Best Technology Practices for School Districts in Washington State
K-20 Educational Network
The K-20 network is a high-speed, high-capacity network that connects colleges, universities, K-12 school districts and libraries across Washington state. Easy-to-access and dependable video services eliminate the challenges of geography and economy empowering students and educators to learn wherever they live.
Better than best practice, the K-20 network has institutionalized an equity of access for learning, and a level of administrative cost efficiency that schools now depend on to run the hundreds of data-based applications that support school operations. Fast, reliable video services eliminate the challenges of geography and economy empowering students and educators to learn wherever they live. The K-20 Network delivers on Washington state’s priority to make access to education affordable to all. More on OSPI’s K-20 network page.
E-rate Discount Program
Schools and libraries that apply for the E-rate discount lower the cost of Internet access, and telecom and network data services. A proven value and in high demand after 14 years, OSPI applies for the E-rate discount on behalf of all K-12 schools connected to the K-20 network. Washington state school districts have leveraged the E-rate discount to save millions of dollars on K-20 network connectivity and network infrastructure — the price of a ticket to 21st century life, work and education.
Policy, Discussion & Collaboration
K-20 staff call this interactive wiki Confluence because it acts as a crossroads for discussion, the work-through of new ideas, a place to post the activities of the K-20 working groups and an online space where technical staff can centralize policy and important documentation. It’s easy to share and participate here — the chat forums are open and accessible, the wiki format simple to learn quickly. A proven best practice for communication and collaboration, Confluence members keep the content rich and dynamic.
Regional Institutional Technical Units
State funding supports the K-20 network through highly skilled technical staff in Regional Institutional Technical Units (RITU) based in each ESD. They deliver direct technical support for the network and represent their ESDs on a working group that directs the technical, procedural, policy and fiscal components of the network’s K-12 sector. These highly capable units deliver fast and effective trouble-shooting on a large scale: last year RITU staff resolved 1,000 trouble tickets at the local level, which solved connectivity and technical problems for school districts across Washington.
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