Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Windows 10 Coming to a Desktop Near You

Windows 10 is coming to District 219!!
All PC computers are being upgraded to Windows 10 over the summer. 

This Windows 10 Intro Guide, provides a great overview of what to expect and basic "how to's" for navigating and customizing your desktop.

Check out the PDC Summer offerings to see the Windows 10 sessions, or drop in the Niles West PDC Room 2153 if you happen to be in the area.

There are also many resources available from AtomicLearning.com if you wish to learn remotely: AtomicLearning.com Windows 10 resources. To access the tutorials, use your D219 username and password.

Summer Learning in the PDC

The Professional Development Center staff from North and West will be located in the Niles West  PDC, room 2153, for the summer. We are open from 7:30-4:00 Monday - Friday. Come visit!
Workshops will be offered throughout the summer. The schedule is listed below, but we are available any time to assist with your tech needs. Give us a call and we will schedule time just for you.
All workshops are 45 minutes long, followed by lab time. This year we are covering:
  • Time to Get Googly - Classroom, Apps and Add-ons and new Google Sites
  • Mastery Manager
  • Windows 10
  • Video in the Classroom for Students and Teachers

Time to get Googly! Whether you’re a Google Apps pro, or just getting started, there is always something new to learn. Attend a session to brush up or learn something new.

Google Classroom

Classroom is a platform that allows you to easily share and manage announcements and assignments with your students. If you’ve been frustrated with sharing, organizing and grading student work with Google Docs, Classroom could be a game changer. June 13 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM July 12 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM July 25 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM

Apps and Add-ons Additional features can be added to documents and spreadsheets using Google Add-ons. From Mail merge to a QR Code generator to changing case and merging cells in Sheets, Add-ons will greatly enhance your Google experience. Add Apps (web applications) directly to your Chrome browser and a whole new world of programs will be at your fingertips!

June 7 - 9:00 AM

June 8 - 2:00 PM June 15 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM

New Google Sites There is a new site in town! Google has introducing an updated version of Google sites.

June 14 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM July 11 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM July 27 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM

Creating Assessments with Mastery Manager
Are you a Mastery Manager hold-out? If so, come see what you’ve been missing! You can quickly create answer key assessments using your existing tests, or develop question bank assessments. Formative or summative assessments can be administered on paper or online. Learning Targets can be associated with each question to closely measure what the student knows. Mastery Manager reports provide student data throughout school years and offer longitudinal analysis on student performance. NEW Feature: Assessments can even be delivered online using a secure browser on the chromebooks! So whether you’ve been avoiding Mastery Manager, or you need a refresher, don’t miss these sessions.
  • Answer Key Assessments
    Create an answer key only assessment using various types of questions and assign learning targets. You can even attach a rubric to the assessment! 

    June 27 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM June 29 - 9:00 AM

  • Item Bank AssessmentsItem Banks can be created in Mastery Manager by entering questions or importing questions in a variety of file formats, including a text file.

    June 28 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM June 29 - 2:00 PM

Video Projects in the Classroom

There are a number of free video programs available for you and your students. 
Whether you want to flip a lesson or assign a video project, there’s an app for that. 

Teacher videos: Screencast presentations, documents or websites adding your own voice-over to create video lessons. Use EDpuzzle to create an interactive video by adding questions to engage students and add accountability.
Student videos: Create videos from smartphones, tablets or computers. Make digital photo stories by adding photos, video, music and narration, or simply edit video clips with effects and captions.

