Educational Services Center
Director of Technology
Mr. Barnum is a certified K-12 teacher. He
earned a BS in Elementary Education and English with an endorsement in
secondary education from Mt. Mercy College in 1992. This broad range of
licensure gave him the unique experience of leading regular ed
classrooms at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. In
1998 he received an MA in Instructional Technology from the University
of Northern Iowa. In 2009, he completed his Educational Specialist degree, Ed.S, from Drake University. Mr. Barnum has been the Director of Technology and
Information Services since 1999.
1/24/2012 8:28:00 AM
I have a new blog! Click below for more information.
For the latest info on CCSD Digital Learning please follow my new blog -- Tech Hawks -- www.techhawks.org .
8/22/2011 10:30:17 AM
Here are a few somewhat rambling thoughts on memory, tech tools, and the new work of teachers....
As I came around and did my talk at each building this year,
I referenced a research study done about recall of factual information and how
it relates to technology. Here’s the source article.
This reinforced the idea for me that the value of
information is deteriorating rapidly. It’s
really the same phenomenon that we see happing in our everyday lives. How many of us bother to remember phone
numbers of addresses anymore? I can only
speak for myself, but I find that I do a lot less of this. My iPhone does all of this work for me
now. I just enter the number once, look
through my recent calls, or look up the address. When I
admit this, my initial inclination is to feel somewhat guilty about this fact
that I’m relying so heavily upon a machine.
It feels lazy. Of course, this is
a function of my age more than anything.
I’m pretty sure younger people who have always had devices to store and
access this information have no qualms about it. When I really reflect upon it, it seems like
a pretty silly thing to feel bad about.
After all, technology has been doing this in human society throughout
our entire history. While there are tons
of examples, the one that always strikes me is alphabet. Really, that’s just a technological
invention, too. Before we could capture
language in written format, we had to rely upon the oral tradition to relate
ideas across time. Reflect for a moment
how much richer and sophisticated our thinking and ideas are now that we can capture
them in a timeless state. Before written
language, all knowledge had to be rigorously standardized so it would not be
forgotten or changed. A great deal of
effort was exerted to commit the full, standard version to memory as well. Individuals could add very value in this
process. Deviance from the standard was
noise in the system. With the advent of
the written word, individuals had a method to quickly expand upon
knowledge. What was once noise was
suddenly of great value. This is
essential premise of all academic pursuits – adding to existing knowledge. Of course, all of the effort to memorize was
no longer necessary either. We could use
those thought cycles for new and different things.
It sure looks to me that we are in the middle of another
tremendous change. The Columbia study
just reinforces it for me. It’s not lazy
to utilize a tool. It really makes me
wonder what will be next in an era when static information will be so
devalued. What’s also interesting is
that, like invention of written language empowered the individual, we are also
clearly moving that direction again.
Everyone can now publish to the world.
And, while there is a lot of noise being created. We’ve also seen concretely how this new
individualism can be used for good and ill.
The Arab Spring and recent violence and chaos in Britain are
examples. But, putting all of the big
picture stuff aside, what I really wonder about is how this next phase of
things this impact teaching and learning.
What does effective instruction look like when information is
essentially worthless? It’s easy to
bandy about terms like critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving,
etc... Of course, the conundrum is, as
any good teacher will tell you, that it’s impossible to teach processes like
critical thought without high quality content.
And, content requires context.
The kids need to know something about the content and have certain depth
of knowledge before the learning will be meaningful and rich. So, of course, as common sense would dictate,
a balanced approach is necessary. But,
the devil is in the details. This takes
a different approach to instructional design.
And, to me this would be the real, new work of the 21st
century educator: creating learning experiences that are simultaneously rich in
content and process skills. Project,
problem, or challenged based learning designs are one of the ways to do this. Of course, that it’s not the only design that
will do this. But, I think it’s pretty
clear that using the same models for designing learning experiences for kids
that we did even ten years ago are now very out dated. With every change like this, there’s also a
significant opportunity as well. I’m so
excited by the prospect of working with our 21st Century Learning
Institute and Total Instructional Alignment groups on creating some of these
new experiences for kids this year. We
had some great successes last year. I’m
sure we can keep that momentum up this year as well. I’m looking forward to sharing some of our
8/18/2011 10:23:38 AM
In this series of posts I'm going to review tools we have at Prairie. This post will focus on Campus Messenger for Teachers....
