Current Technology Infrastructure and Infrastructure Plan:
East Noble’s Technology Department provides and maintains a secure, robust network that offers reliable and safe access to the Internet and local network resources. In the summer of 2014, ENSC underwent a major network overhaul; additional subnets were created in order to expand the number of available IP addresses, to speed up traffic, and so that the technology department had more effective control of the network. All school buildings and the Alternative Learning Center are wireless for staff and student access. The corporation provides 1 GB of bandwidth for learning and daily operations. This bandwidth is supplied by two ISPs to provide vital redundancy and to ensure the Internet is available with minimal or no downtime. Moving forward, the corporation will supplement the network whenever and wherever needed; often buildings shift classrooms from year to year, which mandates a reassessment of network resources and the addition of wireless access points to various locations to provide coverage for all users.
Other ongoing and critical infrastructures needs include the recurring cost for maintaining servers, switches, hardware and software. Current funding covers the annual support and server costs of the district level software programs and hardware used by East Noble. These include the following areas:
Learning Management System—The learning management system that East Noble School Corporation currently uses is Canvas by Instructure. Canvas brings all of the digital tools and resources that teachers use into one simple place and integrates seamlessly with hundreds of apps. It allows instructors the ability to create and deliver learning activities and course materials to students and students the ability to submit materials and tests, view grades, and communicate with their teachers through two-way communications that include audio, video, text, and attachments. Students know to go to Canvas to find all of the resources needed for their classes in one place, and the grade book allows teachers to push grades to our student information system PowerSchool. Canvas provides the vehicle for East Noble School Corporation to deliver content to students on eLearning Days with ease.
Student Information System—A student information system manages student records and information, handles course management, scheduling, grades, transcripts and more. The SIS that is used by East Noble School Corporation is PowerSchool by Pearson. PowerSchool provides the district with a full range of features and upon evaluation was found to meet our needs most effectively. Teachers access PowerTeacher to submit grades to PowerSchool, while parents can access the system and monitor their children by logging in as a parent online or through a mobile app. Additionally, East Noble uses InfoSnap in conjunction with PowerSchool for online registration purposes.
Platforms—East Noble School Corporation provides its students and teachers with access to both major platforms utilized beyond high school—Office 365 for Education and Google Apps for Education. Students and teachers have access to all of the Office suite of products from Word, to Excel, to PowerPoint while still being able to use the Google tools for additional functionality. Both groups are encouraged to save documents to One Drive for Business to enable access to files on any device.
Websites—East Noble School Corporation’s websites are hosted by SharpSchool and are updated and maintained regularly by building webmasters and a corporation digital communications specialist. Parents and community members are encouraged also to download the East Noble School Corporation app from the Apple or Android stores to follow recent information about what is happening around the district.
Filtering—In order to stay compliant with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, East Noble utilizes Websense by Forcepoint and a Fortinet Fortigate Firewall to filter out inappropriate internet content for our students. Internet content is filtered on student devices both inside all ENSC buildings while on the building networks and also while the devices are at home.
Mobile Device Management (MDM)—In order to more effectively monitor, manage, and secure mobile devices that are deployed throughout the district such as our student iPads, East Noble uses AirWatch for an MDM. AirWatch allows us to push apps purchased from Apple through the Volume Purchasing Program to student iPads from a central location.
Email—All students and staff members have Office 365 accounts with email access. Students in grades K-6 are able to email only to their teachers and cannot receive outside email. Students in grades 7-12 have access to send and receive both inside and outside of the district, thereby allowing our students the possibilities to communicate with anyone from around the world. To remain legally compliant, staff email is archived using Mimecast.
Emergency Notification—In order to alert our parents to vital information in an emergency and to improve communication, East Noble uses School Messenger as an emergency notification service. This allows us to send phone calls, emails, and text messages in seconds from a centralized website or app. All administrators, secretaries, and other key people are able to access and send messages from School Messenger and use this frequently as a means to improve communication.
Food and Transportation Services—East Noble utilizes Horizon to manage all aspects of food services for the corporation, while VersaTrans is used by transportation services to manage bus routes throughout the district.
Library Services—Media centers throughout the district use Follett Destiny Library Manager to manage circulation, cataloging, inter-library loan, and other library functions.
Antivirus and Malware Software—Symnatec Endpoint Protection is installed on all client and server machines to scan for viruses and malware.
Active Directory and Network Monitoring—A variety of programs are used to monitor network activity such as DoveStone’s Active Directory Tools and NetWrix AD Change and GP Compliance software. Additionally, technology staff members utilize Bomgar as a remote support tool that allows them to connect remotely to staff and student machines and assist with technical issues.
Online and Blended Learning—While a great majority of content used to support our students using online and blended learning is created by East Noble teachers and housed on Canvas, these students also have access to content on Gradpoint and Apex Learning.
Student Software and Apps--Students at East Noble have access to an expansive amount of software and applications to be used as tools in the learning process. This software includes but is not limited to the following: Office 365 for Education, Google Apps for Education, Adobe Creative Suite, Snag-It, Waterford Reading and Math, Successmaker, Brain Pop, Maps 101, Big Universe, Gizmos, Auto-Desk CAD software, and Seesaw, just to name a few.
East Noble has over 100 servers on its network. Typically, 5-10 servers are added a year. A fourth of the remaining servers are upgraded or replaced annually. Using hosted services is helping to reverse this trend; however, some servers are being added for facilities management.
East Noble is moving to expand the number of online, blended learning opportunities for our students. The first offering started in the fall of 2013 and has grown to include 37 classes and 21 teachers, with more than 150 students in grades 7-12 taking online courses in the 2015-2016 school year. Plans are being made to expand the number of foreign language classes being offered online. In the past year, the number of homeschool students taking online courses through East Noble has grown from 25 to 46.
In terms of new technologies being used, the corporation has implemented a Double telepresence robot that was recently donated, with plans for increasing the numbers of these robots in each school to two. Additionally, East Noble High School is now a Microsoft IT Academy, which allows students to take Microsoft exams and earn real-world certifications while still in school.