|From Left to Right: Mike Gras, Scott Floyd
Image Courtesy of Kristy Vincent
When my secretary dropped a copy of Scholastic Administrator on my desk, I had no idea that it would reference some of the hottest leaders in Texas!
- “Who am I as tech director to deprive a student of connectivity?” Gras asks. “My job is to foster innovation.”
- “I don’t think I need computers anymore if a kid can do research with the device in his pocket,” says the district’s chief of technology. “Certainly, we need a lot less.”
- “We have so much going on for so little cost, it’s unbelievable.”
- “CK-12″ is the future,” They are the leaders and will have many statewide initiatives in the next few years.”
- All a teacher needs is a computer, an AMX touch-control panel, a ceiling-mounted projector, and a convention AV screen to watch live events, school presentations, or programming saved on the server, Zaiontz explains.
- The irony is that the school network no longer has an iron lock on what teachers can access or store…”The schools have lost that battle [for control],” Zaiontz declares.
- “Instead of being strategic about personal mobile devices and managing them, we just don’t allow them.”
- “It’s crazy to build up [server] infrastructure in-house,” says the disgruntled urban IT director. “The cloud happens so much faster, and the district would get more storage space.”
- As for network challenges, some districts have opted to keep tight, across-the-board access controls for teachers and students with blanket filters that prevent teachers from downloading class materials from the Internet. Some IT Departments want to lock out bandwidth-hogging video and audio files, forcing teachers to wait several weeks for authorization, and, in the process, missing the teachable moment.
- There are also districts that deny teachers storage on the network or access to cloud storage. The restricts can create a digital divide, keeping teachers from forming professional learning networks and sometimes even depriving them of what they need to do their jobs.
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