Thursday, December 13, 2007
School district receives tech honor
By SUE WATSON
The Holly Springs School District was recognized for its use of technology in education in October by Cisco Systems, a company that sells routing and switching devices that make computer networking possible.
The Cisco Growing Technology Awards for 2007 tapped the district for honorable mention, according to Jones Mays with the schools.
Mays said the routers and switches are used in about 90 percent of the world’s computer networking systems.
The school district has received several grants for advanced technology equipment and training in the use of computers in school to help students with educational challenges.
Some of the computer programs available in the school district include the Accelerated Reader, Star Reader, Plato (used to reteach subjects students have not mastered), NovaNet (teaching science, math, reading and spelling), Read180 (a nationally recognized reading enhancement program), word processing (keyboarding, typing), and business and computer applications, Mays said.
Tutorial programs and tests are also available on computer, he said.
The technology systems are just one piece of the resources used in educational settings.
“Our ultimate goal is the education of children,” Mays said. “We are using it to teach, for professional development, and for administrative uses anywhere documentation (record keeping) is needed.”
He said technology is driving the total educational process and helps students prepare for their next step in life and in a future that interweaves technology with life.
“This award tells us we are not where we want to be, but we are going in the right direction,” Mays said. “That’s what the award specifically said. We’re doing the best with what we have and we are getting there.”
The Cisco Growing Technology Awards program was created to recognize small and mid-size organizations in the United States and Canada that use networking technology to improve sales, marketing, to expand and deliver service to customers, to improve efficiencies, or to outpace competition.
The winners were selected because they are considered by Cisco to be role models that showcase best practices in the use of technology to provide business solutions.
A panel of 10 judges selected 15 winners to receive the award fitting into five categories considered.
The Holly Springs School District was one of 1,000 nominees considered in the public sector category, Mays said.
“Receiving this award demonstrates that a school district can overcome economic and educational hurdles and provide a rich technology environment to its educational community,” Mays said. “These state-of-the-art technologies are being used widely in the area of education to prepare today’s students for tomorrow.”
Peter Alexander, vice president of business marketing for Cisco, said the awards go to deserving small and mid-sized businesses.
“Being a ‘smart business’ means using technology to improve internal business processes: working smarter instead of harder,” he said. “As one of this year’s winners, Holly Springs School District is ahead of its peers in terms of being a smart business. We hope other organizations will be inspired by Holly Springs School District’s creative and resourceful approach to harnessing the Internet and networking technology to set itself apart from its peers.”
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