Information Systems

Tech Talk

  • Use "private" to hide personal events on your Google calendar

    Posted February 27, 2015

    You probably know that you have the option to make your whole calendar private, showing only "busy" for your appointments. For the people who'd rather not (or cannot) use that option: you still have the ability to make particular events provate. So if you don't want everyone to know you're going to see Barry Manilow* this weekend, click the "private" as indicated in the image. Also, keep in mind that anyone who has the ability "make changes to events" on your calendar will be able to see the details of the calendar entry.


    *Apologies to Barry Manilow fans.

  • 50 GB of Free Storage, Courtesy of UC

    Posted February 27, 2015

    The University has partnered with Box, a cloud-based storage service, to provide 50 GB of free online storage space for campus employees. Files stored on Box can be synced and accessed from several locations, including desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. It is similar to other online services like DropBox that have become quite popular as file sizes grow and people want to access and/or share their files online from their mobile devices.

    Some folks will not be interested in more places to look for their files, and so it's really up to you whether you want to take advantage of this service or not. Remember also that Lab provides two options for storing files: the file server, and Google Drive. Google Drive, as you will recall from last week's Tech Talk, will accept many kinds of files and has unlimited storage. The file server affords 20 GB of storage on our own hardware, though that number can be increased upon request for legitimate school-related purposes.

    More information about Box and how to claim your Box account can be found here. Please remember that Box is a University-provided service, not Lab, so direct Box support requests to the UC Help Desk, not Lab's. You can reach them at 2-5800, via e-mail, or by real-time chat.

    If any of you have been using the loathsome WebShare package currently provided by UC for file storage and sharing, that service will be put out of its misery some time next year.

    The University has agreed to make High School students eligible for Box accounts, but that has not happened as yet. Notification will be forthcoming when it does.

  • Audiovisual ONLY Capital Request Form Now Available

    Posted February 27, 2015

    Hopefully, you read last week’s e-mail explaining that the usual computing and audiovisual capital request process was being deferred to fall quarter this time around. The lone exception includes requests for new A/V systems requiring permanent installation. This exception is being made because such installations involve infrastructure changes, which make them difficult to do any time other than summer.

    The link below will take you to the request form. You’ll need to log in with your Labnet ID to access the form. Requests are due no later than Friday, April 10. Questions can do directly to Curt.

  • New Ed Tech Group Forming, Lab Represented

    Posted February 27, 2015

    In mid-April, Director of Information Technology Curt Lieneck will be presenting at the inaugural conference of the Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools (ATLIS). His 90-minute session is entitled “Sanity 101: A Primer for New and Aspiring Tech Leaders.” The learning curve only gets steeper as schools everywhere demand more of their technology people and programs. Learning to thrive in this higher-stakes environment requires a specialized set of skills and abilities that will be covered in the session. A fuller overview of the session can be found here.

    The formation of this new group is an exciting development. There aren’t any groups of any scale that recognize the unique niche independent school technology leaders occupy; K-12 groups like ISTE are focused toward large public school districts, as is the Consortium for School Networking. Higher ed groups like Educause don’t quite fit us, either. Both kinds of groups are helpful, but there has not been a group strictly addressing the unique position of independent schools in the education technology realm. Now there is, and that’s a good thing.

  • Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Posted February 13, 2015

    Here is a Lab School valentine if ever there were one! Best wishes to all.


DIT Bits Blog

  • Slice of Life

    11/12/2014 12:22 PM

    Every now and then, I have a day that touches almost all of the different facets of the work I do. I offer this brief recap of just such a day for those who might wonder about what a technology director does besides sit at a computer answering e-mail, or those who may be considering pursuing a tech director position after succeeding in other education technology roles.

    8:30: Convene a meeting of senior IT staff to make sure our message to Lab users about an imminent, first-ever forced password change by the University covers all the right bases while remaining concise. We decide to put a web page together that covers all the gory details that are necessary but don't really fit in the main message going out. 

    9:00: Take part in Executive Team meeting. Updates from Admissions, the construction team, the Communications director, and the Director prompt numerous discussions of how best to navigate upcoming events, school communications, and decisions that need to be made about the Gordon Park Arts Hall. 

    10:30: Complete a handful of help desk tickets involving audiovisual systems; gather and deliver portable speaker sets to support a 5th grade Haunted Hallway project for Halloween. Answer a dozen or so e-mails.

    11:30: Meet with a Middle School teacher to learn more about her plans for participating in the iPad pilot. We go over her instructional goals, apps she has selected to achieve those goals, and how to set a proper level of expectation with students about using the pilot iPads.

    12:00: Meet with a fellow administrator over lunch to discuss personnel issues, how best to manage her time and increased demands for communication she is currently experiencing. 

    1:00: Impromptu discussion with an IT staffer looking toward some major life changes and seeking counsel on how best to navigate them.

    1:30: Do some investigation of a reported possible instance of a Facebook-related social media policy violation. Formulate an appropriate response but hang on to it until I'm sure it's needed (the person involved came in the next day and all was worked out, no violation occurred).

    2:00: Participate in a consultant-requested conference call doing research on the mobile laptop/iPad cart industry. She asks me about market trends, design considerations, experience with various vendors, and more. It goes much longer than I thought it would. I don't normally accept such invitations, but bad cart design has been a pet peeve of mine over the years. 

    3:30: Sit in on a good-sized meeting to work through different points of view on proposed changes to the construction of the Assembly Hall. I get to mostly listen as the the different stakeholders exchange thoughts, ideas, and concerns and decisions are made. Some of the changes may affect the IT side of things, so it's good I'm invited to be there.

    4:45: Complete draft of biweekly newsletter, including the carefully-composed item we went over at the 8:30 meeting. Take five minutes to find an appropriately nerdy carved pumpkin to add to the newsletter.  

    5:20: Head home.