We in the technology & innovation department are tremendously excited about the staff-assigned laptop upgrades that are taking place in early to mid-May. Such a large undertaking, however, also creates potential pitfalls that we’ve been working hard to avoid.
One of the steps that staff members can take to ensure that the upgrade process goes quickly and smoothly is to back up your files prior to the laptop upgrade date. Since our Google Drive accounts offer unlimited storage, we’re strongly recommending the use of the Google Drive application to back up any and all files that you want to keep to your Google Drive account, and then after the upgrade the Google Drive application can be used to download those files to your new computer. Continue reading Backing Up Your Files With Google Drive
ICCSD’s transition to Google email for staff on April 27th is rapidly approaching, and there are steps that you can take to prepare in advance! If you have questions, check out my Email Migration Overview for more info.
The first step you should take, before following any other instructions in this article, is to manually migrate any emails you have that are older than 180 days (by following this link). While this step is optional – you may not want or need access to older email – it should be completed prior to following the instructions below.
Configuring Outlook to Access Google Email
One of the challenges of this transition has been related to terminology. Email, within the ICCSD, has generally been referred to as “Outlook Email”. In actuality, our current email service is Microsoft Exchange, and Outlook is just a software client that most staff use to access email. Here’s the good news: if you like Outlook, you can continue to use it even after we migrate to Google (Gmail)! Continue reading Configuring Outlook to Access ICCSD Google Email
As I’ve written previously, the Iowa City Community School District is transitioning from our current email service (Exchange) to Google (Gmail) for email and calendars.
For detailed information, follow the link (above) to my previous blog post or check out my Email migration presentation. I’ve also created a video (below) that walks you through the process of importing your email from Outlook to Gmail. Continue reading ICCSD Email Migration Video Instructions
Earlier this week, the technology & innovation department enabled Team Drives within our Google domain, allowing staff to make use of this great sharing resource that is fully integrated with Google Drive.
What are Team Drives?
Essentially, you can think of your team drive as a Google Drive for a group, that will be owned by the group. Here’s an example: Continue reading What’s New: Google Team Drives
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
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
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
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!
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?
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 …