Lightspeed Systems Brings Schools Together To Discuss Mobile Devices In Education

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Feedback from District Advisory Committee meeting provides insight into opportunities and challenges of mobile learning

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The right vendor and device management solution can make the difference between an underutilized resource and a powerful tool.

Last month, Lightspeed Systems hosted the inaugural District Advisory Committee, joining together district representatives from around the country in San Diego, California. This high-level two day event was designed to provide administrators an opportunity to share their experiences with mobile learning. The represented districts ranged in size, demographics, budgetary means and implementation stages, yet all shared common concerns and offered solutions regarding establishing mobile learning programs.

As a company, Lightspeed Systems is dedicated to providing schools with innovative classroom solutions aimed at making managing a mobile learning program as easy as using the devices themselves. Part of this process is understanding and diffusing the confusion and frustration associated with creating a mobile environment. The District Advisory Committee provided an opportunity for administrators and educators to come together and discuss the complexities of their mobile learning programs. Three main challenges were identified by the group of district leaders:

1.Teacher Buy In
Leaders understand the vital importance of having support of those who will be using the devices in the classroom on a daily basis. In order for the devices to not become burdensome distractions, it is imperative that teachers are committed to the concept of using mobile devices to engage students in learning. The District Advisory Committee offered a few solutions to make teacher buy in a reality, including hiring teachers with a propensity for technology, facilitating top-down pedagogical change, rewards-based professional development, and thorough teacher training. An inspiring suggestion was the idea of a student-based team of IT interns—taking advantage of an internal resource and giving students a sense of ownership and confidence.

With hundreds or thousands of students moving from class to class on a blended learning or 1:1 program, Wi-Fi challenges can prevent the success of mobile learning. Many experienced districts referenced community assistance and the importance of having a plan in place. One district suggested moving infrastructure under the capital plan, like utilities. This way, the topic can be addressed on an annual basis.

3.Digital Equity
Everyone agreed, the value of a mobile program is anytime, anywhere learning, but if students don’t have internet access at home or off campus, then that value is at a risk. Solutions offered by the district leaders included establishing community and business partnerships to offer free Wi-Fi to students and working with partners in education to purchase mobile Wi-Fi units to provide HotSpots throughout the community.

Everyone on the District Advisory Committee agreed that implementing a mobile learning program can bring many weighty decisions. Budgetary concerns are often discussed, but equally as important is choosing the right vendors who are educationally focused and committed to the unique challenges of K12. The right vendor and device management solution can make the difference between an underutilized resource and a powerful tool.

Lightspeed Systems values the importance of peer discussion and they would like to bring together even more districts to share, collaborate, and offer solutions. To find out more information about the next District Advisory Committee event and learn how you can be a part of it,

About Lightspeed Systems
Education needs the technology revolution that has transformed every other industry. How do we get there? By engaging students in meaningful projects, by creating learning communities, by extending learning beyond the class walls and school bells, and by making sure that schools are empowered to safely and easily use transformative technologies.
That’s where we come in… Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and collaborative. We’ve helped thousands of schools around the world protect and engage more than 10 million students.
Lightspeed Systems + Your School. Together we do amazing things.

Toni Frantz
Lightspeed Systems

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Toni Frantz
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