May

18

Welcome

  

The ITD webpage has two main purposes.

  1. Using the menu to the right you can access an archive of videos and documents that will provide you with “How  to” instructions.
  2. Below you will find information and updates on current IT projects.

 

If there are tutorials or documents not found on the site that you feel would be helpful/useful please drop us a line and we will make sure it is added.

 

The tech team

Staff-

Here are a couple of quick reminders and notes regarding email:

  • ** Outlook **  - The Outlook server will be shut down some time during the week of Oct 1.  Please check Outlook one last time for any information you may need from it.
  • Gmail Attachments - There have been some questions regarding how to open attachments in Gmail.  The process is to (1) download the attachment, then (2) in your Citrix Home Directory app, go to the “Downloads” folder in your H:\ drive and (3) double-click the file you just downloaded.
  • Gmail Mailing Lists - There are some “global” email lists for our organization.  You can find the complete list at http://goo.gl/9qnhgy.  This list will be kept updated, so feel free to use the allstaff@, boe@, districtstaff@, esstaff@, msstaff@, hsstaff@, and tech@ email addresses.  You don’t need to re-create them in your account.  However, if you would like to make your own mailing groups, feel free to copy-and-paste from any of the sheets in this document when you are creating your lists.

Please contact a member of the IT Dept if you have any questions regarding email.

  • Seeking Input -  What do you need to know?  We’d like to create a “how to” video library to provide further resources to you.  But, we need video topics.  If you have an aching question on how to do something in any of our systems (Citrix, Google Apps, Gmail, iPad, Chromebook, etc.), please send us a quick note.

Thanks,
–The IT Dept

Use the link below to access the new Information Technology archive for tutorials, request forms, and more.

Tech Archive

Virtual Field Trips (Mark Thompson & Matt Janus)

ePortfolios (Kim Johnson)

The primary objectives implementing Windows 7 and Citrix (in no particular order) are as follows:

  • Windows XP is at EOL – Microsoft has declared that Windows XP is at the end of its lifespan and will no longer be supported.  Most families have purchased newer computers which do not use Windows XP.  Because of this there would be software compatibility issues between the newer versions of home software versus what we use at school.  Newer printers and other peripheral devices no longer create drivers for Windows XP.
  • Access files from home – Based on surveys and requests from staff and students in 2011, it was evident that access to school documents from outside the district was a necessary and should be made a priority.  Citrix allows us not only to provide access to the documents that were created at school, but also provide access to the district’s software as well.
  • BYOD – Bring your own device – Due to the current financial situation where school districts are forced to cut their budgets, the Sheboygan Falls School District won’t have the funding necessary to implement a 1-t0-1 program with its students.  The most viable workaround would be to allow students (and staff) to bring their own devices to school.  However, every device would need to access the same software, or the device wouldn’t necessarily be very useful.  Citrix accomplishes this goal by providing an interface to access common software no matter which device you are using.
  • Extend lifespan of existing desktops – For similar financial reasons, it is in the district’s interests to extend the lifespan of its existing equipment for as long as possible.  Citrix was originally developed years ago to run over dial-up connections. It runs on a wide range of hardware and has very low minimum requirements. Additionally, by not having to purchase desktop replacements, some funds are freed to purchase other technology like iPads and Chromebooks.
  • Reducing staffing costs
    • Replacing the existing PC imaging process- Traditionally, the yearly re-imaging of computers was a time consuming task that took several weeks to accomplish.  Over the summer, a staff member had to visit every machine in the district as a part of the imaging process.  During the course of the year, it was typically hit-or-miss as to whether software updates were applied to individual machines.  This was not an efficient use of staff time.With Citrix, changes are made one time and the new image is pushed out to all machines in the district without having to visit any of them.  The entire district can be re-imaged on one day.  Since everyone receives the same image, you know that all of the software has been updated on all of the machines.
    • Fixing problems – Issues with software can similarly be solved.  Fixing a problem once and then pushing out the fix to everyone saves a considerable amount of staff time.
  • Reducing existing logon times – With Windows XP, login times were upwards of 7-8 minutes.  We have been able to bring these times down substantially with Windows 7 and Citrix.  Login times now are around 4 minutes, which is in line with the industry standard.  Launching software is now much quicker than in the past as well.

Why won’t my Citrix apps load?

