As I’m sure you are aware, cybersecurity is increasingly becoming a priority for the Indiana Department of Education. In fact, technology directors are now being asked to evaluate their schools in the following areas (on their annual technology plan)...
It’s 2008 and you just deployed wireless access points in all the hallways and common areas of your schools. You apply a simple password and give it out to all the staff. Voila! You have a wireless-accessible network.
At this point, most IT staff were content with the setup. It was a simple solution to a simple problem. Device density was not an issue since most schools only had a handful of laptops or wireless devices. Every kid and staff member did not need to stream Netflix or Youtube throughout the day. It was easy. It was simple. It was the past.
The Problem: Time Management
Time management is a problem many IT departments face; often there is just not enough time to complete all the requests in the time they need to be completed by. This is especially true between the times of student registration and the first student day of school. The IT staff is burdened with making hundreds, if not thousands, of Active Directory user changes and new accounts. Active Directory serves as the central source of user accounts for a long list of applications including G Suite for Education, Microsoft Office 365, PIVOT, Canvas, Student Information Systems, Content Filters, and many more.
The Windows OS Lifecycle
Windows 10 is the next major version in the Microsoft Windows operating system family, seeing its initial release in July of 2015. As part of Microsoft’s OS lifecycle, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will stop receiving updates and support in January of 2020 and 2023, respectively. In addition, 7th Generation CPUs from AMD and Intel are already requiring Windows 10 for driver compatibility, so anything released after early 2017 excludes compatibility with the earlier OSes. Since Windows 10 has matured considerably since the initial release, and with the end of life of Windows 7 less than a year away, it’s definitely time to begin migrating!
"No one can whistle a symphony alone. It takes a whole orchestra to play it."
This is the third post of a three-part series about ways to strengthen communication between technology staff team members within your school district. Be sure to check out our first and second posts for more great ideas for facilitating communication between teachers and techs.
Effectively communicating with co-workers can sometimes be a challenge. Despite our best efforts, sometimes we say one thing, but others hear something different based on our tone, facial expression, or body language. When you are a technician, face-to-face communication may not always be possible, so it is even more important that you say what you mean, clearly and concisely so there are not any misunderstandings. Reminding ourselves of these things will help keep everyone on the same page and facilitate successful communication among team members.
This is the second post of a three-part series about ways to strengthen communication between technology staff and educators within your school district.
The answer to the question in this post title may seem obvious: the tech team helps teachers by fixing their technology, right? Yes, that's true, but I would like to look at ways we can go beyond basic fixes. How can we make the process of repairing technology more efficient? Less painful? As I mentioned in the first post, the key to making this happen is effective communication.
Patience, empathy, and word choice are very important when techs are sharing information with teachers. Computer techs must be skilled at communicating simply and clearly, both on the phone and in person. Here are some ways to create awesome correspondence from techs to teachers.
Yes! Effective communication is the key that helps you deepen your connections to others and improve teamwork, decision making, and problem solving. It enables you to communicate even negative or difficult messages without creating conflict or destroying trust.
When you hear the word ‘key’ several words may come to mind; lock, unlock, guard, protect. Communication has been important for years. We have gone from telegrams and the Pony Express to USPS (or "snail mail" as it is called today), email and IM. It has gone from taking months or days to instant answers to questions you have. In order to have effective communication you need to understand the keys that unlock those doors.
In this blog series, we will look at ways to strengthen communication between technology staff and educators within your school district!
We’re often asked by schools whether or not they’re fully prepared to deploy a 1:1 solution for students. Your district may be thinking, “What kind of devices do we use? How will we integrate these devices in the classroom?” Both of these questions require careful thought and planning.
Another question we’re often asked is whether or not a district’s network infrastructure is fully prepared to handle a 1:1 solution. You may be thinking, “Aren’t those the boxes with flashing green lights on the ceiling?” Yes, that is partially correct. The network infrastructure does consist of boxes with flashing lights, lots of wires, and even invisible radio waves flying through the air.