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Utah Public Schools Expands Smart School Technology Pilot Program

The Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) has announced plans to expand its Smart School Technology Pilot Program to deploy whole-school technology, including one-to-one mobile devices, to more Utah public schools.

The first year of the pilot program took place during the 2012-2013 school year and its success prompted the Utah legislature to provide additional funding to expand the program to new schools for the 2013-14 school year. The Utah State Office of Education (USOE) selected schools to participate in the pilot expansion based on a grant application process and the availability of matching funds.

The state's Smart School Technology Program uses iSchool Campus, which provides iPads for every student and teacher in the school.

The iSchool Campus Smart School model also provides participating schools with:

  • Security no matter where the tablet is used;
  • Online and offline access to assignments, tests, textbooks, and other educational materials;
  • Proprietary software that integrates testing, assignments, learning management systems, analytics, instant messaging, textbooks, and collaboration in real time;
  • Complete wireless network access throughout the school;
  • Training for teachers, administrators, IT staff, and parents;
  • Surround sound audio in classrooms;
  • Interactive, high-definition televisions; and
  • 24/7 trouble ticket and phone support.

Dixon Middle School in Provo, UT has participated in the pilot program since December 2012, and Jarod Sites, the school's principal, has reported "significant increases in both student engagement and achievement, including impressive gains in their STEM program, with 96 percent of students scoring at 4 or higher on the CRT test," according to a news release from iSchool Campus.

“We feel fortunate to have benefitted from the first year of the program, and are grateful that the State of Utah continues to recognize not only the success of whole-school technology, but the need for our students to learn in a manner that engages, challenges, and excites them,” said Sites in a prepared statement.

The Smart School Technology Pilot Program will provide one-to-one mobile devices to approximately 3060 students across the state of Utah.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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