In the News

Spotlighting the Tech Department

Throughout this time of remote instruction at Saint Francis, the Technology Department has continued to support students and educators, finding ways to incorporate new technologies and programs so that we can all study and work successfully. 

"Our goal has always been to provide the highest possible experience while exercising good stewardship principles," says Mr. Steinke, Director of Technology.

In our new remote environment, the department offers in-person support as well as via email, Zoom and other tools. They have upgraded our support offerings, including moving the new Tech Hub into the Sobrato Commons where any student can drop in for assistance at any time. To improve access and visibility and to better facilitate customer service, Mr. Marrion, the One-to-One Program Manager, has added a Calendly appointment scheduler so that students who need to have their iPad repaired or pick up an internet hotspot can meet with him whenever they are available.

When freshman students received their iPads during a summer drive-thru event, the Tech Department set up the devices and tailored them to each student personally so that the freshmen could use them immediately and engage with the school community sooner, bypassing any setup tasks. Educators have been equipped with laptops so they can work on the same device whether they are at home or on campus. The Tech Department also provides two devices, a laptop and an iPad, for all teachers so that they can efficiently manage students both at home and in the classroom for hybrid learning. To further improve hybrid learning the department has invested in technology and furnishings to help teachers focus on students in the room and those at home.

In conjunction with the campus master plan, 12 new portable classrooms were added to campus. These spaces and the outdoor areas in the center of campus have been designed so they can be used even when technology changes, with network flexibility in mind. As IoT and mobility take root in the classroom, Saint Francis will need to be able to adapt and respond to the best educational technology practices. Thanks to Cisco parents, the school will be upgrading a significant part of the wireless network this year, as well. The online services have increased resilience so they will not go offline due to power outages or Internet disruptions. Saint Francis utilizes both an on-site data center as well as redundant internet services. In fact, when Comcast had an outage in the neighborhood, no one on campus noticed because all the systems were working as they should.

While the majority of the Saint Francis community has remained at home since last spring, the Technology Department has been onsite to make sure we have a seamless experience studying and working wherever we are.

"We haven’t stopped innovating to meet the needs of our community," says Mr. Steinke.