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End-of-Life (EOL) is rapidly approaching for Windows Server 2003

Microsoft has announced the official date for end-of-life support as July 14, 2015. While many administrators are well aware of this fact, there are still nearly a million servers across the globe currently running Windows Server 2003.

How this will affect you:

  • If you are still running Windows Server 2003 after the end-of-life support date, your server can be exposed to potential security risks. After July 14, 2015, your server will NO longer receive updates and patches.

What this doesn’t mean:

  • Your server running Windows Server 2003 will NOT stop working. It will continue to boot up and work, even without being supported by Microsoft. Keep in mind that even though Windows Server 2003 will boot and run, software vendors might stop supporting their software on your server.

What you should do:

  • Contact our office at 877-647-2622 and enter option 2 for assistance to determine the best alternatives for upgrading/migrating to a newer supported operating system.

What we are doing:

  • For our Clients on maintenance support plans, we have already begun the process of auditing and reporting which server(s) in your network environment are effected and need to be upgraded/replaced.

Why we are contacting you now:

  • Even though the EOL for Windows Server 2003 is not until July 14, 2015, we believe that being proactive and contacting you now is the best approach for a smooth and non-stressful upgrade transition.

We are here to answer your questions and make the transition smooth.

Eric Andron,

Keeping you and your team doing what YOU do best is exactly what WE do best! 

Posted in IT Support, Security, Server Care, Server Support, Technology Benefits, Technology Integration | Leave a comment

The One iPad Classroom

Integrating technology into your classroom is an ongoing experience. Many teachers have access to computer labs, multiple iPads and more. However many of us have the “One iPad Classroom”. Do not despair. You can and should use your iPad.

Here are some ways to utilize one iPad in your classroom.

1. Whole Class: You can use the iPad to display content on a projector or a smart board for the whole class to see.
2. iPad Stations: Your iPad can be used as a “station” for multiple students to use. Use a headphone splitter so students can benefit without disrupting other stations. Students can play games, research articles and watch videos.
3. Pass around the iPad: Although this examples is not ideal for large classes, a small group of students can work together and pass the iPad around.
4. Small Groups: Students can work in groups of two or three on a collaborative assignment. Examples include doing research, playing a game, creating a story etc.

Still apprehensive about using your iPad in the classroom? Here are some helpful hints.

1. Use timers to help facilitate turn taking.
2. Work in pairs or small groups. Take turns.
3. Invest in a headphone splitter. This allows a few children to work together.
4. Assign roles to small groups so everyone gets a turn. Examples include timer keeper, iPad user, task master etc.

Teaching in a “One iPad Classroom” is possible and beneficial. Be creative and open-minded. Good luck!

Posted in iPad, TechEd, Technology Integration | Leave a comment

Benefits of Technology Integration in the Classroom

Technology is everywhere! Our students are learning and growing in a technology rich environment. As teachers, educators and principals, we must adapt our schools and classrooms to educate the “tech savy student”. We must bring effective, enriching technology curriculum into our classrooms. The classrooms and students of this generation are frequently evolving and this requires educators to adapt.

Integrating technology in a classroom is more than teaching computer skills or providing new software programs in a separate computer class. These instances of isolated integration are not enough. Research shows that effective technology integration must happen across the curriculum spectrum. This integration will deepen and enhance the learning process.

The greatest benefit of technology integration is when the use of technology is a regular part of the curriculum and curriculum goals. Often teachers use technology as a reward or incentive in the classroom. This type of logic and implementation is not as effective. Our students use smart phones, access the internet and use an array of additional technologies all the time. Showcasing a “new” software program or asking students to utilize the internet is simply not appealing. We must keep up with current technology trends in our classrooms to keep our students engaged.

Moreover, the amount of resources available online is vast. Educators need to infuse their classrooms with more interesting and diverse learning materials. Students can be challenged through numerous opportunities including the use of images, sound and text. This allows students to learn while engaging nearly all of their senses. Furthermore, students are more likely to stay engaged and on task; reducing behavioral and boredom problems in the classroom. These are additional benefits for using technology tools.

Technology also changes the way teachers teach. Teachers are able to reach different types of learners and assess students understanding through multiple means. Added benefits include enhanced relationships between students and teachers. When technology is effectively integrated, teachers grow into roles of advisors, content experts and coaches.

Additionally, classroom technology integration is essential as we prepare our students for the modern workforce. We need to replicate our classroom learning and application to prepare our students for the current work place. Access to technology implementation in the classroom makes this goal attainable and empowers our students.

Technology helps make teaching and learning more meaningful and fun. The benefits are great and the use of technology for every teacher, student and classroom can be valuable for all involved.

