- Scottsdale Unified School District
- Technology Blog
May 2022Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/1/2022
Supporting our Student Devices
The use of student devices in SUSD has changed a lot in the last couple of years! At the start of the 2019-2020 school year, all SUSD student devices were in labs or mobile carts and used to varying levels (every day or as a special event) across the district. Students could also participate in Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) if they chose.
Fast-forward to May 2022 and SUSD is now a “1:1 district” in which every student who enrolls can check out an SUSD owned device (and BYOD is also still an option!) During this short time, the use of technology for learning has changed, and so has supporting student devices in SUSD.
Many first-level issues, such as questions about how to access and use a specific learning resource, are answered in classrooms by teachers or other students. For more technical questions, students and families can reach out directly to the IT Helpdesk at (480)484-HELP. Sometimes a device needs to be repaired by one of our technicians, in which case students can return it to their school library (K-8) or bookstores (9-12) and check out a replacement.
Each week our technicians provide on-site troubleshooting throughout their assigned learning community. We also transport several hundred devices a week between schools and the warehouse where we can assess damage and make repairs that need more extensive attention. Our network team ensures that each device is managed in one of our mobile device management systems and software needed for safety and learning are consistently updated over the network.
Because these devices often travel back and forth to school, and most students will have them at home over the summer, we offer an optional Device Protection Plan (DPP). Similar to other learning resources checked-out from the library or bookstore, students are responsible for damaged or missing items (beyond typical wear and tear.) Plan information for the current school year is available on the IT Department website. The coverage lasts through the start of the next school year, when families have the opportunity to sign up again for another year of coverage.
This summer, most students will once again be taking their SUSD device home for the summer. Here are some reminders that will help keep it up and running and ready for use next school year!
- Don’t leave devices in hot cars or direct sun over summer
- Keep away from liquids/food
- Keep track of your power adapter
- Visit the IT Department Website for helpful information about accessing learning resources from home
- Reach out to the IT Helpdesk for technical support all summer long!
April 2022Posted by SUSD Communications on 4/1/2022
Technology and Learning - Strategic Changes in SUSD and Across Arizona
The last couple of years have brought about a lot of change in the role of technology to support learning, both within the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) and across the state of Arizona. Fortunately, we can rely on strategic planning at both the local and state level to help focus our next steps. Earlier this year, SUSD participated in a statewide opportunity assessment conducted by the newly formed Office of Digital Teaching and Learning (ODTL) within the Arizona Department of Education. Read on to learn more about the statewide results of this assessment and how you can dig into the data yourself!
In SUSD, Phase 3 of our Strategic Plan is underway. As a technology team, we examined the goals and commitments of the Strategic Plan, and see an important role for technology in supporting these goals, even when not specifically called out. We look forward to participating and supporting the upcoming initiatives to help realize the vision of SUSD to engage all students in world-class, future-focused learning.
Similarly, the ODTL has used data gathered from across the state to guide its strategic priorities. The OTDL was formed as a result of a task force that examined the challenges students in Arizona faced as access to devices, network connectivity, and knowledge about using digital tools for learning became increasingly critical to engage in the learning process. Similar challenges were probably faced (though to a lesser degree) when other technologies were first introduced, and then relied upon at a large scale, such as slate boards and graphing calculators. Here are a few interesting findings from the report and what we are experiencing in SUSD.
- 66% of respondents across AZ have a 1:1 device program for all students. All SUSD students have access to a device. Some students (typically in our youngest grades) do not take the device home each night, but each has one assigned to them. We also support BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), enabling some students to use a personal device for learning, instead of a SUSD device.
- 68% of respondents use Chromebooks for their student devices. In SUSD, all K-8 grade students will use Chromebooks next year, while our high school students will continue to have a Windows device. As our network connectivity has improved and more applications become web-based, using a “thinner” client, like Chromebooks, is a good solution for students.
- 31% of respondents lack Data and Security training for teachers and staff. While some training on data security is part of the SUSD-required annual training for all staff, we are excited to enhance this training over the next couple of years with additional vendor support. This augmented training was approved as part of the SUSD ESSER grant funds.
To access the OTDL data dashboard and learn more about the results of the 2021 opportunity assessment, visit https://www.azed.gov/technology/opportunity-assessment-2021-dashboard