The Digital Connection

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Students at Ombudsman do the vast majority of their work online during half-day sessions.

Photo by Michelle Kanaar

Students at Ombudsman do the vast majority of their work online during half-day sessions.

Then – 1995

DuSable High School made news in March 1995 when it became the first CPS high school to acquire its own high-speed Internet connection. Funded by a grant from NASA and with support from the University of Chicago, the school connected to the web with a T1 line. The federal E-rate grants helped most CPS schools obtain basic access to the Internet and by Spring 2006, all CPS high schools had a faster, Ethernet connection. Yet schools struggled with insufficient equipment and inadequate tech support.

See Winning the Race, Catalyst September 2006; and Digital divide among CPS students, schools: study, Catalyst April 2013.


Now

Google Chromebooks and iPads are now the norm in CPS elementary and high schools, and CPS has migrated to Google for all staff and student accounts. And unlike the old ISAT paper tests, the NWEA and PARCC exams are administered online. This raises questions of fairness if technical problems interfere with students’ ability to complete the exam.

On March 24, Catalyst and the Union League Club of Chicago will host a forum on “Teaching and Learning in a Digital World.” John Merrow, the education correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, will bring his new film and then join leaders inside and outside CPS, as well as the audience, in a discussion of the opportunities and challenges. Details and registration.


Next

As increasing amounts of student data are stored on-line, will CPS be able to protect student privacy?