[spoiler]Staff members have submitted a number of help desk requests indicating that apps, specifically MS Word, have been very slow to start. I haven’t seen any errors on the Citrix servers that would indicate a problem, nor have I been able to replicate the issue. Starting your first app will take a bit longer than subsequent apps. The process is this:

  1. A window will be displayed quickly (possibly behind your Citrix window) and stay for a couple of seconds & then go away.
  2. A similar window will be displayed and stay for longer than the first & then go away.
  3. There will then be a period of time (5-20 seconds) where it looks like nothing is happening before another indication that the app is, in fact, loading. I believe it is during this time that people think the app hasn’t loaded and try to launch another one which compounds the delay. Patience when launching the first app is necessary.[/spoiler]

It takes me 20 minutes to launch an app!  What’s going on?

[spoiler]Your Citrix profile may have been corrupted.  Let the IT Dept. know about it.  You won’t lose any data and it’s a quick fix.[/spoiler]

When I login, I’m told I’m using a “temporary profile”.

[spoiler]Your Citrix profile may have been corrupted.  Let the IT Dept. know about it.  You won’t lose any data and it’s a quick fix.[/spoiler]

Why can’t I edit my Word document , Excel spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation?

[spoiler]In order to keep the size of the disk image down (which reduces the boot time), we’ve provided the viewer software for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in Windows 7.  In order to edit a document, spreadsheet, or presentation, you will need to start a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint app via your Citrix window.  Once the app loads, you can begin a new document or do FileOpen to load an existing document.[/spoiler]

I can’t open an attachment in my email.

[spoiler]If you are checking your email through Windows 7 (ie. you started a local browser and logged into your email), you will only be able to view Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PDF files, images, or videos.  To open other attachments (like Publisher files, for example) you will need to check your email by starting an Outlook app in you Citrix window.[/spoiler]

My video and sound quality is really bad.

[spoiler]You are probably trying to play video/audio through Citrix.  It typically doesn’t work at the same quality as playing media locally.  The fix is to visit the web site using a local browser or playing the media with a software installed in Windows 7.  You can use VLC Media Player (the traffic cone icon), PowerDVD, Windows Media Player, or a local Internet browser.[/spoiler]

My computer restarts when I try to play a DVD.

[spoiler]Windows Media Player cannot play some DVDs.  Use VLC Media Player (the traffic cone icon) or PowerDVD to play DVD discs.[/spoiler]

I install software that I use with my class.  I can’t do that now.

[spoiler]If you have software that only you use with your class, contact the IT Dept. They will try to install it on the Citrix server. Be sure to have the software and any serial numbers or license keys that will be necessary to install the software.[/spoiler]

The “library” feature of Windows Media Player doesn’t work.

[spoiler]Unfortunately, due to the way personal files are now stored on a remote server, we haven’t found a way to make this work properly.  If this is something you require, you could try adding songs to a playlist and then saving the playlist to your H:\ drive.  That would allow you to do a File-Open on the playlist to get the song groupings back without having to add each song again.[/spoiler]

I used to be able to search for a printer.  Why can’t I do that now?

[spoiler]With the addition of Windows 7 and Citrix, we had to add another print server.  That means the district is running 3 Windows operating systems on two print servers providing drivers for both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.  In order to avoid confusion and prevent users from erroneously adding an incompatible printer, we’ve disabled the ability to find most printers.  If you feel you are not getting the proper printers, please contact the IT Dept.[/spoiler]

 

January

28

BYOD Documents

BYODTeacherGuideFAQ

BYODStudentandParentGuideFAQ

 

Teaching Resources

Looking for money for a classroom project? Click on the link below. DonorsChoose is a site where you can submit a project and a list of items you would need and those with money to spend can choose to donate to your cause.

DonorsChoose

Full-Time staff of Sheboygan Falls School district are eligible to participate in Microsoft’s Software Assurance Home Use Program. This means you can get a licensed copy of Microsoft Office 2010 for $9.95. You may continue to use the HUP software while you are employed with SFSD and as long as the software we use at work has active Software Assurance Coverage.

  • Click the Microsoft icon below and follow the instructions. You will need your school email address  and a program code (8D35CC6DE7) to apply.
  • You will have the option of buying the PC or Mac version. Once you have dowloaded your copy you can install the software on 2 computers, but you can only purchase one of the versions.