District computer and external storage (backup drives) should have encrypted drives. Recovery keys will be stored in the Asset’s information in Helpdesk in the encryption key field or the notes field.
Supported Mac computers will have Sophos or other district protection suite installed.
Most of SD60 schools now have one or more 3D Printers. Instructional support is available from Laurie Petrucci and technical support is available through Technology Services helpdesk. Local Area Network Specialists JP Wood and Kyle Drew have expertise with the 3D Printers and work together with Laurie.
Please do not hesitate to contact them for team instructional technology support!
The Learning Together Calendar has been moved to www.prn.bc.ca/LT/ . We’ve tied it to a Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/sd60LT
Here’s an example of an upcoming event – http://www.prn.bc.ca/LT/2017/10/03/an-afternoon-with-wordpress/
Over a quarter of public websites run on WordPress. The majority of SD60 websites have run on WordPress for over a decade! This session is targeted at School District staff that maintain a WordPress website. The session will have a short presentation and time to work with Jarrod Bell on your sites or your questions about WordPress.
Date: November 23, 2017
Target Audience: WordPress Users in District
Location: Board Room at School Board Office
Registration Deadline: November 22, 2017
Registration Contact: Jarrod Bell, email@example.com – A google calendar invite will be sent to all registered attendees.
In May 2017 the Joint Technology Advisory Committee met to discuss use of labs and strategies to support students and teachers in schools. Here is a summary of some of the ideas that were shared.
In School Strategies to Support
A survey was held for school administrators and they shared the following supports they have built in their schools:
- tech orientation for interested students who then can be asked by teachers/students for support
- 1:1 CWT/WWP students support younger students with lab access and iPad usage
- Buddy classes help each other.
- Teachers needing help talk with a staff member who can direct them to a student or staff member who can help
- Little and bigs allows for every class to have a buddy system with another class at a different age level.
- “Champions” identified in older grades to support teachers
- Teachers work together to support each other in lab
- Multi aged groups in computer lab for one hour with older students supporting younger students with login and use of computer
- designated students are available for support like student lunch monitors or student playground duty support.
We had twelve respondents on how much the labs were being used with 6 begin very much and 1 being very little.
Schools, depending on different factors, had different ways of booking the lab. Most had a schedule created with empty times where classes could sign up for extra time in the lab. Middle and Secondary had courses with reserved times and empty times where teachers could sign up for time in the lab. Middle and Secondary schools are purchasing carts of chromebooks as demand is increasing to have access to technology. Schools are able to order chromebooks and carts through Technology Services.
We hear that user accounts continue to be a challenge so we’ll use the opportunity to review options for schools and staff to get user accounts.
- MyEducation BC is updated by the Wide Area Network specialist with Learn60.ca account info. A Windows computer login is the same as the learn60.ca email without the @learn60.ca (ie jarrodbell17 instead of firstname.lastname@example.org). We won’t share the password convention on this post but do check with your tech, someone in your school, or call the helpdesk if you have questions.
- Teachers/Secretaries/Administrators can get a Quick Report from MyEducation BC with account info that can be printed and shared with the students. See the link for more info – http://www.prn.bc.ca/myedbc/?p=554
- UMRA tools available to site secretaries can provide user account info by homeroom which can be downloaded to a csv file and shared to teachers. UMRA tools can also be used to change passwords for staff members and students. If secretaries need any help on this they should contact the Wide Area Network specialist.
- Generic Lab accounts exist at all elementary schools. For your school’s account and the password check with your site technician or look on the board in your lab as it should be posted there. These generic accounts can be used to get through a login quickly but won’t be able to save files and many not be able to print.
- Strategies for login support can be found at http://www.prn.bc.ca/ss/k5DL/?p=74 and a new colourful idea that builds on the first one at http://christinepinto.com/2016/09/05/colored-tape-rows-on-the-keyboard/ . Number 2 above is very similar to the first link.
Submissions are allowed until June 12, 2017 at noon.
It was announced last week that we would be refreshing the 1:1 grade 6 iPads this summer, see http://www.prn.bc.ca/ts/?p=2502 for more on that.
At our last refresh of devices we replaced macbooks with ipads. The macbooks were then repurposed into carts at middle schools, made available to grade 5s in a 5/6 split, and as for the rest we asked for ideas. That post and comments are available at – http://www.prn.bc.ca/ts/?p=2199 . Last time we completed the process to reassign these devices late in the fall. Public comments from staff helped to determine that the priority was for primary classrooms for those macbooks. We then later asked for specific requests and filled them.
