Upcoming changes in December

Here is a list of technology system changes that are in process that I hope will have a positive impact on our use of technology for instruction.

Current Initiatives

  • Policy Banners added to student computers
    • Each student computer will display a policy banner that will display a message reminding students that computers are for academic use only.
  • Requiring students to rotate their passwords
    • In order to address a pattern of behavior, I am requiring that all students change their password as soon as possible, and to be educated on the importance of maintaining their network account’s security. This change process is being facilitated through comm classes.
  • Deploying managed print queues
    • Each site will have printer queues that will be easier for the adult user to set up, and will be applied to our print accounting system, known as PaperCut. Student devices will be automatically assigned to their classroom printer. The overall goal is to provide easy access to printing while observing print usage patterns in order to save money.
  • PCClient
    • This is an app that will be deployed to the staff laptops that will allow you to know your current print / copy quota. The quota will help us understand our printer / copier usage.
  • Guest Printing
    • Via PaperCut, our print management tool, we will be able to allow guest printing by uploading PDFs directly to the site copiers. This feature will be available shortly.
  • LanSchool – Teacher
    • We will be deploying a classroom device management tool called LanSchool to all middle school teachers by the end of next week. The app itself is called “Teacher.app” and is individually created for each teacher and is tied to their specific classroom. The tool will allow you to observe and manage the students’ activities on Mac laptops and workstations.
  • Testing Browsers
    • The tech team is in the process of replacing the old SBAC secure browsers, DNA testing apps and the NWEA MAPS secure browsers, in order to facilitate state testing. This work should be completed by the start of the new semester.

Outstanding Issues

  • Student websites
    • The student websites are not yet able to withstand 100% simultaneous use. Deploying additional resources has not yet solved the problem. This issue remains under investigation.
  • Student website password changes
    • Students are unable to easily recover their site passwords or remember them over time. I am working on building a tool that will allow authenticated teachers to quickly change a student’s website password, but this task will take a bit of time and testing.
  • Chromebook ripple effects
    • Deploying Ripple Effects to the chromebook platform requires a separate server that shares a common volume. This issue remains under investigation.
  • Staff configuration profiles
    • The mobile device management profiles are currently not working well enough for staff deployment, causing issues such as logging out while asleep and freezing, not enforcing screen saver locks, not allowing autofill, and more. This issue remains under investigation, and limits the tech team’s ability to address specific concerns on staff devices.
  • OS X Sierra compatibility testing
    • We are seeing issues with printing and the SFA Chromium app when staff upgrades to OS X Sierra. At this time, please do not upgrade to Sierra until we have resolved these compatibility problems.
  • Directory service exchange
    • We are replacing the old directory service, which is housed on a 7 year old server with a new cloud based server. At present, the old service handles staff wifi passwords, while the new one only handles print accounts. Further development is needed before the new service who can completely replace the old service.
  • Illuminate
    • We are nearing the end of our first semester in Illuminate, which means final report cards need to be developed, GPAs to be calculated, and transcript data to be validated.