Technology Committee News
SmarterBalanced testing has begun at Richards School. Students have been able to access the tests from both PCs and Chromebooks with very few technical difficulties. Teachers are quickly learning how to use the online proctoring tools. Testing at the other two schools will commence in April.
During the holiday break, technicians were busy re-purposing the access points that were removed from the high school at the Richards and Towle School buildings. Teachers and students in both building have been experiencing faster and more reliable wifi. The improved wifi comes just in time for our first administration of web-based NWEA testing, which starts at the beginning of February.
The new wireless network is up and running at NM&HS/SRVRTC. We replaced the 35 old model wireless access points with 55 brand new access points. These APs can handle more traffic more quickly. The old network, Newport-GA, has been shut down. Staff should not notice any change in connectivity with district issued devices; these machines were automatically joined to the new, SAU43-ED, network. Staff and students will notice that they can no longer connect using their personal devices; the traffic on Newport-GA was at least 50% unauthorized devices due to the widespread sharing of the access code. The good news is, the new APs will allow us to share the wireless network with a new SAU43-GUEST network. The Tech Committee and the Policy Committee are working on policy and procedure for allowing students and staff to bring their own devices and connect to the Internet through the SAU43-GUEST network and filters. We hope to have that work done and be ready to start issuing access codes after the Christmas break. Finally, the upgrade at NM&HS allows us to repurpose the old access points at Richards and Towle, doubling the wireless connectivity in both schools.
The Technology Department has issued a Request for Proposals for technology upgrades in the 2014-2015 school year. Areas of highest priority are the wireless network at the Middle and High School, a switch upgrade, server back-up, and replacing aging servers. Details for the RFP can be found at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sHmWtP8xEmwYPnk6aTKPrsMy1cQgG3R7JOS_IfJFdPA/edit?usp=sharing. Other areas of need include the aging fleet of laptops on NM&HS COW carts, replacement cycle for teacher laptops, and continued professional development for integrating technology into the core curriculum.
The summer of 2014 brought extensive work on the technology infrastructure. All three school buildings were wired with Cat-6 cable, hooked up to Fast Roads fiber, and outfitted with security enhancements such as cameras, telephones in every room, and outdoor speaker systems. Work proposed for this fall includes improved wireless coverage and capacity. The most noticeable summer project is the refurbishing of the combination library and technology lab at Towle School. Stop by and check out the beautiful new space.
The Technology Committee will meet June 18, 19 and 20, 2014 to work on the district technology plan. We will meet at the Richards School computer lab, room 221, from 8:30am to 2:00pm. We will be using the NH STaR-Chart and the Tech Planning Guide, both available from the NH DOE Office of Educational Technology at http://nheon.org/oet/#plans, to guide the plan writing.
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