Thursday, December 6, 2012

Blue Ribbon Technology Report

We have Mr. Coghlin here tonight, presenting along with Bob Walton (who is the head of all things IT for the schools) on a panel that they've had looking at technology in the district.

After an introduction from Mr. Coghlin, Mr. Walton is now spreading technology all over the table (are we insured for this?). Mr. Walton comments that this is not a PowerPoint presentation; it's a Keynote presentation (and it's being done wirelessly).

January-June 2012
Internet is up to 300MB
over 400 document cameras (that's the Elmos)
interactive whiteboard
computer labs
Moodle being used at some schools
network infrastructure put in largely in 1998
average age of computers in system is 6 1/2 years old
8 computer technicians, 2 trainers, 3 database staff, 1 webmaster, 2 network administrators
new system needed for payroll, etc
piloting new technologies

Over 90% of WPS computers use Windows XP; end of support in April 8, 2014
updates ongoing to "patch" operating system
all computers then vulnerable to hackers and exploits
regulatory and legal compliance issues if we can't patch the system (private info in system)
internet policy restrictions for students and teachers: "Are we throwing out the baby with the bathwater?"
PARCC assessment

Needed in infrastructure
working on wifi in all schools: "almost need to get into an access point per classroom to handle" the load (with multiple devices per person)
support for a BYOT (or D) pilot and then bringing it up to scale
professional development: technology is the norm

reviewing and changing regs on YouTube and webmail
changing policy on cellphones in schools
security then needs to be considered
lease or purchase technology
continued commitment to technology

the IT budget was cut, we've done the best we can with that budget
"it's like a car...over time you replace the parts...going to have to make a decision at that point"
at that point with Windows XP expiring

The specifics on recommendations on staffing, computer replacement, and the like are all in the report, which we've sent to Finance and Operations for further consideration.

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