January 2019 Technology Newsletter
By: Michael Kealy
Happy New Year!
Cybersecurity and Safety
Password Changes Coming
While we understand that this may be frustrating to some, it is one of the easiest ways to ensure the districts data remains secure. In many reported circumstances users have not even realized that their user credentials and/or password(s) have been compromised until it is too late. By keeping our scheduled password resets, prohibiting users from reusing passwords, and requiring more complex passwords we can better prevent unauthorized access to district data.
Google Chrome Extensions
BEWARE: Students Being Blackmailed On Social Media
Please try to embed digital citizenship into your lessons that utilize technology by teaching students to carefully select what they post/share publicly, who they interact with on the internet, and to utilize the privacy settings that are available on many social media sites.
Google: Did You Know?
The ABC’s of Chromebook accessibility
Accessibility settings are built into all Chromebooks, and more are available through Chrome extensions and apps. No need to change settings when you switch devices because they sync to each student by default. Here are a few useful accessibility settings to get you started:
Visual aids: Increase the size of browser content by pressing Ctrl + Plus to increase, Ctrl + Minus to decrease, Ctrl + 0 to reset. The rest of the desktop is unaffected. You can enable high contrast mode by pressing Ctrl + Search button + H on the Chromebook keyboard. Adjust your font face and size, and install Chrome extensions for custom color support.
Mono Audio: For users who have limited hearing in one ear, there's a Mono Audio option to play the same sound through both speakers. Turn this feature on in Accessibility settings.
Spoken feedback: For users who need synthesized speech on occasion, we offer Select-to-speak. When enabled, press and hold the Search key, then click or drag to select content to be read aloud, and press Ctrl to silence. Change the word-by-word highlight color in Select-to-speak settings. We also have the ChromeVox screen reader that reads all text aloud, a free, browser-based screen reader that users can access from any device and built directly for ChromeOS.
Acapela text-to-speech voices: Now you can purchase and use more than 100 Acapela voices to read aloud text in 30+ languages on Chromebooks, including a variety of childrens’ voices.
The 123’s of G Suite Accessibility
G Suite is a set of tools that help students and teachers collaborate in real time and give personalized feedback. It’s also paperless and accessible from anywhere. Built into our G Suite tools are many accessibility features:
Slides: Turn on closed captions in Slides to support students who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or ENL. Simply use Ctrl + Shift + c in ChromeOS/Windows or ⌘ + Shift + c in Mac.
Voice typing, editing and formatting: Use the mic and enable the feature to use voice typing in Docs and Slides to write and edit without a keyboard.
Visual aids: Enable high contrast themes in Gmail and browsing, and use powerful keyboard shortcuts for those who can’t or don’t want to use a mouse.
Collaboration: G Suite works on all different platforms including Windows, Android, iOS devices and even multiple devices at one time. You can all be on different devices and still collaborate in real time.
Braille: Use a Braille display to read and edit Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings.
Screen reader & magnifier: Turn on the features in accessibility settings to zoom in or use the screen reader in Docs, Calendar, Sites, Classroom and even in other browsers.
Reminder: You Asked! We Listened... TEQ Online Professional Development Has Returned
A reminder, Teq is an approved NYS CTLE PD Provider, so any qualified courses that you complete can be used towards your state-mandated professional learning hours. Just be sure to take the quiz after completing a course to receive your certificate of completion!
Accessing the platform is easy! We have enabled Google Single Sign On so you don't have to remember any passwords. A welcome email was recently sent to all teachers. You can access the program by logging in (http://opd.teq.com/) and selecting “Login with your Google Account”.
Attention Elementary Teachers! Have You Checked Out Reflex Math?
Want to learn more about Reflex Math? Check out the introductory video below or Click Here to take a tour of the program.
Discovery Education Streaming Podcast
A few reminders about Discovery Education Streaming Plus:
Did you know...
Discovery Ed has a built in professional development tool for teachers
Discovery Ed is more than just a video streaming service
Discovery Ed has a library of still images to use in lessons
Discovery Ed has lesson plans and activities
Teachers can search lesson plans, activites, and videos by topics or standards
CLICK HERE to check out my podcast.