To: Michael Green
From: Steve Rippl
Date: May 22, 2019
RE: Tech Dept. Executive Summary
Well, obviously the biggest item on our agenda now is the high school 1:1 initiative! I’m very grateful to the board for their support and understanding of the value of this program. The slow steady work that our high school has been doing in terms of taking advantage of digital learning has matured to the point where we can now really make a shift, and I think that our students and staff will be excited at the potential. We’re currently working on student and staff expectations (students coming in prepared with their devices, teachers examining digital tools through the lens of the EEE framework and looking to deepen more than broadening their digital skills), details of an assurance program parents can opt into to offset potential breakage costs, as well as planning the actual preparation and roll-out of all the devices. It’s a lot to take on this summer, but I’m excited to see it implemented! Eric is getting involved in helping with our announcement of this to the community.
We’ve recently taken on District-wide subscriptions with some powerful online applications, LucidPress and LucidChart (desktop publishing and chart creation software) and Screencastify (a screen recording application), all applications that integrate with our Google Apps domain and are available to staff and students on all devices. We gave some training to staff on these at the start of May and will host more this summer. The idea here is to build up a base suite of digital tools that teachers and students are comfortable with, that provides the power and flexibility to be used in various ways as teachers utilize more digital learning.
The KWRL Portal has gone live this month and is currently taking ridership registration for all four districts. In the background, the KWRL staff are using it to assign routes which parents and school office staff will then be able to log in and see. Initial anxiety about getting so many parents to log in using their Skyward credentials has been offset by also offering them Google and Facebook authentication (as long as the registered email address matches our records in Skyward), and so parents don’t seem to be having any difficulties there. This offers a tremendous advantage to KWRL in that now all their ridership data is correctly matched to Skyward for all the districts.