2021-2022 Staff Computers

It’s official, we have entered the 2021 – 2022 school year. On your newly imaged computer, you will find some new features and possibly some missing ones. This year, all staff members will have admin rights on their machine and can install software and customize their computer to their liking. In addition to this change, the district will be utilizing Software Center (Windows) and Self Service (Mac). 

We’ve added the district’s most popular software titles to these portals so that they are easily accessible to everyone. In addition to that, via the software center and Self Service, we will be able to remotely push out updates, scripts, and fixes to common issues. You can also find information on how to get in touch with the Help Desk or an IDS team member.  Please take a few moments to check out the guides below to get started on your new computer! 

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Dell Education Store

This year for the device refresh, we purchased over 21,500 Dell branded computers and accessories. This partnership with Dell included some additional benefits beyond just the equipment we purchased. One such benefit is a District Dell Education Store where staff, students, and parents can purchase equipment from Dell at a discounted price. If you are looking for a new computer over the next few years, it might be worth checking out!

FCC to Open Emergency Broadband Benefit on May 12

The FCC has announced that the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, which will provide up to $50 per month to low-income households to support access to broadband internet, will be open for applications on May 12. I’ve written previously about this program, and am happy now to be able to share some additional details that may be relevant to families in the Iowa City area. You can apply here after May 12, and you can view the list of Iowa internet providers who will provide service through the program here. All households that include at least one child who is enrolled in the free or reduced lunch program are eligible for EBB benefits.

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FCC Broadband Benefit Webinar Today

Earlier this spring, I wrote about a recently-approved emergency broadband benefit from the FCC that will provide internet stipends for low-income families. Apologies for the short notice, but I just learned about a consumer-focused webinar the FCC will offer today at 2 PM Central. You can view the live webinar here, or click here to learn more.

We’ll share more information via the ICCSD Tech & Innovation Blog when information is available with regard to how to apply and get started with the program, but in the meantime, feel free to read the Consumer FAQ available here.

Content Filtering Policy

One of the most challenging aspects of educational technology management is walking the fine line between protecting students and ensuring access to academic, creative, and communications resources. As a department, we receive hundreds of requests per year to block – and to unblock – specific websites, online services, and sometimes whole categories of online content.

In order to address the very real concerns – on both sides, in most cases – related to internet content filtering, the Office of Technology & Innovation adopted a process several years ago that relies upon a basic set of rules and representative input as it relates to content filtering decisions within the district. You can read the full policy here, or read on for a summary.

How the Process Works

When a teacher or administrator submits an allow/block request, the district determines whether the site/service fits cleanly into an allow/block category per the content filtering policy, and if it does, immediately implements the request. If the request falls into a gray area, the request follows the process outlined in the policy – you can click the flowchart image to see details – which routs the request through a committee review process, with the potential for temporary action to be taken if the request has a potential student safety impact. Once the committee has considered the request and made a recommendation, Office of Technology & Innovation staff implement any necessary changes within our content filtering services.

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