American Association of School Administrators and Lightspeed Systems Announce Winners of Digital Learning Award

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School districts in Texas and Mississippi earn the 2011 District Excellence Award for Digital Learning for promoting effective technology use to engage and inspire students

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American Association of School Administrators

“While all of the many districts...showed a wide range of excellent technology integration both within classrooms and throughout their districts, the winners demonstrated even more: technology use was interwoven into the texture of educational life."

The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and Lightspeed Systems Inc. today announced Northwest Independent School District, in Justin, Texas, as the grand prize winner of the 2011 District Excellence Award for Digital Learning. The second and third place winners were the North East Independent School District in San Antonio and Tupelo Public School District in Tupelo, Miss., respectively. The District Excellence Award for Digital Learning honors districts for excellence in promoting informed practices, productive collaborations, sustained improvement, and an evolving awareness of their responsibilities to ensure safe, equitable and ethical uses of learning technology. The three districts were honored today during the AASA National Conference in Denver.

“While all of the many districts that submitted applications showed a wide range of excellent technology integration both within classrooms and throughout their districts, the winners demonstrated even more: technology use was interwoven into the texture of educational life,” said Dan Domenech, AASA Executive Director. “The winning districts were able to illustrate the numerous ways student learning and teacher practice were enhanced and deepened, how assignments became more challenging, and that student outcomes were closer to real world work.”

The 15,000-student Northwest Independent School District, located just north of Fort Worth, was selected as the grand prize winner for integrating technology across all grade levels and instructional areas in ways that improved student outcomes. Technology has become a common language in the district, used daily to communicate across schools and with parents.

Second place was awarded to North East Independent School District. Located in San Antonio, the district won for empowering its teachers to use technology in the classroom to make lessons more relevant and engaging for the district’s more than 63,000 digital native students. Technology and digital media are used as key components of project-based learning, and are interwoven into curriculum, instruction and assessment to improve student achievement and technology literacy.

Nationally recognized for education excellence, Tupelo Public School District came in third place for its support and promotion of digital learning. The rural school district in northeast Mississippi excels in providing a digital learning environment to prepare its 7,400 students for college and the workforce. The district developed technology-based learning projects that increased community involvement and taught students essential works skills.

The Northwest Independent School District receives the November Learning team’s November Learning Review, which includes custom-designed best practice strategies for teaching and learning, through a clearly defined, step-by-step guide to integrating and aligning technology across the curriculum. North East Independent School District earns a district-wide subscription for Lightspeed Systems Web Access Manager with product training. Tupelo Public School District receives one free registration to the 2011 Building Learning Communities Conference in Boston, three-nights lodging and $500 for travel expenses, all provided by Lightspeed Systems.

An independent judging panel comprised by AASA evaluated district entries and selected the winners based on the level of technology integration across grade levels and subject areas, student technology use, and student outcomes. For more information about the award and the winners, visit http://www.aasa.org/LightspeedAward.aspx or http://www.lightspeedsystems.com/AASA-Award.aspx.

About AASA
The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders across the United States. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit http://www.aasa.org.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems Inc., founded in 1999, develops comprehensive network security and management solutions for the K-12 education market. Lightspeed is committed to helping schools operate their networks effectively and efficiently, so educators can provide a safe online teaching and learning environment. The company’s flagship product integrates content filtering, spam management, bandwidth management, antivirus protection, extensive reporting capabilities, email archiving, and mobile filtering into a single application. Lightspeed Systems software is used in more than 2,000 school districts in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia to protect more than 6 million students. For the past four years, Lightspeed Systems has been recognized on the Inc. 5,000 list as one of fastest-growing private companies. For more information, call 661-716-7600, or visit http://www.lightspeedsystems.com.

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Kristen Plemon
C. Blohm & Associates
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