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Tech Talk Live Blog

Should Technology Leaders Be Considered CIOs?

Nancy Morris


Graeme Philipson, an IT industry veteran and analyst who was co-founder of MIS magazine discusses the title Chief Information Officer (CIO). “The idea was that it [CIO] was a C-level position, the same as the CFO’s or COO’s, and was meant to reflect the fact that the Senior IT person should be on the board […]

Customer Service and IT: Keys to Successful End User Support – Part 10 – Best Practices

Susan Koetzle Hoffman


This is the tenth in a series of posts that will address customer service and IT. To read previous posts in this series, click on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Par​t 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, and Part 9.​ In the last customer service blog, I examined the personnel skills needed to provide excellent support with a positive […]

The Blind Shall See – Part 2

Roy Hoover


In my last post about visibility I talked about looking at information from your network gear in order to see what is happening or to better manage your network. In this post, we will look at the implications of breaking encryption on user data passing through your network in order to manage it. Sometimes you […]

Adobe and Microsoft Resources for Teachers

Karen Oberly


One of the top questions we hear from schools subscribing to the Microsoft Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES) and Adobe Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA) is: “Where can we go to get resources for our teachers?” Both Microsoft and Adobe are committed to providing resources to their education customers in as many ways as they […]

Creating a Google Map on a Web Page

Thai Tran


Google Maps is a free web mapping service developed by Google that provides geographical information. It has a JavaScript API to customize the maps and to display them on a web page. As the user drags the map, the grid squares are downloaded from the server and inserted into the web page. The Google Maps […]

New Password Guidelines

Brian Steigauf


Everybody knows the routine, you have to change your password (because your IT or technology department is making you). So, you go through the process of coming up with some way of fitting your company’s password policy. I will make a guess of what it is . . . a minimum of seven characters, at […]

Artificial Intelligence – Boon or Bane?

Litty Kurian


Artificial Intelligence has been in the news quite a lot recently. We hear about the use of Artificial Intelligence being used in Intelligent Personal Assistants, self-driving vehicles, medical treatment, etc. So what exactly is Artificial Intelligence aka AI? Artificial Intelligence is intelligence exhibited by non-biological entities such as machines, robots, etc. that exhibit cognitive functions […]

Are We in a Post-PC Era?

Jessica Diller


Technology through the years has shown many stages of evolution, from the mainframe era in the 1970s to the PC era in the mid-1980s, reaching the Web 2.0 era that is more present today.   If technology has gone through so much evolution (a major shift about every ten years), the only conclusion is that there […]

Global Load Balancing for Disaster Recovery

Shawn Mellinger


Recently we were able to solve a long standing issue with our Disaster Recovery Plan. I will use the example of Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS). ADFS is a service that we want highly available so it would be configured in a server farm. For this example, we will say that two servers are deployed […]

SharePoint Promoted Links: Different Color for Each Tile Using CSS3

Margie Morales


In a recent project I worked on creating an internal SharePoint site that would serve as an informational website for staff. The goal was to implement a design that would have buttons for navigating to informational resources. Basically, the site needed to be dressed up a bit without a lot of custom development. I decided […]

Customer Service and IT: Keys to Successful End User Support – Part 9 – Attitude

Susan Koetzle Hoffman


This is the ninth in a series of posts that will address customer service and IT. To read previous posts in this series, click on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Par​t 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, or Part 8.​ Embarking on a discussion of attitude might seem a thankless task, but not if we remember that the key to […]

MBAM Tips and Tricks

Dave Light


Setting up MBAM (Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring) appears daunting at the beginning, but proved to be relatively straightforward to set up.  Preparation and planning helps immensely.  Microsoft provides a nice planning checklist that aids in preparing the deployment. When creating the required security groups, it helps to make note of the purpose for the […]

Code Generation for SQL Server Data Auditing Triggers

Greg Hess


There are a number of ways to track data changes in SQL Server databases, many of which include table triggers to log the changes.  In this post I provide a streamlined approach to setting up those triggers and keeping them up to date. A number of years ago I inherited an application that had a […]

