Tech Report

Date: January 20, 2010
To: Michael Green
From: Steve Rippl
Subject: Tech Dept. Executive Summary

We've added more computers to a couple of classrooms this month. Both Joe Bosch in the Middle School and Kim Knudson at the Intermediate got an extra 7 or 8 computers each. It seems that just having one, two or three computers in a room can be a little useless, in that it is hard for a teacher to rotate all their kids through them in a reasonable amount of time. A consensus seems to be emerging that having at least a third to a half of a class in computers makes them much more usable in everyday teaching situations. Both these teachers got our Linux based thin clients, which meant we could either use new low-cost, low-powered nettops or much older hardware (the donated machines from Vancouver for example).

Mo Anderson's data for the Intermediate School is now in our new system, and as we approach another round of CAST right now, we're just tweaking the initial setup so that they have the reports that they need. I've also since spoken to the Middle School counselor Kelly Sloniker, who would also like to get on this system. I hope to be able to present what I have to Admins soon to look for additional guidance on where we want to take this.

Another piece of this new system we're just working on right now is on-line registration; primarily for next years Kindergarten. The hope is to provide on-line registration forms that parents could fill out either at home or in School. A paper version is printed and signed for our records, but hopefully a portion of the data could be automatically imported into SchoolMaster (once looked over and approved). We're working within the constraints of what SchoolMaster provides for importing, but I hope to be able to make things easier for the Primary School secretaries.

And finally (after twice receiving the wrong software from Dell) we have everything in place for the new Exchange server, including a means to back it up. Right now we're in the process of moving staff over so we can very soon retire the old server! Then we'll be in a position to start supporting people's iPhones (not the reason we did this, but a popular one none-the-less!).