Tech Bytes

Carthage ISD Technology Department August 2017

Back to School Issue

This newsletter is one that you need to keep all year to answer all your technology questions. It will provide helpful links and information for you to use before putting in a technology ticket. But, please put in a technology ticket so we can have a record of your problem and we will get to you as soon as possible.

Don't text! Use Remind.com!

Dr. Porter mentioned in our session about the rules in the Faculty handbook about how to text students and all the different adults that need to be included.


I have mentioned in the newsletter before and I want to strongly encourage you to use Remind.com instead of texting. This site allows you to share a code for students and parents so they may join your group. This prevents texting individuals and allows opportunities for all to be informed of the message. There is no need for you to collect phone numbers. This site also keeps a trail of the conversation in case you ever need to print or share it with an administrator.


If you need help setting this up, just put in a ticket and ask for Remind.com training. I will be happy to help you.

Cyber Security online course

This year Carthage ISD is offering a 1-hour course on Cyber Security through the Region 7 online course system. Please see information below and register starting Aug. 14. The course will be available during the first six weeks of school. Region 7 will provide a certificate of completion about a week after the course has ended.


Name of Course: We're Under Attack - Cyber Security

Session Number: 068327

Registration Link: https://misweb.esc7.net/mis/myregion7.asp?sessNum=068327


Once you have registered, you will receive a registration confirmation email. In that email there will be a link with the word "enroll" in it. This is the link you will use to enroll in the course in the Region 7 Canvas online course system.


Click the enroll link to go to the enroll page for the course. In the new page that opens you will see the name of the course at the top of the page.


If this is your first time to access the Region 7 online course system, you will select “I am a new user”.


If you have taken a Canvas course through Region 7 before, you will select “I already have a Region 7 ESC Canvas login”. You will use the same email address and password you used to enroll in other online courses. If you have forgotten your Canvas password, you can retrieve it from https://esc7.instructure.com/ and clicking “Forgot Password”.


You will need to click the blue "Enroll in Course" button to complete the enroll process.


For more detailed instructions on the enroll process or Region 7 online courses, including images and videos, please visit the Region 7 Online Course FAQs.

Microsoft updates and computer security

The second Tuesday of each month is called Patch Tuesday in the Microsoft community. Here are the steps to ensure your computer gets all updates without disturbing your workday.

1. Leave your computer ON all the time. It's ok if you want to turn it off on Friday afternoon or before a holiday, but other than that, leave it ON.


2. Always logout of your computer before you leave for the day and never walk away from your computer without locking your screen, Windows key+L. This prevents anyone else from sitting down at your computer and reading your email or getting into your files.


3. If you get a message that your computer is going to restart in 2 days, at the end of the day when you logout, click to restart. You will see if updates are waiting and you can select to run updates and restart. This will allow updates to run after you are gone for the day. When you return to work, your computer will be ready without delays.

Computer lab tips

If you teach in a computer lab setting or you take your classes to the lab frequently, it is a good practice for the students to sit at the same computer every time. In other words, have assigned seating in the lab. When someone logins to a computer, that computer builds a profile for that person on that workstation. This will take a few minutes the first time they login. If they change computers the next day, that process has to be done again. Over time, if your students don't use just 1 computer, the profiles will fill up and your computer will have to be worked on in order for anyone else to login. This same tip applies to chromebooks, laptops, etc. The same chromebook should be checked out to the same student each time in the classroom. Let me know if you have any questions.

Need Technology Help

If you need help with technology, please put in a ticket. When you email or call, your requests get buried. Our ticket system does a great job of keeping up with your request and keeping our staff efficient. Tickets are needed for any technology problems in the classroom, event set-ups, purchasing requests, technology training, grant pricing, etc. Click here to submit a Technology Ticket. For new employees, your computer login will get you in the ticket system.

Always have a backup plan!

Technology in the classroom is great when it all works. But, I know there are times when it is frustrating to have lessons all planned and your technology will not work (for example, blown projector bulb). Please try to have a backup plan in place so you can enter a tech ticket, we can assign the ticket, and you can go ahead with your lesson.

Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer....Which one do I use?

I wish one browser worked for all software applications, but unfortunately, that's not the case. Any time you have trouble accessing a website, try another browser.


Gmail--Use Chrome. Chrome is a browser made by Google. Therefore any Google product works better in Chrome.


TxEIS & txGradebook--We have been told to use Mozilla Firefox for these two web-based products. But, use the browser that works best for you. If you are using Chrome and have no problems, then use Chrome.


Internet Explorer--TEA recommends Internet Explorer for all of its software applications, such as TREX or TEAL. But, if you have trouble, try Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

txGradebook help

Each year, all teachers have to setup as New Users. Follow the steps below to setup up your account.

Registration Step 1


  • Click this link to get to the txGradebook login screen. Look to the right and click to be a New User.
  • Your Staff ID is your Employee ID number. For txGradebook, this number must be six digits. If your staff ID is only four digits, add two zeroes in front of your Employee Id.
  • Then type your last name and first initial.



Registration Step 2


  • Create a User ID--Must be between 6-8 alpha-numeric characters (example: ABC5555)
  • Create a Password--Must be between 6 and 9 alpha-numeric characters. Must contain at least 3 of the following: uppercase, lowercase, numeric, and/or punctuation.
  • PIN--Must contain 4 numbers


Registration Step 3


You will be asked to create three security questions. Please choose your questions carefully so that you will remember your answers when you need to reset passwords, etc.


Anytime you forget your password, look to the right of the login screen and click on Forget your password? Once you click this link, you will be asked to enter your User ID and then answer your security questions. Then you will be allowed to change the password.