The Blind Shall See

Roy Hoover


Visibility – Look at the advertisement for any network monitoring product and you will find visibility as a feature of the product. Dictionary.com defines visibility as “the state or fact of being visible.” They define visible as “that can be seen; perceptible to the eye.” If you are responsible for operating a network into which you have no visibility, stop reading right here […]

Null is the Loneliest Un-number

Matthew Kernicky


Null is not a number. This is not news to anyone who has done even a little programming. It is a placeholder that essentially says, “This variable does not have a value assigned to it.” This is why the various programming languages and scripting environments that we use have methods, functions, and/or operators to test […]

Thank You from Tech Talk Live

Tim Laubach


I was hoping to write something witty, inspiring, or topical for our 150th celebratory blog post, but instead I think I will keep it to a simple thank you. To Our Blog Leaders: For those of you who are regular contributors to our blog, I wish to express my deepest gratitude.  Without individuals such as […]

Get Out of the Office

Mike Williams


Get away from your desk. Get out of your office. Go see your customers. I remember the days back when I worked in desktop support. I would start the day by checking the ticket system, then grab some tools and replacement parts, and head out the door. Maybe I would come back to the office […]

Customer Service and IT: Keys to Successful End User Support – Part 8 – Attitude

Susan Koetzle Hoffman


This is the eighth of several posts that will address customer service and IT. To read previous posts in this series, click on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Par​t 4, Part 5, Part 6, or Part 7.​ A person’s attitude contributes greatly to the outcome of any project.  In the same way, the attitudes of individual staff members can affect the […]

Intelligent Personal Assistants – The Future Is Now!

Litty Kurian


An intelligent personal assistant (IPA) is artificial intelligence software that can perform common utilitarian tasks based on human input. They have become quite the rage recently. Some of the well-known ones are Alexa from Amazon, Siri from Apple, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Assistant. They use voice recognition to process human commands, provide information, or perform certain utilitarian […]

PowerShell and Version Control with Team Foundation Server/Git

Shawn Mellinger


​I have a confession to make; I have been very lax about version control in my PowerShell scripts. It is easy to view scripting from a sysadmin mindset. The script exists to fix a problem or process that existed. Then when that process changes just make appropriate changes to the script. Complications arise when you […]

Virtual Appliances and Serial Ports

Brian Steigauf


I love virtual appliances. All of the ease of use, none of their subpar hardware. If you already have a highly available, redundant virtual infrastructure, why would you add hardware that is outside of your control? Plus, you can replicate the “appliance” to have a cold standby that you can bring up in minutes, should […]

Technology Budgeting 101 for School Districts

Jessica Diller


It is that time of the year when school districts are finalizing budgets and forecasting spending for the 2017-18 fiscal year. Unlike outside industry, schools have to plan for upcoming school years with many factors still up in the air, such as new administrations, budget impasses, new guidelines, and new legislature and policy changes. Schools […]

Setting Up Cisco Meraki Access Points

Frank Olshansky


Meraki access points (APs) have a number of options that can be set, and sometimes it is hard to find the right setting in their documentation. The goal of this post is to walk step-by-step through the process to set up a Meraki wireless network. First, you will need to set up the APs is […]

Information Architecture Example for SharePoint Online Extranet Sites

Margie Morales


Recently a request came in to create a new extranet site for an internal business unit for the purpose of collaborating with external people. I figured this would be a great opportunity to evaluate using SharePoint Online on Office 365 instead of my usual task of adding a site to an existing on-premises SharePoint. Starting […]

Skype for Business Upgrade

Dave Light


I recently upgraded our Lync 2013 infrastructure to Skype for Business 2015.  Starting out I thought this would be easy, right?  It is nothing more than just a big cumulative update for Lync 2013 server, just hit next, next, finish, and you are done.  While the upgrade was fairly easy, there was a little more to it than […]

