Tech Time

whats-new

Newest Technology Employees

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Photo Credit: Shawntee Cowan

We are excited to add these three gentlemen to the IDEA TEAM and Duncanville ISD family!

Classroom Technology Equipment Survey

standards-equipment-surveyBeginning Wednesday, December 5, Technology will be conducting a quick survey designed for staff members who have received technology standards equipment last year or this school year. Feedback from this survey will be used to gather understanding on equipment use, equipment functionality and vendor installation evaluation. The survey will close at the end of the day on January 6.

Be sure to use this opportunity to provide the district with data that will be reviewed, analyzed and considered. Your input is an integral part ensuring that technology in our district is functioning at its maximum potential and is assisting in writing student success stories one at a time.

So far over 130 staff members have completed the survey! Thanks to all of you that have participated so far. CLICK HERE to begin the Fall Classroom Technology survey.

Do You Need More Time in Your Work Day? Try Classlink.

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http://www.classlink.com

In the technology-focused, web-based world that we live in, it is inevitable that many of the resources that we use require us to memorize various usernames and passwords. I am almost certain that at one point or another we have all forgotten our usernames or passwords.  I am also quite sure that we have all run into the age-old issue with “getting locked out” of our accounts after too many failed attempts of  entering the wrong password. Perhaps we have even wasted valuable instructional time or work time searching for the password that just seems to be on the tip of your tongue. If you have even one of these experiences, I have great news for you!

This year, Duncanville ISD technology purchased a new system called Classlink that offers a perfect solution for all staff members and students. This single sign-on system offers a platform for storing apps (shortcuts to websites) and files. With just one click of an icon, users are quickly directed to the website of their choice without having to log in again. This resource eliminates the stress of having to recall various passwords, which in turn gives us all back valuable time to what we love!

Another added bonus is that this resource can be accessed on many of the devices we use daily, such as PC, Mac or mobile devices. Classlink has the potential of truly changing how we teach and conduct business.

Ultimately, Classlink has introduced to our district unparalleled productivity through a singular interface to multiple data resources.

Check out what teachers here in the district say about Classlink.

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Quotes from Kimberly Landrum, Hastings Elementary  and Janessa Quintanilla, Brandenburg Intermediate

I’m Sold! How Do I Get Started with Classlink? 

If you are ready to dive in using Classlink, select the “Getting Started” video below. If you need additional assistance, please contact one of our Instructional Technology Coordinators at ideateam@duncanvilleisd.org and they will be able to assist you.

Updating Passwords

As part of our district’s technology processes, all district passwords are updated every 90 days. If your password does not automatically update on Classlink, the “Updating Classlink Password” video below will be of assistance to you.

ClassLink Help Videos

 

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Click this video to begin your new journey with Classlink.
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Click this video to learn how to update sync your new password in Classlink. 

 

Student Password Reset? Piece of Cake!

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Kiosks are currently located in halls “I’ and “J” at Duncanville High School.

As contributing members of a global society, Duncanville ISD students are provided with usernames and passwords to access the District network, web-based programs, data storage and more. From time to time, students may forget their login information, especially after holiday breaks.

One way DISD technology is working to empower students to keep track of their logins is through the use of Classlink  (mentioned in the article above), as well as our new Student Password Reset Kiosks. Currently, DHS is piloting a system that consists of two affixed kiosks stationed in different locations at the high school. These kiosks will allow students to reset or unlock their password in a matter of minutes. Before students can use these features, they must first take few minutes to enroll in the SSRPM (Self Service Reset Password Management) system by answering up to 3 security questions. Once this process is complete, students then have the ability to reset or unlock their passwords using the kiosks or any computer/mobile device by going to www.reset.duncanvilleisd.org.  This system/website can also be used by all district employees as well.

Once the data from this pilot has been reviewed and analyzed, a determination will be made as to whether or not additional kiosks will be installed in other locations at DHS as well as middle school campuses.

Parent Academy Engaging Families

pa-jan-19As we continue to serve our students and our community, the IDEA Team regularly conducts sessions at the DISD Parent Academy. This academy provides parents with the opportunity to learn and discuss current trends in social media, online websites and to understand the tools students use each day.  Although most sessions are geared towards parents, some sessions will also include students. It is highly beneficial for both parents and students to partner as they navigate this digital world.

Please be sure to make parents aware of these opportunities. Staff members are welcomed to attend sessions as well.

More information on session dates and times can be found at our Parent Academy Website.

New iMacs in the House

Earlier this school year, 165 new iMacs were deployed to DHS CTE classrooms. Students have enjoyed using these new 27 inch, 5K retina display devices as they compose, create and develop content.

In addition to the new iMacs stationed in classrooms, the IRC and library lab have received 20 Mac devices. The purpose of the IRC Mac lab is to promote career and college readiness through a flexible setting.  The formerly under-utilized area will also be open for CTE students as they prepare for scholastic/leadership/hands on competitions, industry recognized certifications, and college readiness exams.

