Web server upgrades started at 6pm tonight and were completed by 10:01pm.
The sendmail needs to be looked at as wordpress sites are not currently sending any email. We will look at is over the next few days.
Web server upgrades started at 6pm tonight and were completed by 10:01pm.
The sendmail needs to be looked at as wordpress sites are not currently sending any email. We will look at is over the next few days.
Have you ever been frustrated by technology? I know I certainly have. I deal with tech every day and experience successes and failures. Having a healthy way to express our frustrations at failures is important for ourselves and our students.
FAIL = First Attempt In Learning
While it’s hard to apply the FAIL acronym to broken tech or that darn printer when it won’t print its a good one to keep in mind. Technology Services deals with failures, puzzles, and challenges every day. We aim to move failures to successes and try to learn from every case.
Who’s in your audience?
Have you used voice calling in your vehicle or Siri/Cortana/Google Assistant and ever had a problem getting them to recognize what you are asking? How do you react when it doesn’t understand you? Is it different that how you react to a child or an adult that doesn’t understand you?
I recall having a hard time getting voice assist to understand me in my wife’s car and I was thoroughly frustrated. Fortunately I was alone in the car and parked. I realized that the voice commands may not have been understood because I was frustrated. When I slowed my voice it caught on, eventually…
Another time I was trying to load scratchjr (great programming app for pre-k to primary) on my ipad for my daughter to try and everything else was updating at the same time because I had it turned off for a couple of weeks. I could sense my frustration as the ipad was unresponsive but I moderated my reaction based on my audience, my two little girls. I realize it is more important to show them patience with a challenging tech issue. I’m not always patient but I want them to be resilient in the face or difficulties, not angry or frustrated.
When in front of students how do you react to tech challenges? Do you think they’d lead to resilience and grit in students or kids throwing their hands up in the air?
Please keep your audience in mind when you deal with tech challenges. Our students learn much from us beyond the curriculum we teach!
Sometimes anger and frustration at a tech problem is cathartic, but please consider your audience and choose your reaction appropriately. Deep breath.
How will your reactions change when the tech has artificial intelligence (AI) and may have feelings of a sort? I’ve contemplated this and now make sure I say please and thank you to Siri when asking for a timer, the weather or a phone call. Siri works one way or the other but my decision to be polite is also a decision to model for my audience.
I Need Help
If you need help with your tech, please give Technology Services a call at 250-785-HELP, we would be happy to.
If you need help with how you are feeling, please connect with the Emergency Family Assistance Program – http://www.prn.bc.ca/ts/?p=952 .
An update to user passwords structures will be sent via email to secretaries and administrators. The change will be implemented this summer.
The structure of passwords will apply to user accounts in K-12. Student accounts will have unique passwords. There will be no more generic school based passwords for K-5 students. There will be no change for student password structures in grades 6-12.
Posters will be made available for labs.
The generic lab account in elementary will also be changed and that info will be sent to secretaries and administrators. Technicians will make certain that info is posted in labs.
School secretaries can retrieve user accounts and passwords for students by homeroom via their UMRA tool.
If a school would like help mail merging these into letters, labels, cards etc please contact Technology Services and we can assist you. An example of a card strategy is available at http://www.prn.bc.ca/ss/k5DL/?p=74
Originally Published Oct 2009 – Updated May 2016 (Newest items in Bold)
This policy is meant to provide some clear guidelines regarding what technology will be assigned as an End of Life (EoL) asset and no longer supported after the date attached to the specific hardware, OS, or software below. An exponential increase in the demands on Technology Services makes it impossible to support everything. This will also help in planning for technology as locations with EoL devices can prioritize spending based on the policy.
End of Life assets can remain in the district however there will be no priority or funds allocated to their servicing.
Special consideration may be given to assistive technology for 1701 identified students whose IEP requires technology that does not meet the specifications below. This could possibly include conversations with the School Principal/LAT, Technology Services, and Learning Services regarding the appropriate solution.
As computer technology changes rapidly, the specifications of this policy are to be reviewed yearly by TS management and the SD60 Technology Committee.
