Pine Cove Pulse

ShoreTel Sky Communications and E-Rate

Posted by Tyler Wantulok

Shoretel Sky

About ShoreTel Sky

We know cloud-based technology is the new way of the future, and a new aspect of this is VoIP (voice over internet protocol) vendors such as ShoreTel Sky. ShoreTel Sky provides a practical solution for large companies in particular.

Why does ShoreTel provide so well for large enterprises? Because they break them down into four categories:

  • Core phone system: Provides basic functionality that allows companies to present a professional image to callers.
  • Unified communications: They add a variety of features beyond voice that improve internal communication for employees. They include IM, video conference, mobile apps, presence detection, and collaboration tools such as screen and file sharing.
  • Application integration: gives employees access to information about customers and partners through interfaces to different automated systems and applications. They include CRM, ERP, and applicant tracking software.
  • Contact center: provides capabilities for answering, routing, queuing and dealing with customer calls effectively.

ShoreTel also includes a range of software and devices for employees to access, such as a “communicator” software- a graphical onscreen dashboard that lets users customize functions; a mobile app for Iphones, Android, and BlackBerry devices, an iOS device dock for iPhones and iPads linked to the mobile app; and a range of ShoreTel IP desk phones for multiple or one-line calls.

Why do we care about ShoreTel Sky?

Here at Pine Cove, we are dedicated to find the best products for our clients. ShoreTel Sky is a part of a new, innovative calling system, and better yet, they are part of the E-Rate program.
Eligible E-Rate participants include public and non-profit K-12 schools, as well as all public and most private libraries. For schools with financial problems, this program helps schools get more for much less.

There are two funding priorities with specific categories of eligible services:

Priority 1

  • Telecommunications Services
  • Telecommunications
  • Internet Access

Priority 2

  • Internal Connections
  • Basic maintenance of internal connections

Priority 1 services are funded first, and VoIP services such as ShoreTel Sky are eligible as Priority 1- under Telecommunications Services or Internet Access.

We are dedicated to helping you find the best possible products at the best discount, and we are excited to see services like ShoreTel Sky able to be part of these helpful programs.

E-Rate’s Review of ShoreTel Sky

E-Rate chose ShoreTel Sky as the #1 VoIP service. Here’s why:

ShoreTel is the only vendor with a pure IP telephony solution built as a completely integrated VoIP solution. ShoreTel designed a solution that works and is easy to use.

ShoreTel has won industry award for their VoIP solution 4 years in a row. They have received the highest ratings for quality, reliability and end-user satisfaction.

ShoreTel is based on a unique distributed architecture. Shoretel is a fully distributed IP telephony system, a single image system across the world, with complete feature transparency.

All sites receive the same features and functionality regardless of size. Whether there are 2 or 200 phones, the platform will work the same.

Extra features and functionality are included.

Easy to use, and industry-leader in Customer Satisfaction.

Why Schools Use ShoreTel

ShoreTel claims to be an experienced E-Rate service provider, and takes managing and maintaining the system off clients’ shoulders.

  • ShoreTel is fully managed for schools and libraries.
  • They become the one-stop phone system provider and telecommunications carrier, meaning one predictable invoice every month.
  • ShoreTel provides a customized experience that works best for their clients.
  • They have exceptional quality and reliability, making sure you have the best sound quality for your calls.

What We Can Do

As your technology service provider, we try to help you find the best solutions for your school. We are dedicated to making sure you have the best programs at the best price. Using E-Rate and its programs as a discount for your school is an ideal way to receive the best new technology at a lower price. Interested in whether or not you apply for priority 1 or priority 2 discounts? Interested in ShoreTel Sky? Contact your Pine Cove Consultants! We want to make sure that school districts can receive the benefits they want in their financial budget.

Topics: cloud, E-Rate

Google gives students and teachers unlimited storage for FREE

Posted by Tyler Wantulok

google apps, google cloud, google

Photo: Google

With the introduction of free, unlimited storage on Google Apps for Education, school districts are looking into the idea of cloud storage in the classroom. Many corporations such as Microsoft, Google and Apple, to name a few, are using cloud applications in order to benefit its user.

Microsoft Office 365 offers unlimited storage at free or minimal cost for education. You can access this from anywhere, and use your Microsoft package on the cloud. Many Apple users have Airdrop on Mac devices, as well as Icloud. Google recently introduced Drive for Work- which appeals to all businesses needing to share documents; and they now have free unlimited storage for Educators and their students, called Classroom.

