Monday, January 7, 2013

District Technology Meeting

January 7, 2013

Michelle and Trevor shared lots of information about the district's technology in our meeting last night.

The Beta Program on gradebook will be up and running sometime around mid-January. It will happen soon after the update takes over. After that time, there will be two gradebook links under your instruction tab in gradebook. One will be marked (Beta). You will be able to use either one. Both will store data, so if you want to experiment you can. If you do not want to use it, you do not have to.

In the messenger program, which can send emails to large groups through infinite campus, you need to include your name and email in the body of the message. The email has a standard address, so parents will not be able to tell who the email is from if you don't include that. It is also good to include your name and the school in the subject line. Parents have been calling the front office questioning who these emails are from.

Also, you can create and save templates in the messenger so that you can reuse them. If you use the "failing grades notice template," then that is what is in the subject line of the email. If you create a new template called "Superior Work Notice," your parents will not get a heart attack. Be sure to test before you send, especially if you are copying and pasting, to make sure that it is not giving strange characters for the formatting.

On the teacher web pages, there is clip art available. While working on your web pages, put the cursor where you want it, and then hit the bottom right button in the manager, preview and insert the clip art.

To archive or unarchive a class:
When you click the My Classes link, you should see an area below the class list that displays the Archived classes.
 - Click the class name link for the Archived class to go to that online classroom.
 - Click Manage > Edit Class
 - Scroll to the bottom of the page and change the Class Status to Online then save.
This is really handy if you want all of your fall semester classes to not show up right now.

Notice, when you are working on your web pages in the design setting, there is a "History" link you can click on right next to the "Edit" link. You can recover any different version you have saved in the past. Very handy if you want to have your web page build over the year. You can make the different versions live as you progress through the year.

Using the portlets for unit specific information is also a nice way to keep content relevant. You can minimizing the portlet during all of the year except the one month you use it.

You can manually add students to your classes with the roster link. You can also add parents or staff. You can also send emails to groups of students from this area as well. You can also drop students who have moved.

There is a link,, where you can see the status of all of our sites. It also has the links and phone numbers for technical support. They are very upfront with all users, and they will be more than willing to help you out with any problems. They will be much more timely over breaks and weekends than the district technical department, though they are great too.