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K12USA.com Offers Free EdTech Checklist for the Back-to-School Season
New school year—new headaches? With the ever-changing landscape of K–12 technology (New products! New rules! New needs!), the job of an IT director can be heartburn inducing. Here's help.
• Make sure your budget is up to date and that you've accounted for all your school's needs.
• Review your school's users' policies and revise if necessary. Have there been changes in BYOD, take-home programs, or Internet-access policies?
• Update software across all school devices, and ensure tablets, laptops, and desktops have been cleaned.
• Take inventory of power outlets. Are there enough? Will you need extension cords?
• Check that all your wireless access points, printers, and other appliances are alive and well.
• Assess your wireless-networking capacity. Has it grown? Can your current setup handle the load? If not, what upgrades are needed?
• Evaluate your CIPA-compliance status. Are your filtering practices up to code? With the increasing popularity of HTTPS sites, it's important to content-filter encrypted traffic. Deploy SSL-intercept tools that can do the job.
• Know the names, locations, and contact info of your tech team. Implement a cloud-based ticketing system to automate your help-desk processes.
• Get E-Rate ready. Filing season will be here in the blink of an eye. Make sure all your ducks are in a row and that you don't miss out on funding.
• Educate students and staff on safe Internet practices, including topics like:
o Correct password usage
o Phishing scams
o The consequences of unacceptable online behavior, such as bypassing the school Internet filter
• Communicate with parents about school-tech policies and offer recommendations for keeping their kids Internet safe at home.
• Read popular EdTech blogs to stay current on the latest tips and trends. For starters, check out:
o EdTech RoundUp (edtechroundup.org)
o EdWeek Market Brief (marketbrief.edweek.org)
o Edutopia (edutopia.org/
o EmergingEdTech (emergingedtech.com)
o K–12 Tech Decisions (k-12techdecisions.com)
"Technology is changing at a blindingly fast clip, and schools need to keep pace while staying on budget," says K12USA founder and CEO James Punderson. "We created this checklist to help ease the overwhelm factor at the start of every school year."
For more information, visit http://www.k12usa.com, email support@K12USA.com, or call 877-225-0100.
About K12USA.com: Founded in 1999 by former teacher and school IT consultant James Punderson IV, K12USA.com develops streamlined, intuitive tech tools for K–12 schools throughout the U.S. Their product line features about 20 appliance- and cloud-based devices, including SecureSchool content filter; WirelessTrakker wireless-network-