Tag Archives: Technology

Eastvale: CNUSD Moves Toward Cloud-Based Technology

CNUSD-Superintendent-Dr.-Michael-Lin

CNUSD Superintendent Dr. Michael H. Lin explains the concept of Cloud-Based Technology at the Eastvale Town Hall Meeting on Oct. 28. (Photo Courtesy: Jennifer Madrigal)

BY JENNIFER MADRIGAL

Eastvale – The Corona-Norco Unified School District, consisting of 49 schools, is the largest school district in Riverside County, and the ninth largest district in California. CNUSD has been providing quality education to more than 53,000 students for over 120 years.

With eight schools – soon to be nine with the opening of Ronald Regan Elementary – in the City of Eastvale ensconced in CNUSD, local citizens have a keen ear tuned into talk of improvements that will upgrade outdated facilities and technologies, and bring some relief to the overcrowding that prevents some children from being able to attend their home school.

Up for vote at the Nov. 4 General Election is Measure GG, the $396 million bond that proposes to address the needs of outdated and aging facilities and technology. If approved, it will provide local funding to CNUSD schools that cannot be taken away by the state. On the bond’s agenda is the completion of Ronald Regan Elementary that should help, somewhat, with Eastvale’s overcrowding issues.

Technology, however, seems to be the biggest concern since most Eastvale schools are still relatively new. CNUSD Superintendent, Dr. Michael H. Lin, attended the Oct. 28 Eastvale Town Hall Meeting and provided a brief update. One of the key points of his report was a summary of the technology upgrades that the District has been working on.

The Los Angeles Unified School District famously suspended their $1 Billion iPad Program, of which half would have gone to Apple for the equipment, and the other half to upgrading the Wi-Fi and infrastructure for the schools. However, that district had already spent $61 million dollars on iPads for 58 schools, and now those schools do not have the infrastructure to support all the new technology. This is an example that Dr. Lin used when discussing the need for a correct and adequate infrastructure being put in place before the technology is acquired.

“The worst thing we could do would be to invest money into technology and not have the capacity to handle it,” said Lin.

For the past five to seven years, CNUSD has been proactive in building up the infrastructure so that the schools and the District would be able to support the growing technology. This “Back Bone Infrastructure” has included the installation of a 1-Gigabyte Fiber Link from each of the 49 schools back to the District office, according to Assistant Superintendent of IT, Dan Odipo. In addition, the District has been working on increasing Internet connectivity, as well as getting wireless technology to all of the schools.

Cloud-based sharing, or technology, is basically offline computing in which large groups of remote servers are networked to allow centralized data storage and access. “Clouds” can be classified as public, private – or even hybrid – making this technology the perfect vehicle for school districts and other large network businesses.

One of the issues, according to Odipo, is the lack of funds for wireless upgrades.

“We would like to be able to do all the upgrades at once, so that if we do a Level 1 Upgrade at one site – and then have to stop and come back – by the time we get back to that site, it’s already outdated,” Odipo said. He went on to express his desire to be able to upgrade all the schools as technology improves and enrollment grows.

Bill Newberry, Board of Education Member for CNUSD, says that “The District really has a handle on technology, and has been working closely with Cisco Systems and Microsoft to make this Cloud-based sharing a reality.”

With the basic “Back Bone Infrastructure” in place, Lin hopes that the passing of the Measure GG Bond will enable the District to continue with technology upgrades, including the continued advancement of the wireless infrastructure.

K.P. Sander contributed to this story.

Walnut: 3D Printer Comes to South Pointe Middle School

BY KELLI GILE

Walnut – 8th Grade creative explorers at South Pointe Middle School are now seeing their computer-aided designs come to life.

technology-teacher-allin-everman-and-3d-printer

Technology Teacher Allin Everman helps gear up the new 3D printer during class. (Photo Courtesy: Kelli Gile)

The school’s Project Lead the Way (PLTW) core has just added a new 3D printer to its classroom.

 

Science Teacher Crystal Dira couldn’t be more excited for the 60 students in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program.

 

“Students now get to hold their designs in their hands,” she said. “We are thrilled about this program and how it’s allowing our students to get a heads up with our growing world of technology in education.”

 

This year, PLTW kids have been focusing on building and programming robotics and working on CAD designs. Teachers Dira and Kellie Muragishi (Science), Allin Everman (Technology), and Deb Brady and Annie Kim (Math), were determined to find a way of finding a 3D printer for their students. They knew it would take an innovative approach to fundraising.
”Let’s see if we can get it!” the team decided. First, they researched affordable 3D printers and funding sources. Then they posted their $2,800 dream printer on the DonorsChoose.org website. Within several weeks a donor selected the request and funded the project. The school’s Community Club pitched in the remaining $100, and the Maker Bot Replicator 2 was delivered during the first week of March. The professional quality printer is designed for engineers or people who like to make things.

 

The desktop 3D printer is about the same size as a microwave, but doesn’t cook popcorn. With just a touch of the start button it cruises at a high speed, using filament to produce the detailed designs. A cartridge smoothly rotates back and forth distributing thin layers of the melted white, red, blue or clear plastic material inside the unit. In just about ten minutes, a perfectly shaped item is ready to be scooped off.

 

“We think it’s good to have a 3D printer because it exposes us to future technology that will be used in the workforce,” said Austin Sun, age 13. “It can mass-produce things people have made by hand. The goal of PLTW is to expose us these things so we can have experience in STEM careers. The robotics computer programming is really neat,” he added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inland Empire: Technology and Social Media

BY RAMON AGUILAR

I like to say that I have seen enough incidents that involved students with today’s technology to prepare me for when my six-year-old daughter grows up and is surrounded by her peers with unlimited access to technology and social media.

