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Showing posts from 2012

Technology for Technology's Sake?

Here's a note that I wrote to myself a while ago: Is it ok to implement technology in schools, for technology's sake? There's a lot of talk in our Technology Services department about the usability of some different technology (e.g. iPad, Android devices, Chromebooks, netbooks) and how they all compare to each other and what would best fit our students' needs. This is all well and good, and I believe that it needs to be done. However, another part of me is wondering: why can't we just put tech in the classrooms because it's cool?

Sure, we don't have any money. But the idea is attractive to me. Why am I a network technician today? I had a passion for electronics, computers, and fixing things when I was a kid. I loved (and still love) technology for technology's sake, which is why I don't think I've ever dreaded going to work. I love it. When I pick up an iPad, it still amazes me that I can hold the world in my hands, in such a beautiful device tha…

Google Apps Password Sync for Active Directory

Goodbye hacked-together Google Apps password sync with AD and hello to GAPS. Pretty excited about this one--it will automatically sync your AD passwords with Google Apps, (apparently) no special DLLs or storing passwords in reversible encryption, as third-party tools required (as far as the free ones went). Check out the official blog post here.

Curious how, or if, this will integrate with UMRA. Not sure how UMRA handled passwords, so this'll be fun :) Nothing like unanswered questions to learn more, right? I'll definitely update as I learn and go along here. Blog posts sorta result in self-documentation to some extent, so this is doing double-duty :)

Google Apps for Education: Users Under 13 Years Old

I got a question the other day, which I had not researched before: what do we have to do for students under 13 years old that we want to give Google Apps accounts to?

I knew that we probably had to get parent permission, but didn’t really have much to back that up. We do restrict email for student accounts to within the domain--students can only send and receive email to and from other students and teachers. This is for further protection, at least for those in the lower grades.

The following is some research I’ve done on the subject. By no means does this take the place of legal counsel, and I haven’t run it past a lawyer, but to the best of my knowledge this is accurate.

Two laws that we have to comply with when it comes to students and online data are COPPA and FERPA.
COPPA
Google Apps’ website says this about COPPA:
How does use of Google Apps affect compliance with the Child Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA)?
Your school assumes the responsibility for complying with COPPA and th…

Quick thought on peer training

Had an exciting training session the other day, in which I didn't participate much in as it was lead by a couple of teachers, but got me thinking: peer training is important. It gives teachers no excuse to not accept the reality that other teachers, within the SAME district, are doing exciting and relevant things when it comes to technology, to which (hopefully) they have the same access to. Much more buy-in when the information is coming from a peer/colleague.

How to Download a YouTube Video for Offline Use

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Here's a quick video I made on how to use keepvid.com to download a YouTube video for offline use.

Update: While there are many tools available for downloading YouTube videos, apparently downloading them is actually against YouTube's Terms of Service (5B) (thanks Tyler), unless videos specifically provide a 'download' link. This does make it extremely difficult for teachers to share YouTube videos with their classes when YouTube is generally filtered on school networks, but hopefully districts (like ours) see the educational value of many YouTube videos and are working on providing for access to teachers and staff. If you do follow these instructions, please be sure that the uploader specifically grants you the right to download the video.

More on USN Rollback and Virtualizing Domain Controllers

Stumbled across this talk that was given in May 2011 by Dean Wells, titled Impact of Cloning and Virtualization on Active Directory Domain Services. Quite the incredible talk, and I sure wish I had seen this before I started rolling out Active Directory and got off to a false start. This is stuff every AD admin should know, and gets fairly technical at some points but is well worth the time investment to watch if you have an hour or so.