PortNet News #1, 2/5/96 Greetings and welcome to our first progress report on implementing technology in the Port Washington public schools. We are moving closer to making it all a reality. This coming week several things will happen: 1. First off, the ad for district-wide technology coordinator has gotten an extremely good response -- it ran in early January. A group of parents and teachers will be meeting and interviewing applicants in the coming weeks. Needless to say, hiring the right person is essential to a successful implementation of technology here. Dr. Inserra (district superintendent) is trying to hire someone by the March board meeting. By the way, I personally feel that Inserra has been terrific in getting things going as fast as possible in terms of technology here. 2. For those of you familiar with the report of the parents' advisory committee, we (as well as the teachers) recommended Apple Macintoshes for the k-8 classes. I have heard that a few board of ed. members are concerned about the fate and state of Apple and would prefer the district use Windows PCs instead. I'll tell you more about this when we get closer to something happening. 3. I, along with Carmine Mattina (Schreiber Asst. Principal) and Mark Glass (district technology coordinator) will be meeting this week with Grillo, the district architect. Our meeting is to finalize plans for the bid package for overall infrastructure improvements in the four elementary schools. This package (which the district publishes) is used by various construction companies to produce bids on the actual work. The work will include putting in place electrical and data communications wiring in the classrooms and hallways and connecting up hubs. Our plan is to do all four schools this spring and summer. It is admittedly ambitious. 4. The high school has an NT Web server up and running. Those of you that have access to the web can connect to it at http://www.portnet.k12.ny.us Bob Moore (Daly music teacher) has been authoring the content that is on this server, and there are plans to put up content from the Schreiber Times newspaper as well. The web site has the full text of our committee's reports and recommendations on technology, along with web-based art from students in the high school, Laurie Pessah's (Daly principal) writings, information about the school district, and links to other education-based sites. The next step would be to connect the other machines in the high school to this machine so that students will have access to this server as well as the Internet itself. If you are interested in publishing other materials on this server, or incorporating this into other classroom activities, I'd be more than happy to help. 5. A sad note: someone swiped about $1700 worth of chips from one of the HS library PCs. This is a shame. Why are you getting this email? This short newsletter is my own way of getting out the word on Project:PortNet. It is solely my creation, although I am happy to accept suggestions for future issues. It will appear irregularly. If you know of a parent, teacher, or other interested parties that would like to receive these periodic updates, let me know and I'll add them to my mailing list. If you want to be taken off this list, also let me know. Right now this goes to about 40 people. Feel free to circulate it to your friends, relatives, and neighbors. Who am I? For those of you that I haven't met, I live and work here in Port, and run my own computer consulting firm. I also write articles for Infoworld, Forbes and other computer trade magazines, and appear from time to time on a CBS TV overnight news program called Up to the Minute. (Next appearence: this coming Friday at 4:40 am, channel 2.) The work that I do for the district is pro bono, by the way. My daughter is a Daly first grader. I've written an article about my experiences with computers and schools that will run in HomePC magazine in a few months. In the meantime, you can read about it on my website at http://www.strom.com/pubwork/homepc.html Till next time. David Strom david@strom.com 944 3407