Many of you are moving into communicating with students via email. Here is a great one pager for advice on responsible use of email by students that I found via Twitter. There are many good parallels for staff as well.
Many of you are moving into communicating with students via email. Here is a great one pager for advice on responsible use of email by students that I found via Twitter. There are many good parallels for staff as well.
The unplanned outage this morning was due to a hardware failure in one of our server closet switches. This caused communication problems between sites, servers, and services.
We have resolved the issued by moving connections to other switches and are monitoring the services.
If you have any difficulties please call the helpdesk at 250-263-6442
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on my previous post regarding dropping coverage of Public Performance Licenses at http://www.prn.bc.ca/ts/?p=1904.
We can now show video with an educational purpose in classrooms with the new changes to the Copyright Act without license so we will no longer be covering PPLs.
One school had identified that the loss of PPLs would impact their ability to fundraise by showing videos and charging admission.
As Technology Services Learning Resource budget is meant to cover district wide licenses it should not be used to cover the cost for one school. The function of our Learning Resource budget is to cover districtwide educational and business licenses. The PPLs would be used for non-educational and non-district business purposes and therefore it is no longer an appropriate expenditure from our Learning Resources budget. The cost savings as a result will offset other software licensing costs in the district.
It would require 6 to 8 schools wanting the PPLs to make financial sense to purchase centrally. Even then the dollars would need to be found from other budgets or cost recovery from the groups/schools. Schools who wish to show video for non-educational purposes may do so provided they acquire their own licenses. I have included cost information in the comments of the original post linked above. I have contact information for the companies as well which schools can get from me via email if interested.
Repost from http://www.prn.bc.ca/?p=1679
The following two documents have been jointly created by School District 60 staff along with our partners in the PRNTA and CUPE. They are for distribution to all staff in School District 60 and provide guidance and awareness for social media use.
These documents should be provided to all current and new staff.
People must still be falling for these kind of phishing attacks where you get a notice about getting something for nothing as I saw this in my spam folder today saying I won the “Espanyol Lotter”. I sincerely hope that if ever you see these messages that offer something for nothing that your Phishing and Spam senses start going off. Think before you click a link or respond to an email!
FROM:THE DESK OF THE VICE PRESIDENT.
ESPANYOL LOTTERY AWARD.
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD DEPT.
CALLE PIVON Y SANCHEZ NO 8 2B.
28014, MADRID, SPAIN.
———— Continue reading
SD60 has entered into a software agreement via BCERAC with Acrodex and Microsoft that allows us a volume license on many MS titles as well as covering our Computer Access Licensing requirements.
In the past Office versions would cost a school $80 for each seat. I’m pleased to announce that we can now offer this at $25 per seat for at least the next two years until April 2015 for many MS titles.
As a default option, Open Office or Libre Office are free if schools choose. Otherwise it is $25 per seat.
This is not available due to licensing terms for computers in a 1:1 program unfortunately so we will not be changing the WWP image to a newer version of Office for next year.
We will be working to upgrade our PCs over the next couple of years to Windows 7 as the default with the MS Forefront protection included. As this will be the default there will be no cost to schools for the upgrade.
If a school were to choose a different operating system, Windows 8 for example (and we don’t recommend it for now), it will cost $25 per seat.
Home Use Program
There will be some changes on how staff can purchase software for home use on this and we are working on clarification on costs as well as media type (DVD, thumbdrive, download) and we will update when we have that.
Technology Services for many years has covered public performance rights for videos from two different companies that cover many video production houses. This has been required in the past so that teachers and schools could show DVD’s or other videos without paying a public performance licenses. SD60 also has a Learning Resource policy regarding the showing of videos at http://www.prn.bc.ca/policy/?p=265
With recent changes to Copyright law in Canada we understand that these public performance rights are no longer necessary as long as there is an educational purpose to the showing, and it is shown on school property during school hours. The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, the Canadian School Boards Association and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation have released a 3rd edition of Copyright Matters! which summarizes our rights and responsibilities and is available at http://cmec.ca/Publications/Lists/Publications/Attachments/291/Copyright_Matters.pdf
This excerpt below is from the link above and deals with audiovisual works. We strongly recommend that educators read the full text at the link above or in the orange Copyright Matters! 3rd Edition handbooks that should have been distributed to schools.
