Tech Bytes

Carthage ISD Technology Department September 2016

District rolls out Windows 10

The Technology Department spent all summer upgrading computers in classrooms to Windows 10. We hope to upgrade our office staff computers by the end of October. It is important for our district to stay up-to-date, but we do lots of testing and wait at least a year before rolling out the newest software. Windows 10 was released July 29, 2015.

Windows 10 is slightly different than Windows 8. Some of the small changes are listed below.

1. The Start menu is back.--Now you can click on the Windows/Start key in the bottom left corner of your screen and click File Explorer to access Documents or Downloads.

2. It looks like Office is not installed on my computer.--Click on the Windows Start key and just start typing Word. Word 2013 or Word 2016 should then pop up for you to see. Your most used apps, like Word will appear in the list without you typing it each time. Or you can do a right-click on the app after you type it in, then click Pin to Start. The next time you click on the Windows Start key, it will be there for you without typing it in. If you try this and still don't have Word, put in a ticket and we will install Office for you.

3. Are you having problems duplicating to projector/Elmo?--We have seen some of our computers no longer want to duplicate the projector/Elmo to the SmartBoard. Be sure you are pressing the Windows Start key +P and choose duplicate. If this doesn't work, try restarting your computer to get the latest drivers to install. If this doesn't work, put in a ticket. We may need to replace your video card.

Hopefully, these tips will help you survive the roll-out of Windows 10. But, if you have any questions, feel free to put in a ticket and we will help you.

Tips to Protect Yourself Against Phishing Scams

How to handle Microsoft Windows updates

Every 2nd Tuesday of the month, Patch Tuesday, Microsoft will send out updates to their operating systems/software. Every now and then, they will send out other updates throughout the month if they feel the update can't wait a month. So what does this mean to you and your computer in your classroom?

1. Leave all computers on throughout the week. This will allow the updates to download and install over night.

2. We have turned off the updates from 7 am-4:30 pm each school day to allow our staff and students as much bandwidth as possible. If the updates run overnight, this is the time of day that means the least amount of interruption for the majority of our staff.

3. The updates download first and then install. It is a good practice to perform a restart on your computer on Wednesday afternoon before you leave for the day. You will notice with Windows 10 that when you logout and click on the shutdown option, if there are updates available it will normally give you options to Update & Restart or Update and Shutdown.

4. If you turn off your computer every night, your computer will not get the updates and each morning when you come in and turn it on, it will spin trying to get updates. If the updates are on, your computer will give you the message to, "Please wait." If you get that message, you have no choice but to wait.

5. You may shut off all computers on Friday afternoon for the weekend.

If you have any questions, feel free to email or call.

TCEA September Webinars

Don't forget to take advantage of the TCEA webinars available each month FREE to members. If you cannot watch the webinar on your computer during the assigned time, sign-up anyway and TCEA will email you a link to the recording and you can watch at another time that is convenient for you.

Google Apps for Education Update

Get Your Google On, Webinar

September 1 @ 11:45 am - 12:30 pm

Tech for ELAR

Lunch and Learn, Webinar

September 7 @ 11:45 am - 12:15 pm

Free Microsoft Tools to Engage Your Students

Lunch and Learn, Webinar

September 14 @ 11:45 am - 12:15 pm

Differentiating with Technology

Lunch and Learn, Webinar

September 21 @ 11:45 am - 12:15 pm

Online Research Tools for Digital Citizens

Lunch and Learn, Webinar

September 28 @ 11:45 am - 12:15 pm

Technology Staff

Annette Johnson--Technology Director

Debby Simpson--Administrative Assistant

Terry Caudle--Systems Administrator

Richard Sullivan--Network Administrator

Mark Baisden--Technology Specialist

Penni Munroe--Technology Specialist

Message from the Director

Hello! I hope everyone has gotten back into a routine and school has gotten off to a great start.

I want to update you on our internet provider and bandwidth issues. Last year we had a 50 meg connection with Fidelity Communications. With our new Erate contract, which was supposed to start on July 1, we were going to have a 500 meg connection through AT&T. Well, we are still waiting on AT&T. The only date we have been given is Sept. 29. But, I can't guarantee the new service will be available then.

So in the meantime, we are still on Fidelity on the old connection we have had for the last three years. At this point, we are just thankful to have internet connection at all. But, I know it has been frustrating when you can't get YouTube videos to play or you have your students login to online resources and they just spin.

So here are a few of ways to help with bandwidth issues.

1. Don't stream music or movies that are not necessary until we move over to the new provider.

2. YouTube videos and/or Discovery Education can be downloaded. Then play the download from your computer. In this situation, I don't mean full-length movies, I mean short snippets that go along with your lessons.

3. Always have a back-up plan. I know some of you have been really trying to use Google Classroom and other online resources. But, when the network is busy and you just can't get on, have another option available. Again, once the new provider connects and we have more bandwidth, you shouldn't have any problems with any websites.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Have a great September.