Friday, February 17, 2017

Ransom Virus Hits HARD!!!!

YUP - it's TRUE!  The ransom virus hit our school and BOY did it hit hard! If you are unfamiliar, this virus has been around a while, and our network people said that they get 2-3 calls a week about this, so it's nothing new.  However it has KNOCKED! US! OUT!  Basically, it's just like a ransom.  The virus attacks your computer, there's a screen that appears saying they won't give you back your data unless you pay a ransom - OH!  We think it was attached to an email from a staff member, but aren't certain, and from there has caused us a HUGE headache, countless hours of panic, and panic again as it has reappeared trying to ping our system - OH NO!!

Here is what has happened thus far:

1.  The virus hit our main server and two of our three back up servers.  In a nutshell - THANK YOU GOOD LORD that Casey decided to have three backups.  However, we now will have four!! 

2. EVERYTHING had to be restored from back up - our ENTIRE NETWORK!  The server, staff and student drives, access codes, printers, Macbooks, Dell Computers, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING has had to be reconfigured.  Those that HAD the virus - about half of our staff - also had to have their computers entirely wipes and reconfigured.  THIS HAS BEEN A NIGHT MARE!  Casey, who is our "behind the scenes" guy, describes it as, "Think of the worst thing to EVERY happen to a school district in terms of viruses, and that's how I feel!"  He has taken the brunt of it until today!:( I have been on tech support the last three days with our JSS system that runs our iPads and found out today that ALL 900+ iPads have to be restored to factory setting and then reenrolled into our JSS!  Which ONLY means that I have to hook up and restore each one - ONE BY ONE!  GOOD GRIEF

3. We had EVERYTHING restored and things were running good not great - HOWEVER - now the network IS NOT running right.  Our network people had to hire Microsoft for help - so AS WE SPEAK they are working on things again - and the virus KEEPS showing up.  The password has been changed, so it's only pinging it and not getting in - but OH - what if it does again?

4.  Things just ARE NOT quite right, and not working SUPER GREAT by any means.  Some printers work fine for people, and others times won't print - I KNOW that that's technology - but it's just a lot of weird things that works for some and not others? 

5.  SOME teachers didn't back up EVER!  Now, that doesn't mean they weren't told to - it just means they DIDN'T DO IT!  You should have SEEN the desktops of a few of them!  Every time I was on his/her computer I told them to put things into Dropbox or Google Drive - BUT they didn't and of course - THOSE were the computers that got infected:(!!!  SO - lesson learned I hope!  However - GOOD NEWS!  Almost ALL DID back stuff up and lost very few if any files - THANK HEAVENS!

 SO that's our last week and a half in a nutshell. BIGGEST PIECE OF ADVICE - BACK UP BACK UP BACK UP! AND make sure YOU TELL YOUR STAFF TO BACK UP!!! 

Happy long weekend all - Monday is NEEDED:)!!
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

CodeHS - Great Site for High School Students

We have been looking for something in regards to coding for our senior high school students.  They have been having fun playing with the Sphero and the Dash and Dot, but they are a little old for this so to say.  Through my research, I came across a site called CodeHS.  THIS IS AMAZING:)!!!  Once you sign up, you are taken through a series of courses where you actually code.  You type in the commands and functions, trying to walk Karel, the dog, through various tasks.  Each section features a video explaining what you'll learn, a quiz to review, and then you step in and use what you learned to code Karel. 

This seems like a really good fit for some of our kids.  We have two that are going into Computer Science, and this seems like a perfect stepping stone as it introduces HTML, Javascript and Python as they are also areas they will learn:).

AND the best part - it's DONE FOR YOU and IT'S FREE!! Of COURSE you can pay for more, but it really seems to give the basics and be a good chance for students to "start" the process of learning.

Good Luck - Stay Warm - STORMING HERE TODAY - UGH!!  BUT, supposed to be warm on Thursday - YAHOO:)!

Happy Tuesday All,
Mrs I:)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Sphero 2.0 - order one;)!

I am TOTALLY a band wagoner:)!! (is that a word?)  I love ANYTHING new that I learn about and TOTALLY jump on board and tell everyone to get it.  SAME HERE!  I learned about the Sphero 2.0 a few years ago and kind of put it on the back burner - which happens A LOT with technology as there are ALWAYS things coming out and about, the latest and greatest!  I wrote a grant for $500 (starting small), to order one and it CAME IN:)!!
Today I am subbing, so I had some kiddos go into the app and start playing with it - OH MY FUN:)!! They were able to calibrate it, run it, and start to make ramps for it to "turbo" power and change the trajectory, velocity, and speed to make it move faster and jump further - neato:)!  I also found a ton of ideas and ordered these little cones for racing, weaving through, and block coding to see if you are correct.  Sphero bowling was also found, as well as other physics type activities - can't wait to try with the kiddos.

I know that it's $129, but that really won't break the bank, so to say, and your kiddo will have a lot of fun using this bugger:)  ENJOY

Happy February 1st
Mrs. I:)