Category Archives: Texas

Job Posting: Systems Interface Specialist

Note: The East Central ISD has shared the following job announcement for a Systems Interface Specialist. Read more below and apply online at http://www.ecisd.net

EAST CENTRAL INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
Job Announcement – December 2, 2014

Systems Interface Specialist

The position for Systems Interface Specialist will be available in the East Central Independent School District for the 2014-2015 school year. Employees of the District may apply in writing to the Personnel Office. Others who are interested in this position may apply online at www.ecisd.net and then contact the Personnel Office at 210-648-7861 to express interest. The position will remain posted until it is filled.

Primary Purpose: The Systems Interface Specialist will be responsible for working with a variety of technology systems, specializing in database interfaces between student or business information systems and third party vendors.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Support the interface of cloud based hosted applications, single sign-on technologies, and curriculum and software vendors systems.
  2. Support Student Information System (e.g. iTCCS) and data management systems, including the ECISD mirror copy of ITCCS data.
  3. Actively learn and apply knowledge of SQL, MySQL, VBScript, Windows Batch Scripting, etc.
  4. Create and maintain project plans that identify expectations, deliverables, tasks, milestone dates, status, and resource
    allocation.
  5. Apply appropriate project management techniques to minimize risk and ensure the success of all projects.
  6. Establish and maintain regular written and in-person communication.
  7. Develop and maintain technical documentation related to assigned functions and responsibilities.
  8. Ensure that an exceptional level of customer service is provided.
  9. Complete post-project evaluations to determine how results were achieved.
  10. Understand and apply client/server applications architecture and management.
  11. Understand and offer input on growing the District’s network and server architecture.
  12. Display strong communication and organizational skills.
  13. Facilitate complex, cross-functional projects to successful completion with multiple departments and vendor partners.
  14. Produce high quality work in a dynamic environment.
  15. Exhibit efficient communication to stakeholders with excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  16. Display the ability to work under pressure and remain calm in the midst of changing circumstances.
  17. Exhibit the ability to rapidly adapt and respond to changes in the environment and priorities.

Note: Not all applicants will be interviewed. Each applicant’s resume, application, and other available information will be considered in the screening process. Only those persons currently meeting all of the minimum requirements will be screened.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
1. Bachelor’s degree (preferred)
2. Experience developing, implementing, and refining systems, processes, and/or protocols
3. Ability to identify an issue, structure and implement a problem-solving approach
4. Ability to engage and inspire a wide range of audiences
5. Experience developing Gantt charts and using other common project management techniques/tools


EQUIPMENT USED: Computer, printer, digital cameras, video equipment, scanners, service tools, software programs

WORKING CONDITIONS: Mental Demands/Physical Demands/Environmental Factors: Maintain emotional control under stress and work with frequent interruptions. Frequent standing, stooping, bending, kneeling, pushing, and pulling. Repetitive hand motions, frequent keyboarding and use of mouse; occasional reaching. Occasional light lifting and carrying (less than 45 pounds). Frequent districtwide travel.

PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT: 226 days SALARY: Based on experience

Roland Toscano – Superintendent of Schools


*An Equal Opportunity Employer*


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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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Built for Schools: How efficacious are digital textbooks?

Yes, that is an important question. Many school organizations are moving to digital textbooks, but the question remains, how efficacious are digital textbooks?

Source: http://www.trypearsontexas.com/img/programs/covers/chemistry/02_Built_for_texas@2x.png


In a lunch conversation with a retired Air Force Colonel, we briefly exchanged stories about our reading preferences. While I have no problems reading fiction content in digital format, reading non-fiction is problem-rich:

  1. I find I can’t remember key ideas, instead have to write them down or blog them to remember.
  2. It’s difficult to highlight content and share it (unless I’m reading on Amazon Kindle, but even then, I don’t care for it since I end up re-formatting the content in Evernote).
  3. Simply, the non-fiction info seems more…abstract.
The “concrete” or tactile experience of reading non-fiction is preferred. In the audio book arena, only non-fiction works for me. Somehow, I remember more when I hear non-fiction. With fiction, I want to see the words on the page, digital or print. Sure enough, the Colonel’s experience was the opposite of mind, reminding me that one-size-fits-all approaches to learning are problematic. 