I spent a good deal of time earlier this summer going over all of the new things we have at Prairie coming into the 2011-12 school year. And, while I am very excited about these new projects, I realized that we have a lot of things that have been around a while but that everyone might not know about. So, I'm going to wire a series of posts on some of these existing tools. Many of you will be familiar with this a lot of this, and that's ok. You can just skip this post. But, I'm guessing some of you might find something new here.
The first tool I'm going to review is Infinite Campus Messenger. This tool, Messenger, is built into Campus and provides an easy way to communicate with both parents/gardians and students. Our building offices use this tool a ton. However, staff can use this tool as well. This is a great way to keep parents in the loop. However, since all of our students have email accounts and these addresses are continuously added and update in Campus, this tool is also great for getting after class messages out to students, too.
Here's a reference sheet I created a while back that gives some step by step instructions on how to use Campus Teacher Messenger. I hope you find these helpful. As always, please drop me a note or give me a call with any questions you have.
8/7/2011 12:42:00 PM
This is an activity for new teacher at Prairie....
You have the next hour to complete these tasks. Nearly all of the these questions/problems can be answered by reading my blog. Be sure to use the categories to help you sort through the entries.
The first two tasks are non-negotiable (I've put them in bold). Please do them before you leave this session. Complete as many of the others as possible before our time is up.
You may wish to select, copy, and paste this post into Word in order to complete it. Here are the questions/ problems. I'll have a modest reward for the person/people with the most correct answers or who complet these first. Good luck!
1. Change your password using the password portal -- remember Edhesion won't update until after 7:00 PM. (Required)
2. Update your professional biography on Prairiepride.org. (Required)
3. List the names and telephone numbers of the technology department memebers.
4. What time each day will you get a message with your quarantined spam (junk) email in it? -- bonus -- login to your spam quarantine and set your password.
5. What is the name of the wireless network should you connect to when at Prairie Point or Prairie High School?
7. Using Edhesion, create a blog post ( you may "unpublish" it after this session is over).
8. What is the name of the anti-virus Software on your laptop?
9. What do all do all Prairie student email accounts end with (what is after the @ symbol)?
10. Create a Google Doc, using a Google account tied to your PrairiePride.org email, and share it with another new teacher.
11. List three technology systems that share a password (uses the one from your password portal).
12. Name a technology system that does not change when you change your password using the password portal.
13. Name a Technology First Responder at your building.
14. Bonus -- Follow me on Twitter -- my "crbarnum" account.
15. Ultra- Bonus -- What is the name of one of my World of Warcraft Characters?
8/5/2011 12:20:43 PM
This post gives some details on how the technology support process will be changing this year at Prairie....
We are so excited to welcome Angela Sleeper to the
technology team here at Prairie. Angela
joins us from Solon school district where she worked in the middle school
office. We are also in process of giving
the technology office a makeover as well.
There are new walk-up windows available along with a new layout to the
inside of the office. It will look
really cool when it’s all done. As the
office gets an update, we are working to create more processes that will help
us to better document our work and hopefully improve efficiency and service, too. Here are a few of the changes you’ll
encounter when working with the technology team this fall.
We are trying to build a system where Angela is the main
point of contact for staff who have support questions. Angela’s phone number is 848 5240 or
2014. It’s still ok to call me or any of
the technicians directly. But, we
envision service working faster, and more efficiently when Angela is called
directly, first. We will also be asking
all of our walk-in support requests to check in with Angela first before
working with a technician. So, if you
happen to have computer problem or question, it’s still a great idea to stop
down the technology office if you are in the neighborhood. However, please visit with Angela as soon as
you come in. Her office will have an
exterior window. She will get you “checked
in” and working with an available technician as quickly as possible. This will help us make the best, most
efficient use of our resources.
