Sunday, September 12, 2010

iT203 Update: Instructional Technology

2 Months on the job and nearly 3 weeks with staff/students back, things are certainly picking up for the iT203 staff. We have many initiatives underway and several other projects on the horizon.

  • Student Information System
    Our SIS project is moving along as scheduled. This past week we completed our 'Champions Training', where 25 District 203 staff members gained a high-level overview of the new tool and its many modules and features. The purpose of the training was for this group to champion the tool amongst their peers, colleagues and work process groups. I felt this training was a success as many of our staff members were able to see first-hand the improved system we will be putting in place over our soon-to-be legacy system.

  • Electronic Communications Policy
    We have had a team working to create an Electronic Communications policy / guidelines that help accomplish 2 goals: 1. Provide a framework for 203 staff and students to utilize social networking sites / social media during the school day for the purpose of improving collaboration and communication both inside and outside the district. 2. The provide guidelines and recommendations for appropriate student / teacher communication on many devices / resources. This document is in its final draft form, coming soon to our cabinet and board of education.

  • Service Catalogue / Disparity Issue
    The instructional technology team has been working on developing a service catalogue that captures the value add of all classroom technology components. It also allows us to gain a snapshot of the current hardware, software, PD, staff, funding and other value drivers at each of the 22 schools. This moves us one step closer to developing a disparity recommendation to 'level the playing field' for all schools and provide a benchmark of technologies across all of our classrooms. This is certainly one of the more exciting and impacting projects for our team this year.

  • Student and Teacher Technology Assessments
    Our staff is currently taking a look at several vendors that provide assessment tools for measuring technology competencies of our staff and students. From a staff standpoint, this data will help drive the professional development opportunities in our buildings by providing just-in-time necessary trainings that address gaps in our staffs and buildings. From a student perspective, it is the first step in developing a scope / sequence tool that will give a high level overview of expected skills / knowledge across grade levels.

  • Learning Management System
    Our team continues to review technologies that have the potential to be a player in the future in our district. A core team will be assembled shortly to manage this project very similar to how our SIS project was managed. We will be assembling requirements, top vendors, review / pilot and RFP. We are leaning towards a phased implementation process, given that our SIS project has top priority in the district. A phased approach would allow our users to migrate slowly from any existing system they would be using to a new system.

As you can we have several tasks ahead of us as we continue to make iT203 one of the leading K-12 IT departments by providing world class innovative technologies and stellar service in an effective and efficient manner.

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Monday, September 6, 2010

iPhone to PC

ITunes StoreImage via WikipediaSo I finally was ready to update my iPhone to the new OS and realized I had a situation. All of my iTunes music existed on a desktop that was in storage. I certainly didn't want to take the time / energy to locate that desktop, connect it and copy the music files over to an external HD and then finally to my new laptop.

I started doing some research on third party applications that exist. I came acros Pod to PC by Macroplant and was impressed with the simplicity of their application and its future use after resolving my current dilemma. I purchased the application for $19.95 and watched as within minutes all of the music, videos, podcasts, etc. that existed on my iPhone was transferred to my new laptop. All of my playlists, organized file names carried over.

Anyone looking for a quick easy way to move files from an iTouch, iPod, iPhone to a new device - I suggest you take a look at Pod to PC by Macroplant. You can download the application and run in demo mode, which will move 10 songs over, so you can see what the process looks like.

Visit: for more information.

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