Provost to Enterprise...

Vince, I would be active in the pizza meetings but the 2.5 hour drive in a car that has a cassette player just doesnít cut it anymore. At least not on any sort of regular basis. You can only listen to those 11 tapes I have so many times. I keep thinking that I need to upgrade all the way to an mp3 player in the car... satellite radio... perhaps another car... catapults are just so impractical this time of year...

Gatherings that help us all look toward the horizon in hopes that what we implement in education is not out of touch with what students are really doing or where they are headed are essential. Paul Irish contacted me a bit ago and said he and Mike Lambert (Hi Mike !) began talks of having another pizza conference this Spring, possibly at St. Mikes. Paul asked me if Iíd consider bringing the velvet Elvis up for the conference. I asked Elvis and he cried, so I assume he was overwhelmed and appreciative of the opportunity. Itís a crying velvet Elvis for those of you that that donít know. A shameful and gaudy display. Fabulous tech mascot really. Very fun. A conference sounds like a blast ! It also offers up an opportunity to get at those regular pizza meetings Vince was mentioning for some of that there professional developiní.

Iíd love to help out but could not coordinate regular pizza meetings. I chatted this over with Steve Walker at SB and he volunteered the help of the gents at SB to help out and also to serve up the money from the till form past conferences. Hopefully heís told them that before they read this ; )

I'd suggest that someone call a date for pizza meeting to start whippin' up an agenda:

Here are a few ideas / themes that caught my eye of the past year or so. Just a list or what comes to mind, nothing more than to get things started. Chime in if you choose on these or other potential topics. If we were to do this again it would be great for people to take on individual sessions to present to the group.

1. Lunch. Very important.

2. Paperwork ! Hereís a plan, thereís a plan, does anyone really read these plans ? If someone were to align state standards to curriculum by just writing down some numbers would anyone catch it ? How many people sent in last years plan and just changed the date ? Be honest ! Are these extensive plans and related schedules detrimental or productive to technology education initiatives in schools ? How can the process be modified to be better ? Is there a way to further collaborate on the construction of these plans ? Imagine a few people would chime in on this one. 

3. Snacks and drinks. Very important. Adds a bit of civility to the whole thing too. Since we're at a college during Spring break, perhaps we could do a cash bar ! Just kidding.

4. Web 2.0 (or the web we all use outside of the classroom or with admin rights): Clearly identifying the responsibilities legal obligations of IT departments in public ed and how they can meet them and still provide cutting edge services. Other free services out there that offer email: Do they stack up, are they legal ? Can they be managed in k-12 ? Chat in use around the state ? Status of blogs and wikis usage etc.

5. Same olí, same olí: New backup technologies. Redundant servers, HD based backup. Responsibilities for taking critical data off site and best practices / products people are using.

6. Wireless Security: Registering mac addresses, other methods, or running really long cables for mobile users. Whatís your plan and is it working ?

7. Perhaps a real chat on a State wide one to one initiative ? Quite a bit of data that there are great things happening in Maine. What would it take to get that going in VT ? Sure beats installing more computer labs ! What can individual schools do to help lobby for this ?

8. Spam, spam, spam. The new and improved spam and new ideas to filter reams of junk. Web site tips with email addresses etc. What are people doing that is working ?

9. Hands on sessions were always popular as was the Ďround tableí session where people brought problems to the collective. The one thing Iíve learned after a few years, people like time for lunch to catch up. Server installs, imaging systems ? Good one for vendors to setup and demo.

10. Commercial vendors ?

11. Round table. Always popular. Allows some ot jump out early for travel or to bring your problem to a very large think tank to help you decipher.

12. Vista and OS X ? (edubuntu and open office). Right tool for the right job. Into, in-depth, imaging considerations, spyware and virus protection etc. I remember when we had Windows 95 on this venue ! 

So chime in and letís gab on this. Thanks for the reminder to Paul and Vince. I do miss chatting with everyone at those meetings. Might as well crank it up again. Weíre not getting any younger after all. Adam

-----Original Message-----
From: School Information Technology Discussion on behalf of Paul Irish
Sent: Wed 12/20/2006 2:17 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: zacharinos and pizza conference
Mark your calendar!  VITA-Learn has agreed to support the resurrection
of Elvis, pizza, and various other technical entertainment to be held at
Saint Michael's College on Friday, March 16th.  We will take care of the
location arrangements.  The agenda and all other details will be
determined by the usual suspects at planning meetings at Zachary's Pizza
in South Burlington * if you are interested be sure to watch this
list-serve for planning meeting announcements. 


L. Paul Irish
Director of Information Technology
Burlington School District
150 Colchester Ave.
Burlington, VT, 05401
Voice: 802-864-8465
Fax: 802-864-8501
E-Mail: [log in to unmask]