The Kennection Newsletter

What’s Happening in the KCSD Technology Department


1-Staff Dell Laptop Rollout-  As of this writing, we have deployed nearly 350 Dell Latitude 3490 laptops, completing the rollout at the Mary D. Lang K-Center, Bancroft, Greenwood, New Garden Elementary, and Kennett Middle and High Schools. We are now in the final phases of the transition (secretaries and staff members).  We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Technology Integration Specialists at each school for their efforts in preparing the Acers for the transition.

Aside from having to install a different sound driver to accommodate the projectors at MDL, the deployment has been nearly flawless and requires only 10-15 minutes of staff time to complete the transition.  

Very few problems have been reported with the new laptops. The majority of reported problems have been related to the use of Google Drive in relation to file use and storage. These problems have been resolved by increased training sessions given by the Tech Dept. and diligent use by the staff.

Listed below is some of the feedback from teachers at MDL and Bancroft regarding the new laptops:

  1.     It has taken some getting used to, but I am okay with the new laptop.
  2.     I actually think the transition has gone pretty smoothly. I can’t really think of anything that I would have changed or done differently. It does take some time getting used to everything being on Google Docs, but it’s just a transition.
  3.     First, I want to say how helpful the tech department has been in supporting the issues I have run into.  Many of the issues were easily resolved, but frustrating for a “non-expert” computer person, who was comfortable doing most things on the computer.  I am not a fan of using the cloud for my storage, because it is hard to find my stuff there.

It would be so nice if the computer manufacturer made some sort of a manual for   some of the most basic stuff or functions of keys.  I think I am a bit ignorant of all of the possible things I could be doing on the computer.  

For the other schools transitioning to the dell, I would warn them about the polyvision board and your computer going black and your item being on the screen and how to remedy that – push the “windowpane button” and the p key at the same time or the function key and the F8 key at the same time. Then hit the duplicate key.  That was a huge frustration for me!

Also, I have had difficulty attaching things to emails I want to send with documents saved in the cloud.  Steve helped me out with that this morning. I think that has the potential to be a problem for others, too.

I like the size of the dell computers, but I don’t care for the “light touch” of the keys – it changes, deletes, etc., even if you just hover over the keys.  

I am a fan of this computer.
It is 6:20 Sunday night and I have not needed to charge it all weekend!!!!!
It is the little things in life, right!
Much lighter  and smaller to carry home every night too!

I like the smaller size.
I miss the DVD player.  What are we suppose to do now?  I use it a lot during Science.
The speaker volume is too low! (actually it sucks).

Our solution(s) to these problems are as follows:

  • DVD/CD Players – Please contact the School Librarian to confirm if there are any available players to sign out for use. f not, please request that they submit a work order to secure a few for the building. If a team utilizes the devices on a consistent basis, have a member of the team submit a work order on behalf of the other members, requesting 1-2 DVD/CD players to share. 
  • Audio – If a better/louder audio solution is needed for presenting in class, submit a work order to determine A) if there are speakers already integrated into the existing projector/board and if so, can they be adjusted/repaired and B) desktop speakers are needed.

In response, I have written the Windows 10 Cheatsheet. Please keep in mind that this is a work in progress, but hopefully will guide you through some of the more troubling issues.

2-Custodial Workstations-Dell Optiplex workstations have been setup in either the faculty rooms or workrooms at each school. The purpose of these workstations is to allow the custodial staff to check email and work orders. The ultimate goal is for the Facilities Dept. to adopt a 100% paperless work order system, resulting in decreased turn-around time.

3-Substitute Teacher Laptops– Stationary carts are being set up in the library at each school for substitute teacher use. The goals of this program are two-fold:

  •  Substitute teachers would not be using either student or teacher laptops. This certainly helps with       cyber-security, since teachers would not be giving out their login passwords to substitute teachers.
  • Substitute teachers would be able to continue with teacher lesson plans, since they would essentially have the same tools available to them as do regular staff.

4-Schoology-Schoology is a learning management system (LMS) that has been adopted by KCSD at both the Kennett Middle School (mandatory) and High School(voluntarily until the 2019-2020 school year). This system allows teachers to post assignments online, students to complete assignments online at their convenience, and teachers to post grades online. 

5-Student Device Support– The KCSD Technology Department is responsible for maintaining over 5,000 student computers. This figure does not include maintainence responsibility for phones, printers, and teacher laptops.

6-The New Technology Application-The technology application has been streamlined and simplified. Click Here to see a more complete explanation of the application process.