Saturday, November 17, 2012

General Computer Refresh Professional Development

To increase the effectiveness of the refresh computers we are providing basic training that includes personal instruction as well as a set of web based reference tools which promote digital literacy and citizenship in an age appropriate way. The tools website is www.commonsensemedia.org and contains free common core aligned lesson plans by grade level as well as educational materials for parents and self paced professional development materials for teachers.

UNH Manchester Internships

On 11/13/12 our team participated in an event at UNHM with juniors and seniors of the CIS program for internships within our TRC department. We had a successful experience with last year's interns and are looking forward to another successful internship engagement, helping us deploy new technology as well as support our student tech team and teacher PC training initiatives.

District Portfolio Server Transition

We will be retiring our old file server based student electronic portfolio servers on Feb 1 2013. We will be migrating this functionality to our free Google Apps for Education platform utilizing specially designed portfolio templates.

Dinkin Donuts Grant

Thanks to the generous donation from Dunkin Donuts, combined with a commitment from Comcast for 240 low cost netbook computers, 4 Manchester district schools will be receiving new student computers. The four schools are Smyth, Webster, Hallsville and Highland Goffs Falls. Each school will receive 60 computers, 2 computer carts and 2 wireless access points and are scheduled to be delivered sometime in November.
Current Progress:
Update on 11/6/2012 from Comcast: Computers are in their order processing system and we are awaiting a firm delivery date from Comcast..
The commitment that our leadership team has demonstrated over the last year supporting the computer refresh, policy changes, and introduction of new collaboration tools are generating a lot of excitement in reviving tech team interest in the schools.
We are continuing to dedicate TRC resources toward professional development in ICT computer labs, library media centers and technology savvy teaching staff. Our next goal is to develop an ELO(Extended Learning Opportunity) program to provide students extra credit for helping the district with technology projects and support. We are in the process of designing a district ELO website that we will launch soon.
Current Progress:
We continue working on ELO website content.

Managed Wireless Network Upgrade

Current progress:
The walkthroughs of all of the school buildings have been completed. Vendors will now prepare their proposals which are due Dec 3rd. During the month of December we will analyzing each submitted RFP, make a selection and bring a recommendation to the January IT Committee meeting. The RFP progress can be followed on our website at https://sites.google.com/a/mansd.org/finance/bids/wireless-rfp

General Computer Refresh update

Current progress:
Schools completed include; Beech, Jewett, Hillside, Central ICT lab. Schools in process include Gossler, Green Acres, Hallsville, McDonough, Smyth, Wilson, West ICT and Parkside ICT labs. Target date for completion of these schools is end of December 2012. As of November 6, 2012 we have ordered 400 of the 800 total computers.

Dedicated internet access update

Current progress:
All of the dedicated Comcast internet connections with firewalls have been installed in the High schools and Middle schools. Elementary schools are in process.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Common Sense Media


This site provides teachers and parents with a wealth of resources to guide young learners on how to responsibly use digital media and internet resources. Register for a free account at www.commonsensemedia.org to access:
  • Curriculum/Scope & Sequence Materials 
  • Professional Development Resources
  • Parent Resources 
  • ...and so much MORE!
The curriculum resources broken down nicely across grade spans. Check out these examples for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.
Responsible internet use and digital citizenship to not need to be taught in isolation. Lessons integrate easily into routine daily instruction across the curriculum.

A link to Common Sense Media is also listed under Classroom Resources on the left side bar.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

New Login Procedure for Students in 2012/13

After a successful pilot program in 2011/12, all students will be provided with Google Apps for Education accounts in 2012/13. In order to provide greater privacy and security for students, all old student Google accounts have been moved to a new area. Starting August 28, 2012 students will not be able to access their old accounts. All students have been assigned new usernames and passwords. 

Students logging in for the first time: please review the login information in this announcement.

What is Google Apps for Education? Read more HERE.

