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

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 & Chrome Stores (All Teachers/Staff/Students)
Another summer project will be updating both the WUSD and 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.

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 and reach out to me with any questions.


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.