Not only do we have new Macs, but we also are pleased to announce that we also have a Mac Certified Specialist who now manages all Apple products for our district. Ian Bell, our Specialist, has been an integral part in the implementation and deployment of these new devices. Ian has also implemented a Mac loaner process for the CTE department. This process will ensure that all Mac labs are equipped with the correct number of computers to accommodate students in their classrooms. There are 15 Macs designated to serve as “loaners”. If a Mac malfunctions in a lab, a process is now in place to replace the malfunctioning Mac with a loaner Machine. This loaner machine will remain in the Mac Lab until the assigned Mac has been repaired.

Lastly, 2 iMacs have been added to the Summit high school computer lab and a plan to install 2 iMacs at PACE high school has been confirmed.

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Photo Credit: Ian Bell

Microsoft Office Suite for Just $9.95

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Microsoft Home Use Program Now Available

All Duncanville ISD staff can now participate in Microsoft’s Software Assurance Home Use Program (HUP). This means that all staff are now able to receive a licensed copy of most Microsoft Office desktop PC applications to install and use on a home computer for only $9.95.

Under the Home Use Program, users may acquire a licensed copy of the corresponding Home Use Program software (e.g. Office Enterprise) to install and use on a home computer. You may continue using HUP software while you are under our employment and as long as the corresponding software you use at work has active Software Assurance coverage.

Please note that some product and language versions may not be available at the time you place an order. For up-to-date information on the availability of Home Use Program software, please visit http://microsoft.com/licensing.

Access the Microsoft Home Use Program Website and Program Code, visit our Technology Intranet.  (District Login Required)

 Hour of Code is Here!

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The Hour of Code

Coding for kids? That’s right! Whether we want to admit it or not, coding is the way of the future. Computer programming is all around us. From the cars that we ride in, to the watches we wear, everyday we encounter devices that have been programmed.

So what is coding? Coding basically is a set of instructions or rules that computers understand-much like a recipe. People write code to make many everyday devices function efficiently.

Duncanville ISD students have the opportunity to get involved in coding! Hour of Code 2016 will occur during Computer Science Education Week, December 5-11. However, you can do an Hour of Code at any time!

The Hour of Code is a great way to promote computer science and peak the curiosity of students by helping them explore the world of programming. Click HERE to get started.

What is Hour of Code?

Hour of Code is a non-profit organization that encourages students to learn computer science and coding lessons in a fun and easy way. Students are offered the chance to program well-known games or activities at the basic level. In other words, they are learning by playing!

How Can My Campus or My Students Get Involved?

Visit Code.org to find free activities and planning guides to learn coding for all age groups. If you are interested in hosting at your school, you can SIGN UP on the Hour of Code website. This will allow you to host a one-hour introduction to computer science. If hosting is too much for you, have your students pair up and just try it out this week.

If your students or classes are participating in Hour of Code this week, show them off! Send FERPA approved photos of your students coding to the IdeaTeam and they may be published in the next blog.  All photos can be sent to ideateam@duncanvilleisd.org.

Toshiba T20Z Update

You’ve asked, we’ve listened. Last school year, many staff may remember that after 10 minutes, the Toshiba T20Z entered the state of hibernation. We heard from staff members that this 10 minute time frame was not conducive to classroom instruction. Taking this into consideration, technology leaders moved to extend hibernation wait time from 10 to 45 minutes. This decision has made a positive impact on classroom instruction and has made many teachers and students happy.

We highly value feedback from staff on anything we can do to improve in technology. Keep that feedback coming!

Need Help? Enter a Ticket

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The IdeaTeam strives to meet our high expectations for quality customer service each month. Since August, we have closed around 7,071 help desk tickets and have maintained a satisfation average of 96%. As we continue to focus our district’s goal for operation excellence, it is imperative that we document the work that we do using help desk tickets.

How can you assist us? It’s simple, enter help desk tickets. Often times staff members ask why help tickets are so important? Here are just a few ways we use these tickets:

  • To track progress and the status of technology request
  • To hold technology leadership and staff accountable and to encourage professionalism and communication
  • To provide technology with data on how to measure progress through surveys and reports

So although we are eager to help when we see you in hallways or when receive your email, we ask that all requests be presented via help desk ticket or phone call.

Adding Help Desk Notes

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Have you ever wanted to follow-up on a request that you entered or wanted to respond to question presented to you via help desk ticket? We have answers for you! Download the Help Note Idea Guide or take a moment to watch the short video below to learn how to add notes to your help desk tickets.

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Video Lasting 1:41 Minutes

Learn in Your PJ’s with the Digital Funatics Webinar Series

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Digital Funatics, a webinar series offered by our Instructional Technology Team, offers a variety of technology sessions during the evening hours. These interactive, one hour sessions allow all staff members to participate while at home, Starbucks or on the go. The webinar series can be accessed via laptop, computer or mobile device (iOS or Android).

Staff members who would like to participate can do so by registering in Eduphoria.  Recordings of past sessions can be found on our Technology website.  Sessions begin at 7:00pm and are typically held on Monday evenings. Be sure to register before attending so that you are aware of the topics and availability of the session you wish to attend. Our next session will be held on January 9.

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Claudio Zavala presenting
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