Technology Director Report
To: Michael Green
From: Steve Rippl
Date: November 18, 2016
RE: Tech Dept Executive Report
The data integration with Clever that I talked about last month was a little more complex than they initially led us to believe it would be, but it is now up and running and serving data to the new communication tool Sangha that K-4 are starting to use. The default integration that Clever provides didn’t pull enough details, for example not including both guardians for a student, but we were able to overcome this by customizing the upload process. The benefit for all this will really be felt shortly as we’re now talking to i-Ready about automating roster uploads to them, and they can use Clever as well. This should make the upcoming process pretty straight forwards. There are also further potential rewards in the way of “single sign on” for staff and students (using their Google credentials to get into i-Ready, Apex or Pearson), but one step at a time!
More Chromebooks are on the way! The District is matching building funds to purchase more carts as demand for them is high. I haven’t worked out the details with Principals yet, I’m doing a little research on hardware first. Google is on the verge of allowing Android apps on School managed Chromebooks, and I believe this is spurring a new generation of hardware with touch screens and possibly accelerometers (to detect movement). It’s still very early days, but if we have the opportunity to get in on this with the next round of laptop purchases, we may want to. We’ll be talking to vendors to see what they have coming out soon.
Because of the increase in wireless devices in use, the “density” of our wireless network is becoming an issue. We have wireless in pretty much every corner of the District, but how many clients can be supported in a small area (like adjacent classrooms) is still somewhat limited. We’re putting extra access points out now to patch certain areas, but we’ll be looking at a larger scale project next summer to significantly increase this, hopefully utilizing E-rate funding support.