The Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDE) continues to upgrade its vast information technology system in an effort to provide teachers, students and Department employees with expanded services and greater efficiency.
As part of a five-year plan to overhaul the Department’s technological infrastructure, the Instructional Technology Division, which boasts the largest computer network in the Caribbean, has implemented a number of changes within the last 24 months.
“Our team is committed to ensuring that the Department of Education and all of its entities are fully equipped with the best technology available,” said Rodney Hendrickson, territorial technology operations manager. “We have come a long way and have much more to do, but we have been very pleased with the positive outcomes we are already experiencing.”
Following is a list of new and expanded services the VIDE’s IT Division has implemented:
- New VIDE app being designed and expected to debut for the 2017-18 School Year
- All students and employees have received a Virgin Islands Department of Education e-mail address, which markedly reduces paper trail and fosters student to teacher communication through a modern means that students would prefer to use (Office 365 in the cloud). The IT Division will implement an external student Office 365 in SY 2017-18 that offers more features for students and staff.
- Content Filtering is applied to prevent students and staff from cyber threats and inappropriate materials on the web.
- Each school has a minimum of 100Mb connection over fiber optic cabling with a redundant backup link that ensures maximum uptime
- All of the Department’s 44 sites (schools and offices) in the two districts are 100 percent fully interconnected and can communicate with each other internally, and has been this way for almost 20 years.
- Wireless connectivity in every school and most activity centers in both districts, offering Gigabit speed to each user with seamless campus roaming
- Promethean/Smart boards in almost every classroom
- Network access (LAN/Wireless) in every room at every site
- Self-sufficient, in-house IT team that facilitates all of the Department’s needs
- Online document sharing (SharePoint) capabilities and storage that allows users to collaborate from anywhere in the world and on any internet-connected device
- In-house designed, implemented and administered webpage, www.vide.vi
- Automated helpdesk system
- Automated password reset
- Onsite web hosting for all Department of Education entities
- Online PowerSchool capabilities for parents to monitor students’ grades and academic progress
- The most efficient technological equipment of any other entity in the USVI