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Technology FAQs & Tips
Q) My school has a Technician, a Data Specialist and an
Instructional Technology Specialist. What's the difference?
A) Gainesville City Schools strives to give teachers as much
technology support as possible, and each of these individuals
has a different role in doing this:
Each of these individuals was chosen for their position because they possessed an appropriate set of skills for the job. When seeking assistance, please be sure to ask the appropriate person.
Q) What's the deal with Apple TV?
A) Apple TV has the potential to be a great instructional tool, but Apple needs to get their act together before that can happen. We have contacted Apple engineers and even paid to have an outside Apple specialist vendor come see why using Apple TV on our network causes it to slow to a crawl. Apple's reply is that Apple products are "consumer oriented", and not designed to work on a large corporate network like ours.
We have not given up on the idea by any means, and have hopes that Apple will realize the potential to use Apple TV in environments other than in the home.
Q) What do I do if a website is blocked?
A) There are complete instructions on the block page itself, but in brief, the technology department needs to know WHY the site is blocked. About 80% of the time, the site is not actually blocked. On the block page you will see the following fields:
Please include a screen shot or other means of telling us what is in these fields when requesting that a site be unblocked.
Q) What is AirWatch and why is it on my iPad?
A) AirWatch is a mobile device management tool. For a complete answer, please click HERE
Q) What is jailbreaking and can I do it to my iPhone and iPad?
A) Jailbreaking is hacking the operating system of your Apple iPhone or iPad to circumvent the inherent security and protection that Apple applies to it. Some people like to do it because it allows them to install apps from places other than the iTunes Store. While some people like the increased flexibility of a jailbroken device, it brings with it a lot of vulnerability and problems. Apple must approve every app that appears on the iTunes Store. This insures that every app is virus free and works as it should with your device. It also eliminates pornographic and distasteful content because Apple will not allow such content. But a jailbroken device bypasses all this, allowing viruses, poorly written code and content that violates Federal CIPA regulations. Think about it for a moment, if an app was very good, properly coded, free of malicious content and didn't crash your device, why wouldn't the app developer apply to have it included on the iTunes Store? If it was legitimate, Apple would be more than happy to list it on the iTunes Store because they would both make money off of it. Jailbreaking also nullifies any warranties and support from Apple and disallows the ability to apply upgrades and patches.
Mostly, however, jailbreaking an iPad is illegal! Oddly, it’s not illegal on an iPhone however, just the iPad, even though they use the same operating system. The law that applies here is the United States Copyright Code, 7th Amendment, named the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Like a lot of laws, it may not make sense to many people, especially since it applies to one device and not the other, but it is still the law and Gainesville City Schools will abide by it to the letter.
Therefore, absolutely no device owned by Gainesville City Schools will be jailbroken, including iPads, iPhones, iPods and iPod Touches. Doing so is grounds for disciplinary action.
Q) Sometimes I get nuisance emails that I don't want. Is there any way to block emails from certain senders?
A) Yes there is. When you are viewing the main list of all your emails, right-click on one from the sender you want to block. From this menu choose "Add Sender To Blocked Sender List", then click "Ok". That's all there is to it. In actual practice I have seen that it is not 100% effective and one may sneak through, but it is certainly an improvement. I just don't want to see MY name on anyone's blocked sender list!
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Wired vs. Hardwired
I would like to offer a tip that might prove useful to all of you with laptops: If you CAN plug your laptop into a hardwired network drop, then DO. You will see greatly increased speed. Why? Well, first of all, the hardwired network runs at 100 megabytes per second (mbps), whereas the wireless only runs at 56 mbps. This is simply the lmits of wireless technology at the present time. And to make matters worse, you share this 56 mbps with anyone else who is attached to the same wireless access point. There are many wireless access point scattered throughout your school, and each one can handle 30 devices connected to it. So if you are in an area by yourself, or at a time when you are the only one connected, you get the entire 56 mbps. But if another person is connected as well, you share it and each of you gets 28 mbps. Three people connected drops down to 28.6 mbps each, and so on. Since the access point can handle 30 computers connected at a time, if it is at capacity each user has only 1.8 mbps at his or her disposal.
But a hardwired network connection doesn't have such limitations, it is much more robust and you get full speed all the time. Wireless is handy, but not better. So again, if you CAN, DO. I hope this tip proves helpful.
Why Does My Laptop Sync?
When shutting down your staff laptop you will see it "syncing", which sometimes is very quick and sometimes takes quite a while. What exactly is it doing?
For all of our users, both staff and students, we backup the data in your My Documents folder and on your desktop. This is done for 2 reasons:
Note that on this last point, since we give all students a network folder from the day they start school, it is possible for them to keep data from grade 1 through 12.
So keep in mind that you CAN elect to cancel syncing but you run the risk of losing your data if your computer has a problem. This is also true if you save to a location other than your desktop and My Documents folder, these are the only locations that are backed up.
Tech FAQs & Tips
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As ONE GAINESVILLE, we will inspire, nurture, challenge, and prepare our students as we educate them to be successful in a 21st century global society.
Our students will think critically, act compassionately, work meaningfully, choose wisely, and live joyfully.
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It is the policy of the Gainesville City Board of Education not to discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, or handicap in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices.