ESU Coordinating Council
April 04, 2017 2:00 PM
Technology Committee Meeting
1. Call to Order
Rationale

Notice to visitors:  To be heard at this meeting, the "Request to be Heard" form, must be completed and submitted to the Secretary to the Executive Director of ESUCC.  The President of the Board of ESUCC will call upon visitors wishing to address the Board in the order they were submitted or by subject.

Pursuant to Section 84-1411 of the Nebraska Statutes, notice of this meeting was given by advertisement on the ESUCC website, NE Public Meeting site, and host site.

Open Meetings Law
: Pursuant to Section 84 - 1412 of the Nebraska Statutes, the public is hereby informed that a current copy of the Nebraska Open Meetings Act is posted in this meeting room. 

Discussion

Call to order at 2:00 PM

Staff:  David Ludwig, Deb Hericks, Scott Isaacson, Rhonda Eis

Guest Ron Cone


2. Roll call
3. Agenda Item
Chair of Committee
3.A. Tech Plan
Committee Chair - Deturk
Rationale

Nebraska Cloud Technology Plan

3.A.I. ADVISER Update
Scott Isaacson
Rationale

As of February 20, 2017:

  • 159 districts have applied to participate in ADVISER (65%)
  • 93 districts have received key and secret for data publishing (38%)
  • 59 districts have published data to the ADVISER data store (24%)

Discussion

Technology Director discussed that  as of March 27, 2017:

  • 196 districts have applied to participate in ADVISER (80%)
  • 157 districts have received key and secret for data publishing (64%)
  • 116 districts have published data to the ADVISER data store (47%)
We will begin to track statistics on the number of data publishing operations and accesses of the dashboard application. 

3.A.II. Single Sign On Update
Committee Chair - Deturk
Rationale

As of February 27, 2017, 138 districts and ESUs are listed in the statewide single sign-on framework.

Discussion

As of April 4th, 167 districts and ESUs (64%) are listed in the production single sign-on framework. The Innovation grant will include work to enhance the portal and single sign-on experience. We will begin tracking statistics on the number of SSO sessions launched and accesses of the app launch portal. 

3.A.III. SRS Technology Update
Scott Isaacson
Rationale

Work is now focused on user requests which were deferred during the Zend framework conversion.  Design work is in progress for the interface from SRS to the ADVISER data store.  This interface will be developed during the spring for testing this summer.

Discussion

Mike Danahy, Wade Fruhling and Scott Isaacson met for a number of design sessions during March to map out the work going forward on the SRS and AAP software, including connections to ADVISER, updates to the database, and other user experience improvements for both applications. Mike Danahy has begun initial coding of the interface for SRS to publish data automatically to the ADVISER data store. The ADVISER-ready version of SRS, and the fully-converted Zend Framework 1 application are scheduled to go into production in the Summer of 2017. NDE and the Ed-Fi contractor DoubleLine Partners continue to work with us on the design and implementation of the ADVISER interface. 

3.A.IV. Sustainability
Technology Director
Rationale

NOC met 2/22 and designated a subcommittee to research and evaluate options for future ESUCC hosting.

Recent NOC Action:
Established a committee to explore hosting abilities and to develop costs, responsibilities and identify needs.  Members include Gary Needham (ESU 9), Scott Isaacson (ESUCC), Jordan Clark (ESU 10), Andy Boell (NNNC), Jamen Hall (ESU 6), and Ron Cone (ESU 10).

Ron Cone brought this topic to the Network Nebraska Advisory Group (NNAG) meeting on March 15, 2017.  He explained NOC's interest in hosting services and explained briefly the potential needs of our group using the Identity Management project for single sign-on as an example.

Scott Jones (ESU 16 and NNAG co-chair) had some clarifying questions.  Since the University of Nebraska was the likely candidate to offer the service, Deb Schroeder (UNK and NNAG co-chair) commented that the former UNCSN group (including Brad Weakly and Ben Mientka who currently provide service to NN members) are going through a reorganization and she was unsure if they could take on anything additional at this time.

NNAG took no action.

