Monday, February 28, 2011

Windows 7 Coming to D219 Summer 2011

Information Services has diligently been working on a 4 month project to analyze the viability of Windows 7 as the standard OS for our fleet of Dell desktops and laptops. As a result of this project,  Windows 7 will be deployed this Summer and we hope that the newly adopted OS will provide a stable platform with all the benefits of newer technology.
Our IS team has studied the costs and logistics of the deployment and tested hundreds of applications currently owned and used by District faculty and staff.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank Dave Ruth and Dan Quinlan plus several students that (unknowingly)  test drove “prototypes” and provided us with valuable metrics and feedback.
The next big step is to mass deploy our base image of Windows 7  to a larger test base. Chris Powell and our friends in AS&T have agreed to allow us to install Windows 7 in rooms 1235 at west and 1629 at North for the remainder of the year with the intent of further testing and the collection data.
Here are some other details:
  • The roll out of  Windows 7 will occur after Summer School is over .
  • Upgrading  Windows XP to Windows 7 does not include updates to other applications.
  • Some desktop computers will remain XP-based due to incompatibility issues.
  • User’s files and folders ( J drive) will not be affected.

Please stay tuned for another update in our April issue of the Technology Newsletter.

SharePoint Server scheduled to Go Off-Line June 30th, 2011

Throughout the school year, we have been encouraging teachers to move their websites and files from our SharePoint servers and onto Google and Moodle. Through visits to the PDC and independent efforts, you should have been able to successfully migrate your website and files by now.
We understand that many faculty and staff still rely heavily on SharePoint to store and share documents and moving several years worth of files proves to be a daunting task. Please bear in mind that the district’s SharePoint servers are failing and are time consuming and cost-prohibitive to maintain. Google and Moodle provide on-the-go access to your files, providing dynamic collaboration tools for you, your colleagues and students.
The Technology Department encourages you to formulate a plan to move ALL of your SharePoint files to Google or Moodle before the school year ends June 30th. We will continue to work diligently to keep the SharePoint servers online throughout the remainder of the school year. District 219’s SharePoint system will be discontinued at the end of the school year.

AV Labs and Flip Cameras Available After Spring Break

In the last newsletter, we wrote about the repurposing of the A/V Labs, at each building, as netbook walk-in labs and help desk/training areas for students with netbooks. We mentioned that A/V Lab services will be provided through PC alternatives such as Adobe Premiere and MovieMaker in different areas of the building, such as the IRC and computer labs.
In preparation for these changes the newest version of Adobe Premeire Elements will be installed over Spring Break and Flip Cameras will be available for loan.  

D219 Tech Con Registration is Open

Make sure that you have April 9, 2011 marked on your calendar for the first-ever D219 Tech Con! The day is sure to be enriching, there are over 50 concurrent sessions 10 spotlight speakers and David Warlick lined up to share with you a great wealth of knowledge and experience. 

Registration is open.
Attendance is free for District 219 faculty, all others can register for $25 each.  everyone is encouraged to attend. 

219 University - Spring / Summer 2011

LogoThe Spring / Summer schedule has been published and you can now register in Eduphoria.

Tech 1: Technology Tools and Apps for the Classroom begins Wednesday April 6th at Niles West from 4 - 7:30.

Tech 1 Hybrid: Technology Tools and Apps for the Classroom: The first day (4/06) and the last two days (5/9 & 5/11) of the course are mandatory face-to-face meeting days from 4 - 7:30pm at Niles West. The first day we'll spend getting you up and running with Moodle and all the resources you will need during the course.  However, the bulk of the course will occur through virtual instruction. There will be specific assignments with firm deadlines submitted via Moodle, culminating in a final project to be presented to the whole group during our last two meetings.

Tech 2: Technology Integration: Tools, Strategies and Assessment begins Thursday April 7th at Niles North from 4:00 - 7:30. We will be providing you with most of the resources you will need during the course.
The Summer Schedule is posted on the 219 University website along the other District offerings.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A New look for IPTV

d219tv_homeDistrict 219 is in the process of upgrading and replacing the existing IPTV video site to a more robust video portal using Kaltura.  Kaltura is an open source project from which will allow us to manage video content centrally, more effectively, and easily.  These are among the highlights of what we can now do with our videos using Kaltura:

  • Upload, create, and convert videos directly from the administration console rather than using a conversion software and then uploading to the server.
  • Convert multiple video formats to web standard formats such as flv as well as new HTML5 formats for the Iphone, Ipad, Blackberry, and Android devices which will allow them to be viewed using these devices.
  • The videos that reside within Kaltura can be linked or embedded from multiple websites.
  • There are plugins for Wordpress and Drupal so videos can be managed through these sites but will still reside and ultimately be managed through the kaltura administration.
  • We will have more flexibility in managing the playback of the videos on the internet - when and who can view.
  • Due to its open-source and extensive api, we can find and/or create add-ons and customize them to fit our needs.
  • Videos can be displayed using customized players created within Kaltura.
  • We can allow users to interact with videos via ratings and/or comments.
  • Videos can also be edited directly from Kaltura.
  • Kaltura provides a more concise analytics.