March 2022 Technology Newsletter

By: Michael Kealy

The New York State Education Department is no longer supporting the EngageNY.org website and it will no longer be available for use after March 30, 2022

The EngageNY curriculum resources will be moving here in March 2022 from the EngageNY website. All ELA and mathematics curriculum files will be available at this new location, and will remain free and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) license(link is external).


Archived EngageNY Curriculum Files:


Grades 3-8 ELA and Mathematics Test Materials:

ActivInspire

An RMS teacher recently requested our department install the free version of ActivInspire a program similar to Smart Notebook for creating interactive lessons to be used on interactive boards. If this is a program you would like to use or explore. Please submit a technology help desk ticket with a request.

REMINDER: Only Click Links and Download Files From Trusted Sources

With the Russian military operation in Ukraine the Technology Department has been receiving warnings from several U.S. government sources to be on alert for possible cyber attacks originating from Russia.


CISA has been warning and pleading with all organizations in the US to prepare for potentially devastating cyber-attacks on the US depending on how this war unfolds. There have been some very big names that have had some significant, unexplained outages lately. Were they an isolated ransomware attack? An attack from a foreign government or government proxy? No one is saying.


One of the primary vectors for cyber attacks in the use of phishing or ransomware. I am writing to remind you to please use extra scrutiny and caution when clicking links or opening files from unknown sources. The old saying goes if you see something, say something. Please report any suspicious emails or activity on your computer to the Technology Help Desk so that we can investigate, mitigate, and prevent an attack.

Security Awareness Episode 4: Phishing and Ransomware
Cyber Safety: What are your employees clicking?

Google Updates

Google Meet attendance reports available now for education meetings with two or more participants

Quick summary

Google Workspace Education Plus and the Teaching and Learning Upgrade users will now automatically receive an attendance report anytime a meeting has two or more participants. Previously, attendance tracking was limited to meetings with five or more participants.

Attendance reports include the following information:

  • Participant’s name
  • Participant’s email
  • Overall length of time a participant was on the call, including when they joined and exited


Getting started


Rollout pace


Resources

New email draft template in Google Docs

Quick summary

Google is making it easy to collaborate on an email draft in Docs with the new email draft template. You can mention people in the recipient fields using the @ menu without having to remember their email addresses, and collaborate on the message body using comments and suggestions. When ready to send, simply click the button that is shown alongside an email draft. A Gmail compose window will pop up, with email fields (subject, to, cc, bcc, and body) automatically populated based on the email draft in the document.


Rollout pace

View additional Calendar statuses in Google Chat

What’s changing

In addition to seeing when someone is out of office, you can now see additional Google Calendar statuses like “In a meeting” or “In focus time” in Google Chat.


Who’s impacted

Admins and end users


Why you’d use it

We hope by surfacing these additional statuses, this will make it easier for your colleagues to identify appropriate times to message you.


Additional details

Additionally, the Admin control for Calendar availability will be updated to include configuration options for displaying “In a meeting” or “In focus time” blocks.



Web:




Resources


Google Sheets doubles cell limit

Quick Summary

Google has increased the cell limit in Google Sheets from up to five million cells to up to ten million cells. This limit applies to new, existing, and imported files.


Over the course of the last four years, we’ve been steadily increasing the cell limit in Google Sheets: from 2 million to 5 million in 2019 and now to 10 million. We hope this and future increases give users the ability to work with their data on a much greater scale in Google Sheets.


Rollout pace

  • This feature is available now for all users.


Resources