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Technology Tangles and Triumphs October, 2003 MSBA Fall Conference


... grant money from Leap and community donations ... I just eat a little every day! Just do a little bit every day using technology and you will be surprised! ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Technology Tangles and Triumphs October, 2003 MSBA Fall Conference

Technology Tangles and TriumphsOctober,
2003MSBA Fall Conference
  • Using the Right Tools for the Job
  • Jeff Miller
  • President
  • Holden R-III
  • Board of Education
  • Julie Brunner
  • Director of Technology
  • Holden R-III

You need the right tools to do the job.
Sometimes our attempts to use the tools of
technology have not had the results we expected.
  • Lightning
  • Bad Backups
  • No on knows
  • how to do
  • whatever it is
  • we need to do

  • Inadequate Electrical Circuits
  • Too Hot Too Cold
  • Who stole the air conditioner?

  • Are the IEPs, student records and health records
    stored in a way that protects the confidential

  • Is all the software you are using licensed?
  • Can you prove it?

  • Can the software programs you are using
    communicate with each other?
  • Is someone paid to repeatedly key in the same
    lists of students, social security numbers,
    birthdates, etc., or can these be exported and
    imported between programs?

  • How much variation is there in your district
    between the most advanced uses of technology in
    the classroom and the classrooms with the least
    application of technology? Is everyone ok with
  • How are you dealing with equity issues?
  • What is the impact of any inequities?

Can you bring everyone along or only the leaders?
Equitable Access?
Sometimes we hit the nail right on the head!
  • Internships through CMSU and the Vo-Tech school
  • Nick is unloading one of 90 donated computers
    that he refurbished and attached to the network.

Work as a team learn together, help each
other, and encourage each other.
Professional Development
  • Early dismissal of students allows time for
    professional development.
  • Technology training infused into many areas
    mentor/mentees, summer institute, new staff
    orientation, study groups, tEXERCISE e-mail
    training, website guides, one-on-one training,
    building-level experts, just-in-time training,
    and assistance in the classroom.
  • Two eMINTS teachers are getting very high level
    professional development and will become leaders
    in the district.

Reach out and try something new. Sometimes it
will work! Use the manuals, help files, study
groups, journals, internet searches, coworkers,
and STUDENTS to find solutions.
Phone System Upgrade
  • Voice over IP Phones acquired through e-rate
  • Sprint and Cisco are working with the school
    district to implement an upgraded network that
    will support a unified phone system throughout
    the district with voice mail, an auto-attendant,
    and metro phone line service.
  • Total cost is very competitive.

WWW Resources
  • Website provides information for community,
    staff, students, and potential employees.
  • Excellent variety of resources.
  • Check out!

  • Astaro ASL Firewall provides edge security and
    internal ip numbers to reduce risk from hackers.
  • Astaro prevents e-mail infected with viruses from
    entering the district
  • Astaro drastically reduces unsolicited Spam
    e-mail which generates traffic, wastes time and
    depletes storage space
  • The Astaro updates itself nightly via the web for
    consistently current software
  • Can be used to filter content also

Wireless Laptop Labs
  • Wireless laptop labs provide excellent technology
    access for students and teachers without the
    expense of a dedicated room.
  • Currently we have 5 wireless laptop labs with two
    more to be deployed this winter for the eMINTS
  • Teachers and students like using the laptops in
    their own classroom where they usually have their
  • You still need to put cabling into new buildings.

eMINTS evaluation results from
MAP Achievement 3rd Grade Communication Arts
MAP Achievement 3rd Grade Science
MAP Achievement 4th Grade Mathematics
MAP Achievement 4th Grade Social Studies
PolyCom ITV
  • Students and members of the public can take
    college classes from our high school.
  • Greater variety of classes available.
  • Professional development easier to get
  • No travel expenses for experts!

  • Handhelds are the next wave of technology we
    expect to deploy.
  • Handhelds costing less than 200 per Palm M130
    will allow each student to use a great variety of
    educational tools.

Photo courtesy of Tony Vincent, Planet Fifth
  • In the past, we have been very successful with
    grant funded projects.
  • This year weve received eMINTS funding and
    funding for two School Age Care projects.
  • We continually search for additional funding
    opportunities that fit our mission.

Community Support
  • PTO involvement
  • Successful bond issue
  • Volunteers
  • Adult education
  • Pictured Student using LeapPad handheld
    computer purchased through grant money from Leap
    and community donations

Surprising Successes
  • Poster maker made dozens of visual aids to
    provide information for voters prior to the bond

Everything is Negotiable
  • Scholastic software for AR
  • Tech support by the server
  • Competitive Upgrades

Networking people and wires
  • MOREnet offers resources to help us all stay

Focus on outcomes Cultivate dreams and vision
  • A vision without action is a daydream.
  • Action without vision is a nightmare.
  • ----Japanese Proverb

Start small. Let your project grow as you learn.
The important thing is to START! I will weigh
about 200 pounds in 5 months. I just eat a
little every day! Just do a little bit every day
using technology and you will be surprised!
Beware of some problems on the horizon.
TCO Total Cost of Ownership
  • How much does it really cost?
  • 2000 per year per workstation?
  • 500 per year per workstation?
  • Click Here to discover your costs.
  • http//

