In this episode of the Horizon Room Open Mic Sessions, Host Chris McMurray, Chief Academic Officer at the Learning Counsel and Guest Hosts Carla Burkholder, Director of Technology at Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD and Derick Brown, Senior Director of Technology Operations at Portland Public Schools talk about selective App and Process Retirement to lesson the burden on K-12 Administrators.

According to McMurray, “2000 is the number of discrete apps being used in school districts today; of that number, 300 are actually known by the IT and or the teaching and learning department to exist and to be used within the system, which means 1700 apps within that same system are feral. They're running around like rabbits out there, and they might even be multiplying like rabbits. But what's scary is that represents 1700 budget redundancies. It represents 1700 security breaches, potentially. It represents 1700 opportunities for a student to be using a disconnected resource.”

“Today,” McMurray continued, “I'd like to tap our two experts on today to discover what are some of the solutions? How do we start to sift through the stuff that we've already added and get to a place where we're really efficient and we're streamlined and we're doing the job in a mindful way.”

“First of all, these applications absolutely must be aligned to the curriculum, Said Burkholder. They must be aligned to the district strategic plan, the district goals for instruction. They cannot be if they are not vetted by the district. The other most important thing to me is security. Again, it goes to vetting. When you vet those applications, you've got to pay attention to their privacy policies and to their data sharing policies. For us, a solution is that we have a process and we require our vendors who collect any kind of student data to sign a data privacy agreement. And we are extending that to include not just student data, but any personally identifiable information.”

“I completely agree,” said Brown. I think the biggest challenge and opportunity that a school district has is the appropriateness. It's having those frank conversations about, does it align to the overall district's strategic goals, curriculum goals, academic goals? Start there. That conversation has to be led at the highest levels, beginning with the superintendent and chief academic officer.”

This is a conversation that virtually every district needs to have right now. In this Horizon Room session, you’ll learn new strategies to take you from many to plenty, cutting out the excess and while doing so, reducing the risk and creating a better, more efficient learning environment for your students.