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This Is Not a Drill: Successfully Navigating a Disaster

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 118B

Listen and learn: Ed talk
Recorded Session
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Minnehaha Academy
Dan is a 35 year technology professional and owner of LLC, a Twin Cities-based technology consultancy and managed service provider, specializing in technology strategy planning, assessments, leadership, and implementation projects. Dan graduated from the University of Minnesota where he also worked for 10 years in technology infrastructure management before launching and growing a prominent local ISP with three other partners. Dan started his consultancy LLC in 2001 and continues to live and work in the Twin Cities.
Director Of Technology
Minnehaha Academy
Dave Eisenmann, MA Ed., CETL, is the Director of Technology at Minnehaha Academy, a private PreK-12 college prep school in Minneapolis. Dave also taught for eight years and was the Director of Instructional Technology for 18 years at Minnetonka Public Schools. He is an associate professor at Saint Mary's University Minnesota. He has presented at numerous conferences including ISTE, NSBA, ETT, LearnIT and FETC. In 2015, the National School Boards Association named him one of 20 Ed Tech Leaders To Watch. Dave has also spoken to over 75,000 students and adults about digital health and wellness in over 110 communities.
Assistant Director of Technology
Minnehaha Academy
Joe joined the Minnehaha Academy tech team immediately following the disastrous events of August 2, 2017. Now the Assistant Director of Technology, Joe supports the strategic vision of technology in the schools. Before joining Minnehaha Academy, Joe spent six years at Apple as a technician and leader. Fueled by his passion for tech and education, he hosts his own tech blog, Tyrannosaurustech. Joe holds a BA in Psychology and Business Marketing from the University of St. Thomas and lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife and two cats.

Session description

A devastating natural gas explosion three weeks before school began destroyed Minnehaha Academy’s high school including the main data center and communications links. Hear about the real-world disaster recovery process and learn proactive steps to take to successfully prepare for possible incidents from physical to cybersecurity and more.

Purpose & objective

Attendees will learn about the disaster and its effects on our school, steps taken after, redesign and rebuild.
Attendees will learn about the importance of disaster preparedness from an IT perspective.
Our experience and best practices will be shared and time for Q/A provided.

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(3 mins) Welcome & Intros
(15 mins) Accounts of the event and incident response
(5 mins) Q & A, discussion prompts with others
(15 mins) Recovery and redesign of infrastructure
(5 mins) Q & A, discussion prompts with others
(12 mins) Proactively planning and preparing for other disasters
(5 mins) Q & A, discussion prompts with others

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Supporting research

COSN. 2021. “2021 State and Federal Cybersecurity Policy Trends: Insights for Education Technology Leaders & Policymakers.” COSN.

Freeman, Diana B. 2021. “ISTE.” ISTE.

National Institute of Standards and Technology. 2018. “The Five Functions.” NIST.

Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). 2022. “TIA-4966 : Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Educational Facilities.” IHS Markit Standards Store.

U.S. Department of Education. 2017. “Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education:.” Office of Educational Technology.

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Session specifications

Technology infrastructure & connectivity
Skill level:
Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Principals/head teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Attendee devices:
Devices not needed
ISTE Standards:
For Education Leaders:
Visionary Planner
  • Engage education stakeholders in developing and adopting a shared vision for using technology to improve student success, informed by the learning sciences.
Systems Designer
  • Lead teams to collaboratively establish robust infrastructure and systems needed to implement the strategic plan.
  • Ensure that resources for supporting the effective use of technology for learning are sufficient and scalable to meet future demand.