Thursday, April 26, 2018

National tech award recognizes three districts

School leaders from Lindop School District 92
(Broadview) were joined by district tech coordinators
in accepting the award at NSBA's conference April 7.
Three Illinois school districts are among the 42 district winners of a national award for technology use that recognizes school boards for innovating by investing in tech tools and learning models for the next generation.

The largest Illinois winner in the Center for Digital Education’s and National School Boards Association’s annual technology awards is Township High School District 214 (Arlington Heights). The district was one of just 14 large districts (12,000 students or more) to win the 2018 award.

Two other Illinois districts are among 14 small district winners (3,000 students or less): Lindop School District 92 (Broadview), and Mannheim School District 83 (Franklin Park).

Board members at THSD 214, a high school district with more than 12,000 students in grades 9-12 in the Arlington Heights area, earned praise for demonstrating continuing commitment to promulgating the best use of school technology, using approaches that have won awards in the national competition for nine consecutive years.

The Lindop school board, governing a P-8 district with more than 400 students, was recognized for providing iPads for all students in grades 2 through 5, and providing Chromebooks for all students in grades 6 through 8. The board also won praise for approving a STEM and robotics program where students develop their knowledge and capacity to become next-generation engineers. District 92 is one of just two districts enrolling 3,000 students or less to win the award the past six years in a row.

Mannheim D83 received the small-district award, as well, winning for the first time; the district was honored for its 1 to 1 program that provides digital learning devices to all students. The program has been enthusiastically supported by the school board, which also has provided infrastructure to guide and monitor student use of technology. Students in District 83 have been learning to write digital code on their devices, and sharing their tech savvy with parents at a yearly community learning night at school.

“School boards are embracing technology initiatives that help them govern more effectively and empower their districts to operate more efficiently,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, executive director and chief executive officer for the National School Boards Association.

The Center for Digital Education bestows this annual award to the school boards/districts that most fully implement technology benchmarks in the evolution of digital education, as represented in survey questions. All U.S. public school districts are eligible to participate.

School districts’ use of technologies such as digital literacy training for parents, student-run technology support centers, robotic systems that record classroom teaching and learning, and data analytics earned top rankings in the survey.

View the full list of school districts honored here.