New I.T. reforms bring greater safety and convenience


By fall this year, several IT changes will be in place for students to have an easier time with their online learning experience. The basis of all these changes, according to IT Director Mr. Dan Hudkins, is first and foremost safety and security. After these priorities are achieved, productivity and efficiency enhance students’ learning.


The most significant change is the overhaul of Tigernet Student Portal. Mr. Hudkins hopes that Tigernet can consolidate information they need, becoming a one-stop destination for students. He is working on it with the student tech advisory committee, an informal group of students whom he consults on possible Tigernet improvements.
“We noticed that a lot of the information was irrelevant to us and a lot of the links didn’t work,” said tech advisory committee participant Olivia Hsin (‘20). “Thus, we used our perspectives as high school students to tell Mr. Hudkins what we want to see on the website.”

Logging into Tigernet on the Taipei American School website redirects the user to the general announcement page [Christine Lin/The Blue & Gold]
Mr. Hudkins aims for Tigernet to become a platform for many resources by October. There would be an online calendar for students to stay organized, and announcements such as daily club sales can be posted on there. “Students do not use Tigernet very often because it wasn’t useful, as the information never changed,” said Mr. Hudkins.
Current platforms displaying student work would also be integrated into Tigernet, providing a more cohesive sense of community among student groups. “To use TAS Art and Innovation as an example, it’s a website showcasing student artwork and it’s been around for at least three to four years. But no one has heard of it,” said Mr Hudkins. He believes that the numerous platforms for student work, including the Blue & Gold, can be all on Tigernet.

Single sign-on, quick and easy

The Tigernet overhaul will also move TAS closer to a single sign-on. Mr. Hudkins envisions that by the end of August, students can log on to Tigernet and be able to enter any other website without being asked for a password again. The SSO process had already begun during the 2017-18 school year, with the first step being students changing their usernames and receiving a uniform login for all school-related websites.
Students also do not have to worry about forgetting passwords, as students from sixth grade onward can change their passwords.

TAS Domain

The hardest challenge Mr. Hudkins has just tackled over the summer, however, is moving the entire student body out of the TAS file domain. The students had been residing in one domain, and the staff in another. “Think of the domains like houses. When you have two houses, it makes it harder to move furniture,” he said.

G Suite

Looking further ahead, Mr. Hudkins hopes to get G Suite ready by Christmas. Essentially, when Tigernet updates, GSuite would be updated as well. “When you reset your Tigernet password, it will reset your Gmail password too,” he said. This again increases students’ convenience and also helps them be more independent with managing their digital presence.