Software and Services Updates

posted Nov 28, 2016, 12:28 PM by District Webmaster   [ updated Nov 30, 2016, 11:28 PM ]

We have updated to PowerSchool 10, but PowerTeacher Pro is on hold until summer 2017

Over Thanksgiving Break 2016 the district updated from PowerSchool 9 to PowerSchool 10. This update has relatively minor effects at this point, as the district has NOT yet shifted from the older PowerTeacher 2.8 Gradebook to the new PowerTeacher Pro gradebook. 

Alert teachers will notice a new "PowerTeacher Pro" link when using the PowerTeacher website, but that link does not load any data. You should continue to access the gradebook as you have previously, either with the Launch button in PowerTeacher or by installing the PowerTeacher Gradebook icon on your desktop.

Updating to the newer PowerTeacher Pro gradebook is on hold until summer 2017 for several reasons:
  • The Canvas Learning Management System being piloted at the high school this year is NOT yet compatible with PowerTeacher Pro.
  • Shifting to PowerTeacher Pro will require updating the district's PowerTeacher Help Manual and related files, acquainting teachers and staff with its different interface and feature set.
  • PowerTeacher Pro has some distinct advantages over PowerTeacher Gradebook 2.8, but it also still lacks some features teachers currently use.

What advantages will PowerTeacher Pro bring?

Attached at the end of this post is a flyer outlining advantages and disadvantages of the current implementation of PowerTeacher Pro.

PowerTeacher Pro

Claimed advantages for teachers:
  • Access from any device with an internet connection (it no longer relies on Java, so you could use PowerTeacher Pro on a Chromebook, something you cannot do with the current PowerTeacher 2.8 Gradebook)
  • Improved user workflows
  • Easy-to-use graphs and charts to aid teacher analysis and professional judgment
  • Robust single student pages to provide a 360-degree view of student performance
  • Manage assignments and analyze performance across all classes/schools
  • New score attributes and other robust features

Claimed advantages for administration:
  • Use on any device such as tablets and Chromebooks
  • District-defined calculation setup (locked or recommended; we are hopeful this means we will no longer need to have each teacher who gives final exams hand-edit the Term Weights calculation in every course section they teach)
  • Administrator login to PowerTeacher Pro
  • Switching to PowerTeacher Pro made easy with data transfer from PowerTeacher Gradebook
  • Highly configurable traditional and standards-based calculation setup
  • Customizable pages
  • DDA-like editing for standards import and export

Update to Microsoft Office 2016 scheduled for summer 2017

The district currently still installs by default Microsoft Office 2010 on district machines. So most staff are using six-year-old versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.

We plan to shift to Office 2016 during the summer of 2017, which will allow time for Technology Services to roll out the upgrade, provide updated Microsoft Office help files and links on the district website, and allow the business education courses to secure updated textbooks.

Office 2016

District Webmaster,
Nov 28, 2016, 12:28 PM