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.



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Technology Update: STU-CON 2017 & H Drive Storage - 1-12-17

Happy New Year!

STU-CON 2017 – March 23, 2017

STU-CON 2017 is our first annual student powered technology fest and it will be held from 5-7 pm at City Hall in the Galleria. STU-CON 2017 is a showcase for our students to share how they've been learning with technology in their classrooms. It's an opportunity for families to come and learn from their own children and have a chance to explore and engage with the technology our students use daily. We're counting on you, our teachers and staff, to help by putting together teams of students that can lead demonstrations or present projects that you’ve done in your classroom over the last year. This could be anything from using Google apps to robotics to video to podcasting - whatever it happens to be that your students are doing - we want to hear from you!

More Information: https://goo.gl/wik6XC
Form to Sign your Team up: https://goo.gl/3NRgQ3

H DRIVE STORAGE


It’s time to apply some minimalists strategies to your H Drive. We've had several requests for additional storage on the H Drive and unfortunately, that's not possible/ Everyone has the same amount of storage space allocated to on our servers and if we increase for one, we will need to increase for all and we don’t have enough server space to do that. If you're finding that you're running out of storage space on your H drive then it might be a good time for a spring cleaning. Take a moment to look at the files in your H Drive and ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Do I need this? If Yes, then decide what to do with it. If No, then delete it.
  2. Do I need this semester? If Yes, do nothing. If No, then upload it to your Google Drive for future reference.
  3. I don’t need it now, but I might in the future? Face it, all teachers are pack rats and hate to delete anything!If Yes, then upload it to your Google Drive If No, then delete it.
Don’t forget to empty your trash when you’re finished. (Right-mouse click on the trash can and choose “Empty Recycle Bin”)

A couple of reminders about Google Drive:
  • Don’t upload personal info (like credit card numbers, social security numbers)
  • You can upload an entire folder at one time, recommended to keep the same file structure.
  • If you’re uploading individual files, you may want to create a new folder in your Drive to keep everything organized.

Annual Equipment Maintenance

On Friday, January 13, we will be performing the annual maintenance on the universal power supplies for the District’s network between 12 and 3 pm.  This means our entire system will at the District Office will be on our battery backup.  This should not interrupt or impact the network in any way during this time, unless there's a black out or brown out, which we don't anticipate. This is a necessary maintenance to keep our system up and running. You don't need to do anything, but we wanted to let everyone know about this scheduled maintenance.

Again, Happy New Year and we look forward to serving you in 2017!

KIM HARRISON
Director II, Technology

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New Google Classroom Updates



Some long-awaited and often requested features in Google Classroom were released today.  You can now post assignments, questions, and posts to individual students or groups of students. Differentiation and group work via Google Classroom made much easier!  Read more about all the new Classroom features released today in the Google Blog

Friday, January 6, 2017

Reopen Closed Tab

control + shift + t to reopen closed tab
Close a Chrome tab accidentally? No problem. Try this keyboard shortcut! Use Control + Shift + T to reopen the last closed tab in your Chrome browser.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hapara Teacher Dashboard Organization

Did you know you can organize and customize your teacher dashboard in Hapara? By default, your teacher dashboard is organized alphabetically by student first name. You can sort your cards by either first name or last name in both alphabetical or reverse alphabetical order.

What if you could organize your teacher dashboard to match your seating chart, by group project, or something else?  You can!   Your teacher dashboard is 100% customizable within the 4 horizontal square layout.  You can drag and drop the cards on your teacher dashboard to create the layout that works best for you! If you want to copy that layout to another screen within your teacher dashboard by clicking the x arrows to the right of the ABC sorting button.

If you want your teacher dashboard to be organized by flexible groups, you can also filter your groups. If you don't already have students assigned to groups, this support document from Hapara will guide you through the process.



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Organize your Google Drive in 2017

To celebrate the new year, WUSD EdTech will be sharing organizational tips throughout the month of January.  We've been using Google district-wide for 18 months and  there are over 500,000 files now stored in Google Drives! With that many files, you may be getting overwhelmed by your Google Drive.  Here's a few tips to help organize your Google Drive in the new year.

Google Drive Organization Tips