Google Classroom


Why do we encourage Cloud Storage?

We spoke with Pine Cove President and CEO Rick Vancleeve, and here are some main insights as to why we encourage cloud storage:

1.    Cost savings
Although at Pine Cove, we can install your storage software easily so you don’t have the hassle, you can save money by using unlimited storage on cloud devices.

2.    Access from Anywhere
You can access data from school, home, or wherever- and most applications don’t need you to be online in order to do so.

3.    Data is Stored Online
You don’t have to buy backup devices and software for your data, because it’s stored and backed up online for you. Most all cloud storage has a strong focus on keeping your files secure, as they are aware that this is the biggest concern for cloud storage.


Unlimited Storage – Education’s new backpack

Many of our clients use cloud because of the little-to-no-cost, unlimited storage it offers. Whether they are using Office 365 or Google Drive, Montana and Wyoming schools have been moving with technology changes faster than you might think. Some clients have inferred that Google Drive for Education still has some progress to make, but they are excited about the idea of the new feature. And they are certainly not running away from the idea of unlimited cloud storage- especially when it comes with security and a price tag of free.

Topics: cloud, google

Google Classroom/Drive for Education

Posted by Tyler Wantulok

Who needs a backpack for school this year when you have Drive? 

This year, Google is offering a new feature to its popular, innovative document sharing system: Drive for Education.

The new feature offers this free app to any school with a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) account, and this includes Google Classroom- a free suite of productivity tools including Gmail, Drive and Docs. School districts across the country have been integrating drive into their physical classrooms; in order to better share, edit and store documents without the hassle of organizing paper.

Watch how Google Classroom works, here!



Creating a Classroom is simple: Once you have Drive for Education, a join code is created, and users can either add students manually or give them the join code to use. When users add a student, a Classroom folder is also created in the student’s Google Drive.  
Classroom is designed to help teachers create and collect assignments digitally, including time-saving features like the ability to automatically make a copy of a Google Document for each student. It also creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student. This way, everyone is organized- from student to teacher.

The teacher’s Classroom folder contains the following: a folder for each class, a folder for each assignment, a folder that includes templates for each assignment, and any additional classwork files. The student’s Classroom folder includes a folder for each class, and assignment files for each class.

Students are able to keep track of what’s due on the Assignments page and begin working with just a click. Teachers can quickly see who has or hasn't completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback and grades right in Classroom. Teachers can even create a function called “Create a Copy”, where students cannot edit assignments once they submit it. Teachers can also track real-time work that students have done on their assignments.

30 million students, teachers, and admin have access to the program, and predictions indicate that this number will only get bigger. As long as the school has signed up with Google Apps for Education, Drive for Education is entirely free, which is giving Google a strong foot in the door with educators.

Physical classroom structures are beginning to change with the times, and cloud-based storage and sharing is one of the leading transformations. It’s faster, more organized, and easier to use for our technologically-engaged students.

Topics: cloud, google

How 802.11ac Technology is Making Our Lives Better

Posted by Tyler Wantulok

It’s here. And it’s faster than ever. 

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus consumers might be raving about the new thin, big screen and better display, but we’re raving about something completely internal: speed.

The new iPhones are the first Apple handsets to ship with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, making it twice as fast as the iPhone 5s. Why should you care? Well, besides a faster functioning phone, your iPhone 6 Plus uses less data when surfing on your mobile device, and gives you a smoother web-surfing, video loading experience.

The bad news is, there is a catch. Wi-Fi needs to be caught up with your phone’s fast technology; so it has to be fast, too. You won’t see faster connection benefits without a new, upgraded router.

The good news? That is what we’re here for.

What you want in order to fully keep up with the technology movement might not be as exciting as the fancy screen of your new phone, but it’s almost more important if you want a faster, more seamless connection.

802.11ac technology is the new hype in the technology world. Healthcare, Education and IT communities have been upgrading to the 802.11ac and loving it. It takes on the features of 802.11n and builds upon them, resulting in 3 times the speed and increasing channel widths. This new technology has been dramatically benefitting large corporations, schools, and hospitals.

So Why Upgrade?

