Mar 2017

Mar 2017

I'm behind in my updates to you, so here are quite a few! Please find time to review them all.

Topics this Month:

  • Online Testing Reminders
  • Teacher Laptop updates, docks, adapters, subs
  • SchoolMessenger - Staff Notifications Preparing to Launch
  • NACS EDGE Phase 2 - Devices for K-5, Feedback Requests Coming
  • Digital Learning Grant - WIN!
  • Online Testing Reminders

    As we head into online testing season, tech staff will be stretched thin. If you have issues now, don't wait much longer to let us know. Continue to go through the Help Desk with your needs and we will respond as quickly as we're able. Those of you testing on student laptops, be sure to have students do their preparations in advance. If too many wait until the day of testing to report a repair need or run their updates, we simply won't be able to get them all working in time. Instructions are on our NACS EDGE website:

    Teacher Laptops - Updates, Docks, Adapters, Subs


    If you are not using your laptop regularly at school, be sure to bring it in at least every 2-3 weeks. Turn it on, login, and let it stay connected to the network for an hour or two so we can deliver updates for Windows and other programs, as well as ensure your virus protection stays current. If your device is missing from the network for more than about 2 weeks, it drops out of our system and creates chaos on our reports.

    Docks and Adapters:

    Teachers, now that you have a laptop, our intent is to get you setup with a docking station so that you can attach your laptop to the external monitor for a bigger display, a keyboard for the larger keys and number pad, and a mouse for those times you don't want to use the touchpad. It also has a wired network connection for a bit faster speed, and we can connect to your projector and any other peripherals like a document camera or Mobi tablet. There is just a single USB plug into your laptop each day to get connected to everything. We also have an extra power adapter at each dock location so you can charge during the day without having to drag your adapter to and from home. *Note - "Your" adapter has your username taped to the side. The adapter with the dock is expected to remain in the room at all times. You may allow a student to charge with it, but it is not to leave the room with the student or you. We have them recorded in inventory to the specific classroom, so please keep track of it just as you do your monitor and other assigned equipment.

    We should have the MS/HS dock installations complete at this point. For the elementary installs, those are still on an on-request basis. If we missed you or you would like to get moved into your dock now, please drop a note to the Help Desk. Depending on our summer workload/stamina, we hope to complete the remaining locations before school resumes or wrap them up during the fall if not.

    Likewise, if you have a dock and do not use the extra monitor/keyboard/mouse/etc, we can swap you for a single cable to connect you to the projector. Just let the Help Desk know and we'll reuse your dock elsewhere. (You're allowed to change your mind later.)

    If you have a dock connecting your laptop to the projector and are absent along with your laptop, your sub will not be able to project. We have (or will soon) loaner devices in the front offices for this purpose. When leaving your sub instructions, be sure to note if the sub needs a loaner laptop so the office knows to get them one.

    SchoolMessenger - Staff Notifications Preparing to Launch

    Now that we have our emergency notification system working for parents, we're ready to bring in staff. SchoolMessenger will be another channel for emergency notifications to staff and will include text notifications about delays and closings. Please complete this very brief form so we can finish our setup: (link removed from web posting) You will need to login to your NACS Google account to access the survey (use your NACS email address and password).

    NACS EDGE Phase 2 - Devices for K-5

    Now that Phase 1's rollout to grades 6-12 is complete, we have turned to finalizing plans for August's rollout to grades K-5. Over the next few months and this summer, we'll be working with the Technology Committee and admins to firm up procedures and share that information back to staff and parents. We also want to collect feedback from all the elementaries and address any concerns that you have. I'll get another note out on Monday to elementary folks with more details and a survey for input. Or, next Thursday, 3/23, we'll have a meeting for those elem folks wanting to discuss the project in person. That optional meeting will be at Eel River at 3:15.

    Indiana DOE Digital Learning Grant - We won!

    NACS was awarded a $75,000 Digital Learning Grant last week! The grant is focused on our NACS EDGE Initiative, supporting the digital learning at grades 6-12 and expanding to K-5 with our fall rollout. A subgroup of the Technology Committee worked on our application and presented to the DOE last week. Grant monies are earmarked for professional development and to help with our device and software/apps expenses.

    Have a great Spring Break!