By Marcus McDermott |
On September 2nd the first day of school, the student body returned with high hopes and aspirations for a successful year. There also were several major changes in regards to the technology. Morgan technology was notorious for being unreliable before Mr.Rossi, the schools latest IT director, took over. After taking the job in January of 2014, Mr. Rossi dedicated himself to getting a feel for the school and creating a consistent system here so that the students could use the technology to its maximum potential.
Over the summer, a few large changes were made that the student body, for the most part, was largely unaware of. One change that caused a small uproar among students was the “Guest Wireless” which now provides very limited access and requires a sign in that quickly times out. In the past, the school provided a no sign-in free internet connection for anyone that walked in the school. Students were able to access the web for academic purposes through the old guest wifi. The new limited access wifi makes access difficult.
When asked about the changes in the internet connection, Mr. Rossi said “Basically all of the wireless configurations that were changed over the summer were designed to give the best performance to the district property.” In regards to the students and teachers who were annoyed about not having access to wifi, he light heartedly said “We don’t have a bring your own device policy in the district, so technically students and teachers shouldn’t be joining. And what we discovered as a result is the guest network was stealing a lot of the resources. We decided to scale that back to prioritize our bandwith resourses to the district machines.” The Guest Wireless was not changed to hurt the students, it was changed mainly because the school’s internet runs better and with fewer issues. Junior Sophie Roman said “It doesn’t work.” She followed it up by stating “When teachers ask us to look up things in class we have to use our own data. You end up using all your own data. I can’t listen to music while I’m working because it uses data on Pandora or other music sharing websites.” Although it was changed to help students, in the end it sometimes does the complete opposite. When asked if she thought the new configuration helped with the overall connection, Senior Charlotte Limosani said “I think it’s still really bad.Half the time it works, half the time it doesn’t. It’s unreliable.”
Another change that caught many students by surprise was the change in the school email addresses. This year the school emails changed from first initial, last name to first name.last name. The new emails are longer and the change seemed unnecessary. Some students who used their school .net account to work on summer assignments suddenly found that they could not access the assignments when account logins changed without warning over the summer. Others who used the .net email were frustrated when they tried to sign in to the accounts to check their emails over the summer only to find they could not access the accounts.
When asked about the change, Rossi stated “What we decided to do was separate the teachers or the staff and the student emails. Having a first initial last name system for everybody can create some confusion, particularly among parents.” The emails were changed to avoid emails getting mixed up and “outsiders” accidentally contacting students. Senior Chris Waterbury commented “I regularly use my school account, but I was not able to because they changed them. I had to make a new email without the school because of the unreliability.”
Some students appreciated the changes. Sophomore Eli Luchuk said “Overall, I think that they’ve improved the quality and the computers are really nice!” I also talked to Library/ Media Specialist Mrs. Robinson about technology. When asked about the iPads this year, she said “We don’t have them up and running yet.” Last year the students and teachers were able to use the iPads to access the web resources. This year the Ipads are still not set up.
Whether the new changes improved the function of our school/ districts technology or not, they are here to stay.