NapaLearns, a non-profit dedicated to improving learning outcomes for children attending Napa County’s public schools,
In order to implement digital teaching and learning strategies and corresponding curriculum and assessments, teachers, students, and administrators need a reliable, high-bandwidth network. In addition, the districts are striving to attain a 1:1 device solution in every school and at every grade through district supplied or a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solution. Technology enablement is a critical priority for NapaLearns.
NapaLearns is committed to supporting the deployment of technology needed to create 21st century learning and teaching environments as well as productive and efficient administrative systems. Our goal is to seed-fund and evaluate innovations and then help the districts expand and sustain the solutions. NapaLearns also partners with districts to leverage private sector experts to build out technology-enhanced learning in all schools.
Technology solutions currently being deployed by the districts include:
- A robust infrastructure supporting all schools and district offices that supports 24/7 access to the Internet with the capacity to stream simultaneous data, voice, and video on demand to every office, conference room, classroom, teacher, and student.
- A cloud-based network to enable the use of online applications and content rather than textbooks and desktop installed software.
- A wireless network that enables digital devices to access the Internet from anywhere on the school grounds.
- Deployment of thousands of digital devices from iPads to Chromebooks to laptops with 1:1 solutions in many schools.
How NapaLearns Supports Technology Initiatives
In 2012, as many technology solutions were being introduced in the classroom, NapaLearns leaders recognized that the county wide and district level infrastructure was sorely in need of an upgrade. We formed a NapaLearns Technology Committee made up of all district and county IT leaders as well as amazing members of the Napa community who spent their careers as computer scientists and inventors, serial entrepreneurs, and information technology thought leaders and executives. Over the course of three years, with co-funding from NapaLearns, the district and county infrastructures were assessed, redesigned, and rebuilt. In 2015-2016 the districts will implement a new, robust network, enabling all students, in every classroom, as well as staff in administrative offices, to reliably do their online work.
Over the past three years, in addition to the activities of the Technology Committee, NapaLearns has supported county wide tech implementation in the following ways:
- Recommending new educational technology and digital device solutions
- Providing seed funding to pilot educational technology in the classroom
- Hosting cross-district teams to share best practices
- Offering technology workshops and coaching for teachers and administrators
- Preparing students to become Tech Ambassadors for their schools
NapaLearns Purchasing Consortium
In this unique program, NapaLearns partners with vendors such as Dell, Amazon, and Best Buy to use volume purchasing for technology solutions for the five districts and the County Office of Education. This enables the smaller up-valley districts and the NCOE to receive 40% or greater discounts when they purchase digital devices and other kinds of technology and software through NapaLearns. Over $2m in technology purchases have been completed since the program began in the Spring of 2015.