October Tech Report

Important Notes

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.

Puffin Browser

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.

Screen Protectors

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.

sept. support tickets

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.

Missing iPads

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.

Insurance Claims Sept.

Additional 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.

September Tech Report

Important Notes

Welcome to the first Tech Report of the school year!  It has been a busy month so far:

  • iPads were distributed the first week of school.
  • Our web filter now filters devices at home.  While it may not specifically block a website, we can see if a student access inappropriate content.
  • We made some changes to the radio channels on our wireless access points to improve service.  So far we have noticed much better performance since the change was made.
  • iPads should all be updated to at least 10.3.2.
  • NWEA Testing will begin on Monday, Sept. 11.
  • The Enrollment network was shut down after the second week of school.  This network was only meant to exist during iPad enrollment and was not to be used for personal devices.  Phones can be placed on the hastguest network…students are NOT to bring personal devices to class.
  • Rogue Access Points, usually in the form of hotspots, have declined in recent weeks.  Please refrain from using mobile hotspots.  This will be seen as an AUP violation and it will be assumed you are attempting to circumvent the web filter.  Additionally, we will mitigate these rogue devices to prevent them from working properly.
  • GMAIL App issue – There is a gmail issue with the iOS app.  This issue so far only seems to affect users running 10.3.3 and causes gmail to display an error message when logging in.  There is no workaround for this problem at the moment and probably will not be until the next iOS update.

Support Ticket Breakdown

Total number of tickets for the month was 173.  This is rather high in comparison to most months; however, the first month of school is usually the busiest as students need more passwords reset and teachers are getting back into the swing of things.  The highest number of support tickets were related to PowerSchool for August.  After that, many support tickets were related to wifi.  The number one reason was disconnection from the wireless.  Most were teacher devices due to an errant profile on their iPads.  A number of the devices simply needed the user to switch to HAST Wireless2 and did not require a password. Several students needed email passwords reset and there were several app related issues.support tickets august

Missing iPads August

9th grade had the most iPads go missing for the month of August.  Overall, we had seven for the month and all were recovered. lost ipads august

Insurance Claims August

Just like last year, 8th grade has started off with the most Insurance Claims in the first month.  This is due to the lack of lockers for 8th grade students.  We have ordered screen protectors for 8th grade student devices that will be installed this week.  Additionally, students will be given old laptop bags to carry their devices around in.  This will be required of all 8th graders so we can protect the devices and avoid large claim numbers.

insurance claims august

NWEA Schedule

Monday, Sept. 11 – MS Math & Science
  • 7th and 8th grade start time 8:15-8:30am
  • 6th grade start time 10am
Thursday, Sept. 14 – MS Reading & LA
  • 7th and 8th grade start time 8:15-8:30am
  • 6th grade start time 10am
Friday, Sept. 15 – MS Makeups 9am
Monday, Sept. 18 – 9th &10th Math & Science, 11th Math & Reading
  • 9th & 11th start time 8am
  • 10th start time 9am
Tuesday, Sept. 19 – 9th & 10th Reading & LA
  • Start time 8am
Wednesday, Sept. 20 – HS Makeups 9am

Additional 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.

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 →