Tech Notes - April

Projects, How-Tos, News & Roll-ins


Windows Management Upgrades

We are currently doing a major overhaul of the management software for our Windows machines (yes, we still have quite a few of those). Windows users should expect to see a number of restart requests over the next month or so as existing systems are updated.

Windows 10 Migration

This summer, we will be migrating the majority of our Windows 7 machines to Windows 10. We are currently in the process of reviewing software to ensure compatibility with Windows 10. There may be specific circumstances where staying on the current version of Windows makes the most sense, and we will try to accommodate those needs.

Frontline Professional Growth

We are in the very early stages of configuring Frontline's Professional Growth system for use in our district. We expect it to be ready for use for the 2018-2019 school year.

This system will replace Apex Total Program for compliance videos (such as bloodborne pathogens). We will also be winding down KeepCertified and moving professional growth class sign-ups and record-keeping onto Frontline. KeepCertified data will be accessible for another year, but new classes and record keeping will take place in Frontline. More information about that transition will be available in late summer.

RingCentral Faxing

We are starting the process of migrating from our existing faxing solution (GFI Faxmaker) to services hosted by RingCentral. Existing fax numbers and ability to fax from currently used machines will not be affected. Additional functionality (fax from e-mail, receive faxes as e-mails rather than everything being printed) will be gained from this change. We also expect to save about $10,000 annually due to the elimination of 26 analog phone lines currently in place throughout the district for faxing that will no longer be needed.
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Phishing Campaign Results

Here are the numbers for our e-mail phishing campaigns:

  • Fall campaign phish-prone: 16.6%
  • Winter campaign phish-prone: 9.7%

We did better! That's great!

  • Phish-prone percentage for other educational institutions of similar size: 22.6%

So, we're doing much better than the field. Of course, there is still room for improvement, but if we stay vigilant with e-mails that look suspicious, we can continue to move that phish-prone percentage toward 0. Good work!


Google File Stream

An alternative to Google Back-up and Sync is called File Stream. Using file stream is encouraged if you have a lot of files or are running out of space on your device. Detailed notes on how this works and how to switch can be found here.


Classroom Audio-Visual Survey

If you have not completed the classroom audio-visual survey yet, please take a moment to do so.

The purpose of the survey is to get a better sense of how our current systems are used and to get some feedback on what's next for our classrooms. We want to be mindful of certain realities, including: The significant shift in staff and student devices over the past few years, the aging fleet of SmartBoards and digital projectors, and the increasing costs and compatibility issues with newer versions of Smart Notebook software. We would like classroom staff to have a voice in what comes next and how we can make any change a smoother one.

MacBook Updates

If you are seeing pop-ups on the MacBook reminding you to update to the Sierra operating system, and need any help with that, please check in with a building tech.
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Self Service updates

We use software called jamf Pro to manage all of our iPads and Macbooks. Recent updates to Apple's software for iPads have made it necessary to move up our timeline for updates to the jamf Pro software. This will not affect you much, but you may notice that Self Service looks a bit different (as shown above).

Device Roll-ins

Secondary Roll-ins

We are finalizing the calendar and materials for device roll-ins. Here is the plan so far:

  • 9th-11 grade students will once again be able to hold on to the MacBook for summer. We are doing a "passive opt-in" for this, meaning that it will be assumed that the device is being kept unless it is returned during roll-in. Opt-in communications are being finalized and can be found on the tech documents page on our website.
  • Pearson and Junior High device collection will be done room-to-room (as in past years), with the exception of 9th grade. 9th grade students who are not holding on to the device for summer will bring it down to the Learning Commons for check-in during an assigned time.

Specific dates and times for roll-ins will be communicated to the buildings

Elementary Roll-ins

The elementary buildings do not have a roll-in, exactly, but students in 3rd-5th may want to do some of the same things related to backing up files and so forth. Notes for all of that will be sent out soon. Here is the plan for summer handling of devices:

  • Kindergarten: All devices removed and swapped out for a new device. Ratio remains 2:1.
  • 1st and 2nd grade: No changes. (New devices planned for 2019-2020 school year).
  • 3rd grade: Device moves up to 4th grade with student.
  • 4th grade: Device moves up to 5th grade with student.
  • 5th grade: Devices wiped and moved down to 3rd grade carts.