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!
Our Preferred Tier 1 Vendor is HP for Switches.
Procurement of Layer 3 Switches
For School Districts procuring layer 3 switches, to integrate school sites into the NGN PLNet infrastructure, the following features are required:
- 1 Gigabit port capabilities
- Spanning Tree Support
- Loop Protection
- VLAN capable
- Multicast Support
The following layer 3 switch features should be considered as they will position
Districts both now and the future:
- Offer and support 24- and 48-port Power over Ethernet (PoE).
- Chassis or stackable switches with a roadmap for 2.5 Gb/5 Gb wired connectivity on existing
- Category 5 enhanced (Cat5e)/Category 6 (Cat 6) cabling to closet switches.
- Ability to detect wired and wireless intrusion.
- Integrated network management for all wired and wireless LAN components.
- Vendor independent for configuration, provisioning and device profiling.
- Include network forensics tools in addition to security functionality.
- Support for voice and video applications by adding features to detect and resolve latency issues that
- result in reduced jitter.
- Awareness and monitoring of voice and video quality, and fixed mobile convergence capabilities.
- The ability to provide managed services when additional IT resources are needed.
- Although the ministry does not direct Districts to procure from specific vendors, it is highly recommended that network switches be procured from a Tier 1 vendor, where Districts can achieve best value and total cost of ownership.
Originally posted September 22, 2014.
The computer desktop refresh cycle for schools replaces computers in labs as well as classroom teacher stations. This four year cycle has been in place since the 2010-2011 school year.
A requirement for schools to continue receiving these computer refreshes is that Digital Citizenship and Safety needs to be planned for and included in their school in any of the following ways:
- Inclusion in school PBIS strategies
- Direct instruction by administrators/teachers to all classes or the school via assembly
- Presentations written and performed by older students with younger students
- Speakers / Presentations (RCMP for example)
- Other strategies that provide digital citizenship/safety lessons to all students (please discuss with Principal of Technology)
The strategies must be publically documented on the school’s website in one or more fashion
- In the yearly SIP that is published on the website
- A blog post that is prominently linked in a menu or otherwise (can include a PBIS post)
- A page that is prominently linked in a menu or otherwise (can include a PBIS page)
The above and more are available at http://district.prn.bc.ca/course/view.php?id=8
This policy is in effect for schools up for replacement beyond July 2015.
This policy is in addition to the current purchasing policy for student devices that requires a plan for digital citizenship and safety which is available at http://www.prn.bc.ca/ts/?p=2165
Schools up for replacement computers (lab or classroom) in 2017-2018 are below. Links are to their plans/resources provided.
NPSS (Drafting, 206) –
ELC (Lab and Classroom*) –
Upper Pine (Lab and Classroom) –
Prespatou (Lab) –
Bert Ambrose (Lab and Classroom) –
Duncan Cran (Lab) –
Dr Kearney (Lab) –
Clearview (Classroom) –
Schools up for replacement computers (lab or classroom) in 2016-2017 are below. Links are to their plans provided.
Alwin Holland (Lab and Classroom) – http://www.holland.prn.bc.ca/?p=4002
Baldonnel (Lab) – Baldonnel behaviour matrix
Charlie Lake (Classroom) – http://www.charlie.prn.bc.ca/?page_id=8
NPSS (Library Lab) – http://www.npss.prn.bc.ca/?page_id=1989
Buick – http://www.prespatou.prn.bc.ca/?page_id=777
Wonowon – Wonowon Elementary School Technology Plan 2016 – 2017
Upper Halfway – Revised UH Digital Citizenship
Hudson’s Hope (Classroom) – http://www.hudson.prn.bc.ca/?page_id=953
Schools up for replacement computers (lab or classroom) in 2015-2016 are:
Taylor (lab) – http://www.taylor.prn.bc.ca/?page_id=2751
Charlie Lake (lab) – http://www.charlie.prn.bc.ca/?p=1560
Duncan Cran (classroom) – http://www.duncan.prn.bc.ca/?page_id=1305
RO (lab) – http://www.ogilvie.prn.bc.ca/?p=1539
Ecole Central (classrooms)
NPSS (Classrooms and 204) – http://www.npss.prn.bc.ca/?page_id=1989
The Next Generation Network starts today at the school board office and Bert Bowes.
Schedules are being sent out to schools and updated to those that need them as they are changing as people resources are available.
Upgrades will be made through the month of January and February at nearly all SD60 sites.
Devices to be retired that have data storage devices like hard drives, solid state drives etc should have the storage device wiped and/or the storage device should be destroyed.
