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IT4K12 – Customer Experience – Share Success Stories

June 4, 2015

IT4K12 2015

I have an opportunity to be at BCERAC’s IT4K12 conference in Vancouver June 4/5, 2015. These posts are my notes from the various sessions.- Todd

This session was hosted by Andy Canty from Victoria, and was all about school jurisdictions sharing some of their success stories.

One of the first conversations was registering for alternative programs, like French Immersion. Historically there have been line-ups by parents to register. Some districts did telephone-in registration and sometimes there could’ve been a family with 30 friends all calling in to get a “number” to register. Recently using a lottery system, preferred an audit-able system. Much less stressful, much less hassle, but of course certainly still some issues for people. Lottery sent out offers to people, who then had 48 hours to register, else they would lose the spot. One school district had folks who won a spot in the lottery, but then let it go by the time they drove to the school, and determined this wasn’t a direction they wanted to follow.

Introduction of an aboriginal services app for the workers on their iPads so they had all the information available at their fingertips.

Emergency Contact Lists for Administrators. App available in the app store, download and sign in and you can get all the critical contact information for your school administrators. Can dial directly from the app, contact lists for administrators, and now IT folks, etc. Can setup permissions so that users can see only the lists and contacts they need to see. Initially was used for emergencies, but now people use it on a day-to-day basis. Can also use the app to send out emergency information (all points bulletin)

Centralizing wi-fi, so students can sign on to wi-fi no matter which school they are involved in. Historically it has been site based and tough when you are in multiple schools. Have received feedback from student groups that although it’s great to have wi-fi, it’s too complicated to connect.

BYOD has it’s challenges. The kids are all able to do use their device, but not using it for “school use”. Then there are some students who are using all the bandwidth for non-education reasons, but the students next door who are doing real work, can’t get the bandwidth they need. Same district can register your device one time and then the student can use it at the school without any extra work. Put Wireless Management Boxes in each school to “register” their device. Basically takes the MAC address of the device. If they don’t see a MAC address for six months, they remove the record. Therefore any activity with the device is attached to the user that registered it.

Some questions around QoS, prioritizing traffic and bandwidth. Are we better to prioritize traffic as opposed to de-prioritize traffic. QoS is not a bandwidth solution, still need more. But careful how much work it is to manage the QoS on the network. So many great tools at this point, we can’t come from a “block” or “no” perspective, but a “how can we make it work” perspective. Some schools do choose to prioritize so admin computers have a higher network priority.

There was a lot of good discussion around these topics by various people in the room. Thanks everyone for making this session useful and interesting!



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