South Portland School Department
Name: Andrew Wallace
Title: Director of Technology
District: South Portland School
What are your big-picture
We’re currently doing 1:1 for grades 6 through
12. We’re providing half of the sixth graders with
iPads to determine the viability of the device
for content creation instead of just information
retrieval. We are also comparing MacBooks and
iPads in anticipation of next June’s state RFP to
provide the best product for everyone. Last but
not least, we’re gearing up for next-generation
assessments and looking to see how technology
can help us carry out Common Core.
What changes are you
making to achieve these
We’re looking at software like Next Navigator
(www.nextnavigator.com/), which helps
teachers see how their current units align with
Common Core. We’re piloting NWEA Common
Core assessment in additional to regular
assessments and doing lots of professional
development with Common Core in mind. It’s a
very different way of teaching and learning.
What are the biggest
challenges and how do
you manage them?
My biggest challenge is data collection.
What sort of impact beyond anecdotal
information and student engagement can we
get from implementing the right technology?
We’re seeing significant gains through well established
RTI programs, including Read180
Another challenge is the unlimited amount
of email I receive; it’s nearly impossible to keep
up. But our technology department has a definite
can-do attitude. We will do whatever we have to
do to meet the education needs, but that often
requires a lot of work.
How do you get buy-in on
ed tech from the school
Our community is very supportive. They
see the intrinsic value of technology as a way
to prepare our students for college and the
workforce. Since I’ve been here, we’ve seen
technology go from being a “goal” or something
to obtain to its now being something we use to
accomplish our learning goals. It’s blending into
everything so it doesn’t stand out. We need to
leverage technology to achieve goals.
What currently has you
I’ve been working with the state principals,
association to educate them about training
administrators on iPads. It’s an enthusiastic group
of educators that I met through our state’s ISTE
affiliate. With the tablet explosion, everyone has
a chance to become an expert. You can jump on
it even if you missed the laptop explosion. It’s the
type of game changer that doesn’t come along very
often. It’s a new change, a beginning for anyone
who wants to come along.
When the Portland IT department was
asked to reorganize printing and copying
in the district, Wallace realized it
was time for an overhaul. They selected
a print management solution that
offered the following benefits:
• Confidentiality: Because users
are required to enter their network
passwords to retrieve print jobs,
every print job is only retrievable by
• Fewer copiers and printers:
Since every print job is equally confidential,
copiers can be in public
spaces, eliminating the need for
“student printers” and “staff-only
• Going green: Paper consumption
has definitely decreased, making
them feel good about this solution,
and saving even more money.
• Accountability: Personal printing
has almost completely vanished,
because each job is authenticated.
• Targeted billing: The software
can be configured to charge perpage
costs back to specific schools,
departments, or individuals.