Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hour of Code - December 4-8


The Hour of Code is coming next week - December 4-8! The Hour of Code is a global movement by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries through a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming. To participate in the Hour of Code, take a moment to check out Technology Department Hour of Code website for a short 2:04 minute introductory video and Teacher How-To Guide to get you started. Using the Code.org student-guided tutorials is simple to do and doesn’t require students to create accounts or login - making it an easy way to participate next week.


The Technology department is here to support you in planning and teaching the Hour of Code so please reach out and let us know what you need!  

Grade TK-1 teachers: Check your inbox for an email from Melissa Oliver - she is putting together sign-ups to do Ozobots with our littlest learners next week as part of the Hour of Code!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Fall BrightBytes Survey is Now Open!


BrightBytes Survey for Students, Teachers, Administrators and Parents


Washington Unified has partnered with BrightBytes, an educational research and analytics organization, to survey students, teachers, administrators, and parents to learn more about our technology use for student learning. The data being collected is part of Goal 1 of the  Local Control and Accountability Plan(LCAP)  that is focused on the 21st century skills of critical thinking, communication, collaboration and citizenship.

The Brightbytes survey can be completed by visiting http://bbyt.es/start/8722C  

All students in grades 3-12 and all teachers and administrators are required to take this 5 minute, anonymous, and adaptive survey. Please encourage your parents to participate by sharing this link on your school sites and in communications home to families.

Be the first school to reach 100% completion and win a special prize from the Technology department!   

The survey now open and will close on Friday, October 13.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

ClassLink Portal Launch for 6-8 Students

Today we are launching the WUSD ClassLink Portal for our Middle School Students in Grades 6-8.  We will be livestreaming throughout the day a 15 minute demonstration that will walk students through how to access ClassLink, set up their accounts, and establish Single Sign On for their ConnectED accounts.

English Teachers can display the stream to their classes during the following times.  Please refresh this page to get the URL for your Live Stream.

To take full advantage of this brief overview, have students logged into their devices in advance with the district website open in Chrome and student login information to ConnectED readily available.

Monday, September 11, 2017

ClassLink Portal Launching Today for 9-12 Students

Today marks the beginning of our ClassLink Single Sign On (SSO) portal rolling launch.  We are focusing first on our 9-12 Students using ConnectED/Study Sync in their English Classrooms.

We are hosting a series of 15 minute Live Streams throughout the day via our WUSD Tech YouTube Channel that will walk students through accessing the new WUSD ClassLink Portal, setting up account preferences, and establishing SSO with ConnectED.

Join us at the following times on our WUSD Tech YouTube Channel.  The URLs change for each Live Stream.  I will post them below. Please refresh this page for the most up-to-date- URL.  Teachers you need to be logged into your District Google Account to display the LiveStreams.
We will be hosting another series of Live Streams for our Middle School English Classes tomorrow, Tuesday, September 12, 2017.  Following successful launch for our secondary students, we will be focusing on our TK-5 Classrooms.

Monday, September 4, 2017

09012017 Technology Update: Lexia, Class Link, and Aeries Student Portal Accounts

Happy September!

Lexia:


All classes for grades 6-8 ELA have been created in Lexia. If 6-8 English teachers are planning on using this resource, please see the instructions below:


Teacher login to Lexia:

  • Go to myLexia.com login page
  • Username: District email address
  • Password: If you do not remember your password, click on the link “Forgot password” and create a new password. Passwords should be the same as last year.


Student login to Lexia:

  • Go to the Lexia login in the bookmark folder on the Chromebooks
  • Username is student email – yes, the entire address (please do not change this or create new accounts for students, the automation will delete these accounts
  • Password is 5 digit perm ID
We learned last week that Single Sign On is not available for Lexia through Class Link. This is not a Class Link issue, but a Lexia issue and we are asking for Lexia to make the integration with Class Link a priority as it creates unnecessary barriers for student use. In Class Link there will be a link to Lexia for students and staff to click on, but they will have to login again. We have heard very loud and clear how challenging the long email address is to type for our youngest students. We have been working with Lexia this past week to rewrite our automated script to include just the first part of the student email address and to remove the @wusdstudents.org for the user name. We did several tests and finally were able to get it to work this morning, but it was with a student account with no data. I have an open ticket with Lexia to make sure that when this automation is ran, that it is modifying the username and not replacing the user account because we have already started assessing students. I will keep everyone posted as to what the final answer is, but please know we are working behind the scenes to make this as easy as possible once we learned that SSO is not possible due to Lexia not offering this option for Class Link.

