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  • iPad manual created A new Using District-Managed iPads manual has been developed to help support teachers. It is linked here and via the iPads link at BPSDTECH.ORG.It includes how students ...
    Posted Sep 30, 2019, 8:18 AM by Granger Meador
  • G Suite add-ons Add-ons to Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Forms can provide some interesting new capabilities to those G Suite applications. Those add-ons are distinct from Chrome extensions or applications ...
    Posted Sep 24, 2019, 3:23 PM by Granger Meador
  • District internet, network, and phone services down over Fall Break As part of the ongoing network maintenance and updates, dozens of new network switches and a new network firewall are slated for installation over Fall Break 2019. We expect internet ...
    Posted Sep 18, 2019, 10:17 AM by Granger Meador
  • Elementary Chromebooks & Clever FAQ Before the all-district rally on August 12, Granger Meador presented on Chromebooks and Clever to all district elementary teachers. He used PearDeck to collect questions from audience members. Below ...
    Posted Sep 13, 2019, 11:23 AM by Granger Meador
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iPad manual created

posted Sep 30, 2019, 8:17 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Sep 30, 2019, 8:18 AM ]

A new Using District-Managed iPads manual has been developed to help support teachers. It is linked here and via the iPads link at BPSDTECH.ORG.

It includes how students can log in to Clever and use it to access various services AND how students should log out of both a given service and Clever when finished with an iPad:

It also links to information on both iPad and Chromebook apps for the PLTW Launch elementary STEM modules, the two BPSF-funded iPad carts at each elementary school, and more:

iPad manual

G Suite add-ons

posted Sep 24, 2019, 2:09 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated Sep 24, 2019, 3:23 PM ]


Add-ons to Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Forms can provide some interesting new capabilities to those G Suite applications. Those add-ons are distinct from Chrome extensions or applications, which change how the Chrome browser operates. Click the table in this post for details on the differences between extensions, web apps, and add-ons.

You invoke an Add-on within the G Suite app. In Docs, Sheets, and Slides, use the Add-ons menu. In Google Forms, click the More icon ⋮, then click Add-ons.

Some popular district-approved add-ons include:

Google Docs
Google Slides
  • Unsplash Images for great photos you can use for free without credit or copyright restrictions.
Google Forms
  • Choice Eliminator 2 to eliminate options from a multiple-choice, dropdown, or checkbox type of question. This is handy for signing up for time slots or having students choose topics without doubling up.
Google Sheets
  • Crop Sheet to quickly delete unused cells.
  • Autocrat for merging data into a document. The district uses this to automate the completion certificates it generates when someone completes a quiz as part of a state-mandated training.
Here's a big listing of those and other helpful items: 

Blocked
Add-ons in the G Suite Marketplace must be manually whitelisted

As of September 2019, Google has been moving Add-ons from the Chrome Web Store, where they were unrestricted for students and staff, to the G Suite Marketplace. The district has to manually whitelist anything in the G Suite Marketplace to allow students or staff to install them.

So teachers and staff who have a legitimate educational need for a particular Add-on should have a Bruin Help Desk ticket writer at their site file a ticket on the request. An item's privacy policies and utility will be examined to determine if the request can be approved or if a substitute could be used.
Extensions, Apps, and Add-ons Compared

District internet, network, and phone services down over Fall Break

posted Sep 18, 2019, 10:16 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Sep 18, 2019, 10:17 AM ]

As part of the ongoing network maintenance and updates, dozens of new network switches and a new network firewall are slated for installation over Fall Break 2019. 

We expect internet, network, and phone services to be unavailable both October 17 and 18 across the district. Please plan accordingly.
Network down

Elementary Chromebooks & Clever FAQ

posted Sep 13, 2019, 11:21 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Sep 13, 2019, 11:23 AM ]

FAQ
Before the all-district rally on August 12, Granger Meador 
presented on Chromebooks and Clever to all district elementary teachers. He used PearDeck to collect questions from audience members. Below are the responses to the common questions, which are also shown in a Google Doc:

CHROMEBOOKS
  • Are there headphones that come with the Chromebook carts?

    • In the spring of 2019, the district provided 3 classroom sets of 24 Avid AE-36 headphones with microphones to each elementary and middle school and 7 sets across BHS.

    • Unless a compelling case is made via the District Technology Committee for the need for additional headphones from the district, additional purchases would be from a principal’s discretionary category 015 funds.

  • Does Lightspeed Relay work on iPads?

    • Lightspeed says it can. As of 9/10/2019, Tech Services was still unable to get most elementary and teacher accounts to sync with Lightspeed Relay Classroom for Chromebook monitoring and control. That needs to be addressed before trying to expand it to iOS.



  • I would like to add X for my students.

    • You can direct students to any free educational website. Some ways to share links:

      • Write a link on the board for them to type in.

      • Configure and use Lightspeed Classroom to send a link to all of your students when they are logged into a Chromebook.

      • Set up Google Classroom and use it to share links with your students.

    • Adding a Chrome extension for student use is non-trivial, requiring 18 separate changes in the Google Admin Console. So requests for those run through Granger Meador, who vets them based on the level of need, privacy concerns, if an already-approved extension would instead suffice, etc. 

