CCSC has used numerous grants to explore new initiatives, and the district was able to implement a one-to-one computing environment in all English classrooms through the use of a grant obtained from the Indiana Department of Education. CCSC also applied for a classroom innovation grant through the Indiana Department of Education. CCSC was not funded during the first funding cycle, but this opportunity taught us invaluable skills when it comes to writing highly competitive grants. CCSC also leverages all e-Rate-eligible programs available to the school corporation.
CCSC used a Cisco lease program this year for the first time in the history of the district. This lease let us install $500,000 worth of equipment for a marginal 1-percent lease term. It also let us complete a huge infrastructure overhaul with the meager budget that we had available. CCSC also has worked with numerous corporate partners within the county and state to provide educational opportunities that help develop a better workforce for these partners.
What ed-tech initiative are you most proud of, and why?
There are many initiatives and projects that CCSC is proud to showcase. The project that has garnered the most attention and interest in the school community is the virtual desktop initiative. This initiative is a very forward-thinking technology deployment. CCSC believes that leveraging new technology to allow for better service is pivotal in bringing a well-managed solution to the corporation and each classroom. CCSC believes that schools must be heavily vested in new technology and keep the equipment refresh cycle current.
What have been your biggest challenges in integrating technology into classrooms and school processes, and why? How have you overcome those challenges?
CCSC’s administration, parents, and students have wholeheartedly embraced the district’s technological advances with little, if any, resistance. However, there are a couple of challenges that CCSC continues to address to make the technology integration as smooth and painless as possible. One challenge has been finding time to train all staff members on not just using the technology in the classroom, but effectively integrating it into classroom instruction. We have faced this challenge by having Wednesday “Tech Days.” These are opportunities for all staff members to present questions for all other staff members, who frequently learn from those questions. We also have scheduled times and topics covering both basic and advanced technology topics.
What’s your best ed-tech advice for your colleagues?
Visiting other educational institutions is a key part in staying up to date on the latest technological trends in education. If you are a K-12 administrator, don’t rule out visiting other corporations and universities. CCSC has gained great partnerships with different colleges across the country in regards to technology. Many institutions of higher education have more funding to better study cutting-edge technology.
Enroll or become a member of your state technology association. Indiana has a very well-managed group of technology directors known as the Hoosier Educational Computer Coordinators. This group communicates across the state through the use of a listserv and is an invaluable tool for all technology coordinators in Indiana.
CCSC holds its own technology conference each year. This year’s “Tiger Tech Fair” attracted more than 25 vendors and 200 participants to the small campus of the Crothersville Community Schools. Having a conference allows all stakeholders in the community and state to visit and have a hands-on interaction with the latest equipment that is available in the state.
Additional information about your experience:
The Crothersville Community School Corporation has stayed on the forefront of technology in education. The board of school trustees has always embraced new technology and curriculum. The aimed to to develop a managed 1:1 deployment that would allow students to take their devices home and still have content available to them without wireless access. Many of our students are below poverty level and do not have access to Internet. Our rural location also comes into play at CCSC with many students being outside of broadband internet access.
Having a great staff and administration has helped push the Crothersville Community School Corporation forward technologically, even during these tough economic times.
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