Technology Director Report

To: Michael Green

From: Steve Rippl

Date: January 17, 2017

RE: Tech Dept Executive Summary

 

Over the holidays we deployed some software updates on the staff computers, and some intermediate school teachers got new computers. We also replaced the server hardware for our District-wide firewall. It had been running for many years on some fairly low-grade hardware and had been coping with the gradual increase in workload as Internet usage rose. It was, however, time to proactively replace it before we hit a failure, and it does run faster as a bonus. We also networked the huge projector in the high school gym. It has had some problems, and because it wasn’t on the network, we couldn’t diagnose without getting up there in a lift. In getting it running again, we connected it at the same time to make future troubleshooting easier. LRA received some new Chromebooks in exchange for some of their older thin-clients. They wanted a few more laptops than they had because the staff and students like the flexibility the laptops afford in terms of where work gets done.

KWRL have asked us to help them with their website. The goal is to improve its appearance and make the information that parents need easy to find and access. As a part of that, we’re investigating their new route planning system and whether it can produce nice user-friendly interactive maps. If not we’ll likely build them ourselves in Google Maps.

i-Ready has now been switched over to getting its data through Clever, which means the buildings aren’t having to manually add new students and adjust section enrollments. With this change came the ability for teachers and students to get into i-Ready with their Google credentials, or a pre-printed “Clever badge” for the younger students (a QR code the student can hold up to the Chromebook’s webcam). There were a few teething problems initially but I think most have been worked out now, and it does promise to be very useful going forwards.