The 2015-2016 school year is almost at an end and Technology Services has big plans for the summer!

Wireless Upgrades

Wifi

First, we are completely upgrading and enhancing our wireless network. Every classroom will now have a wireless access point and all existing access points will be replaced. Additionally, Network Services will be installing larger high-volume access points in many common areas to support our growing dependence on a robust wireless infrastructure.

Our current wireless network was built to support our more than 7,000 student laptops. However, in today’s classroom we our encouraging students to bring their own devices and use them to create and collaborate with their teachers and peers. We’ve also added more than 12,000 iPads to our inventory. This past year it wasn’t uncommon to have more than 30,000 wireless devices connected at the same time district wide! This upgrade will ensure a great experience for all of our wireless users.

Interactive Whiteboards in All Classrooms

BoardSecond, Technology Services will be installing a Promethean or SMART board in all remaining classrooms that don’t yet have an IWB using 2014 bond funds dedicated to this purpose. While LCISD has a Promethean or SMART board in most classrooms there are still many locations with only a projector and pull down screen. That will change this summer!

Want to learn more about how to get the most out of your SMART or Promethean Board?  Check out the resources we’ve developed to help teachers learn to design powerful visuals with SMART Notebook, or Promethean’s ActivInspire – OR – Register for one of our 2016 Back to School Trainings.

Windows 10 & Office 2016

Win 10Third, this summer we will be upgrading all computers to Windows 10 and Office 2016. These upgrades will allow for real time document collaboration, full integration with Office 365, and a modern, fast operating system for all users. While these systems offer huge improvements in features and performance, the layout and functions are very similar to what you are currently using. 

If you’d like to preview some of the exciting changes that Windows 10 & Office 2016 offer, take some time to investigate Microsoft’s resources for Getting Started with Windows 10 and Getting Started with Office 2016.

Instructional Laptops & Computer Refresh

LaptopFinally, we are thrilled to announce that EVERY instructional position (teacher, librarian, instructional coach, athletic coach, facilitator, GT, librarian, etc.) will receive a new instructional laptop! This laptop project is actually part of a much larger computer replacement cycle designed to refresh every computer that was not replaced in the 2014 computer refresh project.

In 2014, every staff member’s computer was replaced and all of our student laptops were updated. Libraries, open labs, and classroom student computers were reconditioned and received new HD monitors but the computers were not replaced. This summer those computers will be updated!

The current minimum classroom standard in LCISD calls for two desktop computers per classroom…typically called the “Teacher Workstation” and “Student Workstation”. However, in a modern, flexible classroom, every available computer is used by teachers and students alike. The old vocabulary terms no longer apply. This summer the minimum standard for classrooms in LCISD will change to reflect the growing need for flexibility, mobility, and collaboration. Each classroom will now feature an “Instructional Desktop” and an “Instructional Laptop” to meet the demands of a modern classroom. This means that the older “Student Computer” will be replaced with a new laptop and docking station. The HD monitor from 2014 will remain as a larger display option for use with the laptop.

This laptop is not a student laptop or teacher laptop. It’s simply an instructional laptop to be used as needed by the people in that room. If a teacher needs to bring it home every evening to create lessons, enter grades, reply to emails, or any one of the hundreds of other tasks that teachers routinely bring home, then we are excited to provide this resource to LCISD teachers. If a teacher wants to use this laptop as part of a center with their students, then they are free to move it anywhere in the classroom that makes sense (unlike the old desktop)! If students need to do research or type a paper and this laptop is available, then teachers should be comfortable letting them log in and get to work!

This is a HUGE change to our classroom model and I know that there are many questions. Please take a moment to read the FAQs below. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me a cnilsson@lcisd.org.

2016 Computer Refresh FAQ

What kind of laptop is being provided?

  • A Dell Latitude 5270 with a full HD touch screen and backlit keyboard. This is designed to be light-weight and portable at 12.2”w X 8.4”d X 0.9”h and only 3.2 lbs (much smaller than our current large Dell laptops). For you spec geeks, it has an Intel 6th gen i5 dual core processor, 8GB DDR4 memory, and a 256GB SSD.

How was the decision to replace the older student desktop with an instructional laptop reached?

  • A committee of administrators, support staff, and teachers from all grade levels was formed to plan the future of classroom technology in the district. While many items were discussed, one unanimous decision was the need for an instructional laptop for all instructional staff to provide more flexibility in the classroom and more portability outside of the classroom.

Can I bring the laptop home?

