I'm Jim Celoni, Technical Evangelist for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles; I serve on the C3 Resource Specialist team as well as help with other C3 initiatives, all to help you take advantage of technology to support our mission and values. I'm happy that my first TECHKnow blog post falls on the memorial of St. Nicholas in this first Thursday of Advent.
St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, who inspired our Santa Claus, was known for his generosity to the poor, in secret. Today's Bible readings encourage us to build our house on rock by trusting in and listening to God and acting on his words, and so withstand rain, floods, and wind.
How does that relate to TECHKnow and C3? Many C3 and other Archdiocese of Los Angeles resources are available to you: Resource Specialists, our annual conference, C3 Ignite, OLALA, professional learning communities on Yammer, our tech checklist and handbook, PCL/Sisters/Clergy Connect, and more. But may we, and our work, always be founded on the Rock. Before we look at tech issues, we need to think about our mission, vision, and ministry needs, so that they'll drive all our decisions about technology, as well as our other actions.
Stay tuned for future posts, where we'll talk about specific resources, look at examples of how they're already helping our parish and school communities, mention pitfalls to watch out for, and more. If you have any requests or suggestions, please tell me.
For more about "the real St. Nick" and today's readings (with a live homily and music), check out my companion post.
Thank you. *jim
1) E-rate Category 1
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a universal service Schools and Libraries Program, commonly known as the E-rate Program. E-rate Category 1 helps ensure that schools and libraries can obtain high-speed Internet access and telecommunications at affordable rates. AT&T, Spectrum and Verizon FIOS are examples of companies that provide internet access.
2) E-Rate Category 2
This program consists of the internal connections equipment or services necessary to bring internet service into, and provide it throughout, schools and libraries.
This would include the wiring, switches & access points (i.e., wireless capability) which make-up your school network.
3) Funds for Learning (FFL)
Funds For Learning (FFL) helps schools and libraries navigate the E-rate process, reducing the burden, increasing success and documenting compliance. The Archdiocese has hired them to help all of the schools with their E-rate Category 1 & 2 paperwork.
Schools can contact them directly for E-rate Category 1 help. If you would like to contact FFL, here is the info:
Verlyne Jolley, Vice President firstname.lastname@example.org
The Archdiocese uses FFL to help with the E-rate Category 2 Consortium projects.
Has anyone noticed it already November? Time often goes by fast, but I can truly say, this year has gone by very fast. Everyone at the Catholic Communication Collaboration (what C3 actually stands for) have been working hard trying get the devices out to all the participants of our programs: PCL Connect, Sisters Connect, Clergy Connect and of course the C3 IGNITE Program. As the programs mature, the processes get a little easier each time we go out to a location.
One thing I have noticed in my short time here as the C3 Project Manager, is how simple but important a role communication plays in both our work and home lives. The funny thing, is not matter how important it is, many people choose not to communicate at all. This mystifies me simply because we are in the age where communication is easier than it has ever been. With email, text and dozens of forms of social media, a simple "Hi" or acknowledgment is often difficult to get from people.
We all need to realize the power of how we communicate once we realize whether we do or do not respond to people. By not responding to someone, either in person or to an email, says a lot about a person. Lack of eye contact carries the same weight as not responding to an email or text, someone is disinterested or has not time. I know how I feel when someone does not respond to a text I send, so I try to respond as best I can when someone send a text to me.
Since my position requires me to communicate all the time and on a regular basis with numerous people, I can see how important how and even when I respond. A simple "thank you" to an email from someone responding to a previous email goes a long way. I have even found sending a simple "Hi" or "Hello" gets a great response from people I have not been in contact with for extended periods of time. Any way we look at it, communication is very valuable today and most people seem to take for granted.
NOTE: I did not write this post so that you would respond to my email, call or text when I reach out to you and I know how busy you are, but of course it would be a nice you did.
Teachers and students use the internet as a valuable resource to research, validate and create regularly in the classroom. Administrators have a lot to think about in providing access at their locations and often get taken advantage of when following process and protocols.
Teachers just want to provide students with the tools needed to be successful later in their lives, while schools look to provide the best possible learning experience for their students. Having to search through numerous providers, various costs and super-long contracts can be daunting tasks for location administrators. Many are also unfamiliar with the terminology and what software and hardware is needed to get the fastest access speeds for their specific location. Sure 1Gbps sounds good, or does it? What does Gbps actually mean? Let's put it like this, if you see this at your location, you're location is in trouble:
By the way, Gbps stands for Gigabits per second which refers to the data transfer rates. A Gigabit is a billion bits. If that sounds like a lot, it is but with the number of devices a location can have, the higher the transfer rate needed. This is the reason many locations limit the amount of devices people can use to access the network.
So what are school admins supposed to do? Well, the answer may be easier than many knew. As most admins are aware, C3 contracts with Funds for Learning (FFL) a company which provide E-Rate application services, at no cost to the schools, to assist with E-RATE applications. What may not be as well known, is the availability of the C3 resource specialists and the C3 support team. Any school admin is encouraged to refer to any contracts for technology to C3 before signing and committing the location.
DID YOU KNOW?
That anyone can submit a bid as part of the E-RATE process? Many companies have an education specific department or division that offers better prices than "regular" sales account executives or third-party vendors. Many admins are told they are getting a good price for their service, when in reality, they are getting a retail or worse price, often hundreds of dollars more a month. There are often other conditions such as "cancellation" and other hidden fees listed in contracts that are not highlighted, mentioned or discussed with locations upon execution of contracts.