Best of 2007: Technology Focus

 Putting technology to work for school leaders

Related Documents

Finding New School Employees in Cyberspace
The latest recruitment tools on the Web can help you automate initial contacts with prospective employees, find "A" list candidates, and much, much more.
December 2007

The Beauty of Web Templates
As design and accessibility improve, 'prefab' sites can give your district a Fortune 500 look for a song.
November 2007

Virtually Seamless Communication
Electronic newsletters can help you get the word out in a personal, powerful way to your parents, community leaders, and the general public
October 2007

Lights! Camera! Action!
Broadcasting board meetings can help you build positive relationships with the community, but reception is often as important as perception.
September 2007

Blog Do's and Don'ts
Direct communication with constituents is a valuable opportunity, but if it's not handled effectively, it's just wasted space.
September 2007

The Technology Facade
In the scramble to stay ahead, school boards need a checklist to sift through the IT clutter.
September 2007

Blogging for Columbine
The “dark side” of student online expression, including some aspects of social networking sites like MySpace, confronts school officials with issues that place schools on uncertain legal ground and at the crux of conflicting societal demands. Concerns over what students do online have attracted intense interest from advocacy groups, elected officials, and the new media. But schools have serious legal limitations when it comes to freedom of expression and off-campus conduct.
July 2007

The Laptop Minefield
It’s a scenario that has become all too familiar. A school board and a superintendent take a stand as leaders and try to change things for the better. But explosive politics, community outrage, and an expensive lawsuit derail the initiative. This is what happened in Cobb County, Ga., several years ago, when the 104,000-student district tried to provide laptops to students and teachers.
July 2007

The Digital Device
Mobile technologies are so pervasive today that we scarcely notice when they are used for information retrieval, communication, entertainment, and distraction at school. Much has been written about how these devices can stimulate learning, but little has been said about how efficiently they can interrupt learning as well.
July 2007

Are You a Good Host?
It pays to make sure visitors have a good experience on your website. Analytics software packages can help you make that possible. Indeed, instead of defaulting to digital voodoo, these organizations use Web analytics to identify which pages are hitting home runs with visitors—and which are little more than a swing-and-a-miss.
June 2007

Using Savvy Could Mean Savings
How can you keep technology current when you operate on a shoestring budget? Before embarking on ambitious tech projects, it’s important to take an inventory of your assets, review spending, and evaluate your personnel and processes. The exercise helps determine the district’s needs, what’s working and what’s not, and potential areas for cost cutting—all of which aids in formulating a comprehensive road map and strategy. All of your decisions flow from this initial assessment.
April 2007

Mastering Online Education
The number of online programs at postsecondary schools has exploded in the past few years, with enrollment reaching 2.35 million nationwide. Today, almost two-thirds of colleges and universities that offer face-to-face courses also are providing graduate courses online. More teachers and administrators are taking courses via the Internet. But do these advanced courses give them what they need to succeed?
March 2007

Wired-World Mishaps
New media communications like blogs, podcasts, e-mail, and websites are making it easier for educators to connect with one another and with students and their parents. Used wisely, these tools can build relationships in new and more powerful ways. Used inappropriately—or even criminally—the new media can mean new headaches for school officials. Digital mishaps are particularly potent because the viral nature of the Internet means that one errant key stroke can result in global embarrassment.
March 2007

Cultivating a Tech-Savvy Image
Given that quotable experts are the lifeblood of every news organization, its no wonder thousands of public relations firms are working overtime trying to package their clients as the go-to source for a specific industry. Once you fill a niche and provide a unique perspective on your area of expertise people continue to return to you. Do you want to be the go-to source for reporters? Are you trying to convey a certain image? Consider using some of these Web tools to help.
March 2007

A Changing World
Gone are the days when vocational education, as it was once called, was considered a dumping ground for the unmotivated, the misfits, and the troublemakers. Today’s career and technical education is less about lug nuts and monkey wrenches and more about computer-aided drafting and premed bioethics. And it’s for everyone, not just the kids who aren’t going to college.
February 2007

School of the Future
The name itself was a brash declaration: School of the Future. Its location was just as audacious. West Philadelphia was the last place you’d expect to make such a bold statement. Yet last September, there it was: a 162,000-square-foot marvel of architectural and pedagogical synergy between the Philadelphia School District and software conglomerate Microsoft. And there everyone else was, curious about what the future was supposed to look like. The future, as it is, looks remarkably like the workplace.
February 2007

The Tech-Savvy Leader
In school districts, you must be a quick study, watch changing and evolving trends, and have a clearly defined picture of success to be at the top of your game. Here are lists of Edtech Leaders to Watch, Top-Ranked Digital School Boards, Top Tech Tools, and Most Helpful School Technology Reading Materials to help.
February 2007

Technology and Program Evaluation
With public and legislative attention focused on education accountability, the role of program evaluation is more important than ever. New tools have made the program evaluator's job easier in many ways—and harder in others.
January 2007

Assessments: A Brave New World
Technology-enhanced tracking of test scores can help your district meet its achievement goals.
January 2007