On the Tech front, Verbum Dei has completed its strategic goal to move our staff and faculty email off a local Exchange server model to the Office365 platform. This deployment serves three main purposes. First, it increases access reliability to our staff – cloud platforms are redundant and for the most part accessible at all times. Second, the databases have built-in backup services, thus ensuring mail is never lost. Lastly, the elimination of an Exchange mail server paradigm closes several security vulnerabilities. The data no longer sits behind a local firewall, thus eliminating the need for VPN needs. IIS accessibility – a massively-hacked feature of Microsoft Web Services – is no longer necessary for web-access. Closing the IIS service is of great relief to this IT Director.
We have also recently adopted Microsoft’s Volume Licensing Software Program for our MS Office products. The school benefits from significant educational discounts with this program and allows us to deploy – and maintain – the latest Office 2016 product for all of our staff, faculty and students. This deployment allows us to take advantage of all of the email and calendaring features offered in Outlook 2016 and Office365.
Looking forward, we are in the design phases of an initiative to ensure VDHS students have access to online lessons and curriculum. We clearly foresee the need for teachers to maximum the collaborative benefits of class time, while at the same time feel confident their students can complete off-hour assignments 24/7/365. Teachers need to be confident their students can stay paced in the classroom. As we said repeatedly, access is an issue with some VDHS students. We need to have a plan in place to ensure 100% of our students have access to assignments at all times.