1. Deploying HD Video over Wi-Fi

  • K-12 schools can better promote more seamless, active learning spaces and collaborations. You can display HD video with less streaming issues and hiccups.
  • Larger corporations can better utilize HD video conferencing with less connectivity problems.

2. Projecting HD images and video from mobile devices

  • Any space where you will utilize Apple TV/Bonjour gateways, 802.11ac is more reasonable and effective.

3. High client-dense Wi-Fi environments

  • Large conferences put on by businesses 
  • Large public venues such as stadiums, outdoor shopping areas and airports 
  • Public common areas in education spaces, as well as large learning halls where a greater number of students and devices will be utilized 

4. Additional opportunities

  • 802.11ac will deliver better RF management and traffic prioritization as well as better prepare for future upgrades and features.
  • If your organization is looking to roll out a larger scale Microsoft Lync, VDI, mobile CRM or other application over Wi-Fi, the increased performance and reliability of the new technology is vitally essential.

When should you upgrade?

According to Securedge networks, you should upgrade when:

1. You’re currently maxing out your capacity:
More bandwidth can be distributed with the new technology, giving you 90-100 clients on an Access Point instead of around 40.

2. You want more speed:
The faster the speed the more bandwidth for every client on the network. The faster the first client requesting data is helped, the faster the second client can then be assisted. With the 802.11ac technology you can receive 3x the speed of the 802.11n technology.

3. Range is an issue with connectivity:
At the same distance of connection as the 802.11n, the 802.11ac range provides better throughput. Meaning you get double the data rates with 802.11ac. The 802.11ac does not provide longer distances in connectivity, but it is much faster and more efficient with data.

802.11ac and 802.11n technologies can be mixed without negative impacts. This means that you don’t have to commit to a full upgrade, but you can upgrade bits and pieces of your network and it will still collaborate with the old technology.

The Future in Technology
Regardless of whether or not you got the recent phone upgrade, we all know that everyone upgrades eventually. That’s just the way technology works in our world. On the networking side of things, 802.11ac technology is the direction being taken. It improves connection speeds up to 3x, and has new features that can better the business; and better yet, it collaborates when you do take the plunge with a new and improved phone. Although phone upgrades might be more fun, improving your network technology is necessary to get what you, your clients and students want.

Topics: cloud, wireless

Meraki - Location, Analytics, Engagement

Posted by Tyler Wantulok

email meraki5 resized 600

Cisco Meraki is always staying one step ahead of networking technology, and we know how hard that is considering how quickly technology evolves. They have just recently launched a new set of features that will enhance your network and customer experience. This new technology is called Presence, also known as CMX (Connected Mobile Experiences).

The new features for Presence include:

  • Real-time location metrics displayed in the Meraki Dashboard
  • Cisco Meraki WiFi with Facebook login
  • Presence API, allowing you to integrate real-time location data into your CRM and business systems
  • 3rd party analytics integration

Allow us to explain.

Location Analytics Dashboard

Let’s start with the location analytics dashboard. At no additional cost, the dashboard will display real-time metrics such as capture rate, median visit length, and visitor repeat rate for mobile devices. The location analytics dashboard captures this among many other statistics that measure the appeal, engagement, and loyalty of visitors.
Screenshot 2014 10 06 15.15.15 

As an example, the information on the dashboard can allow a hotel industry to make decisions about how to attract and engage guests. Hotels can use the metrics to gauge guest satisfaction, how many guests revisit your hotel, and many other helpful ways to track guest behavior. They would even be able to track peak hours for lobby staff. The dashboard has countless ways to help keep managers informed and maintaining an optimal place to stay for guests.

Cisco Meraki Wi-Fi with Facebook Login

Cisco Meraki and Facebook have teamed up to allow guests to login using their Facebook account, and from there they are able to “check-in” with the hotel they are staying at. This helps them be better engaged with the business, as well as see promotions and expand your hotel awareness to friends. More on Facebook-Meraki integration here: Facebook-Meraki-Integration

Presence API

This feature delivers real-time location statistics to your custom-built application. This gives unlimited flexibility for your business if you have certain requirements, or would like to customize your data a certain way. For example, you can prompt guest Wi-Fi users to enter phone numbers or email addresses to gain access, which leads to more engagement for you and awareness for your guests.

