Technology innovations in education are garnering top-level attention across the world, and we’re delighted to share the story of Coachella Valley Unified School District (CVUSD), which earned the praise of President Barack Obama for its innovative mobile strategies that usher in the new era of education.
In this special Q&A, CVUSD superintendent Dr. Darryl S. Adams talks about the California school district’s acclaimed WiFi-on-Wheels program, the devices students need for mobility success, the school district’s top priorities for 2016 and why he believes mobility is central to ensuring educational access and equity for all students.
Q: What were your key mobile takeaways from 2015?
Darryl: One of the most important key takeaways was that students have to be connected 24/7 to truly provide access to operate and proper in the digital education space. We provide connectivity 24/7 for those who have no connectivity by using buses with Wi-Fi routers on them, and we park them in neighborhoods and trailer home parks where there is no connectivity. Our WiFi-on-Wheels program has been praised by President Obama as an innovative approach to ensure that students and families are connected by any means necessary. We also find that students truly appreciate portability and mobility in their devices, and they truly appreciate their iPads, which are user-friendly and rugged enough to handle everyday school use with the proper cases.
Q: How do you see mobile impacting the education industry in 2016?
Darryl: I believe mobility is the way to go, since students are in transit during the school day, to athletic events and in their normal lives. I don’t believe that lugging around a heavy laptop is truly conducive to mobility, therefore the more mobile the better—as long as students have access to cloud-based storage.
Q: What are your top mobile priorities in 2016?
Darryl: Our top priorities in 2016 are to continue thinking outside the box when it comes to using cloud-based systems and to incorporate more virtual reality-based learning systems. We also will continue to push toward Maker Education and the president’s new Computer Sciences for All initiative to encourage students to create and invent and explore. We also intend to continue to provide first-class professional development not only for teachers, but also for students and their parents.
Q: What tips and best practices would you provide to educational institutions looking to implement mobility?
Darryl: Make haste as there is no time to waste. If you are not moving in this direction, your students will be at a disadvantage. Our duty as educators is to ensure that all students have access and equity in the best quality education that we can provide. We as educators have to be creative and innovative, and we have to enlist all hands on deck in this new and exciting era that shapes a future where students have access, equity and hope!
Q: What are you hearing from your end users using the technology? And what are your hearing from leaders in your organization?
Darryl: End users love the fact that they can connect anywhere and at any time and that technology is now a must-have. We all appreciate the effectiveness and efficiency provided by having technology available, and we all look forward to its continued use in our system. Our leadership team continues to provide resources and programs that matter with our technology, and teachers see it as a truly enabling support structure for individualizing education. Our passion, our commitment and our determination to ensure that all students have access and equity is unwavering! Full speed ahead!
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