Check Your Pockets for a Data Breach

Nancy Morris


An article published in Infosecurity Magazine in 2016 reported that as many as 22,000 USBs are left at dry cleaners every year. Even worse, some 973 mobile phones are also absentmindedly left behind in pockets and handed in, the study found. For the past several years, security has been the #1 topic of interest to our audience […]

Link Layer Discovery Protocol and Hostnames

Roy Hoover


Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) is a protocol designed to be used by network devices for advertising their identity, capabilities, and neighbors. This is an open standard version of vendor specific protocols like Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP).  These protocols are very useful when deploying voice over internet protocol (VOIP) telephones. Typically, a network that includes VOIP telephones […]

Useful Tools

Greg Hess


In the technology world there are many useful tools available for a wide range of needs.  Here are several tools that are worth reviewing.  I use them for various needs like organization, project management, working with data files, and augmenting development.  Some of them have a cost, but many are free. Online Tools io– (Flowcharts) […]

All About Trust

Mike Williams


Everyone in IT is consigned a certain level of trust. Some more than others. “Snowden” opened over the weekend. This movie is the account of Edward Snowden, the cybersecurity worker who copied and disclosed classified information acquired during his work as a U.S. government contractor. Among the information released were details of government surveillance programs […]

Customer Service and IT: Successful End User Support – Part 7 – Training

Susan Koetzle Hoffman


This is the seventh of several posts that will address customer service and IT. To read previous posts in this series, click on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Par​t 4, Part 5, or Part 6.​ Most of the blogs in this series have addressed ways to help users directly and how to create resources that allow users to help themselves.  […]

Minecraft: Education Edition

Karen Oberly


Many of you may have heard that Microsoft has acquired MinecraftEdu.  Microsoft has spent its resources investing in a new and expanded version of Minecraft specifically for the classroom called Minecraft: Education Edition. Microsoft has announced that Minecraft: Education Edition will soon be available for purchase and IU 13 is pleased to say we will have special […]

Security and IT

Brian Steigauf


Traditionally, the security system (door access, alarm systems, and cameras) have been in the realm of the facilities department or, if a school district was large enough, its own security department. The lines started to blur when IP cameras came on the scene. Analog Camera systems required dedicated coaxial cable and monitors specifically for those […]

Internet of Things

Litty Kurian


“Your supply of washing liquid is at 20%, Please reorder now.” This was a text message a friend received one day while at work. You might be forgiven for thinking this was sent by his spouse or partner, but it turns out the message came from his washing machine. Welcome to the world of the […]

Linking Multiple Documents with an Auto-Generated Number in OnBase

Shawn Mellinger


As with many other organizations, we use OnBase for Enterprise Content Management. One of our processes involves a form that is linked to many other uploaded documents, and it posed a specific problem. This blog will cover the issue I ran into with forms and identification, as well as some of the processes we went […]

Using Swimlane Diagrams to Document Business Processes

Matt Kernicky


If there is one constant in application development work, it is the need to develop effective two-way communication with end users and stakeholders. Not only is there a need to translate from business-speak to tech-speak, but there is a simultaneous need to help business users define their own processes. The existence of dozens of books […]

Encouraging Self-Motivation and Initiative in Your Department

Jessica Diller


Motivating staff can be difficult and encouraging them to be self-motivated is even harder.  The things that motivate you, might not be the things that motivate others. There are two main types of motivation: Intrinsic – because we want to Extrinsic – because we have to So how do we motivate staff to “want to” do […]

Quality of Service – Part 2 – Differentiated Services

Frank Olshansky


This is the second of several posts that will address Quality of Service. To read the first post in this series, click on Part 1.​ In the last blog post discussing Quality of Service (QoS), I stated that there are three main parts of the Differentiated Services (DiffServ) model, which are classification and marking, policing, […]

Auto Updating Polycom CX Model Phones – A Lesson Learned

Dave Light


Recently, we discovered an issue with Polycom CX500, CX600, and CX3000 model phones in our environment.  New phones and phones that were hard reset while troubleshooting issues would no longer register with Lync. As we were troubleshooting through log files on the phone, we noticed the following error – 0x2F0D/0 on phone = ERROR_WINHTTP_SECURE_INVALID_CA.  The […]

