Tech Notes

October 2020


  • Please submit help requests via the help desk. E-mailing tech staff directly does not get an issue resolved more quickly.
  • Batteries hate cold weather. Devices left in the cold are likely to bring battery life down to 0, which often results in the time being incorrect. Tech Tools: FIX DATE and TIME on MAC.

IC Parent Accounts

Recent data on parent accounts in Infinite Campus. Year over year comparison is shown here, though September enrollment numbers can be a bit "off" with adds and drops. Still, we saw increased presence of parent accounts at all grade levels.
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Phishing Practice

This year we will continue to do occasional "phishing practice" events in order to give everyone "live" practice with identifying and avoiding scam, phishing, or otherwise malicious e-mails.

This is a necessary form of practice and training. It is the digital equivalent of a "stranger danger" lesson, and an unfortunate reflection of the reality that is now commonplace for school districts to experience data breaches due to exactly this type of attack.

A document with some tips and "red flags" to watch for is attached below. Usually, if it looks like a scam or seems out of character (ie., your building Principal probably isn't going to send you an urgent e-mail asking for cash) then the delete button is your safest option.

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Improvements to Google Meet have been rolling out over the past few weeks. A quick note on that phrase "rolling out" - Google features tend to arrive in phases and may not show up for all users at exactly the same time. That's what Google does and we cannot really control it, but we expect that just about everyone should now be seeing recently added items like attendance, polls, improved tile view, background blur, and so on.

I previously noted that some features would be free and some would be part of the paid "Enterprise" version of Google's education product. We were able to allocate funding this year to purchase the Enterprise functionality (approximately $22,000).

Here is a good article that provides an overview of recently added features: New safety and collaboration features in Google Meet.


The DLCs have made a couple of useful videos you can view below that illustrate the use of breakout rooms and the polling and Q&A features. The third video below is a vendor presentation that is rather lengthy but provides a more comprehensive review of recently added and upcoming features.

Google Meet Breakouts
* Please note that polls and Q&A are not yet supported on the iPad app.
Google Meet Polling and Q&A
Recent updates to GSEfE and what's coming next

Chrome extensions

Now that improvements to Google Meet are rolling out, it is possible that some staff may have installed other software (also known as extensions) that perform similar tasks and may interfere with how Meet works or create confusion. Extensions for grid view or attendance taking, for instance, have been fairly common.

Here is a Chrome support article that explains how to manage extensions, including how to turn off or remove them:

Tech Tools: Outlook for Mac Fall 2020 Updates

Note that switching to new version is not yet recommended; article has full details.

Just in case anyone missed it, some Central Duplicating reminders:

The note section in WebCRD needs to be used for only AFTER PRINTING requests such as cutting requests, cut/gluing note pads, cutting and stapling half sized booklets, special billing/ shipping requests, and any other requests done after an order is printed. We do not see the note section until after an order is printed.

Please do not ask for specific pages to be printed, programming of orders, editing documents before printing, and so on. The purpose of WebCRD is for you to be in control of your printing. The print preview section is where all printing options are found. This section is also where you can view a document and shows exactly how a document will look when printed.

Amusing image of a printer that does literally everything,

SafeYouTube - Video.Link

Useful info for any staff who have been using "SafeYouTube" for embedding videos into lessons:

SafeYouTube is now VideoLink!

Since we plan to support not only YouTube videos but also Vimeo and other platforms, we wanted our brand to reflect this. In addition, not everyone uses VideoLink just to make videos "safe". Some users want to create VideoLinks just to have access to a partial video with a custom page title, or to have no content on the page that may distract from the video itself.

Since links may cease to work at some point in the future, although we hope to keep them online as long as possible, we recommend that you update your links by changing "" to "". For example, if your link is, you should change it to The rest of the URL will not change, so you could use a search and replace function (we recommend Notepad++) to replace all links within one or multiple files on your hard drive. If you have links to replace online, you could use the Find and Replace Text feature.

Help Desk Stats

The chart below is a two month snapshot of tickets opened (blue bar) and closed for that specific day (red line). That's 4426 opened, of which 4042 have since been resolved, equalling about a 91% resolution rate overall. Many of the tickets that are still considered "open" are actually device repairs that are effectively resolved on the client side but still being processed by tech.

Thanks for using the help desk!

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MacBook Tip: Take a Screenshot

Notes for a quick screenshot of the full screen or a portion of the screen.

MacBook Tip: Advanced Screenshots and Recordings

Using the built-in screenshot app to grab screenshots or recordings.

Skyward User Group Sessions Nov 2-13

Office staff or similar users - might be worth checking out available Qmlativ sessions!

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