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CENIC Recognizes Irvine Schools for Leveraging High-Speed Broadband to Transform K-12 Education


CENIC announces recipient of 2019 Innovations in Networking Award for Educational Applications


La Mirada, CA & Berkeley, CA -- March 7, 2019 -- For leveraging the power of high-speed broadband to transform education, the Irvine Unified School District in Southern California is being recognized with the CENIC 2019 Innovations in Networking Award for Educational Applications.

Project leaders being recognized are: Terry Walker, IUSD superintendent; Brianne Ford, IUSD chief technology officer; and Harmony Briscoe, IUSD principal.

“IUSD is a model for other districts across the state who wish to implement far-reaching and high-impact technology strategies for their schools,” said Louis Fox, CENIC president and CEO. “By empowering students and teachers and increasing digital learning opportunities, Irvine is preparing students to be successful in the future.”

IUSD staff take full advantage of their 100-Gbps connection to CENIC’s California Research and Education Network (CalREN) to bring the latest technology to students and teachers in K-12 classrooms. Schools have replaced computer labs with “innovation rooms” equipped with advanced digital tools.

Students are coding in kindergarten, using green screens and stop-motion animation in third grade, and printing three-dimensional scaled models in eighth grade. In science labs, students wear 3D glasses and use a stylus to move and rotate objects, such as a human heart, on a screen. In art class, students create a sculpture in virtual reality and produce it on a 3D printer. Students can program robots, create action video games, and more.

With one-to-one access to laptop computers, students are able to extend classroom instruction through online learning. This personalized-learning approach enables students to set their own educational goals, develop knowledge, and assess their progress. Project- and technology-based curriculum have engaged students and improved learning outcomes. Teachers are able to act as connectors while students choose the projects that follow their interests, bringing out students’ natural curiosity and engaging them in meaningful, rich, authentic learning environments.

Irvine has long had a reputation as one of the top-performing school districts in the nation, and it continues to set the bar for California and the country by empowering the next generation of learners and redefining the learning environment. Situated in Orange County, California, IUSD serves over 30,000 students and their families in its 20 elementary schools, two K-8 schools, six middle schools, four comprehensive high schools, one alternative high school, and one early childhood learning center.

California has the most robust K-20 broadband network infrastructure of any state in the nation. The CalREN network was built and is maintained by CENIC on behalf of participating public and private research and educational institutions.  K-12 school participation in the network is managed by the K-12 High Speed Network program (K12HSN) under the California Department of Education.

The CENIC Innovations in Networking Awards are presented each year at CENIC's annual conference to highlight exemplary people, projects, and organizations that leverage high-bandwidth networking. The CENIC conference will be held March 18-20, 2019, in San Diego, California. Learn more and register to attend.

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