The haptic and tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book does’ … an ebook reader. A new study which found that readers using a Kindle were “significantly” worse than paperback readers at recalling when events occurred in a mystery story is part of major new Europe-wide research looking at the impact of digitisation on the reading experience.(Source: The Guardian)

What’s even more disturbing about digital textbooks is the following:

Mangen also pointed to a paper published last year, which gave 72 Norwegian 10th-graders texts to read in print, or in PDF on a computer screen, followed by comprehension tests. She and her fellow researchers found that “students who read texts in print scored significantly better on the reading comprehension test than students who read the texts digitally”. (Source: The Guardian)

So, forgive me when I see content like this, which offers unstinting, unexamined praise for the use of tablets in classrooms for digital textbook viewing:

With tablets,  students can  type queries into their digital books as the questions come to mind, then sift through the answers themselves. And there’s a whole lot less peer pressure involved in entering a query into a search form, so hesitant students are more apt to ask questions in the first place. Source: Digital Book World

Admittedly, many of us will have little choice about adopting digital textbooks in schools. Consider this excerpt:

Education companies and organizations are getting on board by leveraging the technology of tablets to bring digital textbooks and all-in-one, next generation curriculum products to the classroom… “Noting that annual textbook costs for U.S. K-12 public schools has reached nearly $8 billion”, the FCC and the Department of Education have encouraged the country to transition to interactive digital learning within the next five years (T-mobile helping to advance, 2012). There is no doubt that with the integration of tablets and the digital curriculum, apps, e-readers, and e-texts that will surely be paired along with them, will necessitate a shift of those textbook costs. 

Pearson’s Common Core System of Courses comes preloaded with Pearson’s math and English language arts curriculum, apps such as iWork, iLife, and iTunes, and a variety of educational third-party apps (Bowman & Muller, 2013).  With a complete math and English curriculum and additional built in resources, the need for textbooks is unnecessary. Students are able to access media and web resources related to the curriculum as well as engage in learning without difficult-to-plan trips to the library or the run down lab. 

The ultimate costs of digital textbooks and curriculum, coupled with the resources of the world wide web brought to the classroom via tablets, will eventually make more sense than printing, binding, and delivering textbooks that are often instantly dated the moment they are printed. 

“Although [digital textbooks] might be more expensive initially, the volume of sales should result in increased opportunity for lower unit costs. The logical result is more faculty demand, more publisher investment, and faster growth” (McFadden, 2012). Source: Why Digital Learning Is Here To Stay

What does this mean for schools? It means we’ll need to soon start equipping students with low-cost tablets or Chromebooks. My money is on Chromebooks, which come equipped with keyboards, are being supported by state-wide tutorial/assessment initiatives–in Texas at least with TexasSuccess.org–and offer the biggest bang for their buck.

This doesn’t mean iPads or Androids are out, only that a more strategic approach is needed…but the search for one device may be so much jabberwock. The rush is on, not to provide efficacious textbooks for students, but rather, to simply provide access to devices that allow access to digital textbooks.

If not, we risk a digital divide built for schools.


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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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Drowning in LMS Solutions: #Moodle

Ever feel overwhelmed by the number of awesome solutions available for facilitating online and/or blended learning with students and staff? Well, you’re not alone! That’s why edcamps are great when they allow practitioners to share what and how they are using technology to enhance teaching and learning in K-12 and adult learning environments.

This past week, I had the chance to attend edcampsa, hosted by NorthEast ISD’s Churchhill High School and organized by Dr.Roland Rios (TCEA Area 20 Director). Below, you can see the cafeteria (ah, will we ever escape uncomfortable seating in a cafeteria? Fortunately, we weren’t there for long!) full of folks…there were a lot more, all staring with rapt attention at the schedule on the big screen.

East Central ISD team members–Marguerite Lowak, Jennifer Smith and Helen Zenner–played an important role in converting the post its being put on the wall grid into digital format.

One of the sessions focused on Moodle. As a veteran Moodler, I was curious as to what I might learn by attending. In fact, there was a lot to learn! Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot of folks in the room. Some of the great ideas shared included the following:

  • Build SCORM modules using tools like Articulate ($700 cost?)
  • Take advantage of a GUI

Earlier in the week, I’d added the following link to my ReadItLater’s Pocket and left it there to respond to. I found this particular perspective to be insightful:

It is because of Moodle’s general lack of pleasant visuals, clunky navigation, and overall complexity that I am animate about using WordPress as an LMS – in fact there are many benefits to doing so.
The two pain-points I mention are immediately removed when using WordPress, and with the advent of Tin Can API, you can easily launch Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate courses – removing the need for Moodle altogether and opening up a world of possibilities through WordPress’ plugin repository and overall user-friendliness.
If you are still using Moodle, you should strongly consider removing the Moodle handcuffs and exploring the exciting alternatives. 

If you consider these 3 paragraphs, there’s a lot of great info in them. Sure, you could use something else to house SCORM modules created with Articulate or Adobe Captivate. Instead of WordPress, which you would still have to house and theme yourself, you could also use GoogleSites.


