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Saving Money While Spending Money

Posted by Josh Gates on November 7, 2018

One way to upgrade your school network infrastructure is by tapping into the dollars available via the federal E-Rate program that is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). E-Rate provides discounts to eligible schools and libraries in the United States in order to ensure access to affordable telecommunications and information services.

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Topics: E-Rate, technology

Top Cybersecurity Threats for K-12 Districts

Posted by Aaron Kovacich on October 10, 2018

With the availability of easily accessible attack tools, everyone is at risk - including school districts. New vulnerabilities and exploits are discovered on a daily basis. Incidents are on the rise and a substantial percentage of cybersecurity incidents involving schools are due to the actions of school staff and/or students of those schools - sometimes resulting in criminal charges.

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Topics: IT, technology, cybersecurity

The Importance of Cybersecurity for Your District

Posted by Aaron Kovacich on October 5, 2018

New network vulnerabilities and exploits are discovered on a daily basis.  The protection that was adequate just a few years ago doesn’t even come close to protecting your school district today.  Mid-sized and small K-12 districts used to feel a certain amount of safety in security through obscurity - meaning a feeling that you don’t have anything hackers want - they’ll leave you alone.

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Topics: IT, technology, cybersecurity

Device Collection: Not for the Faint of Heart

Posted by Jason Roseberry on June 1, 2018

Our techs and schools work tirelessly at the end of the year to ensure that device collection goes smoothly. Though they expect the occasional problem, they don't always anticipate the some of the conversations they have with their students and staff. In honor of the end of the year, we offer you the top ten comments our techs heard during device collection this year.

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Topics: IT, work, technology, support, 1:1

Considering eLearning for Snow Days? 

Posted by Lisa Cutshall on January 17, 2018

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Many parents and school faculty are looking for ways to keep the learning going, despite inclement weather closings and delays, as the snow days pile up.  eLearning Days offer an opportunity to avoid disrupted learning, develop digital communication and application skills, and keep those days from accumulating later in the year when everyone is ready for spring or summer break.  Be sure to keep these tips in mind when planning for some awesome eLearning with students:

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Topics: education, teaching, technology, elearning

Can the Tech Team Help the Tech Team?

Posted by Vanessa Eldridge on April 5, 2017

"No one can whistle a symphony alone. It takes a whole orchestra to play it." -HE Luccock

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.

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Topics: technology, technology in the classroom, IT, computer technicians, communication, teamwork, Managed Services

Can the Tech Team Help Teachers?

Posted by Vanessa Eldridge on March 28, 2017

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.  

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Topics: communication, technology, technology in the classroom, Managed Services, computer technicians, educators, teamwork

Can Teachers Help the Tech Team?

Posted by Vanessa Eldridge on March 8, 2017

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!

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Topics: educators, understanding, technology in the classroom, technology, problem solving, Managed Services

It’s Not Useful Till It’s Relevant…

Posted by Jenna Poe on May 25, 2016

 

I married into a farming family. We raise a flock of 600 sheep and farm corn, soybeans and hay crops. Today we use technologies such as high tech tractors with auto steering, drones, GPS, and selection control seeders. It wasn’t always this way; there are photos in my living room of Grandpa plowing the fields with mules. Back in Grandpa’s time, farming 50 acres was a full time work load. Today, we have the capacity to plant over 1500 acres in a week. Change in technology came quickly to the farming world, but like schools, many were not quick to embrace it.
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Topics: 1:1, educators, engagement, Integration Services, methodology, professional development, technology, technology in the classroom, Twitter

My Life With A Gamer

Posted by Nathan Davidson on November 13, 2015

The best part about my day is when I get home, walk in the door and hear the word “Daddy!” followed by a couple of cuddly little bear hugs from my kiddos.  Now, in my household, my wife and I have four children, ages 7 and 15 (yes…that’s two sets of twins for those of you keeping score at home).  Being in ed tech for almost twenty years, this is the perfect scenario for having my own little fishbowl for observing how my children use technology.  Bottom line is it’s changed over the past decade.

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Topics: Integration Services, communication, technology, balance, parenting