New email address: username@k12student.mansd.org

Initial default passwords: Initial default passwords for students will be based on the following formula: bmmddyyyy. For example, if your birthday is October 6, 1995 the password is b10061995. Students who change their account  password and then forget their login information can request a reset through the Assistance Request Form

Usernames: Usernames will follow the same naming convention as in the old accounts and will be a combination of your Year of Graduation (YOG) and your name.

  Example  Description Name, YOG Username
 1 simple first/last Jane Doe, 2013 13jane.doe
 2 double last, no hyphen Jane Doe Smith, 2013 13jane.doesmith
 3 double last, hyphenated  Jane Doe-Smith, 2013 13jane.doe-smith
 4 apostrophe in last name Jane O'Doe, 2013 13jane.odoe
 5 apostrophe in first name L'Jane Doe, 2013 13ljane.doe
 6 period in name Jane St. Doe, 2013 13jane.stdoe

Transferring Data From Old Accounts: Documents, Mail, Sites, etc. can still be retrieved from old accounts by an account administrator. Students who wish to transfer documents, mail, etc. from their old accounts to their new accounts must request assistance through the Assistance Request Form. If you do not wish to save any items from your old account it will be closed completely.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

MSD New Website Official Launch!

I am pleased to announce the official launch of our new district website! Our new site is based on Google Sites platform which is part of the Manchester School District Google Apps for Education domain. This platform brings content editing to all staff and will enable the district to become more collegiate internally as well as externally to the public who is served by our school system. This platform supports our Technology Leadership Framwork vision. Communication and collaboration are key elements to a 21st century workforce and we want our district to facilitate this style of connected shared learning. I want to recognize all of the hard work of Liane St. Laurent and her team of UNH Interns. They did a fantastic job of migrating our existing site content and transforming our website. This transformation will enable better collaboration between our school district staff and the family's they serve as well as save the district money since Google Apps for Education platform is completely free to schools. I also want to recognize all of the schools who were early adopters of our new platform. Please take a few moments to visit the new site and we welcome your comments!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Broadband Imperative: Recommendations to Address K-12 Educational Infrastructure Needs

The Broadband Imperative provides an up-to-date assessment of access to broadband by students and teachers (in and out of schools); current trends driving the need for more broadband in teaching, learning and school operations; and specific recommendations for the broadband capacity needed to ensure all students have access to the tools and resources they need to be college and career ready by 2014-15 and beyond.
http://www.setda.org/web/guest/broadbandimperative

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Comcast Internet Essentials program has been extended to "reduced lunch" students . . . previously only "free lunch" students.

Community Partner News Brief
Greater Boston Region
May 17, 2012
 
 
Hello Community Partners!
 
In this inaugural edition of Comcast’s Greater Boston Region Community Partner News Brief, we would like to share with you the newest updates to our Internet Essentials nationwide program. The digital divide that is growing in our communities is challenging families we know and work with every single day.  Comcast would like to work together with you as a nonprofit partner to close that divide, and offer families the technology they need to succeed in today’s society that they might otherwise not be able to afford.
 
Internet Essentials is an ever-growing program that started with the offer of broadband service for only $9.95 per month for families with students who qualify for free lunch in our school systems. Now, Comcast would like to extend that offer to families with students who qualify for free or reduced school lunch with the goal to make the digital divide even smaller. On top of that, Comcast offers these families a computer at the low cost of $149.99 as well as access to free Internet training to provide them with the tools they need.
 
How can you help connect those you serve to this great program? As a nonprofit leader located in one of our communities, we are looking to you to help us reach the families that are eligible for Internet Essentials. We would like you, as an influential leader who touches many of those families every day, to be our partner in raising awareness for this important program.
 
