Replacement Computers, MS Office, Windows 7, Cable Rehabilitation Project, Phone Upgrades, Educational Video Library, Data Center Upgrades
The first 276 replacement computers were delivered to Summit High School the week of December 18, 2009. The staff at Summit prepared teachers and staff members really well for the upgrade, and the campus support team did a great job of coordinating their efforts with the vendor.
Other schools scheduled for desktop replacements during Phase I include Charlotte Anderson, J.L. Boren, Glenn Harmon, Alice Ponder, Tarver-Rendon, Willie Brown, D.P. Morris, Cross Timbers, Mary Orr, T.A. Howard, Rogene Worley, and Brooks Wester.
Teacher computers will be provided to teachers, including special education, ESL, librarians, and reading specialists. Student computers located in labs will be replaced according to the district standard:
Multipurpose Computer Lab Standards
|Campus Type||Computers/Lab||Number of Labs|
Our Help Desk crew continues to complete Microsoft Office installations remotely as needed. Please put a work order into eduphoria (eduphoria.mansfieldisd.org) if you still need MS Office 2003. Be sure to include the IP address so that they can help you as quickly as possible.
Licenses were allocated for prior year TTCC laptop recipients. Although a few dozen have been repeatedly contacted, they have not responded. The final appeal went out before the break. At this point, we are making plans to use those licenses in other instructional settings.
As you know, Office 2003 continues to be installed on computers in the district. The district standardized on 2003 because virtually all of our computers in the district can run it, and it has a low learning curve because it’s been around for several years. Our Technology Applications curriculum (K-8) by learning.com, is designed around menu options that are similar to the Office 2003 layout, too.
Implementation of Office 2007 is likely to take place within the 2010-2011 school year. We are in the very early stages of the planning process.
This new operating system has received favorable initial reviews, and the department is conducting some preliminary testing.
Cable Rehabilitation Project
The district contracted with two firms to test cabling on 16 campuses over Winter Break.
We are not satisfied with the condition in which they left a number of our schools. In some cases, drops were not reconnected once testing was complete. At some schools, furniture was moved and not returned to its original location. This was not an ideal situation to return to after the break.
This is for principals: If issues for your campus related to this project have not been reported yet, please email Carolyn Gonzagowski with those concerns.
Some of the information provided by the contractors needs to be verified at this point, after which plans to repair cable can be made so that each classroom at these campuses will have an appropriate number of active drops. Depending on the location of drops within in a classroom, six to eight appears to be adequate. The feedback that we’ve received up to now is that four drops does not provide enough access for a classroom.
In addition to cable replacement, plans for the next phase of this project include installation of drops that will be needed for the initial phase of wireless upgrades.
Remaining Nortel phones at MISD campuses will be replaced with Cisco equipment this semester.
LightSpeed Update: Educational Video Library
LightSpeed is our content filter. Recent upgrades of this system make it possible to allow different rights for different users. When you log in using your Novell password, you have access to these new rights.
A feature of LightSpeed that the department is testing at BBCTA allows the district to create a library of approved videos from YouTube that can be accessed by students and teachers throughout the district.
Jan North and the Instructional Technology Team are developing a set of recommendations to help us make the most of these new tools and opportunities. We will keep you posted.
Data Center Update
The district is in the process of upgrading its data center so that it can provide better technology services to campuses. The build out of a temporary data stabilization room is expected to be completed by the end of March. This room will be able to meet the needs of the district while a more permanent setting is completed within the building. The timeline for construction of the permanent room is under development.
The greatest expected benefit for campuses once upgrades are complete will be more reliable service. The speed with which we can recover from a system failure will increase.
Another major benefit will be the ability to centrally manage the district’s wireless network. This means that we will be able to set up guest access so that students and teachers can bring devices from home to use safely within the district.
It’s important to note that campuses are not currently set up for guest access. Every access point in the district will need to be upgraded or replaced before guest access can be set up and centrally managed, and this will take time. We think that it will be worth the wait!