The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, also known as CENIC, has awarded IUSD the 2019 Innovations in Networking Award for Educational Applications. IUSD received this prestigious designation for leveraging the power of high-speed broadband to transform K-12 education.
IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker, IUSD Chief Technology Officer Brianne Ford, and IUSD Director of Education Technology Harmony Briscoe received the award on behalf of the District. They were also recognized individually as project leaders, who have empowered students and teachers by increasing digital learning opportunities.
“The IUSD Board of Education has made critical investments in District infrastructure to support the highest quality connectivity for all IUSD students,” said Superintendent Walker. “Our Board Members, long with District leadership and teachers, recognize and value the transformative potential high-speed broadband can bring to K-12 education.”
IUSD students are coding in kindergarten, using green screens and stop-motion animation in third grade, and printing three-dimensional scaled models in eighth grade. In science labs, students wear 3D glasses and use a stylus to move and rotate objects, such as a human heart, on a screen. In art class, students create a sculpture in virtual reality and produce it on a 3D printer. Students can program robots, create action video games, and more.
With access to one-to-one Chromebooks and other devices, students are able to extend classroom instruction through online learning. This personalized-learning approach enables students to set their own educational goals, develop knowledge, and assess their progress. Project- and technology-based curriculum engage students and improve learning outcomes. Teachers are able to act as connectors while students choose the projects that follow their interests, bringing out students’ natural curiosity and engaging them in meaningful, rich, authentic learning environments.
“Irvine has long had a reputation as one of the top-performing school districts in the nation, and it continues to set the bar for California and the country by empowering the next generation of learners and redefining the learning environment,” said Louis Fox, CENIC president and CEO. “IUSD is a model for other districts across the state who wish to implement far-reaching and high-impact technology strategies for their schools.”
Superintendent Walker, who was the only K-12 superintendent on the CENIC Board of Directors is the immediate past CENIC vice-chair. His ongoing role with CENIC in recent years has proved beneficial for IUSD and pivotal in bringing the first-ever 100-Gigabit per second K-12 internet connection to all 27 school districts in Orange County through the CENIC network.
To learn more about CENIC, visit cenic.org.