Morfeld outlines changes in technology department

By Neal A. Johnson, UD Editor
Posted 5/11/22

At their last meeting, Linn R-2 Technology Director Eric Morfeld told board members that this has been another busy year in the technology department, consisting primarily of maintaining and …

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Morfeld outlines changes in technology department

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At their last meeting, Linn R-2 Technology Director Eric Morfeld told board members that this has been another busy year in the technology department, consisting primarily of maintaining and replacing equipment. 

“Chromebooks remain a focus of the technology department in both acquiring new units for students and maintaining what we currently have,” he said.

Linn has been adding units every year since 2014-15, with the most significant jump last year when the district went 1:1 in grades 2-12, meaning the school provided a Chromebook to every student.  

This summer, Morfeld plans to take the Chromebooks purchased in 2014-15 out of service. “They have already passed their cut-off date of security and program updates and need to be removed,” he explained. “We have now passed the purchasing phase to add units and are now purchasing to replace older units.”

At this point, the Technology Department has purchased units to replace these first removals along with more additions to get the district to 1:1 for grades 1-12. “I don’t foresee the need for any more major additions at this time, but we still need to plan for the yearly purchase of replacements,” Morfeld added.

Also last spring, he purchased about 30 additional wireless access points for replacements and additions for all the added wireless devices.

Five more classroom projectors were purchased, with one going to the high school and the rest to the lower elementary. Linn R-2 purchased them in the summer, but with supply shortages, four didn’t arrive until Christmas break, and the school is still waiting for the fifth. 

Morfeld installed the four that arrived over Christmas break and was able to remove a lot of old bulky hardware from the classrooms. Three more projectors have been ordered, and once they arrive, all of the heavily-used classrooms should have newer projectors.

Morfeld recently completed work to move the maintenance office equipment from their former office next to the track to the shop behind the vocational building. This included installing new wiring, setting up a connection between the buildings, and moving equipment.

Upcoming projects this summer will include more moves and temporary relocations of equipment than usual due to the elementary HVAC project. Intercom speakers and wireless access points may need to be removed from the ceiling grids and the rooms’ IT equipment. “A lot of IT equipment may need to be moved and set up multiple times,” said Morfeld.

In addition to regular summer work, there will be some extra work for moving sixth grade to the junior high.

“This summer, our surveillance servers will need to be replaced, probably with a different system,” said Morfeld, noting this is mainly due to the servers’ age and to add more functionality and ease of use. 

Due to age, Linn will need to upgrade its three main physical district servers to newer hardware and operating systems. This also needs to be completed to allow PC workstations to be upgraded to newer operating systems in the future.

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