BrainStorm K20 – that was amazing!

by Jesse Rink


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This year’s BrainStorm K20 conference in the Wisconsin Dells was positively electric as education technologists from across the Midwest gathered together to connect, inform, and inspire. We sure hope your school or school district had the opportunity to attend! It was truly an amazing experience!

The focus for Source One Technology at the BrainStorm K20 technology conference was helping schools become more aware of the various tools available (some free!) to help them monitor their servers and network environments. Our presentation, An Ounce of Monitoring… A Pound of Prevention. focused on how monitoring tools (for example, PRTG from Paessler) can be used to create performance baselines and historical metrics so Technology Directors and Network Administrators can be more proactive as it relates to impending technical support problems instead of being reactive to them.

About 80 people attended the presentation and we received amazing feedback from the attendees later in the day at our booth in the tradeshow portion of the event.

The tradeshow was equally as fun and we even had the opportunity to meet with many people who attended our earlier presentation. We received some outstanding comments from everyone about our choice of topic and the presentation itself. Our co-presenter at the presentation, Ryan Jonas of Greendale School District, gave us permission to show off live monitoring of his PRTG software and environment so visitors that stopped at our booth could see the software in action and how they could effectively make use of PRTG or similar tools for their own district/schools.

3 key lessons we learned at BrainStorm K20

During our conversations with many of the people attending the conference, three things really hit home with the Source One Technology team after attending this year:

  1. Today’s education leaders and IT professionals are faced with unprecedented opportunities and challenges. Implementing and maintaining the technology infrastructure needed to advance education in Wisconsin’s schools can be a daunting task. The needs are many. The to-do lists are growing. Meanwhile, budgets dictate the demand to do more with less (another reason why monitoring your network with PRTG is a great option – the software is completely free up to 100 sensors!).
  2. Those tasked with making IT advancements want outside resources that complement their internal capabilities. We heard the stories over and over again. IT vendors that over-promise and under-deliver, or take a one-size-fits-all approach and don’t spend the time to really understand educators’ technology needs.
  3. IT technology folks in schools want absolutely nothing to do with sales-people! (Luckily for Source One Technology, that’s not a problem since our engineers work with the customers directly, at all times, without the inclusion of some money-hungry sales-person whose only goal is to up-sell equipment or services in an effort to pad their own wallet).
Patrick at Brainstorm k20 on the Source One Technology stand

Thanks again to all the Directors, Engineers, Technicians, and School Staffers that stopped by our booth to chat throughout the event. We learned some things, met some great people, and had a few laughs too (most noticeably, a rather comical photo showing one crazy technician who posed atop a giant gorilla). We really had a spectacular time at the show and are already looking forward to doing BrainStorm K20 again next year!!

Jesse Rink

Jesse Rink

Jesse is the owner of Source One Technology and has been providing IT consulting services to Enterprises, SMBs, schools, and nonprofits in Waukesha, Milwaukee, Dane, Washington , Jefferson, Ozaukee, Kenosha, Racine counties and across Wisconsin for over 18 years.

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