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Technology FAQ's

General Information

Teachers and some limited staff are issued a district owned laptop and a docking station. The devices are leased every 3 years and must be returned in saleable condition to the leasing company.  Customization such as stickers or permanent markings is prohibited. Employees are required to keep up with any/ all accessories (Chargers, Docking Stations, etc). Financial charges may apply if negligence is determined.

In order to assist your technology needs, we need to be notified. The technology department utilizes a cloud based ticketing system to address all technology needs throughout the district.  The ticketing system is monitored by the entire Technology Department. All technology requests/ concerns/ or problems must be submitted through this system.

 

The ticketing system allows us to determine the type of problem you may be experiencing.  The issue may be fixed remotely or require a technician to come to your location.

 

The system also allows us to track device history, costs, and account for our time. The system allows YOU to track previous history and to see the status of any current work orders.

 

You should enter your problem request as soon as possible. Most problems can be resolved within the hour, depending on the load we are experiencing and available parts.

 

The ticketing system is a self enrolling system, meaning, you create your own username and pw.

 

To enroll in the system visit our district website at manchestercitysch.org

 

  • Click on the faculty/ staff link at the top of the page

  • Select Technology Work Order

  • If you have never submitted a work order, click on downward triangle next to register here.

  • Fill Out the form using your school phone number and MCS email address. Select a Password you will remember and click Register.

  • The next time you login, the system will remember your login information.

  • Select your location, Room Number, and area.

  • Select your problem type and a detailed description of the problem you are having.

  • Enter the brand and Model of the device you are having problems with (if accessible)

  • Enter the 5 digit gold Tag number from the device

  • Finally, enter the submittal password which is “password”

 

Do not enter a request just to create your account, the system doesn’t complete the enrollment if you don’t submit a real request

 

The next time you need to enter a request, simply login with your email address and password, fill out the form.

Yes

 

Personal purchases of printers (not district money) is allowed. We will support them in a minimal fashion (connection, install drivers, etc), but will not spend considerable effort to troubleshoot something not supported.  No wireless printers will be allowed because of the interference it plays on the wireless system. Wireless printing will work on our new centralized printing system.

The use of personal devices on the school network is highly discouraged.  For security reasons, we utilize certificates on district owned devices that secure the connection between our servers and the issued device. This certificate must manually be installed by the technology department to work correctly on our network.

IOT (Internet of things, Echo Dot’s, Fitbits) devices are prohibited from accessing the network. There are security risks that are sometimes comical in nature,  but could impact in a negative manner.

All computers, computer related equipment, telecommunication services or equipment purchased, regardless of funding source, or donated for use in any school or office must be approved by the Director of Technology (Board Policy 3.300)

This is intended to protect the district and keep employees from buying items that are not supported. Sometimes there are network requirements, electrical requirements, or install requirements that the Technology Department should know ahead of time.  

Secretaries will query staff about technology related purchases to see if they have notified the Technology Department. Once a solution has been approved I will reply to the building secretary and staff requesting the product.

Any technology that is donated in the name of a group, individual staff member, or school must be inventoried at the district level. This ensures protection in case of fire/ water damage, etc.

Although school sound and lighting is generally not funded by the Technology Department, We have extensive background in Audio/ Lighting.  Consultation with the maintenance and Technology departments before purchasing these devices is recommended.  We may have insight on the project as well as sources that could be more cost effective.

