Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bing In the Classroom

Our district enjoys ad-free Bing search results, strict adult content filtering and enhanced privacy protections through our participation in Bing in the Classroom.

Also, Bing in the Classrooms offers free access to Digital lesson plans for over 1500 archived lesson plans that can be found here

 Some recently posted free lesson plans include:
  • Why is the sun important to living things?
  • Rotation: Why do some planets have longer days than others?
  • Human Space Travel
  • Atmospheric Composition
  • Web Browsing
  • Web Development
 If you are new to Bing in the Classroom, please find out more about its teaching tools by visiting this interactive Teacher

The guide will guide you step by step on how to navigate the homepage, use its educational carousel and study buddy,  as well as other educational tools and resources for teaching, like mystery pic and word of the day.

Guest Network Access Queue

The NTHS-GUEST network is meant to be used by guests of D219, not our faculty, staff or students. When staff use the NTHS-GUEST network "real guests" may not be able to access the network because it has a limited number of IP addresses to loan. 

Our staff and students should use the network designed for their use and require D219/NilesK12 credentials to access: 

  • NTHS-CLASS-2016
  • NTHS-CLASS-2017
  • NTHS-CLASS-2018
  • NTHS-CLASS-2019
Let's be nice to our guests and give them priority access to the guest network. 

Digital Literacy Badge Added to Infinite Campus

Once a student has earned a Digital Literacy badge, a flag will show up in their record along with the badge being displayed in the ILP tab of the Campus Portal.

For a list of Digital Literacy compliant students, teachers can access the Class Lists in the Portal, and then select Digital Literacy Badge to run a report displaying the students who have completed the Digital Literacy Program in a class.

News From The AAL Help Desk

Buy Insurance

Please reiterate to your students that they can purchase insurance at any time. Chromebook repair prices change based on supplies. Having insurance shields you from the price increase.

Remember, the insurance company not only covers the Chromebook, but they can purchase policies for their other electronic devices, such as phones, tablets, calculators, etc…

Congratulate Students Who are D219 Digital Literate

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We are in the second pilot year of our Digital Literacy Program. Incoming freshman are working through the program during their study halls. Students who are not finished should be directed to their study hall supervisors for help or stop by the Student Technology Help Desk where Tech Leaders can assist them with the program on a 1:1 basis.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

October Tech Talks Topics

Drop in for 30 minute primers!

Click here to access the Tech Talks Blog for additional information and resources. Add the PDC Calendar to your account: copy this link and add by url into the Other Calendars in your Calendar.

9/29 - 10/1   MASTERY MANAGER
Creating Answer Key Assessments
  • Create answer key-only assessments using Mastery Manager.
  • Assessments can be administered on plain paper forms or online virtual bubble forms.
  • Learning Targets can be associated with each question in an assessment to closely measure what the student knows.
Discussions and Updates
Discussions allows teachers to create and manage discussions with students through the Portal.
This tool allows teachers to create and manage discussions for your classes. Students can respond to a thread created by the teacher, create their own threads, and comment on each other's responses, depending on discussion setup.

The latest upgrade changed the layout of the Adding an Assignment page:
  • added a lesson template (optional)
  • changed the Notes and Portal information layout (combined text box)
  • moved the Scoring Alignment Detail down the page
  • added a metadata area at end of assignment definition to enter additional information, useful for finding assignments in the future
10/13 - 10/18   MASTERY MANAGER
Creating Item Bank Assessments
  • Item Banks can be created in Mastery Manager by entering questions or importing questions in a variety of file formats.
  • Item banks can be shared with others allowing them to create assessments with questions from existing item banks.
  • Create item bank assessments in Mastery Manager using specific search criteria, such as keywords or learning targets.
10/20 - 10/22   MASTERY MANAGER
Copying MM Scores into the Gradebook and Running Reports

Copy scores from Mastery Manager and paste into your Infinite Campus gradebook using the Copy-Paste Tool

Reports: Once assessments have been taken and scanned into the system, reports can be generated.  You may generate a general alphabetical results report or combine several criteria to generate a detailed report. From the Reports Menu, you may also lookup students.  The Student Lookup feature allows you to generate a report based on one or several students.
10/27 - 10/29   INFINITE CAMPUS
The IC Messenger tools allow teachers to communicate with students and/or student guardians.  Send a message to the whole class, send a missing assignment message or a grade message.  No groups to create, just click and send.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

News From the AAL Help Desk

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Fix Your Chromebook, Update that Netbook

Don’t give your teacher an excuse for not having a working device for your classes. The Student Help Desk is here to solve your problems, whether you crack a screen or damage the keyboard. We can repair anything damaged on your Chromebook or Netbook.  

If you are on a Netbook that won’t let you use Google Docs on Chrome, then you need an update. Backup your local files, then drop it off to us. We will update it to the latest version of Ubuntu and install the most updated Chrome Browser for you.

Still Looking for more Tech Leaders

Even though we have hired some bright new Tech Leaders, we are always looking for more candidates. Students should take the opportunity to learn real-life help desk scenarios and understand the world of customer service.  

Teachers, do you have a go-to, tech-savvy student who is always eager to lend a hand? Please recommend a few talented students for the program.

Encourage students to stop by the AAL Student Help Desk for more information: Tech Leader Application

Budget Cuts Affect Technology Department.

Due to budget cuts, the Technology Innovations Grants will take a hiatus, this year. The TCSI committee will assist you in finding alternative funding sources if the technology "need" is warranted. Other significant cuts were made in the technology department's supplies budget.  

We are hoping that funding for the fiscal year 2017 will return to normal.  

Connecting Your Windows 10 Device to District's WiFi

The IS department has updated its How To Connect page and added instructions for those of you who have updated your personal devices to Windows 10. We hope that this will help you get going faster.

On a related note, you may be wondering when D219 will move to Windows 10. Rest assured, we have not fallen asleep at the wheel. The IS Dept is already looking into the update and should have a roll-out plan in the next 12 to 18 months. Stay tuned!

Please keep in mind that we will try our best to help you with your Windows 10 questions but we are new to this too, so it may take a bit longer to figure this out. 

Atomic Learning: Just in Time, Online Resources for You and Your Students!

Desktop Power Management - Green is Good

Just as a reminder… or it may be news to some.

Last year, the IS Department formulated a power management plan and our own Ryan Scholl wrote the scripts to automate the monitoring and shutdown of desktops computers left on after school is over. 

Here is how it works:
At 8:00 p.m. an automated task will run on your Dell desktop computers to see if the machine is being used. If no one is logged in, it will shut down the machine. If it detects that someone is logged in, it will pop up a window requesting your input to stop the impending shutdown. This warning window will wait for 15 minutes, and if there is no user input, an automated shutdown will start. 

Once the shutdown process has started, there is no way to stop it.

If you reply to the pop-up window and stop the shutdown process, the machine will remain on until you turn it off.

The Dell  desktops will automatically boot up next morning in time for you to start your day (North machines wake up at 7:00 a.m. and West machines at 6:30 a.m.).

Please remember to shut down your machines at the end of the day, or at the very least, save all your work before you step away or leave for the day. The shutdown scripts have no means to figure out if your session has open documents that have not been saved.

Viewing IEP, 504, and RTI Plans in IC

If you have students with an IEP, 504 or RTI plan, the plan is accessible via your class roster in Infinite Campus.

September PDC Tech Talks

Click here to access the Tech Talks Blog for additional information and resources. Add the PDC Calendar to your account: copy this link and add by url into the Other Calendars in your Calendar.

September 1-3
Website / Moodle Update
Prepare for Open House and the rest of your school year. Update your website's schedules, syllabi and class policies, or revamp your site completely with a new theme and layout.  Refresh your Moodle course by removing students and their records, and updating or creating groups for the new year.  In a just few minutes, you can be ready to go!
September 8-10
Infinite Campus Messenger
The IC Messenger tools allow teachers to communicate with students and/or student guardians.  Send a message to the whole class, send a missing assignment message or a grade message.  No groups to create, just click and send.

September 15-17
Create Your Own Google Classroom
Google Classroom is now available at District 219. Classroom is a platform that allows you to easily share and manage announcements and assignments with your students. If you’ve been frustrated with sharing, organizing and grading student work with Google Docs, Classroom could be a game changer!

September 22-24
The Pluses of Google+.   What is it, and why do I need it?

Google+ is social networking for Google. It integrates with other Google Apps, but also offers some unique tools, like:  Hangouts, video conferencing, Circles, contact groups of people like Classes, Colleagues, Friends, and Communities, topics-based groups. Communities consist of people with similar interests and provide great resources and PLN opportunities.  Join us and find out what all the Plus is about.

Free Classroom Resources from

A new school has begun and we know that means a lot of preparing for classes. wants to support your efforts by providing you with free resources and content. So, here's a free digital back-to-school box that will allow you to pick and choose content that will empower you to teach the way you want. Just drag and drop and get it delivered instantly!
Whether you need digital textbooks, sample content, or class posters, we've got you covered! 
We know that there is no "one size fits all" way of educating students. Find the right mix that works for your class and send a customized back-to-school box to yourself, or to a fellow teacher (they will thank you!), to get a head start on the new year! 
Get It Now!