We invite you to log on to our Internet Essentials partner portal shown below. Please click the following link to sign on and help us reach out. In the partner portal, you will find hand-outs, banner ads, brochure inserts, bulletin board flyers, and much, much more.
 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Google Apps - A Students Professional Apps Platform

An important value in providing a district "apps platform" is to present an environment that simulates what students will face when entering the workplace. In this way we are using GAFE as part of our strategy of teaching responsible digital citizenship. GAFE affords students the experience of managing a "work/professional" email and application environment, and the associated responsibilities of keeping their "work" and "personal" collaboration and communication separate

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Responsible Use Policies

The Board of School Committee, IT Subcommittee voted to adopt our revised Responsible Use Policy. One of the important changes in this revision is the change from "Opt In" to "Opt Out". By switching the policy to "Opt Out", students will only have to provide a signed permission once, at the beginning of their grade level (Elementary/Middle or High School). Then that access permission will automatically be carried forward each year until the student "Opts Out". This will facilitate the use of internet based tools such as Google Apps for Education by automatically allowing all students access to this resource. This policy change will also reduce the paperwork burden of teachers who want to advance the use of technology.

We want to remind all students and staff who use the district technology systems that it's very important to have a signed Responsible Use Policy on file prior to allowing access to the internet - digital citizenship is a core strand of instruction. An important part of the learning process for students is to develop an understanding that their current email IDs and Google accounts represent their "professional" web presence.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Comcast Dedicated Internet

Comcast Dedicated Internet:
We are moving forward in acquiring dedicated internet access for each school. The high schools and middle schools now have dedicated internet access. This will facilitate more use of internet based tools; a staple of the 21st century classroom.
Google Apps for Education: - 06/27/2012:
We have completed the initial pilot of Google Apps for Education for mansd.org and students.mansd.org domains. Beginning in September all students and staff will automatically receive a district Google Apps account. Teachers and Students can now take advantage of enhanced collaboration including document sharing, email, calendar, sites and blogging within the confines of the districts own domain! We will be communicating more information and publishing an official launch prior to the start of school. Staff can contact Liane Haslauer St. Laurent lhaslauer@mansd.org at the TRC for info on training and PD.

More Google Apps News!
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YouTube for Schools, now available!
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YouTube for Schools lets schools access free educational YouTube videos while restricting access to other YouTube content. Students can learn from more than 400,000 videos, from well-known organizations like Stanford, PBS and TED, and from up-and-coming YouTube partners with millions of views, like Khan Academy, Steve Spangler Science and numberphile. Schools can also customize their YouTube for Schools experience, adding videos that are only viewable within their school network. Visit[ http://www.youtube.com/schools?feature=SCH&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=YT4S&utm_source=teachernewsletter40k ] YouTube.com/Schools to learn more and sign up today!
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Google Teacher Academy in London - 4-5 April 2012
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We're hosting our 14th Google Teacher Academy next spring at our Google London office on 4 April 2012 with an optional half-day unconference on 5 April 2012 2012. We are accepting applications from all over the world, so polish up your writing and video skills and apply by 11:59 PM PDT on 16th February 2012. For more information, please visit our site: [ http://www.google.com/educators/gta.html
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US Doodle 4 Google 2012 is open for submissions!
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Doodle 4 Google invites K-12 students to express the theme--”If I could travel in time, I’d visit...”--as creatively as possible using Google’s logo as their canvas. This year’s winner, along with having his or her doodle featured on our homepage for a day, will take home a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for their school. And as an added bonus, the winning Doodle will be featured on a special edition of Crayola’s 64 box! We hope you’ll get everyone in on the fun (but please -- just one doodle per child!). All submissions must be postmarked by March 20th and received by March 23rd so there’s not a moment to wait! Check outwww.google.com/doodle4google for more details.
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NY/NJ Google Apps for Education Summit Mar 22-23
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The Google Apps for Education East K-12 User group ([ http://k12east.appsusersgroup.com ]k12east.appsusersgroup.com) is hosting a 2 day summit on March 22nd and 23rd. This two day event, lead by Google Certified Teacher, Google Apps for Education Certified Trainers, administrators, and members from the Google Apps team will focus on deploying, integrating and using Google Apps for Education to promote student learning and achievement. This event will take place on March 22-23 at Kean University in NJ. Cost for the event is $200.
Registration and information for the summit: https://sites.google.com/site/nynjgs12
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New Google Education Website, Google+, and Booklet
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We launched 3 new Google resources we launched today for educators and education-enthusiasts:
(1) A newly-improved website, [ http://google.com/edu ]google.com/edu, which is a one-stop-shop for Google in Education.
(2) A Google in Education Google+ page, which has news, tips, and discussions http://goo.gl/G42c3.
(3) A booklet, "Google in Education: A New and Open World for Learning,” which describes how people are using Google’s education resources - google.com/edu/about.html .
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Google Science Fair 2012 now open!
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The Google Science Fair is in its second year in partnership with CERN, LEGO, National Geographic and Scientific American. The competition is open to students between the ages of 13 - 18 from all over the world. Students will have the opportunity to compete for over $100,000 in scholarship funds, an expedition to the Galapagos, life changing experiences at CERN, Google and LEGO and a new Science in Action Award courtesy of Scientific American. This year we also have some great educator resources to help you bring the Science Fair into your classroom and encourage your students to explore their scientific passion. Visit [ http://www.google.com/sciencefair ]www.google.com/sciencefair for more information.
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Chromebook Classroom Special Offer
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Chromebooks for Education give students, teachers, and administrators a simple solution for fast, intuitive, and easy-to-manage computing. Buy 30 or more Chromebooks and receive a Chromebook charging cart and a Google Cloud Print printer.
[ http://www.google.com/chromebook/education ]google.com/chromebook/education

