Technology Upgrades Planned for 2012-2013

A new email system, electronic student information system, and pilot iPad programs highlight significant enhancements to Beachwood Schools' technology platform for the 2012-2013 school year.

The most noticeable change for students and staff is the transition to Google Apps for Education, a cloud technology platform that includes email, document sharing, calendar collaboration, and "chat." This web-based, "green" solution gives students and staff greater access to files and emails that are stored online; they can work collaboratively to edit papers, develop group presentations, and get feedback - anywhere they have internet access to their computers, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

"The transition of Google paves the way for better use of cloud technology," says Ken Veon, Beachwood Schools' director of curriculum and technology. "The collaborative nature of the Google platform allows for more creativity." Veon also noted that Google is less expensive and contains a more dependable spam filter than FirstClass, which had been the district's email client since the mid-1990s.

Staff email addresses will remain the same, while students email addresses will have a new "" domain. The staff transition is complete; the student email transition will be complete by the first day of school. Students and staff will have 25 gig of available storage space on their Google accounts, which is more than 50 times what they had previously with FirstClass.

The district will also transition to a new electronic student information system, replacing eSIS with Infinite Campus. Infinite Campus is a more powerful, secure web-based tool that allows staff, students and parents to more effectively track schedules, grades, attendance, contact and medical information, and more. These core features will be implemented by the start of school.

Other features, such as a more robust parent portal, communication tools, and fee payment service will be implemented later and will consolidate several third-party tools the district currently uses. This software will also eventually help the district “Go Green” when all forms will be submitted online through the parent portal.

Other summer technology updates include:

  • Beachwood High School's network wiring and equipment will be replaced to accommodate 30-40 devices per classroom. The school’s IT center will connect to a power generator so no loss of connection will occur during a power outage.
  • 45 short-throw projectors and Apple TVs for teachers to wirelessly display content in their classrooms from their iPads and MacBook Pros.
  • A new pilot iPad (40) program for 5th grade reading to promote literacy, research skills, composition and self-paced learning. 
  • One new iPad cart for student use at BHS for math classes.
  • 25 new iPads for teachers, who attended a training session on how to best utilize iPads for instruction.
  • New MacBook Pros at Hilltop Elementary School – three per classroom for student use.

“We are providing staff and students with the technology tools to enhance the educational experience in Beachwood,” said Veon.

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