Words from Technology

Z:Drive Storage Limit

Beginning this semester, current Z:Drive/D Cloud network storage accounts now have a limit of 10 gigs. When attempting to save content on a district network drive, if an error message is received indicating that “100% Quota Threshold Exceeded”, the reason for this may be that the user has exceeded his/her allotted limit.  In addition, an email notification that alerts users that they have exceeded their limit may also Quotabe received. Should either of these scenarios occur, content must be reviewed and any unnecessary data must be removed.

zdrive pie
It may be a good idea for all district users to periodically review the amount of space remaining in network drives. This can be done by right-clicking on the Z:Drive, selecting properties and viewing the remaining storage.

In order to accommodate growing users in Duncanville ISD, the technology department has increased our previous network storage size by 200%.  Limits must be placed on all network drives so that all users may have ample access to secure storage.

Brightbytes Survey Coming Soon!

It is that time again for our BrightBytes teacher (including paraprofessionals) andBrightbytes administrator (including counselors) survey! BrightBytes is an educational data analytic company that assists districts in learning more about our staff and students’ technology access and use for learning. This data will not only be used to determine the technology-based growth of our district, but it will also be utilized to plan professional development training sessions and to understand district needs for the coming year. All responses will remain anonymous to protect staff privacy.

The survey will open at 8:00 AM on Monday, February 1st. It will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The last day to complete this questionnaire is midnight on Sunday, February 14th. Please look out for more detailed information to come from campus administrators as well as the district website. 


Made with Pride Honoree from Technology

Dr. Cron presenting Bethany with the Made with Pride award.

Congratulations to our very own Bethany Mullins for being honored with the Made With Pride in Duncanville award for staff members. She serves as both Receptionist and Help Desk Technician at the IDEA Hub. Always with a smile on her face, does a wonderful job serving the DISD staff with their technology needs. Way to go Bethany!

Cosmetology Class Uses Lumens Document Camera for Student Make-Up Demo

Mary Robare-Smith, DHS Cosmetology teacher, found an interesting way to use the new Lumens document cameras provided district-wide in the DISD classrooms standards. Over a 2-day period, over 90 cosmetology students gathered in the East Seminar room at the high school to observe a make-up application demonstration applied to DHS student Sydney Munoz. The demo was conducted by Jenn Karsner and Briana Dai of Make Up Artists Unleashed. “I felt this would offer a more in-depth look into the presentation by showing detail and reaching a mass audience at the same time”, Ms. Robare-Smith explained. “We definitely plan on incorporating this new technology in our lesson plans and for the use of demos for future guest artists to come”.

Document cameras can be utilized in many different ways, as demonstrated by DHS cosmetology. More ideas on document camera use can be found by viewing  Document Camera Magic: Eleven Dozen Ways to Transform Teaching.

Brandenburg Students Excel in TCEA Robotics Competition

What is Brandenburg Intermediate’s key to success in robotics? “Great teamwork and problem solving”, says Steve Pettit the Brandenburg robotics team sponsor and Special Education teacher. A total of 30, both 5th and 6th grade, students meet every week to enhance their skills in Science, Technology and Mathematics through the use of robotics. Students learn robotic skills on Lego Mindstorm NXTs and EV3s. They are presented with challenges that require them to make their programming more precise. The groups also learn how to use a touch sensor, sound sensor, light sensor, and ultrasonic sensor to enhance the functions of their robot.

We are proud to announce that the Brandenburg robotics team took the top 3 awards in “Food Frenzy” challenge at TCEA Area Robotics competition on Saturday, January 16. Learn more about their experiences on the DISD district website. We are thrilled for them and wish them well for the State Competition!

Find out more about their program on the Brandenburg campus website. 

Toshiba Laptop Deployments Over Half-Way CompletedToshiba Schedule

New Toshiba Z20T’s are making their way throughout Duncanville ISD. So far 13 different deployments have been conducted. Each deployment consists of an exchange of laptops (old to new), hands-on training on device use, as well as basic skills on the use of Windows 10. Now that we have completed deployment to all elementary school campuses and administrators, we will now begin deployment at intermediate, middle and lastly high school campuses. Please see the provided schedule for more details on upcoming deployments.

For teachers at elementary school campuses who were registered to attend the deployment by technology but were not able to attend, please make plans to attend our make-up session. This can be done by registering in Eduphoria  by 3:30pm on January 25th.  This deployment will be held at the IDEA Hub on January 26.

Questions or assistance with the new laptops can be addressed by calling the technology Help Desk at x2300 or by enter a Help Desk ticket in Eduphoria. 

Bilhartz News Crew Keeps the Campus Informed

Bilhartz students and staff never miss a beat with the Broadcasting club in full-swing. This 10-member crew is led by 3rd grade Bilingual teacher, Crystal Hernandez-Graves. “We already had daily announcements at Bilhartz, but since technology is constantly evolving we wanted to further involve the students and make more use of those resources.  We realized the students would benefit and enjoy the announcements more if they become a part of them”, says Mrs. Hernandez-Graves, their sponsor.

Students work diligently to provide the campus with outstanding news coverage each week. In addition to providing news, announcements are also used to teach character, review their campus vision, pledges and reinforce their learning campus-wide. The team works together to research and gather their own content which they use to create the scripts for each day’s announcements. “Since starting the club we have seen so many positive changes in those club members, such as increased self-esteem, confidence, language/communication skills and improved social skills”, Ms. Hernandez-Graves noticed.

Once the footage is shot and edited, they utilize Safari Montage , our district’s digital media distribution platform, to store their content. Classrooms then access the digital content and display it on their new Boxlight Interactive Projectors. 

Not only does this crew have fun with campus announcements, even the staff gets involved! Click below to view the Bilhartz Elementary announcements and school spirit video. Please note that users will need to log into Safari Montage with your district username and password to access the video.

bulldogs video
Video stored and played on Safari Montage.


Band, Choir, Music and Other Rooms Up Next  for Standards Equipment

What’s coming next in the technology standards deployment many are asking?  Our next phase consists of planning out and deploying technology equipment installations for atypical rooms. These rooms have characteristics such as, but not limited to, high or oddly-shaped ceilings like those found in band, choir and theater rooms. This phase also will address classrooms that have additional needs different than the typical standards. Our goal is to begin working on these types of rooms in April.

For more information regarding our Standards Timeline and Classroom equipment, please visit our website. Thank you for reading our blog. Click HERE for a chance to win a prize.

Google Summit in Duncanville ISD a Success

The Idea Team is pleased to announce that the Google Summit sessions held January 7-9 were a success! Many DISD staff members attended the sessions and learned useful skills that they will apply to their professional areas. From Google Forms to Google 360 photos, everyone left with new tools in their toolboxes to enhance learning and instruction in the classrooms.

Congratulations to Smith Elementary teacher, Tara Flatt-Ferguson, who won a brand new Google Chromebook at the Summit. Way to go!


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