So in keeping with the philosophy that the “best mind in the room is the room” we’d ask for your public comments on this blog post for ideas for extra ipad minis to be distributed. These ideas as well as district goals will help us determine priorities for distribution. At a later date a form will be made available for requests. We will have several hundred available.
Fine print… Please note these extra 4 yr old ipads are 16GB minis and have been updated to iOS 9.3.5 and will not be able to take a newer OS. There may immediately be compatibility issues, for example the Swift Playgrounds app needs iOS10+ to be installed and cannot run on these devices. The devices that get granted become school owned and the schools will need to bear any costs related to them (carts, apps, repairs etc). These devices haven’t made their way on to our End of Life specs but the OS limitation will cause issues in the near future. They will not be available for sale.
TL;DR – The extension to the grade 6 1:1 program has been approved! New name and focus. – TL;DR means Too Long; Didn’t Read and you’ll see it on various online forums. It is a very short summary of the text below.
The 1:1 Wireless Writing Program has been a long term innovative district program starting back in 2001 as a pilot and district wide in 2002. It has changed over the years in terms of number of grades, and types of devices. The name has always included Writing and our data focus has been around writing. Each year teachers and students completed two cold writes assessments as part of the district program. While the focus has been on writing, our teachers and mentor teachers, Toni in the past and now Glen, have expanded the use of our tools well beyond just writing. I’m continually impressed and excited by the innovations that occur!
I met with the board earlier this year seeking to extend the program as I have done three other times in the last nine years. The board was positive about the program and recognized that it has grown beyond writing and asked for a name and focus change to represent that.
In the last fifteen years we’ve collected twice yearly writing data as part of the WWP. We’ve found through that data that our pedagogical approaches to writing with technology works. The Grade 6 District Cold Write Assessments will continue in the fall and spring with the data entered by teachers in the Assess portal; however, it will not be a specific part of the data for the 1:1 program. This is an excellent assessment for teachers and students and it will continue. We will continue to discuss and share writing strategies as it is important for everyone!
Considering the New BC Curriculum we have decided that we will switch to a qualitative data focus of Student self-reflections on core competencies with an artefact of their own creation. We are required under the new curriculum to facilitate student self-reflection on the core competencies and we hope that this data focus for the 1:1 program will become a beginning (or a mid-point for some schools already starting) of a Capstone project. More will come in the Fall inservices.
In brainstorming important topics we saw that the letter C came up dozens of times in words that are prevalent today in education. In the slideshow above it shares some of them. Whether C to you means Curriculum, Classrooms, Creativity, Critical Thinking, or Core Competencies our grade 6 rooms will include technology for each student.
Curriculum with Technology
Core Competencies with Technology
Citizenship with Technology
Character with Technology
Creativity with Technology
So with that we introduce the CWT 1:1 program to School District 60!
Considering current device options and budget it has been decide that we will move forward with the iPad model with 32GB of storage. This is the larger screen model compared to our 16GB iPad minis we’ve used for the past three years.
We will be adding Apple TVs to grade 6 classrooms to enable wireless streaming. We will also be adding Apple Caching servers to some larger schools to improve bandwidth use and speed up updates for iOS and apps.
Our current iPad stands will continue to be employed and we will buy several more to accommodate new grade 6 divisions that are anticipated.
Work on approval and budget has been ongoing all year. With the purchasing approval from April 24, work on purchasing has begun in earnest.
Inservice for teachers in the program continues to be included in the budget.
Schools will have an opportunity to discuss how Technology Services will give out our old iPad minis. Please note these devices are limited to iOS 9.3.5 and they will have app compatibility problems going into the future. We will continue to license the old WWP apps on these devices. Other apps that schools will want to add will be at their cost but TS will support as is possible. Any costs associated to these devices must be covered by the school/department they are given to. A google form will go out in the near future asking for ideas. A lens of district goals as well as other lenses may be used to determine priorities for distribution. I look forward to the great ideas that will come. We used a similar process before when distributing older MacBooks and had more devices available than requested!
Work on the App list for next year is underway. Glen Longley will consult with teachers currently in WWP.
As new devices are received, inventoried and configured we will endeavour to get them to teachers who are confirmed in a grade 6 class for September of 2017. Hopefully we will be able to do that prior to the summer.
Old teacher iPad minis are assigned to the teacher until their employment ends with SD60. If a teacher does not need it they can be returned to TS to be reassigned elsewhere.
