now use Thinkgate (thinkgate.net) for assessments. We take the daily and quarterly assessments and use EVAAS (Education Value Added Assessment System; www.ncpublicschools.org/evaas). It looks at a student across grades and can predict how he’ll do on the next assessment. It’s very accurate. A teacher can look at her students and know who will struggle, so she can provide individualized intervention early on. Teachers use EVAAS on the front end and do daily and quarterly assessments. These products make everything transparent.

What changes are you ta king to achieve them?

Overall, we’re going through a culture shift. Our superintendent has done a great job of selling it to the community, explaining why we need a digital conversion, and what it means. Our superintendent says, “We’re preparing kids for their future, not our past.” We need to teach them how to think, not what to think, and help them to be adaptive and competitive and collaborative.

What are the biggest challenges in your day-today life?

Lack of time is always an issue. I’m focused on maintaining what’s already happening while building new things.

How do you get buy in from the community?

My superintendent is great at it. As he says, you have to answer the “so what?” question to your parents, your community, and your constituents. What can kids do with a laptop? What difference does it make? People understand dropout rate, attendance rate, and graduation rate, but just because we give children and teachers technology and we change the environment, is it making a measurable difference? We can prove it is! Discipline and dropout rate is way down; graduation rate is up. We look at the data so we can answer the “So what?” question.

comments powered by Disqus
Photo GalleriesView All Galleries >
Acer C720-2844 Chromebook

(www.acer.com) The Acer C720-2844 Chromebook model delivers speedy performance, a quick boot time of seven seconds, and a matte anti-glare display tha...

Britannica ImageQuest

(www.britannica.com) Britannica Digital Learning has upgraded ImageQuest, a resource for schools and libraries that provides nearly three million rig...

ClassFlow

(www.classflow.com) Promethean has released ClassFlow, a free, all-in-one, cloud-based teaching tool that lets teachers create and deliver interactive...

Adobe Voice

(www.adobe.com) Adobe has released Adobe Voice, an animated video app for the iPad that lets users create and share video stories. The app incorporate...

DeskBoard

(www.boxlight.com) The BOXLIGHT DeskBoard mobile cart adjusts both height and tilt for the P8 ultra short throw interactive projector on a white surfa...

Core 36M

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has introduced Core 36M, a 36-unit charging cart that is optimized for Chromebooks but which also supports most tablets, l...

Edmentum Sensei

(www.edmentum.com) Edmentum Sensei is a mobile optimized solution that helps administrators visualize and track overall school, teacher, and student p...

HMH Player

(www.hmhco.com) HMH has released HMH Player, a new native app for iOS and Google Chrome that streamlines the learning experience for improved digital ...

Juice Power System

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has unveiled an easy-to-use modular power system with exchangeable power components. The Juice Power System uses unique &#...

LightSail

(www.lightsailed.com) LightSail Education has announced a literacy accelerator that combines books with in-text embedded assessments and real-time dat...

myON

(www.myon.com) myON has expanded its digital library to include a set of literacy tools to further personalize the reading experience for students whi...

Nervanix Clarity

(www.nervanix.com) Nervanix has released Clarity, an application that monitors student attention levels as they study and guides them to revisit conce...

MathBall

(www.robotslab.com) RobotsLAB has introduced MathBall, a smart sensor basketball and tablet system that offers curricula in algebra, pre-calculus, phy...

MobileAsset.EDU

(www.waspbarcode.com) Wasp Barcode’s MobileAsset.EDU solutions include everything administrators need to account for their assets, from software...

OpenEd Assessment Creation Tool

(www.opened.io) OpenEd has announced a free tool that lets teachers easily create assessments with the question types required by Common Core standard...

Panasonic TH-80LFB70U

(www.panasonic.com) Panasonic’s TH-80LFB70U interactive LED display features high-speed, multi-touch, interactive capabilities to promote partic...

penveu interactive display system

(www.penveu.com) The penveu interactive display system is a handheld device that turns projectors and large screen displays into interactive whiteboar...

PresentationPro

(www.califone.com) Califone has updated its PresentationPro speaker. The PA310 readily connects with computers, LCD projectors, mobile devices, intera...

PowerSync+ Mobile Companion App

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has announced the availability of the companion app for its PowerSync+ enabled charge and sync produc...

PureCharge Carts and Stations for iPad

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has debuted the PureCharge family of iPad and iPad mini charging carts and stations. By offering pre-i...

ProQuest Research Companion

(www.proquest.com) ProQuest’s new information literacy product, Research Companion, offers videos that guide users through the research process,...

Sphere2 & Class Send Student Engagement Software Platform

(www.averusa.com) AVer Information has developed a Student Engagement platform, providing teachers and students with the tools to transmit document ca...

TabChargeCT2

(www.averusa.com) AVer has released the TabChargeCT2 charge cart solution, which can hold up to 40 Chromebooks, iPads, Android or Windows tablets, lap...

VoiceLift with Instant Alert and Emergency Video Monitoring

(www.extron.com) The Instant Alert function of the Extron VoiceLift Microphone, combined with a PoleVault, WallVault, or PlenumVault classroom AV sys...

SMART Board 6065

(www.smarttech.com) The SMART Board 6065 is an ultra HD, 4K interactive flat panel that offers collaborative capabilities while ensuring lessons run s...

Gaggle Unity Partner Program

(www.gaggle.net) The new Gaggle Unity Partner Program provides free data integration services for all educational technology vendors. Through the Gagg...

Waterford Early Learning, Reading, Math & Science

(www.waterford.org) Waterford Early Learning Cloud can be used at home or to supplement lessons in classrooms. It can also be used for individual adap...

NetSupport School

(www.netsupportschool.com) The latest version of NetSupport School allows teachers to monitor and collaborate with any mix of technology. An enhanced ...

Camtasia

(www.techsmith.com/camtasia) TechSmith’s Camtasia gives teachers the tools to record lessons, create videos, and engage their audiences. Educato...

Panasonic 3E

(www.panasonic.com) Intel has teamed up with Panasonic to announce the Panasonic 3E, which uses the Intel Education 2-in-1 reference design. Designed ...

Tweets