ITS NEWS

  • 1. Highlights of AR 6163.4 Student Use of Technology

    For your reference as you develop class rules and expectations. These policies describe the expectations for appropriate use of the District network and Internet system. 

    • Link to the MCS AR 6163.4 Student Use of Technology

      MCS AR 6163.4 Student Use of Technology link

    • Internet Safety Tutorial & Agreement (ISTA)

      All students must view the District’s online Internet Use Tutorial, pass the online test and agree to the District’s Acceptable Use Policy for Students before they can use the District’s technological resources.

    • A. Privacy and Security AR 6163.4 (a)
      • A. Privacy and Security 2. Students will only use their District-assigned accounts to access online resources. Students shall never use another student or staff member’s account to access District systems or the Internet.
      • A. Privacy and Security 5. Unless otherwise instructed by school personnel, students shall not disclose, use, or disseminate personal identification information about themselves or others when using email, chat rooms, blogs, wiki’s, social media sites, podcasts or other forms of direct electronic communication.
    • B. Online Behavior AR 6163.4 (b)
      • B. Online Behavior 1. Students shall not access, post, submit, publish, be in possession of, or display harmful or inappropriate matter that is threatening, obscene, disruptive, or sexually explicit, or that could be construed as harassment or disparagement of others based on their race/ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, or political beliefs.
      • B. Online Behavior 2. Students will not use obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, or disrespectful language in any electronic communications public or private using the District network or Internet resources.
      • B. Online Behavior 3. . Students shall not use the system to bully, threaten, intimidate, harass, or ridicule other students or staff, or people outside the District.
    • C. Inappropriate Use AR 6163.4 (b) and AR 6163.4 (c)
      • C. Inappropriate Use 1. Students shall not use the system to encourage the use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, nor shall they promote unethical practices or any activity prohibited by law, Board Policy, or Administrative Regulations.
      • C. Inappropriate Use 2. Students shall not use the District systems to facilitate criminal acts.
      • C. Inappropriate Use 3. Students shall not use electronic communication devices of any kind, Districtowned or personal, to bully or harass other students as defined in the Education Code, at any time, on or off school property.
      • C. Inappropriate Use 7. Students shall not plagiarize nor infringe on the copyrights of others.
  • 2. New Website Bookmarking and Staff Applications Page

    screenshot of new banner icons

    • New-look Staff Applications page

       

    • Webpage bookmarking
    • Application Favorities

      Favorite Apps graphic

  • 3. What's New With PowerTeacher Pro

    BRAND NEW AND IMPROVED – PowerTeacher Pro (PTP) represents the most significant improvement to the teacher gradebook EVER.  Over ten years in the making, PowerTeacher Pro was designed around the needs of teachers and administrators and feature. This is not one of those upgrades where they take the existing old code and try to tweak it to look like something new. This gradebook is a completely new application with most of the features we were accustomed to in the old gradebook. However, not all features have been added back yet.

    • PowerTeacher Pro Features
      • No More Java Dependencies!-  This means that the gradebook can be launched right from your attendance dashboard without installing any other software.
      • Mobile Responsive Design–  This means that the site will look the same no matter what kind of device you bring it up on (e.g. Surface Pro, laptop, tablet, smart phone…etc).
      • Built-In Progress Reporting-  Allows the teacher to track by individual student or whole class section.
      • Multiple Course Set-Up-  New assignments can be applied to multiple sections all at the same time (no more copy and paste).
      • Assignment Weighting When creating an assignment in PTP teachers can simply enter the points they want, click the "+Weight" button to add weighting, and in the two new boxes that appear (X Weight and Total Value) then can simply enter 100 in the Total Value box and PTP will calculate and fill in the X Weight value.
    • PTP for K6

      PowerTeacher Pro Standards based-gradebook offers new useful features for keeping track of grades and student mastery. The following handouts showcase how to use the new gradebook for only entering final grades when they are due or using assignments features throughout the school year that help to automatically calculate your final grades.

      Handout: K-6 How to Enter Final Grades in PowerTeacher Pro

      Handout: K-6 How to Enter Assignments in PowerTeacher Pro

    • Important Features Coming Soon

      COMING SOON – As mentioned in previous communications, there are some features that are in different stages of development that weren't expected to be ready until a little later in the year. These include the lack of a Section Readiness Report and awarding Variable Credit. The Section Readiness Report is in the final stages of testing.

    • Why the Change?

      Some gradebooks were developed over a period of 10 or more years. As a new product, PowerTeacher Pro is not going to have every single feature yet from PowerTeacher Gradebook. Nor is it going to do things in exactly the same manner as PowerTeacher Gradebook, especially when there is a better or more usable way.