Class Link (Single Sign On):


We met with Class Link this past week and are still working on some of the errors with automatic rostering for ThinkCentral (K-5 Math). Rostering is being performed through an industry standard called “OneRoster” that extracts data from Aeries and provides the necessary formatted files to our vendors on a nightly sync. This creates all of the accounts and organizes our classes so that teachers or technology staff do not have to manage the comings and goings of students. We are massaging the script from Aeries to get the specific data for ThinkCentral to work for us. Class Link allows us to have one dashboard that shows all of the different services teachers and students use that can be either entered without signing in or, in the case of Lexia, signing in (Lexia does not support OneRoster). We are piloting the beta version of Class Link today in a classroom and will continue to fine tune the set up in the coming week. We are working as quickly and diligently as possible to deliver this dashboard to you, but want to make sure that it functions properly and does not present any barriers.

Aeries Student Portal Account


We have automated the creation of Aeries Portal Accounts for our Middle and High School students.

When a new student enters the district, our automation systems create a computer username, and a student email. Once the student’s email account has been created, the Student’s Aeries Portal Account will be created. An email will be sent to the student’s district email from AeriesAdmin@wusdstudents.org with instructions for logging into their account.

We have removed the need for students to provide a Verification Code or Primary phone number – they just log in using their @wusdstudents.org email address and the random password provided in the confirmation email. Once students are logged in, they can click on their profile settings to update their password.

If you have students that cannot access their Aeries Portal Accounts, please call Christy Jourdan at the Helpdesk, 916-376-7999, or put in a helpdesk ticket for assistance.


It has been an incredibly busy 2.5 weeks for the Technology department as we are working to roll out many new services for our students. We thank you for your patience, support, and feedback!

Have a restful weekend and happy Labor Day!

Monday, August 21, 2017

08212017 Technology Update: Lexia, Aeries Interface, and Aeries Communication

Lexia for K-5 - Ready to go!

The Lexia databases have been updated K-5 teachers. Teachers will find that  classes have been set up and students can begin testing. We are still working on middle school classes, so 6-8 teachers please do not begin using Lexia with your students until further notice.

Teacher login to Lexia:

  • Username: District email address
  • Password: If you do not remember your password, click on the link “Forgot password” and create a new password. Passwords should be the same as last year.

Student login to Lexia:

  • Go to the Lexia login in the bookmark folder on the Chromebooks
  • Username is student email – yes, the entire address (please do not change this or create new accounts for students, the automation will delete these accounts)
  • Password is 5 digit perm ID
Please note - the Technology department is working on the final stages of Single Sign On (SSO).  This means that when a student logs onto a Chromebook, they will be logged into Lexia without typing this login information a second time.

New Aeries Interface

As many of you have noticed, the user interface (UI) has changed when you log into Aeries. The older interface was no longer supported and it was critical that we move to the new look and feel with added functionality. We realize that it takes a little time to learn the new navigation, but the basic features remain the same. To assist with this new learning, please visit the Technology department support page at https://goo.gl/anBQoy for a PDF file and links to videos on how to navigate this new environment. Also note, Aeries should be used with the CHROME browser and not Internet Explorer. The Gradebook in Aeries has not changed. If you need an Aeries training refresher, please fill out the online form located at https://goo.gl/Jysh12 so we can determine future training needs.

Aeries Communications

Aeries Communications is the new “Parentlink” (and Remind, and Facebook, and Twitter, and just about any other social media tool!) for Washington Unified. It will be added to Aeries and allows you, as a teacher, to send Direct Messages to individual parents and small groups and to create private or public groups for sharing with our school and family communities. The Aeries Communications service will replace such apps as Remind, Instagram, and other non-district supported means for communicating with families.

If you are a parent of a Washington Unified student, you can log into the Aeries Parent Portal and click on the “Communications” tab to see your parent profile. To make changes to your profile, take a look at the Technology Support for Parents page on the WUSD website.

The Technology department will work with site administrators over the next two weeks to develop best practices and protocols for teachers using Communications, set up site training for teachers from the Technology department, and continue to offer evening and morning sessions for families to receive training on how to communicate through Aeries Communications. More information to follow next week!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Illuminate Google SSO is Here!

Our transition to Illuminate Google Single Sign-on was completed this evening for teachers, specialists, and administrators. Your previous username will no longer provide access to Illuminate. All Illuminate usernames have been updated to match your complete WUSD Email Address (username@wusd.k12.ca.us).

You will notice a new Sign in with Google Button when visiting http://wusd.illuminateed.com (Chrome is the supported browser). Click on the Red Sign in with Google button and you will be asked to verify your WUSD Email Account and then you will be taken directly to your Illuminate dashboard.