Operating Systems (OS) that will no longer be supported
Hardware Systems that will no longer be supported
Hardware Devices that will no longer be supported
Software that will no longer be supported
This policy is set to be reviewed each year by TS and partners if they wish to share ideas.
The Joint Technology Advisory Committee is a committee comprised of members of the PRNTA, CUPE, Administration, and the Superintendent. It discusses issues involving technology in education, and school district business. Today’s discussion topic was Standard Technology in Classrooms. The Joint Committee has released the following statement:
Laurie Petrucci from Technology Services spent time this last year presenting to Grade 4 classes regarding Digital Citizenship and Safety. Her pre and post survey results are available in the linked PDF below.
A key take away was before the session that half of our grade 4 students did not know that what they post online could be permanent.
The post survey showed that 91% of responding students believed that their online posts were permanent.
End of day on May 20, 2016 is the cut-off date for tech purchasing.
The City of Fort St John recently tweeted out garbage and recycling stats. This is a great real world learning object for a wide variety of grades / curricular areas.
— City of Fort St John (@fortstjohn) March 4, 2016
It would be very interesting at the end of the year to see all the stats for all months.
Asking students, “what do you wonder?” about the chart could generate all kinds of interesting topics to study and further questions to ask. Some of my initial thoughts below
What do your students wonder? Comment below and share!
Our Preferred Tier 1 Vendor is HP for Switches.
Procurement of Layer 3 Switches
For School Districts procuring layer 3 switches, to integrate school sites into the NGN PLNet infrastructure, the following features are required:
The following layer 3 switch features should be considered as they will position
Districts both now and the future:
Originally posted September 22, 2014.
The computer desktop refresh cycle for schools replaces computers in labs as well as classroom teacher stations. This four year cycle has been in place since the 2010-2011 school year.
A requirement for schools to continue receiving these computer refreshes is that Digital Citizenship and Safety needs to be planned for and included in their school in any of the following ways:
The strategies must be publically documented on the school’s website in one or more fashion
The above and more are available at http://district.prn.bc.ca/course/view.php?id=8
This policy is in effect for schools up for replacement beyond July 2015.
This policy is in addition to the current purchasing policy for student devices that requires a plan for digital citizenship and safety which is available at http://www.prn.bc.ca/ts/?p=2165
Schools up for replacement computers (lab or classroom) in 2017-2018 are below. Links are to their plans/resources provided.
NPSS (Drafting, 206) –
ELC (Lab and Classroom*) –
Upper Pine (Lab and Classroom) –
Prespatou (Lab) –
Bert Ambrose (Lab and Classroom) –
Duncan Cran (Lab) –
Dr Kearney (Lab) –
Clearview (Classroom) –
Schools up for replacement computers (lab or classroom) in 2016-2017 are below. Links are to their plans provided.
Alwin Holland (Lab and Classroom) – http://www.holland.prn.bc.ca/?p=4002
Baldonnel (Lab) – Baldonnel behaviour matrix
Charlie Lake (Classroom) – http://www.charlie.prn.bc.ca/?page_id=8
NPSS (Library Lab) – http://www.npss.prn.bc.ca/?page_id=1989
Buick – http://www.prespatou.prn.bc.ca/?page_id=777
Wonowon – Wonowon Elementary School Technology Plan 2016 – 2017
Upper Halfway – Revised UH Digital Citizenship
Hudson’s Hope (Classroom) – http://www.hudson.prn.bc.ca/?page_id=953
Schools up for replacement computers (lab or classroom) in 2015-2016 are:
Taylor (lab) – http://www.taylor.prn.bc.ca/?page_id=2751
Charlie Lake (lab) – http://www.charlie.prn.bc.ca/?p=1560
Duncan Cran (classroom) – http://www.duncan.prn.bc.ca/?page_id=1305
RO (lab) – http://www.ogilvie.prn.bc.ca/?p=1539
Ecole Central (classrooms)
NPSS (Classrooms and 204) – http://www.npss.prn.bc.ca/?page_id=1989
The Next Generation Network starts today at the school board office and Bert Bowes.
Schedules are being sent out to schools and updated to those that need them as they are changing as people resources are available.
Upgrades will be made through the month of January and February at nearly all SD60 sites.