What? It’s Not a Responsive Web Application? Lessons Learned in User Interface Development

Margie Morales


These days if a site is available on the web, the expectation may be that it delivers an app like experience on mobile and tablet devices. For the most part, I am one of those people, even though I am fully aware of the complexities that go on behind the scenes. Who does not want […]

Customer Service and IT: Keys to Successful End User Support – Part 6 – Blogs and Newsletters

Susan Koetzle Hoffman


This is the sixth of several posts that will address customer service and IT. To read previous posts in this series, click on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Par​t 4, or Part 5.​ Excellent user support might start with providing working equipment and instruction in its use, but service does not end there.  Anticipating user questions and wants is […]

EPIC FAIL

Roy Hoover


The E-Rate program was created as a result of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and, according to Wikipedia, has provided discounts on services to over 100,000 schools that have participated in this program. With a 2.25 billion dollar (plus inflation) annual funding cap, this program has provided significant funding to schools over the last 20 […]

Making SQL Server Reporting Services Highly Available

Greg Hess


How does one make SQL Server Reporting Services highly available? This is something I have been researching. We have several applications that depend on Reporting Services, so maintaining high availability (minimizing or mitigating the impact of downtime) is critical and needs to be added into updates to our SQL Server High Availability Plans. My Google […]

Google Apps and Office 365 Integration

Brian Steigauf


Google Apps for Education and Microsoft Office 365 both have the ability to integrate into a district’s existing Active Directory environments with a common username and password or single sign-on (SSO). The approaches can be different, but in the end, the result is the same. . . your staff are able to login to the […]

K-12 Academic FTE-Based Licensing Benefits

Karen Oberly


Each year more software companies are providing FTE-based licensing options to K-12 schools. This licensing option provides a means for schools to save money, simplify administration, and eliminate compliance worries while providing software for use across the entire school district. FTE stands for Full Time Equivalent and is based upon a formula to determine the […]

Customer Service and IT: Keys to Successful End User Support – Part 5 – Self Help

Susan Koetzle Hoffman


This is the fifth of several posts that will address customer service and IT. To read previous posts in this series, click on To read previous posts in this series, click on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, or Par​t 4.​ Self-help books occupy large sections of libraries, bookstores, and ebook title lists for good reason.  Many people are […]

Apple, the FBI, and AUPs

Mike Williams


The battle between Apple and the FBI has been plastered all over the news and social media these past few days. Following the shootings in San Bernardino, CA, the FBI retrieved an iPhone belonging to one of the shooters. They believe there may be information on that phone which could lead to other co-conspirators. However, […]

Productivity Apps

Litty Kurian


“Productivity is never an accident.  It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” – Paul J. Meyer We all have a limited amount of time to accomplish the items that face us each day. I would like to introduce some useful Apps that have really helped me in […]

Customer Service and IT: Keys to Successful End User Support – Part 4 – Website

Susan Koetzle Hoffman


This is the fourth of several posts that will address customer service and IT. To read previous posts in this series, click on Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3.​ Helping people to help themselves provides the best benefits for all in your organization.  Most users appreciate the availability of information whenever needed—no waiting required.  Technology staff members […]

PowerShell and Exporting a Hash Value to a CSV File

Shawn Mellinger


Recently we made a change to our student account process. We are now automatically creating student accounts via a PowerShell script based on the information entered in the student identification system. This was pretty easy to accomplish since we have a similar PowerShell script to create our staff member accounts. The next logical step was […]

Fun with Tools: Insights on Buying and Leveraging Developer Tools – Part 1

Matt Kernicky


Imagine you are in a meeting for a development project that you started a few months ago. You and the other members of your team revisit requirements with the potential end users. As the discussion progresses, you realize that the requirements are more involved than you originally suspected. Your department has recently purchased a development […]

