Race to the Top funding helps create digital learning responsible citizens

Some of the things that we have done with the Race to the Top funds is we’ve purchased laptop carts as well as a D.R. site, which
is a disaster recovery site, which is very unique for school
districts. Most school districts do not have that, but we do thanks to Race to the Top. Not only do we
have mobile carts in the classrooms, but we also have mobile carts at disposal
in the media center for our students to use. Another thing that we did with Race to
the Top funds was we purchased several different types of access points,
which allow students to connect. Here in Hoke County Schools, we are kind of a unique system – we allow students to bring your own device. So they can bring any number of devices they would like, connect to a special network that we have at each school for students, and connect and research anywhere on campus. We’re very open to that. We have policies created that support that. So through Race to the Top, we’ve been able to do some creative things with that funding to allow students not only to become
college and career-ready but to be digital learning responsible citizens.
It’s been an exciting time over the last five or six years here with those particular types of funds. We created
policies passed through the board that helps the district feel secure with students
on the network, but not only that, but we created a network individually just for students, and they
know about it – they are aware of it – so when they bring their devices they’re looking for it. We use special filtering that is provided by the state that allows us
to granularly look down to see what the students are are looking for looking for on the Internet. But once they get off of our network, onto the buses, we
no longer can filter any of the content that they utilize. And that’s part of becoming a socially
responsible citizen on the Internet. I think what technology does in any building is eliminating the walls that may
otherwise be there if they didn’t have the technology at home
or didn’t have the technology here within the district. Being able to provide them with the bring-your-own device, that has been key for us. So those are things that we do try to
eliminate the barriers for students.

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