Internet Performance Issues

The district is currently experiencing internet performance issues related to a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.  We are working to mitigate these problems, and expect to have normal internet performance within the hour.  

I’ll post updates here as more information becomes available.  

Internet Content Filtering Change

SafeSearchDue to recent changes to Google’s SafeSearch enforcement – a Google-provided service which allows, for instance, the exclusion of pornographic content from Google image services – the district will be implementing safe-search enforcement at the DNS level, which will force safe search for all devices using the ICCSD network. Continue reading Internet Content Filtering Change

Google Classroom Service Disruption

Google is working on an issue that is affecting saving assignments in Google Classroom; see below.  

classroom_disruption

Google Training Options from IDS Innovation Team

Thanks to Chelsea Sims, Teacher Librarian at South East Junior High, for passing along these resources (below) for teachers who are looking for some Google-related training opportunities. 


 As more teachers are thinking about going 1:1, many have identified the need for some Google Training.  The IDS Innovation team has gathered a few options together for interested teachers. I shared this list with the Teacher Librarians at the High Schools and Junior Highs to pass along to their staff, but wanted to share it with you as well.

  • AEA PD Online offers tons of courses for recertification and graduate credit on integrating technology into your classroom. (Choose Technology Integration from the first drop down menu)
  • Grant Wood AEA offers courses in Technology Integration as well, including courses specific to Google Apps.
  • Set up your own learning plan on Atomic Learning, a tech training website provided by the AEA. Login with AEA credentials (3141xxxx).
  • Looking for a specific solution RIGHT NOW?? Try YouTube!

Self-paced courses specific to a 1:1 classroom environment:

 

Technology Access and Initiative Success

Several people – over Thanksgiving break, and again this morning – have posed questions to me about whether a focus on getting more technology in the classroom is well-justified.  After all, tying technology infusion in the classroom directly to student achievement, for instance, is very difficult (although the same is true of virtually any initiative, the effects of which are difficult or impossible to fully entangle from other factors impacting students, teachers, and the learning environment.   Continue reading Technology Access and Initiative Success

Student Account and Service Notification

The message (below) was emailed to all ICCSD parents, and includes information regarding accounts and services provided to students. 

In order to ensure that parents and guardians are aware of the technology services that the Iowa City Schools provide to our students, this is the first of what will be annual notifications regarding district-issued accounts. Continue reading Student Account and Service Notification

Holiday Technology Shopping for Students, Parents, and Teachers

student-discount-availableOne of the nice things about being associated with a school – whether a student, parent, or staff member – is that you can often get better deals on technology than might be available to the general public.  As we approach the holiday gift season, here are some tips for how to get deals on some products you might be looking to purchase this holiday season or before next school year. Continue reading Holiday Technology Shopping for Students, Parents, and Teachers

Malwarebytes Installation Dialog

A number of ICCSD staff members reported seeing an installation window for a product called Malwarebytes after logging in this morning.  

mwbcaptureThis is antivirus software used by the district, and users should click “Next” and choose default options to complete the installation.  The district initiated this upgrade installation several days ago, but we expected that the installation would occur without any required input from the user.  We’re looking into the cause of this installation dialog box appearing on users’ machines.  

If you receive any errors, please send the ICCSD tag number of your computer to the Help Desk (helpdesk@iowacityschools.org) and we’ll check it out.  

Bottlenecks, bottlenecks, bottlenecks!

break_the_bottlenecks_with_ideas-_use_the_suggestion_box_-_nara_-_534150Let me start this post by saying that as a technology professional, I hate bottlenecks.

In saying as much, I’m probably preaching to the choir; almost ALL of us struggle with bottlenecks in our daily lives.  Traffic jams are usually caused by a bottleneck – the reduction of lanes from 4 to 2, for instance – that results in more traffic per available lane.  bottleneck-trafficSince two cars cannot peacefully occupy the same space on the road, a reduction in lanes during a heavy traffic period means that fewer cars can move through that obstructed zone at a time, resulting in a backup as faster-moving traffic piles up behind the slower-moving obstructed zone.   Continue reading Bottlenecks, bottlenecks, bottlenecks!

ICCSD Tech Slack Chat #1: Supportability & Innovation

This is the inaugural edition of the ICCSD technology Slack chat.  This will be a recurring series, with a different topic for each chat.  Joining me for the chat today were Kelly Nelson, Denise Rehmke, and Justin Miller.  We look forward to bringing others from within and outside the technology & innovation department into our future chats.  If you have a request for a chat topic, please send it to me.  

ajkurth (Adam Kurth, Director of Technology & Innovation): Welcome everyone; I hope that you’re all having a fine Thursday afternoon.  As a reminder, the topic for today’s chat is: walking the line between supportability and innovation.

nelson.kelly (Kelly Nelson, Help Desk Manager):  I’ll kick off by expressing my enthusiasm for changing how we deploy teacher computers. I think this will simplify support tremendously. Continue reading ICCSD Tech Slack Chat #1: Supportability & Innovation