As an educator inside the classroom, I always explained that using their smart phones or iPods to listen to music while they do their work, was a privilege. I made sure they understood the difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. The letter of the law, which follows district policy, states that there are no electronics allowed to be powered up on campus. The spirit of the law is up for interpretation, which means that they are allowed to use their electronic devices to listen to music, but not to text or surf the web.

Unfortunately, teenagers are unable to control themselves and do go ahead and break the spirit of the law guidelines, thus causing an all electronic policy to be implemented and enforced. Teenagers have a high tendency to display a sense of entitlement when it comes to their electronics. They will literally tell you that it is their devices and that have the right to use them as they please. I see this issue as one of many, but definitely not the most severe issue or liability.

When I first started working out of the classroom as a Dean of Discipline at the high school level, I dealt with three to five electronic issues every single week. The least severe were when students would use the electronics in class without permission and I was asked to intervene. I would ask student to turn over the electronics to me and I would have to notify parents of the incident. Parents and students were notified in writing the school policy on electronics, and were warned that next time the electronic would be kept until parents came by the school to pick it up themselves. Other alternatives were that students were given the option to do four hours of clean detention on Saturdays in order to receive their devices, this was the most favorable for parents, many insisted that their child do time for the crime.

The other serious issues were students carrying around electronics which placed them in danger. Often, they were attacked by other students in order to steal the items from them. I lost count on how many times students would exit the bathroom during lunch time, where they had just been assaulted by other students. Especially the boys, who would often come out bruised and bleeding from their heads or noses.

Lockers being broken into during PE were the most popular ways that these opportunist thieves would attack and steal all items left inside the lockers. As a school official, I would have to remind parents of students that were robbed, that school policy states that the school site would not be responsible for items of value, especially electronics. It was a hard lesson for both parents and students, especially when families work so hard to save money to provide these types of items for the students.

I have to admit that I took great pleasure in catching all the thieves and assaulters that were involved in these aforementioned incidents. I am fortunate that during my short time with the California Highway Patrol as an officer, I obtained the skills and experiences that allowed me to work effectively and collaborate with school police in these types of incidents.

The most serious incidents were the ones that the victims were unaware that they had become victims. This is commonly referred to as “sexting”. Every time we would encounter phones with pictures of underage girls revealing parts or all of themselves in a compromising picture, these would cause a very complicated situation. As a parent, I would want to know if my children have been victimized by having their pictures online.

It has been said that our children are less likely to be vulnerable to online strangers or being a victim of some other form of online bullying, if we as parents developed open communication with our children. In my opinion, if our children were able to trust us about their problems, they would also be more likely to trust us and respect our rules and guidelines when it came to using technology and social media.

Eastvale: Community And Technology Unite

By Jennifer Madrigal

Eastvale – With the availability and affordability of technology to homeowners, many have taken advantage of it and wired their homes for security. These cameras have helped to capture images of alleged thieves and burglaries in action. These images can then be enlarged and posted on social media sites so that the community can help identify the culprits. While this can lead to false accusations and a sense of paranoia, the positive aspect of being able to quickly identify and locate a suspect has seemed to outweigh the negatives. In December, a rash of burglaries occurred within the City of Eastvale and this technology, along with our active social media community came together to help identify these suspects.

Technology came to the aide of several Eastvale residents on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013 when many woke up to find that their vehicles had been burglarized. Some became aware of the burglary when they realized cell phones, chargers, wallets or various other items were missing and some found their car windows smashed. Security cameras installed on several homes captured the faces of the alleged thieves in action and soon the images were posted all over Facebook. Our newspaper shared the information with the community immediately via our Facebook page (facebook.com/EastvaleCommunityNews) and the videos and images quickly spread to over 16,000 people within hours.

One of the residents hit by this rash of burglaries was Mark Ramirez, whose limousine was tampered with sometime around 2 a.m. His video surveillance system was able to capture a picture of the alleged thieves driving by in their vehicle. Ramirez contacted Eastvale Police, and said, “They came and took some good fingerprints that they left on my windows when they tried to pry it open.” Ramirez hopes that these fingerprints will help in identifying the suspects and that all charges will stick. He also shared the images and description of the vehicle with the police.

On that late Sunday morning, Police started to put together that several break-ins and trespassing of vehicles had occurred. As many as 10-15 vehicles had been part of this crime, according to residents. Soon residents began to identify and provide more information. The pictures of the suspects were a huge help to Police in capturing the individuals. Another resident, who was able to capture the alleged thieves in the act via video, said that “It became obvious that more than one of my neighbors had had their cars broken into. I have video surveillance on my house that tapes the front yard and driveway, so we decided to take a look at it. What we saw was a young male opening my truck and going through it. Luckily, I didn’t have anything of value in it and he didn’t appear to take anything. We did however get some footage of him pretty close up, and were able to upload the pictures to Facebook as well as the video.” These series of thefts occurred on the 7100 block of Cornflower Ct. and according to a news release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the suspects stole car audio speakers, amplifiers, an Apple iPod and a miscellaneous amount of currency from the vehicles. The suspects fled the location on foot and subsequently entered an unknown make, color and model sport utility vehicle.

This video and close-up picture was one of the main pieces of evidence that led to the identification of at least one of the suspects. The news release also stated that the investigation revealed several unknown suspects, including suspect Cody Ridley, 18, of Eastvale. Ridley was located and arrested on Dec. 17, 2013. The case has been forwarded to the Riverside County District Attorney’s office for prosecution and officers are continuing the investigation to obtain the identity of the remaining suspects in the crime. If you have any further information regarding this case, please contact the Eastvale Police Department by calling (951) 955-2600.