3rd Party Analytics Integration

Cisco Meraki’s Presence API can be paired with many applications, including:

  • Euclid Analytics
  • Nearbuy Systems
  • WalkBase
  • Nomi
  • Swarm
  • Boldstreet Wireless
  • Purple WiFi

Cisco Meraki’s integration with these applications allows your business the most flexibility, allowing you to view location data on the interface you prefer.

A Better Future for Your Business

Cisco Meraki Presence allows you to better track guest actions through easy dashboard analysis. This helps you better understand the impact of business changes, promotions, and what drives guest revisits. You can connect your Wi-Fi users via Facebook, making it easier for guests to login and see your business. With Facebook integration, you can even build anonymous user demographic and behavior. You can engage with guests by having a better way of communicating through social networking. You can reach customers by notifications, targeted online ads and direct sales.

Screenshot 2014 10 02 11.09.31

Topics: cloud, wireless

Facebook WiFi with Cisco Meraki

Posted by Tyler Wantulok

 

Philz Coffee resized 600
Photo: https://meraki.cisco.com

 

Cisco Meraki and Facebook have teamed up to create a Wi-Fi sign on with Facebook. This new innovative idea gives your guests a chance to access your business page in exchange for free Wi-Fi. Once they sign into Wi-Fi using Facebook, they are instantly brought to your splash page, giving you more brand awareness and getting to sell your deals and promotions.

Facebook integration with Cisco Meraki is easy and effective for both you and your customers. Your guests only have to remember their Facebook log-in, and you can promote your business page easily in just a couple of clicks.

When users check in, they can even share that they visited your location, giving you an easy online word-of-mouth marketing technique. They are also prompted to “like” the hotel’s Facebook page after checking in.

PCC can walk you through creating a splash page to direct customers to your Facebook page. 

You can also track your customer’s activity in order to better understand what they want. With Cisco Meraki being connected to Facebook, you are able to access anonymous demographics that Facebook provides about users. This helps you find better ways to market your business.

We can help you track customer activity using the Cisco Meraki dashboard, so that you can better sell your brand and understand your guests.

Cisco Meraki makes security a top priority, and offers a number of tools that ensure the security of their network as well as the guests’ information.

Facebook and Cisco Meraki specialists hosted a Webinar on this. For those wanting to learn more about Facebook/Meraki integration: Facebook WiFi with Cico Meraki

  • Using client demographic information to tailor user experiences
  • Increasing awareness through recognition on news feeds
  • Creating a smoother, more convenient process of granting WiFi access
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Topics: cloud, wireless

Pine Cove Consulting EduTech Roadshow Recap!

Posted by Tyler Wantulok

montana meraki

We would like to thank all that were able to attend our first ever Pine Cove
EduTech Roadshow. We are very pleased with the outcome and the event
was a huge success!

We covered two states, three cities and 570 miles in three days. Attendees from 80 districts learned about several leading technologies and initiatives in education.
__________________________________________________________________________________

Mike Fleetwood

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Mike Fleetwood, Sr. Business Development and Services Manager, spoke about the exciting new suite of services being offered by Google Chromebooks including the Chromebook Pilot Bundle, which many of you have already taken advantage of! The Cisco-Meraki team explored the new opportunities that Cloud Managed Networking provides to schools and discussed their MDM solution, which is FREE to everyone.

Chromebooks in Education:
Chromebooks for education give students, teachers and administrators a simple solution for fast and easy-to-manage computing. Chromebooks provide students with access to the web's vast education and collaboration resources. For IT administrators, Chromebooks offer centralized device management and a low cost of ownership. Chromebooks are an ideal solution for Common Core testing compliance.

Pilot bundle:
The Pilot Bundle contains everything schools need to get started on the right path to 1-to-1 and achieving Common Core! Deploy classroom-ready technology to deliver daily curriculum to prepared teachers. We can help ready your school by bundling the key pieces for a successful pilot with Chromebooks. Taking advantage of the Pilot Bundle will provide teacher validation of Chromebook classroom functionality in achieving Common Core and broader curriculum goals. We assure Chromebook success in K-12 by helping your district evaluate many aspects of its technology plan, network readiness, and teacher preparedness.

Management Console:
This web-based management console comes with 24/7 support from Google. With just a few clicks, the management console allows you to create user groups, pre-install and block apps, track assets and manage user access. This makes it easy to deploy and centrally manage a fleet of Chrome devices and users.