Board Policy 4.406

The Manchester Board of Education supports the right of staff and students to have reasonable access to various information formats and believes it incumbent upon staff and students to use this privilege in an appropriate and responsible manner. EMPLOYEES Before any employee is allowed use of the Manchester City School District Internet or intranet access, the employee shall sign a written agreement, developed by the Director of Schools that sets out the terms and conditions of such use (See Employee Technology User Agreement). Any employee who accesses the District’s computer system for any purpose agrees to be bound by the terms of that agreement, even if no signed written agreement is on file. The Board supports the right of faculty and staff to have reasonable access to various information formats and believes it incumbent upon faculty and staff to use this privilege in an appropriate and responsible manner. The Director of Schools shall develop and implement appropriate procedures to provide guidance for faculty and staff access to electronic media (See Faculty and Staff Use of the Internet). Guidelines shall address ethical use of electronic media (such as the Internet) and issues of privacy versus administrative review of the electronic files and communications and shall prohibit utilization of networks for prohibited or illegal activities, the intentional spreading of embedded messages or the use of other programs with the potential of damaging or destroying programs or data. The Director of Schools shall develop and implement procedures for appropriate Internet use which address the following: • Development of the Network and Internet Use agreement • Guidelines regarding appropriate instruction and oversight of student Internet use. • General rules and ethics of Internet access. • Reporting misuse of the Internet • Prohibited and illegal activities, including but not limited to the following:1 • Sending or displaying offensive messages or pictures • Using obscene language • Harassing, insulting, defaming or attacking others • Damaging computers, computer systems or computer networks • Hacking or attempting unauthorized access to any computer • Violation of copy right laws • Trespassing in other’s folders, work or files • Intentional misuse of resources • Using another’s password or other identifiers (impersonation) • Use of the network for commercial purposes • Buying or selling on the Internet (except as authorized by the Director of Schools) • Sharing confidential information on students or employees • Assisting in a campaign for election of any person to any office or for the promotion of or opposition to any ballot proposition • Violating regulations prescribed by the network provider School officials shall apply the same criterion of educational suitability used to review other educational resources when questions arise concerning access to the Internet, specific databases or other electronic media. STUDENTS The Board supports the right of students to have reasonable access to various information formats and believes it incumbent upon students to use this privilege in an appropriate and responsible manner. 4.406 Use of the Internet 1 MANCHESTER CITY SCHOOLS Policy Manual The Director of Schools shall develop and implement appropriate procedures to provide guidance for student access to electronic media which address the following: (See Student Use of the Network and Internet Terms and Conditions.) • General rules and ethics of Internet use. • Prohibited or illegal activities, including, but not limited to:1 • Sending or display offensive messages or pictures • Using obscene language • Harassing, insulting, defaming or attacking others • Damaging computers, computer systems or computer networks • Hacking or attempting unauthorized access • Violation of copyright laws • Trespassing in another’s folders, work or files • Intentional misuse of resources • Using another’s password • Use of the network for commercial purposes • Revealing your personal address, photo, or phone number or that of another person • Buying or selling on the Internet • Assisting in a campaign for election of any person to any office or for the promotion of or opposition to any ballot proposition • Violating regulations prescribed by the network provider School officials shall apply the same criterion of educational suitability used to review other educational resources when questions arise concerning access to specific databases or other electronic media. INTERNET SAFETY MEASURES Internet safety measures shall be implemented that effectively address the following: • Controlling access by students to inappropriate matters on the Internet and World Wide Web • Safety and security of students when they are using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications • Preventing unauthorized access, including “hacking” and other unlawful activities by students on-line • Unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal information regarding students • Restricting students’ access to materials harmful to them The Director of Schools shall establish a process to ensure the District’s education technology is not used for purposes prohibited by law or for accessing sexually explicit materials. The process shall include but not be limited to: • Utilizing technology that blocks or filters Internet access (for both students and adults) to materials that is obscene, child pornography or harmful to students • Maintaining and securing a usage log • Monitoring on-line activities of students2 A written parental request shall be required annually prior to the student being granted independent access to electronic media involving District technological resources (See Student Network and Internet Use Agreement). The required permission/agreement form, which shall specify acceptable uses, rules of on-line behavior, access privileges and penalties for policy/procedural violations, must be signed by the parent/legal guardian of minor students (those under eighteen (18) years of age) and also by the student in grades six (6) and above. This document shall be kept on file as a legal, binding document. In order to modify or rescind the agreement, the student’s parent/guardian (or the student who is at least eighteen (18 )years old) must provide the Director of Schools with a written request. The Board shall provide reasonable public notice of, and at least one (1) public hearing or meeting to address and communicate, its Internet safety measures. 2 4.406 Use of the Internet 2 MANCHESTER CITY SCHOOLS Policy Manual E-MAIL Users with network access shall not utilize District resources to establish electronic mail accounts through third -party providers or any other nonstandard electronic mail system. All data including e-mail communications stored or transmitted on District computers shall be monitored. Employees/students have no expectation of privacy with regard to such data. E-mail correspondence may be a public record under the public records law and may be subject to public inspection.3 INTERNET SAFETY INSTRUCTIOIN 4 Students will be given appropriate instruction in internet safety as a part of the Pre-K – 8 instructional curriculum. Parents/guardians, grandparents, caregivers, students, and other community stakeholders will be provided with material to raise awareness of the dangers posed by the internet and ways in which the internet may be used safely. The teachers and staff of the District will receive Internet Safety training as part of the annual District staff development program. The District will comply with the provisions of the Child Internet Safety Act2 VIOLATIONS Violations of this policy or a procedure promulgated under this authority shall be handled in accordance with the existing disciplinary procedures of this District POLICY REVIEW The Use of the Internet policy (4.406) will be reviewed annually during the months of January or February. The results of the review and any recommended changes will be presented to the Manchester Board of Education during the regular March meeting for approval on 1st reading. Final reading and approval of any changes will be at the regular April meeting.

District owned devices utilize Enterprise Virus and Malware protection.  The rules are generally updated once per week.  The best way to keep your device protected is to be conscientious of strange emails, websites, links etc.  

Using strong passwords with different character types will also make it more difficult for hackers to access your system. Keep your passwords private. Taping them to the monitor screen or leaving them out in the open is not secure, and could give unauthorized access to sensitive information. Don’t share your passwords. Most systems have security rights for different users.  If a user doesn’t have access, have them contact the system administrator for access.

