Jenith Mishne is a relentlessly positive person. Not even a global pandemic can dampen her enthusiasm when talking about her job as Director of Education Technology in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District (CA), where she serves 22,500 students at twenty-two elementary schools, two intermediate schools, four high schools, one alternative education center, and one adult education center.

In this conversation with eSchool News, Mishne finds the silver linings in the world’s largest beta test for remote learning—from device management to compassionate teacher professional development and better community communication. She also shares some of her thoughts about how education can grow from this tragedy.

How Newport-Mesa Unified School District became closer by being apart

Related content: How this district made the remote transition

Here are some highlights:

eSN: What was the district’s device situation when the lockdown orders came?

JM: Luckily we were in year four of a Chromebook implementation with about 18,000 Chromebooks. Grades five through 12 had a device. Third and fourth grades had one-to-one in the classroom, but they were in carts, zip tied down—so you can imagine that transition process. And then pre-K through two had shared carts. We did have to regroup and deploy about 5,000 more Chromebooks and the first wave we did it to families that stated they needed a device. But moving forward, we are just going to go one-to-one, K through 12.

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Kevin Hogan
About the Author:

Kevin Hogan

Kevin is a forward-thinking media executive with more than 25 years of experience building brands and audiences online, in print, and face to face. He is an acclaimed writer, editor, and commentator covering the intersection of society and technology, especially education technology. Most recently, he has was Managing Director of Content for Tech& Learning. You can reach Kevin at KevinHogan@eschoolnews.com


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