Massachusetts district’s advice: Focus on learning, not technology

“Once the students stop producing outputs of knowledge for only the teacher, their level of engagement and commitment to excellence increase dramatically,” Florek said.

Educators and administrators in the Hampshire Regional School District in Massachusetts try to avoid discussing technology—instead, they aim for technology to integrate seamlessly with classroom instruction and administrative processes.

With successful initiatives such as a lease-to-own laptop program and partnerships with local colleges to offer graduate credit for professional development, the Hampshire Regional School District is forging ahead in its goal of making technology an integral part of all operations—and for this reason, we’ve chosen the district as our “eSchools of the Month” for October.

Here, IT Director Kim Florek discusses some of the district’s most important goals—and how technology is helping the district achieve them. (Editor’s note: To nominate your school or district for our “eSchool of the Month” feature, and to read about past winners, go to…Read More

SharePoint for the K-12 environment

An educator works on a SharePoint page.
An educator works on a SharePoint page.

In a January 18, 2010 post on his eLearning Technology blog, Tony Karrer gave his list of the top 10 eLearning Predictions for 2010. Prediction #5 was “Lots of SharePoint.” The business world has embraced SharePoint, and rightly so. It was primarily designed for business use. For educators, jumping on the SharePoint ship has been much slower.

In 2006 at La Crescent-Hokah Public Schools, a small rural district in southeast Minnesota, Superintendent David Krenz and Director of Technology Greg Bergh saw a demonstration of this Microsoft application and decided it was what La Crescent needed.

After initially working with a consulting company to show us a proof of concept we could make of SharePoint, we jumped feet first into the deep end and have been swimming laps now since fall of 2007.…Read More