Three Minute Update: June 22, 2009

The “Three Minute Update” is designed to provide you with a snapshot of key items related to the department of instructional technology that may be of interest to you. Items are listed in random order. Please share all or parts of this message as appropriate.

Revised Acceptable Use Policy Adopted by Board of Education – On Monday, June 8, 2009, the Board of Education adopted the Computer Use In Instruction 6525, replacing previous policies 6525, 6526, and 6527.  This new policy was designed in alignment with the district’s strategic goals as well as the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS), recognizing and addressing the following:

  • The emergence of a multitude of web based tools that can significantly engage students and increase teaching and student learning opportunities.
  • The need for a shift to allow students to take ownership of their actions by “demonstrating self-advocacy, initiative, responsibility, and critical thinking skills” with regard to the use of technology.
  • Providing an environment in which students can effectively utilize technology as a tool to communicate, construct learning, and demonstrate problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Provide a channel, via the regulations, for necessary updates to address emerging technologies.

Google Apps for Domains – The district technology committee is working on a roll-out to provide broad based support for the Google Apps for Domains software.  This program has broad availability (it is Internet based, password protected, can be shared or kept private), and there is a google apps for teachers (start.ccsd.edu) and a google apps for students (start.student.ccsd.edu).  Documents can be shared between portals as desired.  The program is already being extensively used by the learning facilitators and many elementary school teachers as a curriculum portal via the google calendar, sites, and doc features.  Teachers can view a variety of resources by using their network username and password to log-in.

Process for Software Acquisition and Adoption -The committee agreed that software requests should be first approved by the school administration and the recommendation come from the school principal or liaison to the director of technology. Software that focuses on a specific content area should be reviewed by the appropriate curriculum coordinators after approval by the principal. Additionally, software upgrade requests should follow the same process.

Wireless Access at High School Libraries – The wireless access points were installed in both libraries last week.  Laptops in each building now have wireless access in the library.  The Department of Instructional Technology will be configuring “public” access for visitors and for laptops that are not part of our district inventory.  This public access will provide filtered internet access, but no access to the district’s networks.

SPAM Overload – There has been a significant increase in SPAM in our district, and our email specialists are working closely with BOCES personnel (BOCES manages our district’s SPAM filters) to reduce this recent increase.  It is a high priority for our department, and we are exploring a variety of solutions to supplement the current filtering system.  Viewing the Spam Stats for June 21, 2009 will illustrate the scope of the problem, showing that more than 96% of the  117,000 e-mail messages that day intended for our users was flagged as SPAM.

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