Get technology alerts

When disaster strikes with technology, it usually disrupts communications. This makes it harder to keep people up to date on the status of the downtime. Then as I’m trying to fix the problem, every text or phone call slows down the repair as I respond to requests for updates.

When planning a technology alert system, I had two requirements:

  • It should be painless and easy to update
  • Users should be able to receive those updates even in the event their computers were down.

I settled on using Twitter for technology alerts. Users can subscribe to the alerts through text messaging so they will receive the alert soon after I post it. There are eight Twitter accounts for KCS Tech alerts and updates: kcstech, kcsestech, kcshctech, kcshstech, kcsmstech, kcsnwtech, kcsoltech, and kcswvtech. The main account, kcstech, is used to publish alerts and updates that pertain to the technology of the entire Kenton City Schools District. The remaining seven accounts are for alerts and updates that only affect an individual building. To subscribe to an account through text messages, text follow kcstech to 40404. If you are already a Twitter user, you can just follow the accounts.

For example, if you are a teacher at Espy, you would want to text 40404 with follow kcstech and follow kcsestech.

If you don’t want to follow through your cell phone and just want to see what’s up, you can also visit the Twitter page for each account, which is twitter.com/kcstech (replacing kcstech with the Twitter account you would like to see).

Please check with your texting plan before subscribing, each text could cost you $.25 or more!
Kids want their own cellphones, too, and it's amazing how young they are when we give in to their demandsphoto © 2009 Ed Yourdon | more info (via: Wylio)

Help Desk report for February, 2011

YTD Requests (2006/2007 – 2010/2011)

  • 2006/2007: 1613
  • 2007/2008: 1734
  • 2008/2009: 2240
  • 2009/2010: 2578
  • 2010/2011: 2594

Tags used

Adobe, afp, appleworks, ARRA, calendar, camera, cellphone, chrome, contacts, copier, dasl, datalink, dhcp, dropbox, emac, email, fax, filemanagement, filter, firefox, flash, gallery, googleapps, googledocs, googleforms, harddrive, hp2420, hp3005, hp4100, ibook, imac, imacg3, installation, interims, internet, inventory, ios, ipodtouch, kea, keyboard, keynote, lifetouch, linux, listserv, ltsp, macbook, macbookpro, machinemanagement, machineupgrade, mini, monitor, mouse, network, notebook, openoffice, order, osx, osxserver, pages, pdf, pictures, pos, poster, power, printer, printing, projector, restore, safari, sam, scantron, security, smartboard, social, speakers, specialed, squid, squidguard, src, sri, studyisland, toner, trackpad, turningpoint, useradmin, walkthroughs, wan, website, windows, wireless, word, wordpress, youtube

Top 10 tags

  • useradmin – 19 (20%)
  • poster – 12 (12%)
  • installation – 11 (11%)
  • network – 11 (11%)
  • power – 9 (9%)
  • osxserver – 8 (8%)
  • windows – 8 (8%)
  • printing – 7 (7%)
  • datalink – 7 (7%)
  • projector – 6 (6%)

Top 10 tags as time spent (hours)

  • network – 7.1
  • windows – 6.9
  • installation – 6.4
  • projector – 6.0
  • harddrive – 6.0
  • monitor – 5.1
  • smartboard – 5.0
  • poster – 4.9
  • mini – 4.8
  • emac – 4.7

Technology Survey for students and households

In the next few days the students of Kenton City Schools will be bringing home a technology survey. The survey consists of two pages, the first page is to be completed by each household once, while the second page is to be completed by the student (with assistance if need be).

The data collected will be anonymous and will be used to help the district plan and facilitate technology in the education process.

Please return the survey by March 18th.

Storm technology update

The snow on Friday wasn’t an issue with the KCS tech, however, the thunderstorms and lightening on Sunday night were. Here is a recap of what happened:

  • Fiber connection to WOCO went down. This connection was pretty much down starting around midnight until 6:45am Monday morning. Because of this, the Kenton City Schools website was offline. I redirected DNS for www.kentoncityschools.org to an outside host where I was able to post updates of the delays and cancellations until Internet access was restored.
  • Northwood file server started acting up, not allowing anyone to log in. This was a simple solution of restarting the server.
  • Network switches at Hardin Central started acting flakey. A restart of the switches usually clears these issues, but that wasn’t the case. I started swapping out switches with an older spare and was able to get Hardin Central back to functioning Monday night around 10:30pm. New switches will need to be ordered and put in place.

Technology alerts are posted to the kcstech Twitter account, which you can follow from your Twitter account or from any cellphone. Text “follow kcstech” to 40404 to begin receiving text alerts if you do not have a Twitter account.