Devices to be retired that have data storage devices like hard drives, solid state drives etc should have the storage device wiped and/or the storage device should be destroyed.
To be clear this has been a long standing practice in the department.
I’m happy to say the Microsoft Office HUP has been renewed until March 31, 2018.
This enables staff to purchase Office 2013 (PC) or Office 2011 (Mac) for their personally owned computers (up to two) for the low cost of $11. For more information on how to do this please see http://www.prn.bc.ca/ts/?p=1959
For staff members,
When you step away from your computer please lock it. It is an important and required step to protect private student information accessible through your computer and accounts.
If you access systems via personally owned mobile devices or computers it is expected that you pin/password lock those devices as well to protect your data, and your access into student information system.
For more information on how to lock your computer or device please see the following Google Doc.
Our previous Microsoft Home Use Program (very inexpensive MS Office) expired March 31st, 2015. ERAC and MS are working on a new contract for us. Details will be posted when it arrives.
Until then the HUP is not available.
The assessment portal (assess.prn.bc.ca) will be unavailable on March 23rd and 24th due to a system upgrade.
Please note the following dates for end of year WWP inventory
June 3 – no more take home allowed after this date
June 9 – teachers/schools to phone home if any ipads have not yet come back
Between June 3 and inventory please check to see that students have not attached a private itunes account to icloud and turned on Find My iPad. If they have this will need to be turned off with their itunes password. We’ll send out a step by step doc to show how to check this later.
June 15-19 Inventory – Technology Services will be on site to collect ipads and wipe them at that time. Specific dates per location will be given at a later date.
Toni will send out info regarding Cold Writes later.
PLNet reports that a technician has been dispatched and should be onsite shortly to the Vancouver Core Router to determine the cause of the outage. No ETR.
Wednesday around 3:20 outside internet went down due to an unspecified error. Provincial Learning Network has informed that it is province-wide. No estimated time of repair has been given. Internal web and site to site appears to be working.
Allow List (authored originally Feb 4, 2015)
Technology Services is moving schools to an Allow List model of access to our networks. This is due to an overwhelming number of devices that have used up all available IP addresses at sites. An IP address is like a parking spot on the network. If no spots are available you can’t get on. Currently we are using a Deny List in most sites that is like whack a mole knocking off devices weekly and sometime daily with much unintended blocking as we don’t always know which device is whose (towing cars after they’ve parked). The Allow List strategy moves us to proactive from reactive (like the new parking gates at the Northern Grand)
We want to make certain that the networks have sufficient space for our staff and district owned devices. To allow you a parking spot, we need to know details of your device, most importantly is your Wireless MAC address. If you were to get a new privately owned device, it will have a new MAC address that would need to be submitted.
What this means is that if you have not submitted the wireless MAC address for your privately owned device we may inadvertently block you or when we move your school to the Allow model, it will not be able to connect to the SD60 Trusted Network (wired, SD60-Staff, SD60-Student). You should not have to submit anything for district owned devices as we have that MAC address in our inventory system and it has already been added to the Allow list. We will have a technician on site the day of switching to an allow list to make certain things are working. You can help us greatly and limit any connectivity issues for yourself by submitting your MAC address before the change.
Phones/iPods represent a large group of possible spaces taken up. If they have their MAC addresses submitted we will determine if there is adequate space to be allowed depending on local availability.
SD60-Public (10.xx.xx.xx addressing, throttled internet only access – port 80&443)
In some schools we have set up a separate network that allows you to connect wirelessly with any device whether we know the MAC address or not. This is to enable student owned devices, staff owned, phones etc to get to the internet only. This is not in place in all schools but we are working to have it in place. This approach will add 64,000 addresses at each site it exists. It involves significant logical networking changes and takes time to build.
