October 2021 Technology Newsletter
By: Michael Kealy
Lightspeed Classroom Relay Update - Screen Share
Lightspeed Classroom Management™ has been updated. The following enhancements have been made to the Share Screen feature:
- Classroom Extension for Chrome is no longer required for Teachers to utilize the Share Screen feature.
- Improved screen sharing performance.
- Teachers can choose to share Entire Screen, Window, or Chrome Tab.
REMINDER 2- Step Verification Requirement
Beginning the week of 10/12/21 the Technology Department enacted a computer policy requiring Faculty and Staff to setup 2 Step Verification on their BCSD Google Accounts. This policy will be enforced beginning 11/10/2021.
Changes To Making Phone Calls
Reminder: zSpace Virtual Reality Computers Are Available
The district has a classroom set of zSpace laptop computers that are shared amongst all 6 buildings. A calendar of availability can be found here, and teachers can submit a BCSD Technology Help Ticket to reserve the zSpace laptops for their classroom.
zSpace also offers curriculum and lesson ideas on their zSpace for education page where educators can search by content area or standard. A link to the zSpace Education can be found here: https://zspace.com/edu/
What is the Dark Web?
Many of us have heard that our data is on the “dark web” and may not understand what that
actually means. Thankfully CSO has shared information on the dark web in layman terms.
CSO defines the dark web as a “part of the internet that isn’t indexed by search engines”
meaning the dark web is hard to find. Not everything on the dark web is illegal, but a
fair amount is, including stolen PII, hackers for hire and credentials for sale.
The dark web is “intentionally hidden” from view and requires a specific browser called Tor
to gain access. Dark web sites end in .onion instead of .com or .co. They also use URLs
designed to be impossible to remember. While the term “dark web” is quite ominous,
not everything on the dark web is bad. It can be used as a communication tool in oppressed
countries, to obtain privacy protection services, and to purchase cryptocurrency.
Student data is on the dark web, and we can’t fix it
NBC News dove into the dark web and found “files from thousands of schools are currently
visible” on hackers’ sites. The wave of ransomware attacks impacting K-12 schools
has exposed the personal data of millions of school children.
NBC’s research determined “ransomware gangs published data from more than 1,200
American K-12 schools” in 2021. Many of the schools were not aware the data was on the
internet and parents are essentially powerless to remove it. Early ransomware attacks simply locked schools out of their systems for ransom but recently attackers collect and release student data onto the dark web if the ransom is not paid. Once the data is out there, students
become vulnerable to identity theft, especially if social security numbers are collected by school districts. However, there are some actions that can be taken to protect students.
Schools can limit the data they collect and tightly control who has access to the most sensitive and high risk data. Parents can freeze their child’s credit with the three major credit monitoring services, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Freezing a child’s credit is “an essential step for digital safety” parents can take to minimize the risk of identity theft, according to Eva Vasquez, the president of the Identity Theft Resource Center.
Could Digital Money Become the Standard in the United States?
Updated flows for managing backup codes for 2-step verification purposes
Google made a slight adjustment to how users create and manage backup codes for 2-step verification. Rather than generating or accessing backup codes from the 2-step verification homepage, users be taken to a dedicated backup codes page.
Here, users can generate new backup codes or re-fresh for additional backup codes, and print or download the codes as before. Additionally, we’ve added a new option to delete your backup codes.
This update will be available on web, Android, and iOS devices.
Making Google Classroom Video Meetings Easier and More Secure
We’ve added several new features to Google Meet in Classroom, making it easier and more secure:
- The Class Meet link is now accessible on the side of the class stream, so students can easily join and teachers can manage the link from the stream.
- Students will be directed to a waiting room until a teacher has officially joined the class Meet link.
- Guests not on the class roster will have to “ask to join” and be admitted by the teacher before they can participate, so no unintended participants join the meetings.
- All designated co-teachers for a class will automatically be co-hosts in the meeting. This moderation tool will enable co-hosts to start the meeting with the same Meet link without the class teacher needing to be present.
Teachers and student end users
Why it mattersThese features make it easier for teachers to manage meetings, help prevent unintended meeting participants from joining meetings, and generally help meetings run more smoothly. Overall, teachers and students will have a smoother and more secure experience while using Google Classroom and Google Meet.
