Tech Notes

November 2019

Wireless Network Reminders

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To get the best performance and consistency with network connections, it may be useful to know the following:

SabersWireless: This is our “production” network. it is given the bulk of our bandwidth and resources.

  • All district devices should automatically connect to SabersWireless.
  • Staff can connect personal devices to SabersWireless using their login credentials. Please make sure not to connect district owned devices this way. (You won't be able to print or get into network file shares if you do.)

SabersPublic : A “guest” or “best effort” network, it is limited in bandwidth and number of available connections. We make no guarantees that it will work well or at all at any time.

  • It is extended to guests / visitors in an attempt to offer internet.
  • It is not for curriculum-related use.
  • Connecting district provided devices to SabersPublic will cause them to not function properly.
  • Students can connect personal devices to SabersPublic.

Goal Update: Phishing Prevention

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Audience: All Staff

Measurement Tool: KnowBe4 phishing campaign software.

Current Status (if known): About 7% of staff clicked a link in a phishing e-mail in the past two campaigns (Spring 2019). About 14% clicked in the October 2019 campaign. About 12% clicked in November 2019 campaign.

Target: 4% or less staff click a link or reply to a phishing e-mail by May 2020.

Rationale: Phishing attacks represent a threat to the district that encompasses the possibility of compromised information, identity theft, monetary theft, system outages, data loss, and erosion of trust.

Our updated chart is shown above. Below, I am including an additional chart generated by the service we use to run the phishing campaigns. The reason this is included is to provide some context for our 4% target. That number is not random; it is based on where we are at versus similarly sized and focused institutions.

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Audience: All K-5 teachers

Measurement Tool: To be developed by DLCs, likely a survey in combination with iPad management software reports.

Current Status (if known): 0% (new initiative)

Target: 100% adoption and use of grade-level core or focus apps by May 2020.

Rationale: The core apps represent best case uses in terms of leveraging the capacity of the iPad, encouraging creativity amongst students, and alignment with our instructional framework.

In addition to the rationale noted above, establishing a selection of core apps provides some focus for usage and staff development. It also allows us to encourage greater consistency in our use of tools throughout the district. For example, our use of Seesaw at K-5 is intended to support home-school communication in a relatively closed environment. When we discourage the use of alternative sites or software that offer similar functionality (such as Bloomz) that is the reason why.

The core apps list also notes coding related apps. While coding may not be a formal element in our curriculum, there are many coding-related activities that are consistent with how we teach problem solving, pattern recognition, and logical thinking. Not to mention that it can be a lot of fun and an engaging activity for students. Please check in with the nearest available DLC for suggestions and tips on pursuing the use of coding apps.

Goal Update: Infinite Campus Parent Portal Accounts

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Audience: All Parents

Measurement tool: IC reporting on portal accounts

Current status (if known): 74.47% for district as of September 2019. 76.58% for district as of October.

Target: 90% of households have accounts.

Rationale: As we expand our use of Infinite Campus to include On-Line Registration (which allows annual enrollment “paperwork” to be completed) we have opportunities for improved communication and efficiency that can be realized if we make access and use of IC a priority.

Included above is a chart showing what is generally available to parents in elementary and secondary when they are in the portal. This is in addition to some default items like messaging and forms such as the free and reduced meal application.

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Included in our current Microsoft licensing is access to Minecraft for Education.

We are working on some communication and resources for this application. In the meantime, here are some sites with info and ideas:

Official Site Educator Resources

Common Sense Media Review

EdSurge article: 10 Tips to Start Teaching with Minecraft

Tech Tools: Minecraft Installation

Expected to be available in Self Service 12/2/19.

Staff Device and Wireless Access Point Refresh

We continue to deploy newer iPads to staff. Most of these will replace the iPad mini model. As of now, this project is 91% complete (197/216 deployed).

As we finish up iPads (and as needed in the interim), we will continue with the current wave of staff MacBook replacements. As of now, this wave (year one of three) is about 53% complete (158 of 297 deployed).

Staff receiving a newer MacBook Air should also review the Tech Tools article that explains our rationale and criteria for dongle requests.

Wireless Access Points: Oldest models will be replaced district-wide (about 200). This will be done in two waves, the first wave will replace the older 3600 series model. That wave is started; 28 out of 95 (30%) done. The second wave will be selected 3700 series models and known network "gap" areas.

A useful graphic summarizing the current reality of movie streaming services and legality of classroom use. [Source] Click graphic to open up a larger, easier to read version.