Technology for Teachers (A brief history of technology at Harper High before September 2007) *


There are a few additions and changes we have been making to our network
  • Our T1 Internet line has finally been swapped for a Gigaman fiber optic cable that will be incredibly faster than what we have been experiencing for the past few years. This should allow for streaming videos and more successful multi-tasking. Please be reminded that music videos, XSAO type music download sites, and non-educational games not only hog bandwidth, but are in violation of Chicago Public Schools Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), and therefore should be enforced by all teachers.
  • We replaced the computers in The Computer Lab - 220 and the Specialized Services Lab - 218, as well as the two READ180 Labs with leased computers.
  • Four Freshmen Cognitive Tutor mini-math labs - Rooms 406 (Beaty), 409 (Johnson), 411 (Beck), and 319 (Dickens) were created with 10 leased computers and 4 IBMs, or 14 computers in each room.
  • The Science Department was provided 2 wireless mobile carts (for 3rd and 4th floor science labs) with 30 wireless laptops per cart obtained from the leasing program.
  • The Library has 1 wireless mobile cart with 24 wireless laptops, also leased, for use by arrangement with your Techco.
  • A section of the library in the rear has been set up with 15 wireless desktop computers provided by Post-Secondary for 11th and 12th graders to search for colleges, scholarships, and related activities only.
  • There is a sizeable number (45) of Pentium 3 desktop computers that were donated to the school by Congresswoman Connie Howard's office, all completely without operating systems or other software. These will be set up and eventually distributed to classrooms, after we add the OS and software, but this takes a lot of time to do and the Technology Department only has one person in it. By mid-June 2007 approximately half a dozen were placed in classrooms.
  • Ms. Thawani obtained a number of old Dell computers with very old operating systems and very little memory. Memory must be removed from half to upgrade the others and each one set up manually. This will take a lot of time, but when completed, there will be 2 or 3 mini-writing labs.
  • Your CPS provided laptops were fit with wireless cards by way of the Feds E-rate Program.
  • The entire school became a wi-fi hotspot at the end of the 2005-06 school year, thanks to Jesse Jackson's intercession. That means that wireless access should be available everywhere in the building. You must see your Techco to set up the CPS Wireless Access Code.
  • We migrated to the INSTR Domain in September 2006, and provided all students and teachers with individual logins to the school server that will have folders for saving work.
  • We have renewed or continued the subscriptions with Carnegie Learning (Cognitive Tutor), Scholastic (READ180), and ended our Discovery Learning (United Streaming) subscription. But we have contracted with CPS for Safari, which is a Video on Demand service.
  • There are still 3 projectors available for use through Mr. Richard, as well as the availability of a camcorder to videotape your students' presentations.
  • CPS plans to roll out IMPACT for all staff by the beginning of the Fall 2007 semester.
  • A new Application, FirstClass, that includes collaborative space, chat, file storage, web site maker, and email (username@cps.edu) was rolled out at the end of the 20006-07 school year. Students will have access to the FirstClass email. The old email (username@cps.k12.il.us) will no longer be abailable for anyone, except principals, by November.
  • As you know, your Technology Coordinator has maintained an unofficial Harper website, which provides links to information, tools, and other gems. You can find it here:

You won't be getting printers, projectors, tech support for vandalized computers (including stolen mice, keyboards, cables) or floppy disks that get stuck in the computer (don't use floppies), or printer problems. Your technology department no longer supports floppy disk use.

This may be the time to begin working on a grant to obtain wireless devices, such a tablets or handhelds, projectors for projects, and/or digital cameras.

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  • In late August 2007, I was relieved of my position as Technology Coordinator by the new principal of Harper High School. For more on the rise and fall of technology at Harper High School, visit How Bottom-Dwellers Travel thru Cyberspace.
  • I am adding this note on April 16, 2013. I've been retired from Chicago Public Schools for 4 years. I re-read my entry Why Harper High School Is on Probation to see whether my perception of the situation has changed since my retirement and the recent PBS This American Life produced a two part look at Harper High School from the perspective of attending the school and teaching there. I stand by my observations after teaching there for 18 years. The PBS special only offers a glimpse of the educational environment mired down by a neighborhood culture of violence. My heart goes out to the new staff that replaced the 90% of us who were dismissed and replaced, because now they understand what it was like to teach there. Next year, they will be without the infusion of money that was part of Turnaround, money which was never provide to my colleagues and me to support our efforts.
  • For information about services I can provide you in regards to training individually or professional development, please jump over to G Latman: Educational Technology Consultant.

This page, one of many I've created (see the links in the left hand margin), has been developed at the Wikispaces web site. They offer a free wikispaces account for teachers, for which they remove all ads. The account for non-teachers is also free, but it includes ads.