Thursday, May 21, 2015

CCC Technology Offerings Through CollegeBuys


WRITTEN BY ALLAN ALDAYMONDAY, 18 MAY 2015  CCC TechEDge



The Foundation for California Community Colleges, through its CollegeBuys program, continues to support California’s 112 community colleges through technology-focused purchasing agreements, in partnership with community college districts and the Systemwide Architecture Committee.

These agreements ensure that the California Community Colleges (CCC) can continue to access high-quality technology products and services while obtaining competitive pricing and streamlining the procurement experience.

Cisco Network, Server, and Unified Communications Equipment
Last month, in partnership with several colleges, the Foundation issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) focused on Cisco Systems Inc. network, server and unified communications equipment products and services. Through this competitive process, CCC can get Cisco products and services from Cisco-certified resellers. Products under this agreement can be incorporated into existing network infrastructures or used for projects that require a complete infrastructure overhaul.


The scope of the RFP includes nine different product classifications, including routers, switches, network optimization and acceleration, security, storage networking, optical networking, wireless, networking software, and unified communications.

With a focus on total cost of ownership, the RFP defines performance requirements for products and services so that the CCC will have value and long-term cost-savings while reducing future operational expenditures during the life of the products. For example, mandatory performance and service specifications require the vendor to update the participating agency’s current IT infrastructure without being cost or time prohibitive; provide a minimum written product warranty to cover parts and labor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; respond to warranty service requests within the same day; and provide only those products that are modular, have field-replaceable parts, and allow for easy changeability.

Aside from contract compliance with California’s public contract code, additional benefits of the Foundation contract include Cisco training credits for participating agencies, equipment trade-in, discounting for Cisco SMARTnet services and financing for lease options.

Submitted proposals will be evaluated at the end of May, and any executed contracts are expected to become available to the CCC as early as June.

Symantec SymEd

The Foundation recently secured a partnership with Symantec Corp. and ComputerLand of Silicon Valley to offer discounted Symantec SymEd (ETLA) site licenses to the CCC.

The SymEd site license offers centralized standards to allow colleges to automate the deployment, security, and management of devices. SymEd also provides a secure e-learning environment for physical, virtual and cloud platforms; support for multiple operating systems; and critical data projection with advanced local backup and recovery for Windows.

This new program will be based on full time equivalent (FTE) employee count rather than a per device model and will offer a choice of four packets to best meet the college’s needs. Interested colleges can sign up at any time and prorated pricing is available for colleges already utilizing SymED.

Additional Technology Offerings
From Utelogy’s smart classroom platform for education and collaboration to iContracts, a cloud-based software for managing contracts and associated processes, and Comevo, a market leader in orientation software services, the Foundation continues to develop its technology offerings to meet the growing needs of the CCC. For a complete listing of Foundation contracts, visithttp://www.foundationccc.org/CollegeBuys/OurPartners/tabid/489/Default.aspx.

Allan Alday is a Program Specialist at the Foundation for California Community Colleges.

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Cisco WASTC West Coast Academy Conference Schedule Now Available for Review


2015
WASTC West Coast Academy Pre-Conference
&
WASTC Cisco West Coast Academy Conference 


“You cannot put 10 pounds of sugar 
in a 5 pound sack”
“Quote from Dolly Parton’s Dad”

But I think we have done just that!

now available for your review J


You are going to like it!!
So much good stuff.


To register for the conference please go to www.wastc.org and follow the red balls.

Hope to see you there,
  
--
Karen Stanton
Cisco Networking Academy
ASC ITC Ohlone
WASTC Coordinator
Western Academy Support & Training Center-WASTC
www.wastc.org
661 362 5363
karen.stanton@wastc.org

MPICT

Code.org targets high school computer science


Jessica Guynn, USATODAY8:05 p.m. EDT May 14, 2015  USA Today


(Photo: Nicholas Kamm, AFP/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO — Code.org is teaming up with College Board to push for more computer science courses in U.S. high schools and to increase the number of female and minority students taking those courses.

The new partnership will encourage high schools in 35 of the nation's largest districts, including New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles, to offer Code.org's computer science course this fall.

Code.org will provide curriculum, tools, training and funding to school districts that qualify, said Code.org CEO and co-founder Hadi Partovi.

College Board — the organization that administers the standardized tests that help determine college entrances as well as advanced placement courses — will help fund the work if the school district agrees to use the PSAT, a test for college readiness for eighth- and ninth-graders, to identify students who have potential in computer science, Partovi said.

One of the principal goals of the partnership is to reach more female and minority students, Partovi told USA TODAY in an interview.

"Our work is to broaden participation in all underrepresented groups," he said.

Takers of College Board's advanced placement computer science course are 82% white and Asian. Last year just 20% of the students were female.

Code.org and College Board are targeting that gap between the female and minority students who demonstrate potential for computer science and those who end up studying it, Partovi says.

Code.org says it wants to build on the track record of its Code Studio, which offers online tutorials in the basics of coding. One out of 10 elementary and middle school students in the USA have created accounts with Code Studio, said Partovi. Of those students, 43% are female, 22% are Hispanic and 15% are African American, he said.

Non-profit Code.org is backed by technology leaders, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Its mission is to get every U.S. school to add computer science to its curriculum, part of a growing effort to address the shortage of computer scientists in the USA and the systemic lack of diversity in the technology industry, Partovi said.

