Technology in schools is ‘like a rocket ship taking off,’ Darryl Adams says

Near-ubiquitous connectivity in schools has “truly changed the landscape of what students are learning and what teachers are teaching,” says Darryl Adams, the retired superintendent of Coachella Valley Unified School District and honoree of the CoSN/EdScoop EdTech Time Capsule , in an interview with EdScoop TV.

That’s true across the board, including at Adams’ former district, where he implemented the “Wi-Fi on Wheels” program to help the California community’s most disadvantaged students — such as those living in mobile homes — get connected to the internet.

“Once they saw what the technology could do, it was like a rocket ship taking off,” Adams says.

Students in the district have taken that internet access to new levels, he says, by developing their own apps and setting up a technology support desk similar to Apple’s Genius Bar, where students replace the screens on devices and teach teachers how to use apps and other technology.

“It worked brilliantly,” Adams says of Wi-Fi on Wheels, which put wireless access points on district school buses and then parked the buses where students lived. “People just take to the idea of breaking down the barriers between us.”

Adams and his work at Coachella Valley Unified are featured in a newly released book by Ted Dintersmith , who appears next to Adams in the EdScoop video. Dintermith, a former venture capitalist and now education advocate, spent a year traveling across the U.S., during which time he visited school districts in all 50 states. He writes about his observations and experiences from the cross-country tour in the book, “What Schools Could Be.”

Learn more about Adams’ contributions to the California district, as well as which technology trends are on his radar:

What advice would you offer to others considering this type of project?

What edtech issues do you feel are most important for educators or technology directors to pay attention to this year?

What technology development over the past 25 years do you believe has been the most transformative in education?