Posted in TechEd, Technology Benefits, Technology Integration | Leave a comment

Hurricane Season Is Here!

With hurricane season beginning, we advise that you review the list below to make sure your equipment and data is secure. Keep a copy of this list accessible in case of a tropical storm or hurricane.

1. First and foremost, back up all your important data remotely! 

Power outages are likely during severe tropical storms or hurricanes and there is a chance that your machines and/or data could get damaged. This data should be kept in a remote safe and secure site, if possible.

2a. If your area is forecast for a direct hit, turn off and unplug all your computers & electronic equipment well in advance of the storm.

This will keep your equipment safe from power surges.  Even if your equipment is plugged into battery backups, unplug your machines. Not only your computers, monitors, and printers – make sure your TVs, fax machines, and phones are also unplugged.

2b. If you’re not in the storm’s direct path, you still might be subject to power outages and surges. To safeguard your equipment against power surges, make sure all your computers, routers, and servers are connected to battery backups.

In addition to providing surge protection, battery backups provide your equipment additional time to shut down properly.

3. Lift all your machines off of floors to protect them against water damage and cover all your unplugged equipment with plastic bags.

Only cover equipment that is UNPLUGGED!

4. Have a backup wired telephone handy and available to use.

This phone is in addition to your cell phone, just in case your battery dies or your cell phone network suffers damage from the storm.

5. Keep important information such as: your accounts, customers, personnel, administration, and tax information in a safe area where they can be relocated once the threat of the storm has passed if necessary.

If your home or business is in an area that’s vulnerable to storm surges, it’s a good idea to keep copies of your important information off site.

6. Most importantly – make sure your hurricane emergency supplies are available in a secure area that’s accessible in an emergency. We recommend the following supplies:

* Emergency communications equipment such as 2-way radios, CB radios, and satellite phones
* Remote call forwarding access in case it’s necessary to temporarily reroute phone lines
* Battery operated television or radio
* Extra batteries
* Flashlights
* First Aid kit
* Emergency tool kit
* Food, water and utensils

Don’t wait until a storm is around the corner to prepare. Contact our office to have a Backup Solution or Disaster Recover Plan in place, if you don’t have one already.

Don’t lose data or equipment, it’s not necessary!

Be safe! Be prepared!

Keeping you and your team doing what YOU do best is exactly what WE do best! 

Posted in Disaster Planning & Recovery, IT Support, Remote Backup, Security | Leave a comment

Bringing Technology into YOUR Classroom

Googledocs. iPad. Facebook. Twitter. Skype. Instagram. You Tube. Pinterest. The list goes on and on.

Technology is everywhere and is advancing every day. As teachers, we need to embrace the technology to enhance our teaching. For many teachers, this prospect can be intimidating and overwhelming. However, with the right education, attitude and planning, implementing technology in your classroom can be a success!

Technology in the classroom should add to your lesson, open new frontiers, engage your students and bring your lesson to life. Your main goal is to enhance your lesson by utilizing available technology.

Remember this is integration, not replacement. For each teacher, the process will vary. Take some time and ask yourself a few questions to get started.

  1. Where can I add technology in my classroom?
  2. How can I adjust my lessons to integrate technology?
  3. What technology is available for me to use? Smart Board? iPad? Computers?
  4. Why do I want to use technology for this lesson? Do I need to?
  5. How can I best assess my lesson?
  6. How can I best assess my students?

Be honest with your answers and start to do research. Don’t be afraid to try different options. Integrating technology into your lessons is an ongoing process and should be gradual. Ask fellow colleagues for ideas. Stay positive and have fun!

Posted in TechEd, Technology Integration | Leave a comment

Security Advisory about Cryptolocker Malware

We are currently seeing a lot of malicious email traffic containing the Cryptolocker malware that can encrypt your business’s data. The bulk of this traffic is coming through trusted free file share programs disguised as voicemail messages or faxes. If you use our Exchange Hosting platform, our data center is blocking all known variants of this traffic but the spammers are changing up the messages rapidly. It is incredibly important that you let your users know not to open unsolicited emails and download files without confirming their sources. It’s also important that you back up your files frequently and, if you use a third-party back up system, make sure it will not overwrite your backup with the encrypted files.

As a reminder, Cryptolocker is an especially destructive virus that will encrypt all of your data. Cyber criminals then force you to pay to get the data back, with no assurance they will actually follow through if you do. For more information, please contact us at: support@missupport.com or 561-393-5656 option 2.

Keeping you and your team doing what YOU do best is exactly what WE do best! 

Posted in IT Support, Security | Tagged , | Leave a comment
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