Elementary Device Weighted Resource Allocation Model

One of the areas of research that I’ve followed closely has been the digital divide, generally defined as an disparity in the amount of access that students have to technology at school and at home (Dolan, 2016) but sometimes expanded to include in-school versus out-of-school literacies (Nasah, DaCosta, Kinsell, & Seok, 2010) or inequity driven by race and gender (Vie, 2008).  As we’ve transitioned to a digital society over the past 40 years, technology literacy is no longer an option.  Even in early elementary grades, mandatory assessments are increasingly delivered online, while students applying for college and financial aid will find that applications, supporting documents, work portfolios, and scholarship opportunities are almost entirely digital.   Continue reading Elementary Device Weighted Resource Allocation Model

Elementary Device Deployments

In addition to our upcoming 1:1 program that will provide Chromebooks for all of our secondary students, we’ll also begin a process this fall to substantially improve our device availability in our elementary buildings.   Continue reading Elementary Device Deployments

Upcoming Network Infrastructure Upgrades

While I’ve written about this a bit before in a broader sense, I wanted to share some information about the network infrastructure and core upgrades that we’ll be implementing in the coming months. Continue reading Upcoming Network Infrastructure Upgrades

Internet Performance Issues

The district is currently experiencing internet performance issues related to a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.  We are working to mitigate these problems, and expect to have normal internet performance within the hour.  

I’ll post updates here as more information becomes available.  

Internet Content Filtering Change

SafeSearchDue to recent changes to Google’s SafeSearch enforcement – a Google-provided service which allows, for instance, the exclusion of pornographic content from Google image services – the district will be implementing safe-search enforcement at the DNS level, which will force safe search for all devices using the ICCSD network. Continue reading Internet Content Filtering Change

Google Classroom Service Disruption

Google is working on an issue that is affecting saving assignments in Google Classroom; see below.  


Google Training Options from IDS Innovation Team

Thanks to Chelsea Sims, Teacher Librarian at South East Junior High, for passing along these resources (below) for teachers who are looking for some Google-related training opportunities. 

 As more teachers are thinking about going 1:1, many have identified the need for some Google Training.  The IDS Innovation team has gathered a few options together for interested teachers. I shared this list with the Teacher Librarians at the High Schools and Junior Highs to pass along to their staff, but wanted to share it with you as well.

  • AEA PD Online offers tons of courses for recertification and graduate credit on integrating technology into your classroom. (Choose Technology Integration from the first drop down menu)
  • Grant Wood AEA offers courses in Technology Integration as well, including courses specific to Google Apps.
  • Set up your own learning plan on Atomic Learning, a tech training website provided by the AEA. Login with AEA credentials (3141xxxx).
  • Looking for a specific solution RIGHT NOW?? Try YouTube!

Self-paced courses specific to a 1:1 classroom environment:


Technology Access and Initiative Success

Several people – over Thanksgiving break, and again this morning – have posed questions to me about whether a focus on getting more technology in the classroom is well-justified.  After all, tying technology infusion in the classroom directly to student achievement, for instance, is very difficult (although the same is true of virtually any initiative, the effects of which are difficult or impossible to fully entangle from other factors impacting students, teachers, and the learning environment.   Continue reading Technology Access and Initiative Success

Student Account and Service Notification

The message (below) was emailed to all ICCSD parents, and includes information regarding accounts and services provided to students. 

In order to ensure that parents and guardians are aware of the technology services that the Iowa City Schools provide to our students, this is the first of what will be annual notifications regarding district-issued accounts. Continue reading Student Account and Service Notification

Holiday Technology Shopping for Students, Parents, and Teachers

student-discount-availableOne of the nice things about being associated with a school – whether a student, parent, or staff member – is that you can often get better deals on technology than might be available to the general public.  As we approach the holiday gift season, here are some tips for how to get deals on some products you might be looking to purchase this holiday season or before next school year. Continue reading Holiday Technology Shopping for Students, Parents, and Teachers