Thursday, January 9, 2014

January 2014 Tech Meeting

Technology Facilitators Meeting--January 7, 2014

 Video Creech

Kevin Sherrill:

New Tech Facilitators:  
  • Jonathan McMasters—Speas
  • Mike Kernersville Middle

Review of Technology Vision/5 Areas of Technology Plan

  • Poll Everywhere:  Text: 259947 to 37607
  • We do have a district license for poll everywhere and we can get help with that (see Anderson or Creech)
  • For less than 40 responses you can create your own account otherwise consider tapping into the district account

Thoughts/responses to the question:  What potential challenges do you see with Bring Your Own Device?

  • Should improve access to resources
  • Finding a comfort zone at the elementary level
  • Infrastructure in place first, then staff in place to support it all (full time technology Facilitator at every school?)
  • All about the teaching and learning
  • Kevin:  there is a business side with all the utilitarian things that require a lot of effort as well

Shared Services-Infrastructure and Centralized Service:Where are we with wireless infrastructure? (Charts/Graphs/Talk) Where are we and where are we going. (Carla)

  • From 2012 to 2013 to today, huge increase in the number of Access points.
  • Race to the Top Grant did not go through sadly--We were close (in top four but rural schools beat us out even though they were scored lower)
  • High Schools: allocation of funds from commissioners coming in late January focusing on High Schools because of the high use of Mobile devices there
  • Have funding to do one access point per classroom in high schools
  • Will start installing HS's in early spring
  • Also, 300 access points were purchased through EC, and they are starting on those now
  • Hobson:  concern about EC classrooms moving around? That can be an issue but might make EC less mobile as a result?
  • Pods—probably only a total of four access points out there because of thinner walls
  • Some Media centers are getting more via "Jackie Pierson money"
Shared Storage was covered in principal meeting the other day
  • Take a tour sometime of the data center
    • check with Chris Corbin
    • They have a yearly payment for the infrastructure ( $6500/month for 48 months)

·        What have we done with our Internet speed recently? (Kevin--did not specifically address this topic on the agenda)

Centralized Storage- (Chris Corbin)

  • 30 servers and host an additional 100 with virtual environment
  • Centralized server environment with a virtual environment—Blade server that has 48 processors with 512 GB of processing memory combined together to serve the district—tiered storage. 
  • Have about 65 Terabytes for the district for home folders, etc.
  • Thing like School funds, e-docs, sub finder, destiny, home folders, web portals, to name a few are all accessed from this one rack with over 100 virtual servers
  • The way our servers are set up makes adding new apps much easier

VOIP (Chris/Kevin/Carla) Status Update/Financing

  • We have an older PC problem in this district.  
  • Large number of windows XP machines which will no longer be served with security updates by Microsoft
  • We have a lot of old and a lot of new (13,000 laptops, and new desktops last spring added large number to the new pile)
  • Graph of windows versions, and the concern that windows XP not served anymore--See presentation for more graphs
  • If you have machines you plan on using but in storage, please log on soon so they can use in inventory numbers that they are looking at
  • End of life starts with Operating system and memory
  • Broke down graph of machines less than 1GB of memory, 1-2 GB, and above 2 GB
  • About a 20,000 machine problem. 
  • Need to have "A life Cycle plan" (refurbishing the old ones is too labor intensive).
  • Will start working with MTAC committee on developing a plan.

Will be allowing all students at all levels to bring devices this year!  Teacher Laptop Deployment Update (Carla) 

  • (about 2300 additional units are coming—image issue and delivery issue was reason for delay in deliveries originally scheduled for December
  •  Had delivered some of the lower quantities in December and then discovered image problem, and went ahead and started the re-imaging process
  • Starting tomorrow, you will get email and need principal or tech facilitator signature
  • Everything delivered in the next two weeks. Will send names from HR—only certified teaching staff.

Table Talk-How do we handle working equipment that is no longer wanted?