We plan to use our online help desk database a lot
more. This program is now linked into
the Staff Hub at PrairiePride.org, called – Technology HelpDesk. I would encourage everyone to go there and
login just to see what it looks like even if you don’t have an open ticket with
us. Once you login to this system, use
your email username and password, you can quickly see what support tickets we
have open for you. We will also post
ticket updates and comments for you there as well. This
should help everyone track progress. Whenever
we post a new comment or update a ticket it will also send an email update,
too. At out weekly technology department
staff meeting, we have a quick protocol setup to review all open tickets. So, we really envision this making everyone’s
life a lot easier.
We won’t be documenting every support job we do in the help
desk. It’s just not an efficient use of
our time. However, we will be doing our
best to capture all of the “non-routine” jobs there. We would classify a non-routine job as any
task that cannot be resolved in under two or three minutes. Repairs, wiring jobs, and setup of new
equipment are just a few examples of non-routine work. The only time we plan to document the “quick
fix” or “routine” jobs is when our overall job volume is very high. For example, let’s imagine that a technician
is in a building working on a critical, system-wide issue. It would be common for someone stops him on
his way to this job to look at a routine type of job – say a problem printing. However, if the technician takes time to
solve the routine problem right then and there, it takes time away from solving
the mission critical job which might be effecting a lot more people. Of course, what usually happens is that the
tech tells the person he will be right with them as soon as he’s done with the
critical job. But, sometimes the
critical job takes a long time to finish or while working on the critical job,
several other people stop him to get help with other routine issues. In scenarios like these, we’ve had cases
where jobs have been lost or forgotten. Obviously, we’d like to avoid that! So, what we’d like to see happen instead is
for the technician politely tell the person with the routine problem to call
Angela at 848 5240 and have her setup a ticket.
This way the job will get documented in our system and be less likely to
be missed or overlooked. In fact, there
might be an available technician in the technology office who could be sent to
do the work right away.
While this is not a change from past practice, it’s always a
good reminder to take advantage of the Technology First Responders in each
building. These folks do an outstanding
job. They are also very, very good at
quickly knocking out a lot of the routine type jobs that come up so
frequently. I would strongly encourage
anyone with a support issue to quickly check in with a First Responder. So often they can solve the problem right
away. They also can often provide
valuable, time-saving information for the technicians if the problem turns out
to be non-routine.
Out Technology First Responders by Building
Of course, it’s always just fine to contact me with any
support related questions you might have.
I hope each of you have a great start to the school year!
8/1/2011 11:10:00 AM
This is a post that give a brief overview to technology services at Prairie. It is targeted at new staff, but might be helpful for existing staff as well....
Welcome to Prairie!
I’m Craig Barnum, the Director of Technology and Information
Services. Like most school districts, we
have a lot of technology services and systems available for you. Anytime you take a new position, the amount
of information can be a bit overwhelming.
My staff and I are here at your disposal to help you get
acclimated. Here are the staff members at a glance. Charlie Braun, Technician, has worked at Prairie since 1999.
He can be contacted at -- firstname.lastname@example.org,
848-5371. Nicole Barth, Technician, has
been around the Prairie community for a number of years, but started working in
the technology office in the spring of 2012. Nicole
can be reached at email@example.com,
848-5426. Collin Knoll,Technician, just started with us in 2009. Collin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org,
848-5471. Chris Ketchum, Technician, is our latest addition. Chris has worked in technology starting in the summer of 2012, but has been with the district since 2010. Angela Sleeper joined us in the summer of 2011 be and is working as the administrative assistant to the technology office. She is a great resource to contact if you have questions. Her number email is email@example.com and her number is 848-5240. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org,
848-5419. Please don’t hesitate to
contact any one of us when you have questions.
