Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summer Tech Accomplishments

It's that time of year again when we are scrambling like mad, realizing the first day of school is just around the corner.

Welcome to all the families registering their children with us today. It's so exciting to see students in the buildings again. We may get a lot of work done when most of the staff and students are gone in the summer, but we really miss them! This place loses its soul when our students aren't here.

Here's a sampling of what we either have done or will have done within the next couple of weeks:

  • 190 more Chromebooks. These devices look like small laptops and access the Internet through the Chrome browser. We piloted a lab of these in the high school ELL room and ten more all around the district last school year, and our teachers and students love them! No waiting to authenticate to the network or update virus protection. No unneeded programs to load. The ability to work in Google collaboratively, to access your files away from the school, and long battery life are only some of the things we've heard raves about. Five of the new Chromebook labs will go in our high school English classrooms as a chance for us to pilot technology in the hands of students any time, any day, all day in English classes. Another of the Chromebook labs will go to the middle school for checkout by classrooms. And, ten of the Chromebooks will go to elementary Title students for their use.
  • Guest wireless network at both the high school and the middle school. The same will be coming at the elementary school at some point this fall.
  • New Internet filtering that is less onerous to implement when we bring new devices onboard.
  • New virtualized servers.
  • New switches at the high school and new routing between buildings.
  • Doubled Internet bandwidth for the district.
  • Expanded monitoring of network to keep abreast of possible issues quicker.
  • Brand new computers in two high school labs and one elementary school lab.

  • Two new Smartboards, one at East and one at the elementary school.
  • Several new document cameras and projectors for classrooms at all our buildings.
  • Google Apps for our staff and our middle school and high school students, complete with email, has been updated. This is such a fabulous way for our students and staff to communicate, to collaborate, and to create their own learning.
  • e2020 alternative high school and credit recovery software updated.
  • Academy of Math for high school student interventions updated.
  • Rosetta Stone software for the whole district updated.
  • Middle School Family and Consumer Science software updated.
  • Expansion of wireless coverage and density at the elementary school.
Those are the things that immediately come to mind. We are so excited at the potential for our students to learn with technology even more than they have in the past.

I'd better get back to it. The first day of school is staring me down!