      PowerTeacher Pro was built from the ground up as a brand new product, with feedback from thousands of teachers. The goal was to design a gradebook from scratch that provides the ultimate user experience. 18+ months of usability testing were done with teachers across the country. It’s true that PowerTeacher Pro does not have every feature of PowerTeacher. PowerTeacher Pro is constantly being enhanced. Because of the research and positive teacher feedback, PowerSchool has chosen this as the gradebook solution for all of its student information products. Now when a feature is added to PowerTeacher Pro, over 30% of all teachers in the country can potentially take advantage of it, across PowerSchool.

      As mentioned above, teachers in general do not like change. It’s important for them to realize all of the research and teacher feedback that went into PowerTeacher Pro. It is not designed as the next version of PowerTeacher Gradebook, and features will work in new and innovative ways. PowerTeacher Pro is being built as the next generation of teacher tools. No other gradebook on the market can match it for usability and the rich experience that it provides in a 100% web-based gradebook.

    • PTP Help Resources

      There are many resources available online anytime, anywhere to assist you with the transition to the PowerTeacher Pro (PTP) upgrade. More so than we've ever had with any other resource upgrade. Check out the video below to see all of the available help resources.

      • PTP Help Menu – The PTP Help Icon is accessible from eavery screen in PTP.
        • Help – multiple pages and videos with easy to navigate resources.
        • Tips and Tricks – Special section with tips and tricks to help you navigate PTP and customize it to your preferences. 
        • Getting Started – Quick overview showing the most relevant changes in PTP.
        • What's New – Short section that highlights new features in PTP that have been added.
        • Videos – embedded videos within PTP Help page to help you with everything from Assignments to Settings.
      • PowerSource

        Self-paced tutorials and Mastery in Minutes specifically for PTP. (See the MCS PowerSource webpage for more details.)

      • ITS PowerTeacher Website

        See the MCS PowerTeacher Pro webpage for more details.

    • VIDEO TUTORIALS

      Quick Tour PowerTeacher Pro

      Teacher Perspective Overview of PowerTeacher Pro (7:12)

      Deeper Look at PowerTeacher Pro (15:20)

  • 4. Tech Support Information
    • Contacting the Help Desk

      You can reach Help Desk at (209) 574-8600 or at helpdesk@monet.k12.ca.us.

      Step 1

      • Press 1 if you know your Employee ID or PowerSchool number. This helps us to collect your information to assist you better
      • Press 0 if you do not know your Employee ID or PowerSchool number

      Step 2

      • Press 1 for password/login issues
      • Press 2 for PowerSchool
      • Press 3 for MOSIS, Pay Claims, or MCSOnline
      • Press 4 for all other issues, which would include e-mail, hardware, or software
    • How to Reset Your Password Link

      MCS network password can now be reset on your own without the need to contact the Help Desk. The first step requires you to create a Password Reset account. Once that step has been completed, you can follow the steps in the FORGOT MY PASSWORD section below.

      • PASSWORD RESET ACCOUNT CREATION

      • FORGOT MY PASSWORD

    • Employee Self Serve (ESS) Information

      Employee Self Service (ESS) is a web portal that allows employees to quickly and easily view their own payroll history (check or direct deposit copies), W2s, leave balances, and other personnel information.

      For more information, please visit:  Employee Self Service.

  • 5. Classroom Management Considerations in a 1:1 Environment

    It seems that the Law of Technology deems that technology has the most challenges when you need it most. The better we understand how technology works and become problem solvers the better it will work for us when we need it most. Here are several tips and tricks to get you started. 

    • SOLVING ROUTINE PROBLEMS WITH THE TEACHER DEVICE

      Q - How to power restart my Surface Pro?
      A - Press and hold the volume-up buttton and the power button at the same time for at least 15 seconds and then release both. The screen may flash the Surface logo, but continue holding the buttons down for at least 15 seconds. After you release the buttons, wait about 10 seconds then power it back on.  

      Q - My keyboard cover or touch screen does not work anymore on the Surface Pro?
      A - Try detaching and reataching the keyboard cover to the Surface Pro. Make sure the connection is good. If still not working then restart your device. If it continues to not work after that then call or email the Help Desk.  

      Q - My stylus pen does not work on my Surface Pro?
      A - Try pairing your Surface Pen with your Surface again. How to pair your Surface Pen with your Surface tutorial. If it continues to not work after that then call or email the Help Desk.  

      Q - My Surface is not connected to any printers
      A - Call or email the Help Desk and they can connect your Surface to the printers for you. 