Ron has asked a few more questions of Brad Weakly, Ben Mientka and Greg Gray, who are all involved in this reorganization, to see if there are other options.  They have not responded yet.

I am currently aware of ESU 2/NNNC, ESU 6, ESU 10  and ESUCC offering hosting services to their member districts and/or other ESUs, but there may be others.  Since these entities are offering services, this research timeline seems adequate given the current situation.  Unless the needs or demands for this service change significantly, the current hosting providers may be able to satisfy these needs.

Sincerely,

Ron Cone
Network and Information Services Director
Educational Service Unit 10
Kearney, NE
 
 
Attachments area
 
 
 
 

Discussion

The purpose of this effort is to seek the best way of providing statewide technology services through balancing efficiency, cost effectiveness, data protection, support and staffing. The more school districts and ESUs approach these needs together, the more we will all be able to improve service and reduce costs.  The level cost of the current ESUCC hosting infrastructure, factoring in staffing, hardware, software, data center, and backup systems, appears to be approximately $1,200 annually per virtual machine (70) being hosted.  NOC discussed this and formed a subcommittee to examine options for future hosting, and Ron Cone discussed the topic with the Network Nebraska Advisory Group (NNAG).  Ron Cone’s report is also part of today’s agenda, stating in part that Network Nebraska isn’t ready to begin offering hosting services, but there may be other future options.  Ron Cone shared his report with the committee.  NNAG did not take any action.  Decision will need to be made by Spring 2018.  



3.A.IV.a. Hosting Consolidation Efforts (Racks at UNL)
Scott Isaacson
3.A.V. Tech Plan Update
Rationale

Nebraska Cloud Technology Plan

3.B. Innovative Grant Update
Executive Director Ludwig
Rationale

The project, “Data-Driven Ecosystem Enhancing Teaching and Learning” is designed to develop a secure, private and data-driven ecosystem for ongoing, sustainable support and resources for teaching and learning.   This ecosystem, organized within structured policies, provides a data platform to access instructional assets, timely communication and information resulting in enhanced evidence-based professional development and instructional practice.  

Project objectives include: 1) development of an integrated technology ecosystem governed by policies and procedures specific to security, privacy, and business continuity; 2) enhancement of comprehensive data tools supporting instruction for at-risk and high needs students; 3) the innovative use of technology in the classroom to support personalized student learning; 4) provide a baseline collection of online digital resources for student access statewide concentrating on college and career readiness; and 5) development of statewide software for the visualization and rapid analysis of data to direct professional development and instructional practices. 

An important outcome is to provide a secure, private and sustainable hosting infrastructure governed by policies to ensure data, tools and resources are available to only authorized users. 

Additionally, software enhancements and development will allow applications and tools to integrate seamlessly with shared data elements.  These enhancements will provide evidence for school districts and ESU’s to track the effectiveness of service delivery within the continuous improvement process. 

As a final outcome, the core of this innovative ecosystem will include quality tools, resources and data provided to classrooms statewide designed to meet the personalized learning needs of every teacher, every student, every day.  

Discussion

Executive Director shared the summary from the Innovative Grant. Need to bring NOC into discussions for the Innovative Grant and the technology and data needs.  

3.B.I. Project Plan
Scott Isaacson
Attachments
Discussion

Technology Director has begun developing the detailed project plan for our work to implement the projects proposed in the Innovation Grant documents.  NDE will be offering assistance The ESUCC proposal is titled DE2TAILS - Data-Driven Ecosystem Enhancing Teaching and Learning for Students, and includes significant support for upgrading and integrating the SRS and AAP software to share data via the ADVISER data store, enhance the single sign-on and portal environment, to extend the BlendEd, NROC and EdReady pilot projects, and implement the SIMPL software.  Executive Director and Technology Director walked through the initial project plan for the Innovation Grant.  

