Amber Hickman |
Texas City Independent School District (ISD) in Texas, USA, has invested in Microsoft 365 and Windows devices to better prepare students for the digital world.
Texas City ISD, which is responsible for nearly 8,000 students across 13 schools, aims to equip students with the skills they will need in the digital workplace of the future. After consideration, it opted to invest in Microsoft to ensure it could offer students the best devices, implement the most effective security practices, and easily incorporate learning technology into the classroom experience.
“If you do not use Microsoft products, you are not prepared for the workforce,” said Gina Covington, chief technology officer for Texas City ISD. “The other options do not prepare our students for the real world, and they don’t develop digital citizenship skills.”
After the district decided that Microsoft Education would be the right choice for its schools, the key stakeholders deployed Microsoft Surface devices to administrators, Microsoft Surface Go devices to early education students, and Hewlett Packard 360s to middle school and high school students. More than 10,000 devices have been deployed since the investment began and are maintained with Intune and Autopilot.
“We teach students how to use Microsoft 365 tools to set them up for success in their adult life,” said Hope Smalley-Jackson, a tenured business teacher. “For example, we teach them how to address and write an email, how to write a business letter and how to develop a presentation.”
Accessibility for all students is also a focal point for the investment. For instance, Hope’s curriculum also helps students with English as a second language by allowing them to use Microsoft Translator to help them learn in real time along with the rest of the class.
“If an educator wants an application or assistive technology, then we have a process in place to communicate with our instructional technology team,” said Covington. “The benefit of this collaboration is that we get consistency across campuses to make sure everyone is getting the same opportunity with a crystal-clear focus on the students and their outcomes in the future.”