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Thought on Networsk Security & Educators

As educational professionals, we have unusual access to computer systems and data. We are likely to be users of many computing devices. At work, you have classroom computers, computer rooms, library computers, and mobile devices that you and those around you use. These are the devices that are most tightly secured. There are sophisticated firewalls, Read More

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What Computers Do

Perhaps the most impressive capacities of computers are those related to information manipulation and analysis. Computers can remember with precision and longevity, and computers can follow algorithms at billions of steps per second. The keyboard strokes that become digital displays that humans recognize as words and sentences are actually a series of digital signals. Those Read More

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Let’s Diversify Computer Education

I heard through the grapevine—one comprising trusted individuals—that a former student was interviewing for a job as an IT professional. My name came up in their conversations as members of the interview team know me and knew the candidate had been my student. The message I got through the grapevine is that my former student Read More

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Elevator Pitch: School IT Decisions

It is important for all IT professionals who work in school to understand the nature of the users and their specific needs. Every decision made and every action taken by IT professionals (regardless of their role) affects end users either directly (by providing troubleshooting, training, and other support) or indirectly (by installing and configuring systems Read More

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Where the Rationale for School IT Breaks Down

In my experience, that last point is where school IT decision-making breaks down. Organizations have different strategic goals, and they accomplish those goals by setting different priorities and adopting different strategies. IT professionals who have learned their craft in organizations other than schools are often unfamiliar with the urgency of malfunctioning academic systems. During my Read More

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Special Use IT in Schools

In addition to the fleets of computers maintained for populations such as students and teachers, schools are places where special purpose computers and peripherals are found. In makerspaces, science laboratories, studios, workshops, and other special teaching spaces, there are computing devices necessary for specialized educational activities. Examples include: 

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IT Tradeoffs in Schools

School users are also well-known for trading reliability for functionality and ease. IT professionals know that systems can be configured to perform many more functions than are typically used. Further, many users will use only a fraction of the tools and features available in the applications they use. Of course, using these tools and features Read More

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Edtech for IT: Learning Management Systems

Virtual classrooms took on particular importance to teachers and students with the quick pivot to remote teaching necessitated by the COVID pandemic. Even before that, however, virtual classrooms were being managed by school IT professionals and teachers were using them to extend their classrooms and enhance information sharing and interaction. Like other cloud-based infrastructure in Read More