Classroom Visits Recap

This week my goal was to visit as many teachers in the two schools as possible. I know I didn't make it around to everyone since so many of you are just hard to find, but I certainly put some miles on my shoes trying. Some of the issues were school specific while others were more universal. So I'd like to recap some of the biggies just in case I didn't make it to you.
  • LanSchool (Middle school specific)
    • If you have students who are not showing up on LanSchool, please make sure that you submit a Tech Help ticket so that technology (meaning Jim) knows to check their computer to make sure that the program is on their computer. Click here to do a help ticket.
    • If you have students who are misbehaving (perhaps deleting LanSchool off of their computer because they've figured out what we use to watch them), it is up to you, as the classroom teacher, to take care of the behavior so that the students are [BE] prepared and [BE] on task. If you have repeat offenders who aren't being responsible, I would recommend getting an administrator involved. I can also talk with you about better classroom management skills that may make the technology integration more successful for you. If the student has a black screen on your end, I would put in a tech help ticket through the link above so that Jim can take a look at it.
    • Finally, if you are not able to see any kids on LanSchool when you go to set up your class rosters, check out this video to walk you through how to fix it:
  • Find: If you are trying to find something on a webpage, document, etc. on your computer, you can press command + f and it will bring up a search field. (MS teachers, this is useful for the permission to take home spreadsheet.)
  • Missed Workshops: If I ever cover something that you can't attend that you want me to cover with you, just let me know! It is super easy for me to do it again. I put all of my resources up on my blogsite and then post any tutorials on my newly revamped guide website to make it easy to find later.
  • Website Help: I will be offering workshops on basic websites with Google Sites starting next week and will be covering more advanced tools as the year goes along. So make sure you are following my posts on my blogsite and watching staff talk to find out the details. If you are a self directed type of learner and don't want to wait me for, I also have a page on my guide site.
  • Note Taking: I'm going to be investigating options for the kiddos to use to take notes while online. There are a lot of different choices out there and the easiest ones are an extension within Google Chrome. I will put out a post on my blogsite and guide site once I've determined what would be my best recommendation.
  • Backing Up: If you save stuff to your Documents folder, CrashPlan Pro will automagically back it up for you. The tech department has tried it with what is on your desktop and it won't go. Please do not rely on manually backing it up. If you computer dies, we won't be able to help you recover anything. So, either use CPP or follow these directions to back up to your Google Drive. I will be putting out a screencast on how to make a shortcut to document on your desktop today to make the CPP backup easier.
  • Display Blacking Out: If you are having a problem with this, please run your system updates (by clicking on the Apple icon in the upper left corner) and restart or shut down each time. We are finding that there are two updates, each requiring its own run through system updates, that will fix it. And, along those same lines...
  • System Updates: Yes, you now want to do them as do your kiddos. So please do them and make sure you restart or shut down to make them stick.
  • Apple TV: Yes, we are still planning to roll them out and they will be assigned to the teachers that come to my training (not to your classroom). We are working out some network issues that we have run in to now that we have the new network at the high school. So keep watching staff talk or my blogsite for when we are ready to go.
    • For those of you with SmartBoards, you won't be able to go completely wireless just with the AppleTV since you still need your USB cord plugged in. You can add bluetooth connectivity to your board. For the 600 series, this is the part you'd need and I found it for $200 online. For the 800 series, this is the part you'd need and the price I'm find for that also looks to be about $200. We might be able to get them cheaper through whoever we get the SmartBoards through. That'd be something to look at come budget time.
  • CD/DVD Drives: We have a limited number available in each school. They tend to get borrow and not returned. So, the tech department is recommending that your department buy drives to use so that you don't have to share with the entire staff.
PHEW! I'm sorry for the long post, but I wanted to get all of that out there just in case it would prove useful to anyone.


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