News Feature | January 24, 2014

Education IT News for VARs — January 24, 2014

By Bernadette Wilson, associate editor, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @bernadeditor

BSM-Education

The issue of how schools will pay for IT projects for security and to keep pace with standards requirements is in the news. A company has announced a grant for security equipment and New York’s governor has proposed state funds, and Nashville’s mayor has proposed city funds to help their schools.

Grant Providing Security Software, Hardware To Schools

Video Insight is donating $250,000 worth of video surveillance hardware and software to schools through a new grant program. Security Director News reports one school or university will be selected for equipment each month. To help your customers apply, click here.

Government Leaders Proposing Funds For School Technology

Government leaders are proposing help to fund technology in education. In his 2014 State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo proposed a $2 billion bond referendum to upgrade New York’s schools. An Education Week article reports Cuomo is calling for a “Smart Schools” bond for technology including laptops, tablets, and high-speed broadband.

An article in The Tennessean reports Nashville mayor Karl Dean has committed $6 million in city funds to make schools ready for Common Core Standards testing requirements. The article reports this ends a disagreement with the school district over how to pay for the upgrades. The allocation still requires city council approval, and leaves a remainder of $1 million for laptops — which the school district plans to pay for next year —as well as additional technology-related charges of $4.3 million for PARCC teacher training; $1.8 million for a universal screener assessment; and $1.7 million for a new computerized payroll system.

Drones Used In Belgian College To Catch Cheaters During Tests

A Mirror article reports Thomas Moore College in Belgium is testing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor classrooms during tests to make sure students aren’t cheating. The experiment is using remote-controlled DJI Phantom drones with GoPro cameras. Challenges include limited flight time — only 15 minutes long — and wind from drone propellers disturbing paperwork in the classroom.

Education IT Talking Points

The National Center For Education Statistics Institute of Education Sciences (IES) offers “Fast Facts” about school safety and security measures. Statistics include security camera use (84 percent of high schools, 73 percent of middle schools, and 51 percent of primary schools use them), and access control (used by 94 percent of primary schools, but only 86 percent of high schools and middle schools). The Fast Facts page also includes links to other statistics and resources.

K-12 Blueprint offers a “Bring Your Own Device Toolkit,” that offers several downloads that could help your customers in the education vertical establish their BYOD policy. Resources include planning tools, case studies, checklists, and guidance for complying with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Education IT Resource Center.

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