Spot On!

A Monthly E-Newsletter for Spotswood Educators

September 2014 Vol 3, Edition 1

Motivating a Community

of Learners

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Dear Colleagues,


It's hard to believe but the first month of school is just about over. As we ease into our daily routines, I want us all to keep in mind our theme for the year:


Motivating a Community of Learners


As I mentioned at Convocation, it's our responsibility as a learning community to motivate our students, our parents, and our colleagues to do their best daily and for each of us to continue to learn so that we improve as educators. We are both educators and learners in Spotswood. This is what makes our school community different from others.


Moving into October we will continue our learning through the PD Academy and other learning opportunities. This year, PD trainings and sessions will take on additional importance as we transition to a cloud-based operating system. As I mentioned at Convocation, we would decide by the end of September so that we can begin the transition and timeline for training. As a district we will be moving to Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and Google Classroom effective September of 2015. This transition will take 11 months and during that transition we will ask a number of staff to pilot GAFE and Classroom. Moving to a new operating system can be a little stressful but we will all work on it together. Below are brief info videos on GAFE and Classroom.


I look forward to working and learning with you during this transition.


Scott

Google for Education 101 (in 101 seconds)
Classroom 101

Apps, and Tech Stuff

Educational Articles and Resources for Your Review

September's LLC Meeting Minutes

Minutes include comments from Dave Siwiak on technology issues:

Lead Learner Committee – LLC

Monday, September 22, 2014

Welcome/Defined purpose of committee:

Representatives will come together to discuss how education is changing and the direction we as a school community need to go. This is a visioning committee that will help us address new teaching techniques, new technology, and new educational resources.


Laptops:

Concerns/Issues:

• Newer laptops (blue ones) were having trouble connecting to projectors on technology carts, because no port compatibility. Adapters? The long term plan is to eventually have a wireless connection to projectors.

Dave's Comment: We have digital adapters that allow connection from the mini display port on the laptops to the older VGA connection on the projectors. Due to the limited number of adapters, we are assigning the adapters to the projectors and not the laptops. If anyone needs an adapter, please have them contact me and I will set it up.

• Desktops will be phased out of tech carts as they are becoming outdated. Long term, the plan is to move to laptops being used with carts.

• Cannot currently print from the laptops to individual printers, the planned solution is to route printing from laptops to centrally located printer in school offices. Can we have a feature embedded in ID cards which would allow staff to identify themselves to the printer and release documents to be printed while they are there at the machine, this would help preserve confidentiality.

Dave's Comment: Short term – we are piloting a “network” printer for the Science Department in the high school and will phase out the printers on each teacher desk. Long term – We will be building a more manageable network printing solution with centrally located printers throughout the district. The centralized printing will include Secure-Print to allow staff to “pick-up” only their printed documents.

• Some teachers at the high school are having problems with the welcome screen freezing their computers.

Dave's Comment: This issue was a result of the new Windows update that was automatically running upon first log on. The update has been forced and is now resolved.

• Can’t access U drive from wireless laptops.

Dave's Comment: We are configuring the U drive on an as needed basis for those who request it.

• For teachers without carts, who don’t necessarily need all the features of a cart, are wondering if they can just get the projector? How many?

• Schoenly desktop computers seem to take very long to boot-up. Older models?

Dave's Comment: This issue was due to a new Windows update that was automatically running upon first log on. The update has been forced and is now resolved.

Positives:

· The laptops make more sense now that we have Wifi in place… better applications and easier to involve in instruction.

Common Printers:

· The plan is to phase out individual printers and move to common printers as it is more economical. Potentially, the number of central copiers/printers could be increased with the money reallocated from individual printer budgets.

Send e-newsletter ideas, articles or resources to srocco@spotswood.k12.nj.us