September 2011

September 2011

Tech Committee Notes 9/22/11

Members Present: Lori Cloutier, Tim Stark, Stephanie Wehman, Ray Dretske, Mollee Sheehan, Mark Kringe, Chad Kjorlien.

Members Absent: Peter Bell, Brad Martin, Michelle Voelker

The technology committee met on 9/22/11 and discussed and made decisions on the following items:

Web Content Filter:
• There was discussion on whether our filter should be very constrictive with the idea of limiting the greatest amount of inappropriate content, or to have looser filtering that would prevent valid websites from being blocked at school. The committee decided that a looser content filter for the school would be most appropriate.
• Valley Computers will be able to compile the data on what sites have been blocked and will be able to see if there are any adjustments that need to be made in the future.
• Filters are now up as of 9/22/11.
• Facebook use for classroom websites was discussed. Until a policy is in place the technology committee advises that teacher not create classroom webpages for student use. Facebook will also not be allowed for use at school.

Website Updates:
• Staff can now contact Valley Computer Solutions via our Bluffview website. At the bottom of the home page is a staff resources link that will allow staff to fill out a form and explain technology problems to IT personnel directly. Mark Sheehan stated that the support request forms are working very well as of this point. We will be able to see a list of the types of requests and may add a FAQ section on popular topics.
• A link to the schools remote server can now be found on the school’s staff resources page.
• The technology committee is now on the school website.
Technology Updates:
• Staff have had opportunities to learn about the website program from Ray Dretske. All staff have been trained by Lori Cloutier and Valley Computer Solutions on how to access the remote server. Tim Stark ran a training session on how to use the new outlook email system.

Computer Lab:
• It was brought to our attention that the wiring for both the media center and Erdkinder computer labs is not done correctly. There are multiple issues ranging from incorrect wiring causing unnecessary shorts, and the overall wiring system that makes it easy for cords to be pulled out of place.
• Rewiring for each computer lab is likely to run in the $2500 to $3000. Mark Kringe will suggest an electrician to come in and give an estimate.

Equipment Needs:
• Over the summer 10 of our computers broke down and cannot be repaired. Due to the age of our equipment we can likely expect this amount of computer breakdowns each year. It may be wise to plan for replacing this amount of equipment each year in our budget.

Staff Training and Resource List:
• We would like to develop a list of people who can come in and provide training on different types of software for our school staff.
• Sending staff out to trainings should also be considered.
• Mark Kringe and Chad Kjorlien both volunteered to run training sessions.

Outlook:
• As a school we would like to set up a school wide calendar.
Staff Survey:
• We will develop a staff survey of computer competency. This will be used to guide future staff trainings.
Google Docs:
• Valley Computers would like to eliminate the use of flash drives in our school network in order to reduce the amount of viruses entering our computers. The idea of providing the students with remote access was debated and decided against. Since Erdkinder students are the only ones who need to transfer files back and forth, it was decided that google accounts will be given to our Erdkinder students.