California Educational Data Processing Association
The DataBus - Vol. 37, No. 2
February-March, 1997

President's Corner

"Educating Ourselves for a Change"

Greg Lindner, Yolo County Superintendent of Schools

Has a nice ring to it doesn't it? That is the theme for our upcoming CEDPA Conference in October this year. The conference will be held in Sacramento at the Radisson Hotel October 29, 30 and 31st. Once again we will be holding a Golf Tournament on Friday. Due to daylight savings time it will be a 9 hole tournament this year. The Conference promises to hold many new, exciting and educational sessions you won't want to miss.

Speaking of "Educating Ourselves For a Change," there are a number of changes going on in technology that require new skills and knowledge. In our region, one area we really need training on is router configuration and management. Currently we are relying on consultants to install and configure our routers and set up our firewalls. Typically this costs about $400 to install the router with another $400-$1000 to implement a firewall. In larger districts this quickly adds up to a lot of money. In an effort to reduce our costs and increase our service to our districts, we are in the process of setting up training on routers. We are planning to host a 5 day course on "Introduction to Cisco Router Configuration" in March with a follow-up 5 day course in April on "Advanced Cisco Router Configuration." After sending personnel through the training we and our districts will be positioned to install and manage our routers in-house without total reliance on outside vendors, thus significantly reducing our costs and our districts' costs of managing our networks. Details on the training will follow and will be posted on the Internet Technical Academy Home page (http://www.wested.org/ita). Currently it appears each class will cost approximately $1000 if we are able to sign up 24 people. In our county we are planning to utilize CTAP Funds to help offset the cost. Educating ourselves for a change… starts with recognizing that our environments are changing and that we really need to position ourselves to be proactive in order to better serve our clients. We feel training like this will help us position ourselves to bring better service at a lower cost to our districts.

A lot of things are changing very quickly. Recently we just lost our Microsoft Select Agreement - it expired 12/31/96. Fortunately, the State Computer Store is negotiating a new Microsoft Select agreement that will be open to California Government and K12 Education. That contract is expected to be finalized by the end of January. Additionally, San Diego County is also finalizing a Microsoft Select Agreement that will be open to California K12 Education that may even have better pricing. Check out our home page for further information once we receive it (http://cedpa-k12.org).

On the telecommunications front, we are all hearing about the new telecommunications rates that are coming out. Problem is details of the reductions are difficult to come by. Fortunately, we have some very timely and useful information in this issue that speaks to that subject and explains the issues and details.

Finally, you have also probably heard a lot about the $10 million granted to CCSESA for the Statewide Telecommunications plan. This plan, formulated via the CCSESA Telecommunications Task Force under the leadership of Kelly Blanton of Kern County Superintendent of Schools, is moving forward and at a brisk pace. Currently, contact persons at each County office have been identified and are being contacted. More information about this will be placed on the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Home Page. The plan is three phased. Phase one will ensure connectivity from every County Office of Education to the Internet. Phase two will ensure connectivity from every District Office to the County Office and Phase three will ensure connectivity from every school to the District Office. With over 8000 schools in California this is a large task but great progress is being made. Stay tuned for more information on this in the future.

Educating ourselves for a change... Quite a concept don't you think?!

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