Innovative Technology Services (ITS)
Dr. Matt Kuhn
Executive Director - Innovative Technology Services
Empowering the TSD community to grow into the future with innovative technology today.
The ITS department's mission is to provide, support, and coordinate the best possible technology for productivity, learning, and school improvement.Services:
ITS is responsible for planning, implementing, and supporting technology across the district including student devices, staff computers, instructional applications, business software, classroom projection systems, telecommunications, network infrastructure and more. The department also assists the Learning Services Department with improving instructional technology pedagogy in coordination with each school's leadership.
The ITS Web Help Desk is a Web-based service request system for staff members of the Thompson School District to enter and track their service requests for technology or software support. For technical support, call (970) 613-7777 or submit an ITS Web HelpDesk Ticket.
Latest Tech News
Why Retire the THOMPSON WiFi and Generic Login Accounts?
Our old WiFi has a security type called WPA. Our new TSD WiFi is a much more protected security type called WPA2-Enterprise. The differences between these two are significant in their protection against attacks on our network. We knew it would take some time to get all machines switched over to the TSD WiFi so we turned it on in August and gave everyone a semester to get machines switched over using the directions in the Fall and Winter ITS Newsletters or by submitting a Web Help Desk ticket. This week, our technicians are working diligently to find all of the devices that need to be switched over. If you have a device that is not a TSD owned device such as your phone, you can use the THOMPSON-GUEST WiFi with no password needed. The TSD WiFi allows access to sensitive student data and systems while the guest network will not.
We understand this change can be stressful on some students. Many of them learned a generic username and password long ago and have never used anything else to access TSD computers. We wanted to give students enough time to learn their individual usernames and passwords so we decided not to implement this change at the beginning of the school year. Instead, we announced the change in August and gave everyone the first semester to get used to using their individual usernames and passwords. When our systems are hacked into by a generic account, is not something we can track down and change easily. But if an individual student account is used improperly, we can find out what happened and immediately change the account without messing up a larger number of students.
Our students’ Google/Gmail account usernames and passwords had never been changed. This was asking for trouble from hackers. Plus the scheme to create them was easy to guess and resulted in ridiculously long usernames for some students. Over the years, this led to a number of past breaches of student accounts. Often these come from generic accounts that become so widely known that they are not longer secure. To better protect student data by making accounts harder to compromise, we changed the usernames and passwords for all students over the summer. While usernames will not be changed again, passwords will change every July. You can assist students in finding their username and password. Staff have access to the Student Portal and Google Account username by going to the student's Demographics tab in Infinite Campus. If you have any questions about Student Portal/Google Account usernames and passwords for students, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 613-7777.
Thompson School District is one of the last school districts to retire generic login accounts. Most other districts recognized the security risks of these types of accounts and stopped using them long ago. A recent independent audit of our district technology pointed out this need for better security.
As TSD modernizes its technology, more and more staff and student data needs to be protected. We are also deploying many learning applications that only work with individual accounts, not generic ones. Recent laws obligate the District to tighten our network security and protection of student data. Two recent laws pertaining to this are the Student Data Transparency and Security Act and the Colorado Protections for Consumer Data Privacy Act. While changes in technology are never easy, they are necessary to get the most out of our technology while balancing the need to safeguard student data.
Mac Login Changes
In order to improve the user experience when logging into a Apple/Mac computer, we have implemented a new login screen for all Mac computers running macOS 10.13 and newer. While the login screen looks different, it will still offer the same functionality that is on the previous default login screen. This will simplify the process and enable to computer to login quicker and with less issues. Detailed directions can be found here. You can also contact the ITS Help Desk at X7777 for further assistance.
Staff Laptop Tuneup Clinic Jan. 3-4
From 8:00-4:00 daily, January 3-4, you can bring your TSD issued staff laptop to the Support Services Center at 2890 N Monroe Ave, Loveland, CO 80538 for repairs and updates. If you come to the clinic on January 3rd or 4th, you will be greeted in the SSC lobby by ITS staff. A Web Help Desk Ticket will be created and your computer will be taken back to the repair center for evaluation. Within 10 minutes, you will be informed about the length of repair/update needed. If it will take more than one hour, you are welcome to come back later to pick up your computer once you have been informed by email or cell phone that it is ready. Or you can wait in our lobby while the repairs/updates are done. Please help us get a jump on the many needs that the new semester brings by participating in this clinic if your computer is malfunctioning so that you are ready to go when the students return.