  • Screencast to create videos with voice-over using Screencast-o-matic and Screencastify
    July 13 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM
  • EDpuzzle - customize videos by editing, cropping, recording audio, and adding your own questions. Collect class data as students interact with the video. EDpuzzle will even grab your class lists from Google Classroom!
    June 22 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM
    July 19 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM
  • We Video - powerful desktop and smartphone app that allows audio recordings/narrations, text, and photo, video, and music uploads.
    Viva Video - smartphone video editor, photo slideshow maker & movie editing app.
    June 20 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PMJuly 20 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM
  • YouTube Video Editor - add pictures, videos, music, create your own channel with playlists!
    June 21 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PMJuly 18 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM

Out with the old, in with the new. Computers will be upgraded to Windows 10 over the summer. We will review the Start menu,  Stop in for a test run so you're ready to roll in the Fall.
June 7 - 2:00 PM
June 8 - 9:00 AM
July 26 - 9:00 AM
July 26 - 2:00 PM

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Extending Chrome with the Kami Extension

Kami - PDF Markup Extension    

Share pdf documents with students from Drive or Classroom and students can highlight using multiple colors, annotate with comments, and a variety of other useful tasks.

Documents can be shared to groups or individuals reside in Google Drive for easy access.

Check out the Kami extension in the Chrome Web App Store

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Coming Soon to a Computer Near You: Windows 10

Windows 10 is coming to District 219!!
You are welcome to kick the Windows 10 tires in the PDC. The change will happen over the summer.

There are many resources available, rather than overload you, here is a link to AtomicLearning.com Windows 10 resources. To access the tutorials, use your D219 username and password.

A Fresh Look: District Website gets a Refresh

New Website Video Preview

The Technology Department has been hard at work, designing a new website to meet the needs of District 219's stakeholders.

Each of the main school pages feature upcoming Events, News and Announcements.  Not only will up-to-date info be more readily available but those top Mega-menus will change to offer context specific sub-menus, so that everything is still just a click away even as you move away from your starting point.

The new site will make it easier to find the page you're looking for, with minimal clicks. "Mega-Menus" remain at the top of each page for your convenience. Hovering your mouse over these menus brings up common links and pages that have been re-organized, as if to anticipate your needs.  There’s even a new site search option to help you find the page or information you’re looking for.

The best part of this new D219 experience is that no matter where or how you’re viewing this page, it will dynamically change to fit your device or browser window.  The same website you load with a widescreen display, in all it’s glory, is the same site you pull up on the smaller screen of your smartphone or tablet... so that everything stays familiar even as the page size changes.

Stay on the lookout for an early May launch!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

G Suites Updates

Here are some updates to the G Suites products that may be useful to you or your students!!

  • Rotated Text
  • Accoutnting number formats
  • Additiona border styles

  • It even allows basic video options like auto-play, mute, start and end point selection (clipping).

Simply choose “Capitalization” from the Format menu in Docs, and select one of the following:
  • lowercase, to make all the letters in your selection lowercase.
  • UPPERCASE, to capitalize all the letters in your selection.
  • Title Case, to capitalize the first letter of each word in your selection.

If you have any questions regard these or other G Suite products, contact your building's Professional Development Center (PDC).

North Room 1145 & West Room 2153

Friday, January 13, 2017

WiFi Upgrade Reminder

Please remember that we made changes to the Wi-Fi. 

Staff and faculty should use NTHS-STAFF - You can find instructions here.

Students will use NTHS-STUDENT using an access key that was emailed to them previously. If you have students having difficulties connecting to NTHS-STUDENT, they can temporarily connect to NTHS-STUDENT-TEMPORARY (no access key needed) but please refer them to the Help Desk or the AAL Help Desk to solve their WiFi issues. 

NTHS-STUDENT-TEMPORARY will disabled in the coming weeks, encourage your students to use their access keys. Next week students will need to acknowledge a pop-up window notifying them to switch over.

Just to reiterate why this Wi-Fi changes were needed. We seek to improve our wireless speed and security as explained on our November Technology Newsletter.

Please contact the Help Desk if you have any questions.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Infinite Campus Updates

Over Winter Break, updates were applied to the Grade Book, below are the highlights:

December 2016

Missing Assignment Report

The Missing Assignments report has been updated so that the Grade Summary indicates if a grade is In-Progress or already Posted.

Filtering by Category

Filtering by category has been updated to function correctly for all sections.

Category List

A section picker has been added to the top of the Category list. Selecting a section allows a teacher to verify the setup of a category for the selected section.

