Best of 2002: Technology Focus
Putting technology to work for school leaders
Building a Data Warehouse
Everyone’s praising data-driven decision making these days, but turning this concept into reality remains a distant dream for many school districts. Although they try various forms of implementation, districts often overlook the most essential ingredient—data. How a district collects, manages, and reports its data can mean the difference between successful analysis and misguided intentions.
The Technology-Rich Classroom
How often have you heard—or used—the term technology-rich environment? In this classroom, students are passionate about learning, and teachers have the technological means to nurture that passion. This ideal classroom must have adequate computer hardware and software, of course. But it's not just equipment we're talking about. Rather, it's the complex interaction of people and machines that is the essence of instructional technology.
In May 2001, the 40,000-student Henrico County Public School District outside Richmond, Va., agreed to lease 23,000 Apple iBook laptop computers—one for every middle school and high school student and teacher. The laptop project, the first and largest of its kind in the nation, is a major test of the effectiveness of wireless technology. It is also a lesson in the perils and benefits of jumping headfirst into an education initiative.
The Perils of E-Mail
E-mail has made communicating easier for everyone, and many school board members find it an especially convenient tool. Convenience and ease can have a downside, however, because e-mail as a medium encourages casual remarks and hasty reactions. School board members who don't use caution could find themselves in hot water with their fellow board members, teachers, and the community. Worse, board members who improperly use e-mail can run afoul of their state open-meetings laws.