How A School District Prepares for PARCC and More
Indian Prairie School district, the third largest school district in Illinois, conducted an in-depth investigation to develop an execution plan to adopt Partnership for Assessment and Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortium guidelines and meet the Common Core State Standards head-on. Their execution plan took them beyond the basic requirements of online testing to providing a secure, borderless learning environment for a variety of devices, over wired and wireless.
Not only was this a great opportunity for them to upgrade their network to meet the state and national testing standards, but also to lay the foundation for any future requirements as technological advances are rapidly changing the education landscape.
- Meet the computer-based testing requirements under PARCC
- Provide a borderless learning environment through mobile and online learning
- A stable infrastructure that can meet the dynamic network demand
- Prepare for the growing importance of technology in classrooms, wired and wireless, with trends such as BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) as well as an increased use of district-owned devices.
Their major challenge was that their previous approach was unplanned, with spotty as-needed wireless deployments. They now needed a more strategic infrastructure setup to establish a network that could handle a greater number of devices with an ever-changing bandwidth requirement.
By partnering with Cisco, they were able to work together in implementing the best possible network for their requirements. The synergistic combination of Cisco® Catalyst® Series Switches and Cisco Aironet® Access Points helped them achieve a secure, seamless wireless network.
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The district piloted a program for BYOT and mandated online testing They saw immediate results from their pilot program, thus reassuring their trust in Cisco.
They were really impressed by the connectivity and the level of flexibility that would be available to students. IPSD conducted a survey with the students and teachers. The results were outstanding:
- 90% of teachers indicated that they had received positive feedback from students on the new BYOT experience
- 81% of instructors believe student engagement has risen as a result of the new wireless program
- 70% of students believe BYOT has helped in learning activities
- 90% of students felt it would be beneficial to have the borderless program offered in more classes
Wireless was only the beginning for IPSD. They have a five year plan which includes upgrading their data center and voice systems. They strongly believe that the future lies in cloud-based learning.
It’s really exciting to see what the future holds!
“We’ve just scratched the surface with our new Cisco network, but believe it or not, the technology is even better than expected,”
STAN GORBATKIN, ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT OF TECHNOLOGY, INDIAN PRAIRIE SCHOOL DISTRICT 204
Read the entire case study to learn about IPSD’s implementation of technology and their future plans.
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