While some are very familiar with Apple already, many of you are diving into Apple device management for the first time. This guide will help you build and master your Apple management skills by providing:…Read More
Podcast Series: Innovations in Education
Explore the full series of eSchool News podcasts hosted by Kevin Hogan—created to keep you on the cutting edge of innovations in education.
Solving IT Staffing Challenges with Managed Services
Historically, K–12 school systems have taken a “do-it-yourself” approach to deploying and managing their network infrastructure. This DIY model has served school systems well for many years. However, K–12 leaders are starting to rethink this method as they look for ways to solve for a shortage of IT talent.…Read More
Balancing sustainability and innovation in education
As recipients of public funding and taxpayer dollars, K-12 school budgets and spending expenditures are under a microscope. Relief funds stemming from the pandemic have only sharpened the focus, particularly on infrastructure and technology investments. In my role as Chief Technology Officer at one of the nation’s largest school districts, Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS), being accountable and ensuring we are making prudent financial decisions is a top priority for my team.
Striking a balance between innovation and sustainability is a challenge most school districts are facing. At HCPS, we have adopted three guiding principles that serve as the driving force and framework behind every IT decision—equity, efficiency, and excellence.
In cybersecurity, balancing vigilance with access
Cybersecurity is at the forefront of IT issues to be addressed over the next year. Nearly every list of major IT or educational technology issues for 2023 includes the need to further harden educational systems and infrastructure.
More than 20 educational organizations–including AASA, the American Association of School Administrators (the primary superintendents’ association)–have asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expand E-rate to cover advanced firewall technology to support protection from denial of service (DOS), improve virtual private network (VLN) access, and similar upgrades. The FCC is currently soliciting public input on the potential change here until February 13, 2023.
It is easy to understand the need for increased cybersecurity safeguards. In the first half of 2022, at least 34 major cyberattacks were made against schools. Cybercrime cost more than $6.9 billion in 2021. The evening news commonly reports on cyberattacks against pipelines, government systems, and other vital services. Due diligence in considering ways to harden cyber targets and protect student and institutional data is essential and to not do so in today’s environment would probably be willfully negligent. However, there is a need for balancing security with usability.…Read More
Teaching ‘stranger danger’ should extend to the virtual world
In recent days, Ukrainian officials have expressed urgent concern that “Russia is planning to launch massive cyberattacks on critical infrastructure.” Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a dizzying series of cybersecurity threats and incidences that have plagued the global community for what seems like forever. Every day our country is fighting a seemingly invisible war against cybercriminals, and our students—the most vulnerable among us—are suffering the most.
According to the FBI’s 2021 Internet Crime Report, more than 14,000 victims of cybercrime that year were under the age of 20, with losses totaling $100 million. Of these victims, about six children per day faced online exploitation or abuse. And these are only the crimes that have been reported to the FBI—about 80% of cybercrime goes unreported every year.
That’s why it’s becoming increasingly more urgent for us to protect our students from the constant threats they face online. Teaching them how to navigate these threats must include four vital strategies:…Read More
Free internet could erase the digital divide
Local leaders must play a critical role in closing the digital divide for 18 million American households that have access to the internet but can’t afford to connect, according to a new report.
The urgent prompt comes from EducationSuperHighway, a national nonprofit with a mission to close the broadband affordability gap. The organization released its second No Home Left Offline report on the action needed to accelerate Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) adoption.
The ACP is a $14.2 billion federal broadband benefit funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that provides eligible households with a monthly discount of up to $30 per month (up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands) and a one-time $100 discount toward a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. 51.6 million households, including 17.7 million unconnected households, are eligible for the ACP, yet only 13 million (25% of those eligible) have enrolled.…Read More
Growing ransomware threats require maximum data protection
Higher education institutions and K-12 schools are still reeling from the changes made during the pandemic, and the looming threat of a ransomware attack continues. Sixty-four percent of higher education institutions were hit by ransomware in the last year – a significant increase from 44 percent the previous year.
Institutions are attractive targets for bad actors, as they often lack a resilient IT infrastructure, operate with tight budgets and stretched IT teams, and struggle to secure outdated infrastructure with limited resources. Modern institutions run on data, making a meaningful data protection strategy essential.
Ensuring continuity of learning and research is a top priority for higher education institutions as any disruption threatens the student, educator, and researcher experience. They can benefit from solutions that prioritize data protection against changing ransomware threats – and investing in data-centric, flexible, and scalable solutions offers secure and reliable data protection.…Read More
Improving the Learning Curve – It’s in the Air
A Michigan-based public school enlists Honeywell to transform school district infrastructure so that both students and faculty can breathe easier with improved energy efficiencies and cost savings
5 ways to make your IT department more efficient
Sometimes it feels like a school district IT department doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Yes, technology is more a part of today’s education than ever before, but when tech is running smoothly, it is easy to forget IT departments and the staff that keep the infrastructure running exist.
In my six years as the director of technology for the Pittsburg Independent School District, a town about 120 miles east of Dallas, we’ve gone through many changes, not to mention what the pandemic put us through. But when COVID-19 forced us all to remote learning nearly overnight, my six-person team was able to move 2,500 students to a one-to-one program rapidly and quite successfully.
As I look back, I realize there were numerous factors contributing to the team’s stellar work. What follows are a few points that might help other IT departments better handle future challenges while generally improving operations for the long term.…Read More
With the right instruction, tech opens doors for ELLs
Even before COVID-19, reading scores among U.S. students had been declining for the first time in a decade, something that jeopardizes a generation’s achievement and mobility. As this trend was taking place nationally, more immigrant families were moving to Midwestern communities, including my home in Louisville, Kentucky.
While many cities across the country may find themselves unable to accommodate this influx of learners, here at Newcomer Academy, we have built a curriculum and infrastructure to support learners of all types and at scale. This means, at any time, we can welcome new families and students with the tools and resources they need to unlock learning.
Between 2013 and 2020, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) saw double-digit English-learner growth, including 25 percent growth in the 2019-2020 school year alone – a 20-year high. This year, the county has enrolled more than 14,000 English learners. It was this growing population that led JCPS in 2007 to create the Newcomer Academy, a school designed for English language learners in sixth through 12th grades. …Read More