Saturday, May 17, 2014

What Are Your Summer Plans?

Jenison Public Schools
Technology Update
Summer 2014 Plans

It will be a very busy summer for the JPS technology staff as we look to update system software, replace aging computers, and add additional computers. This is my brief overview of our plans.

While most would believe that Jenison is fully an Apple technology district, that is not the case. We have a number of Windows based computers used in the district. This summer, we will be replacing Lab 222 and Lab 410 at the high school with new HP computers and monitors. We will also be replacing old computers at transportation, maintenance, and the pool. In total, we will be replacing 71 Windows computers/monitors.

Two years ago, we updated the teacher computers throughout the district. The 6 year old computers that we pulled from the teacher desks were re-purposed to update computers labs at the Junior and Senior High schools. Those computers, the white iMacs, have now been used for 8 years and it is time to replace them. We also have over 100 additional white iMacs being used throughout the district. Those will also be replaced. We will be replacing 232 white iMac’s this summer.

The white iMacs are going to be replaced with an iMac Mini setup (iMac Mini, keyboard, mouse, 21” monitor). While small in size, the iMac Mini is truly a powerful computer. This setup has been tested for us as Jim Smith and Brad VanTimerren have used this configuration all school year in their MERIT classroom with 15 stations.

While Jenison Public Schools does not implement a 1-to-1 program (1 student to 1 device), we have made great gains in our students-to-device ratio.  Two years ago, our student-to-device ratios were as follows:

After a large infusion of technology last summer, we have been able to bring our ratios down considerably. Below you see the ratios for our current year.

As we update and add technology this summer, we will bring our ratios to the following:

We are happy to have moved our district to such a reasonable ratio. We have added almost 1400 digital devices to our district over the last two years enabling our teachers and our students to enhance the teaching and learning experience.

We will also be adding to our technology inventory as we add 5 additional MacBook Pro Mobile Labs. Two labs each will be added to Bauerwood and the Junior High. One mobile lab will be added to Sandy Hill. By doing so, we arrive at the students / device ratios listed above.

At the high school, we will have one additional mobile lab of MacBook Pro’s. This is not an addition but a replacement of Lab 402. We are dismantling this desktop computer lab and replacing it with the MacBook Pro Mobile Lab. Lab 402 was underutilized and we believe that having this additional mobile lab will cause greater use of the computers.

In total, we will be prepping 194 MacBook Pro computers for those mobile labs for use in the fall.

As if that wasn’t enough, we will be updating our current inventory of iPads and computers. All of our Apple computers will undergo a software update this summer moving them to the latest operating system, Mavericks. We will be hands-on with over 1000 Macs as we provide this update. All of our student iPads, over 600 of them, will be updated with the most recent version of their apps. 

Almost all the work described above is on top of our normal summer tech maintenance. This is a mighty task for our small team to accomplish this summer. We are hopeful that we have drawn up a plan where we can meet our goals. Our number one goal is to make sure our students and teachers have access to the technology they need to begin a fabulous 2014-2015 school year. 

Fasten your seat belts Tech Team. It’s going to be a quick ride!

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