    • The district is now spending about a quarter-million dollars annually on curricular services such as Renaissance Learning (Star, Math Facts in a Flash), Edmentum (Study Island, Exact Path, Reading Eggs, Math Seeds), Type-to-Learn, Bookflix, and Reading Counts. So additional paid services are probably reliant on securing 015 funds from your site principal or funding from other sources. 


  • Do we have a mouse for each device?

    • No; mice for mobile devices are prone to breakage and loss; students are expected to use the trackpads. A site can elect to purchase mice out of its discretionary 015 funds, but be sure you get inexpensive WIRED mice you don’t mind seeing broken/lost.


  • What is a Chromebook malfunctions or is damaged?

  • Will there be chargers in the classroom?

    • No, the chargers are in the carts. It is thus vital that students plug the devices back into their charging cables when finished each day. A new Chromebook will run 10 hours on a full charge; that run-time will slowly degrade over the years.


  • Will our elementary buildings be equipped to handle 1:1 with current WiFi?

    • They are already wired with sufficient WiFi access points to support 1:1 computing. But in August and September 2019 we’ve seen network issues, particularly at BHS in the mornings, which Technology Services is working to resolve. They are most likely related not to the number of WiFi access points, but instead to some bottlenecks in the complex layers of services and devices in the network.

CLEVER

  • Can students use Clever to log in from home/elsewhere?

    • A student can use Clever to access linked services from anywhere in the world. The only way to prevent access is if an application has its own time-based lockouts to make it inaccessible or similar settings. Clever itself does not offer time-based lockouts.


  • How do I add a link to Clever?

    • Teachers can add links to their own teacher pages in Clever. Eventually the site Instructional Technology Assistants will offer trainings on this, but see below for the types of links and how to add them.

    • Links in Clever are one of three types:

      • Simple web links, such as the one in each portal to the Student Resource page on the site’s website. They just take a student to a webpage, nothing more.

        1. Click on your Teacher Page in the Clever Portal.

        2. Click the green +Add button at the bottom right.

        3. Click the green Link button at the bottom right.

        4. Open a new tab in your browser and go to the webpage you want to link to. Highlight the web address (URL) in the address bar and press CTRL-C to copy that to your clipboard.

        5. Back in the Clever tab, click in the Paste Link Here box and press CTRL+V to paste the URL.

        6. Fill in the Link Name, select a Category if you have set any of those up, and either select or upload a graphical icon.

        7. Click the Add link button.

      • Single-Sign-On (SSO) Apps where Clever will try to memorize the username and password a student uses to make it easy for them to login in the future; in some cases it may be able to roster and setup accounts for your students. These features may or may not work! If an App just doesn’t work, discard that link and just build a simple web link to the site instead and have students enter their credentials manually.

        1. Click on your Teacher Page in the Clever Portal.

        2. Click the green +Add button at the bottom right.

        3. Click the green App button at the bottom right.

        4. Type in the name of the service to search for it. 

          • If you don’t find a matching entry with any variations on the name of the service, you’ll probably need to just build a simple web link as described above.

          • If you do get a match, such as Spelling Classroom, you may see Install X. Press that button to set up the account.

          • You are potentially liable if you link to a service that is not FERPA compliant in protecting student privacy. You should go to the website for the service in question and look for their Privacy Policy, which may be linked on a Support page, a FAQ, or at the footer of the website. In our example, Spelling Classroom has a posted privacy policy that is compliant, including not using or disclosing student data for third-party advertising, behaviorally-targeted advertising, and not selling or renting their data out to others, including marketers or advertisers. It also details how to edit or delete student or teacher data.

      • District-rostered SSO Apps require that the district set up rostering via Clever with a particular service used by many teachers. This is currently limited to district-paid services since the set-up process can take weeks of back-and-forth work with a vendor to implement successfully. This usually needs to be done over summer break to avoid disrupting existing service access. Also, not all vendors support rostering via Clever. See the Clever Integration Sheet for our current status.

    • Instructional Technology Assistants (ITAs)and Instructional Coaches can also add links to the portal for their entire school. ITAs are being trained in that process in September 2019.


  • Why can’t I see particular application in Clever?

    • Clever only shows icons setup to work for a particular site, grade level, etc. based on our paid licensing for a particular service and how a student or teacher is classified in PowerSchool. So it won’t display Reading Eggs or Math Seeds to 3rd, 4th, or 5th-grade students or teachers, while it won’t show Study Island to PreK, K, 1st, or 2nd-grade students or teachers, and so forth.

    • When needed, we can customize the Clever sync for a site to provide access to particular staff members who don’t have matching classes or accounts in PowerSchool. This usually applies to instructional coaches, Title I and special education teachers, counselors, and the like. Contact Kelli Bryant at the ESC if you need access that is not currently provided and be as specific as possible about what you need access to and why. She will rope in Granger Meador as needed.