      Q - Do teachers take their Surface Pro and accessories with them if they move to a different school or is it left at the school site?
      A - The Surface Pro and accessories are assigned to the School Site and not to the individual. If staff moves to a different school site then the Surface Pro and accessories will stay with the site. The staff would then be issued devices from the new school site when they arrive.

      Q - Will the Surface Pro have a program to view the student computers and what students are doing? How do I get that on my Surface?
      A - The new program is called LanSchool. It should be installed on both the teacher and student device. If not then call or email the Help Desk and they can install it for you.

      Q - How are Windows, Flash, Java, Windows being updated on the Surface Pro
      A - Updates are sent to our devices 24/7 now. Meaning you don’t have to sign out or leave your device on over night to get updates. Whenever the device is connected to the Internet at the School Site or home it will receive updates now. 

      Q - How do I open or save to OneDrive Modesto City Schools from Microsoft Office desktop programs like Word, Excel, or PowerPoint?
      A - Call or email the Help Desk and ask them to fix the Windows Registry for the Sign In Options with Office to be a value of 0. 

      Q - How do I type accent marks and choose different languages on the keyboard cover and Surface Pro ?
      A - Check out this video we created at https://youtu.be/BKpuLQlDazQ that features how to do this.

      Q - How do I do a screenshot?
      A - This amazing video we created will show you how at https://youtu.be/8QVJDpx7DSo

      Q - How do I make a website or program application a tile on the Start Screen
      A - Your just in luck because we have a video that shows how to do this at https://youtu.be/VpFWbh_pK0k

      Q - Are there a list of shortcuts for using Windows and Office like what to use for Cut, Copy, and Paste?
      A - The following web links showcase shortcuts for Windows 8.1shortcuts for Windows 10 – extensive list of Microsoft Office keyboard shortcuts

      Q – I lost my stylus pen for my Surface Pro, how do I get a new one?
      A – To replace a lost stylus pen you will need to go through your school site admin to complete a requisition to purchase another one

      Q – I need more USB ports than what is on the Surface Pro and docking station, do we have a USB hub I can get?
      A – Yes, you can call or email the Help Desk and request a USB Hub. From this request the school site tech will be assigned to evaluate the need of the USB Hub and if they deem that you need one will issue one to the staff member.

      Q – What do the different light colors mean on the WiFi Access Points?
      A – Blue light means that 1 or more devices are connected; Green light means no devices are connected to it but it is working normally; Blinking Green light means the Access Point is being updated with new software; Blinking Red light means it cannot connect to the wirless controller

    • SOLVING ROUTINE PROBLEMS WITH THE WIDI (WIRELESS DISPLAY)

      Q - Why does the WiDi cut out all the time when I am connected to it?
      A - WiDi like the Internet Access Points on the ceiling that broadcast WiFi use two different bands of radio signals at 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Sometimes these radio signals can interfere with each other and cancel each other out. If you have problems call or email the Help Desk. The first then they will do is update the firmware on the WiDi device. If you continue to have problems let the Help Desk know as they will have a school site tech evaluate other possible solutions. 

      Q - I cannot connect to my WiDi, what should I do?
      A – If you can not connect to your WiDi or it continually stops your casting sessions then call or email the Help Desk. They will evaluate the causes for possible updates to the WiDi device or other solutions they can offer.
      1st step is to make sure that he WiDi is positioned so it is open to the classroom and not underneath any shelves, media cart, or behind an object. You want the WiDi to be facing out to the open as much as possible. Try to reconnect after moving the WiDi more in the open.
      2nd step is to restart the WiDi by unplugging the power cord to the WiDi and plugging it back in. Try to reconnect.
      3rd step if that does not work then restart both the WiDi, like you did before and restart your Surface device and try to reconnect.

    • PLAN B WHEN WI-FI IS DOWN

      If Wi-Fi is down or is scheduled to be offline there are still things you can do. Applications on both the teacher and student device such as PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and Paint programs will still work to do presentations and work with. If you know a schedule when Wi-Fi will be down for maintenance you can download your presentations, images, and take screenshots of what you would have like to show the students. 

      When Wi-Fi does go down, the only thing we can control is how we react to it. We can model in these situations for students how we handle problems and frustrations.  

