Technology Coordinator Duties

1. End user systems.  I maintain ~1800 end-user systems (PCs, Thin Clients, Laptops, Netbooks, and iPads.) This includes daily troubleshooting and maintenance, upgrades, software changes, and yearly imaging. 

Every attempt is made to refresh all end-user systems yearly.  Windows images are updated monthly to ensure new systems are as up-to-date as possible.  A FOG server is used to image all windows systems.  Base images are kept up to date on a VMware virtual server.  

2. Servers   NTLS has 23 servers which cover a variety of Operating Systems and tasks. Maintenance of these includes daily upkeep, backups, yearly summer upgrades, data migration, antivirus checking and general maintenance. Servers include mostly Microsoft Windows Servers utilizing Windows Server 2016. Other older server systems and LINUX systems are also supported.

NTLS servers are almost entirely virtual, utilizing VMWare ESXi, machines.  All VMs are locally built with yearly OneNet funds from the state.  

The functionality of servers is segmented per machine so that temporary outages (and configuration changes) only affect single areas.   All systems were built, configured, and installed in-house, providing significant savings for the district.

Server functionality includes:

  • Active Directory/DNS/DHCP servers (two for redundancy)
  • multiple file servers (staff, student, yearbook, and backups)
  • Windows Key Management Service (KMS) 
  • Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 
  • Print management (Windows and PaperCut)
  • Endpoint antivirus (Symantec)
  • SolarWinds network monitoring
  • Spiceworks helpdesk
  • WordPress multisite blogging server
  • Moodle LMS Server*
  • Koha library management*
  • NTLS Web Server*
  • CCTV Servers (3 physical servers)
  • Unify (Wifi Management)

- Moodle. Moodle stands for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment. It is an open source (free) alternative to Progress-Book, Canvas, and Blackboard. While it is free, and saves the district $5,000 - $20,000 annually over the paid alternatives.  While it does require administration during the school year, that is minimal. Moodle user accounts are synced through the AD and are updated nightly through a PHP routine that I coded.  Moodle runs on an independent Linux server.  Our LMS is integral to our successful 1:1 in the district.

- Koha. Koha is an Open Source Library Management System that I installed in the winter of 2010 as an alternative to several systems the district librarian investigated saving the district $4,000-$23,000 annually. It now runs semi-autonomously with only minor maintenance required as well as occasional summer upgrades. It is used by the NTLS library staff for all checkout and maintenance of inventory. Koha runs on an independent Linux server.

- NT Website. The NT website is maintained as a Moodle-based server that is linked to our AD as well. It is maintained by teachers and group advisors. The website is a modification of a Moodle install (allowing it to work as a content management system) and runs on an independent Linux server.

3. Network Infrastructure.  I maintain and upgrade the network infrastructure. Since first arriving we have done several (state-funded) upgrades that have brought NTLS from a 10Mb network to a 10Gb fiber network that includes site-wide wireless access. 

The network is subdivided into 6 VLANs and a completely separate physical LAN for all security cameras.

The 2012 Blended Learning Grant provided the funds for the high school to go 1:1 with managed wireless in every high school classroom. In August of 2015 we upgraded to the 10Gb backbone and are currently 802.11AC Wifi in every classroom and functional area, including sports fields.. This project was 80% federally funded through eRate.  While all materials were supplemented with eRate, all actual installations and configurations were done in-house.

4. User Accounts. At NTLS all students and staff have login accounts, network drives, and permissions defined by the area they are in. 1200+ accounts are maintained on the servers, which include Windows AD as well as Moodle, Koha, Google Apps, MAP, eSpark, and various other accounts.  All user files are backed up nighly and archived weekly.

5. Grants/funding. I accomplish all eRate applications for the school the brings approximately $50,000 - $100,000 of federal funds into the district. The range is a result of yearly fluctuations in the number of students on the Free and Reduced lunch programs, as well as the items applied for. It is Free and Reduced lunch program numbers that are used to determine eligibility and need by the federal government. NTLS traditionally falls in the 70-80% eRate funded range.  eRate is completed in 4 phases throughout the school year.

- I also accomplish state funding and grant paperwork relating to technology. This amount ranges from $5,400 - $138,000 annually depending on the available state programs that year. These included SchoolNet, OneNet, and occasionally other grants that NTLS is eligible for in the area of technology integration. The largest to date is the 2012 Blended Learning Grant sponsored by eTech Ohio that brought an additional $138,000 to the district.

- It is through these two programs that I receive our district technology funds. Although we have one of the most advanced schools in the state in the area of technology tools and integration, very little local taxpayer dollars are spent on technology throughout the district.

6. Acquisitions/Plans. I manage all technology related acquisitions and plans for future expenditures.  In an attempt to get the most technology for the district at the lowest cost, I enrolled us in the Department of Defense Computers for Learning Program (DoDCFL.) Through this program, we have received approximately two million dollars of equipment from the military. This includes hundreds of PCs, laptops, monitors, laser printers, and numerous other equipment. We refurbished the first wave of PCs in 2003/2004 to replace the Pentium I's and Pentium II's and have gone through several replacement cycles in each school since that time. We currently have all i5 (and i7), DDR3/DDR4, PCs and laptops in the district.  

This program is maintained through my advanced technology classes.  Currently, all 5-12 grades are 1:1 with Windows 10 laptops.  Laptops are i5 (or better) machines with Solid State Drives (SSDs.)  The only local costs have been the SSDs and the carts for the middle school classes. High School students take home their laptop issues and laptop bags were purchased with a local constituent grant.

I research, purchase, and install all technology upgrades in the classrooms.  This is one of the most important duties I perform.  I believe that the best technology directors spend a significant amount of time ensuring their districts do not fall behind in this area.  

All classrooms have a overhead projector, digital whiteboard, USB microphone, and document camera.   Technology tools available to teachers helped significantly with the move to virtual classes in 2020.  Digital whiteboards include Smartboards, Mimios, Smart Slates, Mimio slates.

7. Technology Integration.  I teach technology integration classes to staff weekly at our "Tech Tuesday" sessions. These are broadcast live on YouTube, recorded, and sent out as links to staff that cannot attend.  Our PD channel has hundreds of subscribers and 575,000+ views from local and regional staff in Ohio.  I also maintain to blogs related to technology NT IT Tech and EdTech10  The latter is also a podcast available on iTunes and other RSS feeds.

I strive to find and bring new teaching tools into the district to give teachers new options to connect with students and enhance their subject matter. As part of this, I attend the yearly Ohio Educational Technology Conference (OETC,) the yearly ITIP Ohio Google Summit, the Technology Coordinator Summer Summit, the Technology Integration Leaders of Ohio (TILO) regional meetings, and other occasional leadership meetings.

In addition to "Tech Tuesday," I started an annual "Technology Skills Inservice" in 2008.  This annual event has been extremely well received and gives staff the ability to choose from a large variety of sessions to enhance their personal skill set.  This was modelled after OETC and we take 6-8 staff annually to OETC to help teach these session.

I received the Regional Technology Director of the Year twice and the State of Ohio "Technology Using Administrator of the Year."  I also received the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) "Making it Happen Award" for Ohio and was recognized at the national ISTE conference.

Note: While the duties of Technology Coordinator are a large responsibility, I also teach several high school technology-related courses. These classes are aligned to state standards and are intended to give students additional scheduling options while allowing them to assist in the maintenance of the district computers. A vast majority of the systems throughout the school were repaired and deployed by NTLS technology students through one of these classes.








Last modified: Thursday, March 4, 2021, 3:17 PM