Distribution of iPads to students will occur in September as before.
Some schools that have purchased iPad minis for use by grade 5 students in a 5/6 split will be able to use them in future CWT classes if they can support iOS 10.3+(or the latest operating system supported by the new iPads). They will be a different form factor but we will keep them up with the CWT apps for use. Schools that purchased iPad minis for the WWP pool that cannot support iOS 10+ will be provided to the school for their use.
A $30 insurance fee will continue to be charged in the following years. This will be billed to schools based on the number of CWT ipads that have been assigned. The older devices are not included in the insurance program.
Please comment publicly on the post or call/email myself, Jarrod Bell, and/or Glen Longley.
I’m very glad we are able to continue this project and look forward to the exciting things to come.
Below is a chart that we are updating several times a week with a few data points about kindergarten registration numbers. The red line is a projected number provided by a third party. The green line is local projections provided by each school. The orange line includes number of students newly pre-registered in the system plus the number of StrongStart students (already registered) that will become kindergarten students next year. The blue line is the number of newly pre-registered kindergarten students.
This is a video I refer to occasionally when the fire is burning.
<iframe src=”https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/16qCmeKdgYyux0hp7IsdSCVHAo-lOhQxJQ41-Ys5Bib0/embed?start=true&loop=true&delayms=3000″ frameborder=”0″ width=”960″ height=”569″ allowfullscreen=”true” mozallowfullscreen=”true” webkitallowfullscreen=”true”></iframe>
— Jarrod Bell (@jbellsd60) March 9, 2017
PSTGI (the vendor) will be performing an upgrade on the Assess portal from 8am – 11am local time on Friday March 3, 2017. An outage is required and may last all three hours.
Our vendor will be doing some work with the Behaviour + module in Assess on February 15, 2017. The work is expected to take 4 hours during a window of 6am-12pm MST. The system may be unavailable during that time.
Below are two charts that we keep monthly(ish) stats on our current work orders. The first chart shows Active (all types other than closed), Open, Scheduled/Pending, Waiting for parts. We have a few other ticket types that are traditionally low numbers so they aren’t included on the chart. The Active line is a sum of all ticket types that are not closed.
The second chart shows number of closed ticket vs date.
Below is a drive that was making some terrible noises. The platter above shows you what a clean platter should look like!
SD60 Harddrives are wiped and/or destroyed before disposal as part of our department policy – http://www.prn.bc.ca/ts/?p=2274 . This one below will be physically destroyed as wiping won’t work.
We are working with Apple Canada on a coding session with iPads for January 27, 2017. For more infomation check the Learning Together Professional Development Calendar at https://sites.google.com/a/prn.bc.ca/learning-together-pro-d-calendar/ in the December/January folder.
A $20 charge will be applied to new purchases of iOS and Mac devices to cover the cost of Mobile Device Management license costs. Technology Services will cover renewals of licenses.
Last week SD60 staff from schools and departments were fortunate to hear Shelley Moore (@tweetsomemoore) speak about inclusion. During the session she shared the video below.
Her point was that Technology in schools and Technology to support inclusion is the wind and we need to stop ignoring it. We should not ignore devices and tools that can facilitate the inclusion of a child into a classroom. I’ve been involved with or supported students who got to fully participate and access the curriculum because of the technology tool available to them. I’ve also seen many students that there is no access without the technology.
While purchasing the latest and greatest can be a challenge, many devices are available with the occasional ask or simply allowing them to cross the threshold into our schools and classrooms. SD60 has a Bring Your Own Device strategy that can help with this.
Text to speech and speech to text capabilities on mobile devices is the first thing to try if you haven’t experienced them. If you need support on that or on what more they can do please ask Learning or Technology Services, or check with your school team!
Thanks again to Shelley for a wonderful, empowering session.
My sketchnotes are included below.
— Jarrod Bell (@jbellsd60) November 3, 2016
Assess uses several pieces of information to decide what teachers can see when they log in. If they aren’t set correctly then a teacher will be missing students, classes, or receive an HRID error. Schools have several things that they should set in MyEducation BC for classroom teachers or identify via a work order for specialty roles. The following flowchart has been created to help schools get teachers working as quickly as possible in Assess.
In Helpdesk the following message accompanies the Assess Portal ticket type.
This ticket type is for issues pertaining to access to the district assessment portal from Paradigm Shift at https://assess.prn.bc.ca. Tickets should be only for problems that limit you from accessing the system. Requests for how the system works/feels should go to Kim Boettcher or Stephen Petrucci.
