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Technology Director Report

 

To: Michael Green

From: Steve Rippl

Date: October 19, 2016

RE: Tech Dept. Report

 

Things have settled right down after the start of the year, the helpdesk backlog has been cleared and we’re into our usual rhythm of being able to get help to our staff pretty promptly. Overall I think it was a very smooth start. Despite the inherent complexity and change involved with technology the District is in a reasonably stable period at the moment, and we’ll endeavor to keep simplicity and ease of use in the forefront as we continue to evolve and grow.

The high school and TEAM will be involved in State testing again shortly, and so we’re updating the client software and making sure thing are up-to-date and ready. This is an example where we’re enjoying more stability, as the State has now stuck with the same provider of that software for some time and so we know what to expect!

We make use of a number of third party companies to provide software services to us, Follett, Pearson and i-Ready to name just three, but there are quite a few more. How we get data to them has varied, some have direct access to Skyward through WSIPC, others we have to send regular files to in a secure manner (called sftp). Now there is a company called Clever that is trying to streamline that process and be the consistent bridge between school data and 3rd parties. We’re using them for the K-4 rollout of the communication tool Sangha, and also soon for i-Ready data integration. It’s still a little early to say how effective this is, but it certainly has the potential to be a useful service, especially as they offer the option of login support through our Google accounts. If this works it will mean staff and students could log into a number of these 3rd party services with their regular Google credentials rather than needing separate usernames and passwords for each, we’ll see how it works out!