The txGradebook settings will force you to reset the password every 120 days, usually around January. Please follow the directions as the system prompts you to change the password.

Google Apps

Our school is a Google Apps for Education district, now referred to as G-Suite. We use Gmail and Google Calendar as well as all the other Google Apps, such as YouTube, Google Classroom, Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.


With G-Suite everything automatically saves as you work and it adds it automatically to your Google Drive. You can also share any file using Google. You share it, the recipient accepts and/or views it, then it automatically saves it to the recipients Google Drive. No more copying and sending attachments in email.


You can also upload other files to Google Drive such as lesson plans, worksheets, etc. If you have PDFs, you can upload to Google Drive, open with Docs, then edit. But, be aware that you will need to proofread carefully to be sure the translation keeps the document readable and accurate.


All Google products can be accessed anywhere you have internet access. Google also has apps available to use these products on your smartphone or tablet. If you need any help with Google Apps or Gmail, feel free to put in a ticket.

Computer trouble

Check out these steps if you are having computer trouble.

1. Computer is slow--Microsoft sends out updates every 2nd Tuesday of the month, Patch Tuesday. First the updates are downloaded to your computer. Then when you restart, the updates are installed. If you will do a restart on your computer before you leave for the day, this process will happen at night. If you turn off your computer each day, your computer will perform this process while you are at work, preventing you from using it.


2. Mouse will not work--check the plug on the back of the tower. Unplug and plug in and see if this corrects the problem.


3. Keyboard will not work--check plug on back of the tower. Unplug and plug in and check to see if it now works properly.


4. Monitor will not display--check the plugs to be sure it is screwed in tightly and be sure the power button on the monitor is lit.


Also, try restarting your computer and see if that will be able to fix any bugs for you. If not, put in a ticket.

Projector trouble

Please remember to turn off your projector any time it is not in use. If you turn off the projector, the fan will continue to run to cool off the unit. Please do not unplug it. Once the fan cools the unit, it will shutoff automatically. Projector bulbs are expensive so it is very important to turn off projector each day before you leave. As we move into winter months and you start to turn on heat, keep in mind that hot air rises and this can overheat ceiling mounted projectors. It's important to keep the projector filter clean and free of dust to prevent the overheating of the unit. If your bulb goes out, please put in a ticket and technology staff will replace it for you.

ELMO, Computer, or Projector display trouble

If you are trying to display your ELMO or computer to your SmartBoard, remember to use the Windows Start button and the letter P to choose between Duplicate to display your computer screen, or Extend to see what's on your ELMO.


If you notice that your image is not displaying to fit the SmartBoard, use your projector remote and click on the Aspect Ratio button until it fits correctly.

SmartBoard Trouble

There are several steps that can be checked before you put in a ticket.

1. Is the SmartBoard light green?--If not, check the wiring behind the board to make sure it is connected tightly.


2. Check to make sure nothing else is touching the board, such as a chair or table pushed up against it. This will cause the board to not work correctly.


3. If you use the pen, but things just don't appear to be lined up correctly, maybe the board needs to be calibrated. Push the two buttons on the tray at the same time and red target marks will display in every corner. Using a SmartBoard pen, tap each mark in the order that is displayed. Your board is now calibrated.

Aesop

If you work at Carthage High School, Junior High, Baker-Koonce, or Libby, you must submit your absences using Aesop. Click here for the Aesop login page. I will email everyone their login Welcome letter. If you forget your password, there will be a help link on the login page. Or, you can save the Welcome Letter in your email for future reference.


Your campus principals will go into details about call-in times and district absence procedures and policies.


I have included training videos on the school website under the For Staff tab if you need help.

Live Streaming

Our district provides Live Streaming channels for your computer in case of weather or emergency type news as well as school district news. Channels include CNN, Fox News, Weather Channel, KGAS, and CHS-TV. Click this link to access Live Streaming. Once you click on this link, look to the far right of the screen for the District channels. Once you select a channel, you may get an External Protocol Screen. Just click on Launch Application, give the window a few seconds to buffer and your channel should appear.

Technology purchases

Anytime you need pricing for technology items for your classroom, request a quote from Technology by putting in a ticket. Once you receive your quote, sign it and add a budget code. Then turn it into your principal for approval. Your principal will sign it and send it back to us to enter in TxEIS. Once the items comes in, tech staff will come and install for you. Please be sure you check with technology before you get quotes on your own so we can verify it will work in our district.

Education Foundation Grants

If you plan to request technology items for your grant, please request pricing from the technology dept. by putting in a ticket. This will allow our staff to be sure the item will work in your classroom and to be sure you get the best possible pricing. Then you can add this item and amount to your grant budget sheet. Once your grants are awarded, you must fill out a district PO sheet and send it to Cynthia Harkrider at the Admin. office to get it ordered. She will then coordinate with the technology department to get the orders in and delivered.

Emergency Tech Help

As always, if you have an emergency technology need, (for example, you have an auditorium full of parents and you can't get the mic to work), please call the main technology number, 903.694.7550 so we can send someone immediately.

Technology Staff

Annette Johnson--Technology Director

Debby Simpson--Administrative Assistant

Terry Caudle--Systems Administrator

Richard Sullivan--Network Administrator

Mark Baisden--Technology Specialist

Penni Munroe--Technology Specialist

Message from the Director

I hope you find this issue to be helpful to you as the year goes along. There are so many tickets at the beginning of the school year, that I was hoping this would help you solve some of your issues without having to wait on us. But, don't worry. If you have tried, but had no success, feel free to put in a ticket and we will get to you as soon as possible.


I hope everyone has a great school year. Don't hesitate to ask us for help!

Annette Johnson