Pass/Fail Color Coding

Pass/Fail color coding has been updated to display colors based on assignment marks, if applicable and now displays properly..

November 2016

Alphabetizing Students

The grade book has been updated to alphabetize students names in the same order as the Roster.

Assignment Analysis Graph

The Assignment Analysis Graph, which previously existed in the Instruction module, has been added to the Grade Book Reports.
PATH: Campus Instruction > Reports (Grade Book) > Assignment Analysis
The Assignment Analysis report creates a bar chart representing the students' grades for the selected assignment.
Assignment Analysis Report Editor

Generating the Assignment Analysis Report

  1. Choose Assignment Analysis from the report dropdown list.
  2. Select the Term and Section of the assignment to analyze.
  3. Select the Assignment for which you want to view the analysis graph. Only one assignment can be selected at a time.
  4. Click the Generate Report button to generate the report in PDF format.
The header of the graph reports the selected assignment, as well as its Task/Standard and Category.
The graph show's each student's score received on the assignment, with the percentage of points earned shown next to the student's name.
Below the graph, the Mean and Median scores are calculated, as well as the +/- standard deviation. These values are also represented by blue lines in the graph itself.

Cross-Course Categories

The Categories tool has been updated to allow users to create and manage categories included in any sections the user teaches, not just sections in the same course. Categories must now have unique names. The standards and grading tasks available for selection are dependent on the sections selected to include the category.

Because Category names must now be unique, duplicate names have been converted. This update also includes changes to the Category Copier, which can now be used to copy categories to multiple destination sections across courses.

Grade Book - Section Dropdown List

The Section dropdown list in the Grade Book has been updated to display sections correctly by period sequence.

(FDF) Simple Forms
Tools that use FDFs have been updated to no longer open forms using the browser's Adobe Reader plugin. Forms are also no longer downloaded on the user's local machine when opened. This update is meant to address various browser-specific adobe issues.
A Save button has also been added to the action bar when viewing an FDF, which means that users creating simple forms for use in their district no longer need to have a save button within the form.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Nice MiniCon 2017

The 2017 Northern Illinois Computing Educators (NICE) MiniCon is scheduled for Saturday, January 28, 2017.

The details...
WHERE?  Niles North High School (Skokie, IL)

WHEN?  Saturday, January 28, 2017, from 8:00 am-1:30 pm

HOW MUCH? Free for Niles Township High School Staff - Bring Your Picture ID for admission otherwise, it is $5 at the door.  

WHY? Because you’ll be a part of the best local, inexpensive, and immediate professional development experience around. CPDUs available at the end of the day. 

Keynote Speaker: 

Todd Burleson

Hubbard Woods School
Resource Center Director/Library Media Specialist
Winnetka, IL

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cool things to do in a Google Form Quiz!

Using a Google Form as a Quiz

Looking for different ways to access your student's knowledge? Consider the following TED Talk embedded into a Google Form used as a quiz

Were you aware you could create a quiz using Google Forms?

Resources for Google Forms and Quizzes from the PDC.

Detailed information on how to create a quiz using Google Forms

Contact the PDC to set a time to develop your own activities!

WiFi Updates Coming to Dist 219

WiFi Updates Coming to Dist 219

District 219 will be updating its WiFi infrastructure over the Winter break so, please stay tuned for upcoming updates!

We have put together the following Q&As to bring you up to speed on this WiFi project.

The WiFi works for me...why do we need to update?
Even though we have a working wireless network, there are many factors at play that signal the need for an update. For instance:
  • Our current WiFi does not support the newest WiFi standards (802.11ac) thus, devices that could be connected at faster speeds are slowed down to match the speeds of our aging WiFi (max 802.11n).
  • Our existing WiFi lacks the necessary technology to provide features and security that can carry us into the future, and merely updating our current hardware would be expensive and limit our options moving forward.Our current Meru WiFi, was first implemented  back in 2006.

