Tech Nuggets

December 2015

Tech in the Building - January

Location & Dates

Larned Middle School - Tuesday, January 19th

Larned High School - Thursday, January 21st

ECC & TriCounty Office - Friday, January 22nd (9am-11am)

Phinney - Monday, January 25th

Hillside - Wednesday, January 27th

Northside - Thursday, January 28th

iPad Change Over Christmas Break

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We will be collecting all the student iPads next week as we prepare for the management changes that will be taking place over Christmas Break. While I could detail the process for you, here is what you really need to know...

1. The iPads will be completely wiped clean. If you have any photos, videos or student projects sitting on the iPads that need to be saved, please notify the Tech Department as soon as possible. It will require an extra step on our end to back-up those files.

2. You might lose some of the apps you use. Some of the apps being used on the student iPads were purchased through Apps Gone Free. When we purchased apps in this method, we didn't always purchase multiple licenses (yes, there was a reason, but again it is a lengthy response). As a result, we would need to now pay for the purchasing of those licenses as the apps were usually only free for one day and are no longer free.

3. You may have to purchase additional licenses for apps you have purchased in the past. Due to the method we used in the past for sending out apps, we actually used a purchased license and cannot get it back. For example, we purchased six copies of an app for the Title Reading iPads at Northside. We used one license so we could send the app out to all six devices. With the new management system, we will be one app license short because it was used already. So, you will either need to purchase another license or only put the app on five of the iPads.

4. You might not have all your apps back when you return in January. With the assistance of several AWESOME teachers, we have been compiling a list of apps that are currently being used on the various student iPads. With that said, we are still well over 100 apps that now need to be purchased via the Apple Volume Purchase Program store - even if they are free. While we have started making these purchases, it is a time-consuming process. The apps that are used on the most iPads, like Google Drive, will be purchased first.

5. You might not have your student iPads back when you return from Christmas Break. Again, without detailing the entire process, there are several steps involved in this management switch over. We are hoping and planning to complete them all over the break, but it's like remodeling a house, everything takes longer than you expect.

If you would like more information about why we are making these changes, please refer to the November Tech Nuggets - App & iPad Changes. If you have any questions about the information above or this upcoming management change, please do not hesitate to contact the Tech Office.

PDF Printing Tip

As you recall, with the new PaperCut system, all items must be printing using Google Cloud Print. This means if you create a Pages, Numbers, Word, or Excel document on your computer, you need to save or export it as a PDF. It was initially recommended that you drag and drop the PDF file into your Google Drive and then you could print. However, there is a shortcut that allows you to bypass the uploading to Google Drive. Here's how...

After you save or export your document to a PDF, right click the document (hold down the Control key on the keyboard and click on the file). Move your mouse to "Open With." From the sidebar that opens, choose Google Chrome. If Google Chrome is not an option on your list, then choose "Other" and go select Google Chrome from your application folder. (Click the gif link below for a visual of this process)

Google Chrome will open the file and provide printing options for you. Once you have printed your document, you can close the tab and trash the PDF file (unless you need it again in the future). Just remember, you cannot make changes on the PDF version of your document.

January 18th Inservice

On the afternoon of January 18th, we will be offering a variety of breakout sessions for you to attend. There will be some technology sessions available. Some of the topics include...

  • Google Classroom
  • Nearpod
  • Adobe Voice
  • Book Creator
  • Screencasting
  • Assessing with Video, Audio & Images
  • Google Drive/Docs
  • Socrative & Plickers

More information about the schedule for this day will be forthcoming. Be sure to keep an eye on your email inbox!

Are we getting rid of PowerSchool?

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Yesterday afternoon, a group of teachers, administrators and additional district employees participated in a webinar for a product called Skyward. Skyward is a Student Information System (SIS) like PowerSchool. Why would we be looking at a different SIS you may ask? While we have had some outages and glitches with PowerSchool this year, the tech department did start discussing the possibility of switching to a new system when Pearson announced they were selling PowerSchool last school year. Naturally there were concerns about if and who might purchase PowerSchool as well as the quality and stability of the product in new hands. As PowerSchool is a major system in our district, we do not want to make any decisions hastily or without careful exploration and consideration. Skyward is only one of several Student Information Systems available that we will be examining and evaluating.

Please note - no official decision has been made to move away from PowerSchool at this time. We are simply exploring the options should a move of this nature become necessary for our district.

What would it look like if Jesus were born in today's world?


Merry Christmas!