  • Absolutely! This instructional laptop is meant to help support you in whatever setting it’s needed. Please take it home, take it to meetings, take it to conferences, take it to lunch…just bring it back to school the next day!

Can I keep the laptop at home?

  • No. This laptop is designed to support instruction during the day with your students. If you accidently forget it at home one morning, no one is going to come knocking on your door. However, if it remains off of our network for too many days, your supervisor may ask you to bring the laptop back to school.

Can I take it home over the summer?

  • We hope you do! Campuses are encouraged to check these laptops out to staff over the summer.

What if I change classrooms?

  • The instructional laptop is part of the room’s inventory just like the desktop computer, or phone, or projector remote. It stays in the room for the new occupant, and you will use the instructional laptop in your new room. Under NO circumstances should the laptops be permanently moved from room to room.

Can I move it within my room?

  • Of course! If the docking station and monitor need to be moved to a different area of your classroom you are free to make that change or call the Help Desk (0220) to have a technician assist you. The only restriction is that the computer cannot be permanently moved to another room without approval from Technology.

How can I secure it in my classroom?

  • Hopefully, most teachers choose to take the laptop home every evening. If you decide to leave the laptop in your classroom unattended (evening, weekends, etc.) then we encourage you to lock it in a cabinet or use the steel cable lock provided with every laptop (http://goo.gl/UFvhTS) to secure it to a desk or other built in cabinetry.

What happens if it gets broken?

  • We fix it for you! Seriously, just put in a technology ticket online http://helpdesk.lcisd.org or report the issue by calling 0220 and speaking with our Help Desk Technician.
  •  Like all of our current student and staff laptops, these laptops have a 5-year warranty including accidental damage. If you close the lid with a pencil on the keyboard and crack your screen, if you leave it on the roof of your car and drive off, if you drop it in the pool…just call us! We’ll get if fixed as long as you let us know. Please don’t hide any damage. We can’t fix it if we don’t know about it!

You say the district has a two computer classroom standard. What if I only have one computer in my classroom?

  • While most of our classrooms meet the two computer standard, there are a number of campuses that have many classrooms with only one computer. Not after this project! If you only have the new desktop from 2014 in your classroom then we will add the new instructional laptop, docking station, and HD monitor.

What if I have more than two computers in my classroom?

  • Many classrooms have 3 or more desktop computers but are not a computer lab. In 2014 the teacher’s computer was replaced but the other 3, 4, 5, etc. computers were only given new monitors. This summer all the additional computers will be replaced with new machines. The first “student desktop” will be replaced with the new instructional laptop & docking station. The second, third, fourth, etc. “student desktops” will be replaced with a new instructional desktop computer.

What happens to my existing “Teacher Desktop”?

  • Nothing. It should have been replaced in 2014. We will reimage it and run a series of checks to ensure it’s fully functional and ready for next year.

What if I already have a laptop(s) (INTERACT or other program provided)?

  • This can be tricky. There are actually two possibilities…
    • If you were eligible to trade in your laptop in 2014 for a new Dell E5540 laptop then nothing happens. You can continue to use that laptop for any need in your classroom. You will still receive the new instructional laptop in your room.
    • If your laptop was too new to be eligible for replacement in 2014 (E5520 and E5530 are common examples) then your laptop(s) will be replaced with a new blue banded student laptop(s). A new laptop cart will be ordered for each campus to provide enough shelf space for laptops in this scenario. Your new laptop will be labeled as being part of this new cart but then checked out to you long term (you earned this machine at INTERACT!). If you leave your campus, then this laptop will return to the cart as part of the campus student laptop inventory. During the summers, these laptops will return to their cart for imaging and servicing before being checked back out to you. Your classroom will still receive the new instructional laptop.

What if I have an instructional position but I don’t have a traditional classroom?

  • You will still be issued an instructional laptop. It just may not be in replacement for any existing student desktop.

Will the laptop be waiting in my classroom when I return after the summer?

  • No, the laptops will be labeled and entered into each campus’s Destiny (library) inventory and then checked out to staff at the beginning of the year.

My campus was too new to be refreshed in 2014 (Ryon, Adolphus, Arredondo)

  • Your student desktop will still be replaced with the new instructional laptop. We will use the new(ish) desktop we pull out to fill in some locations in need of desktop computers.

Will Fulshear, Leaman, and Bentley feature the new classroom standard?

  • Yes! Technology for these campuses has already been ordered and meets the new standard of one instructional desktop and one instructional laptop per classroom.