EDCOE / District Technology Partnerships
EDCOE’s core mission is to support El Dorado County school districts in their goal to deliver quality instruction to students. Part of this support is developing and implementing technology “best practices”, partnering for staff development to support site technology plans, collaborating on curriculum guidelines, and supporting parental involvement.
With the retirement of the California STAR testing, and the advent of the new Smarter Balanced assessments, California schools have a brand new assessment system to adapt to. EDCOE’s IT Team has gone the extra mile to assist school districts overcome the difficulties of implementing a new assessment system through professional development and technical assistance. Through these efforts, in cooperation with district staff, the rollout of the new Smarter Balanced system has been going very smoothly.
EDCOE’s commitment to the classroom goes beyond just policies and partnerships. The EDCOE IT Team provides direct support to many classrooms all across the county in the area of direct technology assistance. Whether it’s computer repair, wireless access, or deploying classroom devices, EDCOE has “boots on the ground” to assist educators right where they work, in the classroom.
Chromebooks - EDCOE is committed to supporting classroom technologies from a myriad of manufacturers, but it’s impossible to ignore that huge impact that Google Chromebooks have had on the education environment in the past years. These cost-effective and easy to manage devices have taken the public education sector by storm, and are providing new opportunities for kids to learn in a 21st century style. EDCOE has invested heavily into ensuring that the EDCOE IT Team is prepared to support districts as they implement these devices to deliver instruction in innovative ways.
Computers on Wheels - As computers have become smaller and more portable, and wireless internet access more ubiquitous, the traditional computer lab has been transforming. While traditional computer labs still provide a necessary function for some instructional methods, many educators are finding that introducing computers into their normal classroom environment is producing great results. This new style of teaching is supported by mobile carts with a class set of student devices inside that can be moved from one classroom to another. In this fashion, the computers can come to the students and be integrated into curriculum right in the classroom they are familiar with. Also, the mobile nature of these Computers on Wheels carts allows them to be shared across the entire campus, maximizing the district’s return on investment.
Video Services - As we move into the 21st century, the power of video is impossible to ignore. Not only does recorded video allow educators to access training that wasn’t available to them before, it also allows for new ways of delivering instruction through the use of “flipped” classrooms. In order to support our schools and other agencies with the emergence of video delivery, EDCOE has developed a Media Production Team that can shoot professional video, provide post-production editing, and deliver that media through a variety of traditional and cutting edge methods.
Innovative technologies and teaching practices rely on a reliable infrastructure to work effectively. EDCOE IT team members work directly with school district technology leaders to build robust networks and reliable servers that our students and teachers rely on.
VOIP - EDCOE always strives to be responsive to the needs of El Dorado County school districts. At the request of our member districts, EDCOE has extended our Voice over IP system to be used by those districts that are interested. This allows our school districts to transition off of aging PBX systems that are difficult and expensive to service, to a more industry-standard telephony platform. They can accomplish this transition without having to spend large sums of cash to invest in a stand-alone VoIP system, but instead leverage our existing system to drive down the overall cost of their telephone system.
Wireless Access - With today’s focus on mobile, personal computing devices such as tablets, Chromebooks, laptops and handheld devices the need for reliable wireless Internet access has never been greater. All of these devices are of limited usefulness unless they are connected to online learning and collaboration resources. EDCOE has invested significant resources into encouraging school districts to invest in wireless access as a resource for students and educators. To this end, EDCOE allows school districts to leverage our existing wireless support infrastructure instead of having to build their own. This allows school districts to immediately begin to deploy wireless access points for students without having to first invest in costly infrastructure. This drives down the cost of new wireless adoptions which allows funds to be used in the classroom to get students connected to 21st century resources.
EDCOE is a model for innovative and engaging learning experiences, and one of our highest priorities is the safety and well-being of El Dorado County’s diverse student population. Therefore, we work proactively to maximize our resources and minimize risk in a world immersed in technology. In strong collaboration with our county programs and school districts, EDCOE has implemented electronic safeguards to alleviate potential hazards and remain in regulatory compliance. Technology can be a powerful tool that enhances teaching and helps to prepare students for a successful future, and EDCOE works diligently to ensure it remains a useful tool and does not turn into an opportunity for danger.
Filtering - While the Internet holds many innovative and effective instructional tools, it can also be home to content that isn’t appropriate for students to see. All schools are mandated to implement Internet filtering by the Child Internet Protection Act but that protection can be costly. In order to make the best use of our resources, EDCOE organizes a consortium across the entire county to secure lower pricing on our web filtering technology. In addition to organizing the group purchasing, EDCOE also allows school districts to utilize our web filtering hardware as well to better maximize resources.
Firewall - In today’s modern computer networks, a firewall is an essential security appliance that keeps students and educators safe. Firewalls control access to important resources and protect against hacking and other malicious activities. Unfortunately, firewalls can also be very expensive, especially for smaller school districts. With this in mind, EDCOE offers firewall services to El Dorado County school districts to protect their networks and to alleviate the financial burden of having to provide their own firewall.
Technology Advisory Group (TAG)
The Technology Advisory Group is a team of technology support personnel from school districts in El Dorado County who meet bi-monthly to foster collaboration and maximize resources through idea-sharing, group purchasing, and providing mutual support. EDCOE administers the TAG group and membership is open to any education agency in El Dorado County.