      What do the different light colors mean on the WiFi Access Points? Blue light means that 1 or more devices are connected; Green light means no devices are connected to it but it is working normally; Blinking Green light means the Access Point is being updated with new software; Blinking Red light means it cannot connect to the wirless controller

    • SOLVING ROUTINE PROBLEMS WITH THE STUDENT DEVICE

      ALWAYS RESTART THE DEVICE AND TRY IT AGAIN BEFORE GOING TO THE TECH DEPT

      Student forgot their password:
      The teacher can use the new Student Password Reset website 
      http://mcs-apps/spr/

      Cannot connect to the Internet: try having the student connect to MCS-WiFi on their device again. Sometimes the device might lose connection when they go from one classroom to another. The “Airplane” mode on the device might have accidently been set by the student. There is a keyboard key for the Airplane mode that can get pressed. Just have the student tap that key and it will toggle itself on and off for Airplane mode. When Airplane mode is on then they will not be able to get Internet access so you want to make sure that Airplane mode is off. 

      Windows Updates: Students don’t need to do anything special to recieve updates. Much like the teacher device, updates go out all the time, and student devices will randomly pick up these over-the-air updates. Most updates are scheduled around school hours, so there should be little disruption during class time.

      Screen is sideways: If the screen is rotated sideways you can use this keyboard shortcut to rotate it back. CTRL + ALT + up arrow key on keyboard. Keep doing this until it is rotated the correct way.

      Inverted Colors on the screen: Windows Ease of Access has accessbility items such as inverting colors. To turn this off you can use the keyboard shortcut keys of Windows Key + U to open Ease of Access window. From here on the left side select Maginfer and then click the switch to turn off Invert Colors item. 

      Tablet Mode is turned on: If the student device is stuck on a screen filled with tiles, it’s probably in tablet mode. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + A to open the Action Center. Look for the “Tablet Mode” tile along the bottom of the pane that opens and tap on it to turn the mode off.

      Dimmed Screen: Students sometime dim their screen to save battery. To dim or brighten the screen, use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + A to open the Action Center. Look for the “Brightness” tile along the bottom and tap on it to cycle through brightness levels until you find one suitable.

      Students should NOT save to desktop: Not only does saving to the desktop create a ton of clutter, but student work saved to the desktop isn’t backed up any where. To ensure student work is backed up on the network drive, students should save to “My Documents” on their device. OneDrive or Google drive are also great options!

      Sleep Mode accidently on: If a student device randomly goes to sleep, moving the trackpad or tapping a few keys should be sufficient to wake the device back up. The device will have locked when it went to sleep, so students will need to reenter their passwords. If the device goes to sleep rather quickly, students can change the sleep timer. They can click in the Search box next to the Windows icon and search for sleep. The device should bring up “Power and Sleep Settings” as an option in the search results. Students can click on that, then choose an appropriate amout of time.

      No Logon Servers Error Message: This message just means too many people are trying to login at once. Simply wait a couple minutes and try again. If it’s still not working, double check the device is connected to WiFi. If you are connected to WiFi and still can’t login after several attempts, call the Help Desk.

      Physical Windows Button: Student devices have a physical button with the Windows logo on it. That button opens the Start Menu, just like tapping the Windows button on a regular keyboard, or clicking the Windows icon in the bottom left corner.

      Student Email Address: All students have email accounts throught Office 365. A student’s email is their ID number followed by @monet.k12.ca.us. Example: 123456@monet.k12.ca.us. Students can sign into Office 365 with this email and the same password they use for their device.

    • SOLVING ROUTINE PROBLEMS WITH THE C.O.W.s (COMPUTER ON WHEELS)

      Here is a handout for maintining C.O.W.s at a school site.  

    • TROUBLESHOOTING MODEL

      Restart: the number one troubleshooting tip from any tech giz wiz is to restart the device if you are having trouble and see if the problems still exist. If it does you will want to let the Help Desk know about it. The teacher and student device also lets you do a Power Restart if things are not working. The teacher device you hold the physical buttons on the device for volume-up button and the power button at the same time for at least 15 seconds and then release both. The screen may flash the Surface logo, but continue holding the buttons down for at least 15 seconds. After you relase the buttons, wait about 10 seconds then power it back on. On the student device just hold the power button down for 15 seconds then power it back on.

      Become a Problem Solver: document problems and solutions that happen in the classroom with the devices. You will start to find that these will be about 80% of the challenges and you will have documentation how to quickly resolve them and continue on with little downtime.

      Report: document the technology troubles, device names, and what you have done already to try to solve the problems and report them to the Help Desk by email at helpdesk@monet.k12.ca.us or by phone at 209-574-8600.

      Google the Problem: see if there is a solution to the technology problem

      Learning Lesson: use it as a teachable moment to model for students how to handle frustratoins and problems. Ask students “What would you do?” and see if they can work together to problem solve. This would involve students in communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. 

    • HELP DESK ASSISTANCE

      Document the technology problems, device names, and what you have done already to try to solve the problems and report them to the Help Desk by email at helpdesk@monet.k12.ca.us or by phone at 209-574-8600