Technical Leadership Conference Program


Thursday, February 9, 2017

7:30 - 8:30 AM



8:30 AM 

Conference Welcome
Tim Brockman, Forest Lake Area Schools - Herberger Suite


8:40 - 9:10 AM

Unconference Introduction and Scheduling
Mary Mehsikomer, TIES and Caroline Little, Inver Grove Heights Area Schools


9:25 - 10:10 AM

Unconference Session Series 1
Herberger, Wilson, Stockinger, and Opportunities Rooms


10:10 - 10:25 AM



10:25 - 11:10 AM

Unconference Session Series 2
Herberger, Wilson, Stockinger, and Opportunities Rooms


11:30 AM - 12:45 PM

Lunch, Networking, and Group Photo 
Herberger Suite


12:45 - 1:45 PM

Unconference Session Series 3
Herberger, Wilson, Stockinger, and Opportunities Rooms


2 - 3 PM

Breakout Session Series 1

  • TIES Technical Services
    Corey Tramm, CIO, TIES
    Steve Smith, Product Manager - Technical Services, TIES

    TIES Technical Services personnel will be discussing a new portfolio of services designed and architected specifically to help school districts reduce workload on in-house IT teams, bring unique value and provide a defensible Total Cost of Ownership/Return on Investment. These services include:
    - The TIES Hybrid Access Network is a true Software Defined Network and is available now.
    - Security and Compliance are becoming an ever more important aspect of running IT at the District.  TIES Principle Security Architect can help you make sense out of being “Compliant”.
    - TIES Software Defined Data Center will provide Cloud services at a very attractive price point.
  • Technicians User Group
    Facilitator: Wayne Hoistad, St. Michael-Albertville Schools
    Due to the popularity of having a technician's’ user group at the 2015 TIES Technical Leadership Conference, it is being offered again this year. Come join your peers and discuss common technical challenges, what works or doesn’t work in your district, and exchange ideas and contact information. 
  • Managing Challenges of Standardized Testing and Assessment
    Facilitators: Penny Pease, Orono Schools, and Susan Herder, Mounds View Area Schools
    School districts continue to wrestle with access and technical issues associated with delivering tests and assessments to students. The new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) from the federal government does not change any of the testing requirements from the previous No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), so Minnesota will still be using the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments and other standardized tests to measure growth and achievement. In addition, districts often have their own assessments that are delivered periodically to measure academic progress such as NWEA and others. How is your district navigating the need for assessment and dealing with access to the necessary devices, spaces, and time required for testing? 


3 - 7 PM

Hospitality, Vendor Showcase, Innovative Classroom Exploration



Friday, February 10, 2017

7:30 - 8:30 AM

Registration and Breakfast
Herberger Suite 


8:30 - 9:30 AM

Breakout Sessions Series 2 

  • Classroom of the Future 
    Facilitator, Mary Mehsikomer, TIES 
    Kevin Brezina, Alexandria Public Schools 

    The way we view the physical spaces for education is continually changes. What are upcoming technology and pedagogical trends that are influencing the way we use our school building spaces? Hear what the research is saying and how this is impacting Minnesota schools. 
  • Google Management and Engineering
    Facilitator: Darin Marcussen
    Peter Henries, Amplified IT 

    As more school districts implement G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Education), there is much knowledge to be gained when it comes to managing G Suite and best practices for rolling it out and setting up Google administration to avoid problems. In this session, we will talk about Google administration, what to do, what to avoid, and how to navigate the ever changing nature of Google apps as a school district. 
  • Embarking on the Security Journey
    Ryan Cloutier, Principal Security Architect, TIES 
    Ryan Cloutier, TIES, will discuss the wide range of security threats facing school districts and will outline a series of planning steps for having an effective plan for protection of your networks and data. Ryan is a seasoned IT Security professional with over 15 years of experience. He has held a variety of IT roles during his career including multiple architect and security roles.  


9:30 - 9:45 AM



9:45 - 10:45 AM

Breakout Sessions Series 3

  • Student Help Desk and Support Teams 
    Facilitator: Tim Brockman
    Presenter: Lee Anne Brockman and Students, Forest Lake Public Schools

    Students can be expert resources when it comes to supporting school technology. There are a myriad of benefits for both schools and students when students are allowed to build technical skills and get interested in STEM careers. Does your school have a hidden skills bank within your student body that could be tapped to help support your infrastructure? Do you have students interested in technology who could help their peers and teachers in using technology effectively for learning? In this session we will hear about the student tech team at Forest Lake Area High School. Come hear how this program is benefitting student techs and the students and staff they serve.
  • School Technology Laws 
    Facilitator: Christian Shafer, RRW (Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, PA) 
    There are many laws relating to education and the use of technology that require action on behalf of school districts, including the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and others. Christian Shafer of Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, PA, will present on current laws that impact schools when it comes to using technology and how these should be addressed. 
  • Computers and Devices: What to Replace, When to Recycle, and How to Do It 
    Facilitator: Karl Brown 
    Now more than ever, school districts have to ensure equitable access to a range of devices for students and teachers. How is your district handling the never ending cycle of equipment replacement? What is your replacement cycle? What are you learning about the life span of 1:1 devices such as iPads and Chromebooks? Where do you dispose of equipment that has reached the end of life? In this session we will discuss various ways districts are determining equipment life cycles and replacement, and explore additional concerns such as environmental impacts, storage, and cost. 


11 AM - 12 PM

Breakout Sessions Series 4

  • ID Management Panel Discussion 
    Facilitator: Steve Buettner, Edina Public Schools
    Steve Buettner, Edina Public Schools, will facilitate a discussion on ID Management/Single Sign On techniques, tools, and best practices. Participants in this session will hear about a variety of practices used in school districts, along with tips on what and what not to do when it comes to implementing ID management. 
  • Chromebook Repair and Costs 
    Facilitator: Stephen Lien, Redwood Falls Area Schools
    In the fall of 2015, Redwood Area Schools began a 1-1 Chromebook program, managing any device repairs in-house for a fleet of approximately 850 Chromebooks.  The district has closely monitored all costs and repairs applied to their Chromebooks over the course of 18 months.  Come hear an analysis these repairs and costs, from broken screens to motherboards, batteries, and bezels.  Common problems, repair strategies, build quality analysis, and helpful repair tools and accessories will also be discussed.
  • Broadband Access for Students 
    Facilitator: Mary Mehsikomer TIES 
    Jen Nelson, State Library Services, Minnesota Department of Education 
    Diane Wells
    , Office of Broadband Development 
    Marc Johnson, East Central Minnesota Cable Cooperative (ECMECC)

    The 2016 Legislature funded grants to school districts to provide broadband access to students at home and on school buses. In addition, the Governor’s Office of Broadband Development and Broadband Task Force has been studying the issues of broadband access for all Minnesota communities and have made recommendations for future action to the Governor and Legislature. Come hear about these and other important topics relating to broadband access for Minnesota schools and students. 


12 - 1 PM


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