Friday, September 27, 2013

Where Can I Find District Forms and Shared Documents?

Many shared resources have been moved to new areas and are available on school district and school web sites. Look on the district web site for Quick Links > For Employees or on a school web site under Quick Links > For Staff.
Items that have been moved include:
  • Curriculum Documents:
  • District Forms including Elementary Report Card Templates. NOTE: You will need to be logged in to your distriuct Google account to access the Google Drive with shared documents.
  • Professional development forms including school goals and district master plan:
Please note that we are in the process of working with schools to develop school-level "intranets" for the purpose of communication, collaboration and document sharing. As we work to build out these shared resources you will still ahve full access to items in FirstClass which have not been moved yet.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Google Black Bar to be replaced with Chrome Style Apps Menu

Published on September 19, 2013 by Mohamed Rafiq under Googl

Almost all Google products have gone through a make over in the past one year or so. But this Black Google Bar that appears on the top of every product remained the same.

Now it is time for this black bar to go through design changes. Interestingly they have removed this Google bar altogether and replaced with an all new Chrome OS Style Apps launcher menu.

Here is how the Google Bar looks before change:

black bar

New Design with Google Bar gone and a new Chrome Style Apps Launcher Icon

apps launcher

More details about the announcement is available here.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Back to School in Canada with Chromebooks and Google Apps

Last week all across Canada, students started a new school year. Educators everywhere have been getting ready for that first bell to ring and for classrooms to fill up. In the spirit of kicking off a new year, we talked with teachers in several provinces who are empowering their students with Chromebooks and Google Apps. We discovered some really inspiring work going on, so we’re sharing a few of our favorite stories here with you.

Link to full article.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Countdown to Gmail - Frequently Asked Questions

Gmail is coming! Countdown to October 1.
We are excited to announce that the Manchester School District will finalize the move from FirstClass to the Gmail-powered interface in your district Google Apps for Education accounts on October 1.

Some common questions and answers:

QUESTION: Will my email address change?

ANSWER: No. Your email will still be The interface will be powered by Gmail in your district Google Apps account.

QUESTION: I keep hearing about “redirecting”. Do I have to do that now? What if I do nothing?

ANSWER: Redirecting email through a FirstClass “rule” is for early adopters who want to switch to Gmail prior to a full district migration. If you do nothing, you will automatically receive all NEW email in your Google account on October 1.

QUESTION: What happens to my old email in FirstClass? Will everything disappear?

ANSWER: FirstClass users will still have access to old email in 2013/14. Staff who wish to save old email for documentation purposes should create a backup. Please review this tutorial:

QUESTION: I’m not familiar with the Gmail interface. Where can I go for more information.

ANSWER: Visit Look on the upper left menu for Getting Started and Tips and Tricks.

QUESTION: Help! I lost/forgot my password.

ANSWER: Due to the high volume of requests, password reset requests should be entered here:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Race to the Top - District Grants Favor Blended Learning Environments

By Leila Meyer 08/28/13

School districts may be more likely to receive Race to the Top - District (RTT-D) grants if their plans include implementing blended learning environments, individualized learning plans, competency-based models, and community involvement, according to an issue paper released by the American Institutes for Research (AIR).

Google's CIO on How to Make Your IT Department Great

Running an IT department is hard enough under any circumstances, but imagine doing it at one of the world's preeminent technology companies. Your customers aren't haplessly trying to set up their voicemail; they're experts in technology and expect it to work.

In that sense, you might think Ben Fried, Google's CIO, has one of the toughest jobs in existence. On the other hand, few CIOs can boast a company culture as supportive of technology.