2019 Monthly Updates Blog

What's Up in the Instructional Technology & Technology Integration Department?

Londonderry School District, New Hampshire

Re-Thinking How We Teach & Learn

November 2019

An exciting time to be in education, that's for sure!

November's Instructional Technology training has included how to create QR Codes to transform traditional assignments. Mrs. Kearney at Matthew Thornton rocked it with her "Career Poster" activity that concluded with each student converting their picture into a QR code that can be scanned by parents & guardians at conferences.

Google Classroom continues to be on the menu, and while we absolutely understand that everyone is at different levels of understanding when using the Google platform, we want to make sure there are resources for you.


Google Classroom Topic - "Class Resources"

Post assignments or resources that you know you'll be using all year~ Check out the You Tube clip ( https://youtu.be/sFmw9KcpJi4) and just click on the Google Doc below for "how to's".

October 2019

Good morning Londonderry,

It has been a busy month for all of us as we start to settle into the school year. Here in the IT department we have been working hard to finalize the many projects we started over the summer and have started to shift our focus already to planning for next year. We have had the opportunity to meet with the technology committees from each of the schools, where Scott Laliberte share his vision for technology in the district. I would encourage all of you to reach-out to your tech committee members as they are a great in building resource.

Meet our new Technology Trainer

As we announced at the beginning of the month, we have hired a new Technology Trainer Megg Lynch, M.Ed. Megg has many years of experience in k-12 education working as a teacher, administrator, and instructional designer. We welcome her expertise in matching technology to curricular needs. Megg will be scheduling drop in days for each school soon, please stop by and say hello!

New 2 in 1 Laptops

We continue to receive feedback on the new staff laptops, most of which has been very positive. If you are having any issues with your device please contact tech support, we can only fix what we know about.

Last month I shared a tip on how to extend your desktop to another screen while teaching, if you missed it or need a refresher click here.

This month’s tip is about working with multiple desktops to stay organized. Watch the video below to see how you can setup multiple virtual desktops on your laptop.

If you have a great tip you would like to share, just let me know and I will add it to our training website.

Streaming Content Services

Londonderry School District has access to several sources of streaming video, and other digital content, which is available for all grade levels. Over the next several months we will be evaluating our existing content and trialing some new services with the goal of selecting the best services that fit our budget.

PBS Learning Media: Includes great content from some of the best PBS series like Nature, Nova, History Detectives and more.

https://nhpbs.pbslearningmedia.org/

Learn360: Includes over 100,000 videos tied to k-12 curriculum from great producers like A&E, ABC News, BBC, Biography Channel, History Channel, Reading Rainbow and many more.

https://learn360.infobase.com/nd_Home.aspx

Netflix Documentaries: If teachers have their own Netflix accounts they can show any of Netflix Original Documentaries in their class.

https://help.netflix.com/en/node/57695

Amazon Inspire: Similarly, there are great videos available on Amazon Inspire.

https://www.amazoninspire.com

Discovery Education: We are beginning a 90-day trial of this popular service. You can follow the steps below to setup a trial account. If we decide to move forward your accounts with port over to the permanent system.

Discovery Education Trial Access:

1) Go to www.discoveryeducation.com

2) Click on "New User / Passcode"

3) Enter the passcode: C3C7-D66E

4) Follow the steps for creating an individual username and password

5) Click on My DE Services drop down menu to see the suite of Discovery Education Services

In a few months I will be sending out survey asking for your feedback on our digital content. If you have any questions before then please let me know.

September 2019

Good afternoon Londonderry,

I hope everyone is having a good start to the school year. We have lots of new and exciting things going on with technology this year so I thought it would be a good idea to provide monthly updates. The middle of each month I will be sending out information regarding technology in the district. Please feel free to provide feedback to me if you think I’m not addressing items of interest or importance to you. We all get too many emails so my goal is to make these as relevant as possible.

Drop-in Days

I have been to the High School and Middle School already and have elementary schools coming up over the next few days. So far they have been a success, and have provided a great window into the specific needs of each school. Until we have a technology trainer in place (more on that later) I will only be doing them every other month, so the next round will be in November.

Upcoming Drop-ins

Matthew Thornton: Thursday September 19th 8:00 am- 1:00 pm

South School: Friday September 20th 10:00 am – 3:30 pm

North School: Tuesday September 24th 8:00 am- 2:00 pm

Moose Hill: Thursday September 26th 8:00 am- 1:00 pm

New 2 in 1 Laptops

I have been getting some feedback during my first few drop-in days regarding the new 2 in 1 laptops and the removal of many of the old desktop computers from the classroom. While most of the feedback has been positive one prevalent issue was the ability to have one thing being displayed up on the screen for students, while still having the ability to do other work on the computer that the students aren’t being shown. The easiest solution for this is to simply use the Extend Screen option built into Windows 10.

While connected to your projector/smartboard press the Windows key + P. This will open the display options as shown below.

Your laptop is likely set to Duplicate, so you see the same thing on your laptop screen and your projector/smartboard screen. By selecting Extend you will be able to drag windows off your laptop screen and display them on the projector/smartboard screen while still having the ability to work on different items on your desktop.

If you have trouble getting this to work properly please contact your school technician.

The second concern with the new laptops is their lack of a optical drive (DVD/CD). While there are many wonderful video resources available on various streaming platforms, we know that some of you still rely on DVD’s to show clips to your students. Each library has portable USB optical drives you can check out to play DVD’s for your students. If you are interested in transitioning away from DVD’s to streaming video but don’t know where to start, you can check out the Learning Resource page on the Educational Technology site.

Student Data Privacy

There have been many questions about the changes to the student data privacy laws, and over the next few weeks I will be working with each school to ensure there is as much clarity as possible. Below I have highlighted a few of the most pressing concerns. More information will be available as the year progresses.

These changes to the law apply only to applications that collect student personal identifiable information PII. They do not pertain to any websites or applications unless you are entering student information (including usernames). This also does not apply to staff data.

  1. The apps that are listed as Status “Declined” on the spreadsheet have not been declined by Londonderry. The “Declined” means the company has declined to sign a Data Privacy Agreement (DPA) and now we will have to review the companies policies and determine if we want to continue using their services without a DPA.

  2. This is not an exhaustive list, and already since the start of the year we have 30+ more applications that still need to be added. It will take most if not all of the year to evaluate all the applications currently in use.

  3. We are not looking to abruptly ban any services currently being used. We recognized that a great deal of work has already gone into integrating these services into the curriculum and barring an obvious breach of student data we plan to allow “business as usually” during the 2019-2020 school year as we work to evaluate all of these applications.

District Technology Trainer

Interviews for the technology trainer position are ongoing, and we have narrowed it down to a few outstanding candidates. We hope to have someone in place soon. In the meantime please direct any questions about educational technology directly to me. I know that Gail has been a wonderful resource, but she needs to focus her attentions on her students!