Back to School 2016 with Technology

posted Aug 13, 2016, 6:25 PM by District Webmaster   [ updated Sep 22, 2016, 8:40 PM ]

Getting Started for 2016-2017

PowerTeacher

PowerTeacher Accounts Activate on 8/15

Most PowerTeacher accounts will be reactivated on Monday, August 15. The district waits until then because class schedules remain in flux as students pick up schedules, new students to the district are enrolled, and classes are rebalanced. While rosters will still be subject to change after 8/15, they are much more stable by then.

NOTE: While PowerTeacher 10 has been released, the district is staying with version 9 until the Canvas system being piloted this year at the high school has been updated to work with the newer version of PowerTeacher.
Login help

Logins Help

Over summer break, it is easy to forget how to login to various services. Remember that you can always access login help on the district website under Staff Links > Links and Information > Help with logins.

Faster logins

To help make services more accessible, you'll notice that if you go to the district website and hover your mouse on the Staff Links menu item, the pop-up menu now includes many one-click links to various services.

Google Apps foe Ed

My Big Campus is Dead! Long Live Google Classroom!

The My Big Campus service for classroom files and communications has been retired. All district teachers have had access to Google Apps for Education since 2015, and are encouraged to check out their capabilities, especially Google Classroom.
Google Classroom

Google Classroom

A highlight for a teacher is Google Classroom, where you can create a course, have your students join it with a code you generate, and share with them announcements, an assignments calendar, and create interactive assignments they can fill out and submit:
  • Classroom is designed to help teachers create and collect assignments paperlessly, including time-saving features like the ability to automatically make a copy of a Google Document for each student. It also creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student to help keep everyone organized.
  • Students can keep track of what's due on the Assignments page and begin working with just a click. Teachers can quickly see who has or hasn't completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback and grades right in Classroom.
Here are some helpful links to get you started with Google Classroom:
There is online training for the various Google Apps under Staff Links > Technology Help > Google Apps for Education. There are direct links in a later section of this post.


Edusoft Survives for Another Year in Grades 6-12

Edusoft is like Mark Twain: the rumors of its death have been greatly exaggerated. The online assessment service is eventually slated to be replaced, but its replacement is not yet ready and the district will continue to use Edusoft in 2016-2017 for benchmark assessments in the secondary schools.

Elementary Schools Switching to STAR Test

Edusoft will NOT be available in elementary schools this year, however, as they are switching to Renaissance STAR 360 assessments for their benchmarking.

Canvas

Canvas LMS Being Piloted at BHS as prelude to 1:1 Computing Initiative

The district plans to begin deploying Chromebooks to each secondary school student in the coming years:
  • 2016-2017: English classes in grades 10-12 will be using Chromebook carts to pilot the use of Chromebooks in the classroom setting
  • 2017-2018: Chromebooks distributed to all freshmen for use at school and at home
  • 2018-2019: Chromebooks distributed to all high school students in grades 9-12 for use at school and at home
  • 2019-2020: Chromebooks distributed across grades 5-12 for use at school and at home
  • 2020 and beyond: Classroom-based Chromebooks deployed below 5th grade
While Google Classroom can be a powerful tool for digital assignments and class discussions, it is not integrated with the PowerTeacher gradebook and PowerSchool application students and parents use to track their grades. 

So in 2016-2017, the district will be piloting the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) from Instructure across grades 9-12 for teachers to begin experimenting with digital assignments. It offers all of the features of Google Classroom, with other enhancements, and integrates with PowerTeacher and PowerSchool. This capability will become vital to harnessing the full potential of the Chromebooks as they are deployed to students in the coming years.

Technology Help & Training

Training

Help Desk Tickets & Site Troubleshooters

If you have trouble with technology at school, please do NOT try to grab or contact a technician from Tech Services. The department is shortstaffed and shares in the challenge of getting the renovated Central Middle School up and running with little lead time. They are very busy throughout the school year, and must use the Help Desk ticketing system (formerly known as TroubleTrakker) to manage their tasks efficiently.

