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?

Spring Break! Time for a technology conference …

Think you’re having a better spring break than me?  Think again!  While the ICCSD offices are closed today and tomorrow, I get to attend the Iowa Technology & Education Connection IT Conference, a great opportunity to learn about topics related primarily to the operational side of our department, as well as to connect with and learn from peers around the state.   Continue reading Spring Break! Time for a technology conference …

What about hub computers?

I’ve been writing a great deal about the cool, new technologies that we’re deploying – our secondary 1:1 program, device infusion at the elementary level, our new classroom suite that includes wireless video and voice amplification, dramatic network infrastructure improvements, virtual applications, and staff device upgrades, to name a few – but am going to devote some time today to a device type that will be phased out within our classrooms.   Continue reading What about hub computers?

What software do we include with computers?

This is a question that I often get, so it seemed as though it warrants a blog post: what software do we install on computers? 

While we install a great deal of specialty software, the following is a list of software that we’ll be installing on all newly-issued computers, beginning in 2017:  Continue reading What software do we include with computers?

In-Depth: Staff Device Replacement Plan and FAQ

One of the challenges of planning substantial technology deployment changes within a large district like ours is tied to the interactions between those various policies.  One of the major changes that we’re making, beginning next year, is to shorten the district’s technology replacement cycle from 6 years to 4 years.  Additionally, our current model calls for the replacement of 1/3 of technology within each building, every other year.   Continue reading In-Depth: Staff Device Replacement Plan and FAQ

In-Depth: Application Virtualization and 1:1 Program Cost

On February 14th, the ICCSD Board approved a purchase of hardware and software that will provide, among other things, application virtualization services.  Now, on the face of it this might not sound like an interesting development, but I’m really excited about the opportunities that this will afford our students – and staff – to embrace the concept of anywhere, anytime learning.   Continue reading In-Depth: Application Virtualization and 1:1 Program Cost

How does Iowa’s allowable growth rate impact ICCSD technology?

There has been a great deal of coverage lately of the Iowa legislature’s approval of a 1.1% allowable growth rate for the 2017-18 school year.  With a number of educational technology projects in the works, one of the questions that I’ve received from a number of teachers and community members over the last week is how our upcoming initiatives will be impacted by the allowable growth figure.   Continue reading How does Iowa’s allowable growth rate impact ICCSD technology?

What’s New in the Technology & Innovation Department: E-Rate

With temperatures in the 50s this past weekend, it finally seems as though spring is in sight.  While day-to-day technology support needs in the district tend to hit a bit of a lull at this time of year – many chronic issues have been solved, and most new technology initiatives and programs are well-established – this is a busy time of year from a planning perspective. Continue reading What’s New in the Technology & Innovation Department: E-Rate