Please note that after a Meet link is generated, if a co-teacher is added or removed, you must regenerate the Meet link to update the host status. We are working on changing this functionality so the host status auto-updates, and hope to implement the change by the end of the year.
You can follow this Forum post to stay updated on the progress of the rollout, get additional tips, FAQs and other useful updates on this launch.
Add a page break before paragraphs in Google Docs
Quick launch summary
You can now mark a paragraph to always begin on a new page with the new “Add page break before” option in Google Docs. This is particularly useful if you want certain paragraph styles to always create a new page such as titles, subtitles, or headings.
This also means that you can import and export Microsoft Word and other third-party documents that have “Page break before” applied to paragraphs and Docs will retain that formatting.
- Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers
Create Meeting Notes in Google Calendar
You can now quickly start and share a meeting notes document for your Calendar events.
Creating a notes document from Calendar will automatically populate the document with the event information and attach the document to the event.
You can also add this same meeting notes template into any doc by typing “@” in the doc and using the drop-down menu.
These features are currently only available in Calendar and Docs on the web.
Why you’d use it
Meeting notes are one of the most common use cases in Docs, and an effective way to make meetings a good use of time. However, creating, sharing and finding them later involves several basic repetitive steps, and involves switching between Docs and Calendar. The meeting notes feature is a shortcut to create such documents with some quick clicks.
This feature streamlines the creation, sharing and attachment of meeting notes into Calendar events.
In Calendar, this feature is only available to meeting organizers or guests with permissions to modify the event.
You can use this feature several ways:
- While creating or editing an event, you’ll see a “Create meeting notes” button next to the attachment section. You can click this button to create a new document, which attaches it to the event upon saving the changes.
- Clicking the “Take meeting notes” button in a scheduled event will create this document, and immediately open it in a new tab so users can get started capturing notes right away. In the background, this document will also be attached to the calendar event for future reference.
Once you make these meeting notes, we’ll automatically link back to the Calendar event from the doc, making it easy to navigate between places.
You’ll still be able to attach additional documents to the Calendar event.
Sharing the meeting notes
- If you click to “Create meeting notes” when creating a new event or editing an existing event, the notes doc will be shared with the attendees, including those outside your organization, once you hit “Save.”
- If you click “Take meeting notes” on a scheduled Calendar event, attendees will not automatically have access and we’ll show you a prompt to share in Docs.
- When capturing meeting notes for scheduled events from Google Docs:
- If you’re the meeting organizer: A pop-up prompts you to share and attach the document to your event. To give access, click Share & attach.
- If you’re not the meeting organizer: A pop-up prompts you to share the document. To give access, click Share. The document doesn't attach to the event.
Google Meet meeting hosts now have more control of participant's audio and video feeds for smoother, more productive meetings
Meeting hosts in Google Meet can now use Audio and Video Lock to turn off the microphones and/or cameras of other participants in the meeting and prevent them from turning them back on until you unlock them, in the main and breakout rooms. Earlier this year, we announced the ability for meeting hosts to mute everyone all at once in Google Meet on desktops/laptop devices. The new Audio and Video lock makes this feature more useful by enabling hosts to prevent participants from unmuting themselves after they are muted.
Why it’s important
This feature gives meeting hosts more control over their meetings by letting them decide when they want to allow different levels of participation from attendees, for example to address disruptive participants.
Participants using versions of the Android and iOS apps that do not support audio and video locks will be removed from the meeting if the host or co-host turns on either of the locks. If they attempt to join a meeting that has either of these locks enabled they will be prompted to update their app or use another device to join the meeting. Turning off audio or video locks will allow these participants to rejoin the meeting.
The minimum supported versions are:
- Android OS version M or newer
- iOS version 12 or newer
Meet or Gmail app:
- The most updated version
Audio or video locks, as well as chat and present locks, set by the host in the main meeting will also apply to subsequently launched breakout rooms. Once a breakout room is launched, any changes made to a lock setting in an individual room will not affect the settings of other breakout rooms or the main meeting.