If you experience any difficulties accessing Illuminate, please complete a helpdesk ticket, marked Illuminate at http://helpdesk.wusd.k12.ca.us.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

#CreateA11y @ WUSD 081017

Today marks the launch of Create Accessibility @ WUSD! As previously mentioned in the 8/8/17 WUSD Communications email distributed district-wide there are a number of new digital guidelines we need to adhere to that require us to focus additional time on the accessibility of our digital communications and content. In an effort to help build awareness, knowledge and skills throughout the WUSD Community and ensure that our digital content meets accessibility guidelines you can expect to receive an CreateA11y update every 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month throughout the 17-18 school year. These updates will include information, tips, and tutorials on things you can integrate into your digital workflow to ensure your digital content meets accessibility guidelines.


Monday, August 7, 2017

WeVideo @ WUSD

Looking to create videos during the upcoming School Year? WeVideo offers a collaborative, secure, cloud-based video creation and editing platform for maximum creativity and display of learning. WeVideo is available to All Teachers, Students, and Staff.  Interested in creating Book Trailers, Webcasts, Tutorials, Digital StoryTelling Projects, and more?  Here's a few very short videos to help  get started with using WeVideo during the the 17-18 school year.

Getting Started with WeVideo.


  1. Visit www.wevideo.com and Click Log In.
  2. Choose Sign-in with Google
  3. When prompted, choose your WUSD Google Account.
  4. First time visitors will be prompted to answer a few questions. You can skip these if you choose.
  5. Welcome to your Dashboard.

Ready for your First Project?

Here's a brief introduction to get you started.


How to Create a Group

For Teachers. It is recommended that you create a Group for your classes.  Groups provide visibility, options for shared media, and will make it easier to provide feedback throughout the creative process.


Adding Students to Your Group




What will you and your students create this year? I can't wait to see! Check out our YouTube Channel, WeVideo Playlist for monthly WeVideo Tips & Tricks. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

0817 Google Updates

Welcome to our first monthly Google update.  Google is always adding new features and updates and it can be hard to keep track. The first of every month, we'll be bring to you a short update of the best Google updates for your workflow and/or classroom. In this August 2017 episode, I'm sharing a few Google updates you may have missed over the summer and Spring.


  • BREAKING NEWS!! 10 Ways We're Making Google Classroom & Forms easier for Teachers Just released this morning & didn't make the video cut for August but too good not to share here!
  • Google Forms
    • Change Default Options
    • Checkbox Grid Options
  • Google Sheets
    • Explore & Update Features
  • Google Earth
    • Available on Chromebooks
  • Google Voyager
    • Place-based stories that are updated weekly
  • Google Classroom & Hapara Sync (COMING VERY SOON!)
    • WUSD Tech will be provisioning your Google Classroom using Aeries Data
    • Sync your Google Classroom to Hapara Teacher Dashboard
    • More info to come!!
  • Complete Show Notes are available.
Stay up-to-date on all things WUSD Tech by installing our WUSD Tech Updates Chrome Extension and Subscribing to the WUSD Tech YouTube Channel!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Illuminate Lightning Grader is Here for 2017-2018!

Assessments in 17-18 just got easier with Illuminate's Lightning Grader (LiG)! If you were previously printing bubble-type answer documents for student assessments, you now have MORE options for questions type besides multiple choice. Lightning Grader replaces the GradeCam scanner in Illuminate and brings more choices and options for both test creation and grading.

Here's some highlights of the changes:
  • Create flexible assessments with M/C, rubric, short answer & more on a single answer document and LiG will scan students hand-written responses.
  • You can print multiple answer documents on a single page! Great for exit tickets and short quizzes!  You could even laminate and reuse.
  • You can see the answer document as it is scanned!
  • You can now upload a scanned .pdf file with 100 student answer documents. Great workflow with our Canon Copiers.
  • Chrome is the supported browser for Lightning Grader.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Technology Update: Net Neutrality, Erate and YOU! - 07132017

Greetings WUSD Staff,

I know that many of you are out enjoying summer fun, but I wanted to share some information regarding potential changes at the Federal level that if put in place, would have a negative impact on Washington USD and other districts across the nation.  Please take a moment to read through the information below and join the movement to protect our students by clicking on the links below.  Yes, please click!

Net Neutrality
“Net neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits Internet service providers . . . from speeding up, slowing down, or blocking any content, applications, or websites you want to use.”  Net neutrality was adopted in 2015 and creates rules to keep the Internet free and open and is seriously at risk of being repealed by the new administration’s FCC. If we lost Net Neutrality, the large service companies (AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon) could “censor” the Internet by determining which sites will be blocked, sped up, or slowed down. It would remove the equal playing field for all web content and application providers to have equal access of users to their content.  Take a minute to watch the short YouTube video put out by Fight for the Future that explains Why Net Neutrality Makes the Internet Great.

