Wednesday, May 25, 2011
- Request ONLY software that you already use in your classroom and/or office.
- The software that you request MUST be owned and legally licensed to District 219.
- If you need new software for next year, then you need to file a formal Tech Request.
- All computers will have a base image which includes: Adobe Acrobat Reader, Flash Player, Shockwave, and Air; Audacity, Quicktime, CA eTrust Anti-virus, Java Runtime Environment and JDK, Compatibility Packs for MS Works 6 and 2000, Microsoft Photostory 3 and Silverlight; Open Office 3.3.0, PDFCreator 1.2.0, PowerDVD, Real Player, Windows Media Codec Basic, Windows Live Movie Maker 2011, VideoLAN (VLC), Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.
Upon submitting your request, you will receive a confirmation email. The Help Desk staff will verify the details (number of licenses available, version compatibility, install source, etc.) and get in touch with you, if needed. Your software will be installed and ready for use at the start of the 2011-2012 school year.
During our annual summer clean-up we will be migrating all workstations from Windows XP to Windows 7. We are also phasing out our dependency on “big box” products such as Microsoft Office, in favor of a free and open source products, like Open Office 3. Open Office has been on District 219 computers for a few years now and is very similar to the Microsoft products. Among the most appealing features is that Open Office is exactly the same program that is installed on the netbooks, so there is 100% compatibility with students and Open Office integrates well with GoogleDocs. Open Office also can open a variety of file types, including Microsoft files.
Being fiscally responsible is a priority when moving forward with any initiative - Microsoft’s pricing structure provides for either an annual (maintenance and upgrades, included) or perpetual license (out-right purchase, no future upgrades or maintenance). District 219 has 576 office workstations, these are areas solely for faculty/staff administrative use. If we were to purchase an annual license for each of these 576 workstations, it would cost more than $12,670. Purchasing a perpetual license for those same computers will cost $33,400. To install MS Office on all 2,214 computers District-wide, would cost $128,412 for a perpetual license and $48,708 for an annual or one-time license.
Moving to Open Office provides faculty and staff free and open source options and improves the cohesiveness of the AAL initiative. Training is always available in each building’s PDC and online through AtomicLearning.com. Use your network log-in and password to begin.
Docs.niles-hs.k12.il.us has a similar look and feel to our existing SharePoint presence and it uses your same log-in and password. When you first access docs.niles-hs.k12.il.us you will only see items that are public or those that you have been granted access. You will no longer have to know the exact URL to navigate to your site.
PUBLIC DOCS is accessible without a log-in and broken down by department. These areas are a document repository and could best serve as a space for parents and students to visit when seeking general and course information. It is important to understand that anything placed in the PUBLIC DOCS area is not password protected and is searchable by the outside world.
A secure intranet area is also available to departments, please visit the PDC if you need assistance.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Skype is a free video calling program that enables students to interact with individuals around the world. Hear from Pam Hendrix, Dan Gregerman, and guest Michael Miles about how the Niles North orchestra and choir took a virtual field trip to a school in Casablanca, Morocco and shared a cultural exchange of music and questions with Moroccan students. Check out the amazing cultural exchange both groups of students experienced using a webcam and a microphone. Skype in the Classroom offers teachers a resource where they may locate other teachers interested in Skyping in their classroom.
If you are interested in using Skype in your classroom and would like some support, please contact the Professional Development Center. In addition to helping you become more familiar with Skype, you can check out a webcam to use for your Skype project.