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Technology Updates for 2012-13

 

It won’t take long for students and faculty returning to class this fall to notice a number of changes in the technology available in the schools of Coffee County. According to system technology director Dr. Chandler Newell, the technology infrastructure in the Coffee County School System has been undergoing extensive upgrades over the past several months and is quickly becoming one of the most advanced educational networks in South Georgia. “Things change very fast in the world of technology, but with some of the projects that we have been able to implement, we now have systems in place that will allow us to adapt and grow as new technologies become available,” says Dr. Newell.

Some of the recent initiatives include an overhaul of the system’s local and wide area networks, which included upgrading all network switches and fiber optic connections between campuses from 1 Gigabit to 10 Gigabit speed and the installation of a high-performance Xirrus wireless network. “These network upgrades make it possible for us to move massive amounts of information around the system, which opens up lots of possibilities for data, video, and voice,” says Newell.

Teachers and students will be able to access a huge instructional video library this fall via Safari Montage, a streaming video-on-demand application that serves up content from a media server on the upgraded network. A new voice over internet protocol (VOIP) telephone system has been deployed, making use of the improved network to handle most of the telephone service for the district. Every teacher will have a voice mailbox with the new phone system, making it easier for parents to communicate with the schools.

The technology department staff has also been busy with other projects, including the installation of SMART boards at the George Washington Carver Freshman Campus, the replacement of nearly 200 data projectors at several schools, a pilot program with 100 virtual workstations at Coffee Middle School, and a new district web site. Improved web filtering, classroom speaker installations, new school web sites, an athletics web site, and a server virtualization project are all slated for completion this fall.

Most of the funding for these technology projects was obtained through the federal E-Rate program, which provides technology assistance to qualifying schools and libraries. Local eSPLOST funds are used for equipment and services that are not eligible for E-Rate.

“We are excited about the upcoming school year and the new resources that are available to the students of Coffee County,” says Newell. “I want to thank the faculty and staff for their patience over the past several months as we have been phasing in so many new systems. I especially want to thank the talented and dedicated technology department staff, who have all worked tirelessly to take on these new projects while keeping everything else up and running.”

Coffee County Schools Technology Department
Dr. Chandler Newell, Director
Shay Byrd, Technical Support Coordinator
David Phillips, Network Administrator
Andy Duckworth, Technical Support Specialist
Jeffery Harrell, Technical Support Specialist
Travis Hutto, Technical Support Specialist
Sherri Jordan, Technical Support Specialist
Chris Raulerson, Technical Support Specialist

 

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