CUE (www.cue.org) is collecting teacher and administrator responses  that will be sent directly to the FCC – please take a moment to complete this form and to let your voice be heard!  


E-Rate Funding
Washington USD has benefitted from the Federal E-Rate program over the last two years through the recabling of Elkhorn Village, Westfield Village, Southport, and Bridgeway Island, 80% discounts on WAVE circuits that provide Internet connectivity to classrooms, and 20% discounts on phone services. The total savings for the 2016-2017 school year was approximately $370,000.  The projected savings for 2017-2018 for phone service, Internet service, and new network equipment (pending funding approval) at River City, Stonegate, Southport, Westmore Oaks, and Bridgeway Island is approximately $770,000. If there were no Federal E-Rate discounts after the 2017-2018 school year, the ongoing costs of services starting in 2018-2019 would be over $270,000 and there would be no future upgrades in cabling or network equipment for Yolo Education Center, Washington Middle College Charter, or Alyce Norman, the remaining three sites needing upgrades. As you can clearly see, the Federal E-Rate program has had a tremendous impact on supporting connectivity to classrooms in Washington USD and not having these discounts in the future will severely impact what we are able to do beyond connectivity. 

Please take a moment to advocate for the continuance of Federal ed tech funding with E-Rate being one of the priorities by going to www.iste.org/Act4EdTech. This will generate a form letter to be sent our Congressional representatives: Sen. Diane Feinstein, Sen. Kamala Harris, and Rep. Doris Matsui. 

These are two important priorities that are critical to the work that we do in teaching students and serving the West Sacramento community. Please help rally behind protecting Net Neutrality and E-Rate by clicking on the links above to have your voice heard.

If you have any questions, please contact me by email or phone. Thank you!

KIM HARRISON, CCTO

Director II, Technology

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Planned Illuminate Downtime 7/17-7/31

We will be migrating to Google Single Sign On (SSO) authentication for Illuminate Education’s services. While we make this transition you may experience some loss of connection. This means, beginning July 17 until the anticipated date of service, July 31, you may experience intermittent downtime. While we aim to minimize the loss of service during this time, please be aware of this possibility. We believe the change to Google SSO for students and staff will provide increased functionality and an improved user experience during the upcoming school year.

Once we complete the necessary changes, I will follow up with another communication announcing the access change. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please let me know. If you have any urgent tasks planned during this time period, please contact me with details so we can attempt to plan around your situation.

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Starting Line-up of Tech Teacher Team (T3)

On Friday, July 7, the starting line-up of your 2017-2018 Tech Teacher Team (T3) met to begin their journey towards becoming Google Certified Educator. They are off to a great start and we can't wait for even more awesomeness to follow!  Watch our promo video to learn more about our twelve teachers from schools throughout the district that comprise our Tech Teacher Team (T3).  Learn more by visiting the T3 website.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Technology Update: EOY, Summer, and Upcoming Changes for the 17-18 School Year - 053117

WUSD Teachers and Staff,

As we close out the 16-17 School Year, a few Tech Updates regarding access to programs, archiving classrooms, and some changes you may notice over the summer and in the Fall.

Student Lexia Access (K-8 Teachers)
Students will not have access to Lexia over the summer months. For Lexia and other programs, there is A LOT of summer back-end work that our team will be doing to archive the 16-17 data, rollover accounts in preparation for 17-18 and do the heavy lifting needed to prepare for the rostering automation and Single Sign-On that will be available at the beginning of the school year that will create an improved user experience for both teachers and students.

Archiving your Google Classroom (Google Classroom Users)
Google Certified Innovator and Trainer, Eric Curts, wrote an excellent recent blog post detailing 6 End of the Year Google Classroom Tips with great directions and tips for closing out your Google Classroom(s) and Calendars for 16-17 so you can start fresh for 17-18.

Student Access to Google Accounts (All Teachers)
Students will not have access to their Google Accounts over the summer unless they are enrolled in Summer School. All Seniors received an email earlier this week with directions on how to transfer their Google Drive content to a personal account if they choose. Seniors have until June 9th to initiate this process. After that date, they will no longer have access to their WUSD Google Account. The transfer directions shared with seniors are available for reference at https://goo.gl/EylzUj.

Changes you may notice over the Summer

Where’s my Chrome extension? (All Teachers/Staff)
During the summer we will be doing some digital housekeeping by updating our Chrome configurations. There are a number of extensions pushed out district-wide that are not being widely used. This creates a bloated infrastructure and can cause slower performance. We will be removing several of these extensions in our housekeeping efforts. Any Chrome extension that is removed will be placed in the WUSD Chrome Store for easy access and for staff to reinstall if they were a frequent user.

