Friday, November 3, 2017

Google Drive File Stream

Google is phasing out the Drive desktop app and replacing it with Drive File Stream.

Support ends Dec. 11th, 2017 and the product will be shut down March 12, 2018. It’s much faster and uses virtually no disk space.  With Drive File Stream you can work offline and view and organize your Google Drive files from your mac or pc using the computer’s file system.  

If you’ve been frustrated trying to organize your files in Google Drive, using the desktop File Stream will allow you to move files to folders through Windows File Explorer, the same method you use to organize files in your J: drive.  If you have used the desktop Drive app, you’ll be amazed at how much faster and more efficient  this is. Whether you’ve been using Drive desktop, or you’ve never heard of it, give Drive File Stream a try. You’ll be glad you did!  

*Install Google File Stream for Windows
  • You will be required to sign-in to your D219 Google account.
  • Google Drive File Stream will request access. Allow.
  • Once installed and authorized, the Drive icon will be available in the lower right of your taskbar as well as from the Windows File Explorer.  
  • Add, move, remove files from Windows File Explorer.

*If you are currently using Desktop Drive, quit and uninstall Google Drive.

If sign-in and authorization does not show up automatically, search for Drive  File Stream using the Windows search icon in the lower left of your taskbar.

IC Update: MultiPost Section Groups

Section Groups and Multi-Posting

If you use Section Groups for grading, the Multi-Post Grades tool allows teachers to post grades for section groups within a course. Check out how to set up Section Groups and use the Multi-Post option to streamline grading. The option will be enabled for use Monday 11/6/17.

Eduphoria Update: Appraise, Workshop, and Forms

The District has gone to StandardforSuccess (SFS) as the evaluation tool, we will not renew the subscription for Eduphoria.  Currently all evaluations and associated documents are being archived to make them available in SFS in the future. As we migrate away from this tool, we will also be moving forms from Eduphoria Formspace to GSuite (Google) powered forms. All the District forms currently in use can be accessed from this link, or from the iVisions Portal. The following links provide instructions on how to archive archive digital copies of your records from Appraise or Workshop.

The Google Forms page will go live Monday 11/13/17 and forms on Eduphoria FormSpace will be disabled the same day.

The current target date for the cutoff for archiving PD and evaluation documents is Spring Break. Stay tuned for updates.

Chrome Corner: Calendar Update & More...

Chrome Corner highlights useful tips and Apps, Extensions that may be of interest.

The GSuite Calendar will be updated over the weekend for all and users. The update includes a new look and some new features. Additional information available from Google. 

CheckMark - A Chrome extension designed to make providing feedback on student writing “quickly and easily”.

WebCamRecord - A simple, no-frills Chrome extension that can capture up to 90 seconds of video from a Chromebook webcam.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Editing .pdf documents in MS Word

Microsoft has greatly improved the PDF editing ability in Word 2016 Word to the point it is easier, faster and works better than Abode Professional. Just open and edit. Check out how easy it is to use the MS Word PDF editor.

Edit PDF in Word

Use Word 2016 to convert a PDF into an editable Word document.

From Word 2016:
  • Click File > Open.
  • Click Browse. Make sure to change the file type to All Files.

Locate  the PDF and Open.
A dialog box will open. Click OK.

Your pdf is now an editable Word document.  Occasionally formatting is be lost in the conversion.   Images and text boxes may not display correctly.   Save when done editing.

See MS Support: Why does my PDF look different in Word?

Three Google Classroom Updates

Three Google Classroom Updates

Single view of a student’s work
Review all assignments and grades for each specific student from one page.

Reorder Your Classes:
Change the order of your classes on your Classroom homepage to reflect your schedule, not the order you created the classes by just clicking and dragging.

Display class code:
Teachers can now display their class code in full screen so students can quickly join new classes.