Fun with Tools: Insights on Buying and Leveraging Developer Tools – Part 2

Matt Kernicky


This is the second of a two-part post; to read Part 1 in this series, click here​. Last week, we discussed some of the problems inherent in working with developer tools, looking specifically at the obvious and not-so-obvious costs involved in purchasing new tools. Today, we will talk more about working with the tools you […]

Evaluating Vendors and New Technology

Jessica Diller


As planning for the remainder of the school year and summer initiatives continue, districts have to make decisions on what new technologies to implement and what vendors to use.  There are many things that go into consideration when making these types of decisions.  Tech departments are not only tasked with looking at items such as […]

Quality of Service

Frank Olshansky


Quality of Service, also known as QoS, is a very important topic to know and understand when working with modern networks. Networks are generally designed so that all traffic is treated in the same manner. However, this model does not work when voice, video, or other real-time traffic share the same network as data, because […]

Expand and Collapse Groups in Content Query Web Part

Margie Morales


In SharePoint, grouping documents from a library by creating a choice column is a way of organizing content. However, another way to group is to add the Content Query Web Part to a page, which has a grouping parameter, as well as the option to display the groups in different columns. While having an organization […]

Visual Status Indicators for Microsoft Lync

Dave Light


Sometime after implementing Microsoft Lync 2010 in our organization a few years ago, I jokingly mentioned an idea about having some kind of a flashing light on a cubicle or outside an office to let others know when a staff member is on a call.  One of the biggest frustrations I hear from staff members […]

Customer Service and IT: Keys to Successful End User Support – Part 3

Susan Koetzle Hoffman


This is the third of several posts that will address customer service and IT. To read previous posts in this series, click on Part 1 or Part 2​. While everyone would love to get immediate help for every technology problem and question, few educational IT departments have the personnel to attempt this level of service.  What can be […]

Gender Roles in Educational Technology

Nancy Morris


As a woman working in the field of educational technology for many years, it is interesting to me to watch the trends of people who have chosen this field.  Many years ago, both males and females were selected to be technology leaders in schools simply because they were “good with computers” or “knew how to […]

IPv6 No More NAT

Roy Hoover


Since you are reading this blog, you have surely seen lots of IP addresses. They look something like this: 10.20.30.40. Its four octets, each represented as a decimal value, are separated by dots. Each octet is 8 bits so it can range from zero to 255. If you do the math, you will discover that […]

Using Google Forms and Sheets to Collect Questions

Greg Hess


Google has many useful tools available in Drive, including the Forms App.  Most of the time we use Forms to collect responses to a survey, then several days later we save them to an Excel file for further use or analysis.  What if we want to collect and display audience questions on the fly? We […]

Digital Forensics: Windows Tools

Brian Steigauf


Previously, the importance of the computer image and some basics were presented for performing an investigation of a computer – see Digital Forensics: An Introduction and Digital Forensics: The Value of Metadata. Now we can dive in deeper to see some of the things that Windows does to make life easier and covering one’s tracks […]

Robots Go to School

Geoff Craven


Well now that many schools are just getting back in session, it is time to revisit how we can utilize robot technology to enhance instructional opportunities for our students. Whether it is manufacturing or complicated surgical procedures, these devices are becoming more common place in our daily lives.  So it only makes sense that telepresence […]

Customer Service and IT: Keys to Successful End User Support – Part 2

Susan Koetzle Hoffman


This is the second of several posts that will address customer service and IT. To read the first post in the series, click here.​ Beyond a willingness to be of service, to provide truly exceptional customer service, we must understand the different types of users in our organization.  While everyone is unique, I have found that users […]

5 Tips to Make Your Help Desk More Efficient for the Start of the New School Year

Jessica Diller


It’s that time of the year again. . . THE BEGINNING OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. For most IT departments this means an increase in help desk tickets, walk-ups, and phone calls.  While most schools use the summer months to get caught up with projects, updates, and upgrades, it is also important to take some time […]

Growth of Google and Chromebooks at Springfield

Randy McNally


Three years ago a plan was implemented to rewrite the grade 7 and 8 Social Studies and Science curriculums. As part of the plan, a “total digital” based resources would replace traditional books and workbooks. The idea was for each curriculum to include relevant resources. The curriculum would be more adaptable to current environmental changes […]

