July 2017

July 2017


I hope you have had a great summer. I've wanted to get you a mid-summer update of technology projects, but I'm about to bump into the welcome back message! Here are a few updates, and I'll get more start-of-school info to you next week.

Student Devices

We have been refreshing the ~4,000 student laptops in preparation for redistribution the first week of school. (CH on Wed, MC on Thu, CM on Fri) Student laptops have been upgraded to Windows 10 this summer, which promises to make the update process simpler. The 3,000 Chromebooks for grade 1-5 students are in and being prepped now, for distribution on the first Monday. Kindergarten Chromebooks are arriving a bit later and should be here for distribution in September. All devices will be distributed in your classrooms. We plan to have crates of devices and cases delivered before Orientation Day so you have time to check our work and review the instructions for getting them to students. Watch for another message with details on that process.

Teacher Laptops

Most new teacher hires have received their laptops, equipped with Windows 10 to start our shift to match the student devices. We will get existing laptops and desktops upgraded over the course of this year. If you are ready for your device to be moved to Win10 before we ask, just drop a note to the Help Desk and we'll get you on the list. (Tackling those requests is likely to be after we get school underway.)

Teacher Chromebooks

We have a Chromebook for most K-5 teachers and some staff to have for a time to get comfortable with the device - gen ed, resource, PEAK, RATs, counselors, librarians, admins. Those can be picked up NOW from the NACS Tech Offices if desired, or we'll get them to the schools for the first student day. (I'll drop another note on that closer to Orientation Day.) The NACS Tech Offices are in the front of Carroll HS, conveniently by the main entrance door #1 when Carroll Road isn't closed. If you come before the road reopens, park in the student lot and enter door #13. Signs will direct you to the front office.

Classroom Connections

We are no longer able to check each classroom in August to reconnect your teacher station, so please give it your best shot on reconnecting. If you have more than one network port to choose from, pick the upper left one. If things don't work after your attempts, contact the Help Desk and we'll get you on the list for a visit. Elementary classrooms, we have removed the second desktop in preparation for the new student devices. When we install the docking station to use with your laptop, we need access to your laptop, so those installs are being delayed until you are here and can meet with a tech. Your projector and its connection on the wall are not moving, so you may need to rearrange things a bit so your laptop/dock will be able to connect for projection. If absolutely necessary, we can look at leaving the existing desktop in place to use for the projector for now.

Software Updates - some done, some underway:

  • PowerSchool has been upgraded; options to try out PowerTeacher Pro (new gradebook) will be coming later.
  • Canvas has been rolled to the new year and is ready to setup (see Seth Slater's message).
  • Transportation is preparing to move from EduLog to Transfinder, with reportedly much easier field trip request process!
  • Online registration opened yesterday.
  • Exchange upgrade is still underway, hoping to be completed before school starts.
  • Lightspeed (filter) was upgraded.
  • Big Universe (electronic books and activities for K-5) has been purchased and is ready for teacher use.
  • Science online materials are still being configured to work with Canvas. (more info to come)
  • Discovery is being integrated to work with Canvas to streamline logins for staff and students. (more info to come)
  • The process for requesting/approving new web 2.0 sites and Chromebook/iPad apps is being streamlined. (more to come)
  • Enjoy your last few weeks! I'll send more details to help get your year started next week.

    Adela Dickey
    NACS Director of Technology