3.C. LMS Study and Review
Executive Director Ludwig/Scott Isaacson
Rationale

A meeting with David Ludwig, Scott Isaacson, Craig Peterson, Brent Gaswick, SuAnn Witt, and Tom Rolfes was scheduled Monday, March 13 at 10:00 a.m. at NDE.  The purpose of the meeting was to review progress of the LMS Support System and input from Tom Rolfes regarding conversations with Canvas.  It was decided to begin the RFP Process for the LMS in the near future due in part to the contract ending June 2018.  

Discussion

A meeting was held with David Ludwig, Scott Isaacson, Craig Peterson, Brent Gaswick, SuAnn Witt, and Tom Rolfes on Monday, March 13 at 10:00 a.m. at NDE.  The purpose of the meeting was to review progress of the LMS Support System and input from Tom Rolfes regarding conversations with Canvas.  It was decided to begin the review process for the LMS in the near future due in part to the contract ending June 2018.  

3.D. Approve Budget Request Using BlendEd Special Projects Funds
Committee Chair - TeDurk
Rationale

From Rhonda Eis:  In March, TLT members voted to recommend the use of Special Projects dollars to funds the BlendEd Online Professional Development Project.  ESUs participating in the MSA 2016-17: Instructional Materials: Special Projects are ESUs 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19. Not participating are ESUs 4, 6 and 9.

Total cost of projects = $16,500; cost per ESU = $1,179

The purpose of this TLT Special Projects request is to support the creation an online professional learning course fostering best practices in blended learning. The course will include four modules: Getting Started, Offline Space, Online Space, and BlendEd In Action. Each module is further divided into topics which include instructional materials (videos and articles) and discussion board activities. Modules and topics include:  Getting Started; Designing your Online Space: Designing your Offline Space; BlendEd in Action. 

Attachments
Recommended Motion

Approve Budget Request Using BlendEd Special Project Funds

Actions Taken

Motion Passed:  Approve Budget Request Using BlendEd Special Project Funds passed with a motion by Uhing ESU 01 and a second by Bell ESU 10 .

Discussion

The majority of the vote was to move forward with the budget request with using the BlendEd SpecialProject Funds.  There was one concern regarding the timeline.  

3.E. Approve NVIS Budget Request
Rationale

NVIS Cost Sheet

TLT Budget Form - NVIS Updates 2017

Recommended Motion

Approve NVIS Budget Request

Actions Taken

Motion Passed:  Approve NVIS Budget Request passed with a motion by Bell ESU 10 and a second by Uhing ESU 01.

3.F. Approve Draft NETA Proposal for Virtual Field Trips
Committee Chair - TeDurk
Rationale

Background: Several significant nonprofit educational content providers in Nebraska have developed some excellent interactive videoconferencing (IVC) programs that reinforce the Nebraska content standards and provide unique experiences to greatly enrich the curriculum and make topics ‘come alive’ for students. Data suggests that when these programs are free ($0 per program), Nebraska teacher demand is high. Once the programs begin to charge (e.g. $50-$150 per program), the demand from teachers drops dramatically. Inasmuch as nonprofit content providers would like to develop and offer programs at no charge, most operate on modest budgets. A quick search of the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (www.cilc.org) virtual field trip programs revealed that there were approximately 170 IVC programs nationwide that were available for $0, and over 1,000 IVC programs nationwide that were between $50 and $150. Some current Nebraska content providers:

  • Agate Fossil Beds near Harrison
  • Durham Museum in Omaha
  • Henry Doorly Zoo/Aquarium in Omaha
  • Homestead National Monument in Beatrice
  • University of Nebraska State Museum (Morrill Hall) in Lincoln
Solution: In order to fuel additional content development by emerging content providers and create a sustainable source of funding for teachers, a mini-grant program is proposed that would enable teachers to submit a one-page, web-based proposal. The teacher request would be virtually reviewed by a joint committee of ESUCC-TLT, NDLA and NETA Board Members, and return approval/rejection to the teacher within 48 hours. The pilot program would initially be funded by NETA at $20,000 and administered by NETA for a period of two years, 7/1/2017-6/30/2019, or until funds are exhausted, at which time the program would be reviewed for continuation.

