Five years ago, the Area Education Agencies in Iowa made the decision to provide Iowa school districts with access to the Clarity BrightBytes technology program evaluation survey. Administered to teachers and students annually by the Iowa City Community School District, the data collected provides each district with a technology program evaluation tool that provides an overview of the whole educational technology environment. This includes device and infrastructure quality, support, instructional technology, technology integration, and digital literacy, among other areas.
This year, I believe that our results are worthy of celebration, and are reflective of the outstanding work done by our IT team, innovation coaches, principals, teachers, students, and board members in pushing for and actively utilizing technologies in the district. Continue reading Celebrating Tech Program Evaluation Results
The district recently distributed a survey regarding educational technologies to parents district-wide, and one parent reached out with questions regarding where they could get more information about our technology programs. This, combined with the fact that we recently published our 100th article and have been going strong for just over one year, leads me to conclude that it’s about time to reintroduce the Iowa City Schools’ Technology & Innovation blog!
We have over a thousand subscribers to the Technology & Innovation blog, but that obviously represents a very small slice of our larger school community, including parents, students, and other community stakeholders. It’s my goal that awareness of and access to this resource be spread to as many people as possible. With that in mind, I’m posting this reintroduction, including links to some of our highlights below. I’d encourage you to share this post via Twitter, Facebook, and email with anyone who might be interested.
Continue reading Welcome to the Tech & Innovation Blog!
Each year, I provide a report to the board that provides a high-level view of our technology program, through the lens of particular projects completed, underway, or planned. This will certainly not be the most riveting content I’ve posted to the blog, but for those of you who are interested, I’m posting a summary of that report here.
The 2016-17 school year was one of transition in the Iowa City Community School District’s Office of Technology & Innovation. As we move into winter of 2017-18, we have completed a number of major projects and still have significant initiatives underway or in planning stages. Our departmental performance metrics have generally improved slightly, though I’m excited to see how our work in terms of specific initiatives and in targeted locations will manifest itself in the coming year’s technology program evaluation. Continue reading Technology Annual Report
As Labor Day passes, we’re beginning the third week of the school year in Iowa City and really starting to roll towards 2018. While this time of year is always ridiculously busy for the Technology & Innovation office – it’s not uncommon in our district and others to see support requests come in at five to six times the normal rate during the first month or so of the school year – this year has been our craziest yet. Continue reading Progress is Messy!
To support our secondary 1:1 Chromebook initiative, the Iowa City Schools have launched our Citrix virtual application service, which allows students and teachers to run Windows software on a Chromebook.
For detailed information, check out our Virtual Applications page, and for instructions for accessing the system at https://apps.iowacityschools.org, check out the video below:
On August 23rd, ICCSD began issuing 1:1 Chromebooks (laptops with Chrome OS) to each student in our high schools. As we get started with this program, please check out our 1:1 Information page, which includes a program overview, policies, content filtering information, privacy information, and other useful information for students, parents/guardians, and teachers.
Between the craziness of the end of the school year and a week with my four-year-old between the end of preschool and the start of day camp, I haven’t managed to post for a while. I have much more coming, but here’s a quick update of what’s happening in the ICCSD technology & innovation department this summer.
New Building Deployments
One of our big projects for the summer is preparation for the Fall, 2017 openings of Liberty High School and the new Hoover Elementary School. These projects are coming along – Liberty in particular looks close to completion – and we’ve been working to make sure that the technology is set to go in both buildings. The wired network is basically complete at Liberty, and wireless access points will go up soon throughout the building. Continue reading Summer Technology Update
There are few things that I find more draining than professional conferences. Not long ago, in a discussion with a friend of mine who is also in the ed tech field, I mused that I’m more exhausted after a day full of conference sessions, networking, and lectures than I am after a day spent shoveling landscape rock. While the latter is definitely harder work, I’m pretty convinced that the former is more exhausting. As this year’s Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) conference wraps up in Chicago, this belief has been reinforced. Continue reading CoSN Conference Update
As we seek to expand the technology tools and infrastructure available to our students and teachers, we must also cope with one of the key realities of this investment: technology is expensive. On one hand, of course, the cost of technology has consistently declined over the past three decades; the word processors of the 1980s frequently cost more than $2,000, for instance. The drop in technology prices has been closely tied to the increasing ubiquity of and reliance on technology within our schools and society at large; in other words, while prices may be dropping, the amount of technology that must be purchased continues to increase. Continue reading Maximizing our Financial Resources
Think you’re having a better spring break than me? Think again! While the ICCSD offices are closed today and tomorrow, I get to attend the Iowa Technology & Education Connection IT Conference, a great opportunity to learn about topics related primarily to the operational side of our department, as well as to connect with and learn from peers around the state. Continue reading Spring Break! Time for a technology conference …