Thursday, September 29, 2016

McGraw-Hill eBook Apps

If you are teaching a class that uses a ConnectEd McGraw-Hill eBook, take a few minutes to check out the mobile apps that are available to your students. 

Students can log in using the same credentials they are using for accessing materials via ConnectEd.

While an eBook is not currently available for every title (including Health), there are a variety of other resources for many of the titles used in D219. At this time, only Student Editions are available.

iOS McGraw-Hill K-12 ConnectED Mobile

Some versions have an interactive eBook, others a downloadable version

Last Chance: Fall Tech 1 Course

One last chance to take Tech 1 this Fall. Registration closes Thursday, October 6th at 3:30. A minimum of 10 participants are required to run the course.

Course runs Monday, Oct.10th - Wednesday, Dec. 7th at Niles West in a blended environment. Participants engage in three face to face sessions, the remaining course work is completed online. Participants are eligible for 7.5 CEUs or 3 hours in NTHS 219 non-transferable advancement, receiving all course materials (book, headphones, Chromebook) at no cost.

Tech 1 Blended: Technology Tools and Applications:
This blended course will take you through activities that will introduce you to the tools of the Digital Age. These tools are bringing our kids in touch with the entire world through social networking, wikis, video, podcasting, and gaming sites. Each session there is a new set of tools for you to learn about, experiment and use. Content will include an examination of technology integration using various application tools, instructional software, productivity software, and Web 2.0 / Internet. Participants will also identify relative advantages for choosing tools and applications and resources to draw upon in developing their own technology integration activities. Attendance policy: District course policy does not allow for any absence per course of Assessment for Learning, Tech 1 or 2 courses offered as a Blended Course. You may NOT miss the first or last 2 sessions in a given class.

Contact Phil Lacey with any questions regarding the course.

Registration and additional information may be found in Eduphoria (direct links below).

PDC: October Tech Talks



Need Assessments?
Use your existing tests to create answer key assessments or build Item Banks for either paper or online delivery with Mastery Manager. Share them with Team members!

Express Yourself!
Tap into your creative side. Use Google Docs, Slides, Draw or Lucid Press to create a beautiful newsletters, flyers or brochures. Start with a template, or your own imagination...

Call us for an appointment anytime between 7:30 and 4:00.
Talk to your friends and come together.

Niles West - Cindy Kukla at x2727
Niles North- Judy Duesenberg at x2209

Looking forward to seeing you in the PDC.

Niles West Video Tech Leaders help create the First-Ever Live Channel 16 Broadcast

Leveraging our student video production team and streaming server hardware, originally acquired for use at Commencement ceremonies, 
Niles West's own Video Tech Leaders recently produced the District’s very first live cable-television broadcast by airing the entire Varsity NW Football Homecoming game on Channel 16 in real time. Video Tech Leaders operated cameras and performed all of the game commentary and analysis for the live broadcast. The Daktronics scoreboard, was also operated exclusively by a Video Tech Leader throughout the game, creating a show-within-a-show for the stadium crowd, featuring animations and video “player cards” for our team in sync with the action on the field. 

This first-of-its-kind live cable-TV broadcast lasted nearly three hours and raised the bar for video production and content distribution here at D219.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Useful Google Apps for Education (GAFE) Updates

Google Drive Updates!!

Searching Drive

Google has always been known for its search they're updating the search ability in Google Drive.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) allows users to search using term closer to how we speak than how Google queries, such as "Find my To Kill a Mockingbird Quiz from last October". Spell check has also been added to the Search feature

Columns in Docs -

Check out Format, Columns! Users can add between one and three columns with options to adjust the width, spacing, and inserting lines between the columns. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

News from the AAL Helpdesk

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Haiku Deck: A Google Presentation Alternative
We’ve all had to make a presentation for some class and had a huge scare on how to get a 100 on “creativity” in the grading rubric. If you have a presentation to work on, but don’t want to use Prezi, and you don’t know how to make it seem stylish, check out Haiku Deck! It works a lot like Google Slides, but there are a lot more themes, fonts, and styles to make your presentation seem great. It is also easier to use and change certain things, such as format. However, you cannot edit a Haiku Deck presentation in real-time with other people, and you need a Pro account to add a video from YouTube.

But if you still want to check it out and try it, click here:
By Franklin Moy (Tech Leader)

AAL Student Help Desk

Have you visited our site yet?  This site should be your first stop when you have questions about your Chromebook, about learning in a Web 2.0 world, or about what's new with the Anywhere, Anytime Learning program.  Get answers to questions about insurance,  digital literacy,  connecting your wireless devices, etc.    Here you will find a link to all our great Tech Leaders blogs and how to become a Tech Leader.

Visit our page, and make a shortcut

Video Tech Leaders

Video Tech Leader Stephen Kuechel interviewed new Principal James Edwards about being a New Face at Niles North. This will be a continuing series throughout the year. Next up is Student Services Director Laura Bolech.

Video Tech Leader James Barbosa interviewed the new West choral director Matthew Hunter about his experience growing and what led him to become interested in education and music.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Let's Talk About Passwords . . .