  • Older desktop equipment even though it might still be working just becomes someone else’s garbage
  • Nobody wants junk, and if you do, why?
  • Sending home is not a viable solution
  • Maybe sell them to Goodwill/Government surplus?
  • Give them to the art department to make collages?  lol
  • See what other systems do?
  • Retire them is the word
  • Thin client and virtual machines at four schools?  What happened to that?
    • been better of late.  
    • Problem is data center and licensing will start to cost more money while PC and laptop prices come down
    • Would need more servers which costs more too
  • Jackie Pierson—There are limits on what stuff can go to who?  By school board policy has to include WSFCS children using it—have to talk to school system lawyer before stuff is just given away
  • What about WinstonNET?  They are good right now, not needing our oldest machines
Reminder of the leasing programs (13,050 laptops/1705 desktops on 4 year lease)
How PCs are purchased? Is it effective? CTE, PTA's,Bond Programs,Local Technology Budget,Title I,School Budgets

Should we continue buying desktops? Or focus efforts on mobile devices? (Table Discussion) 

  • Link to This Document:
  • Some teachers want larger screen—vision issues, entering grades with a number pad
  • Students prefer laptops, battery issues with testing on laptops after time?
  • Do we want all one thing?  Students need to know several environments
  • Content area can make a difference
  • K-1-2 with a tablet?  Others say the opposite
  • 15” laptops with a number pad for teacher
  • 3rd graders testing on laptops, won’t they need exposure to a device with a keyboard prior to third grade?
  • laptops are the best of both worlds? (Tablet and laptop)

What does a tablet/laptop give that a desktop doesn’t? What does a support and replacement model look like?

  • Students need to be prepared for several devices
  • What’s the configuration in the classroom?  Wall mounts with mobile devices?
  • Traditional workplace still has desktops
  • Kid’s world is "touch world" when they arrive at school in kintergarden
  • Using the surface tablet—similar to windows ?
  • Kevin not opposed to anything really…
  • Concern of Kevin: Giving up the option of Microsoft licensing if we use machines that don’t support those products (like Office, etc.)
  • Laptops cover more of what they are going to do—considering they have to “produce more stuff”
  • With High school school block schedule students have to produce products—laptops are more efficient for that
  • Charging station for kids who bring their devices
  • Kids still need office product expeirence in business, evernote and notepad are other things to consider
  • Does a Mouse become obsolete?
  • "We were married to a desktops and now ready to play the field?"
  • Expose kids to all of these tools is better?
  • Tablets easy for theft
  • Making students feel ownership for devices—better care for equipment when they are assigned a particular machine.
  • No one solution, but laptops could be a "basic solution"
  • Science teachers are currently stressing accountability for machines –we need to go with that model
  • Balance is overall trend in this discussion
  • Flex scheduling is needed for "labs" 
  • Tablets with detachable keyboards are the trend in ADS--something to consider
  • Touch screen laptops also a trend
  • Kevin:  Principals see a mix of everything needed too.
  • Starting to pilot devices testing x131-e, MS surface tablet, I-pad and Android.  
    • Will identify group of students and send home and test all of these
  • There is "heartburn" in terms of the support for all the different devices.
  • We also don’t know how exactly BYOD will play into this model.

BYOD/ MLC Program Kevin/Steven:

  • Responsible use agreement (RUA) will pop up on log-on for teachers/staff like the AUP but will have wording for BYOD.
  • All schools, students and staff will be able to BYOD
  • Students will have a hard copy to be signed by parents
  • Will be up to Principals and teachers to decide how to handle each individual situation
  • If you are a school who did not opt in on the program, your school can depending on the Principal decision and then a site based decision of teachers too
  • Don’t want teachers who have not had training to go full force into it.
  • Short of it is, we are becoming a BYOD district
  • Part of the agreement, is teachers are allowed to create accounts on behalf of students and parents can examine those accounts

Where are we now?

