Judson ISD's Technology Services News and Information

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Judson ISD's Green Computing Initiative Saves $$$

Judson ISD Green Computing Logo Judson ISD Technology Services is focusing its technology resources on a "Green Computing Initiative" or "GCI".  When it makes fiscal sense, Judson ISD is trying to pursue technologies that utilize less resources and are friendlier to the environment in the long run.  A long detailed description of “green computing” is available on Wikipedia.

Computers and other technology traditionally use lots of electricity, produce lots of heat, and often contain hazardous substances. As part of our GCI, Technology Services is leading an effort at Judson ISD to engage in many practices that will save electricity, save money, and reduce our impact on the environment, while offering Judson ISD staff and students progressive technology resources.

A shining example of the GCI that affects many Judson ISD Elementary and Middle School classrooms is the Xtenda or nComputing X300 initiative.  Our first year Xtenda deployment not only saved Judson ISD over $575,000 compared to a traditional computer deployment, but it also  is saving Judson ISD taxpayers over $33,000 in energy costs annually.  These numbers do not include the cost saved from not having to run extra air conditioning, which is a side effect of a traditional computer deployment. Additionally, in 2007, Technology Services instituted automated shutdowns of computers, which we estimate will save $150,000 over a four-year period.  Not only are the technologies greener, but they are friendlier to the bottom line.

There are many other facets of Judson ISD’s GCI.  Additional highlights of our GCI include the following:

  • Running servers on VMWare, which reduces the number of physical servers needed, reduces power consumption, reduces cooling cost, and requires less physical (expensive) data center space
  • Remote management and monitoring of servers and network equipment, requiring less travel and less time spent on problem solving
  • Consolidating and virtualizing storage, which requires far less time spent managing storage, and will allow us to use storage much more efficiently, requiring less energy per unit of storage
  • Upgrading to more energy efficient servers for running multiple VMWare servers per physical server
  • Purchasing Energy Star rated computers and printers when feasible
  • Utilizing LCD monitors and phasing out CRT monitors, which use far more energy
  • Eliminating almost all inkjet printers and providing shared laser printers and networked copiers
  • Recycling Toner and inkjet cartridges
  • Establishing procedures for redistribution, reuse, and recycling of technology assets
  • Recycling of disposed technology assets with company which certifies that is uses responsible environmental practices and tries to reuse as many parts as possible
  • Remote deployment and installations of most applications, eliminating technician travel time
  • Pushing large volumes of student data to Judson ISD parents via Parent Center and AlertNow, rather than relying on paper for all communication.

Judson ISD’s GCI site and details on Xtenda savings are available here.

 

To Archive or Not to Archive; That is the Question

Outlook ImageOutlook ImageHave you encountered this message? Do you avoid answering Yes or No?  Don’t fret—archiving is easy and all it takes is a few simple mouse clicks!  Archiving is a method of backing up or deleting old items, such as e-mail messages, appointments, contacts, tasks, journal entries, and notes.  It is important to Archive your files to reduce the size of your Exchange folder on the e-mail server.  Archiving can be performed automatically or manually. 

To AutoArchive, perform the following steps:

  1. When the “Would you like to AutoArchive your old items now?” message appears, click the Yes button.
  2. Select the radio button that states Archive this folder and all subfolders.
  3. Click Mailbox-Last name, First name to highlight the folder to archive all files in your mailbox.  Note:  If you highlight any other file or folder, it will only archive that file or folder.
  4. In the Archive items older than list, select a date.  Note:  The date selected means that all items created in the folder prior to that date will be archived.
  5. In the Archive file box, click the Browse button.
  6. Browse to My Documents and name the file:  Archive_ Date of Archive
  7. Click OK and files are moved into the .pst (personal store) file that you specified.  An Archives Folder will be created at the end of the Navigation Pane in Outlook®. Note:  Keep in mind that this archive is only saved on your computer.  It cannot be accessed via the portal or a different computer.

To view your Archives, do the following:

  1. Outlook ImageClick the plus sign near the Archives Folder located in the Navigation Pane. 
  2. The list of folders similar to your present Inbox will appear.
  3. Click on any folder to retrieve any data or information that you may need.

NOTE:  Each time you archive your data, Outlook® automatically creates a new Archive Folder with the most current Archive Folder on the top.  The Archive Folder cannot be renamed.

 

Projecting a New Classroom Image

Hitachi LCD ProjectorImagine a mounted projector in every JISD classroom…teachers integrating technology daily with their students…students actively engaged in learning!

As teachers dream of state-of-the-art technology in their classrooms, JISD leaders are working on making these dreams a reality for our students. The Technology Services department has written technology standards for each JISD campus. One of the standards is that every classroom will have a ceiling mounted projector.

Steve Young, Chief Technology Officer, has had many requests from campuses to mount their projectors. During the fall of 2008, Technology Services was able to set aside funds to help mount approximately 100 projectors. Based on an RFP (Request for Proposal), Boyd’s Camera Audio Visual was awarded the bid based on business reputation as well as price.

Eligibility was determined based on 2008-2009 and 2007-2008 Campus Tech Plans that included a projector strategy.

In order to make the most of the money and mount as many projectors as possible, the 50/50 Projector Initiative was born. In this initiative, eligible campuses use the projectors they received via recent tech allotment monies and pay 50% of the installation cost. Technology Services funds the other 50% of the installation plus the cost of mounting kits and all needed cabling. Sharing the cost of installation creates a partnership of funding and ownership between Technology Services and the campus that makes it possible to achieve this district goal.

In year 1, we are estimating that 127 projectors will be mounted at the following campuses: Crestview, Olympia, Park Village, Salinas, Wagner, Candlewood, Kitty Hawk, and Kirby.  Given the massive positive responses from this implementation, we will make every effort to provide this opportunity again next year. If funds are available, campuses with projectors on their 2009-2010 technology plans will be eligible.