Richardson Independent School District – Texas, USA

BARCO SOLUTION

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KEY BENEFITS

  • Improves student learning & drives engagement
  • Ease of use for teachers & stimulates interactive teaching
  • Supports different BYOD operating systems & perfectly integrates in the network

The Richardson Independent School District in Texas, USA, was not looking for just any wireless solution. They wanted one that would accommodate all users. This is a must in an age when Bring Your Own Device practices reign supreme and every classroom is inhabited by a mix of Google, Apple, Android and Microsoft devices. For Technology Project Manager, Terry Balch, finding such a solution was far more difficult than it should have been:…Read More

Robotics isn’t scary! 4 benefits of working with robots

Robotics is attracting more student interest, and there’s a reason–when students can make real-world connections between what they learn in the classroom and exciting careers, their engagement and achievement often improve.

Educators across the country are working to establish robotics clubs after school, they’re creating robotics units in STEM classes, and they’re doing their best to ensure all students have the opportunity to learn just how essential robotics is to our daily lives.

As the director of blended learning in the Lancaster Independent School District (TX), Kimberly Lane Clark works with district campuses to help them implement successful blended learning practices. In that role, she frequently incorporates personalized learning and differentiated instruction.…Read More

5 benefits this district got from K-12 esports

Esports is booming, from K-12 right on up to college and at the professional level. As more districts start K-12 esports leagues of their own, the academic and social-emotional benefits become increasingly clear.

Roughly a year and a half ago, leaders in the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District (GCISD) in Texas, which has been 1:1 for 8 years, noticed the growing esports trend at the collegiate level. The district was already partnered with Dell for technology initiatives, prompting Kyle Bergerr, the district’s chief technology officer, to look a bit closer at esports’ relevance at the K-12 level.

“I felt like high school was about to explode in this,” he says. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area alone, he adds, there are four professional esports teams, leading lots of momentum to build around esports at the high school level.…Read More

4 benefits of using Minecraft in the classroom

When I met Grade 5 teacher Mark, he came to me with an exciting idea: He wanted me to work with him to teach creative writing through Minecraft in the classroom. I signed him up as my dissertation student in my Master of Education course, and over the following year we got to work on our project.

Minecraft is a sandbox computer game. It is a game that doesn’t have pre-set linear timelines, missions, or goals for players to follow. I like to think of Minecraft as a digital version of LEGOs. Players use base blocks to build imaginary worlds and characters.

Related content: 7 ways Minecraft can make learning exciting again…Read More

7 strategies to navigate a tech upgrade

Several school district officials have told us they want to embrace our philosophy of empowering students and teachers through technology innovation, but lack the right infrastructure to support this vision. After our district completed a three-year, district-wide technology refresh cycle, we wanted to share our top takeaways to help our peers get more educational benefits from your network infrastructure.

Lesson #1: Organizational structure matters

Like many districts, in the past our IT department delivered products and services as a separate entity from our curriculum and instructional development staff. Now we’re all organized under the same leadership and our joint team is headed by a chief learning officer.…Read More

5 ways our centralized LMS supports UDL

Applicable to every student in every classroom, the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles of offering multiple means of representation, action and expression, and engagement help teachers leverage every child’s strengths while supporting a very personalized learning path based on student choice. When your LMS supports UDL, students reap the benefits.

Unlike pedagogies that attempt to teach to a broader group of students with a broad brush, UDL encompasses a wide swath of learning content—lectures, lessons, videos, audio recordings, group projects, individual projects, etc.—to help the modern-day student reach his or her fullest potential.

Related content: 5 ways to leverage UDL for student inclusivity…Read More

Using a growth mindset as the foundation for SEL

Research continues to show the benefits of social-emotional learning (SEL), especially with elementary-age students. But as SEL gains ground, educators need to think about best practices for adding it to their classroom. One of those approaches includes using a growth mindset.

In “SEL and Academic Learning Catalyst: Growth Mindset,” presenters Dr. Desiree Margo, principal at Redmond Early Learning Center, and Dr. Kendra Coates, Growing Early Mindsets (GEM) author and professional learning specialist at Mindset Works, explain why a growth mindset is the strongest foundation for both SEL and academic learning. They caution, however, that both principles need to be integrated into the regular classroom and throughout school activities to achieve the best results.

Related: 10 signs you’re doing SEL right…Read More

How student-created VR can enhance SEL and special ed

Quality social-emotional learning (SEL) and effective special education (SpEd) programming look remarkably similar. Each relies on a positive, safe learning environment and touts activities geared toward student strengths and weaknesses. Both types of programming facilitate a group experience where individual outcomes are designed to be disparate, be recorded, and used to track growth. Because these two types of programming are similar in philosophy, it should come as no surprise that both SEL and SpEd can be enhanced and expanded by innovative edtech solutions—most notably, student-created virtual reality (360 VR videos).

The benefits of VR

VR is proving to be an effective engagement tool in diverse ways: visiting museums around the world, blasting off into space, etc. But VR does not have to be limited to geography and science classrooms. By using student-created, perspective-taking videos, VR can be a powerful experiential tool that aligns with and augments both SEL and SpEd outcomes.

When students put on a headset to view these types of videos, they are stepping into another life, another story. They will find connection in the familiar and discover meaning in what they perceive to be different. Students then begin to develop perspective-taking skills, resulting in newfound levels of relationship skills (communication), self-management (emotional control in response to a story), and social awareness (empathizing with the storyteller). As a bonus, viewing VR films is an incredibly immersive experience, making student engagement—often a legitimate challenge—easier to achieve.…Read More

5 steps to successfully run a student-led tech team

One-to-one device initiatives have exploded in popularity and have dramatically changed the classroom environment. Dedicated device access doesn’t just benefit students through improved educational outcomes, but also benefits districts by enabling innovation and providing a clear return on educational investment. IT teams, however, can struggle with the greatly increased burdens of managing fragmented device platforms, and the increased staffing that 1:1 initiatives often demand can limit funding for other important initiatives.

In 2016, Lafayette (IN) Catholic School System was preparing to make our entire system 1:1 by adding grades pre-K through six to the middle and high school program already in place. We’re a relatively small system, with 1,100 students across four school buildings. Our technology department manages those buildings, as well as two parish offices and one central office, containing a mix of MacBooks, iPads, and other desktop devices.

Streamlining device management
With a rollout set to double the number of devices we managed to 1,300 across five campuses, we knew we had to find a way to control costs. To optimize our endpoint management with remote capabilities, we turned to FileWave. It was when we began to dive deeper into its user-based permissions and other key functionalities that an innovative solution began to take shape.…Read More

OneRoster – Securely share roster, course, and enrollment information between systems

OneRoster is a data standard for securely sharing roster, course, and enrollment information between systems, and is already seeing broad adoption across the ecosystem. With the release of v1.1, districts can import data faster, add start and end dates, associate students with digital course materials, and synchronize grades.

Watch the short video demo and see how quick and easy it is to synchronize data and identify and fix errors using OneRoster v1.1 in Kimono.…Read More