Friday, August 30, 2013

AverVision U15: A better document camera that also records flipped lessons

The AverVision U15 document camera is the replacement for our older AverVision 300p document cameras. These new cameras have several distinct advantages:
  1. It is a full HD video camera that records at 30 frames per second
  2. It takes snapshots which you can save to a flash drive built into the camera
  3. It has a built-in microphone for recording your classroom presentations
  4. Its arm is flexible to allow you to adjust the angle and distance of your recordings
  5. It connects through a USB cable which removes some clutter from your workspace

The Sphere software that comes with the U15 document camera allows you to record your lessons and upload them to YouTube or Dropbox which can then be linked to your class in Schoology.  Sphere allows you to record from the document camera or your computer screen, annotate your lessons, and record voice to make compelling videos. (Download Sphere here.)

There is one difference to remember in using the new camera. The U15 runs through the desktop computer in your classroom through a USB cable. To use the camera, turn on the computer and open the Sphere software which is in a folder called AVer Information Inc. You do not have to click the button choosing between the document camera and the computer anymore - simply open the Sphere camera software to begin using the document camera. 

The picture quality going to your classroom projector is much better for two reasons. First, the new cameras have full HD video quality with an auto-focus lens. Second, the shakiness of the image on your projector will go away because the video signal is no longer running from your computer to the document camera to the projector. By eliminating that extra cable the signal is much improved.

Follow this link to the support page for the AverVision U15 document camera: <

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Students and faculty need to register their iPad using SMM

Symantec Mobile Management logo
Symantec Mobile Management (SMM) is an app that allows our school district's technology staff to deliver apps, documents, and even wireless network passcodes to all of our school-owned iPads. It takes less than two minutes for a student or teacher to register their iPad using SMM. Once the iPad is registered, we can wirelessly push out free and paid apps to anyone at any time.

To begin, go to the App Store on your iPad and search for SMM. Look for the icon like this. Download the app to your iPad.

The next steps must be taken while you are in Fremd High School. You cannot complete this process from home. For those of you from one of the other four high schools in the district you can still follow these directions, but you will need to be in your own school.

Open the SMM app. Click OK or Accept to every question it asks of you.

Now you need to enroll yourself with the SMM app.  The first box asks you to enter an email or a URL. Do NOT use your email address. Enter this exactly as it appears: and then click on Enroll. If you are at a different high school, use your school letter code (i.e. phs or chs). Click on Accept to any questions it asks you.

Enter your username and password into the SMM app. The username is d211/ followed by your username. For teachers, it would look like this d211/ksorensen and for students it will look like this d211/sorensen2120 with the four digits being part of your specific computer username. If you do not remember your username you can ask your teacher or visit the technology center. The password for teachers is your usual computer password, and for students it is your six digit ID number. Click on the Enroll button to continue. Click on Accept to any questions it asks you.

Continue installing the app by clicking on Accept, Continue, or Install to every question it asks you.  When you get to the box that says Done you can click on Done and close the app.

It can take up to an hour for your wireless keys to download.  In the meantime, continue to use the guest network.  If the school is pushing out apps then the apps will appear in a self-service portal in SMM but it can take up to an hour for those to appear as well.

Go to Symantec's website to learn more about their Symantec Mobile Management software.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Back up your data to iCloud before you turn in your old iPad or set up your new iPad

iCloud is a service from Apple that lets you back up 5GB of data to their servers. Backing up your iPad to iCloud allows you to do two very valuable things: you can recover your data in case your iPad is lost, stolen, or broken; and you can copy nearly everything from your old iPad to your new iPad in a matter of minutes.

Specifically, teachers or students who sometimes turn in their ipads at some point and then have a new iPad issued to them later should use iCloud. Back up your old iPad and then turn it in. When you get your new iPad, you can restore all your apps and settings on the new iPad. Your new iPad will look and act much like your old one. 

This will also work if you own your own iPad at home, but then you are issued another one through school. You can "copy" your personal iPad's data, apps, and settings to your school-issued iPad very easily.

