Carvalho is leading Miami-Dade County as it reinvents its business practices, instructional resources, content delivery, and teaching methods.
Board meetings now feature video conferencing and multimedia presentations. The school district connects with the community through Facebook and Twitter, and it regularly provides event webcasts for those who cannot attend. Qualified Zone Academy Bonds have helped the district upgrade its computers, while a $3.5 million federal broadband grant has given students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches at 35 low-performing schools access to 6,000 computers and more than 10,000 one-year internet subscriptions.
Professional development is the key to any successful technology initiative, and all stakeholders are included in implementation. For instance, when the district began its Saturday School program targeting low-performing schools, video training podcasts were posted on the district’s server for easy download, and staff received iPod touch devices to access training videos.
Miami-Dade County has virtualized its IT infrastructure using VMware technology, creating more than 702 virtual machines to deliver applications, including payroll and grade reporting. This migration has saved more than $2.5 million over three years and has reduced energy costs by $1.5 million. When he observed that some of the district’s digital resources were underused, Carvalho launched Links to Learning, which gives students and parents access to district-licensed online content, including individualized learning paths customized to each student’s needs, after school hours.
Carvalho has made modernizing the district’s legacy business operation systems a priority and has launched a more dynamic purchasing system district-wide. Aware of the challenges facing large urban school districts, he understands that technology can be the bridge by which these challenges and barriers to a high-quality education can be crossed.