EDUCATION COUNCIL of the

NEBRASKA INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY COMMISSION

Friday, September 28, 2007, 9:00 a.m.

Nebraska Educational Telecommunications-Board Room

1800 N. 33rd Street, Lincoln, Nebraska

Videoconference: Panhandle Research Center, Scottsbluff

MINUTES

 

VOTING MEMBERS/ALTERNATES PRESENT:

Mr. Clark Chandler, Nebraska Wesleyan University

Dr. Michael Chipps, Mid-Plains Community College

Mr. Kent Hendrickson, Alt. for Arnold Bateman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Mr. Ed Hoffman, Alt. for Stan Carpenter, State College Board
Dr. Eileen Ely, Western Nebraska Community College (videoconference)

Dr. Terry Haack, Bennington Public Schools

Ms. Yvette Holly, University of Nebraska Medical Center
Mr. Jeff Johnson, Centennial Public Schools
Mr. Dennis Linster, Wayne State College

Mr. Tip O誰eill, Alt. for Chuck Lenosky

Mr. Craig Pease, Ashland-Greenwood Public Schools

Mr. Art Tanderup, Tekamah-Herman Community Schools
Mr. Bob Uhing, Educational Service Unit 1


LIAISON/ALTERNATE MEMBERS PRESENT:

Mr. Terry Dugas, Alt. for Mike Winkle, NET

Mr. Mike Kozak, Department of Education

Mr. William Scheidler, Alt. for Brenda Decker


MEMBERS/LIAISONS ABSENT: Mr. Ron Cone, Educational Service Unit 10; Mr. Joe LeDuc, Catholic Diocese of Lincoln; Marshall Hill, Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education; and Linda Richards, Ralston Public School Board

 

CALL TO ORDER, ELECTRONIC POSTING, LOCATION OF OPEN MEETING LAW DOCUMENT, ROLL CALL INTRODUCTIONS


Mr. Haack called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.  There were 13 voting members present at the time of roll call.  A quorum existed to conduct official business. It was stated that the meeting notice was posted to the NITC and Public Meeting Calendars Web sites on July 13, 2007 and the meeting agenda was posted to the NITC Web site September 25, 2007. A copy of the Open Meetings Law was displayed at the entrance of the NET Board Room and also by the door of the Panhandle Research Center videoconferencing room

CONSIDER APPROVAL OF THE SEPTEMBER 28, 2007 AGENDA


Ms. Holly moved to approve the September 28, 2007 agenda as presented.  Dr. Chipps seconded.  Roll call vote:  Hendrickson-Yes, Hoffman-Yes, Chandler-Yes, Chipps-Yes, Ely-Yes, Haack-Yes, Holly-Yes, Johnson-Yes, O誰eill-Yes, Linster-Yes, Pease-Yes, Tanderup-Yes, and Uhing-Yes.  Results:  Yes-13, No-0.  Motion carried.

 

CONSIDER APPROVAL OF THE JANUARY 19, 2007 MINUTES


Mr. Linster moved to approve the June 1, 2007 minutes presented.  Ms. Holly seconded. Roll call vote: Uhing-Yes, Tanderup-Yes, Pease-Yes, Linster-Yes, O誰eill-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Holly-Yes, Haack-Yes, Ely-Yes, Chipps-Yes, Chandler-Yes, Hoffman-Yes, and Hendrickson-Yes. Results:  Yes-13, No-0.  Motion carried.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

 

There was no public comment.

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Departing members Jack Huck, Rich Molettiere, and Ed Rastovski were recognized for their service to the Council and the NITC. Joe LeDuc will also be resigning due to taking a new position in the private sector. The Lincoln Diocese will be nominating his replacement. Hopefully the nomination will be approved by the NITC at their November 27th meeting.

 

The Council welcomed Craig Pease as a new council member. Also, welcomed as returning members were Dr. Michael Chipps and Mr. Art Tanderup.

 

Higher Education Co-Chair. The floor was opened for nominations for a Higher Education Co-chair to replace Dr. Jack Huck. Dr. Ely nominated Dr. Michael Chipps. Dr. Chipps accepted the nomination.

 

Mr. O誰eill moved that the nominations cease. Dr. Ely seconded. Roll call vote to elect Dr. Chipps as the Higher Education Co-chair: Ely-Yes, Haack-Yes, Holly-Yes, Johnson-Yes, O誰eill-Yes, Linster-Yes, Pease-Yes, Tanderup-Yes, Uhing-Yes, Hendrickson-Yes, Hoffman-Yes, Chandler-Yes, and Chipps-Abstain.  Results:  Yes-12, No-0, Abstain-1.  Motion carried.

