Friday, May 9, 2014

May 2014 Tech Facilitator Meeting

Joan Proffitt’s notes

Personal commentary from John Downs:  

So after I left yesterday's meeting, elementary folks stayed and received the following news:

"Elementary TF’s stayed after meeting and Kevin announced new position/duties for TF’s. Position will be posted as 50% Tech Facilitator/50% Testing Coordinator. It will be a classified full time position Class 61 which will post for each Elementary School. Many of our TF’s are certified and would obviously not move into a Classified position. Decisions are still being made as to how we can avoid losing so many Certified people as our TF’s. TF’s should check with their Principals to see what the Guidelines are and how it will work at their school, as well as how it affects their current position. This will be implemented for the 2014-2015 school year for all Elementary Schools. It will be implemented for Middle and High Schools in the 2015-2016 school year."

I find this disturbing and yet another example of how cuts to education in this state are driving decisions that are not best for students nor teachers.  Many of us technology Faciliators have years of experience in these positions. Its seems as though experience is not valued.  Also, many of us worked for several years on Master's degrees (like myself) in Instructional Technology for a state position that is both recognized and needed.  The message I get from this is that certified professionals are not valued or respected.  We would rather replace them with "classified positions" hired off the street for much less money.  Unfortunately this is a trend we are seeing all across our country and this is yet another symptom of a greater problem. 

I heard a native american lady speak at Natural Bridge, VA just this week on an 8th grade field trip and she said a very wise thing.  She explained that when native Americans started trading with Europeans they started to loose their culture in favor of easy to obtain and less "difficult" ways of making tools, household items, etc.  She explained that America is doing the same thing right now--giving up trades, professions, crafts, etc in favor of cheap solutions and cheaply made things.  This decision is yet another example of how we are watering down public education in favor of expediency.

Back to the regularly scheduled meeting minutes...

Jim Mendoza:
·        Google Chrome:  Is the preferred browser for compass learning is needed on those machines that use it.
·        Will not work with IE8 after Aug 1

E-studio and School net test scanning:

There are three URLs below in order to make this as easy as possible:

1.    Link to a short Video (0:03:28) on how the e-Studios will play an important part in Home Base’s software Schoolnet/ScanIt for grading bubble answer sheets.

The video also discusses how to determine the model, Toshiba Business Products ID number and if your e-Studio is networked or not. 
2.    Link to the read-only Excel spreadsheet showing the current inventory of known Toshiba e-Studios. . Note that if your school is a Home Base Schoolnet pilot school and your e-Studio is already networked, I’ve already entered as much information about your e-Studios as I could find by remoting into the device.  This is a permanent URL that you’ll be able to use to refer to in finding e-Studios throughout our system. Once the survey closes I’ll publish it on a web page for Tech Facilitators.
3.    Link to an Excel Survey form which allows you to populate the spreadsheet mentioned above. .  This will be the first comprehensive list of the e-Studios in our schools. If we need to address the possibility of networking your e-Studios, the sooner you reply to the survey the quicker we can begin this process.

AMTR:  Joan Proffitt:

Sent email with FAQquestions/cheat sheet linked here:
Login to AMTR:
  • Joan is offering help on Thursdays 8:00-11:00 for new folks starting next week

Tickets:  School Dude transition

  • Need to look at old tickets and clean up
  • Tickets with not enough information ("need more toner" is not sufficient info)
    • Need printer name, make and model and IP address for example.
    • Tell us what you have already tried on the various computer/printer issues

Classroom Solution Inventory Update

  • Kevin is Sharingdocument with all the information from the classroom inventory for solutions and we need to keep inventories up to date
  • You should save your school's tab and then update so he when he asks again it will be easy to produce

Carla Miller Updates:

  • Old IBM models 6792 and 8305 computers that Carla was asking about surplusing—she needs a round number –including CRT monitors
  • Cannot pick up TV’s
  • came up with 1500 for third grade
  • If you run into some power adapters send her some—they are short about 200
  • Kevin sent an email with survey about having an “issued X131 laptop”
    • Giving out at the end of the meeting to those tech facilitators who did not get one previously

Installation of EC Access points from Same Dempsey:

  • Wanted to piggy back with high school wireless 
  • Some race to the top money and will contact schools for installation of those

Wiring closet clean up this summer:

  • Carla would like some help with the following:
    • The closets should not be supply closets for cleaning supplies, etc.

