Technology News

Data Breaches and Identity Theft

posted Mar 23, 2017, 7:16 AM by Darrell Hatfield   [ updated Mar 23, 2017, 7:16 AM ]

Data breaches and identity theft have become hot button issues of late and no organization is completely safe.  As a result, there have been a few school divisions that have been hit with phishing email scams and supplied unscrupulous people with personally identifiable sensitive employee information. If you are ever a victim of identity theft you can get valuable information on how to move forward from the attached files. Please always remember to be suspicious of any email you receive that may look "off" in any way and NEVER reply with sensitive information or click on any attachments.

FCC Lifeline Discount for Low Income Families

posted Mar 29, 2016, 9:32 AM by Darrell Hatfield

The FCC has a program that gives low income families a $9.25 discount on their wireless and landline phones. To apply for this discount you need to contact your service provider and ask to apply. The FCC is currently in discussion to add broadband internet to this program. This would allow you to get a discount on all broadband services you purchase for your home. If this gets approved you will again need to contact a provider for information and to apply. You can read more about what the FCC is planning on doing at http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2016/db0314/DOC-338113A1.pdf.

Promethean ActivPanels

posted Mar 4, 2016, 4:10 AM by Darrell Hatfield

We have ordered a few Promethean ActivPanels. They are described as: The Promethean ActivPanel delivers incredible full HD and 4K Ultra HD picture quality, powerful interactive software and an intuitive touchscreen to create a truly engaging learning experience. These are basically a "SmartBoard" inside a television. We got a great offer that included discount pricing on each panel, a free stand for each, and a full day's professional development for our TTRTs for free.

Leading a Digital Transformation

posted Feb 5, 2016, 10:11 AM by Darrell Hatfield

Very good article on what a digital transformation really means for a school division.

Funding calls attention to the importance of computer science in today’s education

posted Feb 2, 2016, 10:45 AM by Darrell Hatfield   [ updated Feb 2, 2016, 10:53 AM ]

With the many coding initiatives that are out in schools now, there is a push to get more students involved in writing program code and computer science. Below is an article detailing the federal government's push for more coding in schools.

Obama seeks $4B for computer science classes

Phishing Emails and Data Breaches

posted Jan 22, 2016, 7:54 AM by Darrell Hatfield

With the news today that UVA recently had a data breach I thought it would be a good idea to post some ways to determine what constitutes a Phishing email. We have all received an email that looks unfamiliar and requests our login information. The vast majority of the time these are "phishing" emails. The sole purpose of these emails is to get your login information to gain access to our network. Once inside there are many things a hacker can do to cause havoc with our systems and steal our internal information. Below are some tips that you can use to determine if an email is a phishing email. Always remember, it is better to delete an email if you have the slightest doubt in it authenticity.

OCPS Broadband/Fiber Project

posted Jan 21, 2016, 12:37 PM by Darrell Hatfield   [ updated Jan 21, 2016, 12:44 PM by Gary Mittler ]

With the new changes to Erate (government reimbursement for telecommunications costs), we are in position to take advantage of this program to expand and increase bandwidth within our division. We have released an RFP to request proposals for lit fiber, dark fiber, and self provisioned fiber. Upon completion of this project we will increase the amount of bandwidth between our schools and central office by 333% in the first year up to 3,333% in the near future. This will open up more robust learning opportunities for our students and allow them enough bandwidth to take advantage of virtually any cloud based resource. If you are interested in viewing the RFP or know someone who would like to submit a proposal you can access the link below.

Staff Laptop Replacement

posted Jan 21, 2016, 12:24 PM by Darrell Hatfield   [ updated Jan 21, 2016, 12:42 PM by Gary Mittler ]

We are entering into a lease agreement to purchase 530 staff laptops to replace aging staff computers within the district. Currently the only way a staff member gets a "new" computer is if they have grant money targeted for their school or if we take an recycled student testing computer and issue it to them. As a result our staff members are using a hodge podge of different computers of different ages. Some computers out in our schools are to old to run software needed to impact instruction. With the new laptop lease, we will be able to replace instructional staff computers every 5 years with brand new laptops and desktops for clerical staff. Most school systems have had this program in place for years so it is with great pride that we can now say we are providing the same level of technology for OCPS staff.

Replacement Wireless Project

posted Jan 21, 2016, 12:00 PM by Gary Mittler   [ updated Mar 4, 2016, 4:14 AM by Darrell Hatfield ]

USAC has formally approved our application for federal erate money to replace out current wireless infrastructure with a new state of the art Aerohive wireless system. This replacement system will allow us to expand capacity and coverage to allow more student and teacher devices on our network expanding learning opportunities for our students. We will implement a new open access network in each facility to allow users access to wireless. We will also have external radios to allow emergency response vehicles and law enforcement access to our wireless network at any OCPS location. This project allows us to better server our students, staff, and community needs pertaining to wireless connectivity.
UPDATE: We have received and inventoried all of the equipment for this project and have begun the project management portion of the project. We hope to have about half of our schools completed before SOL testing begins in May.

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