Future-Proof Education: How Fort Bend ISD Transformed Learning with Sustainable Technology

Elementary student interacting with an alphabetical keyboard on a SMART board under the guidance of his teacher in a classroom.

The pandemic brought many challenges, but Fort Bend Independent School District (ISD) saw it as an opportunity to revolutionize the classroom experience. The district embarked on a mission to equip its educators and students with the best possible tools while staying on budget.

The district faced a crucial decision: invest in new laptops or desktops to pair with their existing SMART interactive displays, or seek an alternative solution to maximize functionality and cost-effectiveness. Through careful consideration, Fort Bend ISD discovered the advantages of SMART Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) modules, which offered the benefits of a brand-new Windows operating system at a significant discount.

This strategic decision marked the beginning of their journey towards sustainable technology, interactive learning, and enhanced cyber security across the district.

Upgradability: Keeping technology current

Fort Bend ISD recognized the importance of upgradability in providing a sustainable and future-proof educational experience. The introduction of SMART OPS modules allowed the district to maintain cutting-edge technology without the financial burden of replacing entire interactive displays.

By integrating these external OPS modules, each interactive display that was once considered ‘out-of-date’ was transformed into a fully functional, independent Windows operating system that also takes advantage of SMART Ink, educational activities, teaching tools, and manipulatives from SMART iQ software. This approach ensured that educators had access to the latest interactive technology, enriching the learning environment for students at a fraction of the cost of new devices.

The decision to adopt sustainable technology aligns with Fort Bend ISD's commitment to delivering the best educational experiences to teachers and students. The OPS modules provided seamless integration with existing SMART interactive displays, enabling teachers to create and present content effortlessly, tailor their teaching methods to the needs of their students, and foster an engaging and dynamic learning atmosphere.

How to become a destination district? Prioritize student outcomes.

At Fort Bend ISD, the focus is unwaveringly on the students. The district collaborates closely with teachers and learners to select the most suitable devices that support and enhance the educational journey. Their EdTech usage and choice to select SMART solutions are driven by the philosophy that technology should be an intuitive and supportive tool rather than an additional burden for educators. By integrating interactive displays, Fort Bend ISD empowers teachers to craft every learning experience into an engaging, exciting, and meaningful endeavor.

"The response from the teacher side has been overwhelmingly positive. On the IT side, I would say the rollout has just been easy… It’s freed up 15% of their time to go work on other things," says Chris Nilsson, Desktop Services Manager at Fort Bend Independent School District. This testament highlights the dual benefits of SMART technology: it simplifies IT management while enhancing the teaching experience, ultimately benefiting students.

Empowering educators through flexibility and autonomy

In the classroom, Fort Bend ISD teachers are the conductors of learning. Fort Bend ISD ensures that educators have the freedom and flexibility to create and manage learning experiences on the go. SMART iQ, the built-in education software, enables teachers to design and present content seamlessly, providing them with the autonomy to choose the best approaches for their students.

Interactive technology allows teachers to engage students actively, making lessons more interactive and memorable. By leveraging these tools, educators can cater to diverse learning styles, ensuring each student receives a personalized and impactful education. The ability to adapt lessons in real-time and incorporate various digital resources fosters a collaborative and inclusive classroom environment.

Training: Continuous improvement

Fort Bend ISD is committed to continuous improvement and professional development for its educators. The district leverages software such as SMART iQ and Lumio, which are familiar to teachers and conducive to professional growth. These intuitive platforms not only facilitate effective teaching but also evolve with the needs of educators and students. The district's emphasis on training ensures that teachers are well-equipped to utilize the full potential of the technology, thereby maximizing its impact on student learning.


Fort Bend ISD stands as a destination district, leading the way in the future of education through the integration of SMART solutions. By embracing sustainable technology that withstands the test of time, the district has created an educational environment where both teachers and students thrive. SMART's interactive technology and commitment to cyber security ensure that Fort Bend ISD can continue to provide exceptional educational experiences without compromising on quality or security. As Fort Bend ISD continues to pave the way for innovative education, SMART remains a steadfast partner, supporting the district's vision of excellence and forward-thinking.

In Fort Bend ISD, technology is not just a tool; it is a catalyst for educational transformation. The district's strategic approach to integrating SMART solutions exemplifies the power of upgradable technology and interactive learning in shaping the future of education. Through collaboration, flexibility, and a steadfast commitment to student success, Fort Bend ISD has set a benchmark for other districts to follow, proving that with the right tools and vision, the possibilities for education are limitless.

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