Viewing by month: August 2011

Aug 25 2011

Rolling out eForms and our new employee Intranet


Today we announced the Judson ISD Intranet, available through the MyJISD Portal.  The Intranet is an employee focused web site, where Judson ISD employees can go to search for needed information.  It is a constant work in progress, as departments add more documents and information each day.  The Intranet already has a variety of manuals, handbooks, forms, and administrative procedures. The Intranet has a very robust search feature, which indexes key words from web pages, PDF, MS Word documents and more.

As part of the transition to the Intranet, all PDF/Word forms have been moved from eduphoria! FormSpace to the departmental Intranet sites.  The only forms that are now in FormSpace are eForms, which are electronic forms that are submitted online.  Once a form is submitted, the user receives a routing status update as the form moves through its approval process, keeping them informed of the formâ??s whereabouts at all times.  With the opening of the Intranet, we rolled out an expanding selection of eForms in eduphoria! FormSpace

We made these changes to improve information flow across the organization, and in the case of eForms, to speed up the form submittal process, and save printing costs. 

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Aug 25 2011

Stretching Technology Dollars - Being Leaner and More Efficient

I was recently asked about how school districts can stretch tight technology funds - here is my quick 2 cents:



Given that many districts are struggling to retain staff, pay for fuel, deal with increasing student enrollment etc,  many of us are certainly struggling to pay for what we would not consider ambitious projects.  Or said differently, we can all think of more grand plans for times when budgets are not as tight.  That being said, there are a lot of ways to try to stretch funds:
  1. Local desktop virtualization (such as Fiddlehead, nComputing, etc)
  2. Server virtualization
  3. Look at VDI (virtual desktops) and calculate TCO for your organization.  We reused old PC's as endpoints and disaster recovery NOC with underutilized computing power, so VDI did make financial sense for us.  
  4. Leverage eRate discounts for telecommunication costs and for matching funds on network equipment
  5. Start using eForms for faster routing and less paper usage
  6. Leverage power management on your computers - I estimate we saved $120,000 in four years doing this
  7. Try to consolidate servers and the product lines you support (of course BYOD changes this)
  8. Eliminate inffective applications or one that are little used
  9. Leverage BYOD - you may be able to cut some capital expenditures
  10. Renegotiation of contracts
  11. Sign longer contracts for larger discounts with trusted partners
  12. Competitively bid large purchases
  13. Buy used/refurbished equipment
  14. Automate identity management and application user provisioning
  15. Deliver apps via the web and get away from software installs when feasible
  16. Leverage smart fleet management with desktop management products

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Aug 25 2011

JISD's Chief Technology Officer Named Chair of Texas K-12 CTO Council

Yep - it's true......text below is from https://www.judsonisd.org/jblog/post.cfm/jisd-s-chief-technology-officer-named-president-of-texas-k-12-cto-council


Steve Young, Judson ISD Chief Technology Officer, has been selected by his state-wide peers as Chair of the Texas K-12 CTO Council.  The organization assists school districts across the state, in understanding how to plan for and implement important technology information. 

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Aug 25 2011

Judson ISD Launches eLearning 360

 

Technology Services & Instructional Technology are pleased to announce our new Judson ISD eLearning 360 initiative, which is allowing learning to take place online in and out of the classroom at any time. Today's students live in a very different world, always connected by a multiplicity of devices. They learn differently and have new expectations for how to learn. Judson ISD eLearning 360 is about both students and teachers learning together in a new way, with the same high expectations for achievement.

e-learning360

THE JUDSON ISD ELEARNING 360 INITIATIVE INCLUDES SEVERAL RELATED OFFERINGS:

  • Creation of a JISD Guest wireless network at all schools with wireless networks
  • Supporting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative to give students greater access to using digital tools in the classroom
  • Offering all students access via the MyJISD Portal to their Judson ISD files
  • Offering secondary students access to use the Schoology social learning platform
  • Offering secondary students Microsoft Live@Edu online Microsoft Office Web Apps, Outlook Live Email and Windows Live SkyDrive with 25GB of storage for student work

More information is available at:
http://www.judsonisd.org/district/technology/JudsonISDeLearning360.cfm

 

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Aug 25 2011

Content Below this was imported from old Blog

All content below this was imported from my old blog at https://share.judsonisd.org/users/syoung/blog/

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Aug 25 2011

Judson ISD Featured in eSchoolNews


eSchoolNews on Jan 24th, 2011 featured Judson ISD in an article entitled "Amid economic uncertainty, ed-tech leaders do more with less".
The article was written based on Judson ISD's presentation in a national CoSN Webinar on January 18th. The article appears here:

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Aug 25 2011

San Antonio Area Technology Directors Meet to Discuss Technology and Budgets


San Antonio Area Technology Directors from the education industry met today at South San Antonio ISD. This is group meets quarterly to discuss issues and trends, as well as to share ideas. The most sobering talk today was around the Texas House draft budget and the elimination of the state Technology Allotment, which has been a cornerstone of school district technology budgets all over the state of Texas. Technology has become a vital part of all district operations, while most districts have let the state of Texas fund a large share of their costs. Now this money is looking like it may no longer be available in the upcoming biennium; many folks fear that this means schools will end up having computers with lifecycles of 10 years or more, and many in the group feel that they or their staff may end up without a job. The hope is that a compromise budget may be less drastic, although everyone realizes that cuts will happen across the state....
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