Tuesday, November 6, 2018

LanSchool

LanSchool is a classroom management software that provides a set of tools to help teachers manage the instructional environment when using student computers. LanSchool works with Chromebooks, Windows, Mac, and iOS devices. Use LanSchool with Google Classroom to provide a feature rich instructional environment.

Some of the uses include:

Teaching

  • Screen sharing - Broadcast the teacher screen to the rest of the class or select a student screen to demonstrate their work. 
  • Distribute polls and quizzes and share instant results
  • Use remote control with a student device to provide assistance
  • Blank student screens when you need their attention

Communications

  • Send a message to an individual student or group of students
  • Setup individual or group chats
  • Use audio chats
  • Provide quick answers to questions

To use LanSchool you will need to setup rosters of your classes. The following knowledge base articles will help you get started.


If you need additional assistance or have questions please submit a help desk ticket and someone will contact you to help.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Self Help Tools




The technology department strives to provide quality and timely service for everyone. These goals become more difficult the busier we become. We believe providing high quality self help tools will benefit everyone with less help desk tickets, shorter wait times, and our focus on more complex issues.

We are developing a knowledge base of articles addressing common frequently encountered technical support issues. Several new articles have recently been added to the knowledge base and we are starting to develop how to videos on some topics.
Image result for technology self help
New articles include how to:

  • Enable the accessibility checker in Word
  • Install and configure LANSchool
  • Importing a class into LANSchool
  • Creating a Google Form (Video)
  • Resetting your Keychain on your Mac
  • Sharing a Google Form with your class
  • Accessing the CCS "Software Center" on a Windows device
This brings the total number of articles in the knowledge base to 35. The technology department will continue to identify the most common and frequent issues we encounter for possible new knowledge base articles. We are also open to staff suggestions for new articles.

You can access the knowledge base at kb.calschools.org and browse the existing articles. Currently the knowledge base is only available from inside our network due to some of its sensitive information. There are plans to make it available from the Internet and either password protect the sensitive articles or the entire knowledge base.

If you received this post by email please take a few moments to complete this one question survey: https://goo.gl/forms/c2agZa0zXxMw1oYN2. This will help to identify how many people these postings are reaching. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Welcome Back to a New School Year

There have been a lot of changes in technology over the last few months. Some of the changes are significant and will take time to identify and resolve all of the ensuing issues. 

Phone System - The phone system upgrade is the last major technology initiative that was part of the 2014 building project. This has involved a complete replacement of the entire phone system. The old Toshiba PBX system was expensive to operate and maintain. 

Student G-Suite Accounts - We have moved student G-Suite accounts from the students.calschools.org domain to the calschools.org domain. All devices and accounts are now in the calschools.org domain. This will simplify management for both the technology department and classroom teachers.

YouTube for Education - YouTube usage is now completely integrated with G-Suite. You must be logged on to a Caledonia G-Suite account to access YouTube. All staff have unrestricted access to YouTube content. Students have restricted access. 

When accessing a YouTube video a blue bar is displayed under the video indicating if the video is approved or is not approved for calschools.org. Staff can click on the approve button to approve the video for calschools.org users. Additionally, videos in your YouTube channels will automatically be approved for calschools.org users. This is a great way to organize your content and ensure it is available to students.

Account Authentication
We have enabled LDAP authentication for Infinite Campus and Fox Bright (Staff Portal). This means the same username and password you use to log on to the network is used for Infinite Campus and Fox Bright. Applications and services using LDAP authentication include:
  • Network/Computer
  • Wireless (CCS-Secure)
  • G-Suite Apps (email)
  • Infinite Campus
  • Staff Portal / Website Profile
  • Jabber - New phone system app
  • Help Desk
  • Phone Self Care Portal
  • More...
Technology Department Staff
Jordan Liszewski has accepted a job as the lead service technician for Family Sewing. We wish Jordan the best in this new endeavor and will miss his expertise and excellent customer service. We are searching for a replacement but will be starting the school year short handed. In the meantime, the current field technician building assignments is:

Matt Botsford - Caledonia Elementary, Kettle Lake Elementary, Paris Ridge Elementary, and Duncan Lake Middle School

Chris Worch - ECC, TMC, Admin, Dutton Elementary, Emmons Lake Elementary, and Kraft Meadows Middle School

Matt Bierema - High School North and South Campus

Account Automation
We have implemented scripts that will automatically create student accounts when they are entered in to Infinite Campus. The scripts run multiple times a day so students should have a G-Suite account within 2-3 hours of being entered in to Infinite Campus.

We are also running nightly scripts that create Meal Magic and Follett Destiny accounts.

Student Accounts
The standard student username for G-Suite is First Name + Last Name @calschools.org
The default password is: First Initial (CAP) + Student Id

Student accounts have been setup in NWEA, SRI, Read Live, DIBELS, IXL, and Typing Training for the appropriate grade levels.

The student username for SRI, Read Live, IXL, and Typing Training is their Student Id and the password is the same as above.

Technical Support
It is our goal to provide excellent technical support for your buildings and classrooms. However, the job is much larger than the resources we have available. We are constantly trying to prioritized support requests and meet everyone's needs in as timely fashion as possible. The most efficient way for us to manage the work load is to use help desk tickets. You can help us by providing detailed information about the problem you are experiencing and the best time/place to contact you. Also, don't hold back tickets because you think we are too busy. If there is a problem or you need help please let us know. 