 

PRESENTATION: PILOT PROJECT TO IMPLEMENT GWI c.SUPPORT TROUBLE TICKET SYSTEM FOR PHASE 1 ENTITIES OF NETWORK NEBRASKA

John Young, University of Nebraska-Computing Resources

 

Mr. Rolfes gave a brief update of the progress of Network Nebraska as background for the c.Support presentation. Phase I of LB 1208 was completed by August 10, 2007, before the first day of school. The Renovo scheduling software was also installed and tested by August 10, except for the locations still needing videoconferencing equipment. The Dascom DL Navigator hub is situated at ESU 8 in Neligh with the Renovo scheduling software servers hosted at the Office of the CIO in Lincoln. Since the LB 1208 implementation, Internet access has tripled in northeast Nebraska public schools. Communication and collaboration among the entities (NET, OCIO, University of Nebraska, colleges, ESUs and public school districts involved) was a key factor in the successful implementation of the first phase of the project. Chief Information Officer Brenda Decker wanted an immediate and effective way for schools to communicate service issues and/or problems. This created the need to test a troubleticketing and help desk software that can be accessed by all the participating entities.

Mr. Young proceeded with the demonstration of the GWI c.support web-based system. This variety of software is used by the Office of the CIO, University of Nebraska Central Administration, University of Nebraska-Kearney, and Nebraska Educational Telecommunications for diagnosing and resolving hardware, software and networking issues. A log-in and password is required in order to view and resolve a trouble ticket but it can be originated by anyone who can access the web-based ticket origination screen. When a client is having system or service problems, they will call their support staff for assistance or submit a trouble ticket. If a ticket is submitted via the University of Nebraska web site, it would be routed first to the regional support team at the ESU or college level, and then if escalated, to University technical staff. If it is submitted via an Educational Service Unit web site, it would be immediately routed back to the ESU technical staff group. An email is generated and a ticket number is assigned. Documentation is entered as to resolution attempted to solve the ticket. If the solution works, the ticket is closed. If the ticket is not resolved, more documentation is entered and the next resolution attempted. A ticket cannot be closed unless a resolution solves the problem. For common routine issues such as resetting or recalling passwords, templates will be constructed so that a trouble ticket can be avoided and the customer痴 concerns can be quickly resolved. When opening a ticket, the person must describe the problem and then save it. When it is saved, an email will be sent to the appropriate staff group which includes a link to the ticket. University or NET technical support can also generate trouble tickets via calls to Network Nebraska (1-888-NET-NEBR). Technicians who have c.Support log-ins can also search and run knowledge base reports.

 

Mr. Rolfes stated that three principle concerns were raised by Network Nebraska when discussions began regarding the trouble ticketing pilot project:

  • Networking issues and problems need to be brought to the attention of the CIO and Network Nebraska where vendor contracts are being overseen;
  • OCIO is hosting Renovo (NE is already involved in over 200 conferences per day) and need to know as soon as video distance learning scheduling problems arise;
  • Customers need to be given the best customer support possible on the network and sometimes the solution is figured out through sharing knowledge; with the ability to dialogue and view each others tickets.

 

The per technician license cost for c.Support was estimated at $1100 for a 2-year license and three simultaneous technician licenses will be sought for the northeast region, with funding coming out of the Network Nebraska participation fee. The trouble ticketing software would be a uniform system that is statewide rather than multiple disparate systems. GWI c.Support is considered an 兎nterprise product.

 

Dr. Ely stated that their institution has been trying to implement a Help Desk system as well. Mr. Linster stated the same from the Wayne State perspective. 撤rofiles is used for trouble tickets. The system is also tied to inventory and it runs on SQL. Mr. Linster offered this free to anyone interested. Mr. Hendrickson stated that the University is also evaluating other products.

INFORMATIONAL UPDATES

 

LB 1208. Phase II, which includes public school districts in the western part of the state, is underway. The CIO痴 Office has collected Letters of Agency from 121 K-12 entities to bid on the schools behalf from ESUs 7, 9, 10, 11, and 13 for 129 different sites. Central, Mid-Plains, Western Nebraska Community Colleges, and Chadron State College will also be participating. Half of the 129 sites for the K12 schools have converted to IP at the local level but will need to get back to the Network Nebraska backbone. The remainder will need IP connectivity at the local level and transport to a backbone egress site. The RFP is currently being developed and will be released sometime in October with the intent to award sometime in December. By the first week in February, entities will be finished contracting for services and applying for E-rate. By the end of summer 2008, approximately 140 sites new sites will be connected to Network Nebraska in time for the Fall 2008 semester. They will join the 97 sites in northeast Nebraska, and then Phase III will begin.

