Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ed Tech Newsletter 8/24/2016 : New Process for Technology Reporting, Network Upgrade News, Infinite Campus Parent Portal

New Process for Technology Reporting

Ed, Don and I have been talking over the past few months on piloting a new method for technology reporting. A new page has been created called "Technology Reporting". This page links to building specific forms for reporting technology problems. It also has a section for instructional support. 

To get to the new section:

1) Go to and go to the staff section.
2) Click on "Technology Reporting" (The link is also below. Feel free to bookmark it)

The first section is for hardware and software issues. When you fill out a report, it sends and email to Ed, Don and myself. It also sends an email to the AV/Tech supplemental holder, if your building has one. This is a replacement for the old trouble reporting system.

The second section is new. It is for instructional support. This sends an email to your building instructional tech supplemental holder (If applicable) and me. This section is for help with incorporating technology into a specific lesson.

You don't need a separate log in for these forms. They are Google Forms. The point is for this to be convenient and easy. Please start to use these instead of emails. It serves the same purpose but also gives us a spreadsheet record of your request. This prevents your needs from getting lost during particularly hectic weeks. 

Network Upgrade News

I wanted to give you a quick update on our network upgrade. As you know, our wired network is aging with most equipment averaging 10 years and beyond. Also, our wireless needs have outgrown our current setup. Last school year, I applied for federal E-rate. Due to this and matching district permanent improvement funds, we have been able to move forward on ordering equipment for an over $230,000 network upgrade. 

This will completely replace the equipment running our wired network. It will also allow us to install wireless devices in every other classroom. This will more than double our current wireless coverage and help resolve the many "holes" in our current wireless connectivity. 

Beyond that, there are also a number of improvements that will allow us to better control and prioritize internet traffic during high traffic times. We can also eventually roll out student and teacher specific network log ins that will allow for greater control over which devices have the strongest access to our bandwidth. 

All of the equipment has just been ordered. Over the next few weeks, I will be giving you more specific details on what this upgrade timeline looks like.

Infinite Campus Parent Portal

If you were with us when we implemented Progress Book, you will remember that there was an initial transition period where our district worked with LGCA to fix any problems behind the scenes. Currently, we are in a similar place with Infinite Campus. 

Our data went live at the end of July and families need to be connected in "households" which is new for our district. A number of staff members have been helping out to connect students, siblings and parents into these groups. This is necessary for us to roll out the parent portal to allow parents access to student grade books and ultimately report cards.

Tomorrow, we will be posting a message letting parents know that the parent portal is coming. We will be releasing follow up information on the timeline for this and what to expect with regards to building communication. 

I know any transition to a new platform can be stressful. Thank you so much for your professionalism and teamwork at the initial trainings. Please feel free to put in an instructional support ticket if you are having any issues with Infinite Campus.