16. Can teachers show an audiovisual work (such as a DVD or video) on school premises without infringing copyright?
© The Copyright Act permits showing an audiovisual work such as a DVD or video as long as the work is not an infringing copy or the person responsible for the showing has no reasonable grounds to believe it is an infringing copy. Teachers can show audiovisual works purchased or rented from a retail store, a copy borrowed from the library, a copy borrowed from a friend, and a YouTube video.
Showing movies from subscription services in the classroom is governed by the terms of the agreement between the subscriber and the subscription service. If the agreement provides that use is limited to “personal” or “household” use, for example, then classroom use is not permitted under the agreement.
Two key points from above
Along with this, SD60 has regulation on movies in place under Board Policy 3003 available at http://www.prn.bc.ca/policy/?p=265 . This regulation would need to change regarding the publishing houses that are covered but would otherwise stay the same. Movies as per regulation must have an educational purpose.
One clear ramifications I see with no longer covering public performance rights is that schools could no longer show videos on the weekends for their learning community to attend. With the public performance rights they are currently allowed to, provided they do not charge admission, but could fundraise via a canteen. Without the public performance rights schools would need to get their own performance rights for a showing on the weekend which would likely be cost prohibitive.
Stopping payment on public performance rights will save Technology Services over $7000 yearly. These dollars saved will go to other licensing requirements within Technology Services.
Your thoughts are appreciated and help guide our practice. Are there other ramifications that you see if we cancel these public performance rights for your school or classroom? Please use the commenting function below to publically share them or email me to privately share.
A must view from http://www.shanekoyczan.com/2013/02/19/to-this-day-video/
As part of our support to Post-Secondary Education Programs we are sharing this survey from UVic below for. Please do take some time to complete it.
You are invited to participate in a short survey titled Evaluation of Technology Acceptance in K-12 education that is being conducted by Dr. Valerie Irvine and Aaron Bailey through the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria. Your participation in this study is completely voluntary and there will be no negative consequences whether you decide to participate or not. The investigators have not been provided with contact information for potential participants. The purpose of this research project is to document educational stakeholders’ experience with adoption of new technologies for teaching and learning in K-12 Education. We will be exploring variables that influence educational stakeholders’ acceptance and use of technologies in K-12 education. Potential benefit to you, society and the state of knowledge: (a) opportunity for administrators to review findings and (b) raised awareness of the perceptions of WiFi in the schools. As compensation for time spent every participant will be entered into a draw for $100.
Last night I received a flyer from a car seller with a contest gimmick key code device that lit up. Here were my thoughts on seeing this
So I decided to see how easy it was to open. It did not have screws in it to keep it closed and I was able to with a flick of a finger nail get it open. On the back in black letters on the black case it says “NOT A TOY”. Here are the pictures below. The black case is 6cm long, and the button cells are 1.1cm in diameter.
I’m quite concerned about a few things below
On the chocking, burn, and poising side there has been some recent news about button cells and quite a few collected articles at http://www.poison.org/battery/inthenews.asp
While the global story deals with a larger button cell compared to the small ones in the pictures above, they are not rare and appear in many kinds of electronics including laptop & desktop computers and toys. The toys require panels with screws to access batteries for the obvious safety reasons or they aren’t even accessible.
To recycle these I suggest that you keep them separate so that they cannot touch each other as current may pass through them depending on if they still hold a charge and how they are stored. There is a small risk of fire otherwise which is more likely in larger batteries or if you have many together. An easy way to do this is to put a piece of tape between them or put them on a piece of tape. Take them to your nearest battery recycler that will accept them.
Just a reminder that you should be using your PRN email address for school district business only. If you need an email address for personal reasons please use a separate address acquired from your ISP (Telus, Shaw, PRIS etc) or a free Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook, Live etc. For example some places you should be using a personal address
As per board policy 4001, technology/internet resources provided by the district are not to be used for commercial activities, political lobbying, or product service advertisement. As for other personal related activities, keep in mind that your PRN accounts will be disabled and deleted if you are no longer working for the school district.
This meme was passed along to me, but I’m unsure of the original source. It does reference an important and difficult issue we are going to struggle with for the near future.
We are at a frustrating time where BCeSIS is requiring us to use an older version of Java, but other tools are requiring newer versions. This is affecting both Apple and Windows machines. Apple and OS X 10.6+ have caused issues due to blocking of the older version of Java needed for BCeSIS. We do have an imperfect resolution to this. Reports of a recent system update for 10.6 fixing the Java issue are good, but don’t help us for users with 10.7 and 10.8. We’ll be using BCeSIS for likely the next one to two school years so it will be an ongoing struggle.
