Tech Notes

November 2020

To request tech help

E-mail: helpdesk@shakopee.k12.mn.us

Web: Log in to help desk at: https://whd.shakopee.k12.mn.us/

If you need a call-back please add a good number and time to contact you in ticket.

Whenever possible and necessary we may also use remote support tools such as Splashtop to assist you.

Infinite Campus Security Settings

All districts using Infinite Campus have been advised to increase their login security settings due to an increase in attempts to illicitly access accounts.


The step we will be taking for now is a login notification whenever a new device is used. This is similar to something many of you may have seen for google or other accounts; the first time you log in from a new device you should receive an e-mail notification of having done so. If you receive such a notification when you were not expecting it, that could indicate a compromised password and we would recommend immediately doing a password change.


Starting 11/16, you'll see a message as shown below when logging in from a new device (which includes everyone at this point). Check the box as shown to "recognize this device in the future", then click Continue. You should receive an e-mail shortly thereafter alerting you to the login.

Big picture
You may also see a screen to create an account security e-mail. Either district e-mail address will work for this.
Big picture

Distance Learning Prep & Reminders

We are seeing another uptick in support requests. Please know that we will get to all of them, and may need to prioritize certain requests. Full disclosure - requests for peripherals to go home (such as an extra monitor, document camera, etc) are low priority right now (and before I get any outraged responses - that is in comparison to student needs and other time sensitive requests). On a related note, when requests for hardware come in please be aware that there is also often a need for an additional dongle to connect such devices; please be clear if you already have one. This article has additional notes on that topic.


We currently have limited stock of additional hotspots, but also have a significant number of under-utilized hotspots that we are attempting to reclaim. Our process for granting hotspot requests is non-intrusive in the sense that we trust that there is an established need for a hotspot when such a request is made, unfortunately that also means we will occasionally send one out that doesn't end up being used.


Is it a tech support request or a DLC request? It feels a little odd to have to make the distinction at this point, but starting at the right place is likely to get a quicker resolution. If you're really not sure, put in the tech support ticket and we'll advise if it feels more like a DLC question.


Reminders


  • Make sure your school devices are up to date. When you start up self service it usually lands on an Updates page showing any known programs that have updates available.
  • Test your set up at home now (as best as possible) before distance learning begins. Let us know if you need support or additional equipment.

Tech Support During Distance Learning

Techs will predominantly be on site and remotely helping students and staff through help desk tickets. Techs will be scheduling on-site appointments through help desk tickets for issues that cannot be resolved via remote support. Drop-ins are discouraged. Even though Tech is on site, we will be supporting all staff and students remotely unless it is determined that in-person help is required.

Staff MacBook Refresh Cycle

We are continuing our process to swap out older MacBooks for staff. The way we prioritize this is primarily through data on device battery cycles, which is a fairly reliable metric for the lifespan of the device.

Curious if you are on the list? It can be found here.


There are a few things we do in preparation for swapping a device, and for which we have prepared some notes to help speed up the process.


MacBook Backup

Migrating to Google Drive FileStream - we have about 75 staff still using the old Google Sync software; switching to FileStream has to be done prior to a swap.

Adobe Flash Support Ending

This is a repeat of information e-mailed to all staff recently.


WHAT IS HAPPENING?: Adobe Flash support will end December 31, 2020

WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT?: Since Adobe is ending support for Flash Player, no action is required.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?: If you utilize Flash components in lesson plans or other content you will need to find an alternative. DLCs and tech staff are here to help transition away from Flash. Open a help desk ticket by emailing helpdesk@shakopee.k12.mn.us or schedule time with a DLC.

iPad - Canvas Images Not Loading

Tech Tools article providing a work-around for anyone experiencing this issue.

iPad Screen Time Set-up

Useful info for parents attempting to better manage and enforce home usage of iPads.

Improvements to Google Meet have been rolling out over the past few weeks. A quick note on that phrase "rolling out" - Google features tend to arrive in phases and may not show up for all users at exactly the same time. That's what Google does and we cannot really control it, but we expect that just about everyone should now be seeing recently added items like attendance, polls, improved tile view, background blur, and so on.


Google Updates Blog - filtered to show Google Meet updates specifically.



Videos!


The DLCs have made a couple of useful videos you can view below that illustrate the use of breakout rooms and the polling and Q&A features.

Google Meet Breakouts
* Please note that polls and Q&A are not yet supported on the iPad app.
Google Meet Polling and Q&A

Split Screen View


Video showing how to use split screen on a Mac to both present and view participants at same time during a Meet. A few notes for the video - it references swiping up; this is the specific three finger upward swipe (another way to get to this view is the F3 key). You may see the windows in a row at the top of the screen or spread out across the desktop; dragging them to combine works the same way, though. Lastly, if you want to do this using multiple tabs in the browser, you'll first want to drag a browser tab away from the rest of them so it becomes its' own window and can be selected for split screen.

Split Screen for Presenting in a Google Meet

Chrome extensions

Now that improvements to Google Meet are rolling out, it is possible that some staff may have installed other software (also known as extensions) that perform similar tasks and may interfere with how Meet works or create confusion. Extensions for grid view or attendance taking, for instance, have been fairly common.


Here is a Chrome support article that explains how to manage extensions, including how to turn off or remove them: https://support.google.com/chrome_webstore/answer/2664769?hl=en

Tech Tools: Outlook for Mac Fall 2020 Updates

Note that switching to new version is not yet recommended; article has full details.

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