What exactly gets backed up? Photos, videos, and all of your purchased apps are among the most important things. There are others, of course, but these are the big three. The entire list of things that get backed up can be found on a different Apple page called "iCloud Backup." 

Photos and videos take up a lot of space. You could easily exceed your free 5GB of space in photos alone. If you exceed your free 5GB you only have two viable options: move your data to another location like Google or Dropbox which offer much more free storage than Apple, or you can buy more space through Apple's iCloud service. 

Do you need directions on how to back up your iPad? Read Apple's KB article called "iOS: How to back up and restore your content." You can find the backup feature by going to Settings -> iCloud -> Storage & Backup on your iPad 2, 3, or 4. 

Advanced users might be using iTunes Backup instead of iCloud. Some of you might be using BOTH at the same time. If you want to learn which one is best, or if you are interested in why you would use both at the same time, read the Apple article called, "Choosing an iOS backup method (Should I use iTunes or iCloud to back up my iOS device?)."

iPad distribution to Fremd High School students (2013)

Students can pick up their iPads on Monday, August 19 from 1:30pm to 8:00pm and on Tuesday, August 20 from 9:30 to 3:30.  Both of these dates are before the first day of school. If a student cannot pick up his/ her iPad on August 19 or 20 then once school begins the technology center will be open from 7am to 4pm each day. Students will be able to pick up their iPads before school, after school or during a free period.

Students and parents were notified of the iPad distribution dates through a physical letter mailed to their homes and through an update posted to all FHS students via Schoology.  Students will turn in their iPad Loan Agreement Form and their Insurance Form if they are choosing to purchase insurance (it is highly recommended, and the cost has been reduced this year).

Once those forms are turned in, students will be given their iPad, protective case, power block and Lightning cable. They will be able to set up their iPads by following the directions posted to Schoology and also by following along with videos that will be playing in the Media Center.

It is highly recommended that students know their usernames and passwords for Google, Apple ID, and Schoology before they arrive. It will make the process go much faster. If they do not know their usernames or passwords or if they do not have accounts set up ahead of time we will be able to help them.

The overall purpose of distributing iPads before school begins is to avoid using classroom time to set up iPads. Classroom time is extremely valuable, and one thing we heard loud and clear last year is that teachers do not want to waste a single day of instruction.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Update your contact info in Outlook

If you have switched schools, switched departments, been promoted, or entered into matrimony in the last five years then it is quite possible that your contact information in our email system is incorrect. It could also be incorrect in Schoology, Infinite Campus, Mastery Manager, or some other location. We'll get to that in just a moment.

Outlook contact information
Check the information listed in Outlook and submit a Help Desk request under the heading "Email -> Other" if a correction is needed. Check the information by following the directions below.

  1. Open a new message in Outlook, and put your own name in the "To..." field
  2. Right click on your name and choose Contact Card
  3. Check the information in the Contact tab. Your department, office (school initials - FHS), and office phone number are in this field. 
  4. Check the information in "Member of" field. This is a list of the email groups you belong to. Be careful when you request to leave an email group because your boss might think otherwise!
Outlook Contact Card

Outlook contact information

Outlook email groups

If you have recently begun or ended a marriage then a name change might be in order. Be sure to file the Change of Status paperwork with the district Human Resource department to begin the process. Once you receive notification that HR has processed the paperwork then we can help change your name for your network account (computer logon), email address, and all the other software based on your name or email address.

Schoology, Infinite Campus and Mastery Manager
Your username or contact information might also be incorrect in the major software suites we use in our school. We can correct most issues related to names and email addresses. We can also fix your home school in Schoology if it is incorrect. File a Help Desk ticket under the "Other" category for any name change-related requests. Be sure to file the paperwork with HR if it is needed!