 

State Master Contracts. In Phase 1, only the WAN and Internet requirements were awarded. The other required transport specifications will be part of the Phase II RFP. The current price per meg for Internet access is $38/month. MSI was awarded the Cisco equipment contract in Phase I and any education entity can purchase off the contract with a 41.5% discount off of list pricing, including any items in the Cisco catalog. Four sections of the videoconferencing equipment RFP have gone to contract. Mobile carts, with or without an internal MCU, will be available for purchase by any education entity. Regular project updates are available on the Network Nebraska web site痴 Distance Education Network Update link: http://www.networknebraska.net/denu/index.shtml. Instructions about how to order equipment and participate in state master purchase contracts are on this website.

 

Learning Management System Standards Work Group. The Work Group has not met but plans to meet soon. They致e been collecting standards-based information on Learning Management Systems from various providers. Mr. Linster stated that Idaho recently reviewed Learning Management Modules which may be helpful for the Work Group.

 

NITC REPORT

Steve Henderson, I.T. Administrator for Planning and Project Management

 

eHealth Council. Lt. Governor Sheehy has been involved with health information exchange efforts at the national level. At the September NITC meeting, the Commission established a new eHealth Council to collaborate Nebraska痴 initiative. The group has approximately 25 members. They will also be working towards developing action items to complete the NITC痴 strategic initiatives.

 

Community Council. Many of the council痴 telehealth members are now serving on the eHealth Council. The council met to discuss this membership issue. It was voted to include a work force development sector. The Council has been redefining their charter, goals, mission and responsibilities. The Council had approved funding for communities to develop a podcast project. South Sioux City has implemented a Virtual Building project and it has been drawing national attention.

 

State Government Council. The State of Nebraska is making a major conversion to Microsoft Exchange for their electronic messaging and e-mail. In the next two weeks, the Office of the CIO will be the first to convert. Between now and the end of 2007, approximately 2,000 e-mail boxes will converted. The State Government Council has been busy drafting several policies and standards for the NITC Technical Panel.

 

Technical Panel. All councils have the opportunity to create and develop standards and guidelines for the NITC through the Technical Panel. At the September meeting, the NITC passed four standards: Information Security Policy (intent is to provide context and framework), Data Security Standard (state agencies will reflect on agency痴 data and take steps to protect the data according to the sensitivity of that data and report to the OCIO), Password Standard (must meet 3 of the 4 壮trong password criteria), and an Email policy (One e-mail system hosted by the Office of the CIO). All standards include an exemption process if agency staff feel they have a business case to avoid compliance. Exemptions are granted by the Technical Panel. Upon conversion, state government employee e-mail addresses will change to fname.lname@nebraska.gov.

 

CIO Roadmap. Copies were distributed to council members.

 

DISCUSSION: FUTURE TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS AND DIRECTION FOR NETWORK NEBRASKA

 

The NITC has eight strategic initiative and all councils develop action items to accomplish these initiatives. The Education Council did accomplish the Statewide Synchronous Video Network strategic initiative. There are two education-related initiatives that are still current Network Nebraska and Digital Education. At the upcoming November meeting, the NITC will be reviewing and approving the initiatives. Each of the Councils will be reviewing these and the action items as well. Staff will compile completed action items.

 

The Council provided the following comments and ideas for advanced network services through Network Nebraska:

  • Life-cycle Funding - critical to computers and end point devices. Rural schools have funding issues and some are on a 9-year life cycle.
  • Secure identity management.student records, HIPAA regulations.
  • Cost savings
  • Bandwidth needs for future applications
  • Programming (content, etc) what will drive this in sector communities.
  • Continued networking of Network Nebraska
  • Training and staff development focus for technical persons
  • Leading edge technologies.K12 is not always up-to-date on what is available.
  • Lack of resources in local communities, especially rural be good to get all NITC advisory committees to meet annually to discuss and/or collaborate resources.
  • Social networking applications for educational entities; e.g. using web conferencing tools to save travel expenses.

 

As a related topic, Mr. Henderson stated that Senator Raikes spoke at the Fremont Distance Education kick-off event for LB 1208. Mr. Henderson paraphrased Sentator Raikes comment that educational entities should not go forward alone and that all entities need to work together more. Communication and information flow is a challenge. The Office of the CIO is a sounding board for the NITC and its advisory councils. It was suggested that perhaps the Education Council could develop a strong and compelling business case to the legislature for life-cycle funding for educational institutions.

 

Mr. Rolfes commended the work of the Education Council. He commented that it has developed a collaborative and consistent voice over the past nine years. It is rare in other states for K12 and higher education to come together toward a common goal but Nebraska has been able to get this accomplished. The Education Council and the collaboration of its members were instrumental in establishing Network Nebraska and CAP.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

There were no announcements.

 

AGENDA ITEMS:

 

For November 16th, a location in Omaha should be considered.

 

Dr. Bob Uhing moved to adjourn. Mr. Dennis Linster seconded the motion. All were in favor by voice vote. The meeting adjourned at 11:52 a.m.

 

Meeting minutes were recorded by Lori Lopez Urdiales and reviewed by Tom Rolfes