I’ve tried to make this a “one stop shop” for tech questions. I’m sure I didn’t get all of them. I would encourage you to follow my blog, Tech Hawks. I’ll update with new tech updates and ideas
about two or three times a week. I'm also relatively active on Twitter. My Twitter handle is @crbarnum.
You MacBook Air laptop should be waiting for you at your building's office. Please check in with them to pick it up. We've included setup instructions in the carrying case. Please don't hesitate to drop any of us a note if you have questions.
Once you get this laptop, we will give you
some credentials (a username/password) to login to your email address and Infinite Campus, our student information system. You’ll notice right away that the password is
not very strong. It is CRITICAL that you
change this password with in the first few days. We have done our best to weave a lot of the
different systems together for you. So,
when you change this password, this change will be applied to several different
systems. All passwords at Prairie need
to be at least 6 characters long, but they can be longer. I would recommend making your password strong by including at least
one capital letter, one number and a special character like any of these
Changing Your Password:
Once this change is made it will update your password for
the following systems:
- You will need to be on the school’s network for this to
work. You cannot do this at home or
- Go to the following link
- To access the page, please enter your current credentials –
the same username and password you use for email and your laptop.
- Once the page loads, enter you new password in both boxes
- Click the “update” button.
- Email – This will update your credentials for both Outlook
- Infinite Campus – This is our student information system –
this is where you will do attendance, grades, etc…
- Edhesion – Edhesion does a lot of work for our web site. It Click here to get post with more detailed information on it. Please note that while this password will update when you change it from the portal, it will not update until 7:00 PM nightly. So, if you change your password, you won't use the new password until the next business day in most cases.
- Internet Filtering – Like all schools, we filter Internet
content. The staff policy, which you should get when you login to the wireless network is a very permissive. We don't block too much. However, the automatic login doesn't always work with Apple gear, so you might have need to bypass the filter. I've included (slightly outdated, but still accurate) instructions for this in a longer post here. One of the newer understandings is that we have integrated our students into this filtering system. We now would encourage you to have your students login to the filter if they get blocked. They may have access once they are logged in. Please drop me a note if you find a site you wish to use still blocked after students login. We can evaluate it for white listing.
- Help Desk Support Ticket System – If you have computer
trouble, you’ll likely get an email with some support ticket information in it
once you let us know about your problem.
To view your ticket – this would include our notes about the job and the
progress/timeline info – you’ll need to login to the support system. Once again the username and password is
identical. (screen shot)
- Atomic Learning -- Starting in the summer of 2012 for staff and the fall of 2012 for students, Prairie staff and students will all have their own unique login to Atomic Learning. A.L. is a great site to get short "how to" videos of all sorts of software. Click here for the custom Prairie login.
We have two systems that are separate from this integrated password system. These systems will need to changed separately when you update your password.
Google Account -- The Google application suite is a very important tool for how we do business at Prairie. Each of your students will have an account that will allow them access to email, Google Docs, as well as other tools. We also use these tools to communicate internally as well. So, it is really important that you setup a Google account that is tied to your Prairiepride.org email address. To do this follow these steps:
- Your MacBook Air login does not connect with this system. So, when you change your password, it will not change your computer password. You might want to consider setting your MacBook password first, then changing your Prairie issued password to match it.
- Rubicon Curriculum Tool is also separate. Please remember to that password changes will not flow to this system either.
- Open a
web browser, preferably Firefox, and navigate to www.google.com
- In the upper left
area of the screen is a series of menus.
It may take just a second or two for these to appear. Click open the “More” menu.
“Documents” from the list.
- A new
page will load up. Locate and click
the link for “Create an account now.”
The link is located in the lower right area of the page.
- Another new page
will load. Fill out the form. Please use your PrairiePride.org email
address. I would also strongly
recommend using a common password.
Please this password will not update or change when you change
your other Prairie passwords with the password portal described above.
Complete the rest of the form and accept the terms of
agreement. If you are like me, it
may take a time or two to get the fictitious word typed correctly.
- A new
page will load once the form is completed correctly. Just click the “Click here to continue
link” at the bottom of this page.