Windows 10: At a PC Near You

Now that the school year is getting ready to start, here is a brief look at what to expect when you first log on to Windows 10:

Most everyone in the District has a roaming profile when they logon to the computers.  This roaming profile syncs your desktop, Firefox and Internet Explorer bookmarks, as well as other preferences from one computer to another.  Windows 10 uses a different profile from Windows 7.  The very first time you logon to Windows 10, the computer will need to set up your new profile.  This will take several minutes.  When you get signed on, you will noticed your desktop icons (if you had any) are missing.  For a tour of Windows 10, click here. At this point, there are a couple tasks to do to get you started:

1.       First of all, your desktop items are not gone.  They are in your old roaming profile.  Call the help desk for help in getting those items back.  Remember, every item you put on your desktop slows your logon/out time a little more.  This is an excellent opportunity for you to opt out of having a roaming profile.  Contact the help desk if you wish further information on opting out. Opting out will increase you log on and out times significantly.

2.     Chrome users:  Please sign into Chrome by going to settings in the top right corner of chrome and selecting settings from the drop down menu.

Under the People section, click on Sign in to Chrome.  Follow the prompts.  After you’ve successfully signed in, click on Link Data to bring back your bookmarks and settings.

3.       Once you have setup your computer the way you like it, you need to log off and on again.  This will write your roaming profile up to your J drive.


 Teachers or or anyone using the TWS (Teacher Work Station) in the classroom, at the end of a class period, should ONLY use the logout option and DO NOT shutdown or reboot/restart the computer. If the computer has received software updates that require a reboot, it will not apply those updates unless or until it is rebooted. Upon reboot, the computer may take several minutes as it applies the changes and it will not be ready to be used and this may cause a situation where the computer will not be ready for the next teacher/class period.

* Your machine is also coming back from summer break and is catching up with Windows updates.  So please be patient when your computer begins to do these updates.  If prompted, select reboot.  Eventually the updates will "catch up" so to speak and happen less often. Some update may require an mandatory reboot and you will have 15 minutes to save your work.

* Login in for the first time can take several minutes. Subsequent logins, to the same computer,  will happen a lot faster. So, log in ahead of time to machines that you normally use and the next time things should happen faster.

* Login times are directly related to the amount of items that you keep on your desktop. Keeping entire folders on your desktop is not a preferred practice. Put them in your J drive and have a shortcut to it on your desktop.

* Talk to the Help Desk and inquire about opting out of Roaming Profiles to reduce your login time. 

* Important advice for your students and/or if you use a computer lab regularly. Students do not have roaming profiles therefore every time they log in, a new local profile gets created. This process takes time (about 2 minutes, but could be longer during busy periods) so please advise your students to login as soon as they come into the lab and preferably, if possible, use the same computer every time. By using the same computer, they will reuse their previously created local profile and their login times could be as quick as 4 seconds.

* There has been reports of MS Office 2016 freezing or crashing.  Disabling graphics acceleration has helped in some cases (The Help Desk can show you how to do this) but is a newly developed bug ( thank you Microsoft for your bug free updates... Not) that we are hoping will get fixed in the near future. If you don't want to deal with it, go back to use the 'old trusty Office 2010

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Windows 10 Coming to a Desktop Near You

Windows 10 is coming to District 219!!
All PC computers are being upgraded to Windows 10 over the summer. 

This Windows 10 Intro Guide, provides a great overview of what to expect and basic "how to's" for navigating and customizing your desktop.

Check out the PDC Summer offerings to see the Windows 10 sessions, or drop in the Niles West PDC Room 2153 if you happen to be in the area.

There are also many resources available from if you wish to learn remotely: Windows 10 resources. To access the tutorials, use your D219 username and password.

Summer Learning in the PDC

The Professional Development Center staff from North and West will be located in the Niles West  PDC, room 2153, for the summer. We are open from 7:30-4:00 Monday - Friday. Come visit!
Workshops will be offered throughout the summer. The schedule is listed below, but we are available any time to assist with your tech needs. Give us a call and we will schedule time just for you.
All workshops are 45 minutes long, followed by lab time. This year we are covering:
  • Time to Get Googly - Classroom, Apps and Add-ons and new Google Sites
  • Mastery Manager
  • Windows 10
  • Video in the Classroom for Students and Teachers

Time to get Googly! Whether you’re a Google Apps pro, or just getting started, there is always something new to learn. Attend a session to brush up or learn something new.

