Powering Up Computer Security in Everett Schools

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Everett, Washington, located about a half-hour north of Seattle, is home to B'eing, Hewlett-Packard, Tramco/BF Goodrich Aerospace, Intermec and Fluke Corporation. A state-of-the-art military facility, Naval Station Everett is also located here. Microsoft is headquartered just a few miles south.

The early success of Everett, Washington was crafted by the wealth of John D. Rockefeller with other investors in 1893. Today, continuing that success means preparing over 17,000 students to meet the challenges of Everett's high-tech future.

Helping students learn to use technology is a priority for the dedicated staff at Everett School District #2. We try to incorporate as much technology into the school day as possible. At Gateway Middle School, every classroom has four Macintosh computers, a TV monitor, a videodisc player and a VCR. Morning announcements are broadcast over our closed circuit fiber optic network. Students use Tech Lab 2000 to learn how technology can be used in the working world and create their own video reports using Claris Works Slide Show, video digitizing, Digital Chisel and Hyper Studio.

At H.M. Jackson High School, there are six Macintosh Power PC labs for students to use and every room is equipped with a networked computer for teacher and student use. The Tech Lab 2000 program continues covering four major areas within Industrial Technology: Communications, Engineering, Electronics and Materials Processing (metals and plastics). These allow students who are working in teams to learn about computer-aided drawing, digital imaging and video, image morphing, 3-D drawing and designing and problem solving.

One Network for All

As a supervisor in Instructional Technology at Everett School District, my job is to support and provide direction in the instructional technology area. I plan district staff development for instructional technology and do individual planning in some schools. It is my job to provide answers to the schools and individual teachers, to support district initiatives like getting schools' home pages up on our district's Web page www.everett.webnet.edu/ and to help with purchasing decisions.

But, five years ago when I accepted the position, variety in software was not helping our teachers or students. Different schools were using different programs for computer security. For the other supervisor in Instructional Technology, our six technicians and myself, keeping up with all that g'es on in our 15 elementary, five middle and four high schools is tough enough. We didn't have time to learn different programs or need the added confusion. We wanted to connect the nearly 3,000 computers in the district with everyone using the same security program.

I set out to find the best security program to fit our needs. After trying out a number of programs, I recommended Power On Software's On Guard program for its ultimate configuration flexibility. I found On Guard easy to use and it is competitively priced.

Guarding and Commanding the Fort

After purchasing a district license, we began using On Guard in August of 1995. With On Guard's multiple levels of access, students can work with basic tools, but are locked out of applications we don't want them in, saving lots of troubleshooting and maintenance time. We can also set Internet levels and a level for Staff only.

After my initial exposure to the time and trouble saving aspects of On Guard, I was very open to looking at another program from Power On. Another time saver, LAN Commander, has the ability to move folders or files to all the computers in the lab at one time, as well as the ability to remove them. Using On Guard (which prevents things from getting messed up and moved around) with LAN Commander's ability to get programs on the computers quickly saves valuable time for educators ‹ time they could better spend helping their students.

Power On Software won't take a big bite out of your school budget either. The programs are economically priced and easy to use. The technical support is very helpful. I also appreciate the fact that upgrades, demos and interesting information can be downloaded from Power On's Web site. With help from Power On Software, our high quality instruction in the high tech field at Everett School District continues to flourish.

by Chris Thorleifson, Instructional Technology Supervisor
Everett School District No. 2

 

Contact Information:
Power On Software, Inc.
New Albany, OH, (800) 344-9160
www.poweronsoftware.com

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/1999 issue of THE Journal.

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