Welcome to the Tech Report for October. It was a busy second month of school in September and there is a lot of information to share with you in this report.
Rogue Access Point Update
The number of Rogue Access points has drastically decreased since last month’s update. I began locking iPads when I could tell who the hotspot belonged to as well as initiated mitigation of Rogue Access Points from our Aerohive dashboard. Thank you for being considerate and diligent in protecting our network.
Equifax Security Issue
This summer there was a huge breach into Equifax that resulted in unauthorized access to millions of American’s information such as: Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, credit card information and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. Chances are you were affected if you have purchased a car or a home in the last ten years, opened a credit card, obtained a loan, etc. You can find out if you were affected and take advantage of free credit monitoring by visiting https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/
Staff iPad Wifi Issue
Over the past two months we have been experiencing some issues with staff iPads (about half of staff devices) losing their connection to HAST Wireless2. After entering the password into devices several times and still having some of the devices lose connection, I discovered the issue was the result of incorrect information on the wireless profile attached to staff devices. Since students have different iPad configuration profiles, they were not impacted by this mistake. I corrected the information in the profile and distributed to devices; however, many still experienced the same issues. To add a workaround, I added a secondary SSID (HAST Wireless) to the profile. When a teacher gets disconnected, he or she can connect to HAST Wireless and they will receive the correct login info for HAST Wireless2 within minutes. They will then be able to connect back to HAST Wireless2. I have also found that we can avoid this conflict all together by erasing network settings through the settings. This erases all remnants of the old profile and fixes the issue.
iOS 11 & ISTEP
In September Apple released iOS 11 and two updates since. While there are many awesome new features in iOS 11 (ie. screen recording, new annotation tools, etc.), there are also some problematic issues with regards to battery life. In many instances, a device may experience up to 60% faster battery loss than with iOS 10. Additionally, as of right now, ISTEP is not compatible with iOS 11. Pearson and Apple are working on the issue and expect it to be resolved before testing and hopefully within the next couple months.
As of right now, PLEASE DO NOT update your iPad to iOS 11 until I give the go ahead. Once iOS 11 has updated to correct the battery issues and it is compatible with ISTEP testing, I will notify everyone with the thumbs up to update.
GMAIL App issue
Last month I reported an issue with the GMAIL app where you would get an error message on your iPad when attempting to check your email. As of right now, the issue seems to still exist in iOS 11. I advise checking your email through the browser or using the Apple Mail App.
After several years of blocking and then unblocking the Puffin Browser, I have decided to block it for good. The Puffin browser uses a proxy to allow for iPads to view flash content, but it also allows iPads to circumvent our web filter. It has been a useful tool in many classes over the years; however, the abuse by students far outweighs the benefits. Students have used it to access inappropriate content as well as to access social media during school. I do not like blocking access to great resources, but students have been too willing to break the rules with this app and brag about it. RIP Puffin Browser.
New Support Ticket System
As of October 1, our support ticket system has been upgraded. We now have a more professional support ticket system to help us better provide staff and students with support. When you click on the Support Ticket link, you are brought to the new dashboard. The new dashboard contains troubleshooting articles and tips, which I created to assist you with basic issues. When you fill out a support ticket, you will receive email notifications and be able to communicate with IT staff regarding the issue. You have the opportunity to be much more involved and informed in the process of tech support.
In September, we purchased screen protectors for the 8th grade. As discussed in the August report, 8th grade typically has the highest number of broken screens throughout the year due to not having lockers. 8th grade teachers installed the screen protectors on every 8th grader’s iPad and as a result of this new protection, 8th grade did not have a single insurance claim for September! Thank you to the 8th grade teachers for taking the time to install the screen protectors. There have been three instances of students breaking the screen protector due to a drop, but the screen was saved. This is great news and we are considering rolling this out to other grade levels as well or selling the screen protectors at a reduced rate to other grades.
Chargers, Cases, and iPad Responsibility
It has been brought to my attention students have been drawing and writing on their iPad cases. The cases ARE NOT yours to write on. They are school property and you DO NOT have permission to write on them.
Chargers were provided to every student at the beginning of the school year with every new iPad with the exception of 7th grade (who received new iPads and chargers last year as 6th graders). This is a reminder that we only provide ONE charger per student. If the student loses his or her charger, he or she is responsible for the replacement…not HAST.
Finally, another topic that has come up recently has been the topic of who is responsible for an iPad breaking. I have had a few students claim they shouldn’t have to pay for the deductible on their broken iPad because they believed it was knocked off a table by another student or another student stepped on it…
You are responsible for your iPad and nobody else is. Mr. Young and I investigate any instance of malicious damage to the iPad. We investigate accusations by students against other students regarding iPad abuse. When a student claims another person broke their iPad, the only way we will put the responsibility of payment on the other student is if it can be proven the iPad was broken by the other student. You need to remember as well, if you place your iPad on the floor or are irresponsible by leaving it somewhere, then you are the one responsible for it when it breaks.
Support Ticket Breakdown
We had a normal month of support tickets at 66 in September. The highest totals were for Wifi issues (mostly staff) and PowerSchool passwords. We had a number of airplaying issues on staff laptops, but those were resolved with updates or by clearing space on the laptop. Other than that, there weren’t many glaring issues this past month.
Missing iPads September
The number of iPads gone missing around the building increased to 9 in September. All were recovered. Please make sure to notify your teacher immediately if you lost your iPad. The teacher will then email staff with your information from the iPad Inventory as well as have you retrace your steps. Following procedures helps us to recover lost devices.
Insurance Claims September
Insurance claims went down for September. We only had 3. As mentioned before, we are learning towards screen protectors for all devices. If you do break your iPad, please notify your teacher immediately so the insurance claim form can be filled out.
- 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.