Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tech Meeting February 24, 2011

Marlo Gaddis—Meeting last weekend at Kimmel Park elementary school on Promethean Boards went well (This was advertised on the TBT)

School Wires:

  • Things are still better than we were a month ago.
  • Continue to send in a ticket (the more that come in with the same problem then it raises the level of concern)
  • Some are seeing the following issue: User Options and sign in, and the message that the “server is not operational
    • Tell Teachers to keep hitting the “sign-in” button and they should get in…or make sure the actually click on the sign in button as opposed to just hitting enter.

Surveys and Forms should now be working!

Bully Patrol survey is now on every website under Quick Links: This is a district wide form, make sure to make any other bully forms inactive.
  • Format for the e-mail that gets generated by the form…is a little “cramped” they are working on that issue..
  • The e-mail is set to go to: Only two people per school: Principal and SRO (has to be cleared through Kenneth Symington (e-mail says it comes from Marlo Gaddis)
  • Now, the email function is working, SPAM had been catching all the e-mails now, it shouldn’t be.
  • Webmasters--Don’t make any changes to the bully patrol survey, don’t add any names. We do have access since it is on our site, but do not change!
  • There will be a bully patrol on the district site at some point; but currently, no one wants to claim the e-mail for that yet.
  • Marlo, is sorry for the delay in that form getting out…
  • If you go to site manager—then Overview section of the homepage
  •  There has been a problematic issue with home page pictures—there is a new method (Marlo sending out a message to webmasters about it today )
  •  If you did not follow directions, and did not load pictures, then your main page pictures will be blank
  •  Full Proof way –Marlo handed out directions…
  •  From Site manager,
  •  click on Overview
  •  Rotating images app
  •  They took the file library function, and applied it here
  •  click on “new file” button
  •  You can edit ones that are already loaded…but you will have to download and re-upload
  •  File name is just for your reference, and will not show up anywhere but in the name
  •  Description –anything you type there will show up in the black box below the picture.
  •  Author: You can paste a link in that field to link that picture somewhere
  • Select file to upload, must be saved locally (If you want to use files currently in the files and folder, you will have to download and re-upload)
  • Pictures--should be 640/265 or smaller—some really good online editing sites to do that—and Marlo will post in the TBT this week…(such as )
  • You can do a start and end date to specify when the picture will display.
  • Take pictures landscape and make sure you leave room for the zooming effect.
  • Friday, March 11th this new method will go into effect 
Right now if you go to:

and Home Page FLASH FOLDER

  • You will see the picture files currently displaying on your page.
  • No limit on the number of pictures…But, Marlo suggests three or four pictures…chances are people will not be in the page for that long…
  • You could make certain pictures active and inactive depending on the time of the year.
  • You do have the ability to sort—hopefully that changes the order in the rotating images.


  • Still getting questions from teachers who bookmarked their old site…People are still editing in the old and it does not show up in the new.
  •  Make sure their address does not have c1 (for centricity 1) in the web address—that’s the old site
  •  Safest way is: to go to the district site and log-in and go to edit from there.
  •  The shortcuts/links on desktops to school homepages should be fixed soon
  •  Teachers ability to push to other calendars should be coming soon…You now have the ability to make collections but Marlo has not tested it yet.

Way to Comment on a blog…go to “advanced settings/app optoion/social settings”—never have comments go live without approval…

Community Editing—allows you to turn anything into a WIKI—then you have two more tabs—Community Editing rights…for TEACHERS (not students yet)

Steven Anderson, Melissa Edwards, Sam Walker (Presenting at NCTIES--location 306-C concurrent session #4)

Side note from Steven: On-line Professional Development Catalog from Learn NC ( )—Pick one up…for those teachers desperate for tech credit

