School Board News Today, an online publication of NSBA, provides timely and relevant stories and analysis from NSBA and other news outlets to school board members, administrators, and all others interested in K-12 education.
Ann Flynn, Director of Education Technology at the National School Boards Association (NSBA) and Mark Ray, Manager of Instructional Technology and Library Services for Washington’s Vancouver Public Schools, were guests on Education Talk Radio. They discussed the impact of new and innovative education technology on K-12 education.
Vancouver Public Schools, which will host one of NSBA’s 2013 Technology Leadership Network Education Technology Site Visits, discussed the upcoming event on this show. These site visits demonstrate best practices and newest tools to help improve student learning through technology are one of the best ways to see firsthand the best ways to use technology in classrooms. Education Technology Site Visits are also scheduled for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Township High School District #214 in Illinois, and East Penn School District in Pennsylvania this spring.
The show also discussed NSBA’s first Technology Innovation Showcase, which will help school board members and school districts realize the potential of new and innovative educational technology products for their schools.
School boards across the country will take part in Digital Learning Day today by promoting their district’s educational technologies in classrooms and at school board meetings.
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is proud to be a core partner in Digital Learning Day, which celebrates innovative teaching practices that make learning more personalized and engaging and encourages school leaders to explore how digital resources can provide more students with enhanced opportunities to get the skills they need to succeed. Now in its second year, the event is a project of the Digital Learning Policy Center, a division of the Alliance for Excellent Education, which promotes the effective applications of technology in schools.
“Digital Learning Day is an excellent opportunity for educators to show school board members and other community leaders the exciting ways that technology is used to support student learning,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “We must also take this opportunity to ensure that all students have access to the technologies they need to be prepared for the 21st century workplace, and we also must ensure that teachers and other school staff have the training they need to effectively use these technologies in their classrooms.”
Last year, several school boards across the country marked the day by hosting student presentations at their board meetings.
As part of NSBA’s programs to advance technology in education, NSBA will be hosting its annual series of Education Technology Site Visits this spring to provide school leaders and educators with an in-depth look at the policies and practices that support digital learning. Visits will take place in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools March 6-8; Township High School District 214 near Chicago, March 13-15; East Penn School District in Emmaus, Penn., April 28-30; and the Vancouver Public Schools, Wash., May 1-3.
Four school districts across the nation will demonstrate best practices and newest tools to help improve student learning through technology. The line-up includes Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the recent winner of the coveted Broad Prize for Urban Education.
The events “showcase digital learning trends that have implications for district policies, funding, and questions of equity and access,” said Ann Flynn, NSBA’s Director of Educational Technology. “These highly interactive visits help decision-makers consider those implications in light of real-world examples and innovative solutions through classroom observations, focused briefings, and conversations with school board members, teachers, administrators, and students in each of our host districts.”
In Miami, examples of innovative technology solutions from the arts and P.E. to the district’s iPrep Academy will be highlighted during the site visit. Led by tech-savvy Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho, the district is reinventing its classroom instruction and strategic use of technology with the focus on improving student achievement.
“Education decisions at Miami-Dade reflect a deep understanding that technology can enable today’s students to learn, create, and connect in new ways that will be essential to their future success,” said Flynn. “The district’s vision seeks to eliminate the digital divide by extending access to electronic resources, 24-7, across all subject areas.”
In Illinois, Township High School District 214 uses a cloud computing infrastructure to support learning in the 21st century and beyond. With the school board’s support, technology has been integrated throughout instruction and operations, and the articulation with seven elementary feeder school districts has strengthened the technology skills of students moving into high school. Through the use of innovative technology programs, such as those listed below, resources are used more effectively, teaching tools are enhanced, and costs have been reduced.
The East Penn School District is a leader in educational technology with an emphasis on online computing applications that support project based learning and problem solving skills using various mobile technologies. With our Virtual Learning Environment, Moodle, providing a hybrid model of on-demand learning, the district is “open” 24/7. East Penn has created a digital world that is available through the use of online lesson assignments, databases, videos, glossaries, blogs, wikis, forums and discussion groups.
