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  • Episode 13

    A Day in the Life of an IT Support Technician

    Guest Speakers
    - Brian Andasol, IT Support Technician Supervisor
    - Bryan Joe, IT Support Technician
    - Katherine Palmeri, IT Support Technician
    - Jose Lucrecio Rivera, IT Support Technician


    Narrator
    - Youssef Elias, School Systems Manager, LA Unified

    Welcome to this session of the ITS4Ed Podcast. Our host,
    Youssef Elias, will be interviewing our ITS technicians,
    from ITST to ITST Supervisor. Learn about what they do
    day in and day out. Listen to each of their unique experiences
    in ITS and understand what makes them focused and
    dedicated to supporting students and staff in LA Unified.

     



  • Episode 12

    Student Devices and the Device Renewal Program in LA Unified

    Guest Speakers
    - Jose Somoano, Senior IT Operations Manager, LA Unified
    - Manny Montenegro, Senior IT Operations Manager, LA Unified
    - Hugo Perez Garcia, IT Support Technician Supervisor, LA Unified


    Narrator
    - Youssef Elias, School Systems Manager, LA Unified

    Welcome to this session of the ITS4Ed Podcast. Today,
    we'll be discussing student devices in LAUSD and the
    pilot Device Renewal Program. We have come a long
    way in the district in terms of technology. Pre-pandemic
    we had a handful of schools where every student had
    a device, during the pandemic it was a necessity. To
    ensure the continuity of teaching and learning, devices
    in the hands of students were a must. In addition,
    funding was provided for this effort which relieved schools
    from purchasing them on their own. Now post pandemic,
    we have seen the positive impacts that technology has
    made for our teachers, students, and staff. We still have
    a need to issue devices to students but not necessarily
    the funding to do so. You will hear from our IT Customer
    Support staff that have been working on managing the
    student devices and working on a creative way to remedy
    the funding gap through the Device Renewal Program.

     



  • Episode 11

    Celebrating the ITS Employees of the Quarter

    Guest Speakers
    - Tony Nguyen, Technical Specialist
    - Rosamaria Marchione, IT Support Technician


    Narrator
    - Youssef Elias, School Systems Manager, LA Unified

    Welcome to ITS4Ed. In this podcast, we celebrate the
    Information Technology Services (ITS) Employees of
    the Quarter. The ITS Employee of the Quarter Recognition
    Program provides an opportunity for all ITS employees
    to be recognized for their outstanding contributions and
    service to the students and employees of the Los Angeles
    Unified School District. ITS is committed to recognizing
    employee excellence and helping to build an encouraging
    and positive work environment. Our first two ITS Employees
    of the Quarter are Rose and Tony. You’ll hear from Tony,
    a Technical Specialist, who shares his passion for his work
    and Rose, an IT Support Technician, who shares her
    “words to live by” when it comes to customer service.

     



  • Episode 10

    Cybersecurity Awareness

    Guest Speakers
    - Joel Simangan – CISO, LA Unified
    - Eddard Romero - Interim Senior Administrator, Infrastructure, LA Unified


    Narrator
    - Youssef Elias, School Systems Manager, LA Unified

    Welcome to this session of the ITS4Ed Podcast on Cybersecurity
    Awareness. October is Cybersecurity Awareness month. Since
    2004, the President of the United States and Congress have
    declared the month of October to be Cybersecurity Awareness
    Month, a dedicated month for the public and private sectors to
    work together to raise awareness about the importance of
    cybersecurity. In 2023, the theme for Cyber Security Awareness
    Month is “Step up your Cyber fitness.” This theme is all about
    learning “the ability to identify, react and respond to online threats
    by taking small and easy steps.”

    This session is focused on things you can do to secure your
    world from cyber threats and hacks. Learn the difference between
    “phishing”, “vishing” and “smishing (SMS phishing)”. Additionally,
    you will hear about careers in Cybersecurity from our very own
    LA Unified experts, Joel Simangan, LAUSD’s first Chief Information
    Security Officer and Eddard Romero, Interim Senior Administrator,
    Infrastructure.

     



  • Episode 9

    AI in the District (Part 2)

    Guest Speaker
    - Sophia Mendoza, Director, Instructional Technology Initiative


    Narrator
    - Youssef Elias, School Systems Manager, LA Unified

    Welcome to the second session of the ITS4Ed Podcast on
    Artificial Intelligence aka AI. Since AI is continuing to expand
    and is having a major impact on education, we decided to
    dig a little deeper into AI in LAUSD. We will continue our
    conversation with Ms. Sophia Mendoza, Director of the
    Information Technology Initiative (ITI). We will learn about
    ITI's approach to developing thoughtful and appropriate
    AI guidelines for the school community. In this session
    we will share resources from the ITI website: lausd.org/iti.
    This includes professional learning opportunities for educators,
    computer science education, cybersecurity, digital citizenship
    education, and more. Be ready to learn about the latest
    updates on AI in LAUSD.

     



  • Episode 8

    AI in the District

    Guest Speaker
    - Sophia Mendoza, Director, Instructional Technology Initiative


    Narrator
    - Youssef Elias, School Systems Manager, LA Unified

    Welcome to this session of the ITS4Ed Podcast on Artificial
    Intelligence aka AI. It's the hot topic in the news today and
    it impacts many people. In fact, the current writers and actors
    strike has "AI" as a score issue. AI is having a major impact
    on education. Whether you are excited or concerned about AI,
    we in the education industry have the responsibility to ensure
    AI is approached thoughtfully and appropriately in our school
    community. As a district, we need to understand the vision for
    teaching and learning. So, whether you're a teacher, a student,
    a parent, or simply someone curious about AI and the future
    of education, this session is your gateway to the world where
    AI meets academia.