Current School IP Address Mitigation Strategy (updated Feb 18, 2015)
NPSS – Deny – tentatively moving to Allow after Spring Break
ELC – Deny – Move to Allow Feb 18
Bert Bowes – Deny
Dr. Kearney – Deny
Alwin Holland – Deny – Move to Allow Feb 25
Baldonnel – not needed as of yet
Bert Ambrose – Deny – move to Allow Feb 23
Buick Creek – not needed as of yet
CM Finch – Deny
Charlie Lake – Deny – Move to Allow Feb 23
Clearview – not needed as of yet
Duncan Cran – Deny – Move to Allow Feb 24
Ecole Central – Deny
Hudson’s Hope – ALLOW
Robert Ogilvie – Deny
Taylor – not needed as of yet
Upper Halfway – not needed as of yet
Upper Pine – Deny – move to Allow Feb 27
Wonowon – ALLOW
School Board Office – not needed as of yet
Grandhaven – not needed
Facilities – not needed
NBCDES – not needed as of yet
I’ve asked staff for dates in the next two weeks for planning where we will be implementing the Allow Lists at buildings above currently employing deny lists.
When the ALLOW will be implemented will depend on local needs (FSA, exams, report cards). We will have a technician on site for two days after the switch to make certain things are working. Five days notice will be given prior. You can submit your MAC address at any time through the link above.
Schools with Separate Public Network in Place (SD60-Public on wifi with 10.xx.xx.xx addresses)
We plan to add others in the future.
The Allow List and the Trusted Network Access strategy was first introduced in October 2013. There is a page in the Help Pages menu above or directly available at http://www.prn.bc.ca/ts/?page_id=2021
For a while now we’ve had our district website and some school websites attached to Facebook and Twitter. Any post to the website automatically goes out to Facebook and Twitter. We also have a separate SMS system that was built years ago that we use to communicate emergent issues in the district when needed but it needs some work.
Our website is well used but it is certainly not the first place people go in their day on their mobile device. Quite often it is Facebook or Twitter or some tool that draws in feeds from those like Flipboard.
Using plugins with our website we make a single post which then gets sent to Facebook and Twitter automatically. Very simple when it is in place. The image above shows that the post had a reach of over 3000 people in a very short period of time (bus cancellations). We’ve found our posts that are related to safety of kids (school speed zone notices) or closures/cancellations are Shared very quickly through Facebook. The website is homebase and the plugins and social media are amplifiers for the messages on the website.
We also have a group of people that Retweet our @sd60 Tweets and include local and regional media. That’s been fairly effective but we need to have a look as it doesn’t always get seen by the person at the mic at the time they or we need it to. We’ll look more at our process on that.
Communication often comes up as an area of complaint. “How come I didn’t know?” is often a question that comes up when there is a serious issue. Good Procedures or Communication Policies definitely will help with that, but tools that link your website to social media can get an important message out to many people very quickly.
Most importantly, you still need to post to your website to get the action going!
I’m working on building a physical kit to be used with digital citizenship presentation with younger students that was inspired by http://comfortably20.blogspot.ca/2013/08/the-new-and-improved-digital.html created by Craig Bandura .
If you’d like your class to be a guinea pig please contact me and we will set up a time!
For people that have upgraded their OS to Yosemite on their Mac you may need to fix Java before being able to use BCeSIS.
1. If you’ve installed Oracle’s java 7, You’ll need to remove it. Follow the instructions at the link at https://www.java.com/en/
3. Open Terminal by clicking on your magnifying glass and type in Terminal. Press Enter or double click on the Terminal icon. You can also find the terminal app in Applications > Utilities
4. Type in the following or copy the bold text below and paste it into terminal
Note that there is a space between sudo and -s but no space between the dash and s.
5. Press Enter then enter your computer’s password. Note that the cursor will not move when you are entering the password. Press Enter.
6. Copy the bold text below and paste it into terminal and then press enter. Make certain you scroll to the bottom right of the window below and copy everything.
sudo mkdir -p /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/disabled sudo rm -R /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/disabled/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin sudo mv /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/disabled sudo ln -sf /System/Library/Java/Support/Deploy.bundle/Contents/Resources/JavaPlugin2_NPAPI.plugin /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin sudo ln -sf /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Commands/javaws /usr/bin/javaws
7. Close Terminal
8. Test your result at javatester.org/version.html – you will need to enable the java plugin (keep an eye on your address bar for a notification). If all went well you should see a pink box that list your java version with the following in it.
Java Version: 1.6.0_65 from Apple Inc.
