Author Archives: Brian Abeling

About Brian Abeling

Director of Technology, serving West Des Moines Community Schools

Echo Outage: Thursday Nov 2nd

Echo will not be available to staff, students, or parents on Thursday Nov 2nd.

Q1. Why?  Why now?
A1.  Earlier this year, automation of staff accounts, student accounts, and courses, was set up between Infinite Campus and Echo (through a vendor Clever).  A decision has been made to turn the automation off to allow Echo to be managed manually.   Why now?  The sooner we remove the automation, the sooner we can get to the work/cleanup that is needing to be done after the automation is turned off.

Q2.  What will teachers need to do prior to the outage?  Do we need to backup our grades?
A2.  Teachers WILL NOT need to backup grades or courses, as no work is being done to courses, we are only turning the sync off.

Q3. When the work is done, how will students/staff log into Echo?
A3. They will continue to use their Google username and password

Q4. How will parent accounts be impacted during the outage?
A4.  During the outage, their accounts will not work .

Q5. How long will the outage be?
A5.  We are planning on Echo being unavailable the entire day of Thursday, Nov 2nd.

Beware of the Bad Rabbit — Seriously!

The Bad Rabbit ransomware is a significant threat to anyone running a Windows computer.  It will not impact any of our iPads or Chromebooks.  If you use a computer running Windows either here or at home, you will need to be vigilant.  Infected devices will either need to be re-imaged (which results in losing all data on that computer) or you’ll need to pay the ransom — that’s around $3,000 as of today.  So, the best advice is not to become infected.  Here’s what you need to avoid this problem.

As of right now, Bad Rabbit is disguising itself as an update to Adobe Flash.  But, these types of malicious code have a way of changing over time.  So, it might show up as something else in the near future.  If you are prompted during web browsing to any install any type of software, please quit your browser — do not click on any of the dialog boxes in the installation window — even if there’s a “cancel” button.  That should abort the installation.

Updating to the latest Microsoft patches will remove this threat going forward.  We will be making sure all the Windows computers on campus  We also strongly recommend updating your home computer (again if you are running Windows) to be sure your computer is fully patched.

 

Credit to Craig Barnum from College Community School District, as we used his content from an update that he provided to his staff.