Google Classroom

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. June 13 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM July 12 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM July 25 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM

Apps and Add-ons Additional features can be added to documents and spreadsheets using Google Add-ons. From Mail merge to a QR Code generator to changing case and merging cells in Sheets, Add-ons will greatly enhance your Google experience. Add Apps (web applications) directly to your Chrome browser and a whole new world of programs will be at your fingertips!

June 7 - 9:00 AM

June 8 - 2:00 PM June 15 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM

New Google Sites There is a new site in town! Google has introducing an updated version of Google sites.

June 14 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM July 11 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM July 27 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM

Creating Assessments with Mastery Manager
Are you a Mastery Manager hold-out? If so, come see what you’ve been missing! You can quickly create answer key assessments using your existing tests, or develop question bank assessments. Formative or summative assessments can be administered on paper or online. Learning Targets can be associated with each question to closely measure what the student knows. Mastery Manager reports provide student data throughout school years and offer longitudinal analysis on student performance. NEW Feature: Assessments can even be delivered online using a secure browser on the chromebooks! So whether you’ve been avoiding Mastery Manager, or you need a refresher, don’t miss these sessions.
  • Answer Key Assessments
    Create an answer key only assessment using various types of questions and assign learning targets. You can even attach a rubric to the assessment! 

    June 27 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM June 29 - 9:00 AM

  • Item Bank AssessmentsItem Banks can be created in Mastery Manager by entering questions or importing questions in a variety of file formats, including a text file.

    June 28 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM June 29 - 2:00 PM

Video Projects in the Classroom

There are a number of free video programs available for you and your students. 
Whether you want to flip a lesson or assign a video project, there’s an app for that. 

Teacher videos: Screencast presentations, documents or websites adding your own voice-over to create video lessons. Use EDpuzzle to create an interactive video by adding questions to engage students and add accountability.
Student videos: Create videos from smartphones, tablets or computers. Make digital photo stories by adding photos, video, music and narration, or simply edit video clips with effects and captions.

  • Screencast to create videos with voice-over using Screencast-o-matic and Screencastify
    July 13 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM
  • EDpuzzle - customize videos by editing, cropping, recording audio, and adding your own questions. Collect class data as students interact with the video. EDpuzzle will even grab your class lists from Google Classroom!
    June 22 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM
    July 19 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM
  • We Video - powerful desktop and smartphone app that allows audio recordings/narrations, text, and photo, video, and music uploads.
    Viva Video - smartphone video editor, photo slideshow maker & movie editing app.
    June 20 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PMJuly 20 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM
  • YouTube Video Editor - add pictures, videos, music, create your own channel with playlists!
    June 21 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PMJuly 18 - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM

Out with the old, in with the new. Computers will be upgraded to Windows 10 over the summer. We will review the Start menu,  Stop in for a test run so you're ready to roll in the Fall.
June 7 - 2:00 PM
June 8 - 9:00 AM
July 26 - 9:00 AM
July 26 - 2:00 PM

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Extending Chrome with the Kami Extension

Kami - PDF Markup Extension    

Share pdf documents with students from Drive or Classroom and students can highlight using multiple colors, annotate with comments, and a variety of other useful tasks.

Documents can be shared to groups or individuals reside in Google Drive for easy access.

Check out the Kami extension in the Chrome Web App Store

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Coming Soon to a Computer Near You: Windows 10

Windows 10 is coming to District 219!!
You are welcome to kick the Windows 10 tires in the PDC. The change will happen over the summer.

There are many resources available, rather than overload you, here is a link to Windows 10 resources. To access the tutorials, use your D219 username and password.

A Fresh Look: District Website gets a Refresh

New Website Video Preview

The Technology Department has been hard at work, designing a new website to meet the needs of District 219's stakeholders.

Each of the main school pages feature upcoming Events, News and Announcements.  Not only will up-to-date info be more readily available but those top Mega-menus will change to offer context specific sub-menus, so that everything is still just a click away even as you move away from your starting point.

The new site will make it easier to find the page you're looking for, with minimal clicks. "Mega-Menus" remain at the top of each page for your convenience. Hovering your mouse over these menus brings up common links and pages that have been re-organized, as if to anticipate your needs.  There’s even a new site search option to help you find the page or information you’re looking for.