Dont allow budget cuts now to cause overwhelming
expenses later.
  • Develop sustainable resources.
  • Invest in training so you can use what you have.
  • Keep antivirus software updated.
  • Maintain all layers of security (firewall,
    patches, password security, physical security,
  • License your software or use open-source
  • Develop realistic replacement schedules it
    really wont last forever.
  • Sometimes you have to get rid of things because
    they are just too expensive to continue to
    support (old dot-matrix printers and slow, old
    servers and computers)

Calculating Impact of Staff Reductions
  • How many total hours per week are staff currently
    working to support technology?___
  • How many computers, servers, printers, switches,
    hubs, phones, firewalls, projections systems,
    handhelds, and other devices do they support?____
  • How many software programs do they support?___ A
    district likely has 50-100 software programs that
    the tech staff supports.
  • How many people do they train?____
  • What other services do they provide?
    (grant-writing, wiring, telephone systems,
    planning, e-rate, other) ___

What will happen if you cut staff?
  • If you reduce staff or working hours by 10, then
    plan to reduce each of these items by 10.
  • If you reduce tech staff by 50, then plan to
    reduce each of these items by 50.
  • What services are you willing to do without?
    Printing? Internet? E-Mail? Security? Specific
    software programs?
  • Do the remaining staff have the skills of the
    staff that were released?
  • Will there be increased costs for outsourcing?
  • Will additional support staff be needed to keep
    records or do whatever the software and equipment
    was doing?
  • Will typewriters or other equipment be needed?
  • If you have to hire people in the future, will
    they cost you more or less than the ones you have
  • Will the replacement staff need expensive

What else can be done?
  • Is the district already doing everything possible
    to reduce operating costs in the technology
  • These could include implementing desktop
    security, imaging, in-house repairs, use of
    warranties, competitive bidding, use of
    volunteers or interns, use of handhelds,
    standardized workstations, networked storage,
    reliable switched network, e-rate utilization,
    shared resources with neighboring districts or
    universities, training of experts among faculty
    and support staff, routine cleaning and
    maintenance of equipment, accurate inventories,
    current network documentation, efficient use of
    MOREnet resources, and monitoring to assure that
    resources are being efficiently used throughout
    the district.

Can you tell how good a job your tech staff is
doing just by looking at them?
  • "Never confuse movement with action."
  • -- Ernest Hemingway

The Invisible Tech Staff
  • If your tech staff is always highly visible,
    repairing things all day long and interrupting
    other services for updates and installations,
    they need to investigate new ways to provide
    services. Perhaps they are understaffed or not
    involved in the decision-making processes where
    their input is needed. Perhaps they need
    additional training, flexible work schedules,
    supplies, equipment, or different policies.
  • The best tech staff is nearly invisible, working
    behind the scenes and keeping things running
    through preventive maintenance, centrally
    administered networks, training, appropriate
    policies, transparent security, and scheduled
    maintenance that rarely interrupts the flow of
    educational activities.
  • You might not see them, but dont
    ever forget they are there!

SKWEEEEEEL! If a problem wasnt fixed the first
time, or even the second time, we encourage users
to keep squealing about it. We want to get
EVERYTHING fixed! We use an online help request
  • "The important thing is not to stop questioning."
  • -- Albert Einstein

Heres a question that should never be asked
  • Do I look fat?
  • Photo by
  • Bill Candy

Some bad tech questions you probably shouldnt
  • Isnt there already a computer available in that
    building? Why do they need another one?
  • What happened to those computers we bought in
    1998 when I was on the Board the first time?
  • Dont we already have ____ (a lab, etc) at the
    other school?
  • Do you know for sure that this is going to work?
  • Youre not going to mess this up like you did
    last time, are you?
  • You can download that free, cant you?
  • In laymans terms like 10 words or less can
    you just explain how that works?

Questions that might provide interesting answers
for superintendents and board members to ask
technology directors when new projects are
proposed ----this is on the handout!
  • What need has prompted this project or purchase?
  • How will the success of the project be measured?
  • Does this project or purchase reduce or increase
    the gap between the technology-enhanced
    classrooms in the district and those with less
  • How will this project provide equal access for
    all students at a particular grade level or in a
    particular building?
  • How does this project support the curriculum?
  • What is the total cost of ownership?
  • What training or professional development plans
    are in place to provide for the maximum
    utilization of this investment?
  • Does this project support the district or
    national technology standards?
  • How many people in the district will be familiar
    with this project and able to provide the
    necessary technical support?

  • Is there a cost associated with outside technical
  • What other solutions were considered?
  • How will this impact network security?
  • How were staff members involved in the selection
    or planning process?
  • Does this replace an existing product or service?
  • Is this compatible with operating systems
    currently in use?
  • Will we be able to import and export data from
    the software to reduce keying in records?
  • What experiences have other districts had with
    this or related products?

  • Does the current technology plan for the district
    include this project?
  • What is the cost per student per year?
  • How long is this purchase expected to last, and
    when it needs to be replaced or updated, how will
    that be funded?
  • Is there enough electricity to provide power for
    the project?
  • Is there an annual fee?
  • If it is a free service
  • Is there advertising? Bias?
  • Who pays for it?
  • What evidence is there that the service will be

  • For more information,
  • Contact
  • or click the resources link at
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