  • Safety and Surviving in a Social Media World: Learning in a Connected 21st Century School Community…
  • There are several policies that already govern appropriate behavior.
  • Allison Tomberlin, is the General Counsel for our School District now
  • Did you know 4.0?—We watched that video (it’s on YouTube
  •  Highlights: Google digitizes a 1000 books an hour (Google scholar)
  •  There are now more cell phones than computers in the world now.—look at the Middle East protests—are banding together with social media—means Social Media is very Powerful
  • We need to teach our kids how to do this—handle social media appropriately!
  • Technology should be integrated in all subject areas—and using social media needs to be a part of that.
  • Kimmel Park maybe the first school in the state to include social media as a component of its SIT Plan
  • First did a survey and asked some basic questions about Social Media (They got 804 responses)
  • Found from the survey results…94% have access to computer…91 % with internet access wither at home or family or community location. 66% say they don’t have Face book accounts..
  • They talk about rules Rules for Home Use:
  • What is Web 2.0?
  • interaction with the content…
  • People can now take control of what people are saying on-line
  • People did not really know what web 2.0 was.
  • Melissa—focus is to show ways you can positively involves students and people in the web 2.0 world…
  • Dangers: bad content, cyber bullying, inappropriate content, BUT we have been Chris “Hansoned” to death (referring to the Dateline NBC guy who talks about the online predators…. FYI, 99 percent of sexual molestation happens from a family or friend not from on-line contact.
  • Having access to real time information is critical.
  • Most popular social network for kids--webkinz, club penguin, Neopets
  • “How America Works”: manual/routine tasks have gone away, abstract tasks keep going up—using social media gives our students the skills they need.
  • Kimmel Park added a SIT goal of the need for students/teachers to look at social networking from a point of view of educated safety.
  • Faculty needs to model the proper use of internet resources.
  • Kimmel Farm is a PBL school and will use that to address that to control your digital footprint (a trail left on the internet)
  • Need to teach kids to control their digital identity from an early age. And protect others too (not expose their friends) .
  • Technology skills curriculum applies to everyone.
  • Book –“Digital Citizenship in Schools” is a basis for the areas of focus.
  • Lessons to keeps students safe…
  • live binder on all of this—on kimmel farm website:
  • Edmodo is a great platform for training kids on social networking..

 Bill Park is here from community Center development/Winston Net:

  • They have had several Saturday classes going…
  • call 703-4138 to set up a class
  •  New Flyer –On Free Computer Classes for Adults…

Kevin Sherrill—Updates

Carla Miller—Surplus pickup time is here again  Equipment that is no longer in working condition.—On the web portal there will be a folder that you will need to fill out—information for tech facilitators/request for information:

  • This will be published by Monday  for spring 2011
  • You must check the spreadsheet out and (notice the green arrow showing that it is checked out) by 3/14
  • As much information as you can possibly list the better (serial numbers especially with computers)
  • Then, check in the file again so Carla can see it.
  •  She will give you about two weeks—around March 14th—must have spreadsheet submitted.
  •  Not using the same company for surplus pickup—they are working on another process for TV’s but they are not part of this surplus. Goodwill only take working TV’s—EMAIL Carla and cc CL…
  •  They will take laptop batteries, and non-working overhead projectors.
  •  Email Carla if you are not sure your spreadsheet gets submitted.

KEVIN: technology is working with maintenance to try and combine systems—they are meeting weekly to offer better support for things like TV’s…etc. If you have TV issues at school. From now—all those issues need to start to use the ASSIST tickets for any of these concerns.

  • There is a two year warrantee on the LG TV’s and Kevin is looking at an extended warrantee on those as well.
  • Ticket type is HARDWARE/Category has been added for TV Monitor
  • On replacements, Reagan has like 50 TV’s that are no longer used (because they were outfitted with the new classroom solutions)…decision was made to leave the old ones in place until others are needed to be replaced at other schools. The classrooms are essentially storage facilities for these TV’s that will be used when others breakdown.

Trend Micro-Update: Buddy has a visual aid.

  • They have been updating to Core Protection Module—rolled out to over 20,000 machines
  • Some things they have been learning…older machines with lower memory. are not “playing pretty” with updating the “Core protection module”.
  • Laptops that come in are sometimes having trouble updating on wireless…Don’t forget that laptops are disabled from logging after 90 days if they are not brought in…May have to plug them into Ethernet to do the update quickly.
  • Need 512 MB of Ram for this to install properly. Try adding memory to old net vistas. Or re-imaging them…or both.
  • Just remind teachers to bring laptops in and log on preferably with a wired connection.
  • If you see the broken line, you might try installing from AICP, it will say Core Protection Module after it installs correctly.
  • Core Protection does stays “active at home” …
  • Sandy Holt: Is there a way to tell which machines in your building do not have the update? Buddy will check into that…
  • Document from Chris: Troubleshooting guide with steps to do : under technical documents on the web portal…

  • Windows 2000 machines—there are still about 200 in the district…issues with them and the Core Protection

School Servers: Kevin:

