Category Archives: School systems

Moving to a more standardized instructional platform

JpegWe are planning to make some significant changes in our systems for next year. In order to be more standardized and make teaching and learning easier, we will be requiring the use of specific operating systems.

Operating Systems: ALL teachers, TAs and students will use either Windows 8.1 or Macintosh OSX 10.10 (Yosemite). All school-owned student computers will have Windows 8.1 installed on them. All school-owned laptops will be upgraded to Windows 8.1 or OSX 10.10. All personally-owned teacher, TA or student laptops will need to be upgraded to Windows 8.1 or OSX 10.10.

  • Will you upgrade my laptop’s operating system for me? All school-owned laptops will have Windows 8.1 installed. We are asking all teachers and students to upgrade their computer’s operating system during the break. It’s a time-consuming process. If you ask us to do it in August, it will require several days. (Do it when you’ve got a high-speed connection!)
  • Windows 8.1 is not a free upgrade. Will ICS provide me with a license? We are working on a licensing option and can assist with that BUT it is a license with an annual fee. If you take that option, your license for Windows will expire when you leave ICS. If you want to pursue this, please talk with us.
  • Will my computer accept an upgrade? If your computer was purchased reasonably recently, it will upgrade to the latest system. Please see the Microsoft or Apple system requirements or ask for help from the IT Help Desk if you are unsure.
  • Is upgrading easy? Changing the operating system of your computer is not very hard, but it’s not trivial. Please make sure you back up all your data and applications beforehand! (Please note that some applications may not work with your new operating system.)
  • What if I refuse to upgrade? We will not support other systems. We are only supporting these two operating systems to make teaching & learning easier.
  • Can I upgrade to Windows 10 or OSX 10.11 when they come out? No. We are only supporting Windows 8.1 and OSX 10.10.

Productivity Software: We are licensing Microsoft Office 365 for all school computers. This will also cover all teacher-owned or student-owned computers. We will install Office software on all school-owned student laptops during the summer, and will help teachers and students get it installed on personally-owned laptops in August. Office 365 includes the latest version of Office (Office 2013 for Windows, Office 2011 for OSX). This is an annual license – if you leave ICS, your software will expire.

  • What if I have my own copy of Microsoft Office? If you are using the current version, then you may continue using that. If you are using an older version, you will need to either buy your own upgrade or use the school license. You must use Microsoft Office 2011 (OSX) or Office 2013 (Windows).
  • What about all my LibreOffice files? We recommend you keep that installed and use it to convert files from .odt to .docx and so forth. Microsoft Office does not always easily read LibreOffice files. We will use Microsoft Office for all school work.
  • What if I need help doing things in Microsoft Office? We will have both face-to-face and online training sessions scheduled. Help Desk staff will be available for assistance as well. We will be requiring all teachers and TA’s and students to demonstrate competency in using Microsoft Office.

We’ll be sending out more information over the next few weeks: by email, in the Yezare Samint, and on this blog, If you have any questions, please let me know.

Launching the ICS App Store!

appstore

There’s a new system at school: The ICS App Store!

It has been launched this week with a couple of applications that were built by High School students to help students (and teachers) keep track of the rotating block schedule. With the application, a student can enter his or her schedule (once) and then every day the program will show what the rotation is for the day, including times of classes.

The applications have been built to run on all three computer operating systems in use at school – Windows, OSX (Mac) and Linux (Ubuntu). They’ve been tested and function well on all computers.

The students created these apps in their High School course, Developing Computer Applications. This class, which ran last year and will run again next semester, teaches students how to build applications using a free and open-source development tool called LiveCode. LiveCode has been used by many schools to teach programming and application development, and it has been used by many organizations (including KLM) and individuals to build applications for computers and mobile devices.

Future plans for the ICSapps site include more apps developed by students, a new interface, and developing apps for mobile devices. Watch the space!

(at the moment, the ICS App Store is only accessible from within our campus’ intranet, Eaglenet.)