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eSchool News Spotlights 10 Superintendents “Who Are Exemplary Ed-Tech Leaders”

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February 01, 2011 08:28 pm

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Yesterday, eSchool News released its list of winners for the 2011 Tech-Savvy Superintendents. The awards “recognize senior school district executives from around the nation who best exemplify outstanding leadership and vision in using technology to advance their district’s educational goals.” Listed below are some of the winners’ educational accomplishments as described by eSchoolNews. Click here to read the full story. And if you are interested in learning more about digital learning, visit the Alliance’s web site

Equipping Students and Classrooms with the Tools Necessary for Online Learning:
Matt Akin, Piedmont City Schools, Alabama
“In September, Piedmont became one of the first school districts in Alabama to, in Akin’s words, “engage in a bona fide one-to-one laptop initiative that provides a computer for students’ use 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for all students in grades four through twelve.” With the help of a federal technology grant, the district acquired 800 MacBooks through a lease-purchase agreement. As a result, the project—called MPower Piedmont—has put a computer in 500 homes that never had one before…But Akin didn’t stop there. Realizing that 65 percent of his students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, he worried that wireless access might not be available to them at home. So he worked with local businesses and churches to bridge the digital gap. As a result, two of Piedmont’s three fast food restaurants now offer free Wi-Fi access. Additionally, churches are now offering free wireless access and supervision of students.”

Developing a Funding Model that Supports Technology:
Michael A. Davino, Springfield Public Schools, New Jersey
“In developing Springfield’s 21st Century Technology plan, Davino designed a unique funding model that supports technology through a per-pupil allocation, ensuring that all students have access to the most innovative technology the district can support. School district business is streamlined through the use of SchoolDude.com for online work orders, and the school board is moving toward ‘paperless’ meetings and business.”

Communicating with District Leaders and the School Community Through Technology:
Deb Henton, North Branch Area Public Schools, Minnesota
“Henton’s use of technology demonstrates her commitment to transparent communication with all district stakeholders. Under her leadership, podcasts of school board meetings are available with one click on the district’s website. To communicate the district’s financial situation more widely during budget and levy discussions, she embraced the use of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and she initiated a ‘Key Communicators’ network to quickly disseminate critical information to community stakeholders using email. She also writes about local and global public education issues with her own blog, called ‘Supe of the Day.’ To reduce travel time, she participates in meetings through the use of Skype.”

Providing Teachers with Professional Development Opportunities on How to Use Technology in the Classroom:
David F. Larson, Birmingham Public Schools, Michigan
“Through Larson’s leadership, the district’s Ignite Professional Development Program has given teachers opportunities to integrate technology seamlessly into their lesson design. A pilot program of eight teachers from four buildings has expanded to about 90 teachers from the district’s elementary and middle schools. By the end of 2012, all teachers in grades 3-8 will have completed their first year of Ignite training and will sustain their professional growth through research. Each teacher is given 1.5 days a month of professional development, exploring key principles of 21st-century learning through pedagogy, content knowledge, and technology.”

Preparing Students to Use Technology in Postsecondary Environments:
David McGehee, Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, Missouri
“McGehee is also a tireless proponent of preparing students for postsecondary programs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and subsequent careers in these fields. All of the district’s middle and high schools house Project Lead The Way (PLTW) courses that use technology on a daily basis, such as Inventor, a desktop 3D computer-aided design program.”

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