Model District for Future-Forward Education: How Forsyth County Does It Right!

Bob Nilsson Director, Vertical Solutions Marketing Published 29 Apr 2019

Georgia’s Forsyth County School District is an education system that stays ahead of the game. Technology isn’t just a necessary part of the budget; it’s essential for enabling teachers, supporting students, and powering facilities. Their formal technology implementation program makes clear their commitment to continued investments in tech. Needless to say, support for an innovative approach to technology runs strong throughout the community.

Technology-Integrated Curriculum from K-12

It all starts in the classroom. The school system added 27,000 Chromebooks district-wide, increasing the number per classroom from four to ten. Students are encouraged to bring their own devices; BYOD is part of the network environment. Classrooms are also furnished with Clear Touch Interactive panels, which allow teachers to deliver adaptable, dynamic lesson plans. Furthermore, Forsyth conducts between 95-99% of all testing online, initiated by working closely with the Georgia Department of Education on a pilot state testing program. Make no mistake: Forsyth is a district gone digital.

The classroom isn’t the only place technology reigns. Forsyth’s facility operations infrastructure is largely digital, including their HVAC, LED remote-controlled lighting, video surveillance at the entrances, and network-connected locks.

Because Forsyth County is so reliant on technology, our mutual partner, Lockstep Technology Group, made the introduction to Extreme and recommended a network upgrade to support the countless connected devices and future innovation initiatives. With the Extreme wireless solution working so well, the district has been able to transition devices from wired to wireless connections, providing the same quality of service.

Given that they’re future-forward, it’s no surprise that Forsyth is always planning for more. A few projects in the pipeline:

  • Growing an eSports program
  • Extended robotics labs
  • Increased use of virtual and augmented reality

Support from a Forward-Thinking Community

“We’ve been very lucky that voters, parents, the district, and our board members understand the value of technology in education. This has allowed us to continue the technology implementation program we’ve instituted over the past few years.” – Sean Fowler, Security Operations Engineer, Forsyth County Schools

The ability to continuously update the technology and build a curriculum based on advanced capabilities is made possible thanks to the support of the community. The residents of Forsyth County feel strongly about supporting both education and the technology that’s required to optimize its delivery.

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When we chatted with Curt Godwin, network operations coordinator at Forsyth, he described his history with the school system since joining in 1998. “Forsyth County has long been known as forward thinking when it comes to technology,” Godwin said.

Use Case: An Elementary School’s Unique Use of Virtual Reality

Expanded use of virtual reality is on the radar for future investment, but Forsyth has already started teaching with it.

In one of their elementary schools, STEM teachers are equipped with MERGE cubes to give students a virtual experience with a myriad of scientific encounters. “In one of our STEM classroom at an elementary school,” Godwin said. “the students were looking at a human heart through VR goggles. The headset allows them to go through the heart, look at it closer, and see the arteries and ventricles pumping. Augmented reality can be used for students even at the elementary school level. It’s incredible.”

Forsyth County Schools is a true model for future-forward education. With technology integrated into every aspect of the curriculum, they continue making investments to improve learning for both students and teachers.

Interested in the whole story on the comprehensive network upgrade at Forsyth? Check out the case study or take a look at our blogs about their unique career academy, and how they manage their massive network.

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