June 2019 Technology Newsletter

By: Michael Kealy

Personally Identifiable Information and NYSED Law 2-D

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In 2014 New York Stated passed Student Data Privacy and Security Law 2-D. In January 2019 the NYSED Department released proposed regulations to strengthen the law which I believe our district will need to begin complying with in the upcoming school year.

It is important for all employees to know what Personally Identifiable Information is and how to protect it.

Personally Identifiable Information is defined by NYSED as:

  • The student’s name
  • The name of the student’s parent or other family members
  • The address of the student or student’s family
  • A personal identifier, such as the student’s social security number, student number, or biometric record
  • Other indirect identifiers, such as the student’s date of birth, place of birth, and Mother’s Maiden Name

In anticipation of the proposed regulations, and in the spirit of the law, the Technology Department has enabled some features to assist staff members from accidentally sharing documents that may contain sensitive or Personally Identifiable Information with outside users through GMail or Google Drive Documents. In the event that Personally Identifiable Information is detected you may receive a warning similar to the pictures posted above.

Some information that may trigger these alerts include emails and files that contain:

    • Names

    • Birthdates

    • Email Addresses

    • Phone Numbers

    • Student ID Numbers

    • Drivers License Numbers

    • ABA Routing Numbers

    • Taxpayer Identification Numbers

    • Credit Card Numbers

To also protect the unauthorized viewing or release of personally identifiable data the district implemented a policy change that requires users to sign into their Google Account after every 8 hours.

As NYSED amends and shares the new changes with the district we will disseminate appropriate information. Thank you for your attention to this matter, and remember you are stewards of the data entrusted to you.


PowerSchool Summer Roll Over Planned For 7/16-7/17

While I hope most of you will be enjoying the summer vacation I wanted to let you know that the Technology Department is planning the annual roll over for PowerSchool from 7/16-7/17. During this time there will be no access to PowerSchool.

Google Updates

Update all linked content with one click in Docs and Slides

What’s changing

We’re adding a new “Linked objects” sidebar where users can see all linked content in their documents, such as embedded charts, tables, slides, and drawings.

Who’s impacted

End users

Why you’d use it

The Linked objects sidebar gives users the ability to quickly access all linked content to see if anything is outdated and update all the content with a single click.

Gmail confidential mode launching on by default on June 25, 2019

What’s changing

Earlier this year, Google announced the launch of Gmail confidential mode for G Suite in beta. On June 25, 2019, this feature will become generally available and users will have the option to send emails with confidential mode.

Who’s impacted

Admins and end users

Why you’d use it

Confidential mode provides built-in information rights management controls in your emails by allowing senders to create expiration dates and revoke previously sent messages. Because a sender can require additional authentication via text message to view an email, it’s also possible to protect data even if a recipient’s email account has been hijacked while the message is active. Additionally, with confidential mode, recipients don’t have the option to forward, copy, print, or download their content or attachments.

Dynamic email in Gmail becoming generally available on July 2, 2019

What’s changing

Earlier this year, Google announced dynamic email in Gmail. On July 2, 2019, this feature will become generally available.

Who’s impacted

Admins and end users

Why you’d use it

With dynamic email, you can easily take action directly from within the message itself, like RSVP to an event, fill out a questionnaire, browse a catalog or respond to a comment.
Take commenting in Google Docs, for example. Instead of receiving individual email notifications when someone mentions you in a comment, now, you’ll see an up-to-date thread in Gmail where you can easily reply or resolve the comment, right from within the message.

How to get started.

  • End users: Once dynamic email in Gmail launches, users will begin seeing dynamic emails from senders who are sending dynamic emails., if you’ve enabled it. Additionally, users can also turn dynamic mail off for their individual account by following the steps in the Help Center. Note: The “display external images” setting must also be enabled in order for dynamic emails to be displayed.

Additional details

This feature is currently only available in Gmail on the web, with mobile coming soon.

Future of the Classroom: 8 Emerging Trends

Google recently published "Future of the Classroom" and identified the following 8 emerging trends in education:

  1. Digital Responsibility
  2. Life Skills & Workforce Preparation
  3. Computational Thinking
  4. Student-led Learning
  5. Collaborative Classrooms
  6. Connecting Guardians & Schools
  7. Innovating Pedagogy
  8. Emerging Technologies

Read the full report by clicking HERE

Reminder: End of Year Technology Equipment Collection

Staff Laptop Collection

The Technology Department will be collecting laptops from all staff members. This will allow the Technology Department to perform updates on individual devices. Each individual staff member has to return his/her equipment please do not send it via inter-office mail or with a friend.

During the updates the content on your laptop will be deleted including, but not limited to, photo's, video's, documents, etc... In preparation for the collection process you are strongly advised to back up your content to Google Drive. If you need additional assistance please submit a Technology Help ticket prior to 6/19.

To better assist the Technology Department staff will be required to complete a brief "Technology Collection Survey" which can be found HERE, prior to returning their laptop and checking out for the end of the school year. Staff members that have not been issued any technology equipment are required to complete the survey as well. Please review the survey prior to the week of 6/19 in case you have any questions you need to direct towards the department. After the week ending on 6/21 the Technology Services Staff will not be able to assist with survey questions due to the collection of both student and staff technology equipment during the week of 6/24.

Once you have completed the survey, you can return your laptop (with the charger) to the Beacon High School Library on Tuesday, 6/25 or Wednesday, 6/26 7am-12:30pm and 1:15pm-3pm daily. Please be advised that the Technology Services Office will be closed for lunch between 12:30-1:15pm each day and we will not accept equipment during this time. When your equipment is returned a member of the Technology Department will provide written verification for your building principal that you have completed these procedures based on your building checkout process.

If you have unused, broken, or obsolete technology equipment in your classroom that needs to be removed please submit a technology help ticket ASAP, prior to leaving at the end of the year, with a description of the equipment, whether it works or not, and the specific location in which the equipment can be found. During the summer a member of the Technology Department will remove the equipment. Please do not send technology equipment, wires, etc... to the Technology Department, a ticket must be submitted.

Student Technology Collection


The Technology Department will begin collecting High School Chromebook carts beginning Tuesday, June 18th. Rombout Middle School Students will return their Chromebooks on the following dates:

8th Grade 6/17

6th Grade 6/18

7th Grade 6/20

*Please encourage students to bring fully charged Chromebooks on these days.

The Technology Department asks that Elementary School teachers place Chromebook carts in the hallways of their school on 6/26. If you have a Chromebook cart that has damaged or missing Chromebooks please submit a technology help ticket prior to 6/18.


Lastly, any teachers that use iPad's purchased by the district in their instruction should submit a technology help ticket requesting that the Technology Department pick up the iPad(s) in advance of summer. Please perform an iCloud and/or Google Drive backup prior to submitting the ticket as all content on the iPad will be deleted as we perform updates.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation!

Reminder: Adobe Flash Is Going Away in 2020

Check the websites you frequently use and in your instruction now to see if they use Adobe Flash as Adobe announced in 2017:

Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.

If the website(s) you use contain Adobe Flash please begin thinking about alternatives. Adobe has said they will end support for this product on 12/31/2020.

Have A Great Summer!

On behalf of the Technology Department I would like to wish everyone a great summer! This past year has been an exciting and rewarding year for me as I began getting to know you, learned more about Beacon, and observed how you are integrating technology in your classrooms. I know I was unable to connect with everyone individually, but I look forward to connecting with those I missed in the next school year. As we move into the summer please do not hesitate to submit a technology help ticket if you have questions or concerns regarding technology.

Best regards,