District Administration March 2018 - 61

DISTRICT CIO

By Ariana Fine

TECHNOLOGY FROM THE CIO PERSPECTIVE

Real-world projects guide students
Real-world passion projects inspired
magnet school students in Bridgeport,
Connecticut, to design sturdier bulletproof vests and faster sails, among
other innovations. The students attended
biotech, engineering and IT-focused
academies at Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Multi-Magnet High School.
The research- or design-oriented
assignments enable students to focus on
their hobbies and interests. And senior
students must design a real-world engineering or media production improvement that will make a positive community difference.
One student created an asymmetrical,
movable spinnaker that allows sailors to
avoid a wind "dead zone" and gain more
speed, says Jay Lipp, principal of the

aerospace/hydrospace engineering and
physical science school.
Another team added a component to
a bulletproof Kevlar vest to better distribute a bullet's energy and prevent the pain
and internal damage that can be caused
when hit. Students used an "oobleck"
mixture-made from cornstarch, water
and Mod Podge-to produce a prototype integrated into the vest. They also
sketched out ideas for how the vest could
be made lighter.
Students must determine the technology, supplies and information they need.
"Part of their projects is also to talk to
real engineers in the field in order to gain
insight into the real-world challenges and
even if their ideas are feasible," says Lipp.
Students present their final capstone

More than half of state departments of education lack key
security and privacy protections for users, according to
a recent state-by-state survey by EdTech Strategies, a
technology consulting firm.

offer no HTTPS-or
secure site-support

5 STATES

3 STATES

have errors in certificates
that guarantee website
connection security

actively redirect
visitors from secure to
unsecured connections

6 STATES

do not direct users
by default to a
secure site

48 of 50

state agency sites (plus D.C.'s) employ ad
tracking and/or online surveillance (such as by Google or
Facebook), with Maine and Utah being exceptions
Source: Tracking: EDU-Education Agency Website Security
and Privacy Practices, EdTech Strategies. DAmag.me/tredu

www.DistrictAdministration.com

project in front of experts, such as local
manufacturing association officials or
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation engineers,
who offer constructive criticism.

Digital journalists

Securing sites

12 STATES

BUILDING A BETTER VEST-
Students at Fairchild Wheeler
Interdistrict Multi-Magnet school
engineer bulletproof vests as part
of a project-based curriculum.

Going digital is easier and much cheaper than printing
the old school newspaper, and it lets student journalists
reach more readers. Aided by social media, these budding
reporters have also been making impacts beyond their
communities.
For example, in April 2017 a Kansas high school
principal had to resign after the school's student journalists questioned her education credentials and the story
went viral.
Rather than waiting for scheduled newspaper printing, students post real-time updates-including podcasts
and 360-degree videos-to school websites, free WordPress pages, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.
And readers-including educators and parents-no
longer have to wait weeks to get access to news, contests,
games and other updates, says Gary Lundgren, associate
director for the National Scholastic Press Association.
Students for years have produced videos on phones
and apps, so they are at ease using digital equipment to
communicate on various media platforms, such as YouTube. Learning to use more sophisticated video-editing,
sound-recording and design software-plus tools such
as Adobe's InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator-has
become an integral part of many journalism classes.
March 2018 61


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration March 2018

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