Technology Resources

and Beginning of the Year Tips

Preparing Your Computer Space

The beginning of the school year is a good time to clean and declutter classroom computer areas. It is best to make sure that black media cabinets, computers, and printers can be easily accessed by technicians who may need to check cords or troubleshoot problems.

Computers areas should be clear of dust, and food and drink should not be allowed in this area. This will help ensure the longevity of the machines.

School Computer Inventory

The number of computers in classrooms and labs is determined by the Technology Services Department and there is a standard for all schools. Classroom are allotted 3 computers. Teachers are not given a designated computer.

Computers should never be moved from one classroom to another.

Only network cables supplied by the district should be used to connect computers to the network.

Cables and cords should not be placed where students walk.

Computers should always remain plugged in and powered on to enable updates to occur overnight. (Please teach students the difference between logging off and turning off.)

Computer Logins/Single Sign On

All GCS staff use their GCS login on school computers. GCS has instituted universal logins, so staff must be logged in with their individual usernames and passwords in order to access Webmail/Office 365 and Discovery Education accounts.

There is a generic student login for computers. Students can also login using their individual ID numbers and passwords. Students can only access their Discovery Education accounts when using their individual logins.

Generic student login:

Username-- 361-student

Password-- 361stu

Individual student login:

Username-- ID# (lunch #), ex. 1234567

Password-- birthdate (MMDDYYYY), ex. 01012001

Changing Your GCS Password

GCS requires that passwords be reset every 180 days. You will begin receiving email notifications several days prior to when your password expires.

Here is a reminder on the password requirements: a minimum of 6 characters in length, upper and lower case letters, numbers and/or special characters. You must choose at least 3 out of these 4 criterion when creating your password.

Once the password is successfully reset and you are trying to access MS Outlook for the first time, an MS security window will appear prompting you to insert the newly reset password. To avoid the re-appearing of the Outlook security window, check the box next to "Remember My Credentials".

Remember to reset yor password on any devices you have your GCS account synced to.

New staff to GCS may obtain logon information from the GCS website under the "Employee" tab New Employee Email/Computer Login Information. After retrieving the initial logon information, staff are required to change the temporary assigned password to a permanent one meeting the above mentioned criterion. Once the password is reset and the Acceptable User Policy is accepted the desktop will successfully load. Staff must again confirm the new password once MS Outlook launches. Once SKYPE for Business opens type the entire email address in the provided "" field, select connect to server. For first time users, a seven step tutorial is provided upon the first time launch.

Additionally, if users wish to change passwords prior to the 180 expiration, they can select ctrl+alt+del on their keyboard or by accessing and follow the steps on the screen. Once the password is reset the user will be prompted to choose and answer a set of 3 security questions. Staff can also submit a Password Reset Request Form to Technology Services to have passwords changed.

School Calendars in Microsoft Outlook

To keep track of school events and meetings, Erwin uses a shared Outlook calendar. The Erwin Sharepoint calendar should appear in your Outlook Calendar menu under "Other Calendars". All staff will have permission to add and edit events.

There is a Google calendar for laptop cart scheduling. This link is available on the Staff homepage of the school website. Teachers should use this calendar to schedule use of the laptop cart for their class.

Computer Technical Support

Any computer or network problems must be reported to Nancy Cravey or Sabrina Caldwell. Issues that cannot be resolved will be submitted to Tech Services for repair.

In an email, please include the asset tag # for the computer that needs to be fixed. This tag can be found on the side of the computer harddrive.

Please give a detailed description of the problem and what you have done to try and resolve it.

WIFI Access

School-owned devices use the School3 network. If a school device is not connecting to the WiFi, check that it is trying to access the correct network.

Erwin has a closed Guest network. Devices must be given permission to access it. "Guest" refers to a device that is not owned by the school, not persons who are visiting the school.

Each staff member is allowed to have one personal device connected to the Guest network per Technology Services. A request must be made through Nancy Cravey or Sabrina Caldwell to have devices connected.

When the request is made, please provide the brand and type of device (i.e. Samsung phone or iPad tablet or HP laptop) and the WiFi address for the device. This number is a series of 6 pairs of letters and/or numbers separated by colons. For example, 1A:2B:3C:4D:5E:6F. On most devices it is found under general settings in the same section the device's serial number is located. A google search for how to find a WiFi address for most devices can help you find this information.

All devices that use the school network must have a Certificate Authority Trust installed. Instructions for installing this CAT (Zscaler) are found on the Technology Services website under GCS Guest WiFi Access.

Microsoft Office Updates

Computers were updated with the latest Microsft Office software over the summer.

There are now three browers available -- Internet Explorer, Chrome and Edge. Some programs do not perform well in all browsers. If something (like PowerSchool) is not working, try switching browsers.

If any programs are missing, please let Ms. Cravey know.

One Drive offers teachers the ability to access documents from anywhere and makes it easy to go between school and home when planning. Documents can also be shared with other staff to make collaboration easy.

Follow these instructions to sync One Drive with your school computer. After the updates, you do need to re-sync if you used One Drive last year. Syncing is a one computer at a time process. It does not transfer to other computers.

GCS Tablet and App Policy

The district has adopted a process of using a Windows based platform for all GCS technology needs.* Technology purchases made by utilizing the procurement card or school checkbook funds need to be in compliance with the Windows-based platform as well. These purchases will be reviewed during the normal auditing process and findings of non-compliance will be reported similar to all other findings. The same applies to any donations made to your school, including through Donors Choose.

We are also no longer able to buy peripherals, like charging cables, to support Apple products.

Parent Distribution Lists

Distribution lists make contacting parents easier throughout the school year when you need to send an email to the entire class.

Use these instructions to help you create these lists. The instructions are only for the Outlook version of email. Webmail will look different and instructions for that version are not available at this time.

Class Webpages

All certified staff members should have a webpage updated to reflect the current school year. Training guides are located on the Technology Services webpage under Website Training.

Webpage help sessions can be held throughout the school year for teachers who want to make their site more relevant for parents.

GCS is prioritizing accessibility standards for all websites. Anything posted on a webpage must be compliant. Please review the guidelines, specifically regarding images on your site.

Setting up Email on Phones/Devices

Use these links to set up email on your phone or tablet.

Instructions are available for:

iOS devices

Android devices

Windows Devices

Microsoft Office Suite Free for Teachers

Teachers can download the Office suite for home use through the GCS website.

Instructions for downloading Microsoft Office

Resources for teachers

Destiny Library Catalog* -- The library catalog is online. Catalogs for both schools are available via the link. Teachers can search the catalogs and email book requests to Nancy Cravey.

GCS Follett eBook Shelf* -- Guilford County Schools offers thousands of ebooks through the Follett ebook shelf. Teachers can checkout ebooks for one month. Use this eBook tutorial for help navigating the site.

Discovery Education** -- All teachers and students have Discovery Education accounts. Teachers can set up their class and create assignments in addition to streaming videos for instruction.

Office 365** -- Microsoft offers apps in its Office suite that allows teachers to access their school documents from anywhere. Apps are available when teachers are logged into Webmail.

*Teacher login is your GCS username for both the username and password. New staff accounts for Destiny and the eBook Shelf will be created the first week of school or once email accounts are activated.

**Teacher login is the same as your GCS computer/email login. You must be logged into the computer to access your account at school. New staff accounts for Discovery Education and Office 365 are created by Technology Services when staff email accounts are activated.