White Glove:
With the Chrome White Glove Service, users can count on continuing post-sale support so you can get the most from your Chrome Experience. This exclusive service ensures your Chromebooks are configured to your schools network. They are locked and ready to be deployed directly to students, sparing your network during school or district-wide deployments.

To Learn more about Pine Cove's Google Chromebook Services Click HERE

__________________________________________________________________________________

Rob Irizarry

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Code Montana Recap:

Founded by Rob Irizarry, CodeMontana is a statewide program for high school students that teaches computer programming as a step toward preparing Montana youth for high paying careers in technology. The program provides students with 90 days of free access to an interactive, self- paced online curriculum and mentor.

http://www.codemontana.org/

 __________________________________________________________________________________

Shaheen Karimian

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LaunchPad MSU recap:

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s three-year, $2 million grant will establish a partnership between Montana State University, the University of Montana and Headwaters RC&D to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career option. It provides university students with a network of venture coaches and entrepreneurial support to transform new ideas into sustainable companies. With a physical presence at Montana State University and the University of Montana, Blackstone LaunchPad has the potential to generate some 150 new ventures in Montana over the next five years.

Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of Montana and Montana State University will foster connections between the university campus, business community, and local entrepreneurs to create an environment that nurtures young entrepreneurs, and provides them the skills and network necessary to succeed. Unlike traditional college curricular programs available due to limited school populations, Blackstone LaunchPad is open to all 30,000 students at the University of Montana and Montana State University and alumni.

The goal of this two year initiative is to inspire entrepreneurship, provide coaching to refine ideas and pair partner aspiring business creators with mentors who can help them get their ideas off the ground. Blackstone Launchpad expects that achieving the goals for this new career option will result in new business growth for Montana and creating more jobs for our residents.

http://www.montana.edu/news/12041/blackstone-charitable-foundation-expands-campus-entrepreneurship-program-blackstone-launchpad-to-montana

 __________________________________________________________________________________

Tammy McMahon

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Meraki recap:
Meraki networks simply work. Intelligent, cloud managed WiFi, routing and security that is scalable. You get all the benefits and features of an advanced WiFi solution without the cost to deploy more IT staff to build your network. The Cisco Meraki cloud architecture saves 50% over traditional networking solutions. Enabling BYOD, high-density classroom WiFi, tablets, and video, Cisco Meraki Cloud Networking was built for the demands of education.

Our recommendations can save you valuable time and money, sign up for a free Assessment Today!

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Topics: Pine Cove, cloud, wireless, google

Educationview.org's Interview with Brandon Vancleeve Discussing Portal & Cloud Computing

Posted by Tyler Wantulok

brandon2

 

With our continual pursuit to be a leader in portal and cloud computing in education, we were contacted by educationviews.org to give some insight on what we believe portal computing is and where the industry is going.  Join us for this quick Q&A and please provide your insight and comments below.  --Brandon Vancleeve


1) Brandon, first of all could you tell us about your education and experience.

I have a BS in Secondary Education with a Social Studies Broadfield Degree. Twenty five percent of our employees have Education degrees. I have worked with Pine Cove since the day I graduated from college. Being a family business, I had interest in following my dad’s footsteps, but it also allowed me to still work with schools, teachers and students, which is a big passion of mine.

2) Now currently, what exactly do you do to help schools and the learning process?

Pine Cove is an IT Consulting Company that provides consultation to school districts in the Northwest. From long range planning to full IT Support, we partner with our schools to create sustainable, long range IT initiatives. Included in that service are assessments, project planning, solution design, implementation and support.

3) Now- what exactly do YOU mean by Portal Based Technology? And does this term have different meanings to different people?

Our vision of Portal Based Computing is designed around a “Device Agnostic” strategy of providing portal access to dissimilar or similar equipment to allow students and faculty reliable, fast computing environments for optimal technology based learning. We want our schools to feel empowered to use whatever device best suits their specific classroom, school, and district needs, and we will provide the portal to that device or devices.

4) The abbreviation BYOD seems to permeate education–but realistically, not every single student has an ipad or i phone or even a cell phone and lap top. Are some of these tech leaders “jumping the gun” here? I have a student who jokingly told me they still use Millenium Edition on their home computer.( and it works just fine, thank you very much )

This is exactly where the Portal Computing comes into play. We cannot expect every kid to have or to purchase similar equipment (or any equipment). So, we are telling our schools “It doesn’t matter”. We will connect any device to the portal, allowing every student to have an equal playing field and every teacher to have a similar environment to teach to.

