Tidbits

12/6/2017

Welcome to Tech Tidbits! My plan is to share various bits of technology news here to keep you apprised of important tech news in the district. As items come up, I will add them to the top, so in that sense, this will function like a Blog. For items requiring more in-depth instruction, I am creating and linking tutorial documents/videos in the menu bar at the top.

The latest news:

  • Beginning Thursday through next Friday, cabling contractors will be coming in to do walkthroughs of the buildings in response to a Request for Proposal to upgrade our network cabling from CAT5 which is becoming obsolete to CAT6, which should position the district for many years into the future. The plan is to begin in the High School building this fiscal year and depending on our success with bids and funding received through the WI TEACH Infrastructure grant, we may be able to continue into the Elementary School this year or add it to the agenda for next year.
  • Upgrades to the Lightspeed filter were completed last week to improve filtering of content on the Chromebooks. As of Monday, the Chromebooks are now connecting to the MSD-Secure or MSD Secure networks, and students will need to sign into Lightspeed. Students should no longer be connecting the Chromebooks to the MSD Guest or MSD-Guest networks. This will enable students to view educational YouTube videos on the Chromebooks. You can determining what is educational by clicking "Approve" on the blue bar underneath a YouTube video. If you see a video that says "This video is watchable by marion-mustangs.org" and you don't think it should be, please let me know and I can block it. This also blocked the availability of YouTube videos on the Guest network.
  • When the Lightspeed filter changes were implemented, I also instituted greater restrictions on the Guest network, blocking more tunneling & VPN connections, which students were using to gain access to non-educational content on their cell phones.
  • A significant amount of time has been committed over the past couple of months to the final WISEdata submissions for 2016-17 and the initial WISEdata submissions for 2017-18. WISEdata is a statewide network of enrollment, attendance, discipline & grading data that is submitted to the DPI for federal reporting, grant award, statewide assessment, and school report card purposes.
  • A note about the networks. MSD-Secure and MSD-Guest will be going away. These two wireless networks are running on old wireless infrastructure. MSD Secure and MSD Guest are running on the latest Aruba wireless access points which we received through the federal Erate program. I am replacing the old HP MSM APs with the Aruba APs as I get time, and I plan to make significant progress on this over winter break. You should see improved performance on the MSD Secure and MSD Guest networks. Once the network cabling project is complete, you should see additional improvements with wireless speed & connectivity.
  • Videos for installing your own printers and making lab reservations in Google Calendar are linked above in the tutorials section.
  • On December 26th and 27th, I will be working with Skyward IT Services to on some server upgrades, which will result in downtime. Please see the linked memo for more information on that and plan accordingly: https://docs.google.com/a/marion-mustangs.org/document/d/1kLFsjwElugvszA5Mk7gXPYkf53XfWCjXuPyAUTPvHRo/edit?usp=sharing
  • The new website is still on the way - coming sometime in early 2018!

~Nathan