Customer Service and IT: Keys to Successful End User Support – Part 1

Susan Koetzle Hoffman


This is the first of several posts that will address customer service and IT. “I’m so sorry to bother you, but I am having a problem with . . . .” In the three years since taking over the Technology Help Desk duties for Elizabethtown Area School District, I am still surprised to hear the […]

Celebrating 100 Posts

Nancy Morris


I am honored to be asked to write the 100th post for our Tech Talk Live blog.  It is hard to believe we have come this far! Since our very first blog post went live in May 2013, our mission has been to provide an online forum for learning and sharing information and experiences.  Our […]

Keeping Microsoft Exchange Logging Cleaned Up

Shawn Mellinger


This will be a short post today with a very useful PowerShell example. With the introduction of Exchange 2013, Microsoft included very detailed and powerful logging. Many of the common components write to “C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Logging”. This is wonderful for troubleshooting an issue, as you can dive into great depth and find the problem location. […]

Ten Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Tech Talk Live Experience

Jessica Diller


Tech Talk Live is right around the corner, and we are excited that you are attending. We know that IT is the backbone of all organizations, and getting away is never easy. We appreciate you taking the time to come and learn the latest in the technology realm while networking with your peers.  We want […]

Middletown’s Journey to 1:1

Darren DiCello


Middletown Area School District is a small, suburban school district located in Central Pennsylvania. We have approximately 2,400 students in three elementary buildings, one middle school, and one high school. We are 1:1 with iPads in grades 6-12 and have provided sets of 8 to each of our elementary grade level classrooms. Middletown Area School […]

Lessons Learned from the Trenches: Going 1:1 at Big Spring School District

Brandie Shatto


Big Spring School District is not a wealthy community.   In fact, it sits in the middle of sprawling farm land and mountains.  While we are not a bustling metropolis, we have long felt the need to ensure that our students have the same opportunities and access to information as students in any other part of […]

Cloud Anyone? Cloud-Based Asynchronous Collaborative Tools for Teachers and Students

Ken Zimmerman


While there are many cloud storage options available for educators these days including DropBox, Box, Amazon Cloud Drive, SpiderOak, Microsoft OneDrive, and Google Drivethe two major contenders  continue to be OneDrive/Office 365 and Google Drive. These two contenders have continued to add functionality and user ability to their service updates over the past few years. […]

Why Is Cyber Security Becoming So Important to School Districts?

Jessica Diller


Recently everywhere you turn you hear the term Cyber Security – in the news, at work, over the radio.  You get notification from your tech team, not to open certain emails or instructions on how to come up with stronger passwords to further protect your data.  Have cyber threats really risen or is it just […]

Five Ways to Get Involved with Ubuntu as an Educator

Elizabeth K. Joseph


Educators are important members of the Ubuntu community. However, many educators who may use Ubuntu in the classroom, and may even be power users with the system, ​believe they cannot make a difference in the community. However, this is not the case! Users, including educators, can make a dramatic impact on the development of Ubuntu […]

Ultimate Pi Day

Roy Hoover


March 14 is Pi Day. Get it? 3.14 is an approximation of Pi, so the third month on the 14thday is Pi Day. Actually, this year is special. Pi to four decimal places is 3.1415, so Pi day in 2015 is called Ultimate Pi Day for 3/14/15. If you read the links, you will have […]

Using IT Staff to Empower Students

Ashleigh Jensen


For too long school IT staff members have been thought of as just the people who fix the computers and projectors in the classrooms so students can learn. Not any more. Through help from MOUSE Squad and their online curriculum, the Kuna School District (KSD) in Kuna, Idaho is using their IT team to help […]

DDoS Attacks Are Growing

Jessica Diller


Did you know that one out of three downtime incidents are attributed to DDoS attacks? Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks occur when multiple compromised systems are used to target a single system causing a denial of service.  The attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources […]