What’s happening with my Chrome Shelf? (All Chromebook Users)
You may notice some changes to the Chrome Shelf (easy access icons usually on the bottom of your screen) over the summer to reflect new adoptions and district-wide programs. These changes are designed to create an improved user experience and ensure easy access!

Updated WUSD & WUSDStudents.org Chrome Stores (All Teachers/Staff/Students)
Another summer project will be updating both the WUSD and WUSDStudent.org Chrome Stores with recommended apps and extensions.

Upcoming Changes for the 2017-2018 School Year

Illuminate Lightning Grader Upgrade! (All Teachers)
Any teachers using Illuminate to create scan-tron assessments, the GradeCam plug-in and interface is being replaced with Lightning Grader. This upgrade will have new, enhanced features such as the ability to scan written responses, provide more scoring options beyond just multiple choice, and much more! Please be advised that any scantrons you have laminated or placed in sheet protectors for student re-use will need to be reprinted at the start of the 17-18 school year for use with Lightning Grader. You will not need to recreate any existing assessments within Illuminate, just reprint the answer documents.

Illuminate Dashboard Enhancements (All Illuminate Users)
Illuminate will look a little different when you return in August. The New Dashboard enhancements will provide improved navigation and access to assessments and reports.

Single Sign-On (Teachers/Staff/Students)
Pending Board Approval, we will be launching a Single Sign-On solution this Fall for all users to provide an improved user experience and preserve instructional time. You will receive more communication regarding Single Sign-On this August.

Password Security Enhancements (Teachers/Staff)
This Fall, there will be new password requirements for all staff to ensure the security of our network and our digital files. Expect more information this Fall.

As always, please reach out if you have any questions.
Melissa

Technology Update: Tech Teacher Team (T3) - 052617

I am excited to announce the launch of the Tech Teacher Team (T3). This new initiative is a year-long, in-depth professional learning program designed to support teachers with implementing 21st century skills in the classroom and build leadership capacity within WUSD through recognized certifications to support the next generation of instructional coaches, TOSAs, professional learning leaders, and teacher leaders.

If you are a teacher who is interested in advancing your technology leadership skills, receiving ongoing support, achieving additional certifications, and having the opportunity to share your learning with others, then T3 is for you! Interested in learning more and considering applying? Please visit https://sites.google.com/wusd.k12.ca.us/techteacherteam and reach out to me with any questions.

Melissa

Technology Update: Innovative Educator Program and 1:1 Devices - 052617

Innovative Educator Program Sunsets

Many of you have asked about the Innovative Educator Program throughout the Spring and I wanted to provide you with an update of what is happening with this highly successful program for the 2017-2018 school year.

The Innovative Educator program has provided over 2,000 devices for classrooms over the past two and a half years and due to the purposeful roll-out that engages the early adopters, the WUSD Innovative Educator program is respected as a model for districts in implementing 1:1 across the state. During the course of the past two years, we have brought on over 140 Innovative Educators. We have used Common Core Implementation Funds, Microsoft K-12 Voucher Settlement Reimbursement funds, and Technology Department funds to purchase the carts and devices for classrooms.

Since implementing the Innovative Educator Program, the district has adopted a new Math and English Language Arts curriculum that relies upon access to technology in order to support the content. Given this new and exciting environment the model of one cart per classroom does not support the Innovative Educator model and the program would actually create a greater disparity of those who have access to technology and those who don't across sites and grade levels. As the need for equitable access across classrooms increases to meet the demands of implementing the new adoptions, the initial phase of the Innovative Educator program will be sunsetted at the conclusion of this school year. To continue building digital leadership at sites across the District, we will be launching a new program called Tech Teacher Team (T3) that is open to WUSD teachers. Melissa Oliver, Coordinator of Instructional Technology, is heading this new District initiative and will be providing information on what the T3 program is and how teachers can apply in a follow up email today.

1:1 Access for all Students

Equal access to technology for all students and our mission to move to a 1:1 environment will continue to be a focus for the district. In order to achieve this, existing Chromebooks, laptops, and tablets assigned to classrooms as part of the Innovative Educator program may be redeployed to meet the need of having devices in all classrooms or having access to devices in an on-demand environment. The planning for redeploying devices across the school sites and district is being conducted in collaboration with teachers, site administration, and the Technology department. As a result of redistributing devices across each school site, all teachers will have access to technology within their classrooms with either 6, 12, 17, 34, or 36 devices available in K-8 and all 9-12 access of devices will be shared across departments. This means that every K-8 classroom will have their own devices to use to support the new adoptions and 9-12 teachers will have access to shared carts in their department. It is essential that 9-12 Innovative Educator carts be available during prep periods and when not in use for department use.