This will complete your Google Docs account setup!
Spam Filter – We outsource this service, and therefore, it
is not part of our username/password system.
As many of you know, spam or unwanted email, is a big problem. In fact, about 80% of all email that comes
to Prairie addresses is quarantined as spam.
Our filtering service does a pretty good job, but it, like all such
services, is not perfect. There are
several services you should be aware of and know how to navigate. Each
day around 4:00 PM you’ll get an email from Spam Blocker Services that shows
the emails that were quarantined for you that day. I would strongly recommend reviewing this
list each day for just a few seconds. If
you see a legitimate message in your quarantine, you can click the “Deliver Now”
link next to it. This will forward it on
to your in box. There are a lot of
reasons a legit message might get quarantined – it could be that it is
addressed to a lot of people, it might have an attachment, it might have some
language in it that trips the filter, and there might be a problem with the
server sending the message. Any one of
these or in combination can cause a message to get quarantined. If the message is from some that you don’t
anticipate getting a lot of future messages from, or if you know the reason was
content related – just hit the “Deliver Now” button and be done with it. However, if you think that you will need to
messages for this person in a timely fashion and the blocking was not content
related, you can add them to your personal “white list.” Doing this will ensure that messages coming
from that address will not be filtered.
The down side of doing this is that if this person gets a virus, you
might get a lot of spam from them. So,
do this judiciously. Here’s what you
need to : Go to www.spamblockerservices.com. Locate the login area and enter your email
address as the username. Then follow the
“forgot password” link. This will cause
them to send you an email with a password in it. Use the sent credentials to login to their
site. Along the left side of the page,
you’ll see a button for “My White List.”
Click that and enter the address in question. Be sure to hit the “save” button before you
navigate away from this page. If you
feel the address in question should be unfiltered for everyone at Prairie, just
let me know. If it looks like a good idea,
I can add it to the district white list. Here is my blog entry that has more details on how to use the services available at Spam Blocker Services.
I need to reiterate that it is absolutely essential that you
change your password before the start of school. As you can see by the list above, if a
student guessed your credentials, they would have access to your email, your
grade book, other sensitive student information. Even if you work with
students in the system who might not be interested in doing this, it’s possible
that older or other students might try to take a guess at your stuff. So, the best policy is to get the information
changed. Please don’t hesitate to
contact me or any member of my staff.
Have a great start to your time at Prairie.
8/1/2011 10:54:47 AM
Edhesion does a lot of work for us on the website. We used to just call it the "Faculty Link". It’s where the curriculum tool is located. Staff web profiles, blogs, and pages can be created here as well. This post will focus on the blog tool and creating/updating professional info on the website....
Edhesion is a critical tool for us in terms of our
website. It contains our curriculum
tool, our blog tool, provides the database for staff searches on
Prairiepride.org, and also holds all staff profiles. I’ve created some instructions, linked below,
that go over how to work with the blog tool as well as how to update a staff
profile on the website.
One of the things I’ve come to fully realize as we’ve worked
with tools like this is that there is no one right tool for all jobs. If you’d like to use another tool for your
class blog or site, that is just fine.
However, I think for continuity’s sake it would be a very good idea to
link that site or blog on to your staff page so parents and kids can easily
find it by searching for you at Prairiepride.org. Again,
instructions on how to do that are included above.
8/1/2011 8:07:00 AM
This post give (what I hope are) useful and helpful tips about how to work with our Spam filter....
One of the necessary evils in today's world is email filtering. I'm sure all of you have noticed that you get a message from Spam Blocker Services each day. The folks at Spam Blocker are the service we use for our email domain -- PrairiePride.org -- for spam. This keeps them pretty busy. Spam is still a huge problem today. We typically block just over half of all the incoming email. However, I've even seen te block percentage go as high as 90%. So, the Spam Blocker guys do a reasonably good job of getting the spam before it gets to us. Without them, we'd be swamped.
