Technology Information & Updates from the August 21st TA Meeting

posted Sep 5, 2017, 10:24 PM by MICHELLE YORK

Below are my notes from our August 21st TA meeting.  I had planned to get this out to you much earlier than now, but things have been pretty busy.

I know that this is a TON of information, but I tried to include any of the information we received that may directly affect staff or students.  Every item may not affect every person, but I wanted to give you all of the pertinent information.  This will allow me to redirect some email questions directly to this blog entry.  All blue underlined sections are links to other documents/videos/etc.  At least take a look at them so you know what's there.

Feel free to ask if there's something that you don't understand or still have a question about.  If a link doesn't work, please let me know.  If you see something that you believe is an error, let me know.  I typed this quickly and late at night.

  1. Login issues

    1. If you're still having trouble logging into google or other TPS accounts from home, please make sure that you're following the directions from this link sent earlier in the year.

    2. If you're still having login issues, please put it on my electronic tech request form so that we can look into the problem. Remember that the link to this form can always be found in my email signature.

    3. If you're having issues with logging in on cell phones, the district recommends that you download the actual Google app for your phone if logging in on a browser does not work.  So instead of trying to log into Drive or Gmail from the phones web browser, try downloading the ACTUAL Drive or Gmail app from the phone's App Store.

  2. Student Usernames/Passwords

    1. I sent everyone a link to the "master" document earlier in the year.  This is where you can retrieve usernames and/or save passwords as they're reset so that you (and any other staff members) can access information as needed.  

    2. We will likely be using this form (or a similar one) at the end of the year when it's time for teachers to reset student passwords for the following year.  We've had too many issues with staff losing the paper versions that we've used in the past.

    3. The district is considering having a staggered schedule for password resets by grade level.  So all Grade X passwords would expire in one specific month, then all of another grade level would expire at a different time.  No decision has been made--it's just something they're looking at to help with the problem that we always have with passwords expiring over the summer.

    4. There is no way for TA's or other district staff to reset all students passwords (or even a small subset) at once.  They have to be done individually.

    5. If you (or students are receiving a message that says "cannot connect to the server", it's possible that the password has expired and needs reset.

    6. Google has a quota on how many password reset requests it can handle at one time.  Once this quota has been met, their servers stop taking requests until those clear up.

    7. Thus, once we reset a password, it COULD take 24-48 hours for the network login password resets to sync over to Google's servers and allow logging into all of the Google apps. If we've reset a user password once, we will not reset it again until that time has expired and the user can show that he/she still cannot login.  Otherwise, we're causing the 24-48 time limit to start back over again.

    8. When we change student passwords, students MUST then log in on a desktop, laptop, or wired computer so that it will prompt them to change the password to their own (what we give you is temporary for a supposed 1-time login).  Chromebooks will NOT prompt for the password change.  Below is a quote from an email from district IT with more detailed information--especially with regard to students being able to access ReadyGen

      1. Travis True--"We are experiencing numerous problems with EasyBridge applications (ReadyGen & iLit). Most of the issues have to do with students using a temporary password on their Chromebooks. When passwords are reset via the HelpDesk tool, the new password is only temporary. After a password reset, each student must sit at a PC (laptop, desktop, all-in-one), wired or wireless, and log-in. They will be forced to change their password to a permanent password. After the password is reset, the student must log in to their Chromebook with their new password.  We are finding that once the password is changed on the PC, each student can access all their ReadyGen & iLit content via EasyBridge."

    9. If 3rd-5th grade students are still having issues logging into curriculum accounts (EasyBridge/ReadyGen, etc.), please make sure that the Chromebook OS is FULLY updated.  Chromebooks that are not fully updated may have login problems.  Rene can show you how to make sure that Chromebooks are fully updated.

  3. iPad expectations --I will include below a link to a document written by our district IT IPad Staff with expections for teachers with iPad Carts (K-2).  I may then highlight a few points that I want to make sure you pay special attention to.