Attachments
Recommended Motion

Approve Draft NETA Proposal for Virtual Field Trips

Actions Taken

Motion Passed:  Approve Draft NETA Proposal for Virtual Field Trips passed with a motion by DeTurk ESU 02 and a second by Bell ESU 10 .

3.G. Staff Reports
Chair of Committee
3.G.I. Scott Isaacson
Scott Isaacson
Attachments
3.G.II. Beth Kabes
Beth Kabes
Attachments
3.G.III. Rhonda Eis
Rhonda Eis
Attachments
3.G.III.a. Approve Nebraska Licensed Titles Update
Committee Chair - TeDurk
Rationale

In March, TLT members voted to recommend the use of Learning Objects funds to purchase a 2-year extension of digital rights for the Nebraska licensed titles, Weston Woods-Scholastic’s Magic School Bus (30 titles) and Disney’s Billy Nye (32 titles). These titles are set to expire in 2018. With the extension, the new date would be 08/31/2020. ESUs participating in the MSA 2016-17: Instructional Materials: Learning Objects are ESUs 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19. ESUs 4 and 9 indicated that they would opt in to share the cost since they are part of the original licenses. ESUs 2 and 6 did not participate in the original purchase of rights for these titles.

Disney’s Bill Nye (32 titles) - total statewide cost = $8,512; cost per ESU = $567.50

Weston Woods-Scholastic’s Magic School Bus (30 titles) - total statewide cost = $11,250; cost per ESU = $750

 

Recommended Motion

Recommend to approve Nebraska Licensed Titles as presented

Discussion

Motion tabled.

3.G.III.b. May Invoices for Learn 360: 2017-2018
Committee Chair - TeDurk
Attachments
Discussion

Rhonda Eis reviewed the invoices for Learn360.  

4. Next Meeting Agenda Items
5. Executive Session
Rationale

The ESU Coordinating Council is authorized by state statute to enter into executive session. Executive session may be held when clearly necessary for the protection of the public interest or for the prevention of needless injury to the reputation of an individual. Reasons that meet this standard include but are not limited to: (a) strategy sessions with respect to collective bargaining, real estate matters, pending litigation, or litigation which is imminent as evidenced by communication of a claim or threat of litigation to or by the public body; (b) discussion regarding deployment of security personnel or devices; (c) investigative proceedings regarding allegations of criminal misconduct; (d) evaluation of the job performance of a person when necessary to prevent needless injury to the reputation of a person and if such person has not requested a public meeting; and (e) legal advice.

Explanation

At this point, it is appropriate for the Board to meet in closed session for one of the stated matters and/or any other permissible closed session matters in compliance with the law.

PROPOSAL:

That the Board hold a closed session:

1. For strategy session with respect to negotiations/collective bargaining clearly necessary for the protection of the public interest or for the prevention of needless injury to the reputation of an individual in compliance with the law.

2. For strategy session with respect to property/real estate matters clearly necessary for the protection of the public interest or for the prevention of needless injury to the reputation of an individual in compliance with the law.

3. For strategy session with respect to pending litigation, or litigation which is imminent as evidenced by communication of a claim or threat of litigation to or by the public body clearly necessary for the protection of the public interest or for the prevention of needless injury to the reputation of an individual in compliance with the law.

4. For discussion regarding deployment of security personnel or devices clearly necessary for the protection of the public interest or for the prevention of needless injury to the reputation of an individual in compliance with the law.

5. For investigative proceedings regarding allegations of criminal misconduct clearly necessary for the protection of the public interest or for the prevention of needless injury to the reputation of an individual in compliance with the law.

6. For personnel and the evaluation of job performance clearly necessary for the protection of the public interest or for the prevention of needless injury to the reputation of an individual in compliance with the law.

7. For discussions of the legal consequences of specific action and legal advice clearly necessary for the protection of the public interest or for the prevention of needless injury to the reputation of an individual in compliance with the law.

6. Adjournment
Actions Taken

Motion Passed:  Motion to adjourn at 3:08 PM passed with a motion by Uhing ESU 01 and a second by Bell ESU 10 .