  • Space/storage issues, and they have come up with a proposed “server virtualization process”:
  • Data Center over the summer was new…
  • “Vitualize”: means “vmr”-ware” allows you to take physical boxes and share hardware resources among many. They have four physical boxes running 48 servers—housed on 1 equipment rack.
  • Planning is proposed for now since funding issues remain an issue. All agree servers will not last forever, and there is a NEED.
  • Buddy: current school server model…7 years ago they were new, but keep adding applications, but now you have kids doing all kinds of social networking that has to distribute many more IP addresses. Only allow 1200 per V-lan—they are getting full…We are at the point the “world does not fit in our servers”.
  • DNS service—makes it so you can go to google without having to go to a number—it’s a database service that uses memory on the server that allows that webpage to come up (DHCP) All our print services, home directories, etc. come from the DHCP
  • There are also power costs considerations that support us getting new servers, hard drive replacement costs are high too, etc.
  • So, the plan is to take /migrate all 76 physical servers out there to these virtual ones, and can consolidate to ten domain controlled servers. We will use ten virtual servers…To manage all school servers.
  • All applications will be run from one application server.
  • Home Folders and Staff Share/Student Share folders will be hosted on another server
  • We will be asking teachers to move all data to local flash drives so when the move happens it will be “clean”--More information on space on servers:
  • V drive is the “previous versions” drive…
  • The Ping Pong—Desktop management is going "bye bye"…When new move—the windows 2008 will manage all the resources—no longer the ping pong :)
  • Teacher and hopefully student quotas will be increased as well
  •  Power consumption will be decreased.
  • This will be labor intensive—over the summer—servers will be shut down—will have to put some kind of limit on office staff—can not have un-limited space for office staff.
  • Another draw back will be reliance on the WAN connectivity.
  • May have less drive mappings, but will be more consolidated (so there may not be a K drive but it might be part of the S drive.
  • Pilot schools will be chosen to test—printing across the WAN

  • Internet Speed has improved from earlier this year when School Wires was so slow
  • “Boot storm”: happens ever morning with the SSO…and slows down log-in times
  • They will provide the information to teachers when it is time to back up h drives

Betty Weycker: Bandwidth Report: Given to teacher Advisory Committee a couple of weeks ago, so you may have heard about this already:

  • Computer refresh and server refresh is keeping Betty up at night. She can not wait for the state and race for the top "cloud"
  • Bandwidth usage Report: we are up to nine times the band width usage compared to the average in the past:
  • https: is NC-wise bandwidth usage and it is showing a small percentage of total bandwidth--so we can't blame NCWISE for hogging the bandwidth
  • Unknown devices: things like laptops, i-phones, ipads that people bring into school and connect to the network may be hogging bandwidth.
  • Jefferson has 379 unknown devices –They are using the bandwidth…One problem is they know the code for the laptops…All it takes is one kid to know the code. Teachers have it too. 
  • Another problem is Betty can’t be "anti-Web 2.0…"
  • How to provide resources securely…She is going to explain to principals on Tuesdays…
  • This is not a “gottcha”—we have to get together on this. 
  • We pay for the bandwidth and people are essentially stealing it.
  • 19,000 unknown devices system widethat are hitting the network that are slowing the network down
  • Betty knows we have to learn how to allow for other devices. We can not allow teachers and students to get on the network with private machines at this time.
  • They have to change the web code for wireless access--going to have to go with a more secure code. 
  • If you know of purchases going to be made in your school, let Betty know. Just because the grants are out there does not mean you can use it on our network. 
  • Kevin—going to the more secure code that will be distributed through WPA2 wireless security.
  • The codes will not even be given to us.
  • Unknown devices out there: There will be new policy by the school board to not allow access to the network.
  • These numbers are just a snapshot on a single day. 
  • Kevin can give you more information—that is a log on the wireless

Parent Assist:

Charlie Cole has a background on NCWISE…

We are only one of three systems with Parent Assist…Charlotte/Winston are the only ones with live parent assist. They may not move forward with any other LEA’s on parent assist.

  • Attendance—unexcused codes –found that parent assistant—if there is not a code in there, under excuse then does not show in the detail. With the update, if they don’t put the code, then parents don’t see detail.
  • We still have teachers who are not “posting to parent assist” check box.
  • Parents then see the change in the average…
  • it’s ok to place future dates, but changes in the averages show on parent assist—if teachers preference as blanks count as zero then the change in average will occur.
  • Preference to check for rounding is also throwing some teachers off—they should have the check box checked for rounding.
  • The Null Column is the current year to date average of all assessments entered into NCWISE….current average is the average for the quarter.
  • Charlie can come out to do training….

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