Case Study
San Diego Unified School District
San Diego, California

Equity in Education: Leveraging Technology to Better Serve All Students

by Jenni Ottum

April 6, 2021


As the second-largest district in California, San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) has more than 100,000 students enrolled across its 181 schools. SDUSD is also one of the most diverse districts in the state, serving low- to high-income neighborhoods and everything in between.

As such, equity is a critical issue. Being a 1:1 district makes equitable education possible by providing devices for every student from Pre-K through 12th grade, as well as outfitting classrooms with technology that enables teachers to deliver better learning outcomes.

Customer Challenges

Having devices in kids’ hands became even more of a priority when the coronavirus pandemic forced the district to close its schools in spring 2020. Socioeconomic differences within the district meant that administrators had to be diligent about ensuring that every student had equal access to education, no matter what their new learning environment looked like.

SDUSD leaders also needed to plan for the eventual return to in-person instruction. According to Derek Suzuki, SDUSD’s Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, the district intends on implementing hybrid learning models, which require the use of different technologies compared to those needed for a fully remote learning environment.

The Solution

Trox partnered with the district’s technology team, providing consultation and devices – such as webcams, stands and audio equipment – to support teachers who will simultaneously instruct students in the classroom and at home.

Summative assessments have been challenging in a remote learning environment. SDUSD relied on advice from Trox’s team of experts to find new ways for teachers to authentically assess their students, particularly during synchronous Zoom sessions. SDUSD purchased a Pear Deck license, which enables teachers to build assessment features into Google Slide presentations. Such features include the ability to post questions, collect answers and display responses in real-time, providing better feedback for educators and students alike.

As SDUSD looks to the future, administrators want to continue leveling the playing field for learners while helping teachers create lessons that will raise test scores and better prepare students for college and career. The technology team is looking at Trox’s suite of remote learning essentials – not just for instruction but also for reaching parents and guardians who cannot attend school meetings, as well as students with an Individualized Learning Program (IEP) or those in special education. The district also plans to utilize learning management systems to facilitate asynchronous learning and archive lesson materials.

"The guidance that Trox provides is crucial to helping districts like ours understand what is possible to meet our toughest technology challenges. Without the cooperation of Trox and our local Wi-Fi and hotspot partners, it would be impossible to provide the technology and connection needed to learn in a remote setting.”

Derek Suzuki
Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, San Diego Unified School District


Improved 1:1 Implementation
SDUSD first rolled out its 1:1 initiative 12 years ago. Trox came in as a partner as the district began its second phase and enhanced the experience with devices for teachers and interactive whiteboards, among other tools.

Convenience and Peace of Mind
The Trox SHIELDSM Protection Program helps SDUSD protect and extend the life of its devices until there’s sufficient funding to start a refresh cycle. As a public entity funded by property taxes, the district can prove its value to stakeholders, which is especially crucial as budgets continue to tighten.

Relationship Building
The district launched its STEAM initiative, and administrators visited the STEAM room that Trox designed. District leaders felt confident that Trox could support the curriculum with its collaborative learning solutions. Trox also provided the technology team with solution demos to see which products would best meet their needs. SDUSD continues to work with Trox to outfit classrooms with technology that supports the needs of all learners.