webmaster mike's blog

more KPBSD bloggery

Archive for September, 2011

Computer Help or Technical Assistance

Posted in Support on September 22, 2011 by Webmaster Mike

We in the Information Services department here at KPBSD get many calls from people in need of technical assistance with their various computer or technology-related issues.

We’re happy to help.

But first, some guidelines to help you get started and for you to ascertain exactly whom you should be contacting.

  1.  The Carrot and the Stick

Also known as “Good Cop, Bad Cop” or my favorite, “Bad Cop, Worse Cop,” this computer repair technique involves threatening or cajoling the computer to encourage good behavior, such as threatening the offending item with a bubblebath, alternating with mollifying promises of hardware and software upgrades.

This doesn’t work.

At all.

  1. Anthropomorphology

Many people call our department convinced that their computer hates them. This is an absurd notion, as computers don’t have the capacity for such emotions.

Smart Boards, however, do. So if you feel your Smart Board hates you, you’re probably right.

  1. Making Contact

If you’ve exhausted your above repertoire and your computer or program still refuses to function as it should, feel free to seek our help. You can do this in several ways. One is to visit us in person. We live in the basement. As you go down the stairs from the main entrance, turn left and go down the hall. DO NOT TURN RIGHT. I think it’s haunted.

  1. Specificity

As you happen to be reading a blog, many hardware issues have already been addressed by my coworker and generally nice guy Casey Olson on his blog:

Casey’s Support Blog

His extention is 8806.

If your problem is not hardware-related, for general assistance, call Jordan at extention 8809. Jordan is not only a very knowledgeable individual, but displays a cool demeanor remniscient of a young and dashing Henry Kissenger.

Additionally, Jordan has a brilliant and very useful blog of his own which explores the functionality of programs you use every day:

Jordan’s Helpdesk Blog

With PowerSchool now in session, you can call on Donna at x8804, because she is a guru, nay, Oracle of PowerSchool.

For all things website related, give me, Webmaster Mike, a call at x8805.

If you’re still stuck, any one of us can point you in the right direction. I’ve even been known to give incredibly accurate horoscopes. Here’s yours:

You may receive a phone call today.

Long story short, we’re here to help, so give us a call! We’d be happy to lend a hand.

Thank you, have a great day, and don’t take it personally; Smart Boards hate everyone.

– Webmaster Mike


Paperless or Less Paper?

Posted in Website on September 20, 2011 by Webmaster Mike

There is quite a bit of talk these days about becoming “paperless.” From the District perspective, being paperless means a great deal of items previously printed will be stored and distributed online. As KPBSD Webmaster, I am trying to facilitate the transformation to a more paper free environment.

This isn’t just about saving trees. For instance, recently I took the old RTI forms (Response To Intervention) and created online fillable copies of them. So now, when a teacher or counselor needs these forms, no longer will he/she need to locate them, print them out, fill them out by hand, and fax or mail the paper to the intended recipient. Now, all the teacher has to do is locate the form on the KPBSD website, fill it out electronically, and hit the “submit” button.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezie.

So, the bullet points here are:

  • Electronic forms are faster
  • Easier
  • Don’t kill trees

Additionally, the data, as is the nature of things online, can be easily collated for analytical purposes, such as creating spreadsheets and graphs.

So, less paper or paperless, I’m a fan of both, and am doing what I can to promote it in our District.

Website updatery, new directions

Posted in Website on September 19, 2011 by Webmaster Mike

So, I’ve been here over a month now, so will consider myself generally up-to-speed on most of the website day-to-day maintenance. I’ve found that the most difficult task for me relating to the website is understanding how this organization, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, is organized. With 44 schools, over 9000 students, an army of support staff and a District bigger than the entire state of West Virginia, keeping things organized is sometimes easier said than done.

That said, I’m getting my feet under me, and have been able to implement some new changes and directions.

One of the more recent happenings is the creation of a new school blog and a smattering of calendars for that school. The test school for all this funnery is Skyview High School, right here in Soldotna, Alaska. I’ve been working with the Principal and staff for the last week, and it’s a  learning experience for us all. They’ve gotten into the swing of using Google Calendars for school and sports events, and are very close to ready to tackle blogging.

Here’s a sneak peak of the Skyview High School Blog, and it does have a link to the Skyview calendar, so the good times just keep rolling. But all things considered, this is about streamlining the way people create, learn about, and share events, so this is progress.

Not a fan of exclamation points.

Posted in Blogs on September 6, 2011 by Webmaster Mike

This has everything to do about starting a blog.

But nothing about finishing.