Hyperconnected Schools Expand Learning Opportunities

At the district and the school level, it’s critical to ensure faculty and staff possess the digital literacy needed to effectively use technology device investments effectively, according to an article in EdTech.

“One of the biggest challenges is helping people understand the potential of the technology and integrating it into the daily workflow in a way that generates a significant return,” says Claudia Newman-Martin, a managing director and partner with the Boston Consulting Group, which frequently works with K–12 school districts.

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District, with 36,000 students, is the third largest public school district in Ohio Cleveland district and employs coaches who travel from school to school, helping users troubleshoot problems and learn to make effective use of technologies such as Google and Microsoft, said Jeanelle Greene, executive director of IT strategy execution and governance for the district.

The district focuses on digital literacy. That means device maintenance and educating students, families and staff on managing and caring for these devices. Greene said. “We also help families get internet access from one of our partners or by providing a hotspot.”

“We look at it from an enterprise level,” Greene says. “The IT department takes ownership of that one-to-one program. We’re getting the devices enrolled into mobile device management and ensuring adherence to rules and policies that might have been harder to address on an individual school basis.”

Rules include enforcing guidelines around banned versus allowed websites, permitted downloads and uploads, or security updates and patches.

“We have applications that teachers and principals can use to ensure that classroom students are focused on learning and not just surfing the internet,” Greene said. “We also have a robust set of cybersecurity applications that monitor for threats and risks.”

EdTech

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