     



  • Episode 7

    eSports on the rise at LAUSD and beyond

    Speakers
    - COSA - Dr. Chiae Kitayama
    - Principal - Anthony Yom - Berendo MS
    - IT Liaison - James Hicks
    - UC Irvine eSports Director - Mark Deppe


    Narrator
    - Youssef Elias, School Systems Manager, LA Unified

    Welcome to this session of the ITS4Ed Podcast. Joining this session
    are educators and pioneers who are revolutionizing classrooms,
    campuses, and beyond with the incredible potential of eSports.

    We'll explore how competitive gaming can foster critical thinking,
    teamwork, problem-solving, and communication skills. From the
    strategic decision-making in esports titles to the application of
    STEM concepts in game development, we'll uncover the
    educational opportunities that lie within this digital playground.
    We'll also hear about how LAUSD schools are getting involved
    in this movement.

    So, whether you're a teacher, a student, a parent, or simply
    someone curious about the future of education, this session
    is your gateway to the world where esports meets academia.
    Prepare to be inspired and amazed as we delve into the realm
    where passion meets achievement.

     



  • Episode 6

    How an idea becomes an app

    Speakers
    - Lieutenant Nina Buranasombati, LASPD
    - Dr. Alfonso Webb, Senior Director of School Operations
    - Ken Hong, Computer Applications Administrator


    Narrator
    - Youssef Elias, School Systems Manager, LA Unified

    In this session, we will discuss “how an idea becomes an app”.

    Los Angeles Unified uses a multitude of software applications,
    some of which have been developed by our internal teams in
    Information Technology Services and others have been
    contracted out.

    Today we will chat with guests who worked on creating and
    coming up with ideas for a couple of safety apps such as
    LASAR and Emergency Alert.

     



  • Episode 5

    ITCS Technical Support
    Pre and Post Pandemic

    Speakers
    - Jose Somoano, Senior IT Operations Manager
    - Phillip Lucero, IT Business Efficiency Analyst
    - James Hicks, IT Business Efficiency Analyst
    - Steve Evans, IT West Supervisor


    Narrator
    - Youssef Elias, School Systems Manager

    In this podcast, you will hear different perspectives from various
    members of the IT Customer Support (ITCS) Unit.

    IT Customer Support provides high-quality, professional, and
    expeditious support and services to enable District schools and
    offices to meet the District's goals, increasing student achievement
    and operational efficiency.

    IT Customer Support provides support for end users using technology
    and devices connected to the technology infrastructure. They provide
    on-site, day-to-day, proactive, and reactive local support to schools
    and offices. This branch performs the following functions:

    • Chat
    • IT Helpdesk
    • IT Remote Services
    • Onsite technology support for schools
    • Day-to-day maintenance of school site technology

     



  • Episode 4

    Celebrating
    LA Unified Women in IT

    Speakers
    - Linda Perez, Senior Technical Project Manager
    - Le Shun Coleman, IT Support Technician II
    - Amanda Young, School System Manager
    - Diana Gutierrez, IT Project Manager

    In honor of Women’s History Month annually celebrated in March, 
    we are proud to present this podcast highlighting the LA Unified
    Women in Information Technology.  You will hear stories about
    how these four women are making an impact in IT fields. You will
    learn how they started in the IT field and overcame challenges.
    They will share advice and resources for young girls and other
    women who may be interested in pursuing a career in IT.



  •  

    Episode 3

    This podcast takes an in-depth look at LA Unified’s
    (the 2nd largest School District) CIO. Discussion topics include:

    Speakers
    - Soheil Katal, CIO
    - Youssef Elias, School Systems Manager
    • How Soheil Katal got started in IT
    • How the CIO successfully navigated the COVID pandemic
      while supporting instruction
    • Challenges and successes during his career
    • The current state of IT
    • The future state of IT
    • Advice to others interested in pursuing a career in information technology

     


  •  

    Episode 2

    This podcast focuses on what our school communities can do to
    protect themselves from a cyber security attack. It covers topics such as:

    Speakers
    - Soheil Katal, CIO
    - Eddard Romero, IT Administrator, Technical Services
    - Janice Clark, Operating Systems Administrator
    - Jay Gehringer, Cyber Patriot Coach 
    - Youssef Elias, School Systems Manager
    • What can the public do to protect themselves
    • Tips to help protect our information when using public Wi-Fi
    • The 5 cyber security pitfalls to watch out for
    • What LAUSD is doing to improve the instructional program as it
      relates to enhancing cyber security

     


  •  

    Episode 1

    The Cyber Security attack on LAUSD occurred over the Labor Day weekend in 2022 and caused some disruption to business systems, but schools were able to open on Tuesday following the Labor Day holiday as scheduled. This podcast explains:

    Speakers
    - Soheil Katal, CIO
    - Jack Kelanic, Senior IT Administrator, Infrastructure
    - Alton Kizziah, MGT Consultant
    - Eddard Romero, IT Administrator, Technical Services  
    - Youssef Elias, School Systems Manager
    • How the District was able to minimize disruption to the instructional environment
    • The difference between a cyber breach, cyberattack, and ransomware
    • What organizations are most vulnerable and what can organizations
      do to mitigate cyberattacks
    • What is involved in a recovery operation