Thursday, December 1, 2016

Newsletter 12/1/2016: Wireless Transition Devices Need to Shift Over, Survey for second phase of staff machines, Hour of Code

Wireless Transition Begins Please Connect to New Network

During the week before Thanksgiving Break, we let you know that the new wireless was live. We kept the old network active to allow staff time to gradually transition and to test for any bugs in the system. Thank you for all of you who have been trying it out and giving immediate feedback. Overall, most issues we have encountered are actually due to the old wireless still running at the same time. For that reason, we are beginning the transition. 

Ed is starting to shut off the old wireless

There are two options:
1)  Main network for staff computers, laptops, chromebooks and ipads for student use. 
Network ID: WestG (all 4 buildings)
Password:  wolverines (all lower case)

2) Student phones, tablets, staff casual use equipment and any guests
WestGuest – open (no password)

Please encourage students to use the guest account for any of their own personal equipment (Not school owned). We will bump their personal devices from the main wireless because we want to prioritize instructional traffic. The goal with the two networks is for us to be better able to prioritize instructional traffic from casual traffic.


As with the wireless before, no system is perfect. We are dealing with many variables from construction materials in walls and ceilings, various versions operating systems, to other equipment in the classrooms and buildings that may cause interference. Trying the troubleshooting tips before reporting issues is a huge help. If none of these work, please fill out a trouble report. Most of the time, we do not know there is an issue until you tell us. 

1) Reboot: This works for any device from iPads and Chromebooks to Desktops and Laptops. All devices have drivers that run the various components inside them. Sometimes connectivity issues are actually related to software on the machine itself. A driver can cause repeated disconnects. Rebooting often resets this software and fixes those problems.

2) Try connecting to WestGuest. The guest network is actually it's own separate network. It also gives you another option if WestG is not working for you. 

3) Try a different website. Sometimes the issue is a website you are connecting to. If you are only trying one website, try to connect to or If sites like that work, the website is the problem.

If the above fail, please put in a trouble report. It lets your building supplemental holders and the tech team know that you are having an issue. It is incredibly helpful if we know what you tried because sometimes that gives us the answer to what your problem actually is. It gets you up and running faster.

Hour of Code

If you haven't heard of this, concepts of computer programming apply to all disciplines. It helps students develop skills of logic and procedures to solve problems. Next week, is the annual hour of code. Please check out the site and article before and see if it is something you can fit into your schedule. There are activities premade for grades K-12. If I can help in some way, let me know.

I know Mr. Spotts is organizing something with this at the high school that looks great. The concept applies to any age range and is very easy to try with no computer programming background needed. There are easy to follow teacher guides right on the site and the engine allows you to select grade level and even devices you would be using.

Survey for Round 2 of Staff Replacement Machines

Last year, after winter break, half of the teaching staff started receiving new machines as a part of the two year replacement program. I am ready to begin the process of ordering round 2. If you did not receive a new desktop or laptop last year, please fill out the survey so I can order an accurate amount. 

The survey will be open until next Friday, December 9. Please choose either desktop or laptop. Anyone who does not respond will have a laptop ordered. Again, this is only for staff who did not receive a replacement last year.