Controlling Reboot Behavior for SCCM Client Computer Updates

Shawn Mellinger


One of the struggles that we have encountered with SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) is ensuring ​​that user computers stay up to date without interrupting their normal workflow. Servers are easy to keep up to date as they are always powered on, and we have maintenance windows set on a regular schedule so that they […]

Cyber Security – Keep Your Organization Safe

Jessica Diller


Cyber Security is such an important topic.  The news has been filled with different incidents, including the most recent Sony attack.  With data on thousands of students, including names, addresses, and Social Security numbers, it is no surprise that school districts, colleges, and universities face the same cyber security threats businesses and government agencies contend […]

Designing Online Professional Development Modules for Faculty and Staff

Emily Sanders and Lindsey Myers


WHY ONLINE AND BLENDED LEARNING? Online professional development is an excellent way to provide flexible and customized professional development opportunities for faculty and staff while at the same time modeling effective blended and online learning. Additionally, with more and more state mandates such as the Common Core standards, Student Learning Objectives, Teacher Effectiveness, and Pennsylvania […]

Actiontec ScreenBeam Pro: Wireless Display in the Classroom

Dr. Jason Murray


While on a recent call with Microsoft, the specialist representative suggested that I look into Actiontec’s ScreenBeam Pro solution for wireless display.  Our district primarily runs Microsoft Windows devices with a few Android tablets for the young students.  Many of our teachers requested wireless display like the Apple TV.  Our district devices will not connect […]

Passwords: What Is the Best One?

Roy Hoover


How many passwords do you have? One – Yeah, single sign-on has arrived (finally) Ten – I wish One Hundred – Perhaps Are they all complex, unique, secure, and not written on a sticky note stuck to your monitor? Passwords are a form of authentication based on something you know and that you keep secret. […]

Help Desk: Tips and Tricks 1


Help Desk technicians get bombarded everyday with support calls, tickets, and last minute requests. They are usually the first line of defense for any device that plugs in to a wall. Technicians must think fast and react quickly in order to provide great customer service. Most tips and tricks found on the web are intended […]

How to Deal with Team Conflict in Your IT Department

Jessica Diller


Individuals hear the word “conflict” and automatically assume that it is a negative process that must be avoided. That it indicates a malfunction within your team. While there are many instances when this may be true, conflict in your IT department can be a positive experience that will keep your team viable, self-critical, and creative. […]

Using SQL Server Extended Events to Diagnose Data-Specific Problems in Your Applications

Matt Kernicky


Relevant Technologies: SQL Server 2012 or later SQL Server Management Studio Say you are a developer that is developing a custom support ticket application, and you recently published the latest version of the site to your test environment. You ​receive a call from the helpdesk saying that the system appears to be working fine except […]

Tech Talk Live 2015: Educational IT Professional Development at its Best

Jessica Diller


Tech Talk Live planning is well on its way, and we are so excited to announce some of the changes and some of the things ​that will stay the same.  Every year after the conference is over, we send out a survey to receive feedback. We use this feedback to improve our conference and to […]

E Rate 2.0: Big Changes on the Horizon

Aleck Johnson


​​Major changes in the rules for the much maligned and chronically underfunded E-rate program were passed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this summer. These modifications will significantly change the application process of the program for local education agencies and libraries, and have longer-term budgetary implications.  Understanding these changes – and understanding how they will […]

Implementation of BYOD: Sayreville School District

Sandra Paul


Before implementing a BYOD/BYOT in the school district, the Sayreville District Technology Committee discussed how to provide more technology and access for students of the district without asking the public for a technology referendum and staying within the New Jersey budget cap of two percent. Economically, the community cannot afford to purchase a device per […]

Implementing 3D Printers in an Educational Setting

Don Dagen


Remember from last week’s blog that there are three categories of printers: Professional grade, $20,000 and up, Mid-level grade from $1,375 to $6,499, and DIY grade from $100 to $2,000. Most of my personal experience comes from the purchase of a Printrbot Simple roughly a year ago.  I have also worked at several companies that […]

3D Printing – What is All the Hype About?

