Lance Tessman carried a mountain of mice through the halls of Fargo North during the inventory and imaging process for this fall’s phase of the Disitrct’s 1:1 personal learning device initiative, The Glass Paper Project. In this behind-the-scenes look, see the steps it took to prep more than 2,400 devices prior to the start of school in late August.
Behind the Scenes
The Fargo School District’s Information Technology Department and IT Summer Crew were responsible for getting all of the 2013 Glass Paper Project 1:1 devices prepped and ready for our students. The task was not an easy one, as you know if you’ve ever purchased a new computer or tablet, expecting to just open the box and go. Six Fargo Public Schools IT Help Desk staff members, seven network managers, and six summer crew members all worked on the inventorying and imaging of the District’s new devices, under the direction of Liz Thompson, Fargo Public Schools lead tech support.
The new devices arrived by truck on multiple pallets. The staff began the imaging process by inventorying 2,400 Dell Latitude 10 tablets, along with 2,400 power adapters and 2,400 Kensington keyboard cases.
The “imaging” (or software load and preparation of all programs, network connections, etc. required to run the device as desired) took place at Fargo North High in two rooms, with 30 tablet docks set up in each room. Tablets don’t have an Ethernet port, so a dock must be used to image the device; the staff affectionately referred to the area as “Dockside.” Imaging would start at 6:00 a.m. and often go past 6:00 p.m. Continuous attention to detail was required during imaging. A simple conversation could easily cause an imaging step to be missed, which to fix could add up to an additional hour of work for a single tablet.
After the Imaging
All of the labeling, tagging, and checking out of the devices to students also took place prior to the start of school. This process was done in each high school and included generating and affixing labels and checking out devices to that building’s students. Six sets of student labels were run for each device, each serving a different purpose: 2×4” label for the keyboard case, 2×4” label for “luggage tag” for the neoprene case, a label for the tablet device, another label for its power adapter, a label for the keyboard charging cable, and finally a label for the storage box. Library staff also helped with the labeling and checkout at South High.
A Job Well-Done!
This phase of the Glass Paper Project was intense; it required much planning and great attention to detail, and involved huge numbers of devices and accessories. Thompson shared, “It felt good to know what was being accomplished was quite a feat, and all for our students.” At the close of this phase, 2,400 new tablets were inventoried and imaged and 331 tablets were re-imaged, which had been purchased last January and deployed February through May to the Fargo North sophomores. These sophomores have now received the same tablet device as the juniors this year. The team also managed the repurposing effort of 1,275 computers removed from the high schools and placed at the middle school and elementary buildings.
These endeavors of the District’s IT staff and summer crew have set our students up for another great year of 21st century learning at Fargo Public Schools.
Read more about which students received these recently imaged devices in The Glass Paper Project Fall 2013 Update – Part One.