Elementary Camera Project

  • installing switches and servers—deadline is the end of May

Evan Herreid and Instructional:

  • Camp Inspire, July 15/16
  • Smart con July 22/23
    • Registration is already online
  • Also need presenters -- contact Evan or Doreen if interested

Summer Cleanup of websites: 

  • Please don’t say welcome to the 2013-2014 school year.
  • Perhaps update with Summer ideas, or suggestions to prepare for rising grade levels
  • Webmasters:  what to do with people moving on, retiring?
    • Technology will move and delete websites and transfer teacher accounts, don’t do that
      • You could hide the section in navigation if you want to do something.

Office 365 accounts:

  • Coming in 2014-2015 school year for all students
  • Rolling out in the fall—it’s happening!  In order to implement school net
    • Learning management/homebase product that DPI and Pearson are pushing
    • It is an "opt in" option for next year
    • Other components are opt in at $4.00 per student
    • Large districts are pushing back on that and asking for another free year on school net
    • We are planning on not opting in and hoping the state is going to give another free year.
    • If we go to school net then perhaps things like Learning Village, Learn 360 might go away.

Are people using the webapp tools of Office 365?

  • (we are not a Google app district)
  • Table discussion:  
    • teacher strategies for using office 365 with students, technical issues? Browser issues…
      • Encourage students to use smart phones
      •  Need training for teachers at the start of the year on several aspects as folks are reporting some issues with creating shared folders, etc.
      • Collaboration with students on documents and teachers could be a key component
      •   Issues with older desktops identifying which will work (versions of office?
      •  Similar training as BYOD needed
      • Synching to local machines should make it easy to save documents--Desktop version
      • Comments from todays table discussions

Staff and students will be moving to one drive starting next year!

  • Will mean the elimination of home directory
  • The collaboration function would be key advantage
  • Entire video series maybe coming
  • SharePoint sites is also rolling out:  where you can collaborate with
  • The 25 GB that will now be available is  increasing our saving capacity
  • There is also a survey tool—teachers will need more training—good way to get information back
  • Kevin showed a form they are using with office 365 for principals in identifying grounds and building moves actually done in school wires but a similar form could be created in 
  • Request for video on how to do the synchronization

What do we need from Tech support?

Table discussions:

  • Offer some centralized training by zones for this at the end of this school year, so people with all these extra work days can start on it?
  • Tech facilitators need perhaps a day/half day of training on this…
  • "Get principals on board and come back and see me later"...Kevin
  • Need for more in depth training
  • Will be going strong with this in the fall—will develop a training plan
  • Look at the features you have access to online now with online versions of office apps now available to use

Colleen Fitzgerald is retiring!!!  Congratulations to her!

Brian:  Spring workshops

Work order system—School Dude

  • For maintenance, IT work orders and trip direct (field trip requests)
  • Teachers will be able to submit maintenance work orders
  • Connect authenticate is now integrated with log on
  • Lead secretaries and principals are already familiar with this
  • Will roll in Fleet management to deal with bus requests

IT direct:

  • Zach LaGrand is one working on this, and they actually got a couple of tickets on it (they have stopped it)

Table Discussions:  What do we want to see in the new work order system?

  • We don’t want the user satisfaction survey email notifications
  • Consistency in how owners are transferred
  • The new hire notifications (the name of the person could be in there) 
  • Better search option
  • Some more generic categories?
  • A mobile app?  Possibly
  • Free form questions?  Less fields to fill out
  • Supporting the teachers as best you can on whether or not teachers to use work order system or not

1 comment:

  1. Your comments on the TF/TC position were well said. Thanks again for your notes!!- Stephanie Mac