Don Dagen


My first exposure to 3D printing was at Penn State Behrend (Erie, PA) as a student completing a BS in Mechanical Engineering way back in 1989.  Two local corporations (I believe LORD and GE Locomotive) had each pitched in $500,000 to purchase the million dollar Stereolithography 3D printer (a laser cures a liquid resin, growing […]

Digital Forensics: The Value of File Metadata

Brian Steigauf


File metadata (data about a file) is an extremely important part of many file types in our computers and electronic devices. Metadata can be used to show the settings a camera used to capture a photograph (aperture size, shutter speed, etc.), very important information for the professional photographer. Microsoft Office and PDF documents use metadata […]

Essential Skills for K-12 Technology Leaders

Ed McKaveney


In the rapidly advancing world of ubiquitous technology use, there is no shorta​ge of need for technology expertise.  Changes over the past decade have seen chief innovation, privacy, and security officers added to the ranks of the more common Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) positions.  For those looking to hire for […]

Thinking Like Teachers: Overcoming Lack of Buy-in From Faculty

Douglas Harvey


Sometimes it seems as if educators and technology staff in schools are speaking different languages. This is to be expected as the two roles come at a common goal – providing a quality educational experience for students – from somewhat different perspectives. The educator is in the classroom, dealing with students directly on a day-to-day […]

The Benefits of Using Private Cloud Services

Jessica Diller


The educational world has not embraced the cloud or infrastructure as a service as much as private sector for good reason or because they are afraid of change? With budget constraints at the organizational levels, it is not surprising to see districts, non-profits, colleges, and universities looking at every budget line item to see where […]

Using Munki to Manage Mac Software Deployment

Tim McCleary


One of the challenges facing any tech department is keeping up with all of the software that needs to be installed and kept up-to-date on all of the computers that they manage. Some software, such as Adobe Flash Player and Oracle’s Java Runtime Environment are updated frequently to plug security holes. There have been several […]

802.1x Wireless Authentication Deployment

Mike Matz


The Problem Two years ago, Wyomissing Area School District (WASD), Wyomissing, PA, was faced with the issue of how to manage its growing wireless infrastructure. For years, we had relied on the WPA Personal protocol to secure our wireless networks. With the addition of laptops and mobile devices, WASD had more than doubled the current […]

Utilizing Microsoft Lync as a Replacement for your Existing PBX System

Tim Laubach


If you are considering replacing your traditional phone system with Microsoft Lync, this information might help make your transition easier.  Two years ago, Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13 was faced with the challenge of replacing our aging 3COM PBX phone system.  After looking at various traditional PBX and VOIP options, we made the decision to go with […]

Enabling BitLocker and the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) in an Enterprise Environment

Dave Light


With an increasing focus on security, one of the quick and easy wins an organization ​can do is to implement drive encryption.  For organizations running Microsoft Windows and Active Directory, this is even easier with BitLocker.  It is easy to turn on, can be enabled remotely, recovery keys are stored in AD (Active Directory), and […]

PowerShell, Exchange 2013, and StorageLimitSize

Shawn Mellinger


Recently, I have been working towards using PowerShell to accomplish tasks. Previously, I’d use a command and research it heavily, but that was the extent of my knowledge. I started working on scripting, and created a script that takes the CSV we receive from Human Resources and creates the AD user account, adds the user […]

Geek Speak – Tools That Can Make Your Job Easier

Brian Steigauf


Systems Administrators are always looking for some new tool that makes them more productive and their job easier. Some of the tools may even prevent unwanted downtime from accidentally restarting the wrong server! WinDirStat – https://windirstat.info WinDirStat is a disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for Windows Operating Systems. WinDirStat will analyze a disk […]

Documentation: It Isn’t a Four Letter Word, but It Should Be

Rich Molettiere


Several years ago in rural Nebraska, a one-person IT school district suffered a major loss when the IT director was killed in an automobile accident. With her went the heart and soul of technology in that district.  Everything was gone – admin usernames and passwords, knowledge of what was where, license info, etc. No written […]

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