What is this update going to cost?
We have been planning this upgrade for over two years, and now are in a position to implement it. The cost to the District is around $118,221. We have applied for and successfully received federal funds from the eRate program that will cover  half of the total cost of the project.

When will this happen?
We are working on building the system configurations and hope to pilot the new system at  the District office and Central by the end of the month.  Niles North and Niles West will be added over Winter break.

What is going to change?
The new WiFi network is by Aerohive and in order to maximize what the product can do for us, we are introducing some changes:
  • Students will connect to a single WiFi (NTHS-STUDENT). Students will receive a personalized access key to connect up to 2 devices at any given time. Each student will be assigned a personal access key and they will receive this information via email.  The access keys can be reissued/reset by the Help Desk.
  • Staff with devices configured to NTHS-STAFF will connect automatically without any adjustments.
  • NTHS-GUEST will no longer be open.  Visitors will  use a portal to register and obtain a one-day pass. Visitors that require a guest pass for long periods must call the Help Desk to have their one-day access key extended.
  • NTHS-BYOD will no longer be used.

What can I do to help?
We are trying to make this transition as painless as possible, but recognize that with change comes stress.  We hope to reduce your stress by keeping you well informed. You can help us by staying tuned to our updates and ask questions.

What is next?

Just stay tuned! We will continue to  provide you with timely and important information in the upcoming weeks.

News from the AAL Helpdesk

Monday, October 17, 2016

Tiny Scanner: Turn Your iPhone or Android Phone into a Mobile Scanner

Have you ever needed to scan something at home, but you don’t have a scanner? Have you ever been frustrated with the scanner software on your computer at home if you do have one? Enter Tiny Scanner, an app for your iOS or Android phone that lets you take a picture of your document(s) and turn it into a PDF that you can send to Evernote, Dropbox, or Google Drive. With this app, you don’t have to freak out over the fact that you don’t have a scanner at home, there’s an app for that.

Check out the link here if you’re interested:
App Store
Google Play

Franklin Moy

G Suite is the New Google Apps for Education

Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is now G Suite!

There are no immediate changes, but moving forward you will notice a change in branding. If you are interested in staying on top of new happenings in G Suite, follow the G Suite for Education G+ Community.

Here is the Introduction video from the G Suite Blog:

Stay Tuned...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

McGraw-Hill eBook Apps

If you are teaching a class that uses a ConnectEd McGraw-Hill eBook, take a few minutes to check out the mobile apps that are available to your students. 

Students can log in using the same credentials they are using for accessing materials via ConnectEd.

While an eBook is not currently available for every title (including Health), there are a variety of other resources for many of the titles used in D219. At this time, only Student Editions are available.

iOS McGraw-Hill K-12 ConnectED Mobile

Some versions have an interactive eBook, others a downloadable version

Last Chance: Fall Tech 1 Course

One last chance to take Tech 1 this Fall. Registration closes Thursday, October 6th at 3:30. A minimum of 10 participants are required to run the course.

Course runs Monday, Oct.10th - Wednesday, Dec. 7th at Niles West in a blended environment. Participants engage in three face to face sessions, the remaining course work is completed online. Participants are eligible for 7.5 CEUs or 3 hours in NTHS 219 non-transferable advancement, receiving all course materials (book, headphones, Chromebook) at no cost.

Tech 1 Blended: Technology Tools and Applications:
This blended course will take you through activities that will introduce you to the tools of the Digital Age. These tools are bringing our kids in touch with the entire world through social networking, wikis, video, podcasting, and gaming sites. Each session there is a new set of tools for you to learn about, experiment and use. Content will include an examination of technology integration using various application tools, instructional software, productivity software, and Web 2.0 / Internet. Participants will also identify relative advantages for choosing tools and applications and resources to draw upon in developing their own technology integration activities. Attendance policy: District course policy does not allow for any absence per course of Assessment for Learning, Tech 1 or 2 courses offered as a Blended Course. You may NOT miss the first or last 2 sessions in a given class.

Contact Phil Lacey with any questions regarding the course.

Registration and additional information may be found in Eduphoria (direct links below).