August 28, 2014 at 1:11 PM
RANDOLPH, NJ- As part of an ongoing effort to ensure a seamless BYOD-approach to technology and education, Randolph Schools announced today that all students in grades 6-12 have been assigned an “rtnj.org” email address.
The addresses will be used for proper communications among teachers and students, as well as access to new and innovative technology platforms like lynda.com, which is an online training service for students and staff.
The initiative also enables school leaders to reinforce the notion of digital literacy and footprints for students.
“This initiative is long-overdue,” said Superintendent David Browne, who officially announced it during Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting during his report. “We are providing students with official rtnj.org email addresses because it makes good sense. We have the infrastructure to support it and this further emphasizes our commitment to technology in our classrooms.”
In addition to the creation of student email addresses, the technology department has spent the summer tackling several projects, most notably one that should be finished this week: new wireless access points at RHS and RMS, both of which are expected to be completed this week. The department, under the leadership of new director Mr. Peter Emmel, has also brought Microsoft 365 to the district, a program that further connects student and teacher work virtually.
The technology department also instituted a new web filter, iBoss, this year that provides better access for users logged-in to the district’s wireless network. All of these initiatives are centered on a common theme: enhancing education is the driving force behind all technology in Randolph.
What follows is a breakdown of all the IT changes in place as the school year begins.
Student Email Access
The email address for each student is their assigned student ID which is the same username they already use on all of our existing systems. The password for these accounts is the same PIN they use for purchasing lunch, accessing domain computers, Blackboard Learn, Destiny, SAFARI Montage, and all other network systems.
All students below grade 6 have had their email accounts restricted to only send/receive emails with ”@rtnj.org” email accounts. Address books and email groups based on graduation year will be available by the start of school to make it a little easier for staff to communicate with students.
Student Office 365 Access
All students now have access to Office 365 via this link: https://portal.office.com/. Here is a great article on what that is and what they get with this access. In addition, students will have access to One Drive for Business, SharePoint Online, and various other tools to better communicate with staff.
Here is another site for information on Microsoft in education and a comparison to Google Apps.
Students should be instructed to use their “@rtnj.org” email address and PIN to gain access to these great resources.
This service (via http://www.lynda.com/) will assist with the district’s goals to improve self-paced professional development for our staff and add a tremendous instructional resource for teachers, students, and parents.
Lynda.com offers online content on a full breath of topics that cannot be adequately captured in any email communication. Students and parents of students from grade 9 and above are given access without any additional approval. They can access this information using their email address and PIN identical to the above resources mentioned.
Reduced Access Restrictions
All student accounts have been removed from any sort of log-in restrictions based on day or time.
All “@rtnj.org” mail accounts, staff or student, have been set to allow attachments of 25MB or less. This is up from 10MB or less that was previously set.
BYOD – All student accounts across all grade levels have been enabled to add devices to the BYOD (RTNJ-Wireless) network. This is a change from not allowing 5th grade and below to add devices.
All district buildings will have new wireless access points installed by the first day of school to better service our BYOD clients and improve network access.
- RHS – Network backbone replacements and upgrades have been completed to provide additional speed to students and staff.
- RMS – The network has been reengineered to reduce bottlenecks and improve performance.
- K-5 – These buildings will have switch replacements completed next week with their new access points to improve performance on the network.
Dr. Browne sent a letter home to parents about the student email initiative Monday. To read it, please open the file below.