Bond 2006 Computer Deployment Plans

On November 7, 2006, the voters of Judson Independent School District approved a $236.4 million dollar bond of which $8 million is allotted for technology. The technology bond will replace all existing computers in the district with new ones and, if necessary, add computers to campuses to attain a 5:1 ratio of students to computers.  The bond also includes money for campuses to receive additional projectors, network printers and furniture for any added components.  Technology Services then set forth on the road of implementation.

Bond Computer DeploymentKnowing the bond deployment would be a four year process, the first step was designing selection criteria to determine which year each campus would be deployed.  Technology Services conducted an inventory of systems at each campus including the manufacturer of the system and age of processor.  For analysis purposes, we determined the percentage of end of life (EOL) computers on each campus.  End of life is defined as systems with Pentium III or older processors which are mainly M&A clone systems and Dell GX 110’s and GX 150’s.  

After the percentages were calculated, Technology Services ranked campuses by grade level.  We determined it would be possible to successfully deploy two middle schools and seven elementary schools in the first group.  The groupings are as follows and are subject to change:

2007 Group (MS EOL% greater than 50%) (ES EOL% greater than 80%)

Kitty Hawk, Woodlake Hills, Franz, Candlewood, Paschall, Woodlake, Olympia, Spring Meadows, Coronado Village

2008 Group (MS EOL% less than 50%) (ES EOL% between 40% and 80%)

Kirby, Miller's Point, Hopkins, Crestview, Elolf, Park Village, Hartman

2009 Group (EOL% range less than 40%)

Secondary Alternative Campus, Judson Learning Academy, Metzger

2010 Group

Wagner, Salinas

Converse Elementary School and Judson High School have funds in the bond to replace the technology on the campus as a part of the rebuild.  These campuses will be deployed as a part of the opening of the new campus.

With the order of deployment now in place, Technology Services recently released a Request For Proposal (RFP) for computers pricing.   The RFP was submitted to ensure Judson ISD would receive the best possible pricing for hardware and services.  Due to the extremely low failure rate, Hewlett Packard desktops and laptops were specified in the RFP.  The computer models specified in the RFP are the HP 5700 desktop with core duo processor and 2 GB of memory.  The laptop specified was the NX6325 with an AMD Turion 64 X2 processor and 1 GB of memory.

The RFP 27-16 was mailed out to nine vendors in March 2007 with a deadline of April 11th for submission.  After comparing system quotes and references, Intech Southwest was awarded the bid based on the business’ reputation as well as price. The bid from Intech Southwest was $275.00 less than any competitor and $217 less than the State of Texas Department of Information Resources state contract price.

Last but certainly not least, technology Services must turn to the task of preparing for removal of older machines, deployment of new machines, and training the campus staff.   This process will consist of several pre-deployment meetings with campus administration and staff and three teams working in succession to remove, deploy, and perform quality check.

The implementation process will include several planned steps

  • Meeting with campus administrative staff to explain the process
  • Meeting with all campus staff to explain the process
  • Site survey to map technology placement, drops and electrical
  • Support for campus personnel to archive files from older machines
  • Advance team to remove old equipment and make-ready for implementation
  • Implementation team to install new equipment
  • Quality control team to test hardware and software
  • Priority technical support through the Help Desk
  • Campus Instructional Technologist to provide instructional support and training

Technology Services is looking forward to the next few years with excitement.  The Judson ISD taxpayers have placed a very large stamp of approval on the use of technology in the classroom, and we plan to exceed their expectations.  Thank You for your support and patience as Judson starts down this road!

MyJISD: Here It Comes ... What is it?

JISD is getting a Portal! …What is a Portal? Well I’m glad you asked. Up until now we’ve seen the steady march of technology into our lives. Some would say “like an invading army”! Others might be more welcoming and optimistic, but we all have come to recognize that each new gadget and gizmo has added a level of complexity to our already complex jobs – YUCK. It is at this point that the Portal comes in!

