February 2021 Technology Newsletter

By: Michael Kealy

Classlink: Password Resets and One Stop For Software Access and Login

The Technology Department is excited to introduce Classlink! Even before the pandemic began our department was working to implement Classlink a program that would make it easier for stakeholders to reset their passwords and access software for anywhere.


Classlink gives students and staff the ability to reset their BCSD computer password from any web connected device.


To access software and set up password recovery go to:

https://launchpad.classlink.com/beaconk12


Login using your current BCSD username and password.

You will be prompted to set up your password recovery options, you must setup 2 of the 3 options.


  1. Security Questions
  2. Email (Not your BCSD email)
  3. Mobile Phone number


Once password recovery is setup and is complete users will be able to click the Help, I forgot my password link from the login page. They will then be taken to a page to reset their password.


Within Classlink students and teachers will see a menu of software that the district has made available to them. For many of these programs users will just need to click the program to sign in without having to remember individual username and passwords. This will hopefully prevent anxiety and lead to the use of more instructional time.

Employees Reset Your Password By: 3/5/21

Please use Classlink to set up password recovery and reset your password prior to 3/5. Beginning Monday, 3/8 the Technology Department will be re-enabling the password reset policies for district users which have been suspended since the pandemic began so that users working off-site would not be locked out of their computer accounts.


To access software and set up password recovery go to:

https://launchpad.classlink.com/beaconk12

When Prompted Setup Password Recovery, or click on the silhouette in the upper right hand corner, and select settings

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Click on the recovery tab, and select reset password. Follow the prompts.

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Please do not use your @beaconk12.org email address as a recovery email address. Also it is strongly suggested to create strong passwords. Below is an article of the most commonly used passwords.

Check Out The 20 Most Common Passwords Found On The Dark Web By Clicking The Article Below

Update Chrome OS To Version 88.0.4324.150 or Higher

Earlier this month we learned of a Vulnerability in Google Chrome that Could Allow for Arbitrary Code Execution.


OVERVIEW:

A vulnerability has been discovered in Google Chrome, which could allow for arbitrary code execution. Google Chrome is a web browser used to access the Internet. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the browser. Depending on the privileges associated with the application, an attacker could view, change, or delete data. If this application has been configured to have fewer user rights on the system, exploitation of the vulnerability could have less impact than if it was configured with administrative rights.


THREAT INTELLIGENCE:

There are currently reports of this vulnerability being exploited in the wild.


SYSTEMS AFFECTED:

  • Google Chrome versions prior to 88.0.4324.150


While our systems should automatically update your Chromebook and web browser to the latest version it is always good to check and make sure you are up to date especially if you computer has been turned off for a prolonged period of time.



Manually check and install Chrome Updates by following the directions below.

  1. Click the bottom right corner of the Chrome OS desktop.
  2. Select the Settings icon.
  3. Click About Chrome.
  4. Click Check for updates.
  5. To apply the update, click the arrow icon and select Restart to Update.

* Some older Chromebook models may not be able to update to version 88.

Mute all Google Meet participants at once

What’s changing

Meeting hosts in Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals and Education Plus domains can now mute everyone all at once in Google Meet.


Who’s impacted

End users


Why you’d use it

This change gives the host more control by helping them prevent or stop disruptions coming from unmuted users.


Additional details

The meeting host is the only user in a meeting who can use the “mute all” feature. Once all participants are muted, the meeting host cannot unmute them. However, users will be able to unmute themselves as needed.


The mute all feature will only be available for hosts who are joining from a desktop browser, but will be launching on other platforms in the coming months.

End a Google Meet video call for everyone at once

What’s changing

When a Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals or Education Plus host leaves their meeting, they can now choose to keep others on the call or to end the call instead, ejecting everyone else.

We’ll launch this feature to additional Google Workspace editions in the coming months.


Who’s impacted

End users


Why you’d use it

In some cases, a host may not want people to continue a meeting without them present. For example, teachers may want to prevent students from having unsupervised meetings.


Additional details

When a host is done with a meeting and wants to leave, they now have two options:

  • Leave meeting: The host will leave the meeting, but the meeting will continue.
  • End meeting for all: Everyone, including people in breakout rooms, will be ejected from the meeting. Participants will be informed that the host has ended the meeting. Once the meeting has been ended, people will not be able to rejoin, unless the host rejoins first.


Google recommends that, after ending a meeting, if a host wants to meet with a new group of people, that they create a new meeting. This can help prevent previous participants from joining.


More options for sharing your availability in Google Calendar


What’s changing

Google is adding two new options in Calendar, which will help you better communicate your work availability to your colleagues. Specifically, you can:

  • Create repeating out of office entries.
  • Split your working hours into multiple segments each day.

At the moment, working hour segments will only be available on the web and repeating out of office entries on the web and Android devices. See below for more information on these features, including rollout details.


Who's impacted

End users


Why it’s important

As many people have experienced changes to their working environments in the past year, their work schedules have also changed—and are now often mixed with personal commitments and other obligations. We hope that with the addition of repeating out of office entries and segmentable working hours, you can better organize your time and communicate availability to your colleagues.


You can use segmentable working hours to indicate when certain blocks of time are outside of your working hours. Working hours are visible on your calendar when someone schedules a meeting with you.


In addition to using repeating out of office entries for vacation time, you can use them to indicate time when you need to handle personal commitments—like childcare, exercise, and more. They can also be used to better communicate part-time availability or certain days when you're consistently unavailable.


Additional details

Repeating out of office entries and declining meeting behavior

If you create a repeating out of office entry and select “Automatically decline meetings,” a decline meeting notification will be sent to the organizers of any meetings scheduled during your repeating OOO. If the declined meeting is a recurring meeting, those organizers may get multiple notifications—these emails are bundled for Gmail users, but not always for users of other email services.

Improvements for locating new comments and important conversations in Google Docs


Quick launch summary

We’ve added two new ways that make it easier to find comments that require your attention and action in Google Docs on the web.

New comment activity since the last time you viewed a document will be “badged” with a blue dot. Additionally, when you hover over the blue dot, you’ll see a “New” banner.


A blue dot emphasizes the new comment activity since the last time you viewed the document.


In the Comments history dialog, we added new filtering options. You can sort comments by: “For you”, “All comments”, or “Resolved”.



Select “For You” in the comment history dialog to view the comment threads and action items involving you.


Google hopes these improvements make collaboration easier by enabling you to quickly navigate to and take action on important comments and conversations.

Google Rebranding and Changes

This week Google announced they are rebranding GSuite for Education to Google Workspace for Education. In addition to the name change, Google also announced that beginning in July 2022 storage for Google Drive for Education customers will no longer be unlimited. Looking ahead we may need to ask you to review your drive, similar to your home drive on the district server, and delete old/unused files.