CoSN Conference Update

There are few things that I find more draining than professional conferences.  Not long ago, in a discussion with a friend of mine who is also in the ed tech field, I mused that I’m more exhausted after a day full of conference sessions, networking, and lectures than I am after a day spent shoveling landscape rock.  While the latter is definitely harder work, I’m pretty convinced that the former is more exhausting.  As this year’s Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) conference wraps up in Chicago, this belief has been reinforced.   Continue reading CoSN Conference Update

Maximizing our Financial Resources

As we seek to expand the technology tools and infrastructure available to our students and teachers, we must also cope with one of the key realities of this investment: technology is expensive.  On one hand, of course, the cost of technology has consistently declined over the past three decades; the word processors of the 1980s frequently cost more than $2,000, for instance.  The drop in technology prices has been closely tied to the increasing ubiquity of and reliance on technology within our schools and society at large; in other words, while prices may be dropping, the amount of technology that must be purchased continues to increase.   Continue reading Maximizing our Financial Resources

Email Transition

Last Friday, I emailed all all staff members and board members in the district with the news that we’re transitioning from Microsoft Exchange email servers (our current email service) to Google (Gmail) for email service on April 27th.  

This change should have no impact on the general public – all district email addresses will  remain the same, and there will be no delivery delays or loss of data as we transition – but I did want to provide some information here regarding why the change is being made, and what the impact will be on staff members.   Continue reading Email Transition

Technology & Innovation Blog Maintenance

Those of you who subscribe to the blog or visit regularly – there are some regular visitors, you know – may have noticed some downtime lately.  I’ve been fighting with an issue where a WordPress maintenance script is intermittently causing the web server I’m hosting the blog on to crash, resulting in 500 errors until the web server is restarted. 

After trial and error to try to identify an easy fix over the past few weeks, I’m finally going to bite the bullet and put a fix in place that will definitely solve the problem.  This will result in some downtime for maintenance later this evening.  When it’s completed, though, the Tech & Innovation Blog should be reliable and better than ever!  

What’s with this Clarity survey?

Staff members, secondary students, and parents in the district should have received an email within the past week about the BrightBytes Clarity survey, a tool we use to evaluate the effectiveness of our technology program.  This survey is provided – at no cost to the district – by the statewide AEA system, and offers a number of important benefits to the Iowa City Schools (below).   Continue reading What’s with this Clarity survey?