The user account used is the District Wide Login account. If you have an incorrect password error please use the Administration > Accounts > District Accounts type for your ticket instead.
Before submitting a ticket please check the following
1. Teacher has a Homeroom assigned in MyEducation BC Staff TT
2. Teacher has their correct email assigned in MyEducation BC Staff TT
3. Teacher’s DWL password is 8 characters or longer
4. If the teacher is new to you we do the extracts Thursday morning and the changes are committed in the system overnight and available Friday. If you’ve got a new teacher on Monday, double check the above and then check assess.prn.bc.ca on Friday before submitting a ticket.
These four above are common issues that can be solved at school before creating a ticket.
In some cases we’ve had to do a password change even if it was an appropriate length and that has been the solution. Site secretaries have the ability to do this with UMRA tools. If you need support on the UMRA tools please contact Ryan London.
With the above steps not working please do put in a work order with details including the error message if there is one.
Additional teachers to a homeroom must be manually entered. Please submit a ticket with the teacher name, email, HR #, and grades taught in that homeroom.
There is up to a week turn around on tickets as the database is refreshed each Thursday morning with the changes available Friday.
Web server upgrades started at 6pm tonight and were completed by 10:01pm.
The sendmail needs to be looked at as wordpress sites are not currently sending any email. We will look at is over the next few days.
Have you ever been frustrated by technology? I know I certainly have. I deal with tech every day and experience successes and failures. Having a healthy way to express our frustrations at failures is important for ourselves and our students.
FAIL = First Attempt In Learning
While it’s hard to apply the FAIL acronym to broken tech or that darn printer when it won’t print its a good one to keep in mind. Technology Services deals with failures, puzzles, and challenges every day. We aim to move failures to successes and try to learn from every case.
Who’s in your audience?
Have you used voice calling in your vehicle or Siri/Cortana/Google Assistant and ever had a problem getting them to recognize what you are asking? How do you react when it doesn’t understand you? Is it different that how you react to a child or an adult that doesn’t understand you?
I recall having a hard time getting voice assist to understand me in my wife’s car and I was thoroughly frustrated. Fortunately I was alone in the car and parked. I realized that the voice commands may not have been understood because I was frustrated. When I slowed my voice it caught on, eventually…
Another time I was trying to load scratchjr (great programming app for pre-k to primary) on my ipad for my daughter to try and everything else was updating at the same time because I had it turned off for a couple of weeks. I could sense my frustration as the ipad was unresponsive but I moderated my reaction based on my audience, my two little girls. I realize it is more important to show them patience with a challenging tech issue. I’m not always patient but I want them to be resilient in the face or difficulties, not angry or frustrated.
When in front of students how do you react to tech challenges? Do you think they’d lead to resilience and grit in students or kids throwing their hands up in the air?
Please keep your audience in mind when you deal with tech challenges. Our students learn much from us beyond the curriculum we teach!
Sometimes anger and frustration at a tech problem is cathartic, but please consider your audience and choose your reaction appropriately. Deep breath.
How will your reactions change when the tech has artificial intelligence (AI) and may have feelings of a sort? I’ve contemplated this and now make sure I say please and thank you to Siri when asking for a timer, the weather or a phone call. Siri works one way or the other but my decision to be polite is also a decision to model for my audience.
I Need Help
If you need help with your tech, please give Technology Services a call at 250-785-HELP, we would be happy to.
If you need help with how you are feeling, please connect with the Emergency Family Assistance Program – http://www.prn.bc.ca/ts/?p=952 .
An update to user passwords structures will be sent via email to secretaries and administrators. The change will be implemented this summer.
The structure of passwords will apply to user accounts in K-12. Student accounts will have unique passwords. There will be no more generic school based passwords for K-5 students. There will be no change for student password structures in grades 6-12.
Posters will be made available for labs.
The generic lab account in elementary will also be changed and that info will be sent to secretaries and administrators. Technicians will make certain that info is posted in labs.
School secretaries can retrieve user accounts and passwords for students by homeroom via their UMRA tool.
If a school would like help mail merging these into letters, labels, cards etc please contact Technology Services and we can assist you. An example of a card strategy is available at http://www.prn.bc.ca/ss/k5DL/?p=74
Originally Published Oct 2009 – Updated May 2016 (Newest items in Bold)
This policy is meant to provide some clear guidelines regarding what technology will be assigned as an End of Life (EoL) asset and no longer supported after the date attached to the specific hardware, OS, or software below. An exponential increase in the demands on Technology Services makes it impossible to support everything. This will also help in planning for technology as locations with EoL devices can prioritize spending based on the policy.
