Three Minute Update: October 27, 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.

The Value of Using Established Organizational Structures for Communications – The best way that the Department of Instructional Technology can support more than 11,000 users across 18 buildings is through the effective and consistent use of established organizational structures for communications, commonly referred to as the chain of command.  Please remember that any technical support issues should be reported and resolved as close to the school/building level as possible. Sending tech repair requests to the the director or assistant director of the department does nothing but slow the process and robs our technicians and their supervisors of the opportunity to serve you better.  The organizational structure for the Department of Instructional Technology is available at http://www.ccsd.edu/tech/contact.htm Please note that the top of the organizational structure for tech support is Richard Hernandez.  Richard and I meet daily to review a variety of technology topics, including tech support.

Using School Dude to Provide Better Technology Hardware Support – The District has begun using a Technology Repair form through the School Dude system for secondary schools. School Dude is already used in the district, and we are pleased to offer our own custom form as a way to be more efficient in how we serve the district.

This form is currently available to all district employees as a tool to request technology repairs and service. The link to the form is on every webpage, under the “Staff” heading.  By November 1, 2009, this is the only way our technicians will accept work orders from secondary schools, other than in an emergency situation.

Google Applications for Domains Now Available to Students – As part of the district’s planned roll-out of Google Applications for Domains, the student side (also referred to as the “green side”) is now active and teachers who have participated in a variety of professional development opportunities are able to use this system to further engage secondary students and increase student centered learning opportunities. Additional professional development opportunities for our teachers are scheduled for the next few weeks, and the Department of Instruction and Professional Development has sponsored a Google Ambassador program for secondary teachers from each school.

Windows 7 Available for $29.99 (as opposed to $199) for Teacher Direct Purchase – Microsoft is offering CCSD employees the opportunity to purchase Windows 7, the latest operating system, for the discounted price of $29.99.  The purchase is a direct transaction between Microsoft and district employees (as verified by a valid @ccsd.edu address) and reflects a savings of nearly $170.  Please note that the district will likely not upgrade to Windows 7 until the first service pack is released.  If you are interested in taking advantage of this offer, please do so directly by following this link.

Migration to Lightpath as our District’s Internet Service Provider – The Department of Instructional Technology is continuing with all the necessary elements that need to be in place prior to making the final switch to Lightpath from LHRIC. Due to the size of our district, we need to ensure redundancy. Additionally, the work for revising the various NAT translations and other information is underway. The district expects to be using Lightpath no later than December 31, 2009

SPAM Filter Update – The district has finalized its migration to Postini to filter SPAM that is sent to our users.  Several users reported that specific messages categories of messages were making it to their email in-box, and we have made some modifications to the sensitivity settings in the service.  There is a delicate balance we strive to meet; one between over filtering and under filtering.   Thank you for sharing your feedback to Juan Villamar and Shain Jacob during this period of adjustment. Prior to migrating to the new filter, instructions for establishing a password were emailed to all users, and the Department of Instructional Technology continues to provide email and phone support. Postini provides a best in breed solution that is fully customizable for our district, and is an essential component of our migration to Lightpath

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