MPS iTech Weekly Newsletter

January 12, 2021, Volume 1, Issue 8

Spotlight on Success

This week's Spotlight on Success is brought to us by Macdonough School's MSELI Leadership Team!

We spoke with Macdonough Principal Damian Reardon, who expressed that he is very proud of the work the his staff and MSELI Leadership Team is doing to meet the needs of the students and community.

Do you have any words of wisdom or tips for your colleagues on how to be successful in this hybrid environment and/or integrating technology with your students?

At Macdonough, we have found that supporting the SE Health of families during hybrid learning is challenging. Often we are making decisions on what we feel families need and want. Rather than do that, our MSELI team in coordination with the school governance council worked to engage our families and find out what our families need.

Through a survey disseminated by the Governance Council, we learned that parents had questions about technology and supporting their student's social emotional health at home. From this information, Macdonough organized a virtual "Choose Your Own Adventure" night. On December 15, Macdonough held this event and offered 5 different workshops that parents could choose to attend: Support with Google Classroom, Support with SeeSaw, Creating and Supporting Digital Citizens, Creating Routines at Home and Managing Screen Time, and Supporting the Social Emotional Health of Students. Each session was led by a staff person and supported by volunteer parents.

Further, we realized that surveys that are sent out are not as widely completed as we would like. Thus, we embarked on a campaign to personally contact every family at Macdonough. The goal was: to listen, to hear how things are going, to hear concerns, to hear successes, to allow families a voice. A mix of staff and community volunteers were assigned families, given a list of probing questions, and a Google Form to use to compile the answers. From the data collected in the google form, key word searches were done for (food, clothing, rent, utilities, childcare, etc...). This allowed us to sort families by need and follow up with further calls or direct support (food boxes and bags of clothing).


Tab Groups in Google Chrome

Do you have too many browser tabs open in Chrome? Stay organized and save space by consolidating those tabs into tab groups!

  • Right-click on a tab and select "Add tab to new group".
  • Name the tab group and choose a color
  • Press Enter.

You now have your tab group created! You can add other tabs by right-clicking on the desired tab, select "Add tab to new group", then choose the name of the previously-created tab group from the list. Or, drag the tab you want to add to the group until it becomes outlined by the colored line of the tab group.

This short video outlines how to create tab groups!

Friendly Reminder to Backup Your Files

In the New Year we are giving you the friendly reminder:

Make sure you are backing up all of your files to either your H: Drive or your Google Drive.

If you have the habit of saving your documents to your Desktop, Documents or Downloads folder be sure to remember to move or copy those files to your H: Drive or Google Drive. Both your H: Drive (accessible through ClassLinks and Google Drive are accessible at anytime anywhere!

So back up your files today!

Click here on how to access your H: Drive via ClassLinks.

Update your new Surface Pro!

All teachers have, or will receive a new Microsoft Surface Pro. This device is a touch screen device with a detachable keyboard, and runs on the Windows operating system. If you are familiar and comfortable using a Windows desktop PC, this will be an easy transition. You will notice a faster and improved experience, especially if you were previously using a Chromebook.

These new devices do require the most recent Windows updates, which you can do. Complete directions for completing the Windows update can be found on this document.

As always, reach out to the Tech Department with a SchoolDude ticket if you would like assistance with this.

January's MPS Professional Learning Cycles

During the month of January, the MPS Professional Learning Cycles will focus on direct instruction in a hybrid learning environment. Although we regularly use direct instruction to introduce and support learning it often gets a bad rap. In this PD we will explore, and practice small changes we can make in direct instruction so that we can best leverage this highly effective instructional strategy.

In addition to exploring direct instruction in a hybrid environment, we also have several drop in offerings including 'Getting to Know Your Surface Pro' and a cycle on digitally collaborating with your students. You can access the calendars below:

Please contact Michelle Gohagon should you have any additional questions.

MPS Instructional Technology

Please visit the MPS Instructional Technology website for additional training resources and ideas for implementation.

MPS iTech YouTube Channel