Since the hiring of Mr. Jeff Fuell (Elder class of 74’) to head the technology department, students at Elder have noticed significant changes in regards to their tablet PC’s. Mr. Fuell has worked tirelessly to maximize computer performance, and ensure that Elder students get the most out of their instruments.
In only his second year, Mr. Fuell is still considered a new face among the staff at Elder. So I asked Mr. Fuell for some background information on previous jobs in which he has served as Technology director, and what skills he brings from these jobs to Elder.
He told me that he “worked for 16 years at McAuley High School where we handled teacher’s laptops about 14 years ago in a progressive development for a 1:1 Tablet-PC program that was latch about eight years ago. Just before that Mr. Keith Schaeper, Seton’s Technology Director, and I co-founded the Greater Cincinnati Non-Public Consortium (GCNPC). The driving force was to combine other non-public Cincinnati schools, mainly Archdiocese schools, for buying power pricing. Instead of each school ordering around 200 Tablet-PCs we combined the first year of about 1000 Tablet-PC order, which saved close to $200 per unit and incurred a substantial savings to our student. In a few years we went from 4 school GCNPC members to around 25, with about 10+ having a 1:1 Tablet-PC program. Besides greatly increasing the Tablet-PC quantity order to several thousand for additional savings and a high level of support, at our monthly meetings with GCNPC technology members, one of the by-products of the group is the sharing of best academic technology practices for the benefit of all our school’s teachers and mainly their students. Technology personnel in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati are a rare breed, for although several of the schools are somewhat in competition for enrollment, we do not allow that to hinder these sharing’s of best practices.”
In 2011 Fuell went to “Archbishop Alter High School to begin their 1:1 Tablet-PC program. It was a great experience to incorporate this program in another high school, this one being a co-ed school. As in any program of this nature, the success is achieved through the total support of school administration, which both the McAuley and Alter possess.”
Working at these schools has obviously given Mr. Fuell the knowledge of how to save students money, and still give them the best tablet PC’s available.
Over the summer, Elder made the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 8. I was curious about the differences between the two, and what Windows 8 allows me to do that Windows 7 could not. Mr. Fuell was more than happy to fill me in on these details.
He told me “Altiora – Striving for the Higher Things!”
“As Operating Systems (OS) change so do the multiple applications and devices we need for our school academic work as so does the business industry. It is our responsibility to equip Elder High School students with the highest level of technology possible to support their academic goals and individual growth. By the time most students graduate from college the OS versions, rather Microsoft or Mac, will change 2+ times. I personally researched and have been using Windows 8 since available for testing back in November of 2012 and implemented it at Alter High School just before coming to Elder. Yes there are several things different compared to Windows 7, but most are looks.”
“Once you work with it for a short time one becomes familiar how to maneuver its features and applications. With the students Tablet-PCs dual touch screens, Windows 8 definitely was designed to take advantage of this Tablet feature, which is just going to continue to advance in the future. Windows 8 is also designed with the cloud web industry in mind which we already utilize with Office 365 OneDrive, OneNote Notebook, and other shared applications. With an ending note to Windows 8, it definitely starts up and shuts down faster! Oh yes, Windows 10 is already in the beta testing stage and new things to look forward to after a good year of testing.”
I had no idea that operating systems changed so fast, and I would bet that within two years, Elder moves to Windows 9, maybe even Windows 10. Technology certainly moves at a light speed pace.
One of the more noted changes by Elder students was the change in policy regarding tablet PC cases and desktop backgrounds. Many student were puzzled about why they didn’t have the freedom to change their background, and at the possibility of receiving demerits or bricksheets for not carrying their PC in their respective cases.
To set the record straight, I asked Mr. Fuell for the reason behind these changes in policy.
He told me that “regarding the PC case policy, all Tablet-PCs come with a 4 year warranty and ADP (Accidental Damage Protection). The cost of these warranties reflects the cost to the Tablet-PC, which is reviewed yearly by the manufacturer. By doing everything possible to help reduce repair cost we can keep the warranty and ADP program cost down. All GCNPC 1:1 Tablet-PC schools have policies that require the school supplied case to be used at all times. The Tablet-PC repairs here are on the high side and we need everyone’s help in reducing this occurrence. This is a cultural change but I believe we here at Elder High School need to understand how to care for this valuable educational tool as it reflects on how we care for ourselves and each other.”
“The Windows Desktop background is not a major issue, just a request to utilize Official Microsoft offered background instead of downloading non-Microsoft ones, mainly animated versions. These non-Microsoft versions can cause several Tablet-PC performance and adware issues. An Elder High School background shows great Purple Panther Pride including images from the ElderHS.org and EHSports.org website. But we understand that you may have a favorite image for your desktop background, please just make sure it is in good Elder Spirit!”
There you have it Elder students, it all comes down to one simple fact, these policies are out to protect both you and your PC, undoubtedly, saving you hundreds of dollars and headaches in the long run.
In learning about Mr. Fuell and the new changes he has implemented from this school year to last, I can truly say that Elder’s Technology department is one of the best in the country, and is most definitely in good hands for years to come. It is truly the embodiment of Elder’s motto “Altiora” for without it, Elder students would not have the tools necessary to “Strive for the higher things!”