INTERVIEW BY ALEX DOROSIN, CONTRIBUTOR
Gregory Bargeman is best known as a vice-principal here at Wilson, but behind the scenes he also manages Wilson’s technical side. Beacon reporter Alex Dorosin sat down with Bargeman to discuss how he manages Wilson’s vast technical network.
Interviewer: How would you describe your job?
Mr. Bargeman: I am the assistant principal, in charge of various things. I oversee technology in the building, personnel, anything dealing with Edline. I oversee the math department, the main office, and I oversee the alphabet Md through Sl. And there’s more things, but . . . . I could go on all day.
Interviewer: How long has Wilson had Edline?
Mr. Bargeman: approximately five years.
Interviewer: And what is your opinion of the Edline technology?
Mr. Bargeman: Edline technology? This is our last year for it, because DCPS is getting a new system called Aspen: it’s a gradebook for teachers but it has a student component in it also. But my opinion of Edline? It has been a good system for what we use it for. I think that one of the problems that we’re having is that some teachers are using Jupiter Grades or some other electronic grade book, which makes it a little more difficult for students to get all of their grades all in one program.
Interviewer: And regarding teacher usage, how do you feel that’s been?
Mr. Bargeman: Well, as far as teacher usage, it’s probably about between 95, maybe 96 percent of the teachers use Edline. Our biggest thing is we want to make sure that teachers are updating Edline; so that they’re supposed to have updated every two weeks but every week they should have meaningful grades added to it, like a homework, a test, or a classwork.
Interviewer: Do you know how fast the Internet is at Wilson? Students have found that in different areas of the school, the internet functions at different speeds. Do you know why that is?
Mr. Bargeman: We had an analysis done of our wifi here – we found that some of the wifi access points occasionally go dead. Sometimes they’re overloaded, so you would be sharing on another one. Our wifi has a password to it, it’s not supposed to be used for people’s phones and everything, but that password seems to be out there now. And so, when you look at the network, you can see phones and iPhones, and all of that kind of stuff. And all of these items that are on the wireless network will bog it down sometimes.
Interviewer: Do you know approximately how many devices will be connected to the Wilson network at any given time?
Mr. Bargeman: Well, as far as our wireless thing, it’s probably, it can be about, maybe, it could be more than a thousand at a time. With students, it could be two thousand. I’ve never measured it. But when I’ve gone on, I’ve seen a lot of devices on there that wouldn’t be a computer. A lot of cellphones on there also.
Interviewer: Who helps contribute to Wilson’s technical infrastructure, behind the scenes?
Mr. Bargeman: Well, we have a technology coordinator, who does the work. I sort of work with him to find out . . . We have something on a system where teachers can put tickets in, if they’re having problems with their computers, Promethean boards, etc.; we have a person who’s a tech coordinator who handles those issues. Although we’re looking to see if we can put some sort of student tech group together.
Interviewer: That leads to my next question. Is there anything that students can do to become involved in Wilson’s technical scene?
Mr. Bargeman: We had some students that were working with us last year. But if there are students who are interested in it, they should just come see me, and perhaps we can put a little tech group together, and after school they would go around taking care of tech issues throughout the building.
Interviewer: What do you think of the direction that technology seems to be going at Wilson with students, and in the world as a whole?
Mr. Bargeman: Well, we’ve moved quite a bit from desktop to laptop, and now the cellphone becomes the computer for everybody to use. I know that eventually we’re going to have to move to the cellphone as a computer. We have an electronic device policy at the school about the cellphones in the classrooms, but some teachers see a need to use those in the classrooms, and you will see a note on their door, “Cellphone in use for class,” in case someone comes by. Of course, there’s a negative side to everything, and I guess the negative side is, the more electronics we have, the less interaction we have with people, back and forth. Everything seems to be electronic now.
Interviewer: Thank you for your time.
Mr. Bargeman: Yes. Any more questions, just feel free to come by. I love talking about technology.
PHOTO BY JOEY KEEGAN, PHOTO EDITOR