Starting in April 2014, all HISD computers will be migrated to run on Windows 7 as part of PowerUp, a districtwide initiative that is aimed at digitally transforming teaching and learning across the district. The migration is necessary to ensure that all schools and district offices are equipped with the latest software and equipment so they can effectively and efficiently provide instruction, collaboration, and support for students and staff.
In addition, Microsoft will soon be eliminating technical support for devices running Windows XP, which makes them more vulnerable to security risks such as viruses and outages. By migrating to Windows 7, HISD will not only get the technical support and assistance it needs for district devices, but it will create more equity across the district when it comes to technology.
The HISD Information Technology department has assessed devices at all 282 schools and at district offices and has determined that nearly 64,000 desktops and laptops need to be upgraded to Windows 7. Of those, an estimated 39,000 have been determined to be “ineligible” for Windows 7 and will instead need to be replaced.
HISD Information Technology staff members have spent the last several months researching and developing a plan for the technology migration and have conducted a “test run” with a pilot group of schools. The end result is an implementation plan which will occur in four phases in the spring and summer of 2014.
- Preparation—a team will visit work locations/campuses to inventory and tag devices as eligible/ineligible
- Re-Imaging—a team will visit work locations/campuses to migrate eligible devices to Windows 7
- Replacement—a team will visit work locations/campuses and replace all ineligible devices
- Removal—all non-eligible equipment will be removed from work locations/campuses
The exact date and time of school and district office migrations will be communicated with employees by their school principal or work supervisor. Every effort will be made to make this technology upgrade as smooth as possible and to limit any interruptions to teaching and learning. No migrations will take place at schools during district or state assessments. Complete migration is expected to be complete by the start of the 2014-2015 school year.
HISD employees can prepare for the Windows 7 migration in several ways.
- Start backing up your data now. Verify your data is saved on a USB drive, CD/DVD or shared network location. Ask your work location supervisor if there is a preferred saving location for your job function.
- Make a note of any specialty software currently on your computer, such as Kiosk devices i.e. Weather Bug or engineering devices running Auto Cad etc.
- Write down or copy your Internet favorites, and if there are particular settings on your computer that are important to you, make a list or copy of those settings as well.