September 2018

New News

  1. Over the summer, we upgraded to version 12 of PowerSchool. Among the new features, teachers can create and assign a 'Custom Class Name' for sections in their Gradebook. Special Area teachers with dozens of sections of the same course can differentiate the list with the custom name.
  2. The new Gradebook also allows import of grades from a .CSV file for a specific assignment. Teachers are encouraged -after numerous experiments all summer- to create the assignment in the Gradebook, then export the assignment to a .CSV file, and use that exported .CSV file in Google Sheets or Excel to enter grades.
  3. Click here to view revised K-5 Math Standards, as they will appear in the Report Card. Click here for a PDF of all current K-5 Standards.
  4. OverDrive Ebook Login is via District Google Account: Go to OverDrive, select Bloomfield, click on link for Google synch.

Old News

  1. New teachers are not assigned network home drives (i.e., P: drive). They are expected to store and save their files on Google Drive. As long as they use their Bloomfield accounts, they have unlimited storage. Returning teachers with network home drives should also begin moving their files to their Google drive.
  2. The shared network T: drive is still only accessible from a Windows PC or laptop.

Pseudo-Sort-Of-New News

As announced last year, all K-8 students will be restricted to a list of "Approved" apps and extensions when they are logged into Google.

HS students and all faculty and staff continue to have access to all apps, extensions, and add-ons that are not specifically prohibited, due to safety or security.

Here is the list of approved apps and extensions for K-8 students.

If you are a K-8 teacher and wish to add another app or extension, merely go the list, click on New or New Item and enter as much detail as you can.

PLEASE, if you can, provide the link or URL in the Chrome Web Store to the app or extension that you requesting.

If you know, please provide the vendor or developer of the app.

At the very least, provide the precise, correct spelling of the app or extension.

There are thousands of apps and many share common names. It can be tough to identify the specific one that you want, without the above detail.

When the request is approved by Tech (for safety, security and compatibility with existing devices) and by a Supervisor (for redundancy in already approved apps, and compatibility with curricula), the app will be added to the list of approved apps and extensions that students can download and install.

The process can take several days.

When the app is available to students, your request will be updated with a check in the field for "Added to ES" for 'Added to the Approved list for Elementary Schools' or "Added to MS" for the Middle School.

We have found that from the hour that we add the list to the approved list for the students, it can take 24 hours for the app or extension to be available to students on their Chromebooks.

2017-2018 End of Year Technology Survey Comment & Responses

There were 172 responses to the end of year technology survey. From the bar charts below, you can see that the majority of respondents (87%) were "Satisfied" or "Very Satisfied" with Technology and 79.5% believed themselves to be "Successful" to "Very Successful" integrating technology into their jobs at Bloomfield in 2017-2018. Comments submitted are included below, with responses from Technology as possible.

Below are comments made by people who filled out the end of year Tech Survey, with responses from the Tech Department that might be helpful. Thanks to all who participated in the survey. Any teacher can email or submit requests or questions related to Technology through Spiceworks.

End of Year 2017-2018 Technology Survey Comments & Responses

Software Updates

Discovery Streaming is a rich-source of curriculum approved videos for use in classroom instruction and available to students and teachers for individualized work and self-directed research. Sign-in at and choose Google SSO. When you are logged into your District Google account, you are automatically brought to Discovery Streaming service and library. (Please note that the District's use of Discovery is under a microscope for renewal: If we use the service, we will renew for the 2019-2020 school year.)

Screencastify is an app automatically loaded when you log into Google with your District account. It is a very simple to use, but powerful tool for creating videos from your Chromebook or laptop that include your screen and cam-corder views. The District subscribes to the 'Premium' service for unlimited video creation without time limit. (Be sure that you are logged in with your District account.)

Nearpod is an application that enables teachers to make class sessions interactive and engaging. Teachers have the ability to include customized interactive features when creating and using their own presentations. Nearpod "transforms a generally distracting technological item into a form of increased student engagement thus resulting in a greater learning experience."

Newsela is probably one of the most powerful computer applications that Bloomfield supports. Teachers assign news articles on current or historical events. Stories are both student-friendly and can be accessed in different formats by reading level. Use Newsela to differentiate nonfiction reading. Newspaper writers rewrite a story four times for a total of five Lexile levels per story. All articles have embedded, Common Core aligned quizzes that conform to the reading levels for checking comprehension Originally marketed as "News for ELA" or English Language Learners, Newsela is a terrific tool for engaging a diverse classroom of students, and allowing them to learn at their own pace and level. Login with your District Google account.

OverDrive is

Food for Thought

"It’s not just high-tech employers like Google who require cognitive dexterity. According to Richard Long, Consultant for Government Relations, National Title I Association, today’s manufacturers say that they need employees “who can change what they are doing, almost on an hourly basis.” ...Informed use of robust digital tools, then, is clearly key to inculcating in our children the kind of higher-level, dynamic thinking required of 21st century citizens and workers. Yet what happens to the child who has limited access to these tools? Even if schools enable students to use digital technologies in the classroom, what happens when they go home and do not have the same access?" [This is the specific concern of Bloomfield Public Schools and the focus of its 1:1 program.] Rethinking Educational Equity in a Digital Era: Forging a Strong Partnership between District Title I and Technology Leaders, (2018). CoSN and National Title 1 Organization.

More Food for Thought . . .

The impact of digital and mobile technologies isn’t just logistical. Technology has turned the world into one enormous and ever-growing pool of data and, in the process, transformed the way we think, analyze, and make decisions in our personal, academic, work, and civic lives. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman recently wrote, “All this data means we can instantly discover and analyze patterns, instantly replicate what is working on a global scale and instantly improve what isn’t working—whether it is eye surgery techniques, teaching fractions or how best to operate a G.E. engine at 30,000 feet.” The ability to do that kind of analysis is becoming increasingly important for gainful, meaningful employment. The head of hiring for Google said recently in an interview in the New York Times, “For every job, the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information.” -See above for Rethinking Educational Equity in a Digital Era.

ProjectRED is a research project that involved almost 1000 schools and supports the hypotheses that 1:1 computing, properly implemented and led, will dramatically improve student performance. (Read here about the method and results.) Among their findings is nine key implementation factors that are linked most strongly to education success. They are - ranked in order of predictive strength -

  1. Intervention classes: Technology is integrated into every intervention class period.
  2. Change management leadership by principal: Leaders provide time for teacher professional learning and collaboration at least monthly.
  3. Online collaboration: Students use technology daily for online collaboration (games/simulations and social media).****
  4. Core subjects: Technology is integrated into core curriculum weekly or more frequently.****
  5. Online formative assessments: Assessments are done at least weekly.****
  6. Student-computer ratio: Lower ratios improve outcomes.
  7. Virtual field trips: With more frequent use, virtual trips are more powerful. The best schools do these at least monthly.****
  8. Search engines: Students use daily.****
  9. Principal training: Principals are trained in teacher buy-in, best practices, and technology-transformed learning.

Findings marked with **** are at least partially under the control of the classroom teacher.

See Findings. (2018). Retrieved from