And the Vancouver Public Schools is identifying, resourcing, implementing and supporting the enabling conditions for 21st century flexible learning environments. This strategic initiative includes standard classroom equipment, wireless deployments, one-to-one/mobile concepts, professional development, and a digital learning space/learning management system. The district also is deploying performance management tools, such as a Learner Profile, which collects and portrays data related to individual student learning as well as classroom, grade level and school-wide achievement. Additionally, the district is implementing a data dashboard based on its milestone benchmarks—high-leverage, high-yield indicators predictive of student success. To further personalize education, the district offers nearly two-dozen programs of choice. The new Vancouver iTech Preparatory, for example, is an early college, STEM magnet school that provides a technology-rich environment for middle and high school students.
BoardBuzz recommends you check out the video from 12 News, as it truely captures the sucessful technology innovations happening in that Dysart Unified School District that are serving as a national model.
Through NSBA’s site visits, hosted throughout the school year, school leaders are able to see education technology innovation in action and develop their own successful initiatives. This is a great opportunity for school leaders to witness classrooms where curriculum goals drive technology decisions.
There is just one more for this school year, from April 25-27, 2012 NSBA will host a site visit in Clark County School District, the nation’s fifth largest with nearly 310,000 students, encompasses both Las Vegas and its outlying communities.
The National School Boards Association and the Technology Leadership Network (TLN) are pleased to announce the 2012 spring series of Education Technology site visits. One of the most popular components of the TLN program, these visits showcase the visionary leadership and technology integration practices of TLN districts, whose very participation in the program is a sign of their interest in innovation.
This year’s roster of host districts is no exception and as always encompasses a diverse set of districts from across the country.
“Through NSBA’s technology site visits school leaders are able to see education technology innovation in action and develop their own successful technology initiatives,” said Ann Flynn, NSBA’s Director of Education Technology. “This is a great opportunity for school leaders to witness classrooms where curriculum goals drive technology decisions.”
Located less than an hour away, Klein ISD is a highly diverse district serving 46,000 students. Visionary leadership and job-embedded professional development are critical factors in the district’s many accomplishments, which include the deployment of more than 8,600 Tablet PCs. And no wonder, the district is led by Jim Cain, who was named one of 2010’s “Tech-Savvy Superintendents,” bye-School News.
Klein’s tour is quickly followed by Alabama’s Cullman City Schools, which also boasts a 2010 “Tech-Savvy Superintendent” in Jan Harris. Under Harris, Cullman has experienced significant gains in student achievement since launching its 1:1 Laptop Initiative in 2006. Serving 3,000 students, Cullman was the first district in Alabama to provide laptops and wireless Internet access to students and educators and is a former TLN Salute District and a CoSN Team Award-winner. Cullman welcomes TLN visitors from Feb. 29 to March 2.
Though the next site visit kicks off April 1 in Surprise, Arizona, Dysart Unified School District No. 89’s whole-hearted adoption of technology is no sleight of hand. With a student population of some 25,000 students, Dysart’s enrollment has more than tripled in the last decade, making it the fastest growing district in Arizona and the second fastest in the country. Recognized as a 2010 TLN Salute District and home to a pair of previously named “20 to Watch” educators, Dysart provides Instructional Growth Teachers at each campus and has developed iPal, the district’s Integrated Data tool to provide dynamic assessment data, online curriculum maps and professional development opportunities.
Nevada’s Clark County School District rounds out the circuit in late April, immediately following NSBA’s Annual Conference. As the fifth largest district in the nation with nearly 310,000 students, Clark County encompasses both Las Vegas and its outlying communities. Ranked first in last year’s Digital School District Survey, Clark County is a leader in using technology to provide enterprise systems that support the business of learning and provide engaging 21st century experiences for all students. From cyber-bullying prevention initiatives and Bring-Your-Own-Device pilot programs to online professional development and the extensive use of social networking systems, this visit offers examples of innovation that can be applied in districts of any size. See for yourself between April 25 and 27.
“Site visits offer administrators, teachers and board members a unique opportunity to travel together with a shared focus on how the technology innovations they are seeing compare to their current initiatives or may potentially influence their future decisions,” Flynn said. “Staff and board members from the host districts connect with individual attendees who share their roles to address specific concerns and issues unique to their particular job responsibilities while ensuring all participants leave with an understanding of how technology is helping address the district’s “big picture” goals and objectives.”
Registration for these dynamic learning opportunities is now open and accessible here along with full agendas and more details about the districts and the TLN program.