The best part of this new D219 experience is that no matter where or how you’re viewing this page, it will dynamically change to fit your device or browser window.  The same website you load with a widescreen display, in all it’s glory, is the same site you pull up on the smaller screen of your smartphone or tablet... so that everything stays familiar even as the page size changes.

Stay on the lookout for an early May launch!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

G Suites Updates

Here are some updates to the G Suites products that may be useful to you or your students!!

  • Rotated Text
  • Accoutnting number formats
  • Additiona border styles

  • It even allows basic video options like auto-play, mute, start and end point selection (clipping).

Simply choose “Capitalization” from the Format menu in Docs, and select one of the following:
  • lowercase, to make all the letters in your selection lowercase.
  • UPPERCASE, to capitalize all the letters in your selection.
  • Title Case, to capitalize the first letter of each word in your selection.

If you have any questions regard these or other G Suite products, contact your building's Professional Development Center (PDC).

North Room 1145 & West Room 2153

Friday, January 13, 2017

WiFi Upgrade Reminder

Please remember that we made changes to the Wi-Fi. 

Staff and faculty should use NTHS-STAFF - You can find instructions here.

Students will use NTHS-STUDENT using an access key that was emailed to them previously. If you have students having difficulties connecting to NTHS-STUDENT, they can temporarily connect to NTHS-STUDENT-TEMPORARY (no access key needed) but please refer them to the Help Desk or the AAL Help Desk to solve their WiFi issues. 

NTHS-STUDENT-TEMPORARY will disabled in the coming weeks, encourage your students to use their access keys. Next week students will need to acknowledge a pop-up window notifying them to switch over.

Just to reiterate why this Wi-Fi changes were needed. We seek to improve our wireless speed and security as explained on our November Technology Newsletter.

Please contact the Help Desk if you have any questions.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Infinite Campus Updates

Over Winter Break, updates were applied to the Grade Book, below are the highlights:

December 2016

Missing Assignment Report

The Missing Assignments report has been updated so that the Grade Summary indicates if a grade is In-Progress or already Posted.

Filtering by Category

Filtering by category has been updated to function correctly for all sections.

Category List

A section picker has been added to the top of the Category list. Selecting a section allows a teacher to verify the setup of a category for the selected section.

Pass/Fail Color Coding

Pass/Fail color coding has been updated to display colors based on assignment marks, if applicable and now displays properly..

November 2016

Alphabetizing Students

The grade book has been updated to alphabetize students names in the same order as the Roster.

Assignment Analysis Graph

The Assignment Analysis Graph, which previously existed in the Instruction module, has been added to the Grade Book Reports.
PATH: Campus Instruction > Reports (Grade Book) > Assignment Analysis
The Assignment Analysis report creates a bar chart representing the students' grades for the selected assignment.
Assignment Analysis Report Editor

Generating the Assignment Analysis Report

  1. Choose Assignment Analysis from the report dropdown list.
  2. Select the Term and Section of the assignment to analyze.
  3. Select the Assignment for which you want to view the analysis graph. Only one assignment can be selected at a time.
  4. Click the Generate Report button to generate the report in PDF format.
The header of the graph reports the selected assignment, as well as its Task/Standard and Category.
The graph show's each student's score received on the assignment, with the percentage of points earned shown next to the student's name.
Below the graph, the Mean and Median scores are calculated, as well as the +/- standard deviation. These values are also represented by blue lines in the graph itself.

Cross-Course Categories

The Categories tool has been updated to allow users to create and manage categories included in any sections the user teaches, not just sections in the same course. Categories must now have unique names. The standards and grading tasks available for selection are dependent on the sections selected to include the category.

Because Category names must now be unique, duplicate names have been converted. This update also includes changes to the Category Copier, which can now be used to copy categories to multiple destination sections across courses.

Grade Book - Section Dropdown List

The Section dropdown list in the Grade Book has been updated to display sections correctly by period sequence.

(FDF) Simple Forms
Tools that use FDFs have been updated to no longer open forms using the browser's Adobe Reader plugin. Forms are also no longer downloaded on the user's local machine when opened. This update is meant to address various browser-specific adobe issues.
A Save button has also been added to the action bar when viewing an FDF, which means that users creating simple forms for use in their district no longer need to have a save button within the form.