However, they also give us some pretty cool tools that I'm guessing not a lot of people know about. Besides getting that email each day which shows you what's been blocked, they also include the following features:
Here's how you use these features. Adding an address to a white list is a really good feature. This allows you to ensure that the white listed address will never be filtered when sending to your account. This white list just works for your account. So, this address may get quarantined when sending to other Prairie accounts. I would recommend using a personal white list for personal or professional contacts. If it is a parent's address or someone else who might send to a lot of other people at Prairie, you'll probably want to send that on to me so I can white list it for everyone. Here's how you setup a white list. The first thing you need to do is to get you account credentials (password) from them.
- Setting up your own white list (accounts that you don't ever want blocked)
- Viewing your quarantined emails in real time in Outlook
- Search and retrieval of 10 days worth of quarantined email
One thing to remember about the SpamBlocker Services password, however, is that it is a completey stand-alone system. So, if you update your email password, this change will not automatically. If you want to keep your passwords consisitant, you'll need to update it manually.
- Go to Spam Blocker
- Locate the login area -- enter your full email address, i.e. email@example.com, in the username
- Click the "forgot password" button. They will have you verify your email and send your password to your email
- Once you get the password (it should only take a minute or two to arrive) login to the site. Once you are in, you can change your password. I would strongly recommend changing it to the same one you use for Campus, email, etc...
- Click the button on the left side of the page that says "Your White List."
- Enter the address you wish to not be filtered and click the "Add To White List" button.
Another cool feature is that you can check your quarantine at anytime, without logging in by setting up a folder in Outlook. This is a real time saver. Here are the steps for that. I gleaned most of these instructions right from the Spam blocker site
- Login to the Spam Blocker site
- Click the "My Preferences" button
- Scroll down until you see the instructions labeled "Add Quarantine Folder to Outlook.
- The following are instructions from that site:
- Copy the Outlook URL above (this will be shown right above these instructions once you are logged in) by
the entire entry and then copying to clipboard.In Outlook, create a new folder. Choose "Mail and Post
as the folder type when asked, and give it a name like
Blocker" or "Quarantine
- Once created, Right-click on the new folder and choose
- Select the "Home Page" tab, and paste the URL above.
- Check the box
on that same tab marked "Show Home Page by default"Click OK to save changes. Then open the folder.
Now access to Spam Blocker quarantine is
as opening the folder in your Outlook email program.
Hopefully, this will help you better use some of the tools in the spam filter. As always, drop me a note with any questions you might have.
7/29/2011 10:58:02 AM
This summer we updated the wireless infrastructure at PHS and Prairie Point. The following post describes the changes as well as gives practical information on which network names should be used....
Wow! I learned a ton last spring about wireless networks! I was certainly not an expert going into my search for a new wireless product vendor, but I did have
a lot of background understanding on wireless networking since we’ve been using
WiFi here at Prairie since 2000. But,
things have really changed in this field in the last couple of years! Just
as with all significant learning, there were times of great joy and
frustration. I’m so excited to have this
new system in place at the high school and Point. While this new system is really robust and
should meet our needs for years to come, there are some practical differences
for everyone who will use it.
Again, just to be crystal clear, the changes I’ll describe
apply only to the High School and Point.
However, since so many staff members attend meetings at these buildings,
it’s critical that everyone have this knowledge and not just the Point and High
School staff. At these buildings we have
removed all of the old wireless network names – i.e. PHS Staff, PP Staff,
etc... We have replaced them with a
shorter list of network names. Here is
the available list:
- CCSD-RA-A – Primary, recommend network for staff. This is the fastest and most secure network. Staff using Byte Speed laptops running
Windows should only need to select and save this network once. The computer should remember and
automatically log you in when you start the computer. The “A” at the end indicates the speed of the
network. For those who care about such
things, this denotes an 802.11A network which is faster or more robust than an “N”,
“G” or “B” type of network. The down
side of the “A” standard is that it doesn’t carry as far as “N, B/G” in terms
of distance and it requires the computer receiving the signal to have an “A”
type (newer) network card – all of our Byte Speeds and Apple staff machines do.