9. Restart any Browsers
10. Go to www.isw-bc.ca and click on the BCeSIS Icon. Check the address bar for any blocked plugin notifications and allow the java plugin.
If the BCeSIS application stalls at an Allow/Deny window close the window with the grey bar and try again by clicking on the BCeSIS icon again. We’ve seen this behaviour and do not have a specific fix for it.
The Allow/Deny windows may not have the option to click allow. Where they do not, click Deny. It doesn’t affect the end functionality although they are annoying!
If you are running an older version of OS X there are instructions at http://www.prn.bc.ca/ts/?p=2049 that may be helpful to you.
If you are running a PC and you cannot connect to BCeSIS do the following
1. Uninstall Java through Add/Remove Programs
2. From www.isw-bc.ca download and install and try any of the Java versions available at https://www.isw-bc.ca/csi/node.do?method=display&page=JRE_Downloads
3. Restart Browsers
4. Click on the BCeSIS link at www.isw-bc.ca
5. Check for blocked plugin warnings in the address bar and enable as appropriate
Technology Services is a service department. We aim to help the teachers, students, and staff in School District 60 with technology and educational technology. I’ve told my staff frequently that we have a captive audience. Our staff and students don’t have another choice when it comes to who services their tech/systems etc that are district owned, so we need to provide great service.
As of last week we’ve never had so many active tickets since I’ve tracked them. This can often lead us to enact the “Good Enough” solution and move on. The “Good Enough” solution gets the job done but as our Safety Officer, Chad Cushway, told me once, “Good Enough, is seldom good and often not enough.”
I’ve likened this to getting 80% of the job done before we run off to the next task, the next squirrel (distractions or shiny things), or off to put out an inferno. There are many squirrels, very many tasks, and the occasional inferno. The fires need to be put out of course, but some tasks and squirrels can wait if we make it important to make the time for the 20%.
Communication between parties and in depth understanding of both tech and education sometimes makes the difference in understanding whether an issue is a squirrel, task, or inferno. While squirrels are interesting (or distracting) we might need to stop feeding them so often!
The 20% for us can often be people time, documentation, research, thorough testing, and consultation. It isn’t always at the beginning or the ending of the task. It can be both and throughout.
The challenge of making the time is it needs to be both our time and yours. It is difficult to ask a teacher to take time out at 10:42 to show them what we’ve done. Or to ask an administrator for time when they have their own fires ongoing which many of us as technical staff don’t necessarily recognize. Either way if we want to do things well, do them right the first time, we all need to spend the time. I’d hope this would lead to more successful completion of tasks, more collaboration between our department and schools, and less returns to fix a job that was thought to be complete.
There might be many places where this is more than appropriate. Two come to mind immediately.
The first that comes to mind is “Images” of computers. We image computers (wipe, build new, refresh) frequently through the year. We prefer to do them once a year as they are time consuming to build images and to put them on computers. Going back to do it again is an unfortunate loss of time for everyone. Where the 20% comes in on these is getting the desires of the school for their image (what programs are on it etc) as well as testing of the image. While we can test that programs work, printers print etc, we really do require the help of school teaching staff to let us know if we’ve got it right for educational uses. There is also the considerations of old software not working on new tech/OS’s and licensing issues that need discussing.
The second would be new projects. I’d define new projects as an addition on to the norm. A cart of chromebooks, a bunch of ipads, a new 3D printer, etc. These can be very time consuming especially if they are new or the assigned staff member is new to them. The learning piece can be front-end loaded for our staff so that it can be successful. We know however that the learning piece can be time consuming. Clear understanding of the desire of the school/department for use of their project is key. For that we need to take the time to communicate what are the wants of the school, and ask what are the capabilities of Tech Services to meet the needs. Also on new projects that are to be tech for students we have a department policy that requires schools to communicate their digital citizenship plan for students around the project. That’s important to us that the work we do will provide students with educational opportunities in a safe environment.
The long and the short of this is I will work with my staff to take the time around the two items above and consider other places to do so as well. To do that we will need some time from you as well. If you are able to carve the time out for us, thank you.
If you aren’t able to provide the time then I’d ask if your task is a squirrel that we should ignore?
