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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

District technology upgrades taking shape

Guest post by Dr. Doug Brubaker, Assistant Superintendent for Technology and Information Services

In June 2009, the MISD School Board approved approximately $6.7 million in technology upgrades using the district's revenues from natural gas leases. Budget amendments were approved for the first $3.7 million of these projects.

Areas of focus for 2009-2010 include
  • testing -- and replacing as needed -- any deteriorated cable at 16 of the district's schools that were constructed prior to 2000
  • installation of Microsoft Office on all K-8 teacher workstations and student lab computers (completed early August 2009);
  • replacement of up to 1500 desktop computers for use by teachers and in student computer labs; and
  • replacement of out-of-warranty or non-enterprise class switches. (A network switch is a computer networking device that connects network segments. Approximately 66% of all district network switches are out of warranty or were not designed for an organization of MISD’s size.)
Replacing the switches will permit the Department of Technology Development to provide more reliable services to end users and quicker responses to classroom needs.

Looking ahead
Other projects planned for the next 18-24 months with these funds include
  • a desktop virtualization pilot;
  • installation of wireless access points for instructional areas at all campuses;
  • telephone upgrades;
  • two additional phases of desktop replacements to address needs at remaining campuses; and
  • the deployment of up to 400 presentation carts and interactive slates.
Improvement of customer service is also a focus for the new Department of Technology Development. Four additional support techs have been added to our team, and a new work flow management system will enable our group to document and address campus needs more efficiently. Other funds were used for these improvements.

Our team is very excited about the equipment and services that we will be able to provide in the coming months to support instruction at all MISD schools.

The preceding information was provided by Dr. Doug Brubaker, Assistant Superintendent for Technology and Information Services. It was originally appeared as a comment he left on the recent post about the proposed auditorium and professional development center, but it is relevant and important information to share with the community on its own.