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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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 last year.
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...
"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!