Finally, we have a new piece of technology coming in that will SIMPLIFY things a bit and restore a little ORDER! … the MyJISD Portal. I know; I have not told you what it is, yet, so in a nutshell, here it is: A portal is a website that is able to offer many of the services and benefits of our existing software under ONE LOGIN and IN ONE PLACE on the web.

Portal SiteI know … you’re speechless, right? OK, if that leaves you a bit underwhelmed, I’ll give you a better picture. Imagine logging in ONCE to ONE site and being able to move freely between Email, GradeSpeed, SchoolNet and our curriculum sites. Imagine that at the same time you can quickly click into your benefits info from HR, check and update your personal info, and even check on the grades of your children who attend JISD. Imagine being able to have a homepage called MyJISD, that holds just what you want – completely customizable information. Imagine an automated teacher website that does not require you to be a web-guru to operate!

The portal project is well underway and will be coming to JISD soon. We anticipate a limited rollout as early as the Spring semester, so keep your eyes peeled. More information can be found at the Webmasters Corner under Employees on the District site.

 

CIT Up and Take Notice

Have you seen some positive changes on your campus involving technology? Is your campus more motivated about computer literacy?  Do you feel you are getting the instructional support your campus needs for technology staff development?  Well, “CIT up and take notice”--three newly hired Campus Instructional Technologists (CIT), Sharlene Alexander, Janie Franz, and Jami Spacek are efficiently providing service for all elementary schools in JISD.  Currently, they are rotating to each elementary campus on a two week basis. At each site, the CITs are working out of the computer lab providing teacher and student instructional support for computer literacy and integration.

Some of the other duties they have performed are: technology staff development, student training on curriculum, collaboration with technology committees to draft campus technology plans, and maintenance of the hardware and software with basic troubleshooting.  Since the bond deployment of new hardware and software is approaching this summer, the Campus Instructional Technologists will play a fundamental role in the success of this implementation primarily because the training needs for these campuses will be enormous.

Many administrators are very pleased with the service they are receiving and have expressed a strong desire to have a full time CIT on their campus.  As the campuses increase the computer literacy skills of students and staff, the CITs will increasingly demonstrate effective technology integration strategies through model teaching.  The CITs will work together as a team in conjunction with the Instructional Technology Department to address and support district and campus goals and needs. Through established relationships and collaboration with campus and district staff, the CITs role will be pivotal to enhance curriculum and ultimately influence student learning. 

Who Moved My Mouse?

YIKES! Your mouse is moving on its own! Several windows are opening; then closing by themselves. A pop-up appears, using YOUR name in a message! Your computer has gone absolutely berserk! Your first response would be to hold down the power button until it completely shuts itself off; better yet, just unplug it!

Who Moved My Mouse?Remote Control
If this should happen to you, do not be alarmed.  This type of scenario is being played out in many classrooms across our district. Your technician is trying to complete a work order "remotely."

Desktop Services has begun using a system for fixing software problems that allows us to connect to your computer remotely. Connecting remotely has become an important tool for us to use in addressing computers that are not working correctly. It allows us to get to more problems in a shorter amount of time and saves time and resources that can be used elsewhere.

Talking Back
Some staff members have been very surprised to see messages directed to them in the form of pop-ups appearing on their screens. Please do not worry when this occurs; your technician is trying to "chat" with you, ensuring that the time is right to work on your computer.  Many of you have already experienced this. Some of you reacted with a calm message back to the technician while others panicked and quickly turned off their computer (effectively preventing the technician from fixing anything!)

What To Do
If this should ever happen to you, please DO NOT turn off you computer; it must stay on.  Turning off your computer prevents your technician from completing your work order. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Technology Services Helpdesk at 945-5473. You will be given an explanation regarding the repairs and any other important information you will need in the future.

So the next time your computer starts communicating with you, remember: it could be your friendly technician trying to fix a problem that has been reported … or it just might be Norton’s Ghost.