SchoolCIO: Back Office Business

5/30/2013 8:00:00 PM

A New York district needed a clientless way to access Windows apps

Challenge: A district in New York needed to find a way for its students to access Windows applications through the browsers on school-owned Chromebooks as well as personal laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Solution: Bradford Central School District chose Ericom AccessNow, which runs within any HTML5- compatible browser, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. Therefore, it will work on Chromebooks, iPads, iPhones, Android devices, Mac, and Linux, in addition to Windows. According to Jeff Tham, technology coordinator for the district, “AccessNow definitely met all our requirements because of its ability to function across platforms. I really wanted a clientless solution that wouldn’t require a huge manual for kids to connect in. Plus, Ericom’s offering was certainly much more cost-effective.”

Lake County Schools finds the right digital learning platform

Challenge: Florida’s Lake County Schools was looking for a way to manage its digital learning resources.
Solution: SAFARI Montage’s Digital Learning Platform and integrated Learning Object Repository became the right answer for this district. Lake County piloted SAFE Montage at several schools, including its 1:1 iPad high school program, before making the product available to the entire district. “Lake County Schools looked for the tools to provide the same rigorous learning environment to all students on any device at any time and chose the SAFARI Montage platform to accomplish this,” says Creed Wheeler, executive director of information and instructional technology services.

Students can report bullying via text in Texas

Challenge: Gladewater (TX) ISD wanted to have a proactive plan in place that used cell phones to confront bullying.
Solution: The district chose the anonymous tipping program, uTip–The Bully Buster. Anyone can report an incident via text message, and the program is free for the first year, courtesy of e2Campus. “We get the e-mails and text tips immediately on our phones as soon as the tips are submitted,” says Cathy Bedair, principal at Gladewater High School. “The tips that have come in so far have been related to bullying, but it can really be used for anything, like theft, vandalism, cheating, or drugs.”

It’s time for a new online grade book in Florida

Challenge: Hillsborough County (FL) Public Schools wanted to offer its teachers a district-wide grade book so they could track and share grades, assignments, and classrelated information with students and parents.
Solution: The district went with the Edsby grade book and social learning platform supplied by Aptiris Inc. This company will also provide training on its cloud-based system. “We look forward to the key services that Edsby will provide to all the stakeholders in our education community,” says Gregory Hart, manager of Web communication at Hillsborough. “We know that having students and their families more engaged with student progress and achievement is a vital step in improving student outcomes.”

Students in an Oregon district can enroll in a virtual school

Challenge: Lebanon Community Schools in Oregon wanted to provide its students with greater flexibility and options for achieving their academic goals.
Solution: Earlier this school year, Lebanon Community Schools partnered with K12 Inc. to launch a full-time, online school for K-12 students called the Oregon iSchool. “With online learning, our district can enable students to become 21st-century learners by providing them with the rigorous curriculum, tools, and support they need to succeed,” says Rob Hess, superintendent. In the six months since launch, more than 450 students have enrolled in online courses.

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