Technology Newsletter

November/December 2021

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season!

In this edition: Lots of information - just too good not to share!

  1. Link to request a Digital Resource
  2. How to delay the sending of an email message
  3. Keeping your computer information safe
  4. Top 8 New Teams Features
  5. Classroomscreen - classroom management tool
  6. Audio/Visual presentation tool for students and staff
  7. Microsoft Reading Progress
  8. Expectations when you have a sub ~ computer access
  10. MFA Overview
  11. NO COST Digital Courses for K-12 Educators
  12. Cybersecurity Quick Guide
  13. Microsoft Teams Cheat Sheet
Link to Request a Digital Resource or App

Reminder: please use this request form for any new digital resources you would like to use in your classroom.

Delay Sending Email Message

Did you know that you can delay the sending of an email message? Maybe you wish to compose the message but set it for a specific time to send to the recipients. To do this:

  • Open Outlook app (does not work in the web version)
  • Create a new email
  • Click on Options in the menu bar
  • In the toolbar, look for Delay Delivery ~ click on this
  • You will be presented with a variety of options you can adjust
  • Set your options to your preference and then click Close.

Keeping your computer and information safe

It’ll only be a few minutes, you say. What could go wrong? Plenty. Read on to find out.

  1. When you sign into your computer a few things happen. The computer sends credentials to the network and is assigned to a filter group based on the credentials received. If you are a staff member, you get less restrictive filters. If you are a student, you get more restrictive filters. Additionally, the computer also checks in with Microsoft to see if it needs Windows policies based on who is signing in. If it receives a student's credentials, Windows will start to enforce more strict policy layers. Yes – you can sign back in and get the proper policies, but this can take 24-48 hours. During that time - Goodbye Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, etc. So long custom desktop background ... see you in a couple days.
  2. When a student has physical access to your computer, they can print whatever they want on your printer.
  3. Depending on what a student does at the sign-in page or while signed into your computer – they can lock out your account, or even completely high-risk activity lock you out of the web filter. That high-risk lock then follows the computer, not the user.
  4. Giving somebody physical access to your computer is like showing them the safe where you keep your valuables. Yes, they may not have the key, but you’ve given them access to the safe.

If someone is determined to cause you damage, allowing them access to sign into your computer is a very bad idea. Perhaps they have a USB stick that contains malware, key loggers, packet sniffers, or any other nefarious software. Do you really know what computer skills they possess? It only takes someone with the correct knowledge a couple of seconds to pull off an attack when you have given them free reign on your PC.

The moral of the story is, your computer and associated accounts are provided for your use, and your use only. We recommend you do not allow students access to your computer or allow them to log into your computer with their login credentials. In the case of a sub using your computer (see more info below), they should be signing in with the MPSSub login account.

Top 8 NEW Features in Teams

Including...Q & Z, Clippy Stickers, Forms word clouds, Transcription of Channel meetings, and more!

Classroomscreen ~ Awesome classroom management tool!

Classroomscreen is a service that lets you create a homescreen on which you can place reusable countdown timers, stopwatches, noise meters, random name selectors, and more helpful classroom management tools. The noise meter lets you set a sensitivity level and have an alarm sound when the room gets too noisy. The random name selector lets you enter a list of names and save it for unlimited reuse. The countdown timers are easy to adjust for time allotment and appearance.

AWESOME ~ EASY TO USE ~ Video/Audio Presentation Tool! For staff or students!

Microsoft Photos includes a video creation tool for making short audio slideshow-style videos. You'll find this by just opening the native photos app in Windows 10. Within the editor there are tools for adding animated effects to still images, insert your existing video clips into a video project, and tools for adding audio to your video. There's also a great option to search for Creative Commons licensed images and insert them directly into your video project. The best part of that feature is that attribution information is automatically added onto the images you choose through the built-in search tool. In the following video I provide a demonstration of how to create a video in Microsoft Photos in Windows 10.

Microsoft Reading Progress

This one is so good that I am putting it on repeat! If you work with students on reading fluency and you haven't checked this out yet, you really need ~ Microsoft Teams Reading Progress! Here is a 15 minute overview. Let me know if you have questions or would like assistance.

Computer expectations when you have a substitute

We often get questions about when you have a substitute teacher and how do they deliver my curriculum/content. The general expectation of the district is that the classroom teacher leaves their school-issued laptop (that is provided and designed to deliver digital content) for the substitute to use and the teacher may check out a loaner device from the media center if there is one available. With our move to the cloud computing environment, you have access to your files, email, and all online resources by logging in on a web browser on any device, not just your school-issued device.

There may, however, be exceptions to this rule. For example, a teacher may be on quarantine and will be teaching remotely (Teams into the classroom) - in this case the teacher may be allowed to take their school-issued device home to teach from if there is adequate equipment available to facilitate the learning in their classroom. Another instance may be if the district is sending a teacher to a training for digital resources or curriculum content.

While we understand there may be extenuating circumstances, we are here to help you and to facilitate the classroom needs - please reach out to us.

We do advise against sharing login credentials (username and passwords) with a short term sub. In the case of a long-term sub, the expectation is that they will be provided access to all resources necessary to facilitate the continuity of instruction. REMINDER: If you feel your password has been compromised, please make sure you change it immediately (request help from our tech staff if needed).

Holiday Technology Challenge

Please complete the training module Browser Security Basics under the suggested training section. Everyone who completes this module successfully will be entered into a prize drawing. Deadline to complete is Wed., Dec 22nd. Login using your mps-####.

MFA Summary

Can multi-factor authentication be set up without having to use a personal device (i.e. phone)?

Absolutely, there are multiple methods of configuring this:

1. The default authentication method is to use the free Microsoft Authenticator app. If you have it installed on your mobile device, select Next and follow the prompts to add this account. If you don't have it installed there is a link provided to download it.

2. If you would rather use SMS (Text) messages sent to your phone instead, select I want to set up a different method. Microsoft 365 will ask for your mobile number, then send you an SMS message containing a 6-digit code to verify your device.

3. On the Additional security verification page, select Office phone from the Step 1: How should we contact you area, select your country or region from the drop-down list, type your office or home phone number, and then type your extension, so a regular home land line works – no smartphone or text/data service fees are required, although most users prefer smartphone MFA prompts.

  • One important note to remember about this setup is that “We don’t MFA prompt when connected to the network on district property or when using district laptops.” So what that means is that for most people they will not see this beyond the first initial setup. Only when accessing their account offsite or on a personal device will they see the additional step.
  • You can also update and confirm your settings by reviewing the “Security info” section at the following link.

**No-Cost Digital Courses for K-12 Educators**

EVERFI empowers educators to bring real-world learning into the classroom and equip students with the skills they need for success–now and in the future.

Thanks to customers who share this mission, EVERFI’s online resources for teachers are available at no cost.

Financial Education ~ Social Emotional Learning ~ Early Learning ~ College & Career Readiness ~ Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and more!

Course Listing

More about Everfi

**If you are interested in using this resource with your students, please contact me and we can get your setup via Clever to establish student accounts!