Category Archives: Uncategorized

National IT Professionals Day

September 17th, 2019 is National IT Professionals Day!

At the Iowa City Community School District, we have a variety of roles in our tech department. Here are the types of IT professionals that make up our technology and innovation staff, and the ways they support tech throughout the district!

HelpDesk

If you’ve ever had a broken device, trouble logging in to an account, or issues getting your tech to work properly, then you’re probably already familiar with the ICCSD Help Desk.

Since the start of our fiscal year on July 1st, the HelpDesk has received over 2,500 support requests. Helpdesk staff review many of these tickets, and either complete the request themselves or assign them to a more specialized tech staff member. Whether you give them a call on the phone or submit a request online through HappyFox, our HelpDesk staff is here to…well…help!

Technical Support Specialists

The Iowa City Community School District has a total of 28 schools, plus additional facilities like the bus barn and physical plant (just to name a couple). All of these buildings have technological devices that need to be supported and maintained. Enter the ICCSD Tech Support Specialists!

While most of our tech staff members work from the ESC, our tech support specialists provide “on the field” support. Some of them are stationed at a single school, while others travel across the district, checking on multiple buildings per day. They make sure the tech in each building is functioning properly and support Happyfox tickets at the buildings to which they are assigned.

Network & System Administrators

In layman’s terms, our Network/Systems Administrators make sure that our internet works. This group oversees server and networking infrastructure, equipment, deployment, administration, and maintenance. 

They also administer Active Directory, a program that helps us assign email addresses and account permissions to students and staff throughout the district.

Data Team and Administrative Staff

Our data team members maintain necessary data in Powerschool and other district applications. They also export pertinent data when needed to evaluate programs or understand district demographics.

Administrative staff don’t really fit into any of the previously mentioned categories, but fulfill vital roles in the tech department. They perform the clerical and administrative tasks that keep our department’s operations running as smoothly as possible.

Fiber Cut 9/11/2019

Final Update: District fiber has been rerouted and all services have been restored. If you have any additional connection issues please contact the Helpdesk. 
 
 
 
Update:Internet and phone services have been restored at all schools except for Hoover, Lemme, and Lucas. 
 
The following update was provided to families of the remaining affected schools.
 

“We wanted to make you aware that construction crews working on a private development in Iowa City cut and damaged over 1,000 feet of Iowa City Community School District and city-owned fiber optic cable, which caused an internet outage at the end of the school day Wednesday, September 11. The outage impacted City and Tate High Schools, South East Junior High, and Alexander, Hills, Hoover, Lemme, Lucas, Twain, and Wood Elementary Schools. As of Wednesday early evening, services have been restored to City, Tate, South East, Alexander, Hills, Twain, and Wood by using a secondary fiber optic path.   

Unfortunately, there is no redundant fiber path available for Hoover, Lemme, and Lucas Elementary Schools. Crews will be working through the night to establish a temporary fiber route for these buildings, with a best-case completion timeline of Thursday morning. In the meantime, internet and phone services at Hoover, Lemme, and Lucas will be unavailable. Parents who need to get in touch with the school by phone can still call the school’s regular number, and those calls will be routed through district office staff. The district is working to establish cellular phone and data services in the affected buildings to provide for communications needs.  

We appreciate your patience as we work through this issue.”

 
Orginal Notice: A fiber connection providing internet services for the school district and the City of Iowa City have been cut somewhere between the ESC and SEJH. Repair crews have been dispatched and are currently working on locating the cut. The following schools are affected and will do not have the internet.
 
  • Lucas
  • Lemme
  • Hoover
  • City
  • Sejh
  • City Annex
  • Hills
  • Twain
  • Alexander
  • Wood
  • TSC
 

Happy Fox is working again

UPDATE: Happy Fox is working again

 

Happy Fox is temporarily down. For now, instead of submitting a ticket, email the Help Desk at ​helpdesk@iowacityschools.org if you’re having technology-related problems.

No wifi districtwide tomorrow (Friday, July 12)

Due to a wireless management software upgrade, there will be no wifi districtwide tomorrow (Friday, July 12). This will start at 8 AM and last the entire day. Please note that screenbeams and other devices that require wireless internet will not work. Wired internet connection will continue to work. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the help desk.

Data Interoperability?

No, no, no … you’ve gotta say it like, “data interoperability!”

Over the past several days, I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with district leaders from around the country as we learn together about a fantastically riveting topic: data interoperability! (see, I said it right)

So what is data interoperability? 

In a nutshell, data interoperability relates to the ability of systems that create, store, or consume data to seamlessly talk to one another.  Once the systems can speak to one another, data can be pulled – generally in real time – for analysis, regardless of what system the data originally resides in.

Continue reading Data Interoperability?

Copying an Outlook Email List to Google

As we await a new update for email migrations, I thought I’d address one of the more common questions I’ve received regarding migrating from Exchange to Google.  Specifically, a lot of people have been asking me how to migrate email lists from Outlook to Google. Continue reading Copying an Outlook Email List to Google

Email Transition Update

Updated at 4:54 PM, May 1st: While ICCSD staff members should expect to receive an email with finalized information later tonight or tomorrow, here’s an update regarding where we’re at with the email transition for those of you who follow the blog:  Continue reading Email Transition Update

ICCSD Email Switch In Progress

The District completed the configuration necessary to switch to Gmail for email service last night at 8 PM.  This transition is in progress, but propagation of the change has been slower than we anticipated (more details below).  As such, emails are still being delivered to Exchange, and users can access emails and calendar information as you always have.  You may also notice that some emails are being delivered to your Google accounts; as of 7:30 this morning, those emails will be automatically forwarded to your Exchange account as well.  Once the change has been fully propagated, we’ll notify users of the time at which new emails will only be delivered to Google.  Continue reading ICCSD Email Switch In Progress

Laptop Distribution Dates and Details

Laptops will be upgraded at the ESC on May 4th and 5th, and May 11th and 12th.  We know that a mid-year upgrade presents challenges with regards to the busy schedules that all of you maintain, and as such, we’re working to make this process as accessible as possible. 

Upgrade Hours:  Our upgrade hours will be 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM on each of the listed days (listed at the bottom of this post). 

What to Bring: You should bring your laptop and your laptop power adapter; old power adapters will not work with the new laptops, so it’s important that we receive all old adapters back.  Continue reading Laptop Distribution Dates and Details

Gmail and Google Calendar Tips

Many thanks to South East Junior High teacher librarian and Instructional Design Strategist (Innovation) Chelsea Sims for creating this great Gmail and Google Calendar guide (link below) to help ease the transition from Exchange to Google: 

Gmail and Google Calendar Tips Continue reading Gmail and Google Calendar Tips