Winter 2012 Technology News Roundup

Happy New Year to PM Technology Blog readers! I recently emailed district staff a summary of recent technology happenings and news articles. Here are the highlights:Penn Manor School District was named a 2011 School of Excellence in Technology by the PA School Boards Association. The award recognizes the collective work of our teachers, staff, students and IT initiatives over the past decade. We were featured in the December 2011 issue of the PSBA Bulletin magazine. PSBA has graciously permitted us to post the feature article. Download the PDF article.

Our open source netbook initiative was recently featured in Lancaster Online. Note: Partial paywall. The article presented a nice overview of our Ubuntu student laptop projectbut somewhat missed a key point: There are no immediate plans to replace all teacher Macbooks with the netbooks noted in the article. Most staff machines are many years out from replacement, and no decisions have been made regarding replacement laptops.Penn Manor has partnered with Hempfield and Manheim Township to develop a unique Open Campus cyber education program. Dr. Leichliter and the partner district superintendents discussed the project with LancasterOnline. Additional information is posted in a previous PM Techblog article.

Moodle 2 is coming this spring! Moodle version 2 is a significant upgrade to our course management system. We have begun to test Moodle 2 with the Open Campus teachers and expect to begin converting courses to the new system soon. In an effort to clean up abandoned Moodle sites, only active courses will be converted to the new Moodle 2 system. In the next few weeks, watch for instructions on how to sign up to have your courses added to the conversion list.

We are progressing with our district-wide installation of the Google Chrome web browser. While Firefox will continue to be supported alongside Chrome, the IT Team suggests making Chrome your main web browser of choice.

Finally, keep up with the latest district website and blog posts on our PlanetPM news site: