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US schools school administrator system administrator teachers

United Front: System Admins & Teachers Agree

The relationship between teachers and network administrators can often be described as strained. What is the root cause of this sometimes-rocky relationship? It goes without saying that both teachers and admins have their student’s best interest in mind. Teachers want to leverage technology and expanding web content to deliver more impactful learning opportunities, while network administrators need to ensure compliance and student safety.

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US schools capacity planning school administrator system administrator

What Does Your District Look Like at Capacity?

With cloud services, 1:1 programs, BYOD and ever-increasing bandwidth & storage, the technology landscape is dynamically changing for education. As school technology administrators, we're asking questions we've never asked before, including:

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1:1 US schools capacity planning school administrator

Identifying the Right 1:1 for Your District

If you're like many of the people I've talked to over the last few months, you've been tasked with outlining a 1:1 strategy and implementation plan for 2019 that will work for your district. Where do you start? Providing a device for every student in your district can be daunting. My experience in working with hundreds of districts that deployed 1:1 is that there are several key questions that you need to answer in order to put down the foundation of your plan. Key areas include identifying:

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1:1 capcity planning US schools school administrator

What Type of 1:1 is Right for Your District?

Providing a device for every student in your district can be daunting. Where do you start? My experience in working with hundreds of districts that deployed 1:1 is that you need to define why you’re going 1:1, and what type of 1:1 deployment makes sense for your district. What grade levels? Do they need to be “testable” (keyboard)? Will users take them home? Cart only? Are you chrome or windows or both? What type of digital content will be leveraged in your district? What is the cost of that content?  

Answering these types of questions will take careful consideration based on the budget of the district and what your district's socioeconomic situation is. What percent of free and reduced lunch is the district and do your users have connectivity at home? There probably is an income gap between some schools in different parts of your city or county and it’s important to provide equal learning opportunity for all students. It’s great in theory for students to have a Chromebook or laptop at home that is district provided, but there are a lot of factors to consider before allowing them to go home.

Once you have the devices in every students hand, what are they going to do on the devices? Unfortunately, a lot of the content available are PDF versions of textbooks. How rich is the content being accessed on your devices? It’s going to be different for elementary/middle/high. There are some fantastic LMS available but are they affordable and do your teachers know how to use them? Professional development?  

You’re now putting 28+ devices in a teachers classroom with them and their students. Does the teacher have access to view their screens? Look for a solution where a teacher can control those devices or even shut off the internet in their classrooms.  

Obviously there are going to be a lot of stakeholders in the 1:1 decision. Form a 1:1 committee from different departments that will bring in different perspectives from the field they are in. Include instruction/curriculum, IT, HR, legal, security (physical), and financial departments; list out potential factors for each of their departments and ask them how they think a device in every students hand may affect their sphere of influence. With this information, you can start to factor in which type of 1:1 makes sense for your district and how you need to start preparing for a rollout.  

Family Zone would be happy to discuss how we support 1:1 through our platform and provide transparent pricing!
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