FEBRUARY 2020 TECHNOLOGY UPDATES
Faculty App Deployment, MS Chromebook Keyboards, Long-Term Planning
I was having some difficulty with remotely deploying the Faculty App to everyone's laptops so I will be installing this app manually. As soon as everyone has the Faculty App, I will enable the new ticket & lunch order system and make an announcement. Until then, please continue using the original ticket system and hot lunch orders in Teams. Every other part of the new app is working well so please check it out when I install it on your laptop, all feedback is appreciated.
Since we received the new middle school Chromebooks, I have received reports that the keyboards can sometimes randomly stop functioning. This issue is intermittent and students can quickly resolve this by restarting the Chromebook. The manufacturer is aware of this and they are developing a fix. I have shown students how they can restart the Chromebook to quickly resolve the issue.
I have developed a Technology Plan that I would like to use as a collaborative tool to help align our technology resources with our mission objectives. This plan will not be effective without your input so I would like to meet with each division on an annual basis to review and revise this plan. I want to include your vision of the future of your classroom technology so please take notes on any questions you have concerning the current plan and how you would like to improve it. I would like to schedule a time to meet with each division to discuss this.
NOVEMBER 2019 TECHNOLOGY UPDATESHelpful reminders, Network reliability, & Self-service options
You can now change your school password!
To get started, visit the link below to enroll in the password reset system. When you finish enrollment, visit the Reset Password link on the Staff Portal.
After you reset your school email and password, you will be able to use the same password for the following accounts:
- School laptop
- School WiFi (Abiqua-Employees)
You may have noticed that Renweb is now on this list! This means that you will no longer need to remember a separate set of credentials to log into Renweb. The only catch is that Renweb requires that we reset our password once a year so you will receive a reminder when it is time to reset your password again.
I have made improvements to my printer monitoring dashboard that will help me provide much faster response times to print errors, low toner, and connection issues.
I can use your help! I am collecting data on common and recurring printing issues in order to create long-term solutions to make our printers more reliable. Please continue to report any printing issues you experience.
Wireless Network Improvements
Several improvements have been made to our network infrastructure to provide a faster, more reliable connection.
All school laptops and Chromebooks will now automaticaly connect to the right network!
- All student and classroom Chromebooks now automatically connect to this WiFi
- All staff & faculty laptops automatically connect to this WiFi
- If you need to print from a personal device, just use your school email & password to connect
Abiqua-Guests & Families
- Available for personal devices and general internet access
- Employee & student devices will now stay off of this network
All Campus WiFi 5!
We have upgraded our network equipment and employee laptops to support WiFi 5. This means a faster, more reliable connection and reduced Chromecast lag.
Appears in the bottom right corner of your screen
We have created a helpful reminder application that will give you quick access to the Renweb attendance and pizza order web pages as well as the Teams hot lunch page in your web browser.
- The Faculty Morning Reminder App will appear on all teacher laptops two minutes before school starts.
- The smaller Middle School Reminder App will appear on all middle school teacher laptops two minutes before each class period. (Specialists will only see this reminder at the last two classes of the day.
OCTOBER 2019 TECHNOLOGY UPDATES
Making things a little easier
All Staff Updates
Staff Renweb Username Update - In Progress
I will be updating all employee Renweb usernames to match your email address. I will be working on this next week so if you find that you are unable to log into Renweb, it is most likely because I have updated your username. So, if you find that you are unable to log in, just try to log in with your email instead. We are making this change in an effort to try and create a single sign on environment for everyone's convenience and to reduce some administrative work. Your password will not change, only your username.
Gym Projector Screen - Completed
We are working on installing a new stage curtain. The new curtain will include a valance that will cover the stage projector screen, unfortunately this prevents the remote from working. To fix this, I have mounted a switch on the wall so we will no longer need to use a remote to move the screen up and down. The switch is located on the wall next to the audio cart and is low enough to be reached from the gym floor.
Now that the controller for the projector screen is mounted to the wall, we will no longer need to hunt for the remote or worry about the remote's batteries. The new wall mounted switch will always be in the same place and does not require batteries.
Email Signatures - Effective October 7th
We will no longer need to edit/update our email signatures in Outlook. Your name, title, and email address will be updated through Renweb. This means that when your name changes in Renweb, your signature will automatically update (within 30 minutes). We have also added a clickable ad banner at the bottom of the signature that our Marketing Director will use to promote services and upcoming events.
Here are a few important notes that you will need to remember:
- You will need to disable/delete any existing signatures in Outlook.
- You will not be able to see your signature while you are drafting your email, the signature attaches itself to the email on its way out.
- You may include "Thank you," or "Sincerely," at the bottom of your email. Space is added above the signature, so you will not need to add space at the bottom of your email.
Send yourself an email to preview your signature.
Unfortunately, there is no way for us to centrally manage the signature in Renweb so we will need to continue to manage our own signatures as names and titles change. I will update all of our Renweb signatures to match the new design shown below, however, the ad banner cannot be included in Renweb communication either.
Admin Calendar - Deployment moved to next year (2020-21)
We are making a few updates to the "Admin" calendar that should make it easier to access and manage. The calendar's name will now be "All Staff" and will still be located in your Outlook Calendar list, it will just be a little lower on the list under "All Group Calendars" (see image below).
Why are we making this change? In order for someone to receive the Admin calendar, we would need to manually send an invite to every employee and that employee would then need to accept the invite. The new All Staff calendar system will now automatically assign the calendar to everyone. This cuts down on some administrative work and helps ensure that all employees have access to the calendar.
Here are a few important notes that you will need to remember:
- Only the Admin team may make changes to this calendar; please continue to send tickets if you need to add/edit an event.
- None of these changes have any effect on the Community Calendar. We will still need to manually add this calendar to Outlook.
- The entire Admin calendar will be copied over to the new All Staff calendar this weekend. You will know when the switch is complete when you are unable to view the old Admin calendar.
Renweb and Google Classroom Sync - Contact IT to Get Started
We can now sync our Google Classroom courses with Renweb! This will automatically connect your student roster, gradebook, and assignments between the two systems. When changes are made in one system, they will copy to the other. This should eliminate a lot of double entry work for anyone using the two systems. Please give me a good time to meet if you would like to get connected!
Please contact me if you have any questions.