At this time, we have over 5,000 Chromebooks deployed across the district and with more than 7500 students, making us a 2:1 district - at least 2 students for everyone 1 Chromebook. This does not include laptops or tablets. We are much closer to becoming a 1:1 school district each year and will continue to work with site leaders to increase access to technology in subsequent years as we continue to build out the infrastructure and provide professional learning to support a 1:1 environment.

As always, if you have questions, please contact me directly.

Kim

Friday, April 7, 2017

Technology Update: Tech for Home; Network Security Reminder 04-06-07

A new update and a quick reminder to view the 2 videos from Keenan Safe Schools before the end of the day tomorrow (all staff):

CTL Chromebooks for Home

The Technology Department has reached out to CTL, the manufacturer and vendor currently providing Chromebooks for our WUSD classrooms, to request the same low pricing for our staff and families.  As announced at STU-CON, CTL has made this pricing available for us to share.  Go to bit.ly/wusdctl to order your personal CTL J5 flip 10 point touch Chromebook for under $300. A flyer is attached – we are working on the Spanish and Russian translations for our families. This offer is valid for all of our WUSD families and staff.  Please note: Personal Chromebooks will not connect on our district network making them a great resource for home.


REMINDER: Network security begins with our WUSD Employees – DEADLINE TO COMPLETE IS THIS FRIDAY - TOMORROW!

As hackers get increasingly crafty at attempts on our network, it is time to revisit network security and the measures each employee can put into place to prevent ransomware and breaches.  Password security and email safety education are two areas that the Technology Department is seeing as increasingly important in stopping this type of activity. Each employee has a responsibility to the organization to have a strong password that is kept safe and not shared (Section 2.6 of the WUSD Staff and Faculty Acceptable Use Policy) and to have an understanding of general practice around email and messaging safety (Section 3 of the WUSD Staff and Faculty Acceptable Use Policy).  The WUSD Staff and Faculty Acceptable UsePolicy is attached for your reference only – you already have a completed form on file as an employee of WUSD.

To assist in developing a strong password and to learn more about email and messaging safety, all WUSD Staff and Faculty have been assigned the following two “courses” from Keenan Safe Schools to complete and should have both courses completed no later than Friday, April 7:

  • ·         Password Security (Full Course) – 5 minutes
  • ·         Email and Messaging Safety (Full Course) – 12 minutes


Please go to the website www.wusd.keenan.safeschools.com/login and log in under your ID-the first initial of your first name and your last name (for example: jdoe).  If this does not work, please try your full first name and full last name together.  If you are still having trouble, please reach out to Jennifer Geminder at jgeminder@wusd.k12.ca.us for assistance.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Common Troubleshooting Keyboard Shortcuts

control + shift + o resets screen resolution, control + alt + z turns on/off ChromeVox
These are keyboard shortcuts that will resolve commonly asked troubleshooting questions regarding your Chromebooks. If a Chromebook appears stuck on a less than desirable screen resolution, use Control + Shift + o and it will reset the screen resolution.  If you have a talking Chromebook, most likely ChromeVox (a screen reader) was enabled. You can turn off ChromeVox with the Control + Alt + Z keyboard shortcut.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Technology Update: STU-CON, CapCUE Mini Grant, Security 03-21-17

STU-CON 2017
Just a reminder that the first annual STU-CON is THIS Thursday at City Hall!  All WUSD staff are invited to attend and learn from our student experts about the technology they are using in WUSD classrooms. Video creation, robotics, all things Google, student created music, and much more awaits you!  The doors open at 5 pm and there will be several door prizes available for attendees – including at Chromebook!

CapCUE Mini Grants
Each Spring CapCUE, the local CUE affiliate, supports classroom technology projects as part of a $500 mini grant program.  Check out http://capcue.weebly.com/mini-grants.html for more information. If you need assistance in writing a mini grant, reach out to Edmund Lynch, Technology TOSA, and he’d be happy to assist (elynch@wusd.k12.ca.us).

Network security begins with our WUSD Employees
As hackers get increasingly crafty at attempts on our network, it is time to revisit network security and the measures each employee can put into place to prevent ransomware and breaches.  Password security and email safety education are two areas that the Technology Department is seeing as increasingly important in stopping this type of activity. Each employee has a responsibility to the organization to have a strong password that is kept safe and not shared (Section 2.6 of the WUSD Staff and Faculty Acceptable Use Policy) and to have an understanding of general practice around email and messaging safety (Section 3 of the WUSD Staff and Faculty Acceptable Use Policy).  The WUSD Staff and Faculty Acceptable Use Policy is attached for your reference only – you already have a completed form on file as an employee of WUSD.

