Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Update # 9 - Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Here are a few updates to read at your leisure.

iPass - iPass is open and ready if you wish to get a head start on report cards.

iPad Updates - Thank you for signing up to have your ipads updated to iOS 8. In doing so, we have installed important app updates for our core apps. We still have a few left to grab so Joe and I will come around next week to finish up. 

iPad Presentation - At the K-2 in-service on November 12th, the Tech Specialists began the in-service with an iPad presentation. For those interested, you can view our presentation in google docs.

Hour of Code - Just a reminder that during technology classes in December, students will participate in the Hour of Code. If you will be participating in your classroom, lets connect so we don't duplicate lessons.

Looking to Save Battery Power - Here are the top 4 uses that drain battery power quickly:
  • Running too many apps at the same time (this includes the number of tabs you have open in a browser).
  • Streaming audio and/or video.
  • Using the Webcam.
  • Not restarting your computer in a long time (build good habits by restarting everyday)

In the November 24th e-blast, families received a link to the Online Tools Opt-Out Form. The form notified families of the district wide resources in which we create online accounts for students. This form is being used at all 3 elementary schools. Titles listed are resources wherein the district creates and manages the accounts. Titles that are grade specific and managed by teachers are not included in this form. It is your responsibility to complete the software request form for any title that you would like to use with students that require online accounts. After approval has been given, you will need to collect parent permissions. To date, all children have permission to use these titles. No one has opted out!

Tech Committee - The Tech Committee met on November 18th. Our meeting notes are in this google doc. All our welcome to attend. Our next meeting is on December 18th at 3:30 in the computer lab.

Software Subscription Update - HH has renewed Discovery Education for another year. There are lots of tools within Discovery Education. If you are looking for a refresher on how to use this too, we will be having a webinar on Discovery Education during the December 18th Tech Committee meeting. All are welcome to join. If you have any questions you'd like addressed, please send that information along.

If you need assistance logging in to Discovery Education, please let me know. Alternatively, you can go to their website, click login and then click on the link Forgot username and password to retrieve the information directly from Discovery Education.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Update #8 - Happy Veterans' Day

A few quick updates for you:

1. Online Tools Opt-Out Form - The Technology Department in conjunction with the principals and curriculum leaders are working on an Online Tools Opt-Out form to send home to families. The purpose of this form is two-fold: to increase our communication with families around the online tools that students are using in the district; and to provide families with an option to opt-out of any online tool. The opt-out form covers the tools wherein the district creates and manages accounts for teachers/students; such as Lexia, Raz-Kids, Symphony Math... 

I have added two titles to the list that I will manage. They are Digital Passport, which will be used in grades 3rd-5th; and Code.Org (Code Studio) which will be used in 1st-5th. 

Please remember to complete the software request form if you have a website you'd like your students to use where you need to create accounts. Once the new tool is approved, it is your responsibility to get parent permission before creating accounts. Please let me know if I can assist you in this process. 

2. Hour of Code: This year Hour of Code is from December 8th - 14th. Like last year, students in grades 1st-5th will participate during technology class. One new area this year is a curriculum at Code Studio which is part of Student progress will be tracked while using their curriculum. As long as parents don't object, I will be creating accounts for students at This item has been included in the Online Tools Opt-Out form being sent home this month.

3. iPad Updates: It's time to bite the bullet and update our iPads to iOS 8. Joe and I would like to update all iPads by December. Help us meet this goal! Please use this google doc to sign-up for a time slot so we can update your classroom and/or teacher iPads. More information is provided on the sign-up doc.

4. Tech 1-to-1 Day: The next Tech Day is on Thursday, November 13th - WOW that's this week. If you are interested in working together this Thursday, November 13th, then please sign up via Doodle. We can work together with your students on a classroom project or 1-to-1 on a topic of your choice. A sub will be in to relieve so please have lesson plans ready.  After you sign-up, please leave a comment in the doodle form so I know what you'd like to work on together. Thanks.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions.