Many technology updates coming

posted May 30, 2018, 6:11 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Jun 1, 2018, 5:34 PM ]

Transition to Gmail & Google Calendar on June 19

On June 19 staff Exchange/Outlook accounts will convert to Gmail and Google Calendar. As of May 30, about 190 staff members had signed up for one of the two-hour trainings on Gmail and Google Calendar being offered on 5/31, 6/1, and 6/4:

Gmail & Google Calendar Trainings (2 hours)

Click an entry below for more information and to reserve yourself a seat; you only need to sign up for one session:

Sign-ups will be available after June 4 for additional sessions offered on 6/20, 8/1, 8/2, and on pre-service days 8/14 and 8/15


Transition to PowerTeacher Pro

Early July will bring the annual rollover of students to the next grade level in PowerSchool, and PowerSchool will be down on July 9 as it is updated to version 11. For 2018-19 we will be using the web-based PowerTeacher Pro gradebook instead of the current one. As of 5/30, about 64 staff members had signed up for one of the one-hour trainings on the PowerTeacher Pro gradebook being offered on 5/31, 6/1, and 6/4:

 PowerTeacher Pro Trainings (1 hour)

Click an entry below for more information and to reserve yourself a seat; you only need to sign up for one session:

Sign-ups will be available this summer for additional sessions offered on 8/1, 8/2, and on pre-service days 8/14 and 8/15


Professional Development for Teachers & Other Non-Administrative Certified Employees


Details and links on professional development to make-up the January inclement weather day and April suspension days are at BPSTRAINING.ORG, including links to create your own copy of the Tracking Spreadsheets.

 

Many teachers have encountered issues with Frontline Professional Development online courses freezing up at some point during the course, perhaps due to issues with Adobe Flash. Any new courses started for the first time after May 23 are supposed to load in non-Flash versions to hopefully avoid those problems. If you started a course previously and it froze up, you can email Laura Salzyn with your name and the precise title of the course that is frozen and she can ask Frontline to reset it so you can start over with a non-Flash version.


Windows 10 Computer Refreshes (with important software survey for secondary schools)


This summer all teacher and office stations at the middle schools, high school, and Transportation will get new desktops with Windows 10 and faster solid-state drives. Google File Stream will be installed to provide access within Windows to users’ files in Google Drive, and users can optionally download and install it or Google’s Backup and Sync on personal Windows computers as well. All remaining compatible computers at the above sites will be updated to Windows 10 as well.


In summer 2019, the teacher and office stations at the elementary schools, the ESC, and Maintenance will also get new desktops with Windows 10 and all compatible computers at those sites will be updated to Windows 10.


Preserving your data files

So long as you keep all of your user files in the default Windows 7 Documents, Pictures, Music, and Videos library folders or on your desktop, they should be copied over when you log in to your new Windows 10 system. If you want to create your own backup on a personal flash drive before you leave for the summer, see these backup instructions.


Please prepare your desktop systems

LEAVE MONITORS, KEYBOARDS, MICE, & PROMETHEAN BOARD OR DISPLAY HARDWARE IN PLACE: Your existing monitor will be connected to the new CPU. Please be sure you leave in place any hardware required to connect to a Promethean Board, such as a special hub or dongle. If your system uses a HDMI switch to connect it and an optional VCR/DVD to the projector, leave that out.

STOW AWAY OTHER SPECIALTY HARDWARE: If you have attached special dongles/USB receivers in your system, such as for a Wacom digitizer, please remove them and stow them away. Please stow away other specialty hardware such as headphones, cell phone cords, chargers, etc.


Software

The Office 2010 versions of Word, Powerpoint, and Excel will be installed on the new systems, but Outlook will not be included since we will no longer be using Microsoft Exchange email.


Please recognize that technicians may not be able to install all software, especially older software that has compatibility problems with Windows 10. We cannot guarantee teachers will have access to all specialized software, such as test banks, for the start of school in August, but if you list them below Technology Services will try to install that for you. Fellow teachers who are Site Technology Assistants will also assist as they can after school begins in August, but it will take time to catch up across so many classrooms. Please prepare your lesson plans accordingly!