To be clear this has been a long standing practice in the department.
I’m happy to say the Microsoft Office HUP has been renewed until March 31, 2018.
This enables staff to purchase Office 2013 (PC) or Office 2011 (Mac) for their personally owned computers (up to two) for the low cost of $11. For more information on how to do this please see http://www.prn.bc.ca/ts/?p=1959
For staff members,
When you step away from your computer please lock it. It is an important and required step to protect private student information accessible through your computer and accounts.
If you access systems via personally owned mobile devices or computers it is expected that you pin/password lock those devices as well to protect your data, and your access into student information system.
For more information on how to lock your computer or device please see the following Google Doc.
Our previous Microsoft Home Use Program (very inexpensive MS Office) expired March 31st, 2015. ERAC and MS are working on a new contract for us. Details will be posted when it arrives.
Until then the HUP is not available.
The assessment portal (assess.prn.bc.ca) will be unavailable on March 23rd and 24th due to a system upgrade.
Please note the following dates for end of year WWP inventory
June 3 – no more take home allowed after this date
June 9 – teachers/schools to phone home if any ipads have not yet come back
Between June 3 and inventory please check to see that students have not attached a private itunes account to icloud and turned on Find My iPad. If they have this will need to be turned off with their itunes password. We’ll send out a step by step doc to show how to check this later.
June 15-19 Inventory – Technology Services will be on site to collect ipads and wipe them at that time. Specific dates per location will be given at a later date.
Toni will send out info regarding Cold Writes later.
PLNet reports that a technician has been dispatched and should be onsite shortly to the Vancouver Core Router to determine the cause of the outage. No ETR.
Wednesday around 3:20 outside internet went down due to an unspecified error. Provincial Learning Network has informed that it is province-wide. No estimated time of repair has been given. Internal web and site to site appears to be working.
Allow List (authored originally Feb 4, 2015)
Technology Services is moving schools to an Allow List model of access to our networks. This is due to an overwhelming number of devices that have used up all available IP addresses at sites. An IP address is like a parking spot on the network. If no spots are available you can’t get on. Currently we are using a Deny List in most sites that is like whack a mole knocking off devices weekly and sometime daily with much unintended blocking as we don’t always know which device is whose (towing cars after they’ve parked). The Allow List strategy moves us to proactive from reactive (like the new parking gates at the Northern Grand)
We want to make certain that the networks have sufficient space for our staff and district owned devices. To allow you a parking spot, we need to know details of your device, most importantly is your Wireless MAC address. If you were to get a new privately owned device, it will have a new MAC address that would need to be submitted.
What this means is that if you have not submitted the wireless MAC address for your privately owned device we may inadvertently block you or when we move your school to the Allow model, it will not be able to connect to the SD60 Trusted Network (wired, SD60-Staff, SD60-Student). You should not have to submit anything for district owned devices as we have that MAC address in our inventory system and it has already been added to the Allow list. We will have a technician on site the day of switching to an allow list to make certain things are working. You can help us greatly and limit any connectivity issues for yourself by submitting your MAC address before the change.
Phones/iPods represent a large group of possible spaces taken up. If they have their MAC addresses submitted we will determine if there is adequate space to be allowed depending on local availability.
SD60-Public (10.xx.xx.xx addressing, throttled internet only access – port 80&443)
In some schools we have set up a separate network that allows you to connect wirelessly with any device whether we know the MAC address or not. This is to enable student owned devices, staff owned, phones etc to get to the internet only. This is not in place in all schools but we are working to have it in place. This approach will add 64,000 addresses at each site it exists. It involves significant logical networking changes and takes time to build.
Current School IP Address Mitigation Strategy (updated Feb 18, 2015)
NPSS – Deny – tentatively moving to Allow after Spring Break
ELC – Deny – Move to Allow Feb 18
Bert Bowes – Deny
Dr. Kearney – Deny
Alwin Holland – Deny – Move to Allow Feb 25
Baldonnel – not needed as of yet
Bert Ambrose – Deny – move to Allow Feb 23
Buick Creek – not needed as of yet
CM Finch – Deny
Charlie Lake – Deny – Move to Allow Feb 23
Clearview – not needed as of yet
Duncan Cran – Deny – Move to Allow Feb 24
Ecole Central – Deny
Hudson’s Hope – ALLOW
Robert Ogilvie – Deny
Taylor – not needed as of yet
Upper Halfway – not needed as of yet
Upper Pine – Deny – move to Allow Feb 27
Wonowon – ALLOW
School Board Office – not needed as of yet
Grandhaven – not needed
Facilities – not needed
NBCDES – not needed as of yet
I’ve asked staff for dates in the next two weeks for planning where we will be implementing the Allow Lists at buildings above currently employing deny lists.