End of Life assets can remain in the district however there will be no priority or funds allocated to their servicing.
Special consideration may be given to assistive technology for 1701 identified students whose IEP requires technology that does not meet the specifications below. This could possibly include conversations with the School Principal/LAT, Technology Services, and Learning Services regarding the appropriate solution.
As computer technology changes rapidly, the specifications of this policy are to be reviewed yearly by TS management and the SD60 Technology Committee.
Operating Systems (OS) that will no longer be supported
- Mac OS 9 or older (May 2010)
- Windows 2000 or older (May 2010)
- Win2k Server (September 2011)
- OS X 10.4 or older (June 2014)
- OS X 10.5 (June 2014)
- OS X 10.6 (September 2016)
- OS X 10.7 (September 2016)
- OS X 10.8 (September 2016)
- OS X 10.9 (September 2016)
- Windows XP or older – We are working towards switching to Windows 7 at time of computer replacement. When replaced we will not move back to, or support Windows XP. The Microsoft EoL date for Windows XP is April 8, 2014. We expect and are finding in some cases that new software and devices are no longer going to support WinXP.
Hardware Systems that will no longer be supported
- PC – Pentium III, IV and older [newer will continue to be supported] (May 2010)
- Mac – G5s, G4s, G3 computers and older (powerbook G4, ibook G3, rainbow imacs, emacs) (May 2010)
- Old Thin Clients (December 2010)
- Original Macbooks – chassis with externally accessible battery (June 2014)
- Unibody Macbooks (White) – chassis with internal battery (December 2016)
Hardware Devices that will no longer be supported
- Inkjet printers-except drafting plotters (already in effect)
- CRT monitors (already in effect)
- HP printers models 4x, 5x, 4050, 4100 (October 2014) (ie. anything older than the majority of students in the district) – due to driver issues with new computer and server OS’s
Software that will no longer be supported
- Any software that requires an EoL OS listed above (as per date listed on OS above)
- Email Clients (eudora, thunderbird, outlook, entourage, mail etc) (December 2009)
- Report Writer (September 2011)
- Success Maker (March 2014)
- Microsoft Office unless needed for job functions (replace with Open Office for new hardware, or cost borne by school/dept for licenses) $25 per seat licensing available.
- Asgard (July 15, 2011)
- IE 5 (September 2011)
- IE 6 (May 2010)
- Citrix for Library Services
- Office X for Mac on WWP laptops (July 2014 [next refresh] or earlier depending on Operating System compatibility)
- Apple Works for Mac (future operating systems will not support the old PowerPC software architecture)
- IEP Central (June 2014)
- BCeSIS (late 2015 / early 2016)
- All the Right Type (ATRT) (June 2016)
This policy is set to be reviewed each year by TS and partners if they wish to share ideas.
The Joint Technology Advisory Committee is a committee comprised of members of the PRNTA, CUPE, Administration, and the Superintendent. It discusses issues involving technology in education, and school district business. Today’s discussion topic was Standard Technology in Classrooms. The Joint Committee has released the following statement:
- Classrooms should have a desktop computer or device and access to a digital projector. Ideally, classrooms have their own digital projector.
Laurie Petrucci from Technology Services spent time this last year presenting to Grade 4 classes regarding Digital Citizenship and Safety. Her pre and post survey results are available in the linked PDF below.
A key take away was before the session that half of our grade 4 students did not know that what they post online could be permanent.
The post survey showed that 91% of responding students believed that their online posts were permanent.
End of day on May 20, 2016 is the cut-off date for tech purchasing.
The City of Fort St John recently tweeted out garbage and recycling stats. This is a great real world learning object for a wide variety of grades / curricular areas.
— City of Fort St John (@fortstjohn) March 4, 2016
It would be very interesting at the end of the year to see all the stats for all months.
Asking students, “what do you wonder?” about the chart could generate all kinds of interesting topics to study and further questions to ask. Some of my initial thoughts below
- Why is December much higher on garbage but lower on recycling?
- How much money does recycling save/cost the city?
- What can we recycle?
- Why should we recycle?
- What are other options to recycling?
- How much is a metric tonne?
- How much does an average elephant weigh?
- predict based on the four available months what the yearly total may be
- Using the data build different types of graphs for garbage and recycling
What do your students wonder? Comment below and share!