That gender and racial gap has its roots in unequal access to computer science education, the very education students need to put them "in the pipeline toward a good job at a place like Google or Facebook," said Level Playing Field Institute founderFreada Kapor Klein.

A recent report from the Level Playing Field Institute examined access to computer science education for low-income and underrepresented students of color in California public high schools and found significant disparities.

Schools with the highest percentage of underrepresented students of color offer computer science courses at a rate nearly half that of schools with the lowest percentage of underrepresented students of color, the study found.

Nearly 75% of schools with the highest percentage of underrepresented students of color offer no computer science courses. Just 2% of schools with the highest percentage of underrepresented students of color offer Advanced Placement Computer Science.

African-American and Latino students make up 59% of California public school students but were just 11% of AP Computer Science test takers in 2014, according to the study.

The statistics are even more sobering in the Bay Area, backyard of technology giants such as Google, Apple and Facebook. In San Francisco and Oakland, poor and minority high school students enroll in computer science classes at a rate of less than 2%.

"This is not a question of interest," Klein says. "It is a problem of access."

Access is crucial because jobs in computing related fields are growing at four times the national average, Partovi said. Computing jobs in the USA pay on average 85% more than the national median wage, he added.

Still, fewer than 2.4% of college students graduate with computer science degrees, and the number of women and underrepresented minorities in the field does not reflect the population it serves.

"As a nation, we must do more to cultivate an interest in computer science among students of all backgrounds and ensure that they have the preparation to pursue the computing jobs that will help power future economic growth," David Coleman, College Board's president and CEO, said in a statement.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

US House passes Bill to end domestic NSA bulk data collection


Summary:American residents could soon be exempt from the NSA's dragnet, unless surveillance is approved by the secretive FISA court, with the USA Freedom Act passing the US House of Representatives and heading to the Senate.



By Chris Duckett | May 14, 2015 -- 07:04 GMT (00:04 PDT)
ZDNet

The US House of Representatives has voted 338 for and 88 against ending the NSA's dragnet collection of telephone, email, and other online data from millions of Americans, a controversial program that was revealed in 2013 by former security contractor Edward Snowden.

The USA Freedom Act is seen as a big win for privacy and civil rights advocates. The White House backs the reforms, saying the Bill protects privacy while preserving essential national security authorities.

After passing the House, the measure is now heading for a vote in the Senate, where the clash between reformists and supporters of the intelligence community, coming within the context of warnings on the increasing digital reach of the Islamic State terror group, transcends party lines.

Both liberals and staunch conservatives, often at odds on most major legislation, have united in opposition against domestic spying by the National Security Agency.

The Bill, which focuses on people in the US and not overseas, would amend controversial sections of the USA Patriot Act, which was passed in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks and will expire on June 1.

The reforms scrap the bulk collection detailed in Section 215 of the Patriot Act, replacing it with a targeted program that allows intelligence agencies to collect data from specific individuals or groups, but only with prior approval of the secret national security FISA court.


Under Section 215, the government stored the acquired data, but the new reforms would compel telcos and other data companies to keep the information to be accessible to intelligence agencies only through court order.The data dragnet was operating in complete secrecy after 2001, and has been under the supervision of the FISA court since 2006. It was consistently renewed by the administrations of George W Bush and Barack Obama.

"Today's vote was a major win for surveillance reform and a major rebuke for those who want to reauthorise the Patriot Act without change," said Center for Democracy & Technology president Nuala O'Connor.

Passage through the House was welcomed by Mozilla, whose head of public policy Chris Riley called for the Senate to swiftly pass the legislation.

"This legislation significantly curtails bulk collection under the Patriot Act and other authorities, and puts us on a path to a more private and secure internet," Riley said.

"We are staunchly opposed to any short- or long-term reauthorisation of these sections of the Patriot Act absent meaningful reforms. Now is not the time to delay on these much-needed reforms."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said US business is being hurt by the NSA's actions, and it hopes the Senate will add amendments to strengthen the Bill.

"The legislation is a good start to shutting backdoors," the EFF said. "The time to fix the backdoor problem is now."

The vote came just a week after a US appeals court ruled that the bulk data collection goes far beyond what congress authorised.

"The text of [section 215] cannot bear the weight the government asks us to assign to it, and that it does not authorize the telephone metadata program," wrote judge Gerard E Lynch last week.

Earlier this month, the French lower house approved legislation allowing authorities to spy on suspected terrorists without prior authorisation from a judge.

The new law, to go before the French Senate later this month, allows authorities to spy on the digital and mobile communications of anyone linked to a "terrorist" inquiry without judicial authorisation, and forces internet service providers and phone companies to give up data upon request.

Intelligence services will have the right to place cameras and recording devices in private dwellings and install keylogging devices.

As the US restricts some of its data surveillance schemes, Australia is in the midst of setting up its own data-retention scheme.

In this week's Australian Budget, AU$131 million was allocated by the government for the creation and maintenance of systems to store all Australians' telecommunications data for two years for warrantless access by law enforcement.

However, the money from the government is expected to cover only between one third and half of the cost to implement the scheme.

The Internet Society of Australia CEO Laurie Patton said the government should guarantee to top up the funding if it is inadequate for all ISPs.

"The government's original cost estimate was not based on widespread industry consultation, and the Internet Society is concerned that the costs have been significantly underestimated, especially in respect of small to medium-sized ISPs that don't have the resources to undertake the work in-house, and therefore will be required to pay for external assistance," he said in a statement.