To assist in developing a strong password and to learn more about email and messaging safety, all WUSD Staff and Faculty have been assigned the following two “courses” from Keenan Safe Schools to complete and should have both courses completed no later than Friday, April 7:

·       Password Security (Full Course) – 5 minutes
·       Email and Messaging Safety (Full Course) – 12 minutes


Please go to the website www.wusd.keenan.safeschools.com/login and log in under your ID-the first initial of your first name and your last name (for example: jdoe).  If this does not work, please try your full first name and full last name together.  If you are still having trouble, please reach out to Jennifer Geminder at jgeminder@wusd.k12.ca.us for assistance.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Important Lexia Information

Staff, students, and teachers in Washington Unified School District click, browse, and surf thousands of webpages on the internet every single day.  When we connect to those pages, they often will ask us to make choices about how we want our Web Browsers -- Google Chrome or Microsoft Internet Explorer -- to respond.  It can often be tricky to determine whether we should "allow" or "deny" these requests.

When should we "allow"?

Certain webpages WUSD knows are trusted sites.  Lexia, Thinkcentral, ConnectED, and others we have specifically contracted with to provide educational services to our district should always be "allowed" to run as asked.  Teach your students to choose correctly!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Video Options in Google Slides

Insert Video Google Slides Menu with Red Box around Google Drive
Starting today you'll see new, exciting video options for Google Drive.

You can now insert videos from Google Drive directly onto Google slides! Insert > Video > Choose Your Video Source (Previously you were limited to only using YouTube videos.) Just imagine the possibilities with student-created videos using WeVideo!

Regardless of the source of your video, you also now have more video options! Select the video on your slide and you'll see Video Options on your toolbar.

Video Options side bar with start and end optionsSelect Video Options on your toolbar and a menu will appear on the right.  Got a long video but only want to show 30 seconds of it? Now you can with ease! Video Options allows you to set the start and end time of your video. You can even set the video to autoplay when in present mode as well as mute audio. How will begin using these new video options in Google Slides?


Friday, February 10, 2017

2017 February 7 Tech Update: Upcoming JET Review February 13-14 & STU-CON 2017

JET Review
What is JET Review?
The Joint Educational Technology (JET) Review will be happening in Washington Unified on Monday/Tuesday, February 13 and 14.  The purpose of the JET review is to assess the school infrastructure as it relates to academic needs. The team will assess the district network (MDF and IDF cabinets and server rooms) and observe and report on technology use in classrooms via Ed Tech Rounds. In addition, they will host stakeholder interviews of District Office staff, IT Staff, Classified, Teachers, Administrators, and most importantly, Students.  These will be small groups of individuals that will take a short online survey and answer questions for the JET Review Team on site.
Why JET Review?
The JET Review team will provide a written report that will be used to inform decision-making regarding technology within Washington Unified as we continue to strive toward providing the best learning environment for our students.  My expectation is that everyone will provide honest feedback and do “business as usual” during classroom visits. Please do not do a special Technology lesson during their visit as this defeats the purpose of providing an accurate experience of a day in the life of WUSD classrooms.  Classroom visits will be random and teacher names and room numbers are not recorded.
Who will be on the JET Review Team?
Our JET Review Team will consist of the following Senior Level Educational and K-12 Technology Professional Leaders:
  • Tim Goree, Director of Technology Support Services, Fairfield-Suisun USD
  • Joe Ayala, Director of Innovation and Instructional Technology, Union SD
These individuals will be accompanied by a member of the Technology department at all times while on our campuses.

When and where will the JET Review Team visit?
The Team will visit the following sites on the following days/times:
Monday, February 13
8-10: District Office
10:15-1:20:  Westfield
2:05-4:40: River City
Tuesday, February 14
7:30-10:45: Southport
1:15-4:00: Riverbank
STU-CON 2017 – March 23, 2017
Check this out!!  https://youtu.be/IDqiqdG6Z7Y  There’s something for everyone at STU-CON 2017!
Teachers: Sign up your class team today http://bit.ly/stucon17  and enter a chance to win a half-day release time for you and your grade level team (TK-5), two periods (6-8), or 1 period (9-12).  Each student team = one entry!
All Students: Participate in STU-CON 2017 on March 23 and be entered into a door prize contest to win a Chromebook donated by CTL.
High School Students:  Open table for students who are interested in sharing their technology savviness that goes BEYOND the walls of the classroom! Sign up for a time slot for the open table. https://goo.gl/VwC5Zf
Families and Community Members:  Light refreshments provided by the Culinary Arts Students from Bryte, fun music, information about low cost Wi-Fi at home, and a chance to win a CTL Chromebook as part of the door prizes!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Technology Update: STU-CON 2017 & WeVideo 1-24-17