We use them all the time... everywhere. They are so ubiquitous in our lives that most of us actually neglect their true purpose - keep our information secure.  Add to that, the ever present struggle of having to come up with new passwords all the time! No wonder most of us use bad passwords.
Need more depressing news? Today's computing power is great, but it also enables criminals to have bigger and better chances at cracking your passwords.
What to do?
 The United States National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) has new guidelines (currently a draft) for passwords to be used by the public sector of the government. Section 5 of the Draft SP800-63B has some good advice to organizations and users like us.

In a nutshell:

For the users. 
* Passwords should be at least 8 characters and preferably not a dictionary word, or
* Use passphrases. Passphrases are easier to remember (Spots is my 5yr old Labrador) and harder to crack. * Complex passwords (i.e. L@bra0r) are not as secure as they use to be because hackers can find hundreds of combinations of words that may fit your hint question (What race is you dog?)  and it will take them just minutes.
For organizations. The number of suggestions is a lot longer and it clearly shifts the burden of responsibility from the user to the organization. Here are some guidelines provided on the draft.
* Make password policies user friendly and put the burden on the verifier.
* Allow for long passwords (at least 64 characters) and allow for a wider range of special characters.
* Crosscheck selected passwords against lists of known-bad passwords
* No more composition rules forcing to use particular characters or combinations
* No password hits
* No "security" questions (What is your best friend's name?)
* No more expiration date. Passwords should be reset only if they have been compromised.
* No more use of SMS as a two-factor authentication

As pointed out earlier, this is just a draft of suggestions, but the ideas are a big departure from what we are used to do. I personally will start using passphrases instead of one-word passwords... sounds more fun and easier to remember. What is your take?

GEG Chicagoland Student Film Fest


GEG Chicagoland is pleased to present our first annual Student Film Festival! This film competition is a chance for K-12 students get empowered and flex their creative muscles. 

Students interested in participating are challenged to dream up and create 3-minute film responding to the following question: "What’s Your Superpower? Tell us how you can change the world for the better." 

Winning entries will be screened at Google Chicago for the live film festival on Friday, February 24th. These student filmmakers will be invited with their classes and/or families to visit the offices and be honored at this event. For guidelines and more info, visit the site:

Infinite Campus Messenger

Open House and Progress Reports are just around the corner!

Send emails to parents and/or students using Infinite Campus Messenger. Stop by your local PDC for assistance.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Digital Literacy Program

Over 30% of the Freshmen class has completed the Digital Literacy Program to date. 347 of 1084 students enrolled in the program, offered during Freshman Study Halls, have either tested out or demonstrated proficiency.
Student Progress Over the Last Three Years
The program is self paced, blended, and competency based, providing multiple pathways for students to demonstrate mastery of the content.

Pathways to Competency

Additional information about the Digital Literacy Program is available here.

News from the AAL Helpdesk

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Please remind students, as we do every year, that electronic devices, especially Chromebooks, are not allowed in the PE Locker rooms. Students should be using their main hallway lockers to store their devices.  


On that note, if students have misplaced their device, please have them see security to file a report.  Of course, we recommend checking the last place they remember having it and also asking their teachers. If possible, they should file a report the same day.  They should not wait a week to see if it turns up.  It only delays security's chance of finding it for them.

As always, we highly recommend that everyone with a school-issued device buy insurance.  The policy covers theft and will give you peace of mind.  More information can be found here.  

Congrats to all the incoming freshman that are officially D219 Certified Digital Literate.

DLP Logo.pngAgain, please encourage students who have begun the program early to visit the coaches or student help desk for assistance in completing the program. Use the Digital Literacy Program guide on our site for help.  More information can be found here.

Fall Tech 1 and Tech 2 Dates

Tech 1 and Tech 2 will begin September 12 at Niles West.

Each course is offered as a blended class, meeting three times face to face - once on the first day of class (Sept 12th) and then the last two meetings for capstone presentations (Nov. 7 & 8th). Participants receive three hours of non-transferable lane advancement or 7.5 CEUs.

Registration and additional information may be found in Eduphoria (direct links below).

Monday, August 1, 2016

News from the AAL Helpdesk

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It is our fourth year of deploying Chromebooks for our 1:1 program.  Close to 1116 incoming freshman will be issued a new device to use anywhere, anytime.  The Chromebook III is not only a nice upgrade to the sturdy Chromebook II model but its price of $191 makes it much more cost effective for our students.

As with our other models, the Chromebook III is available for purchase from the Student Help Desk.  If you are still carrying around an old netbook, it is probably a good time to purchase an upgrade.  You pay what we pay.  

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The Student Help Desk has many Tech Leaders to help with problems that may occur with student devices. While we can repair many types of damage with little or no cost to students and their families, we highly recommend to anyone with a school-issued device, to buy insurance.  The policy covers up to $200 with a $0 deductible for $32.60 for the year.
More information can be found here.  

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Incoming freshman will be working with their digital literacy coaches during study halls to reach our Board goal of engaging students, increasing their digital literacy skills, and helping them become digitally literate 21st-century citizens.   If you have students that are not assigned to a freshman study hall, please encourage them to start the program early and visit the coaches or student help desk for assistance in completing the program.  There is a nice Digital Literacy Program guide on our site for help.  More information can be found here.