Future hardware and services updates

posted Jan 31, 2018, 12:27 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated May 1, 2018, 11:10 AM ]
Welcome to the future
Realizing that the only constant in technology is change, we are planning for a number of hardware and service updates in the next couple of years. As always, these plans are themselves subject to change as technology evolves and our funding fluctuates.

WARNING: Any district messages regarding these transitions will be sent out directly by Granger Meador and will NOT have [External] at the start of the subject line. Anything else you see is likely a phishing scam and should be deleted.

SERVICES UPDATES

Service

Currently

Replaced by

Timeframe

Desktop productivity applications Office 2010

G Suite for Ed; Office 2010 will still be installed, but Office 2016 only installed as required*

In progress
Gradebook of record PowerTeacher Gradebook PowerTeacher Pro Summer 2018
Network & PowerSchool passwords minimum of 6 characters minimum of 8 characters** Summer 2018
Desktop operating system Windows 7 Windows 10 Secondary in summer 2018; elementary in summer 2019
Staff email, calendars Exchange Server

School Desktop: 
Outlook 2010

Chromebook & off campus: 
Outlook Web Access 

Smartphones & tablets:
Exchange accounts
Gmail and Google Calendar

District Gmail manual, video, etc.


District Google Calendar manual, video, etc.
June 2018
Websites Google Sites Content management system When Google Sites is retired; we should get a year's advance notice

*Microsoft Office:
We will continue to provide Office 2010 on staff desktop machines. Office 2016 is installed in business computer labs, but will be installed on staff machines only as required because we have a limited number of licenses that don't require annual subscription payments.

Our transition from Office to G Suite is driven by these factors:
  • All certified staff now have Chromebooks for ready mobile access
  • G Suite Apps provide significant advantages for viewing, commenting, and editing shared documents
  • We do not wish to incur annual subscription costs for newer Microsoft Office applications
So we urge staff members to begin migrating, when feasible:
  • Use Google Docs instead of Microsoft Word
  • Use Google Slides instead of Microsoft Powerpoint
  • Use Google Sheets instead of Microsoft Excel
You can get some tips on these transitions, and the transition in summer 2018 from Outlook to Gmail and Google Calendar at:
**Passwords:
Our current student passwords are only 6 characters and no longer meet Google or Canvas security requirements.
HARDWARE UPDATES

Devices

Currently

Replaced by

Timeframe

Teacher & staff desktop computers 6-to-7-year-old systems with slow spinning hard drives

New systems with fast solid state disks***

Secondary in summer 2018; elementary in summer 2019
Student  desktop computers in elementary classrooms 2 student stations in elementary classrooms Shift current teacher desktops to elementary student stations, but Windows 7 end-of-life is in January 2020 Summer 2019
Secondary student devices Take-home Chromebooks in grade 9; Chromebooks carts in 10-12 ELA Take-home Chromebooks for secondary students Grades 9-12 starting August 2018; grades 6-12 starting August 2019

***The new systems will have 256 GB solid state disks. We will be deploying Google File Stream on them for easy access to your Google My Drive and Team Drives within Windows 10 without consuming disk space.


STUDENT TAKE-HOME CHROMEBOOKS UPDATES
  • We will likely shift all freshman take-home Chromebooks to a new BPS-Chrome WiFi network to help implement the Lightspeed Relay extension, which should provide web filtering off-campus while allowing students to view whitelisted YouTube videos on or off campus
  • Once Relay is working properly, we will tackle the Lightspeed Classroom Orchestrator, which is supposed to allow teachers to set up Google Classrooms and then monitor and control the freshmen's take-home Chromebooks
ENHANCED CONFERENCE ROOMS
  • We hope to eventually have a large monitor or projector in the conference room(s) at each site, hooked up to a Chrome device with remote keyboard and mouse
    • This allows those with Chromebooks to cast to the projector or monitor wirelessly
    • ESC downstairs conference room is the testbed