April 2020 Technology Newsletter

By: Michael Kealy

Thank You!

I want to take the opportunity to thank the entire BCSD community for staying so positive during this sudden switch to distance learning. As Director of Technology, it has been moving to see the creative and innovative ways stakeholders have been able to use the districts technology to continue the mission of educating our students in these challenging and uncertain times. Please know my department and I stand by ready to assist you with any technological challenges you may face. help@beaconk12.org - Mike Kealy

Phishing Awareness

Yes, the below email is real! The district subscribes to a service that sends harmless emails which mimic phishing emails to district users. If a user interacts with one of these emails (i.e. clicks on a link or responds to the email) they are automatically enrolled in a training to help raise awareness about protecting equipment and data from malicious attacks and will receive an email similar to the one below. Technology Directors throughout Dutchess County have seen a significant increase in real phishing emails since school has been closed, so please be alert. Be cautious of emails that offer free trials, gift cards, or donations for COVID-19. Reminder: A user only receives a training email if they interact with the fake email.

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Recent Updates To Google Meets

Recent updates

  • Approve requests to join—During a video meeting, only the meeting creator can see and approve requests to join the meeting from outside of the school’s G Suite domain.

    If a teacher creates a meeting and wants to include guests with an email address that’s outside of their school domain, make sure they stay on the call until all external guests have been approved to join.

  • Manage participants—Only the meeting creator can mute or remove participants.
  • Prevent meeting reuse—Students can’t rejoin the call if teachers leave a nicknamed meeting last
  • Google Meet is now available in Gmail, which means you can start and join meetings right from your inbox, making it even easier to stay connected
NEW UPDATE! - Google Meet Joins Google Classroom

PowerSchool Parent Email Addresses

Did you know teachers can find parent email addresses in PowerSchool? The Parent Email Addresses report can be run from the Reports menu on the main PowerTeacher screen. Check out the screenshot below.
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Need To Call A Parent? You Can Use Google Hangouts

Check out the brief video tutorial on how to make phone calls using Google Hangouts.


Software List

A list of all software being used by district users has been published under the staff resources section of the website to help teachers know what resources their colleagues may be using. The Technology Department will be conducting a more thorough review of all software on this list in the coming months to ensure it is NYSED Law 2d compliant, but for now if a software title is listed it can be used.

Reminder: TEQ Online PD (OTIS) Available

A reminder the the TEQ Online PD (OTIS) portal is available to all BCSD staff if they would like to learn something new related to technology. TEQ has recently updated the portal to include new courses on distance learning and incorporating the use of Google Hangouts Meet in your instruction.