Imagine being a teacher these days and working in a BYOD environment where you have 10 different devices and 4 different Operating Systems in a single classroom. That is an impossible task.

5) I like apps. I think they can be useful and helpful in many realms and professions. However, how much time should be spent on them, and how useful are they to the actual learning process?

In our opinion, the apps are as useful as the teacher using them. The apps cannot drive the learning. The teacher does that and will always do that. There and millions of apps out there, and many of them are amazing, but the ultimate challenge is how to incorporate those apps into my lesson plan, my unit, and my common core requirements.

6) Now, let’s talk about the term some do not want to talk about – the “app gap”. What about those poor poverty stricken students, operating on a Pell grant and Ramen noodles who can’t afford all this technology?

The “B” in BYOD can stand for different things. While most the time we are talking about “bringing” your device, sometimes we might be “borrowing” a device. If we are operating in a 1:1 environment, we are crazy to think every kid will have their own device, remember their own device or even use the same throughout a school year. The district must hold a “pool” of devices that kids can use permanently or temporarily to ensure fairness and equal access to all students. By using portal access technology, it doesn’t matter if they are on their own device one day and a school issued device the next. The device is just an access point to their working environment.

7) I see it all the time– students on computers, playing computer games—are instructors simply not assigning enough homework? Or do some students just have bad habits?

In my opinion, that is the just the way of the world these days. Kids still have and need “free time”. They are just using that time differently than when you or I went to school. Their lives are based around instant access and multiple-sensory engagement. Why not embrace that? I’m not saying kids should be on an electronic device 24×7, but I think trying to pull that away from them completely is not the answer.

8) Increasingly, the schools are seeing more and more kids with exceptionalities, disabilities and health impairments. Teachers are poorly trained to make modifications for these kids- How does your organization help?

Our role lies in the computing environment, and that is where we try to make a difference. Our goal is to not limit the speed in which a student can learn with their technology devices. By providing fast and reliable computing environments, we can empower ALL students to work at the speed and productivity they are capable of.

9) The one thing I hear from teachers is that they have no time to learn the newest technology and the learning curve is quite large for these individuals. Your thoughts?

We 100% agree with this problem and concern of our teachers. They are not gaining any time in their days to be able to keep up with the changing world of Educational Technology resources. The teachers that I have seen have the most success with this issue are the teachers that understand and are comfortable with the fact that their students know more about the technology than they do, and they embrace it. These kids have a wealth of technical knowledge and we need to learn the balance of empowering them to drive technology usage, while still maintaining control of the classroom.

10) Where do these clickers fit into the big curriculum picture? Valuable asset or time wasting tool?

We believe that each student’s individual device needs to be able to do everything for them. Our opinion is that these response tools need be able to be performed from their everyday device and not be a separate piece of equipment.

11) Different platforms- result in different stressors- True or False- and how do you cope with this dilemma?

True, different platforms grow different stressors exponentially. Imagine being a teacher using technology and teaching to 10 different devices from 4 different platforms. It would be a nightmare. Our resolution to this goes back to the portal. Take the existing platform and device out of the equation and provide 1 platform with all of my needed tools. Students are playing on an equal playing field, and teachers are teaching to one environment.

12) Text messages- in the big scheme of things – how important are they?

They are not important if they are not used the right way and the safe way. If text messaging is used for classroom response and interaction, it can be a useful tool. I think too often we blame the technology for disruption and breaches in child security and protection, but what did we do before technology? Before text messaging, kids passed notes but did we blame the pencil and paper or did we blame the student and the supervision in the setting?

13) You and I know that some instructors still Power Point their students to death. Does Power Point still have a place or does it go the way of the edsel (which you may have to explain, since the current generation probably doesn’t have the background knowledge to understand the metaphor)?

I think it still does have an important place in classroom presentation, but it needs to be used as an additional resource and not as a crutch. Students want to be engaged with multiple things at the same time. They are the best multitaskers in the world, so let’s use Power Point or other presentation tools to help provide multiple engagement tools to these kids that are asking for that.

14) Cloud computing–provide our readers with your understanding and usage of this in the current school situation.