Consider SCORM Cloud for GoogleApps:

  • Deliver and track training within your Google domain via emails and calendar invites
  • Assign courses from within Google Apps using “groups” of contacts
  • Track training from within your Google Apps dashboard
  • Use a widget to launch courses from the company “start” page
  • Employees can use the app to see details of their assignments, scores and completions, as well as look for additional courses
  • Supports the Tin Can API (the next generation of SCORM)



Source: http://scorm.com/scorm-solved/scorm-cloud-features/app-integrations/google-apps-integration/

Pretty interesting, huh? The problem is, how many teachers are developing SCORM Modules using high-priced tools?

#Free Course – Building Digital Literacy I: Blogging

Thanks to Shelley Blake-Pollock, I am aware of the following opportunity for Texas Educators to earn CPE credits via free online course.

Wanted to share a great opportunity for Texas educators to earn CPE credits. We’ve just launched the first in what will be a series of online courses and workshops for Texas educators on our new http://sanderling.io professional development platform. By successfully completing “Building Digital Literacy I: Blogging”, educators will earn 2 Texas CPE credits. This workshop is completely free for participants. Sign up, sign in, and earn credit — anywhere, anytime, from any device. Go to https://sanderling.io/courses/building-digital-literacy and sign up for free today. And please share this opportunity with other Texas educators! We’re looking forward to learning with all of you on Sanderling. 


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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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Thanks TexasISD.com for the Linktribution!

Special thanks to TexasISD.com for featuring my Problem-based Learning article–“Problem-based learning (#PBL) – Action 1“–on their web site…why don’t you read the series?


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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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Job Posting – Network Services Technician

Network Services Technician position available in the beautiful, heavenly East Central ISD. Of course, I’m biased, but…it’s true! Check out the job announcement below….


Web Site: http://www.ecisd.net



EAST CENTRAL INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT

Network Services Technician – Revised

April 30, 2014
The position of Network Services Technician will be available immediately. Employees of the district may apply in writing to the Personnel office. Others who are interested in this position may submit an application online at http://www.ecisd.net and then contact the Personnel Office at 648-7861 to express interest. The deadline for submitting an application is 4:00 p.m., Friday, May 9, 2014 or until position is filled.

Primary Purpose: Develop, maintain, and monitor application servers, including but not limited to Active Directory, antivirus, district/campus servers, including virtualized machines (VMs). Responsible for installation, testing, and daily maintenance of network related equipment in support of the Network Services Engineer.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

1. Install network hardware (including wireless network), as well as recommend changes in computer hardware and software system to effect improvements, reduce costs, and improve efficiency on a district-wide basis.

2. Install, configure, troubleshoot, and maintain Ethernet local area network equipment and assist in the maintenance of district wide-area network equipment, as well as setup and maintenance of imaging deployment servers to create and deploy software packages and scripts via group policies.

3. Install, test, and configure commercially developed network software and operating systems and assist in the evaluation of network hardware and software.

4. Maintain expertise with networking equipment, and skills concurrent with applicable technology as required for successful job performance.

5. Perform tasks related to basic network connectivity including: running cables, termination of cat 5E jacks, tracing network connections, and troubleshooting and replacing nonfunctional connections.

6. Advise and assist District staff in the application of new and emerging network technology.

7. Perform other duties as assigned.

NOTE:
Not all applicants will be interviewed. Each applicant’s resume, application, and other available information will be considered in the screening process. Only those persons currently meeting all minimum requirements will be screened.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
1. High school graduate or equivalent, Bachelor’s degree preferred.

2. Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) or equivalent experience.

3. Experience with Active Directory, and Open Directory preferred, multiple OSs.

4. Able to comprehend technical manuals, procedural documentation and OEM guides.

5. Experience in server setup, software packaging for automated delivery using scripts and group policy, and image creation.

6. Possess and retain a valid state of Texas driver’s license and be acceptable to the East Central School District insurance issuing authority for the operations of school district vehicles in the performance of assigned duties

EQUIPMENT USED: Computers, service tools, motor vehicle, telephone.

WORKING CONDITIONS:

Mental Demands/Physical Demands/Environmental Factors:

Maintain emotional control under stress.

Climbing, stooping, bending, heavy lifting, and kneeling; frequent use of small hand tools and electronic test equipment; frequent district-wide travel between schools. Occasional prolonged and irregular hours, including nights and weekends as needed. Normal classroom/office environments, and work around electrical energy.

PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT:
260 days basis
SALARY: As per district salary schedule


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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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Conference – TechFiesta



“Review, share and learn about the latest technology trends including tools, integration and management that are resulting in success. Hardware, integration, software, services and techniques will be showcased on the exhibit floor. Workshop sessions will be available.  Six (6) hours of continuing professional education (CPE) credit applies for each day of attendance. “


REGISTER
Pre-register for Sessions
Why Attend?

Door Prizes
Exhibitors
Keynote Speakers
Letter to Administrator
Mini Keynotes
Schedule at a Glance
Sessions
Day 1
Day 2

Tech Fiesta App
http://fanapp.mobi/techfiesta 




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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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