Monday, October 8, 2012

Classrooms

In the second blog posting, I wanted to discuss what is going on in the classroom, in terms of updating the tools in them.

Almost all the St. Philip classrooms haven't had their technology tools updated since the new school building was built.  We are overdue in assessing what needs updating!

Here are some items that we have identified...

  • The teacher's computers are failing and are outdated.  Most of these computers are over five years old and their components are starting to fail
  • EVERY teacher uses their computer in different capacities...some push their computers to their maximum potential but are limited with the older technology
  • The operating system in use on the majority of computers at the school, Windows XP, will no longer be supported starting in April, 2014
  • The classrooms need a collaboration system that can allow classes to engage with other classes/teachers around the world.  In addition, it is very difficult for students to share their electronic creations/portfolio in the classrooms today.  This involves reviewing all audio/video requirements for the classroom, including interactive tools like smartboards/iPads/AppleTVs
  • No full time computer staff member that can sustain all of the above.  This all done with some of the staff at the school but mostly handled by volunteers
Given these items, we are exploring newer tools/methodologies that support our vision of mobility and access anywhere...
  • The transition of most IT services to the "cloud"...this provides St. Philip great opportunities in terms of flexibility, backup and cost savings.  We are currently transitioning the majority of school staff and upper grade students over to Google Apps.  We have already successfully moved Destiny's Quest to the cloud!  And, from an IT perspective, we don't have to worry about support and backing up data, which require a fair amount of resources that the school currently doesn't have much of
  • Allow the applications that are in use by the school to be available, securely, on any desktop (not just Windows)
  • The exploration of DaaS (or Desktop as a Service) - Computer desktops in the "cloud"...teachers and staff may gain access to their computer "desktop," securely, from any device or "zero client," not just from their computer
  • Update the computers in use by teachers.  Computers are needed more than ever, but we will assess the needs of each teachers and design an appropriately solution per teacher
  • Audio/Video/Conference integrated systems
  • Provide training for staff on utilize modern tools
  • Explore staff/consulting services for supporting the school's IT needs
  • The updating of the computer and Accelerated Learning labs
  • Reduced power consumption - to keep inline with the green initiatives of the school
Exciting times are ahead for the school!! Stay tuned!

As always, if you have any questions, please send them to technology@stphiliptheapostle.org.

Thanks!

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