If you asked 20 people their definition of cloud computing, you would get 20 different answers. Our stance on cloud computing is that it is the future, but the path in which each district gets there can be much different. At Pine Cove, we try to balance the Public and Private Cloud. What makes sense to manage in the local district’s data center? What can be pushed off site? In our area of the world, bandwidth is limited and pushing all computing outside of the district is not an option for many of our districts.

15) One to one instruction- say violin, cello, flute—is this becoming a lost art ? Or a realm of dinosaurs?

One to One instruction is actually becoming more common with the use of technology. Students from anywhere in the world can get access to specialists through the use of distance learning tools. Students are no longer limited to the resources they have at their individual school or district.

To learn more click below:

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Full Story: http://educationviews.org/an-interview-with-brandon-vancleeve-on-portals-and-clouds/

By Michael F. Shaughnessy 

Topics: cloud, 1:1 computing, BYOD

Are you ready for one-to-one computing in your School?

Posted by Tyler Wantulok

 

1. Is your network One to One ready?

  • a. Do you have the Wireless capability to handle every teacher/staff/administrator/student on wireless? 
  • b. Can your existing cabling handle the increased load on your Wireless devices? 
  • c. Can your area and core switches handle the massive traffic increase from Wireless devices? 
  • d. Can your bandwidth handle all traffic simultaneously hitting the Internet (as every teacher/staff/administrator/student goes online at the same time with a device)? 
  • e. Do you have methods prepared to limit unnecessary Internet access? (Filtering is one answer, but even limiting time on educational sites will need to be addressed, especially highly graphical websites) 
  • f. Increased access means data created will grow astronomically, are your servers ready to house this massive increase in data over the next 3-5 years? 

2. Moving to the Cloud? 
  • a. Do you have the bandwidth to move all or some of your data to the cloud (Google Apps)? 
  • b. Have you thought about what can be addressed with a private cloud? 

3. Are your Instructors ready?
  • a. Is your staff ready to teach in an environment where all students have a computing devise? 
  • b. Is your staff ready to transition from the role of disseminator of information to the role of a facilitator? 
  • c. Have you accounted for the training time it will take to have instructors proficient in these methodologies of instruction? Two in-service days? Weeks? Years? 

4. What are you going to phase out?
  • a. Have you considered phasing out while adding more is crucial for sustainability? 
  • b. Do you know that a lack of planning in the area of sustainability can be a recipe for disaster? 
  • c. What is your depreciation schedule for this new equipment? 
  • d. Is it possible to reduce printing costs and still deliver more materials to students through electronic formats? 

5. What are the devices you want to use for One to One? 
  • a. Does the device service both “Apps” and “Productivity” platforms? For example, Apps are programs that run on a tablet platform, Productivity could be a Microsoft environment used for testing. 
  • b. If the device cannot access both platforms, are you willing to forgo using one of the platforms? For example, making the choice not to use 100% Microsoft Products throughout the district if the choice is tablets for both staff and students – as it is imperative staff use the same tools as the students to insure seamless curriculum integration. 
  • c. Is the device you choose state testing compatible? 

6. Have you addressed how the new technologies will integrate into the curriculum? How will you insure curriculum drives technology and not the opposite?
  • a. What teaching strategies will you adopt/create? 
  • b. How will you address delivery of the curriculum through tablets? 

7. Are you planning to replace textbooks with tablets?
  • a. What strategies will you use to implement tablets? 
  • b. What are the ongoing costs of using tablets? 
  • c. Have you considered downloading textbooks to you local servers to lessen the load on bandwidth during the day? 

8. 180 days students use computers – if you provide computers for ½ the year, how will students continue learning the other 185 days?
  • a. Are you creating lifelong learners? How do they continue to learn outside of school? 
  • b. Have you considered opening your labs open all year long and evenings to accommodate student learning? 

9. Who will be charged with the overall integration of these changes in the district?
  • a. Will an additional load, if any, be put on the current technology staff? 
  • b. Who will be responsible for initial and on-going staff development? 
  • c. Who and how will you measure effectiveness and develop strategies to improve targeted issues as they arise in this transition? 

10. What is your time line for phasing in One to One computing? 
  • For effective One to One implementation, all key phases above must be addressed beforehand (and maybe some that can’t be foreseen). The key is to make sure you have taken care of everything you can predict, and adjusting to the things we cannot foresee.
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Topics: networking, cloud, VMware, 1:1 computing