New printer names, new printers, color printers, and printing to the Xerox

New printer names
The printers will be renamed using the room number where the printer is located. The printer name will usually end with a 1 but if there is more than one printer in the room then the name might end in a 2 or a 3. For example, a printer in room 2 where there is only one printer will be named FHS-002-1. In room 178 there are three printers which are named FHS-178-1, FHS-178-2, and FHS-178-3. 

Every printer will be labeled on its front panel with its new name. If you want to add a printer, you can see the printer name right on the front of the printer and then add it to your computer by following this link <http://fhsvhprint1/Printers/>. 

New printers
HP 525dn - scan and email documents

The last few outdated printers have been replaced with three different printer models. Nearly all monochrome printers are now four years old or newer.  

The HP 401dn is a small printer than prints 35 pages per minute and can handle up to 50,000 pages per month. 

The HP 601dn is a larger printer than prints 45 pages per minute and can handle up to 175,000 pages per month. 

The HP 525dn is a multi-function printer that can be used to scan documents and email them as PDFs to any email address. There are several in the building including in the technology office. Feel free to use the 525dn any time our doors our open.

Color printers
Color printing has been declining for several years due to the increase in posting presentations and materials online. Students provide a color-rich presentation when using a projector in front of their peers, and they submit their work to the teacher through Schoology, Google, Dropbox, or the school shared drive.

The number of color printers will begin to decrease over time. They will not go away entirely, but some color printers will not be replaced once they pass their life cycle. 

Printing to the Xerox
You can send any of your printed work to the Xerox which allows you to print double-sided, collate, and staple your work. It can handle large print jobs, too. You can skip the faculty services line and print it directly to the Xerox yourself. If you are printing off old files that are not saved to your computer, take that stack of files to the technology office and scan them as PDFs. Then print them on the Xerox.

Add the Xerox to your printer list by going to <http://fhsvhprint1/Printers/> and add the last printer on the list Xerox Teachers HOLD.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Bring your laptop in for a check up

Have you brought your computer in for a check-up lately? Drop it off in the technology department so we can get it running as good as new!

I know what you're going to say: "I don't want my computer re-imaged!" It's a valid statement. 
So there are two options for you that will be available starting August 12, 2013.

Option one: the check-up
We will simply run updates and check your laptop for viruses. We will also clean your keyboard and screen, replace your battery to give your computer longer life, and label your power cord so your coworkers stop "borrowing" yours. That's it! We promise.

Option two: full re-image
All of your software will be updated when your computer is re-imaged. This helps to guarantee that your computer is running best, but it also means that you need to back up all your data (files, photos, songs, etc.) before you turn it in. You should keep your files online anyway (Google Docs, Dropbox, or H Drive) but if you leave something on your computer then it will be erased. So be careful! Your computer will still get a nice cleaning and a new laptop battery, too.

Option three: Office 2013 AND Windows 8
Wait, there were only supposed to be two options. Where did this magical third choice come from? Well, FHS teachers, you are in for an amazing year. Option three is the installation of Office 2013 on your laptop. This will NOT require a re-imaging of your computer. (Don't forget, you can buy Office 2013 for your home computer for about $10.)

Windows 8 is also coming to your laptop. Lenovo tablet users will be especially interested in Windows 8. Get more from your touch-screen computer with Windows 8.  This will not be available until late September as Microsoft has not officially released a major update to Windows 8. Your computer WILL need to be re-imaged if you want Windows 8, so back it up accordingly.

Rules and Terms
Yes, there are rules to this amazing offer. First, you need to bring your computer in before 9 am if you want it back by the end of the day. Second, we will NOT be able to update any computers on August 19, 20 or 21 due to last-minute requests related to the first day of school. I don't think there is a third condition, but I reserve the right to add one later if needed.

One-to-one teachers can pick up their iPad 4s

FHS teachers in the one-to-one program can trade in their iPad 2s for their iPad 4s beginning Tuesday, August 6, 2013.  Please bring your iPad 2, power cord, and case when you are ready to turn it in.

The technology office's summer hours are 8am to 3pm.