When the ALLOW will be implemented will depend on local needs (FSA, exams, report cards). We will have a technician on site for two days after the switch to make certain things are working. Five days notice will be given prior. You can submit your MAC address at any time through the link above.
Schools with Separate Public Network in Place (SD60-Public on wifi with 10.xx.xx.xx addresses)
We plan to add others in the future.
The Allow List and the Trusted Network Access strategy was first introduced in October 2013. There is a page in the Help Pages menu above or directly available at http://www.prn.bc.ca/ts/?page_id=2021
For a while now we’ve had our district website and some school websites attached to Facebook and Twitter. Any post to the website automatically goes out to Facebook and Twitter. We also have a separate SMS system that was built years ago that we use to communicate emergent issues in the district when needed but it needs some work.
Our website is well used but it is certainly not the first place people go in their day on their mobile device. Quite often it is Facebook or Twitter or some tool that draws in feeds from those like Flipboard.
Using plugins with our website we make a single post which then gets sent to Facebook and Twitter automatically. Very simple when it is in place. The image above shows that the post had a reach of over 3000 people in a very short period of time (bus cancellations). We’ve found our posts that are related to safety of kids (school speed zone notices) or closures/cancellations are Shared very quickly through Facebook. The website is homebase and the plugins and social media are amplifiers for the messages on the website.
We also have a group of people that Retweet our @sd60 Tweets and include local and regional media. That’s been fairly effective but we need to have a look as it doesn’t always get seen by the person at the mic at the time they or we need it to. We’ll look more at our process on that.
Communication often comes up as an area of complaint. “How come I didn’t know?” is often a question that comes up when there is a serious issue. Good Procedures or Communication Policies definitely will help with that, but tools that link your website to social media can get an important message out to many people very quickly.
Most importantly, you still need to post to your website to get the action going!
I’m working on building a physical kit to be used with digital citizenship presentation with younger students that was inspired by http://comfortably20.blogspot.ca/2013/08/the-new-and-improved-digital.html created by Craig Bandura .
If you’d like your class to be a guinea pig please contact me and we will set up a time!
For people that have upgraded their OS to Yosemite on their Mac you may need to fix Java before being able to use BCeSIS.
1. If you’ve installed Oracle’s java 7, You’ll need to remove it. Follow the instructions at the link at https://www.java.com/en/
3. Open Terminal by clicking on your magnifying glass and type in Terminal. Press Enter or double click on the Terminal icon. You can also find the terminal app in Applications > Utilities
4. Type in the following or copy the bold text below and paste it into terminal
Note that there is a space between sudo and -s but no space between the dash and s.
5. Press Enter then enter your computer’s password. Note that the cursor will not move when you are entering the password. Press Enter.
6. Copy the bold text below and paste it into terminal and then press enter. Make certain you scroll to the bottom right of the window below and copy everything.
sudo mkdir -p /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/disabled sudo rm -R /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/disabled/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin sudo mv /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/disabled sudo ln -sf /System/Library/Java/Support/Deploy.bundle/Contents/Resources/JavaPlugin2_NPAPI.plugin /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin sudo ln -sf /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Commands/javaws /usr/bin/javaws
7. Close Terminal
8. Test your result at javatester.org/version.html – you will need to enable the java plugin (keep an eye on your address bar for a notification). If all went well you should see a pink box that list your java version with the following in it.
Java Version: 1.6.0_65 from Apple Inc.
9. Restart any Browsers
10. Go to www.isw-bc.ca and click on the BCeSIS Icon. Check the address bar for any blocked plugin notifications and allow the java plugin.
If the BCeSIS application stalls at an Allow/Deny window close the window with the grey bar and try again by clicking on the BCeSIS icon again. We’ve seen this behaviour and do not have a specific fix for it.
The Allow/Deny windows may not have the option to click allow. Where they do not, click Deny. It doesn’t affect the end functionality although they are annoying!
If you are running an older version of OS X there are instructions at http://www.prn.bc.ca/ts/?p=2049 that may be helpful to you.
If you are running a PC and you cannot connect to BCeSIS do the following
1. Uninstall Java through Add/Remove Programs
2. From www.isw-bc.ca download and install and try any of the Java versions available at https://www.isw-bc.ca/csi/node.do?method=display&page=JRE_Downloads
3. Restart Browsers
4. Click on the BCeSIS link at www.isw-bc.ca
5. Check for blocked plugin warnings in the address bar and enable as appropriate