While you were away….

16 Aug While you were away….

Welcome back everyone! The Tech Department has had one of the busiest, craziest summers ever. So many changes. Here is just some of what we were up to while you were away:

 

Kathy Tokarek, our director, retired.

She is now sipping on cold drinks and enjoying the rest of her life after putting her heart and soul into starting and building the Tech Department here at Northview for so long.She is no longer here to answer the phone, and direct needs. Please put in tickets, and we will make sure one of us is assigned to the task.

 

We have two new additions to our Tech Team!

Robin Paredez (HS Spanish Teacher) and Christy Burgess (Crossroads Librarian) have teamed up with us part time as our new Instructional Specialists. They will be working with you closely during PD time, assisting Rob with how-to’s in Synergy, and just helping you and students integrate technology in your classroom’s day to day. Working with them, we have started construction of a new tutorial site (you have to sign in with your Northview email). Please check out the site here.

 

New System Management Software! 

This summer we rolled out a new software (PDQ) that allows us to remotely push out most software you will need on your computer. It will allow us to inventory our technology, as well as remotely take control of the screen to help you out. We have 99% of the kinks worked out at this point. But it’s already much more reliable than the software we have used the last 5 years (LANrev or Absolute as they have been known by). There are so many cool things we can do with this software. Perhaps I want to see any computer that doesn’t have Google Chrome. It shows me all of the machines that fit that requirement. Maybe I want to see machines with less than 10% of their storage left. Voila! Ben and I are geeking out up here.

 

New Teacher Laptops and Docking Stations!!!!

The bit that most of you have been waiting for. Teachers will have new, lighter, faster laptops. Equipped with Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 2016. To accompany these new computers, we have new “docks”. Not docks really. They are more hubs that have a single cable you plug into the laptop which provides all of your connections and power. This will give you more desk space, and freedom with the laptop on the desk. It’s cleaner and nicer looking. For those who don’t have their laptop, we will be around on orientation day for you to stop by and turn in your old laptop and power cable for your new one.

The best part of this? Now because they are all the same exact model, you can go to any classroom in the district and “dock” up. Before we had issues because of the two different models requiring special adapters and setups. So computers from Crossroads wouldn’t work in a High School setup, and so on.

 

Many other building specific upgrades.

Highlands received 2 much needed Chromebook carts. One of those Chromebook carts replaced their laptop lab.

Crossroads Lab B will be receiving a hard drive upgrade (with Windows 10 and Office 2016) which will breath new life into the machines, making them faster. This is still on our to do list and we hope to have it done before school starts.

Crossroads Lab A will be updated to Windows 10 and Office 2016. This is also on our to do list.

Various system tweaks and back end IT voodoo. The stuff that makes the cogs turn.

 

I am sure I forgot a few minor things, but those are the big ones.

If you haven’t received your laptop yet, please be patient. Ben and I are currently trying to install new docks into every classroom and are only about 60% done. We have been leaving (some of) the new laptops hooked up as we make our way through the buildings. The work load is progressing based on which building was able to have us work in it this last month. This isn’t a quick task. It’s rather cumbersome truthfully. Our plan is that anyone who hasn’t received their laptop can come up on Orientation Day while at the High School. We will want your old laptop and cable too, so bring that along.  It’s just pretty difficult for us to try and move 250+ laptops loosely around the district. Especially since we don’t have an official room assignment yet.

Please email me (Marcus) with any questions about the above and I would be happy to help clarify and clear up those questions.