Yesterday we were told a Ministry web tool may have required a newer version of Java to run. We aren’t sure yet if that was Java asking for an update, or the Ministry tool requiring it.
So at this point, follow the meme’s advice. Don’t update Java, or run system updates that reference Java on Windows or Macs (with the exception of OS X 10.6 if Java isn’t currently working). This does create a vulnerability due to older versions of Java. Avoid the “risky click” where you are on an unknown website, or following links to places you aren’t sure about.
If something is not working, give us a call at the helpdesk at 250-263-6442 or put in a ticket at helpdesk.prn.bc.ca and we will help you out as soon as possible.
XKCD created a comic that is something to keep in mind in regards to the Java + OS X issues we’ve been running into…
The Canadian Safe School Network shared this blog post and the video below from the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s Cybersmart program called Tagged for Life. It does contain some mature content and language and with any video resources it should be previewed and considered before showing it to students.
This is an excellent piece for teachers and administrators to familiarize themselves on issues around malicious use of internet resources and sexting.
If you are using the internet with your students make certain that you are including discussions on digital safety and ethics. Numerous resources are available online and we have some available on the District Moodle as well. MediaSmarts resources are also available at the Learn Moodle under Resources. There is a password to access the MediaSmarts resources that you can get from your administrator.
If there is anything on digital safety/ethics you require that you cannot find, please do speak with your administrator, School Wide Positive Behaviour Support & Social Responisibility Coaches, or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Via our BCERAC membership we have access to several MediaSmarts resources this year that are available at http://learn.prn.bc.ca//course/view.php?id=121
For the enrolment key please ask your administrator or chat/email email@example.com .
These resources focus on cybersafety and include the MyWorld, Passport to the Internet, Reality Check, and Winning the Cyber Security Game. For more information please visit the link above and use the enrolment key.
Currently these resources are only available for this year. If we can see a use of the resource (via the moodle logs) it will help in purchasing licensing for future years!
Things to consider for educational leaders as you start in any kind of large scale deployments of technology like laptops, iPads Etc. I’m happy to speak with anyone about our experiences, just send me an email or give me a call.
And dozens more… Please share yours in the comments.
Currently we have the following work orders in across Technology Services.
16 Waiting for Parts
11 Parts Arrived
9 At Facilities
We have closed 18,167 work orders since May 20, of 2008.
Work orders help to show the volume of work in our department. Emails do not reflect this and are not necessarily recorded into work orders. Please submit any work for our department as Work Orders as we use these numbers to justify our staffing or to seek more!
This afternoon I was able to attend a presentation about a prototype for curriculum and assessment at the North Peace Cultural Centre. There were over 80 participants from School Districts 59 and 60 who took part in what I felt were exciting proposals around how we handle curriculum and assessment in the future.
Here are the slides and questionnaire.
Would you like to take part in a neat project to connect with classrooms around the world? This is a great project that began in 2009 and involves classrooms connecting via skype for a short conversation.
If you are interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org and Technology Services would be happy to help you get past any technical hurdles.
Many of you familiar with twitter know that RT signifies a Retweet. MT stands for a Modified Tweet or Mention Tweet (thanks to John for the Mention Tweet). I edit some retweets so I can fit in a comment or change a hashtag. When I do, I change the letters RT to MT and leave in the original poster’s name. It’s important when using the MT not to change the intention of the original poster. That would be like putting words in someone else’s mouth or using their words out of context in my opinion.
Here’s an example of a tweet from John Goldsmith (@cyberjohn07) who often posts great resources in the #bclearns hashtag
I thought this would be a good resource for many of our teachers so I wanted to edit and retweet it to my followers with the #sd60 hashtag as well. When I tried to do that it ended up being over the 140 character limit because it adds in RT @cyberjohn07 at the beginning of the tweet. So I changed the RT to MT, deleted the original #bclearns and #sd33 hashtags and then RT @ICTmagic and tweeted out the following:
That’s my take on what is and how to use MT in twitter.
The face in the “Don’t Feed the Trolls” icon I made above is from various places on the internet (which, nb: are not always safe for work). The icon is often used when someone is being trolled and is frequently called the trollface [wikipedia]. Trolling is the act of intentionally trying to anger, frustrate, or generally provoke an emotional response from someone else online. If someone posted comments on this post to ridicule my work, mislead me, or be a nuisance it could be construed as trolling.