Each school has many different wired networks and multiple wireless networks to keep our traffic as clean as possible.  There are several reasons (both physical or virtual) you wouldn’t be able to access some sites. All faculty and staff should use the MCS-Faculty Wireless network.  It is the least restrictive in nature. We are bound by the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to keep our students safe.  This includes blocking some sites for teachers because of the risk of student exposure.  Remember the network is to be used for educational use only. Request to unblock sites can be sent as a work order.

Each school has a school webmaster responsible for giving teachers access to their teacher page. Keeping the teacher page up to date is imperative as our parents continue to use web sources to help their students at home.  You may use other web-site builders such as Google Sites to create a site. Make sure a link to your site is on your School In Sites page. Webmasters should send pictures regularly to howellm1@k12mcs.net for the district website.

We are a Google Apps for Education district. We have deployed to complete suite of Google tools to Students and Faculty.  Make a standard practice to use Google Drive as your storage medium.  With rotating devices every 3 years, you will be rushing to get your documents backed up before device turn in.  

To use google drive, install the app on your phone.  We do not install the app on computers because of the network shared drive viruses.

Point your browser to drive.google.com, or using the 9 squares and select drive.

The Law

Q: Can I show Netflix movies in the classroom without seeking permission from the copyright owner?

In general, NO.  Movies fall into a different category than written works.  Unless the movie is in the public domain, generally a license to view the movie will restrict public performances.  A Netflix subscriber will have to abide by their Terms of Use (https://www.netflix.com/TermsOfUse), which explicitly say that viewing is for “personal” use only and “You agree not to use the service for public performances.”  So, even though there might be a classroom exception in copyright law, the license (and your agreement to it) will prevail over the law.

It depends...

 

The  IT Department was worked diligently to standardize each classroom with the same or similar equipment. Because of wiring constraints, wired computers must stay within 10 ft of the ethernet jacks. All jacks were installed close enough to power sources to stay in compliance as well.  We ask that no equipment be moved or removed from the room without our knowledge.  Many times, not all pieces are located before moving causing unnecessary replacement costs (i.e. remotes, power bricks)  

We have been asked before about removing computers in rooms to save space.  Generally, we leave computers in place in the event teachers move around throughout the years.

Sometimes equipment has to follow positions because of funding. We strive hard to keep these inventories straight. If a teacher moves into a different position, they may have to surrender assigned equipment to the incoming teacher.

Generally speaking, if you are not going to use your projector for 30 min, turn off.  This will save on the bulbs and prevent premature wear.

We daily receive work orders about loss of internet connection, device not acting right.  More often than not, a simple reboot fixes this issue.  I have heard many of you say I have rebooted, and I do not argue whether you have or not.  There is even a checkbox in the work order system requiring you to respond as to whether you have rebooted or not. (I know, some of you just click it)

We receive the work order, come to your location, reboot your computer and all is well.  Some have mentioned the "magic touch" of the Technology Department.

In all actuality, many of you are rebooting, but not the same as we are.  There IS a difference in how you should rebooting.

Some are forcing a shutdown by holding the button, shutting the lid, putting to sleep, or selecting Shut Down.  

We are selecting restart from the power menu which forces Windows to completely reload all system policies and updates. It clears all processes that were running.

I know it seems backward that shutdown is not a complete shutdown and restart is, but Since Windows 8 release, Microsoft made Shutdown a deep Hibernation to allow for faster startup.

 

So the next time you are struggling with your computer, restart by going to the Windows button (bottom left corner), select the power symbol, and click Restart

Each school has multiple copy machines/ scanners place in strategic locations.  Each employee has a Dept ID (Last 4 of SSN) that allows you to print black and white in each location. Each building has a color code that is only issued by the building principal. Each color copy costs the school $.05 per page.

Building secretaries order toner and staple supplies for each machine and call for support. The technology department will check for general jams, obvious errors, or issues with Department ID’s.

Report all toner/staple outages to the school secretary.

We currently do not ban staff cell phones on the school network.  Understand that many social media sites are blocked and your phone will not access them. Phones are also the source of many network problems because of the technology. In the future we may have to revisit allowing connection if the wireless network becomes congested with poor signals.

Several of our staff have received Google or Microsoft Certifications.  These are great for your resume but even better for our students. They are inexpensive to get, and the training materials create real case scenarios to use in your classroom.

In general, most technology innovators do not set out to be “techies”

It is usually a trial and error until the desired result is met.  Many skills I have learned over the past come from attending conferences, being a member of professional organizations, and hours, days, weeks, months, years of trial, error, and implementation.

Being an active member of a professional organization has benefits as well.  TETA is the statewide organization I have been a long time member of.  Very soon, TETA will be offering teacher membership that gives access to content, lists serves, and other resources for a very modest fee.

Check your inbox for conference/ training opportunities to expand your skill set. Funding and attendance of the conferences will have to be determined in conjunction with building principals.

Starting Thursday morning, video links will be sent to your inbox.  You CAN NOT forward this email to other colleagues.  You do not need to print completion certifications, but the email reminders will continue until you complete.  If you don’t receive by Friday, email me at howellm1@k12mcs.net

Mark Howell

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