Thank you for all you do!


Thursday, August 2, 2018

Staff Portal

Access to the Staff Portal on our website requires you to logon to Fox Bright.

www.calschools.org/staff-portal

​Logging in to Fox Bright has now changed to using your network (computer) username and password. This username and password is now used to log in to your Computer, Help Desk, Infinite Campus, Fox Bright, and other less common applications.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Phone System Status Update

This is a status update and some information on how the process will proceed, at least theoretically.

The primary server has been installed and we have started provisioning and placing phones.

Friday, July 27 - Clear Rate will start routing numbers for Emmons Lake, TMC, Glenmor, and everything contained in the Duncan Lake complex to one of our PRI's. Everything else will be routed to the other PRI. Secant will the connect the cut-over PRI to to the new phone system.

The phone system has already been programmed to route incoming and outgoing calls so things should work, mostly!

There will be some downtime when we cut-over. How much depends on factors out of our control.

We will spend the day Friday, Monday, and Tuesday testing and troubleshooting problems.

Monday, July 30 - End user training all day at Emmons Lake

Aug. 1-3 - Working on connecting paging system for buildings on the new system

Tuesday, Aug 7 - End user Training in Admin PD room. A sign up sheet will be available soon.

Aug 1-17 - Moving the remaining buildings to the new system one building at a time. Clear Rate will route appropriate numbers to the cut-over PRI as we do each building. This will cause some down time in that building, hopefully minimal. I will notify the administrator before we start each building.

  • HS
  • KMMS
  • Elementary buildings (order not yet determined)

Friday, Aug 17 - Cut-over second PRI to the new system

Wednesday, Aug 22  - End user Training in Admin PD room.

Please note that internal (extension) calling will not be available between buildings on the new system and buildings on the old system. You will need to dial the buildings external number.

Everything will not be perfect as we go. Report issues to the Help Desk so we can track and get them resolved.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Infinite Campus Logon

Logging onto Infinite Campus will now use your normal network (computer) logon credentials. You will use the same username, Last Name + First Initial, and password that you use to logon to your computer. 

Note: This only applies to Caledonia Staff. Parent and student logons will remain the same.

This is part of an ongoing effort to consolidate and reduce the number of different accounts required to access our systems. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Summer Projects 2018

The following is an overview of some of the major projects the technology department is undertaking over the summer. Some projects directly affect the way you interact with technology and other resources. A separate Blog will be posted to outline specifically what has changed and how it will affect you.

Phone System
Our legacy Toshiba PBX phone system will be updated to a new Cisco VoIP phone system over the summer. This is one of the last major initiatives of the 2014 building project. This is a large project consisting of installing and programming new switching hardware and software, and replacing all of the existing Toshiba telephone handsets with new Cisco handsets. The new system will connect and operate through our existing data network. It provides enhanced functionality with simplified management.

Some of the features include

  • Simplified voicemail access through the handset, email, or smart phone application
  • Robust auto attendant capabilities
  • Powerful notification features
  • Presence functionality
  • Conferencing capabilities with desktop sharing
  • Softphone support
  • Much more...


We are still working on developing the deployment schedule and  will communicate details once established. The new system will be entirely in place before the start of the 2018/19 school year. Individualized training will be available for staff, secretaries, and administrators as they return to work. Online resources will also be available for viewing.

G-Suite
We are planning a significant change to our G-Suite domain. We will be combining the staff and student domains into a single space. This will improve communication and collaboration features in Google Apps. To accomplish this we will duplicate student accounts and move all devices into the calschools.org domain. There will be a period of time available in the fall for students to move their content from the old domain to the new one. Detailed instructions will be available for moving content.

YouTube is also undergoing some changes and will be configured to integrate with our G-Suite accounts. To access YouTube content you will need to be logged onto your Caledonia G-Suite account. Staff will have unrestricted access and student restrictions will vary according to grade level. Staff can approve videos individually or utilize channels which will approve all included videos.

Single Sign On
We will be linking Infinite Campus and Foxbright to Active Directory eliminating the need for a separate username and password for those applications. Additional integrations will follow in the near future.

Network Security
In an effort to better secure our network we will be removing all unsecured wireless networks from the school district. This is a standard security practice and will help prevent unauthorized access and malware intrusion.

User Account Automation
We are working on a process to automate student user account creation. The process will automatically create a student account in Active Directory and G-Suite when a new student is enrolled in Infinite Campus. The process will run periodically throughout the day once every 2 hours between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Website
Website responsibility as been moved to the technology department. We will be working with building and department administrations and their staff to address federal ADA standards. We will also working on standardizing many of the common areas of our website for user consistency. Training will be provided on an as needed basis. This is a large and complex undertaking and is expected to continue throughout the 2018-19 school year.

Surveillance Cameras
We will be continuing with the addition elementary and middle school surveillance cameras. An additional 20-30 cameras will be installed over the summer. We will also be providing training on using the camera software.

Classroom A/V Systems
We have a long list of classroom A/V systems in need of attention. We will not be able to address everything on the list but we do have it prioritized and will be working on the more significant issues first. Some of the work includes updating wiring to support HDMI. We will also be replacing old data projectors and failing amplifiers,

LanSchool

LanSchool is a classroom management software that provides a set of tools to help teachers manage the instructional environment when using s...