- CCSD-RA-G – Staff at Point and the High School should also
save this network as well. However, it
should not be the primary network. This
network is slower, but provides greater range.
We covered most of the common meeting areas at Point and the High School
with the “A” network. However, there may
be areas that are not covered perfectly by it, but will have great coverage for
“G”. Staff coming from other buildings
need not do this.
- CCSD-PK-A --
Technology Staff Use Only – this network has the same speed as the
CCSD-RA-A network. But, this network
requires a special password to attach instead of email credentials. We have this in place for special cases where
a visitor might need access to our fastest service. Staff can and should ignore any of our
networks with the “PK” in the name.
- CCSD-PK-G – Technology Staff Use Only – this network has the
same speed as CCSD-RA-G. But just like
CCSD-PK-A, it requires a special password and should be ignored by Prairie
staff and students.
- Guest -- This is just
what it sounds like – a network designed for guest access. There is no password. However, this network should not be used by
Prairie staff. Servers and services that
staff rely upon will not work on this network.
For security reasons, we have set this part of the network to have very
little access to our internal network resources. This means that computers attached to this
network will not be able to print to a Prairie printer or access a lot of our
internal servers like Campus, email, or the Edhesion server. We’ve also shaped the speed of this network
to make it much slower than the “CCSD” networks. The Guest network is also the most heavily
filtered network as well. If you find
you are attached to the Guest network, please disconnect and re-attach to one
of the “CCSD-RA” networks. It will work
much better for you.
As I mentioned earlier, one of the things we are most
excited about with this new system is the speed and the capability of this
system to handle a lot of wireless devices.
At Point and the High School we had pretty good signal in terms of
coverage. Where we sometimes had
problems was when a lot of computers – say two or more mobile labs came online
in adjacent rooms. The signal would
often “dry up” and people using these computers would have really slow network
or Internet access. This new system
should do, much, much better. Just to
give any idea of how different this new system is here are some numbers to
illustrate this idea. The old system had
about 70 radios available for computers at both the High School and Point. Each radio could handle about 20 computers
before bogging down. Our new system has
272 radios to cover the same space. So,
we increased our capacity to handle a lot of devices by almost fourfold. Ironically, however, we are getting all of
these radios in just 52 access points rather than the 70 we had with the old system. That makes for a ton of manageability
upside. Finally, these new devices look
pretty cool as well – kind a like UFOs.
Of course, please let us know if you have any questions
about any of this information.
7/28/2011 10:50:36 AM
This post is really targeted at our staff using Windows computers. Our staff running Apple hardware will have a slightly different process for computer protection and just need to call the tech office at 848-5240 if they have issues along these lines....
As staff return for the fall, the tech office often gets a
lot of calls about virus and malware. Of
course, it’s important to check for these types of things periodically to avoid
computer problems or potentially very serious issues like identity theft. So, as staff return from break, it’s not a
bad idea to manually open up Sophos, our antivirus software, and run a full
scan manually. This will take a few
minutes, so it should be done at a time when the computer won’t need to be used
for a bit. Here’s how to do it.
- Right click the Sophos icon in the system tray in the lower
left corner of the screen. It’s a blue
- Select “Open Sophos End Point Security and Control.”
- Once it loads, click the “Scan My Computer” link. This process my take up to an hour and you
won’t want to use your computer for anything else during the scan as it will
make the computer run pretty slowly.
Sophos should be able to clean most problems on its
own. However, if it gives you a message
that the problem cannot be automatically cleaned up, just give us a call at 848
5240. We’ll work with you to resolve the
While Sophos is really excellent at getting virus and most
malware, there are other smaller nuisance programs that get on a computer from
normal web-browsing. These can cause
significant problems as well, and Sophos might not catch all of these. So, we’ve included another software title on
each computer to handle this, “Spyware Search and Destroy.” I’ve included a brief screen-cast below on
how to use the program.
As always, if you have questions or run into any problems,
don’t hesitate to call the tech office , 848 5240 or drop me a note directly.