Some of the top Technology-industry leaders in the country came away amazed with what they saw in McAllen ISD recently.
Along with representatives from entities across the region, they visited McAllen ISD schools Dec. 6 to learn about some of the phenomenal things the district is doing regarding technology.
“I’m very impressed,” Dell Vice President Tom Burns said. “In fact, one of the (fourth-grade) students was showing me their list of presentations that they made. I told her she’s got a job when she graduates.”
Officials toured Lucile McKee Hendricks Elementary and Michael E. Fossum Middle School.
“School districts and universities will benefit from what McAllen has done,” Tom Wilburn, a vice president at Aerohive, said. “They (parents) should be glad that their school is state-of-the-art from a technology standpoint. They’re really at the leading edge.”
Dell and Aerohive joined officials from the City of McAllen, South Texas College, Region One Education Service Center and other school districts for the McAllen ISD Technology Showcase and Regional Training. It was co-hosted by Dell.
Dell provides switching and routing infrastructure plus firewalls and filtering for the district. Aerohive provides much of the district’s wireless infrastructure. The result is a seamless network that facilitates student learning. Much of the infrastructure was installed in the summer.
“Our end goal is to have a successful child,” McAllen ISD Director of Network Services Pat Karr said. “We’ve gone to a brand new solution that is much more robust and easier to manage and, at the end of the day, performs better.”
The idea stemmed from a discussion the district held with Dell. The tech officials want to see how their products are working for the benefit of students in McAllen ISD schools.
“My impression is how advanced the technology is in this school (Hendricks),” Wilburn said. “To see students that were programming was just completely amazing.”
This state-of-the-art infrastructure supports the thousands of individual electronic learning devices issued free to students. In McAllen ISD, students have the opportunity to use devices like iPads and Chromebooks. The district became one of the first school districts in the nation to provide devices for every student in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade in 2011.