Educational Service Unit 10, in conjunction with the Greater Nebraska Educational Network Consortium (GNENC), hosts a wide array of computer and web based services. The purpose of this article is to outline these services, provide a brief description of each service, and include a URL as a starting point for each service.
The ultimate goal is to inform you, the educational computer user and manager, so that you can take advantage of our services which you may or may not have known about. Our focus is on serving you!
ESU 10 provides Internet access aggregation. In some ways we are like an Internet service provider. We provide bandwidth, network monitoring, guaranteed bandwidth, and network security with the Internet access that flows through our aggregation point. If you use the Internet at your school, then you most likely already use this service.
Internet web filtering provides a means for each school district to apply a customized web filtering profile customized specifically for each district's needs. ESU 10 provides the 8e6 web filter, which is managed by LAN managers and administrators at each district.
8e6 Filter Management: http://webfilter.project42.k12.ne.us:88
Web Filtering Information: http://www.esu10.org/filtering/index.html
Domain Name Services (DNS)
Every school district is provided a FREE DNS domain name, such as sunnysideschools.k12.ne.us or anytown.k12.ne.us. Just let us know and we can easily set up a DNS record for your school's customized domain.
If you currently access any local web services at your school directly by an IP address in the URL, we can remedy that with an easy to remember DNS name like powerschool.anytown.k12.ne.us, www.anytown.k12.ne.us, or webmail.anytown.k12.ne.us. The possibilities for what we can nameserve for you are endless.
You also have the option to purchase your own domain name from a DNS registrar such as GoDaddy. If you choose, we can mirror your new domain with your existing k12.ne.us domain.
Additionally, every school network IP address range is configured with reverse DNS mapping (PTR records)
Email services actually consist of a number of "sub-services."
Every esu10.org email account holder can access email via web based email, IMAP, or POP.
IMAP and POP allow users to download email with popular email client programs such as Outlook, OS X Mail, Thunderbird, Eudora, and a plethora of others.
On a global level, all email is scanned for viruses and spam. The email system blocks over 30,000 spam per day.
If a school district chooses to host its own email server, we can "relay" email for that server. By doing so we can act as an intermediate "buffer" between the school's email server and the Internet, and continue to provide spam and virus filtering.
YAMS is an email account management interface and an online "address book" of all email accounts we host. LAN-Managers use YAMS to create email accounts, change passwords, and remove email accounts. End users can use YAMS to change their own password and email forwarding settings. Any esu10.org email user can use YAMS to search for the email addresses of other users.
DSPAM is an anti-spam tool which gives users some control over spam.
Web hosting is provided, including the features of MySQL databases, PHP, and FTP/SFTP access. Its as easy as requesting a web hosting account from us. We can host your school and teacher educational web sites today!
The legacy calendar application we have promoted in the past is based on WebEvent. A new alternative is the Web Calendar service we now provide.
With Web Calendar, any user can utilize a web based calender. Username and login are integrated with users' esu10.org email account. No new username and password required!
Web Calendar also supports non-user calendars. A non-user calendar could be used by your school district as a district wide calendar, sporting event calendar, or lunch menu calendar. The possibilities are endless.
Web calendar features include email reminders and client subscriptions. With client subscriptions to your calendars, your teachers, parents, and other users can integrate the happenings of your school into Microsoft Outlook, Apple's iCal, or Mozilla's Sunbird.
Web Survey Tools
We currently offer two different web based survey applications. These survey applications make it easy to create customized surveys and distribute the surveys to users electronically.
We host Wordpress for user blogs. We can set up a customized blog URL for your district, such as http://blog.anytown.k12.ne.us. A Wordpress blog can be easily customized to look like a typical web site instead of the blog format if a user simply wants the ease of use offered by Wordpress.
Check out some of the ESU 10 blogs:
Email Distribution Lists
We host email distribution lists with a service called Mailman (often referred to as listserves). An email distribution list might contain a list of all teachers and/or staff in your district, making it easy to send email to a large group of email addresses. A distribution list might also be used as a way to distribute email newsletters to parents or community members.
Distribution lists can be configured to allow anyone to subscribe or unsubscribe, or you can choose to manage the members of a distribution list in a more "controlled" manner. You decide.
Let us know if we can set up a Mailman distribution list for any of your district's needs.
Currently we are evaluating a groupware solution. Groupware applications typically include a suite of products and tools which allow for easier communication, collaboration, and sharing amongst members of a group. Such a group might consist of the administrative staff of a district, or even every employee of a district. Collaborative tools include shared calendars, common file/document storage, shared addressbooks, etc.
The product we are evaluating is called eGroupware. Its features include email (integrated with existing esu10.org email accounts), calendaring, address book, to-do, notes, CRM customer relationship management, project management, file management, websites, and wikis.
eGroupWare might be considered an alternative to Microsoft Exchange.