HISD’s PowerUp technology initiative is receiving national attention this week in Education Week’s 2015 Leaders To Learn From report, for “setting the bar for how to manage the digital transformation of a large urban school system.”
Superintendent Terry Grier and Chief Information Officer Lenny Schad are cited for their leadership on PowerUp, which combines a one-to-one laptop program for high school students with an all-encompassing digital “HUB” accessible to students, teachers, and parents for information, teaching, and collaboration.
The article also focuses on Chavez HS, whose students have embraced the laptop program that allows them to use the devices both in and outside school.
HISD was particularly singled out for its “methodical implementation plan” that has required extensive training of teachers and a commitment from students and their families about responsibility for the computers and how they are used.
Among the lessons that HISD’s experience offers, according to EdWeek, are:
- Collaboration between the superintendent and technology chief and the formation of an inclusive, in departmental project management team;
- Extending the initiative beyond emphasis on a device to include professional training, infrastructure, software, and digital content.
- Viewing the transformation as a broad culture change that requires time to implement successfully.
EdWeek produced this video on PowerUp: