Friday, March 30, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Join CK-12's FlexBook 2.0 Beta Program!

Join CK-12's FlexBook 2.0 Beta Program!

CK-12 Foundation is introducing the next generation FlexBooks system in June.  In addition to the current FlexBooks functionality, the new system introduces learning in the form of concepts. Concepts are small units of content that can be used to learn or review a particular topic.

We are inviting friends of CK-12 to explore our new system and help us improve by providing valuable feedback.  The system is a work in progress and, with your help, we hope to make the product better. Regular updates will be made based on your feedback.

To get started click on "Start Now" below and create an account.  (Existing CK-12 accounts are not a part of the new system yet, so you will need to create an account specific to this new system.)  Be sure to provide us with feedback about your experience by visiting our feedback page!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Voice Mail System Upgrade Over Spring Break

In less than two weeks , during our Spring Break, the Technology department is upgrading the District’s voice mail system. We will be deploying updated Cisco hardware and software that will use virtualization technology. Migrating from existing physical servers to virtual servers will drive down operational cost, enable us to use new software enhancements while allowing us to decrease our overall footprint and power consumption.
This is the first of a three phase upgrade plan for the District’s phone system. The second phase will take place sometime during the Summer months with the goal of downsizing from seven physical servers down to two and the final phase ( long-range goal to be finalized in 2015) will be the update of desktop phones.

What you need to know:

The upgrade has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 28, starting at 4:00 p.m. The voice mail system will be unavailable during the upgrade period of 4 to 6 hours.

What will stay the same:
  1. How you access voice mail does not change (press the “Messages” button; from home, call 847.626.3900)
  2. Your recorded voice mail greeting and your PIN (password) will not change.
  3. Your existing messages (30 days old or newer) will be transferred to the new system.
  4. Voice mail prompts will remain be the same.

What's new:
  1. Voice Mail delivered by e-mail. When someone leaves a voice message on your phone, you will also receive a copy of that message in your Google D219 e-mail account. The e-mail header will tell you who left the message and when, while the e-mail attachment will contain a sound file (wave) with the actual message. You will still be able to retrieve messages from your phone like you normally do.
  2. Resume disconnected calls. If you hang up or get disconnected while listening to your messages (for example, because another call comes in), no worries. Simply call back into the system within 10 minutes, and it will prompt you to resume where you left off.
  3. Automatic deletion of old messages. Since you will now have the option to download your messages as wave files through your D219 e-mail, the voice mail system will automatically purge your saved message after 30 days. Keep in mind that deletion does not apply to e-mails from your D219 account; you will need to proactively delete them once they are no longer needed.

There will be more exciting features that will be rolled out as we get more familiar with Cisco’s new Unity Connection Voice Mail system.   Stay tuned for future announcements!
Questions or concerns? Contact Sebastian Manu by e-mail ( or by phone (x3964).

Khan Academy: The future of education?

(CBS News) Sal Khan is a math, science, and history teacher to millions of students, yet none have ever seen his face. Khan is the voice and brains behind Khan Academy, a free online tutoring site that may have gotten your kid out of an algebra bind with its educational how-to videos. Now Khan Academy is going global. Backed by Google, Gates, and other Internet powerhouses, Sal Khan wants to change education worldwide, and his approach is already being tested in some American schools. Sanjay Gupta reports. 

60 MInutes segment about digital learning and Kahn Academy: The Future of Education?

TED-Ed Launches on YouTube

TED-Ed's mission is to capture and amplify the voices of great educators around the world. We do this by pairing extraordinary educators with talented animators to produce a new library of curiosity-igniting videos. A new site, which will launch in early April 2012, will feature these new TED-Ed Originals as well as some powerful new learning tools.
For those who can't wait that long, we're pleased to announce the official launch of TED-Ed's YouTube channel featuring all of our new videos. Also, we are happy to extend an open invitation for the nomination of educators and animators and the suggestion of lesson ideas.

Spend a week at Google Camp!

Engage, motivate, collaborate and cooperate your way to success! Leveraging the power of Google Apps helps teachers transform their classrooms into rich learning environments.

Maine Township High School District 207 located near O’Hare Airport in Illinois, has been using Google Apps for Education since 2007 and is recognized as a spotlight district by Google* and has partnered with them on several webinars and presentations. Activities and projects created from a wide variety of content areas by our Students, Faculty, and Staff have been featured around the world in presentations and at conferences. Come spend a week at Maine 207 learning hands-on from our experts how Google Apps tools can be used to transform your classroom into a cooperative and collaborative learning environment, prepare to become a Google Certified Trainer, or learn to deploy and administer the Google Apps for Education suite in your school district

The Courses we offer include: (click through for details)
Google Apps in the Collaborative Classroom (1 week of training and lunches $399
Optional Opportunity for Graduate Hours through Aurora University

Google Certified Apps Edu Trainer Preparation Program (1 Week of Training and Lunches $1499)

* Maine Township High School District 207 is an independent agent and is not a representative of Google. 

Friday, March 2, 2012


Due to a number of scheduling conflicts and the prospect of bringing the NICE mini-conference to our district in January 2013, Administration has decided to cancel the April 21, 2012 Technology Conference.

We are looking forward to partnering with NICE (Northern Illinois Computing Educators) and hosting their annual conference. The NICE Mini-Conference will be held at Niles North on January 26, 2013. Please visit their website to learn more about NICE and their mission.

Thank you for your support. For those who have submitted presentation proposals, there will be an opportunity to present at the NICE mini-conference. More information will be shared as soon as it is available.

Libre Office Installation File Available

LibreOffice is a stable, free, open, and best of all, supported office productivity suite. Updates are provided regularly and the help files are dynamic and extensive. Those who are already using LibreOffice are reporting that they see no real difference in the look and feel of the product.

The file extensions are the same as those in OpenOffice, in fact, the products are virtually identical. Existing files function relatively trouble-free in LibreOffice. Additionally, LibreOffice allows users to open and edit files created in other proprietary platforms such as MS Office.

The latest version of LibreOffice (v3.5) was released in early February. Check out the new features here.

The Technology Department has made a LibreOffice installation file available on your “W” drive. Simply locate the “LibreOffice” folder and look for the install file. Follow the prompts to complete the installation.