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Carroll County, Taylor County schools honored in annual digital school districts survey for innovative uses of technology
Carroll County, Taylor County schools honored in annual digital school districts survey for innovative uses of technology

The Carroll County and Taylor County school systems were among 30 districts nationwide to be recognized for innovative uses of technology in educational sessions. The Carroll County district tied for fourth place and Taylor County Schools placed ninth in the small district category of the 10th annual Digital School District Survey, a program of NSBA and the Center for Digital Education.

The districts will be recognized during ceremonies in New Orleans during the 2014 NSBA national conference, April 4-7.

According to an NSBA news release, the survey showcases exemplary use by school boards and districts of technology to govern the district; communicate with students, parents and the community; and improve district operations. This year’s recognition goes to school districts for their expanding use of innovative technologies district-wide as well as in the classroom.

“Schools and school districts are embracing technology and it is really exciting not only to see the innovative ways they implement technology, but how they are using technology effectively to teach and advance education,” said Alan Cox, senior vice president for the Center for Digital Education. “These education leaders serve as an inspiration to other school districts nationwide for their creative efforts to provide an outstanding education for today's students. Congratulations to this year's winners!”

“Technology innovations enable local school boards to connect with their communities and support students and teachers in ways that were unimaginable even a decade ago,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “The 2014 Digital School Districts Survey offers powerful examples of technology’s role in the transformation of public education.”

Here are some of selected findings and trends gleaned from this year’s survey:

School board meeting availability:

• Board meeting agenda and docs e-displayed on screen – 80 percent

• Televised – 31 percent

• Streamed and archived – 32 percent

• Via podcast – 22 percent

• Allow board members to participate/vote in meetings remotely – 52 percent of states

District allows alternatives to core content instruction in classrooms:

• Students can take fully online classes for core content credit – 79 percent

• Blended classes meet core content requirements using face-to-face and online instruction – 67 percent

• Core content is currently delivered online – 61 percent

• The "flipped classroom" concept is utilized – 61 percent

• Video conferencing for instruction is utilized as part of core content – 47 percent

• The district has developed plans to deliver core content online – 33 percent

• No alternatives to core content face-to-face instruction are being explored – 3 percent

District strategy regarding mobility:

• District offers teacher training on how to use mobile devices and apps for instruction – 88 percent

• Student-owned mobile devices can be used in the classroom – 83 percent

• District encourages the use of mobile apps for instruction – 81 percent

• District provides mobile apps for students to use for instruction – 67 percent

• District has successful actions regarding physical protection of district-owned devices – 65 percent

• District provides 1:1 mobile devices for students to use in the classroom – 46 percent

Status of Bring Your Own Device programs:

• Implemented – 56 percent (up 22 percent from last year)

• Of the 56 percent that have implemented, in which grades?

o 9th - 12th – 84 percent

o 6th - 8th – 74 percent

o 4th and 5th – 62 percent

o Pre-K - 3rd – 51 percent