Often these posts are made with anonymous (ie hottopic47) or fake people accounts (ie Bender Rodriguez). Unfortunately there certainly are people using their real name and posting vitriolic comments on social media as well. It is often best to delete, ignore, or report the trolling comment, but how should you respond to the real person posting the hurtful comment?
The district has noticed discussion in social media about the district, schools, teachers etc and we as a district are considering how and when is it appropriate to respond.
Some thoughts on responses to online communication (social media, websites, email…)
If something you see online will likely affect the good functioning of your school, it should be reported to the school administrator.
If you are having difficulty dealing with issues arising from work, from social media, or from family situations please keep in mind that SD60 employees and their families can access our Employee and Family Assistance Program. For more information and a number to call please see the following post - http://www.prn.bc.ca/?p=258
I saw this on twitter last night.
I shared it with my wife and she said that those are likely 12 things that people would like from their supervisors as well. How are you doing with these 12?
A staff member shared myBrainshark with me. It allows you to upload a PowerPoint and easily record a voice over for each slide, share it online, share it via social media etc. Quite neat! Here’s my first go at it below
Think before you click. That’s one of the themes of several talks that I do, or emails out to staff around nefarious communications that we receive digitally. One I haven’t talked much about is people using twitter as the medium to get you to click through instead of via email. I received this tweet below yesterday and it had my twitter handle @jbellsd60 (need this for the tweet to come to my attention) and then a shortened link to a website.
Three indications that you shouldn’t follow the link
If you look at the name or twitter handle listed that sent it, Warters Quack, it appears to me to be unlikely to be a real name. Not all services may show the name, but might show the twitter account handle and it may be hard to tell just looking at the handle. Although the handles can often be a string of random letters. In this case the handle was wartersexyny6. I’m using Tweetdeck for OS X in my example.
The name or handle can be your first indication that this is some kind of spam or phishing attempt.
Second indication to me was that there is only a link, no text, no explanation. It might pique your curiosity enough to click it, but don’t.
Lastly these kind of tweets are often accompanied by an avatar (picture for the account) of an attractive woman or something that is meant to draw your attention (ie FREE IPAD graphic).
For the example I did click through to the link and since I’m using internet supplied by the Provincial Learning Network, the website was blocked by the filter. Big red screen.
Fortunate in this case as it if you look at the category below it clearly is a website that would try to entice me to enter my personal info. If you were at home and not using filtering software, you may very likely get through to the site… Think before you click!
Whatever service your are using, or if you are using twitter on its website, there is always a way to report users for spam. When you see this kind of tweet directed to you, please take the time to figure out in your service how to block them and do so. This will help get rid of these accounts and help protect others who might not think before they click.
The 2011 Technology Grant is now closed to submissions. The grant budget for the year is around $45,000 dollars. Around a quarter of that goes to lab and teacher desktop refurbishment cycle as agreed to in the 2010-2011 school year. Most of those dollars go to purchasing equipment from Computers for Schools British Columbia, or other commercial refurbishers. We usually purchase refurbished computers as it enables us to cycle our desktop computers every four years compared to around 22 years!
$22,500 is available for the general grant. Administrators submit their requests through a shared google doc. Each school is asked to report on what they have in three items and what they would like as well. The process is meant to make the school administrators aware of what other schools have in comparison to their own. This year there are $83960.80 in requests. Schools have offered $10750 in their own funds to help with purchases.
This year the items were Digital Projectors, Smart Document Cameras, and mounted Smartboards (64″). Some of our schools via their own funds, external grants, and PACs have quite a few of these. Looking at the sheet, there is a significant gap apparent where other schools have not been able to access external sources or have needed to use their internal funds on other items. Our small schools cannot always afford to purchase any one of the three grant items without external funds.
There is also holdback for wiring and unexpected costs (extra electrical, cables etc). If there is money left over at the end of the year it generally goes to purchase something that was requested for a school in the grant.
With this in mind I will be looking at gaps between schools. I will also be speaking with administrators to ask who the technology is targeted at. Staff that have some previous training on Smartboards or who are continuing with training via online, pro-d, or our Technology mentor teacher will be given preference for a Smartboard installation.
While equity is not possible via the tech grant I would like to make sure whatever is put out to schools and classrooms is best used. As usual your thoughts and comments are appreciated and help guide practice.