Technology News

October 2021

In this edition...

Remember ~ you can find previous editions of the technology newsletter at our District Staff Information Page on our website.

Congratulations to Alex Boddy, winner of the September newsletter feedback drawing! Thank you all who left feedback - I find this information very valuable!

THANK YOU to all completed one or both of the Safe Schools Cybersecurity modules! There were 147 names entered in to the random draw (some had their name entered twice as they completed both modules). Congratulations to the winners of this event ~ Alison Marshall & Jamie Brigger! I will deliver your prize!

Email Security ~ Encryption

REMINDER: please use email encryption any time your message includes PII (personally identifiable information). This would include: student names, staff names, parent/guardian names plus more. If in doubt, encrypt the messsage.

  • In the web-based version of Outlook, click the Encrypt button on the menu bar of the message.
  • In the Outlook app, in the new message window click on Options in the menu bar > Encrypt > Encrypt only.

Microsoft Forms Collections (folders)! *Organize your Forms*

This step-by- step tutorial will show you the BRAND NEW Microsoft Forms Collections feature to help you organize all of your Forms and Quizzes.

**NEW** Process to request a Digital Resource

The tech team has implemented a new process for requesting a digital resource or app for use in your classroom or area - this is the process that will be used starting November 1, 2021. We ask that you complete the form at the link below and we will review your request from the information you provide. Your request will be reviewed within one week and when that is complete, we will communicate to you whether your request is approved, we need additional information, or it is denied. Please keep in mind that one of our top priorities in evaluating resources is the security of our student information.

Thank you for working with us on this process. I will also put the link for this Form on the Staff Information Page of our website under Technology Resources.

Submit this Form to request a Digital Resource

Tech Resources ~ Microsoft Teams

Just a reminder if you have not already done so, please join the Team titled MPS Technology PD Resources by using the join code: fv1zysf

There are a variety of resources and links for our most commonly used digital resources. If you cannot find information you are looking for, please let me know. Look under the Files section of each channel as well as the Notes section (contains links). Thanks!

Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) ~ the time is now!

Multi factor authentication, often referred to as two-factor authentication provides unambiguous identification of users by means of the combination of two different components. These components may be something that the user knows, something that the user possesses or something that is inseparable from the user. A good example from everyday life is the withdrawing of money from a cash machine. Only the correct combination of a bank card and a PIN allows the transaction to be carried out. Two-factor authentication is type of multi-factor authentication.

**The tech department at MPS will be requiring all staff have two-factor authentication setup on your Office 365 account no later than December 1, 2021.

**The process will go smoother if you take these steps to setup MFA prior to that date.

How do I set Two-factor Authentication on my Office 365 account?

  • Go to: & sign in with your school email account
  • Click on Add Method under the Security section.
  • At the next window, click the drop-down to choose your preferred method (Phone/Text is what I use)
  • Follow the prompts to complete the process.
  • Submit a tech ticket for the guys to complete the process on your behalf.

You will now be prompted to verify via your chosen method when asked for your password to log into your Office 365 account.

Do you want to create a secure environment for a Microsoft Forms test/quiz?

Please contact Karen for more information. I have an alternative that may work for you if you use Forms to deliver tests or quizzes.

Google Expeditions is now Google Arts & Culture

In November 2020, Google announced the Google Expeditions app would go away in June 2021. The app is gone, but 400 or so of the 981 Expeditions are now available on Google Arts and Culture’s website.

Expeditions on the web means this content is always available to students using any device with an internet connection. Students can no longer use VR headsets for expeditions but now they can see them on any device with a web browser.

Click here to learn more.

You may also want to checkout Expeditions Pro - a free replacement for Google Tour Creator.

Reflect in Microsoft Teams

Reflect is an app that can be added to any Microsoft Teams class/course. With Reflect you make space for learners to share how they feel. Reflect supports educators in building a classroom environment that recognizes the whole student as well as supports students in identifying and navigating their emotions.

Reflect can be used to take a pulse on the emotions of individual students as well as the learning community as a whole. Consider using reflect:

  • At the start of the day or after lunch
  • After an assignment or an activity
  • When an event impacts your school community
  • When there are conflicts or challenges in the classroom

Use Reflect check-ins to build social and emotional learning into your daily routine.

If you are interested, please contact Karen to get started. You can also click here to learn more.

Liquid Damage ~ Devices

PLEASE NOTE: If a student reports to you that their device has had liquid of any kind spilled on it (or if this happens to you), the tech department asks that you do not attempt to power the device on or plug it in. Please report to the media center of your building for them to help address the issue. Thank you - please let one of us know if you have questions.

Your MPS Technology Team

Todd Pickthorn

Karen Londgren

Nick Esping

Kent Powell