Frontline SSO

posted Aug 23, 2019, 3:38 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Aug 23, 2019, 3:39 AM ]

District employees should now use Single Sign-On for all district Frontline applications:
  • Absence Management for certified leave requests and substitute requests
  • Professional Growth for certified inservice tracking
  • Time & Attendance for classified staff
Frontline SSO

Using Clever

posted Aug 22, 2019, 6:38 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Aug 23, 2019, 3:45 AM ]

Clever
We now rely on the Clever service single sign-on (SSO) and rostering for many student online services.
 ACCESSING CLEVER

HELP WITH CLEVER

Telephone and fax updates

posted Aug 6, 2019, 12:56 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Aug 23, 2019, 2:09 AM ]

Ban the fax
Avoid sending and receiving faxes

Faxing is an obsolete technology with security flaws. We strongly encourage you to instead use email attachments whenever possible.

If you must send or receive a fax, please be aware of the following updates for the district's fax server.

Fax server access update

Access at each site to the fax server will soon be updated to enhance security. Site administrators and secretaries will receive an email from Granger Meador with updated fax server access instructions. 

Delete old faxes from the server

The district's policy is to delete faxes from the server once the transmission/receipt process is complete. 
  • Secretaries who manage site fax servers should delete received faxes once they have have been forwarded to their intended recipients. 
  • Anyone sending a fax should delete it from the fax server once it is successfully transmitted. 
Instructions on deleting faxes are in the district's online telephone manual.





Recording calls

Recording telephone conversations

The ability to record conversations has been added to the district's telephone system. While you are not legally bound to notify the other party if they are in Oklahoma or a neighboring state, if you are recording a call with a party from an all-party consent state then you must receive their consent to legally record the call. It is always best to notify the other parties that you are recording the call.
  • Dial *1 to record a conversation; one beep will be heard. 
  • Pressing *1 again will stop the recording; two beeps will be heard.
You should use this feature sparingly since, unlike Voice Mails, you will NOT receive an email of a recording made using your extension nor will you be able to retrieve it from your phone handset. Instead, retrieval of a recording requires that a Bruin Help Desk ticket be filed with Technology Services, and such recordings would be difficult to identify and retrieve for Open Records Act requests.

BPSDTECH.ORG has a Contact page that shows the staff at each site who can file Help Desk tickets for you. You will need to send that person an email from your district staff account requesting that he or she file a Bruin Help Desk ticket for Phone > Retrieve Recording. Include in your email request the following information:
  • Your name
  • Your phone extension number
  • The date of the recording to be retrieved
  • The approximate time of the recording
  • Your site and room number
Bear in mind that you must always follow FERPA guidelines to protect the privacy of student information. Only forward a recording to someone with the legal right to any protected information and whom you trust to understand and abide by FERPA privacy law.

Google Classroom has new ordering rules on Classwork page

posted Apr 17, 2019, 10:59 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Apr 17, 2019, 11:00 AM ]

What do I need to know?

From April 17, 2019, any new classes created in Google Classroom will experience new ordering rules on the Classwork page. New topics or items posted to the Classwork page in these new classes will start to appear at the top of the page instead of the bottom. Google has made this change to improve the user experience of Classroom based on teacher feedback. This feature will not be supported by versions of the mobile app which are older than 2.2019.06301 on iOS and 5.2.102.04xx on Android.

What does this mean for me and my students?

Users running mobile versions of the Classroom app older than the above-mentioned versions will not see the order they set on Classroom web for their Classwork pages in new classes within the mobile apps. Additionally, assignments posted via these older mobile app versions, will not post to the top of the page.

What do I need to do?

To enable you and your students view the new ordering on mobile, please update your devices (via the Play and App Stores) so that they are running the latest versions of the Android and iOS apps.



Classroom update

What is Google Classroom?

Google 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. They can also create secure quizzes using Google Forms.

Our district targets Google Classroom for elementary school teachers and Canvas for secondary school teachers. The district encourages elementary school teachers to explore using Google Classroom, and it can be used by any district teacher upon request.  See the district's Google Classroom page for instructions.

However, the district urges secondary school teachers to explore using the more powerful Canvas LMS, which includes the ability to export grades to PowerTeacher Pro and is licensed for use across grades 6-12.

Use Pear Deck to make Google Slides interactive

posted Apr 17, 2019, 7:33 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Jul 9, 2019, 6:28 AM ]


Pear Deck

Pear Deck

Teachers can use this Google Slides* add-on to allow students to open a presentation on their Chromebook and individually respond to on-screen questions. Teachers can use this for formative assessments for bell ringers, checks for understanding, exit tickets, etc.

The free version allows you to use the add-on, project anonymized student responses, lock slides when presenting, and more. 
If you use videos, animations, or GIFs in your presentation, be sure you install the free Pear Deck Power-up extension on your staff Chromebook or your desktop Chrome browser to improve performance.

You can get a 30-day free trial of the Premium version, which adds a teacher dashboard you can on your Chromebook while your desktop runs the show, draggable and drawing student response slides, more control over responses display, and takeaways for students. However, the Premium version is $150/year for a teacher to purchase individually. If a significant number of teachers would make regular use of the Premium features, the district would consider purchasing premium access for a school site.

*You can import PowerPoints into Google Slides so you can use them with Pear Deck.

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