Graphic with a girl and different technology icons
Help spread the news!
Share the STU-CON 2017 Informational flyer with your families by going to https://goo.gl/APlpMz and downloading the image above. You can also embed this image in your electronic communications home - right-mouse on the image above, choose “Save as Picture”, rename the file, and save it to a location where you will be able to find it for the future. The Technology Department is putting together a FUN evening for our students, families, community and staff on March 23. Food will be provided by our fabulous Bryte Culinary Arts students as we support our WUSD students in sharing their tech-knowledgy! There will be music and CTL, our Chromebook vendor, has graciously donated two (yes, 2!!) Chromebooks to give away as door prizes! Teachers - Please gather your teams of students and submit your registration so we can save your time slot. All time-slots are 30 minutes long beginning at 5 pm. Your role will be to supervise and assist as needed. Your students are the stars of the show, but will need your organizational skills to help them shine! And, you will be compensated for your time.

Not sure what to do?
Unable to make it, but want to send a team?
You really want to be a part of STU-CON, but not sure how?  

Email Kim, Melissa, Edmund, or Christy - we are here to help!  Go to https://goo.gl/wik6XC for our contact information. To sign up your student team, visit https://goo.gl/3NRgQ3.

WeVideo is Here!
WUSD Students and Teachers now have access to premier cloud-based video creation and editing program using WeVideo. Visit wevideo.com and use the signin with Google button and you’ll be added to our WUSD account and have access to premium features such as green screen and more! Want to learn more about multimedia creation in your classroom? We are offering a 3-part video creation series on February 21, March 23, and April 27 from 3:30-5:30 in Room 48. You can register at goo.gl/ZNfwgd

Friday, January 20, 2017

Partial Screenshot on Chromebook

control + shift + switch window to take partial screenshot on Chromebook
Taking a screenshot on a Chromebook is as easy as control + shift + switch window.  Highlight the selected area and depending on settings your image is saved in your Google Drive or locally.  If you want to take a screenshot of an entire page, use control + switch window.  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hapara Update: Create Your Own Classes

Red Square around Text that says + Add ClassReading Specialists, Language Specialists, Resource Teachers, and any teacher working with students who may not be rostered to you during Designated ELD or Afterschool...Great News!! You can now create your own classes in Hapara.  The classes created for you by Aeries will remain and  now you can create classes to meet your needs and take advantage of all that Hapara has to offer with all your students you work with on a regular basis.  Here's how:

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

WeVideo is Here!

WeVideo is here for teachers and students! WeVideo offers a cloud-based, collaborative video creation and editing solution. Students can record video along with audio and lay different tracks combined with the premium WeVideo features such as music, transitions, special effects and much, much more.

For those interested in getting started, visit WeVideo.com using your WUSD Google Account and click the sign-in with Google and you're ready to start creating. To help jumpstart your creations, we are offering a 3-part video creation series to build your skills using this program by providing hands-on activities that you can use with your students. These sessions will be offered starting February 21, March 23, and April 27. All sessions will be held from 3:30-5:30 in Room 48 at the District Office. Due to the progressive nature of skills and practice of this series, attendance is expected for the entire series.  Teachers will be paid their hourly PD rate.  Register today at goo.gl/ZNfwgd.  Additionally, our Technology TOSA, Edmund Lynch is available to help demonstrate WeVideo in your classrooms. If you're interested, please reach out to Edmund directly via email.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Coming Soon: Read&Write

Purple Puzzle Piece: Read&Write for Google
Read&Write by TextHelp will soon be available to teachers and students. Read&Write is a literacy toolbar that exists in the Chrome Browser, in G Suite Files, and pdfs. This toolbar has many features to support all learners such as text to speech, dictionary, a visual dictionary, the ability to annotate text, and much, much more.

If you are interested in learning more, we are offering a 3-part series beginning January 19 by providing an introduction to the tool. Session 2 on February 23 will focus on using Read&Write to Support Vocabulary Instruction and the third session on March 30 will focus on using Read&Write to Support Writing & Research.  All sessions will occur from 3:30-5:00 in Room 48 at the District Office. Teachers will be paid their hourly PD rate. Due to the nature of this series, attendance is expected at all 3 sessions. Registration is available at https://goo.gl/m2TU0R. Teachers interested in exploring Read&Write in advance of upcoming training, you can install the tool using this link.