Click here for a listing of individuals at each site who handle Help Desk tickets. You should contact them about technology issues. They will first see if an onsite Technology Assistant can address the issue and will file a Help Desk ticket with Technology Services when required.

The Eighth Floor

Training from The Eighth Floor available to all district staff

The district has now signed up all district sites for The Eighth Floor technology training consortium in Tulsa. Any district staff member, certified or classified, can sign up for the FREE trainings offered in Tulsa and online by The Eighth Floor.
Laura Salzyn is the Teacher Specialist at the ESC who handles district technology training. She helped arrange for The Eighth Floor to offer some free trainings in August available to all teachers on Promethean Boards, Google Sites, and a Google Crash Course. We hope to offer some more in-district trainings on the January 2017 inservice day.

Even if you can't get down to Tulsa in time for an on-site training with The Eighth Floor, they offer some online trainings, and there is also various free online training offered by Google and Microsoft for their products:

Google Apps for Ed

Google Apps online training by Google

There is online training available for the various Google Apps under Staff Links > Technology Help > Google Apps for Education. Here are direct links to those trainings:
Outlook

Help with Outlook, Webmail, and using Outlook on your smartphone or tablet

Click here or navigate to Staff Links > Technology Help > Outlook for here for help with Outlook email, Webmail to access your school Outlook account from a desktop computer at home, and for help on configuring your smartphone or tablet for school email, calendars, and contacts.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office online training

Click here or navigate to Staff Links > Technology Help > Microsoft Office for help learning to use Word, PowerPoint, Excel, or OneNote. 

That same page includes instructions for using online versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel on any web browser with Office 365.

Help Key

Help with other school applications and technology

Click here or navigate to Staff Links > Technology Help for help with a variety of other services:

Updated District Internet/Networks Policy

In July the Board of Education approved a revision of regulation ECA-R:
  • The INTERNET AND OTHER COMPUTER NETWORKS ACCESS AND ACCEPTABLE USE AGREEMENT no longer provides an opt-out for students to not use the internet, since it has become an integral part of education, as essential as a textbook to many lessons.
  • The INTERNET/MEDIA CONSENT FOR RELEASE options for parents have been greatly simplified to three choices:
    • FULL RELEASE of student name, photo, and other information for articles
    • DIRECTORY-ONLY RELEASE of student name, school, grade level, awards, and participation in activities, organizations, and athletics in playbills, team rosters, honor rolls, etc.
    • NO RELEASE of the student's name, photo, or other information
Each site will have a procedure early in the 2016-2017 school year to disseminate this information to parents, asking them to complete, sign, date, and return the form. Ten days after forms are provided to parents, the district assumes FULL RELEASE media consent until notified otherwise. A student's release consent status will be posted in a Custom Screen in PowerSchool Admin.

District Technology Structure

Jason Langham at the ESC will be overseeing all aspects of Technology in 2016-2017 as part of his duties as Executive Director of Special Services and High School.

Lori Patterson is the Directory of Technology Services, housed in the Will Rogers Complex, and handles most aspects of technology support. She oversees a very busy squad of technicians.

Laura Salzyn, the Teacher Specialist of Assessment and Accountability at the ESC, coordinates technology training as part of her duties.

Barbara Parker at the ESC handles PowerTeacher and PowerSchool.

Michele Malaske at the ESC handles Edusoft.

Granger Meador, will be teaching physics at the high school and handling District Communications in 2016-2017, including overseeing all district websites. He is also coordinating pilot projects with Canvas and Chromebooks at the high school this school year, along with advising and conferring with the above personnel as needed on technology issues.

In June 2017 Granger is slated to become the Executive Director of Technology and Communications and will then oversee all aspects of Technology across the district. He will have the continued help of Ms. Patterson in her role as Director of Technology Services, along with assistance from Ms. Salzyn, Ms. Parker, Ms. Malaske, and other district personnel.

Click here for the directories of both district and site-level technology contacts.