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PLUS-ing the platform!

Don’t let a school-bus program leave you in the dust. Emulate it!

PLUS-ing the platform!

Wi-Fi, internet access and a mobile device is all that is needed. A powerful combination and a perfect platform that enables the user to be just about anywhere to do their job. We can connect from the seat of an airplane, train, and even the automobile—as long as we’re not driving. And now add to that list, the school bus!

Districts in Northern Minnesota have internet-enabled their school buses so students that are travelling to school-sanctioned activities can keep up with their studies. What a great idea and what a great opportunity, but first they had to be ready.

Prior to connecting their buses, the district first needed a vision about the 21st century campus and how to get there! Looking ahead can be used to inspire as well as to plan and that is what the Nevis School District in Northwest Minnesota, and others in the upper Midwest, have done. Similar to the school district in Fargo, N.D., Nevis created the one-to-one initiative with the objective of placing a computing device in the hands of every student. Next came the re-design of the content delivery mechanism (electronic textbooks). This was followed by an extensive program of introducing the concepts and the vision to all of the educators for buy-in. Sessions were created to aid the educators in developing class webpages, online grading systems (as in Powerschool) and lesson plans; and for those who could not afford internet access, the district provides help here too.

After all of the preparation, the devices (a personal technology device) were rolled out over time to the students and now they are “on the bus”! All of this brought together by a plan that was preceded by a vision. A vision that recognizes that Wi-Fi, internet access, and a mobile computing device makes a perfect platform and a powerful combination.

Districts and classrooms are being transformed by technology as much as Walt Disney transformed family entertainment. His famous directive was not just to make it good, but to “PLUS IT!”—beyond good. Make it exciting he did and now schools are doing it too.

Success is based on good planning, hard work, and innovation! What is your institution doing to PLUS your banking platform and enhance the customer experience? All you need to go for the ride is Wi-Fi, internet access, a mobile device and an innovative plan!

The Wombat!           

Dan Fisher

Dan Fisher is president and CEO of The Copper River Group, a consulting firm headquartered in Fargo, N. D., that focuses on technology and payment systems research and consulting for community financial institutions. For nearly 30 years, Fisher has worked in the financial industry using technology to improve the bottom line. He was CIO of Community First Bankshares (now part of Bank of the West), has served as a director of the Federal Reserve Board of Minneapolis, the chairman of the American Bankers Association Payment Systems Committee, and was a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America Payments Committee. Fisher has written numerous articles on banking technology and the payments system. He has authored or co-authored six books and recently published a book titled, "Capturing Your Customer! The New Technology of Remote Deposit." You can contact Fisher at dan@copperrivergroup.com.
P.S. To understand Dan's nickname, check out "About the Wombat" on his website.       

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