Tag Archives: SAVE

2021 Technology Refresh

Large-Scale Device Updates

The primary goal of the ICCSD Technology & Innovation department is to provide technology equipment and services that will allow our students to engage with their learning, and our teachers to provide innovative instruction, without presenting technological barriers. We took a big step in that direction this week as the school board approved our device refresh plan, which will:

  • Replace student 1:1 Chromebooks, while formalizing the permanent extension of our 1:1 initiative to grades K-12
  • Replace computer lab and other student-accessible computers in our schools and classrooms
  • Replace staff-assigned and utility devices districtwide

This project represents a major undertaking for our department, but also has a number of benefits. The new Chromebooks will provide students with three oft-demanded features that we’ve never been able to provide before. Specifically, the devices offer:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 43902_chromebook_3100-2-in-pdp_02.jpg
  • a convertible form-factor, meaning that they can be used as traditional laptops (like our current Chromebooks), or the screen can fold flat against the back so that the devices can be used as tablets. This provides flexibility of usage that will be of particular benefit to our younger students.
  • touch screen capability with support for pen input will also be available on these devices. While we have had a small number of touch-capable devices in our fleet, it’s never been enough to provide to all younger students, and none of our existing devices support pen input. While we do not plan to initially provide pens with all devices, we have the ability to offer that in the future for targeted grade levels, programs, or for specific students, as needed to support students’ ability to work and interact with the device.
  • a rear-facing camera will be available on devices when they are in tablet mode. While this likely sounds like a small feature, it has been our most requested feature for future Chromebooks, as it allows students to take pictures of written work and projects for submission via Seesaw or Canvas, and allows the devices to be used for activities like photo scavenger hunts.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Inkeddell-chromebook-3100-2-in-1-review-keyboard-straight_LI-1024x768.jpg

We expect that devices will arrive in late April, and are currently working to firm up deployment plans and timelines. Please read below for more information about this project, including the answers to some of the most common questions we’ve received thus far.

Continue reading 2021 Technology Refresh

Welcome to the Tech & Innovation Blog!

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!

How does Iowa’s allowable growth rate impact ICCSD technology?

There has been a great deal of coverage lately of the Iowa legislature’s approval of a 1.1% allowable growth rate for the 2017-18 school year.  With a number of educational technology projects in the works, one of the questions that I’ve received from a number of teachers and community members over the last week is how our upcoming initiatives will be impacted by the allowable growth figure.   Continue reading How does Iowa’s allowable growth rate impact ICCSD technology?