  • All schools wan links upgraded to 1 GB
  • Web filter prompt for credentials on personal devices that filter as if school device
  • Public wifi now at all schools
  • 2000 ipads in district now
  • Students in the BYOD program will get email as part of office 365—including sky drive and collaboration tools with documents, etc.
    • Will use first initial middle initial and last name and few digits of student number for their email address (can't just use student number because of security)
    • 4th grade and up will have email address, will require change to AD login

Some goals of MLC:

  • Enhance student learning through digital tools and Media literacy
  • Expose to many types of digital resources/devices
  • 22 schools go live first (those who have had training)
  • Teaching kids to think critically and create products
  • Teachers have a lot to learn from their kids (relinquish control)
  • Shift in pedagogy (the way we teach)
  • Kids not regurgitating content, but discovering and creating output
  • Classroom management issues
  • Reflection on practice
  • Community may not understand these needs, Example: a newspaper article with comments  about the "one to one teachers" (mcdowell) saying things like:  "why do they need these devices in our schools?"
  • Those in BYOD program have been through some 7300 hours of training
  • Phase in Plan:  meeting with staffs to go over forms
  • Community communication plan individualized by school
  • Working on parent information presentation (Michael working on) where parents will interact like students will in the classroom
  • Will examine communication methods, and reflect and won’t go forward unless community is on board.
  • There will be a School Board Presentation on Jan 14

Table Talk

  • What Potential Benefits/Challenges do you see with BYOD?  

    • Will send out the poll everywhere feedback to us
    • Digital Resources-Home base and Office 365

PRC 030 (Kevin) Money From the NC STATE Education Lottery

  • Share the plan with what we are doing with the money.  We received $577,000
  • Has to be used be June 30th
  • Bring those 300 BYOD teachers back for training for two days and paid substitutes
  • Science teachers can come back for two days (update on how thingsare  going? And expose them to MLC
  • Home base training
  • Hire a district based person—train and implement homebase products, school net and power school, lead home base teacher at every school
  • District technology staff development (Power School University)
  • Can purchase digital resources like Learn 360, destiny and then can re-budget funds in cases of items we have already paid for this year
  • Discovery ED verses learn 360?  possibly
  • There will be a pool of money for teachers to be able to get a sub and go to other buildings to see MLC it in action
  • Biggest piece of all this is staff development
  • This is guaranteed money for next year too!

eBooks (Jackie Pierson)

  • E-books have a variety of formats and are controlled by publishers
  • You want books that can be downloaded by a variety of devices
  • Destiny home page for IRC:
  • Media centers to have databases of eBooks
  • Two vendors for eBooks are:   mackin and follet
  • "Learner" publishes science eBooks
  • E-resources is what we need to be moving toward, managed through destiny
  • Jackie’s team is managing logins to online eBooks
  • Destiny has a Mobile APP, teachers can check out devices
  • Student Log-in to destiny: it is their student number and last name
  • Employees:  F and employee number and last name
  • In material type search you can search by electronic device

Leadership-Classroom Solutions:

  • sound, student response system, tablet, pc, doc camera, LCD
  • Purchasing Guidelines (standards, price list, site surveys, software purchase approval, requests for data)
  • Current Solution--Pictures from Smith Farm and Northwest
  • Video:  With Marty Creech—Classroom solution on district videos page:
  • Replaced document camera with ipad with apple TV hook up
  • Takes doc camera and gives you mobility
  • Also have from front row sound system
  • Works in Pods and Mobiles, it is very bright
  • Mounts 18 “ off the wall,
  • Lamps replacement cost is $67
  • Projector cost is 1700
  • Overall costs down by about $2000
  • Eliminates need to take down white board and painting, etc.
  • Drives cost down
  • Ipad with stand gives mobility and also use of apps of ipad
  • Stand tilt down
  • Ipad mini about $299 and stand about $100 combined it's cheaper than doc camera
  • Apple TV only used as mirror device, connects to public domain and puts concerns to rest about other uses of apple TV like hulu and netflicks
  • Perhaps we could do full school implementations with this model?
  • At a lull with current classroom solution installations, until we get past this decision
  • Table Talk-Design your own Classroom Solution. What would you include and not include?  Post comments to Share point doc:
Glad to see interactivity brought back to middle and High School
More substitute friendly
CPS and sound --principal must have buy in, otherwise not used
There have to be expectations of instructional use         

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