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Google+ ideas for teaching & learning
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Although Google+ is not yet available for under 18s, there are still a number of ways you can harness it for learning in and out of school. Here are a few ideas we have seen from teachers:
(1) Universities- Tking or teaching university classes? Visit the new Google+ community page for universities: [http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/universities/ ]http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/universities/
(2) Lesson resources- Looking for a lesson starter? An image to illustrate a difficult concept? Current events? Within Google+ you can now search public posts and web results. For example type [supply demand] into the bar and find news articles bringing the concept to life, images, etc.
(3) Guest speakers- Looking for a guest speaker but can’t afford to bring them to your class or Career Day? Consider having them join via a Hangout, projecting them into your class.
(4) Holidays- Looking for easy ways to edit and create images for the holidays? Within Google+ Photos you can choose “Edit” and then “Creative Kit” to access fun editing tools. Add a Christmas hat, a birthday present, and other fun edits
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Google Code-in
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Google Code-in is a contest designed to get students interested in open source software. Students complete tasks in one of eight categories: coding, translation, outreach, documentation, quality assurance, user interface, research, and training. Completion of just one task will get the student a t-shirt and a certificate of participation. More tasks earn the students cash prizes and possibly a grand prize trip to Google’s headquarters with a parent or guardian. You can learn more about the contest and register at [ http://www.google-melange.com/ ]www.google-melange.com
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App Inventor is Moving to MIT
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App Inventor was started and incubated in the Google Research Group and now that it is well established it is time for App Inventor reach new heights at MIT! At the end of December 2011 Google will end support of App Inventor and make the code base open source. MIT has already begun making plans to run an open source instance of App Inventor and looks forward to furthering the momentum of App Inventor among educators through its newly established Center for Mobile Learning. To learn more about MIT’s work and get updates on the MIT instance of App Inventor visit: [ http://mitmobilelearning.org/ ]http://mitmobilelearning.org/

Memorial High Lab update

Memorial High School Gets an ICT lab update:
Over the summer our team worked diligently to update 4 ICT labs and a Business Graphics lab with state of the art furniture, computers and interactive whiteboard technology.

MSD Thin PC Initiative

MSD thin PC initiative..
We are on a mission to replace expensive aging power hungry computer equipment with low cost, energy efficient tiny form factor thin pc's which utilize advanced managment and ssd technology.

Smarter Printing

Smarter printing?
We are currently evaluating a new software application that monitors and reports the status of every printer in our network. This approach will allow the district to contract a per page printer maintenance agreement saving thousands in toner and printer supplies.

SIG Grant Provides New Tech


Schools prep for new tech from SIG grant!
Southside, Parker Varney, Parkside and Gossler schools have been awarded a significant technology grant for interactive whiteboard technology.