    1. A quick note about the upcoming iOS 11 iOS update.  This will be released sometime in the next month or so.  It will be a large update to the iPad software itself through the Utility App (General>Software Updates) (not to a specific app within the Self-Service app).  DO NOT run this update (or allow students to run the update) until the district notifies us.  There may be issues with the software itself that the district needs to address.  If everyone tries to update at once, it WILL crash the district servers.  There will be apps that will no longer be compatible after this update.

    2. iPad Expections document -please take special note of the following items from that document.

      1. iPads should be plugged in, locked and secured at the end of EVERY day!  Do not leave them unsecured.

      2. Please take note on how to occasionally clean them

      3. Broken iPads need to be reported to me IMMEDIATELY (via the online tech form)

      4. Lost / Stolen iPads should be reported to the Building Principals AND assigned iPad team member ASAP. We have the ability to brick and possibly track these missing iPads.  This applies to student AND/OR staff iPads.  They have a better chance of locating and retrieving them if they know ASAP (before batteries die, etc.)

      5. Each student should be assigned one iPad that they use at all times.  These are 1:1 devices.  iPads can be labeled with the students name on the cover (a printed label or painter's tape).

  4. ReadyGEN Login (see the linked video on how to login)

    1. Must be logged into Google

    2. Must have only one account in Chrome

    3. Chrome must be up-to-date

  5. Classroom Websites

    1. All certified staff MUST have a website.

    2. New teachers have until January to get their websites up and running--at least with the required components.  

    3. Site naming convention is "HPC-lastname"

    4. The district WILL be checking to make sure that teachers have their sites published.

    5. If you're creating a site from scratch, DO NOT use the New Google Sites.  It is still missing a lot of feature.  Please create using the Classic Sites

    6. Please ask Rene or I if you're not sure how to set up your site or what is required.

  6. MS Office 2013 to 2016 changes

    1. See the above link for changes in the new version of Microsoft Office.

  7. FrontRowEd (math 2ne-8th)

    1. Most of this will be used on Chromebooks.  

    2. If there is a 2nd grade that needs it on iPads, please let Michelle know so that we can request the app to be scoped to your classes iPads.

  8. iStation (reading only PK-8)

    1. This can run on a Chromebook or on an iPad.  There is an app already installed on all iPads

    2. The district has already downloaded student information into your classes.

    3. If you do not know how to login and print off student login cards, please ask Michelle or Rene.

    4. To reset school (if you chose the wrong school domain, the logins will not work) type CONFIG for both the login and password on a chromebook. This will allow you to choose your school again.  On an iPad there is a reset in Settings.

      1. If you type "topeka" when it asks for school domain, you'll see a list of all Topeka schools with accounts.  Choose the one for Highland Park Central.

  9. Cloning computers

    1. ALL computers (except Chromebooks) will have to be updated at some point this semester.  This will WIPE everything and set it back to default).  For student devices, this shouldn't be a big deal since there's not much customization or information saved locally.  Staff should be working to get that stuff saved or backed up so that you can let us know when you're ready for your staff devices to be cloned.

    2. Having your staff and/or student computers (NOT Chromebooks) cloned will likely fix issues you may be having with certain sites.  Some sites (for example, Go Noodle), may come up as blocked.

    3. Cloning will update the launcher, install the new Microsoft Office applications and update the profile policies and permissions so that you have access to everything that students and/or staff members should be allowed access to.

    4. Certain software will need to be reinstalled

      1. Kagan Tools and other Kagan software

      2. Printers

      3. ActivInspire (I've updated the installation directions on my website).  Make sure that your "sound" button on the left side of your board is "ON" so that it will install the sound drivers

      4. Software for AverMedia document cameras

  10. LanSchool

    1. Rene can help you get LanSchool installed on teacher and/or student computers/Chromebooks so that you can more closely monitor student use of the computers.