Technology has completed assignment of older 5 year old macbooks into carts for grade 5s in 5/6 splits, and provided for grade 7s in the district. If somehow we’ve missed you please contact me.
We have 156 remaining along with some others we will hold back for spares for parts.
These will receive end-of-life designation in the next year which means TS won’t be servicing them afterwards. We don’t have a budget to currently service these so anything that can’t be repaired or replaced for free would be up to the school/department to cover.
These 5 year old macbooks will have an OS X 10.6.8 image with software that is licensed from WWP and it will not be updated beyond as the hardware does not support well 10.9 and beyond. There are no printers on the image by default.
At this point we are seeking ideas, suggestions, requests, from schools and staff about how to deploy these devices. Please use the public commenting function below for your suggestion. If any of the suggestions below would have a cost associated that would be up to the school to cover.
A plan will be formulated from these comments and published on the blog around November 14th so comments before then will be taken into consideration.
SD60 – Clearview Elementary & Junior Secondary School
Window: 2014-10-17 00:01:00 2014-10-17 06:00:00
Impact: 2 hour outage due to vendor maintenance
Due to future changes with the Provincial Next Generation Network any network hubs must be changed to managed switches. No more small hubs will be purchased.
We have not been using large hubs for several years but there are locations where a small hub was put in place to accommodate one or two extra computers. Where identified these will be removed and replaced with wired connections back to a managed switch, or wireless connections if appropriate.
Please note for schools wishing to add in computers to a room wiring costs will be required for all connected devices. For example adding 5 computers to a room may have been accomplished in the past with 1 ethernet drop and a hub to accommodate all the computers. This will now require 5 drops instead. Where this is a school requested project the cost will be up to the school to cover.
Location(s): Fort St John RNC – All Users
Window: 2014-09-28 06:01:00 through 2014-09-28 09:00:00
Impact: 5 minute network outage to all users off Fort
St John and its downstream RNCs
We are at that time of year again for inventory of our WWP devices. This will be a landmark as it is the last year we will be doing inventory on our macbooks.
Adapted from last year
June 10 – Upper Halfway, Wonowon, Clearview
June 11 – Buick, Prespatou, Charlie Lake
June 12 – Duncan Cran, Central, Hudson’s Hope
June 13 –
Alwin Holland, CM Finch, Upper Pine needs to be updated due to rotating BCTF strike
June 16 – Dr. Kearney, Bert Bowes
June 17 – Bert Ambrose, Robert Ogilvie, Taylor, Baldonnel
If job action impedes on any scheduled days, inventory may be moved earlier or later for the locations affected.
Since this is the end of the macbook part of the WWP we will only be offering limited support for the macbooks into the future. There is no budget for repairs and no warranty. These can remain assigned to the current teacher as long as they remain employed by SD60. They can also be returned to technology services if the teacher chooses. If the teacher with the macbook were to no longer be employed by the district (including if you do not have a posting for next year yet) the macbook is to be returned to the school board office with the power and video adapter.
Techs will be looking for damage as per usual. Maximum charge this year is set at $500. Techs will create a work order for any repair that needs to be done due to damage and sharing that info with the school.
“WWP rooms” will receive a Windows 7 PC and LCD monitor. When this is in place our support will focus around the PCs for the classroom’s computer. If teachers are in grade 6 with the WWP iPad program then there will of course be support around the iPads as well as the PC.
Off Lease Unibody Macbooks
We set out priorities for these on March 12th this year and received no further feedback. We will stick with this to guide our use of the off lease macbooks for next year. http://www.prn.bc.ca/ts/?p=2156
8 Year old Painted Macbooks
The macbooks with an externally accessible battery and/or a spray painted SD60 on the case are end of life devices. We will have some of the current off lease macbooks to replace those but a much smaller number than last time are available. We are keeping many of the off lease macbooks for the Grade 7 classrooms so there will be much fewer for other assignments like extra laptops for grade 5s, or department carts at the middle schools. Important bit! Schools are asked to bundle those at inventory time if you’d like to trade. We will keep track of the number that have been returned and will try to get you as many as possible back of the off lease macbooks depending on what we have.
What have we missed? Add your thoughts in the comments.