Classroom Workstation Upgrade

Our district has seen a classroom upgrade in the form of the Lenovo ThinkCentre!  Though they look small, they are a perfect example of the falicy of book-cover judgement.  They are powered by AMD, 8 Gigabits of RAM and Raedon Graphics processing with triple monitor output capabilities.  In a nutshell: they are great little workhorses.

Our old workstations were nearing the end of their usable life.  As the hardware slowly failed, issues crept up daily which was eating up a lot of the teaching staff’s and our team’s time to maintain.  In an effort to increase classroom productivity and to allow our tech team more time to assist staff,  funds were allocated from District one time Technology reserve dollars to make this purchase possible.  I thank the staff at large for their patients over the last year and to our leadership and business teams for working with me to make this happen.  I hope you all enjoy your new tech!

Cabinet Clean Up

Welcome back and happy new year!

We have been busy over the break working on things that we cannot normally work on…namely our physical data connections.

Wonder whats going on in that before-and-after pic?  Lets geek out for a sec!  The internet (coming from the District Office) comes into the MDF (main distribution frame) or ‘core’ router in the Office.  The network is then split into internal fiber that goes to one of several IDF (or intermediate distribution frame) cabinets scattered across campus, one of these is what you are looking at above.  All of the computer data ports in your rooms go into cables that end up in these cabinets, terminated into female ports organized in rows on panels, known as patch-panels (the black panels in the photos above).  These are then connected to the switches by a short data cable sometimes referred to as a jumper.

Ever had a port in your room that doesn’t work?  This is likely because the corresponding patch-panel port has not been connected to a switch port (see the before photo above, notice all the empty ports?).  This could be for a number of reasons, most often it is because either the switch is already full, or there simply weren’t enough jumper cables available during implementation.  We have been busy at both sites working to both ensure that all ports are connected to a switch port and ensure that the cabinets are organized and clean.  The above before-and-after is the Arcata High School Library Lab IDF, we plan to have all cabinets looking like this before 2019.