School CIO: Back Office Business

2/26/2014 6:00:00 PM
California Makes Statewide Selection for New Math Curriculum

Challenge: The California State Board of Education needed to find Common Core-aligned mathematics materials for K-8 students.
Solution: Seven of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Common Core-aligned programs, including California GO Math!, California Math in Focus 2015, and California Big Ideas Math were selected. Go Math! will provide support for students and professional development for teachers. California students will also have access to Personal Math Trainer Powered by Knewton, which will analyze each student’s progress and provide personalized paths to achieving learning goals.

BYOD gets additional support in NH

Challenge: Oyster River (NH) Cooperative School District needed to supplement district-owned mobile devices and move toward a 1:1 initiative. The goal was for every student to have access to a mobile device for connecting with online information and data that reinforce and build upon classroom teachings.
Solution: By deploying a unified wired and wireless access network based on Aruba’s Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture, the district can securely support BYOD devices and manage the same levels of network access for both BYOD and district-provided devices. “After our review process, it became clear that only Aruba could handle the wide range of mobile devices on our network— including tablets, notebooks, netbooks, and e-readers—and securely on-board these devices, whether they were our own or brought into the schools by students, teachers, or guests,” says IT Director Josh Olstad.

Jackson Prep upgrades to a Wi-Fi solution
Students and teachers review a classroom assignment at Jackson Prep’s Tech Hub, a Wi-Fi equipped area where they can collaborate, print documents, and charge devices. Pictured, left to right, are Cara Lee Crawford, math instructor Tracie Mallard, Ellie Wells, Mae Mae Cook, Riley Kellum, Witt Lovelace, and Josh Pound.

Challenge: Jackson Preparatory School in Mississippi was the first school in its state to install a campus-wide wireless network in 1999-2000, but rapid advances in technology made frequent upgrades and replacements a challenge. It was time for the school to install a scalable Wi-Fi solution that could keep pace with the school’s academic rigor.
Solution: The school chose C Spire’s Education Revolution hosted Wi-Fi solution. The network features more than 100 access points throughout Jackson Prep’s campus and provides secure wireless Internet coverage in every corner of the school. The solution also guarantees simultaneous wireless connections for every student, allowing for immediate access to digital textbooks, library e-databases, reverse-learning podcasts, real-time lectures, and mobile applications.

Tennessee chooses a statewide SIS vendor

Challenge: The Tennessee Department of Education was looking for a student information system (SIS) vendor for the state so that schools could easily collect, report, and manage student data and information.
Solution: Follett—which already manages student data for 63,500 students in Knox County Schools in Knoxville and Jefferson County Schools in Dandridge—is now an approved SIS vendor for the state. “One of our goals was to create a better, more productive user experience while maintaining quality data,” says Beau Stanley, team leader and student information specialist for Knox County Schools. “With Aspen’s architecture, we can hide fields that aren’t relevant to the task at hand and define rules for entering information, which helps us ensure data integrity.”

Personalized and blended learning opportunities abound in Texas

Challenge: Spring (TX) Independent School District wanted to find a way to provide students with more personalized and blended learning opportunities.
Solution: The district chose itslearning, a cloud-based learning management system that lets teachers differentiate and deliver instruction anytime, anywhere, and on any device. “Statistics show that around 60% of colleges and universities use some form of blended learning, which requires students to take a more active role in managing their education,” says Regina Owens, executive director for instructional engagement at Spring ISD. “We felt there was more we could do to prepare our students for that type of learning community.”

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