Surveys to identify specialty software that will need to be installed:

 



Certified Staff Chromebooks

Certified staff members who are leaving district employment should submit their Chromebook, along with the charger, case, and case strap, to their site librarian. If you are returning to the district for 2018-19, even if you will be working at a different site, please keep your Chromebook and feel free to use it over the summer break. 

(LIBRARIANS: Please send an email to Granger Meador with the staff member’s name and the Chromebook’s inventory tag number so he can check it back in with Follett. For new staff members receiving spare devices from your site inventory, either check those out to them in Follett or, if you don’t have access to a particular device in Follett, email Granger Meador so he can check it out to the appropriate person. If you wind up with more than 5 spare devices after the start of school in August or if you run out of spares for new staff members, let Granger know so he can make arrangements.)

If your staff Chromebook is damaged over the summer such that you require a replacement, please email Granger Meador to make arrangements. After school resumes in August, the repair procedures via the site librarians will resume.


Student Computing Initiative in 2018-19

Secondary School Devices & Services

In August 2018 Chromebooks will be issued to almost all seniors, juniors, and freshmen. Most sophomores will already have the Chromebooks issued to them as freshmen, which they retain over the summer break. Student Chromebooks damaged or having issues over the summer break will be addressed by the Student Technology Support Team at BHS when classes resume in August. All 9-12 teachers will be using Canvas for their class calendars and digital assignments; the printed student agenda handbooks will no longer be issued at BHS.

Chromebook carts will be shifted from BHS to each middle school to equip the 12 English classrooms at the two schools as well as Special Education classrooms with stay-in-classroom Chromebooks for student use in 2018-19. The 12 English classroom carts will migrate to the elementary schools in 2019-20.

Canvas Add-Ons Available across Grades 6-12 in 2018-19

We will have multiple enhancements to Canvas available to teachers and students across grades 6-12 in 2018-19, including:

  • Paperscorer – this add-on for printing bubble sheets from Canvas quizzes for scanning with a site scanner and/or cell phone app will remain available for now, but in later years will be discontinued
  • Respondus 4.0 – this new software application will be available to allow teachers to convert some Word documents and some test bank questions into quizzes in Canvas; this is to help teachers, particularly in grades 9-12 in 2018-19, transition away from paper quizzes and bubble sheets to online quizzes given in Canvas
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser – this Chromebook app will again be available so that students can be required to use it to take a quiz in Canvas, locking them into the quiz so that they don’t have access to the internet and other Chromebook functions during the quiz
  • Turnitin – this will be integrated into Canvas across grades 6-12 so that teachers can have students submit assignments for originality checking (to help reduce plagiarism and copying) and enhanced online grading mark-up of student assignments

Elementary School Student Devices

For elementary schools, it seems likely that another iPad cart will be purchased for each site this summer, to support the continued expansion of the PLTW Launch modules in K-5 classrooms, via funding from the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation and ConocoPhillips. While a final decision has not been made about how to address a new requirement of online state tests for 5th graders, the district might accelerate its purchase of student Chromebooks for 2019-20 and make some of them available in April 2019 for elementary school online testing, with the devices then relocated for checkout in August to secondary school students as take-home devices.

In 2019-20, almost all students in grades 6-12 will have take-home Chromebooks, so 12 Chromebook carts will migrate in 2019-20 from the middle school English classrooms to the elementary schools, providing two Chromebook carts per site, which will assist with state testing among many other uses. In subsequent years, some stay-in-classroom Chromebook carts shared among elementary school teachers will become part of the district’s Chromebook refresh cycle.


Telephone and copier proposals being considered

The district has issued Requests for Proposals to vendors on possible updates to the phone system and the district’s copiers/scanners. Final decisions on those proposals, including whether or not any upgrades are feasible at this time, will be made later this summer by Chief Financial Officer David Boggs in consultation with other district administrators. Even if a new phone system proves to be feasible, that transition would not occur until Fall Break.