I am going to address one issue that was mentioned in this post, and that is the need for Network logins/authentication. While there has been a shift to cloud based storage (yeah), the need for authentication to allow network access has not entirely gone away. School internal network systems still must run critical applications to ensure network connectivity to conduct day to day business and remain compliant with the law. To operate a computer network without local authentication, CFS and IDS/IPS is risky business. In addition to unauthorized access by non-school related external users, removing authentication from networks puts critical business systems including HVAC, Security Controls, Financial systems, SMS’s, and HIPAA protected systems at risk of unauthorized access and/or disclosure.
Recently there was a discussion on this Listserv about backups. Interestingly enough no mention was made of backups to critical business systems or network and telecommunications services required to conduct day to day business operations or to deliver services to classrooms. If a school building were destroyed by fire or flooding, how would critical servers such as DHCP, DNS, AD be restored quickly? How often and where is infrastructure equipment such as switches, routers and WAPs backed up for rapid replacement, restoration and/or redeployment? How would business, student management and other systems be restored quickly to an alternate site while critical repairs were made to the main campus? While education is our primary business, the realm of IT in public education has become much bigger than just updating computers and providing an internet connection to classrooms.
Director of Technology
North Country Supervisory Union
121 Duchess Ave Suite A
Newport, VT 05855
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Good idea (redirecting the My documents) for those who want that feature. I know I've recently changed how I use "my documents" It use to be the place where "everything would go, but as I use my computer for more and more things, the amount of space I was using grew so much I started to feel like a horder with lots of clutter). And just as terrabyte drives were becoming available and cheap I moved to a MUCH smaller solid state hard drive and cloud storage which has me 'automatically" saving things to temporary spaces that doesn't get backed up but instead gets purged and using my "my documents" space for things I need backed up.
As we approach a time when we live in an increasingly digital world, we are seeing new workflows emerge and one of our challenges will be to LET GO of workflows or at least NOT try to hold on to paradigms that will prevent us from thinking creatively about new workflows.
I think that the pace at which technology is changing has increased so much that even Moore's law is dated! So questions like 'will my next technology purchase last 10 years (or even 5 years)' seem less and less relevant. If we measure how long a piece of technology should cost or last, we are really measuring a cost/benefit ratio over time. But in order to do that, we need to look at the LIST of things we used technology for "then" vs "now" vs "in the future".
If the percentage of our total school budget for technology was n% in 2010, does that mean it should be n% in 2015 when the use of that technology piece has doubled in both number of hours used and number of functions it serves.
ooops I started to wander off from my initial intent which was discussing new workflows. I think about recent changes to my own workflows over the past few years
which included moving from
having everything local and wanting it more centralized (thus came server space)
server space needs increased tremendously and ed tech responded
then came the need to be collaborative,
centralization helped us with that functions and we started to look at shared server space
Remember investing in increased centralized storage space and centralized backup solutions that could handle that. There were even solutions that forced users to 1 gig of server space to allow for enough space for everyone.
And now we are looking into solutions that support mobile learning and collaboration over centralization. Let's learn everywhere, anywhere, anytime and with anybody. That means letting go of local network logins that made the "centralization" possible and valuable to us just a few years ago.
Are we now at a time when we are ready to let go of a need for 'terabytes" of storage space or even printing solutions in favor of faster Internet access and more mobility. Are we ready to let go of ideas that a technology devices needs to last 5 years and invest in a solution that will serve our purpose over the next two years instead of the next 5 years (since we can't predict what functions will be important or even necessary ( muttering under my breath -- SBAC testing )
Does renting software (i.e. could based solution) make more sense than investing in purchasing software. How do we start to think about this differently and budget for it differently.
These are times that require being nimble, rapid prototyping, adaptability, uncertainty, letting go and constant redefinition. They are exciting times, times when conversations (like those from this list) and connectivism will more important than ever. .... ah.. I didn't mean to ramble.. forgive my wandering mind this Sunday morning.
On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 7:38 PM, Eric Hall <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
"as well as other programs that don't natively save directly to google drive."
For those with dedicated computers (teachers,) installing Drive for PC creates shortcuts so that local applications can save to Drive. You can even redirect MyDocs to Google Drive so that they don't "accidentally" save locally!
Technology Integration Specialist
Mount Mansfield Union High School
Chittenden East SU
No trees were injured in the creation of this message, but a significant number of electrons were inconvenienced.
On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 1:28 PM, Leslie, Ben <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I've played around with different scenarios regarding eliminating network storage and utilizing cloud storage. My concern is users will forget to save files to their g-drive, and keep it saved to local disk storage and then not have access to it when they move to a different lab computer...was this an issue you had that was gradually fixed when students/factually got used to cloud storage?....we currently redirect 'my documents' to a windows server, as well as provide some additional shared/public network storage
we're a mix of office suite users and google docs, as well as other programs that don't natively save directly to google drive.
On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 1:12 PM, Mark Kline <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> -Mark, do you integrate Linux machines with an MS AD domain....user login, network file storage that works across multiple OS platforms?
We do access file storage on a Windows 2008 server, although almost nothing gets saved there anymore -- it pretty much all goes to GDrive. We no longer log in to AD, however. Access to the server is so rare that people just go to that when they need it.
If local storage was still vital we would probably switch to Linux for the file server. As it is, however, we're putting our time in elsewhere.
>> Do you all feel like your systems are ready for web based standardized testing?
The SBAC Lock-Down browser is supported on the Linux platform. We have tested the sample assessment and it works fine. The only place we aren't ready is with the netbooks as the screens are too small.
Mark Kline, M.Ed.
Waterbury-Duxbury School District, Vermont
On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 12:59 PM, Leslie, Ben <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Anything with an XP sticker won't be supported by Microsoft come April '14.
-Mark, do you integrate Linux machines with an MS AD domain....user login, network file storage that works across multiple OS platforms?
Do you all feel like your systems are ready for web based standardized testing?
On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 12:46 PM, Mark Kline <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
We have quite a few older machines (including many in the 8-9 year old category). Although it would be great to be able to never have anything older than 4-5 years, it's just not realistic for us at this time.
Since we use Ubuntu Linux, we find that the older machines are quite serviceable. Both Firefox and Chrome run nicely on them, so 90+ percent of what we currently do is covered by those browsers.
We're always willing to provide a little demo if anyone's interested.
Mark Kline, M.Ed.
Waterbury-Duxbury School District, Vermont
On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 12:21 PM, Leslie, Ben <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
So you'd say a 8 or 9 year old computer is still "useful"? what are you using those PCs for? what are the hardware specs for your 8/9 year machines?
On Thu, Jan 2, 2014 at 9:33 PM, Bjorn Behrendt <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
For my 1:1 next year I am getting Chromebooks on a 2 year lease. 1:1 devices get a lot of legitimate wear and tare and after running MSJ's for three years in would not expect any device to last 4 years, let alone a sub-$500 device.
As for other computers, I recently was looking at my numbers and came up with a $100 rule. If a computer cost me $1000 then I would expect it to last me 10 years. At $300 it should last 3. You defiantly have to be flexible but it seemed to be the average I was already using.
On Jan 2, 2014 12:41 PM, "Ben Leslie" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I'm trying to get a general idea of how often/(in)frequently equipment gets replaced in your school districts.
I'd be interested in knowing what you all consider the "useful" lifespan is for:
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