Summer State of Technology Report

Hello Staff, Students, & Parents,

This summer many changes have taken place in regards to technology at HAST.  These changes have been part of a bigger overall plan over the last three years to update the infrastructure within the building.

In the summer of 2015, all of our servers received massive OSX updates.  Servers were running OS 10.6.5 and were upgraded to 10.10.5.  These updates were necessary to allow upgrades to our Mobile Device Manager, which also took place in 2015.  Since then we have been able to update our original Apple X Servers to OSX 10.11.6, which is also the highest they are able to upgrade.  We also began the process of updating iPads by purchasing new iPad Airs for the incoming 6th grade class.

In the summer of 2016, we began the process of upgrading staff devices with the purchase of 10 MacBook Airs.  We also piloted an iPad Pro program for staff with 10 staff members as well as purchasing 10 new Apple TVs for staff to try out.  Additionally, we purchased two Mac Pros to use as server replacements for the aging X Servers.  Two Mac Pros are powerful enough to handle all of the services the previous five servers performed.  Our Open Directory, DNS, DHCP, and Mobile Device Management(MDM) services were all moved to these servers.  The old servers were repurposed to perform services such as Caching, Media backups, and MDM backup.   We also continued the purchasing of new iPads for the incoming 6th grade class with the purchase of iPad Air 2s.

This summer we have begun to complete the biggest part of our three year technology plan.  The first week of June we removed all of our aging Ruckus access points (7 years old) in the building.  We replaced them with brand new Aerohive Wave 1 (AP 230) and Wave 2 (AP 550) access points.  In order to accommodate these new access points and some of the placement throughout the building, we needed to rewire some of the building.  These new access points not only cover more area, but they also transmit in the latest wifi signals to improve speeds and performance for devices on our network.  While our current internet speeds are 100 Mbps, web filtering and other services significantly slow down speeds.  On our Ruckus access points we were averaging around 20-25 Mbps during peak and non peak hours.  This number jumped to 45-50 Mbps on several devices tried.

In addition to the new access points, we are upgrading our Internet service from 100 Mbps to 500 Mbps.  This transition is scheduled to take place on July 7 in the morning.  Once complete, our service throughout the building should be much faster and much more reliable.

Internet security has been something talked about a lot lately with schools, business, banks, etc. getting hacked.  We replaced our Dell Sonic Wall firewall with a new PF Sense firewall.  The new firewall will provide much better protection against threats from the outside that seek entrance into our school.  It is also automatically updated whenever there are new threats and is much easier to configure.

All teacher devices have been updated in the building with new laptops (MacBook Pro or MacBook Air), new iPad Pros, and new Apple TVs.

Finally, we purchased 500 new iPads.  With the exception of the iPad Air 2s we purchased for 6th grade last year, all other iPads are being replaced.  The new iPads have already arrived and we are awaiting cases.  Cases should arrive by the first week of August.

While we are proud of the upgrades and updates we have implemented, technology is ever evolving and the process of upgrading is never done.  With that said, we should be in good shape for several years with the changes we have made.

 

March and April Tech Report

Important Notes

NWEA & ISTEP

• All Spring NWEA testing is complete.

• ISTEP Part 2 will take place the week of April 24. This test is on the iPad.

Students in grade 6 & 7, please DO NOT update your iPads to iOS 10.3. Pearson has informed us 10.3 is not compatible with the ISTEP test.

Taking Care of your Device during Testing Season

It is very important to take extra care of your devices during testing season. Make sure you charge regularly and maintain a healthy charge of your device. Turn the device off if you are not using it for extended periods of time. If you have issues, please fill out support tickets so we may help you. If your device suffers a cracked screen, it is important you fill out an insurance claim quickly so we can get it taken care. Once your deductible is paid, we will have a device in your hands the same day or the next morning.

GMAIL Security Issue

It was brought to our attention several of our email addresses have been compromised by security breaches and/or phishing scams. Google has been informing us of any email addresses in our domain that may have been compromised. As we get these emails, we are notifying students and resetting passwords.

Please avoid entering email addresses into websites that do not look familiar. It is also best not to follow links in questionable emails.

For more information on phishing scams and how to identify and avoid them, please follow this link: https://blog.returnpath.com/10-tips-on-how-to-identify-a-phishing-or-spoofing-email-v2/

Support Ticket Breakdown

supportticketsmarch

Total Tickets February: 43

Total Tickets March: 55

February and March were both average months for support tickets. Both months experienced high amounts of iPad Charging issues. Out of the eleven cases, 10 were fixed easily by charging the iPad. When a device is not charging, you should suspect the charger first before assuming it is the iPad. If a student reports this issue, please charge the device first before filling out a support ticket. Often this fixes the issue.

Insurance Claims & Lost iPads

insurance/lostmarch

Insurance claims totaled 7 in February and 4 in March. A majority of these claims are cracked screens. Please take better care of your devices and report breaks immediately to your teacher!

We had 10 iPads go missing in February and 7 in March. These numbers exceed previous months and are way too large. Luckily, all were recovered following the proper procedure. Please be more cognizant of where you place your iPads! Please follow procedures when losing an iPad: Notify teacher who will then send out staff email. Retrace your steps! We have not had a single iPad go unrecovered in the past three school years now.

Other Notes

• Please remember to fill out a support ticket when needing support. We receive too many emails a day to sort through support emails. Support tickets go into a spreadsheet for us making it easier to stay organized.  Do not send students down to our office!

• If you have a broken iPad, please pay your deductible to receive a replacement. You will need your device to take NWEA and/or ISTEP, as well as to complete your school work.

• Teachers received new devices in March such as laptops, iPads, and Apple TVs. Student iPads will be upgraded in summer.

October Update

We ended with 62 support tickets last month.  Our Highest categories were PowerSchool Password Resets (18), iPad Battery or Charging issues (12), and iPad Display/Hardware issues (7). Some other tech notes for the month: All NWEA testing was completed including makeups by … Continue reading →