new email system

Why can't DISD get a normal freaking anything??? Why do they have to use sugar. I mean Microsoft Outlook? Really?? I don't know how many messages I've already lost that haven't been sent and it has just been transferred. LOL. Go back to Novell, idiots.

Email

I to thought this was very strange that DISD would go with Microsoft Outlook. Novell Groupwise worked great had spell check and was easy to use even when accessing from home. Not one person has been able to tell me why the district went to this system. Who got the kickback? Are Technology Department stinks.

Microsoft and School Districts

Nothing strange about this. My "real" day job is technology in higher ed. The answer is: it's much easier to standardize around Microsoft Exchange than anything else--especially when you're broadly deployed around Microsoft Office anyway. It's much more expensive to deploy, manage and support something like Groupwise. I'm also wondering whether Novell is really going to make it much longer. They have some fairly cool virtualization enhancements for VMware, but not much of anything earth-shattering.

It's akin to the question: why use Oracle instead of MS SQL in a Microsoft shop? Simple: cost. You can find more Oracle expertise and less cost. Oracle deploys on more cost-effective platform and is much more scalable.

We've (society) allowed Microsoft to become the standard for desktop computing. Until that paradigm changes significantly, we're going to have Exchange deployed everywhere.

A better question is: why, since you can Activesync with Google and other (free or cheap) mail service providers, would you continue to pour money into any sort of groupware server? In the District's case, it's because they're not really innovative--and change comes slowly. But if they really wanted to save money, that's what they'd do.

You are so right Mr. Gwinn! And thank you. . .

Re: Microsoft and School Districts
Submitted by Allen Gwinn . . .
I'm a bottom of the food chain, Duty Free Teacher Assistant and even I know this?! So, more $$$,$$$.$$ is poured where it doesn't need to be poured and we (support staff) go without even a cost of living raise, most every year?! And have our numbers cut almost every year. Look at the last 10 years.
Because we are not college degreed. . .
So therefore our cost of living doesn't rise with inflation? Our electricity, fuel, water, rent, food, medical premiums, (which have been raised $50 a month every year for more years than I can even think about without wanting to cry) and clothing stays the same because we are not degreed? Sure. And our children don't grow either. . .
And this is deduced by the higher educated? UGH!
We are not stupid. We realize this is not really what they believe. It would be laughable and idiotic to believe 'the gods that be' actually believe this way.
So, what's left is the obvious; support staff is simply not valued by those that vote-in, fight for or decide upon monetary decisions that benefit support staff. Generally speaking.
And before you say it; support staff does not get cost of living raises, ever, we do not ever get step and annual increases, simultaneously. One or the other (depending on the random semantics of that year) and even then, hardly consistently. We never sweat the 'what percentage?' question but rather the 'will we again take home less money because the premium went up with no increase, again'? question.
If those that made those decisions were concerned with our financial fates, their collective answer to rising premiums and no cost of living raise wouldn't be to; 1) have our hours cut or, 2) not be allowed to substitute or, 3) not be allowed any overtime at all for any reason.
And please allow me to elaborate: we still sub when absolutely necessary but we are moved around and switched out before the 4 hour mark so it doesn't provide for us to collect the sub pay for a half day. In those times when we are asked to remain in the classroom for half or whole day then we don't get our pay because someone dropped the ball and neglected to switch us out and they are not readily excited about drawing attention to that fact.
And we are asked to stay after hours for various support tasks, but we are asked (required) to clock out on time.
For a whole day of substitute teaching we should get $37.50, a far sight less than what it costs for a substitute teacher. A probable stranger who is not necessarily familiar with the school, administrators, teacher they are subbing for or the students they are providing services for. . . or the lunch/planning/master schedules in general.
I've seen subs show up with their tablets and do their college homework while on duty. Or someone is sent to a 'bilingual' class for the day who does not speak anything other than English. Or vice-versa. Nonetheless the wrong language. (And the teacher assistant is still having to do all because as a group we really do care about the students in our charge.)
Once I was asked to sub in one of my regular classes. . . the sub was on the way. She arrived one and a half hours before school was dismissed but because she did arrive, it negated me getting any sub pay for the day. And since it was my class I had to stay and continue with the class anyway. While she looked on.
The subs are allowed to come late without reprisal and encouraged to leave early and therefore exempt from any 'duties'. They are also allowed teacher planning time and duty free lunch (about an hour and a half free time) where as support staff is not. We do our normal 'duties' when our class is in 'specials'. So at the end of the day the subs collect much more pay than what we cost for the same days work (in a perfect world.)
In actuality the sub is on duty for about 6 hours as opposed to support staff's 8. We are required to document on the biometric clock, 8.5 hours, daily.
How exactly are these types of practices in the best interest of the students? Individually or collectively? Or the staff?
These are just a couple of the ways a penny could be spent in equity. I'm sure someone more learned than me could author many more without cutting student's services in any way or employee's benefits that could reasonably affect them (and/or their families') being employed, housed or healthy.
Therein lay the rub. Because I care for the students, have invested a couple decades in the DISD, have faith in the fact there are many who are more learned than me making these decisions, hope remains, and so do I.

Schools That Educate for Compliance and Not for Democracy.

Upon accepting the New York City Teacher of the Year Award on January 31, 1990, John Taylor Gatto upset many in attendance by stating: “The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders. This is a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, caring people work in schools as teachers and aides and administrators, but the abstract logic of the institution overwhelms their individual contributions.” A generation ago, the problem of compulsory schooling as a vehicle for an authoritarian society was widely discussed, but as this problem has gotten worse, it is seldom discussed.

The nature of most classrooms, regardless of the subject matter, socializes students to be passive and directed by others, to follow orders, to take seriously the rewards and punishments of authorities, to pretend to care about things they don’t care about, and that they are impotent to affect their situation. A teacher can lecture about democracy, but schools are essentially undemocratic places, and so democracy is not what is instilled in students. Jonathan Kozol in The Night Is Dark and I Am Far from Home focused on how school breaks us from courageous actions. Kozol explains how our schools teach us a kind of “inert concern” in which “caring”—in and of itself and without risking the consequences of actual action—is considered “ethical.” School teaches us that we are “moral and mature” if we politely assert our concerns, but the essence of school—its demand for compliance—teaches us not to act in a friction-causing manner.

The nice things about being a teacher assistant.

Oh do I know how hard it is to be in support. Beans and rice every day and bone soup on the weekends. Not only that, but the inflation and cost of living raises aren't really enough to catch up. Every year is more difficult to make ends meet. Because you are in support, coworkers automatically think you are stupid or undegreed; when the reality is that you are underemployed and overqualified. Then there's the added humiliation of having to clock in as if you are in a factory.... One day bleeds into the next. It's like totally corporate. It's like rigid; all kinds of red tape. My boss is a prick... The owner (the taxpaying public) is a superprick... The place is full of dead-eyed douchebags... all of them drained of life and creativity... The hours suck and nobody knows what's going on. It's all so Kafkaesque. {the above was a dramatization and not the opinion of my current work situation.}

The bright side is that there is a tuition waiver for teacher aides for certain degree programs and at certain state universities and colleges. You are never too old to get a degree or extra certs. If I were you, I'd look into it and drag myself out of it. Just don't borrow the money from the government to fund it. They will own your soul plus interest if you do that.

well remember....most of

well remember....most of those who have been thrown into prison from our illustrious district have come from technology !