Several technology updates are being implemented in the Challis school district, and IT Specialist Lance Moss told school board members at their Dec. 12 meeting the main focus has been integrating Office 365.
“There’s been a lot of issues integrating Office,” said Moss.
According to Moss, he was unaware the version district administrators bought only allowed students access to the online, free version. Superintendent Lani Rembelski said the district paid for the education rate, which comes with a reduced price and only allows teachers access to tangible teaching materials.
Moss also said the device licensing scheme, which would allow access to certain information on a specific computer as opposed to a specific account, is still incomplete and he is “trying to get the right stuff” in terms of software.
Board members told Moss not to rush things and take his time, understanding integrating new technology is a process that takes time to do correctly.
Moss said 85 percent of district staff attended workshops on the new technology options. He wants to schedule more workshops because it’s an evolving process. Moss said the second workshop was helpful because it allowed him to see where teachers and staff need to focus in the future.
Moss warned school board members about ordering new computers. He said even though there are plenty of computers from 2012 that work and are for sale in large numbers, district administrators should hold off on purchasing them. He said as software, such as Windows 10, updates, the older computers won’t be able to run advanced programs.
“All those 2012 computers will be gone in a year,” said Moss.
Moss also recommended the district update its bell system. Even though the system is stable for the moment, he said it was a “big headache” earlier in the year.
“The first two months were pretty frustrating,” said Moss. “It’s working pretty good now.”
Moss said he has been recycling old IT equipment, mostly pulling out hard drives and memory sticks from printers.
“It’s kind of a big job that’s been sitting around awhile,” said Moss.