To: Michael GreenFrom: Steve RipplDate: March 21st, 2016Subject: Tech Department Executive Summary
We had a very productive visit from Extron last month. Extron are the folks that make the AV units that control and distribute the audio and video in the high school classrooms, and they discovered that the units had been installed without the proper shielded cables which likely accounts for the “blinking off and on” that we’ve had numerous reports of. Ednetics have acknowledged this problem and are in this week to replace cables in three rooms (our worst affected) to see if that does indeed solve this problem.
Our Google Cohort has come to the end of its two year training with the ESD and Ridgefield. This is a group of eight teachers from across the schools that have been learning how to utilize Google tools in the classroom, and how to share that knowledge with their peers in the form of various staff trainings they have run within their buildings. Asha and I are currently working out our next steps to continue to increase the digital competence and confidence of all our staff, and to develop a solid digital learning mission statement and plan for the district. This core group of teachers will be key in helping us develop this.
A large part of the driver for this is the ever increasing accessibility of technology within the schools. We’ve just completed this year's State technology survey and we’ve increased the number of student computers from just over 1,000 last year to over 1,600 this year! Most of that is in the form of Chromebooks. State testing and the new high school are the main reasons for the large jump, but it does greatly increase the ability of teachers to use computers in their day to day teaching if they choose to.
Lastly, as we moved towards updating the school website front pages to make current news more prominent we took a slight step back to upgrade a bunch of the software it relies on first. The tools for web development move pretty quickly so this was an opportunity to not let it fall too far behind, and it’s resulted in a slight visual upgrade but more importantly better responsiveness to being viewed on smaller (mobile) devices. We’re also better placed now to keep the underlying server updated easily. Now it’s on to those front pages!