Hello!  As we close out this school year, the Technology Office sincerely appreciates EVERYONE’S hard work and dedication this school year!  We’ve made measurable strides in increasing the use of administrative and educational technology this year!

Looking back at the last nine months, we’ve rolled out a LOT of new applications and initiatives.  Some that spring to mind include:

  • All our $175,000 Title IID ARRA grant purchases and professional development.  A BIG thank-you to Shawna and Michelle for making this such a success!  This was a highly-competitive grant that we wrote for and were successful in obtaining.  We purchased a tremendous amount of classroom instructional technology and our efforts have made a noticeable improvement in classroom technology integration!
  • Replaced over 200 desktops and mobiles at Lander Valley HS as part of our annual rotation
  • Introduced Edmodo, a safe and secure student social networking and classroom environment for 5-12 students, at http://fremont1.edmodo.com
  • Launched a new district-wide calendar that combines all schools’ events at http://calendar.landerschools.org
  • Moved to Destiny, a much-friendlier and capable library catalog application, at http://destiny.landerschools.org
  • Introduced Microsoft Live@Edu: student email and file storage for all 7-12 students.  Students can easily and safely communicate with teachers and peers, as well as edit Office documents from their home computer (even if they don’t have Office purchased).
  • Implemented Aesop for substitute and staff leave management, with LOTS of help from Carol and Barb!
  • Rolled out Office 2010 for all desktops and mobiles, as well as a better security antivirus product.
  • Probably a lot more that I’m forgetting!

Coming up next year, we’ll be continuing the momentum with these new projects!

  • Reconfiguration: making it happen as smoothly and easily as we can and making sure every teacher gets the instructional tech tools they need, as well as bringing the new Middle School online!
  • We are replacing our aging Cisco phone system with a new modern ShoreTel IP phone system – better phones, Caller-ID, a new extension scheme, and much more!
  • We are planning to extend our fiber-optic network to the brand-new Lander MS, Gannett Peak Elementary, and North Elementary.  No more pokey T-1 speeds!  The difference in speeds is like drinking from a straw and from a fire hose!
  • Purchasing over 200 computers next month – new ones for North Elementary and Jeffrey City School, and supplemental machines for Pathfinder HS and the new Lander MS.
  • We have some IPad and Ipod Touch pilot projects for students starting in the fall.
  • New applications we’ll be introducing include Naviance for LVHS Guidance and Wikispaces for our new teacher web pages, as well as PD360 for on-demand professional development.
  • Introducing SchoolReach for parent communications and emergency contact.
  • During the school year we’ll be rolling out Windows 7 as well, which will take advantage of our new computers’ capabilities and speeds. 
  • Continue to consolidate applications and servers to reduce costs and increase capabilities.

To help you learn all this, we’ll also combine all our tech help efforts into a single Edtech Wiki that you’ll see in the fall!  One place for all your edtech needs!

We hope that our work and efforts have helped you better leverage instructional technology in your work to boost your work efficiency and improve student achievement.  I know sometimes we get awfully busy and maybe aren’t as responsive as we would like to be, so we do appreciate your patience with us as things move forward!

You can check back on this blog throughout the summer for updates on reconfiguration and summer work.

Thanks!  Have a great summer!

Chris Brown and Charlie Clifford