Free PD

It’s that time of year again! That’s right, it’s time for Free PD!

These courses and more are available through REMC:

Literacy Logo

OER to Support Early Literacy

Starts January 7, 2019
6 SCECHs available

Register for OER to Support Early Literacy»

 

Student-design OER for 21st Century Learning

Student-designed OER for 21st Century Learning

Starts January 7, 2019
6 SCECHs available

Register for Student-designed OER for 21st Century Learning »

 

Inquiry & Questioning: Igniting Student Curiosity

Inquiry & Questioning: Igniting Student Curiosity with Technology, Level 1

Starts January 7, 2019
6 SCECHs available

Register for Inquiry & Questioning: Igniting Student Curiosity with Technology, Level 1 »

 

Authentic Student Learning & Gamification

Authentic Student Learning & Gamification

Starts January 7, 2019
6 SCECHs available

Register for Authentic Student Learning & Gamification »

 

Efficiency Logo

Increasing Efficiency & Productivity

Starts January 7, 2019
10 SCECHs available

Register for Increasing Efficiency & Productivity»

 

Transforming Education - Maker Movement

Transforming Education – Maker Movement

Starts January 7, 2019
10 SCECHs available

Register for Transforming Education – Maker Movement »

 

Applying Google Apps for Education in Chrome

Applying Google Apps for Education in Chrome, Level 1

Starts January 7, 2019
6 SCECHs available

Register for Applying Google Apps for Education in Chrome, Level 1»

A few thoughts on the new phone system…

As you know, we are currently installing a new phone system. This is a massive project that is nearing completion. There are a couple of reasons why we needed to install a new phone system.

  • Our previous system was no longer supported
  • The phones from our previous system were breaking at a rapid clip. These were getting extremely difficult to replace
  • Michigan passed e911 legislation

e911

Michigan has passed e911 legislation. This essentially says that we need to be able to send first responders (police officers, EMS, fire, etc) directly to a room, not just a building. Under our old current system, only a building address is sent. With the new system, we will be able to send those first responders to the exact room that called. This could literally save a life. However, this also means that we need to know exactly which room every phone is in. I will be providing our first responders with a list of phone numbers, rooms and floor plans. This will allow our first responders to know which room to go to when 911 is called. The first responders will be able to review the building map on the way to the emergency.

Mobility Extension

We will no longer be offering mobility extension. This is due to the e911 legislation above. Mobility extension allows for a phone number to “travel” to different phones. Obviously, this would cause great confusion to our first responders. Not only could they go to the wrong room, but they could go to the wrong building.

However, we do understand that we have phone numbers that are assigned to people and not places. So, we will be assigning those “extension mobility” numbers as a second (or third, fourth, fifth) number on a phone in a room. This means that a phone may ring in multiple buildings.

Voicemail

Once we have just one phone system running, we will be able to turn on Gmail sync. This will allow for all users to listen to their voicemail right in their email. Once it is marked as listened to in email, it will also be marked as listened to in the phone system. If the voicemail is deleted in email, it will also be deleted in the phone system.

Currently, voicemails are delivered to email, but the sync is not yet active.

Main office personnel are set up as “delegates” for the main number and attendance number for their school. This allows them to easily check the main line and attendance line voicemails on their computer. Plus, the messages stay “in sync” for all members of the office.

Phone placement

We are mounting most phones. There are two reasons for this:

  • To comply with e911 laws
  • To reduce/prevent breakage

Phones are being mounted in most classrooms. This helps to make sure that phones remain where we placed them. Remember, for 911, we will provide a spreadsheet to the 911 call center with phone numbers and room numbers. This list won’t regularly change. It needs to be relied upon for life saving decision making.

As a side benefit, phones that are mounted suffer much less breakage.

Please remember that individuals move from room to room. Additionally, some teachers like to “change it up” in terms of the room layout and decor (that would be me in the classroom). However, we can’t regularly move phones due to individual preference. Thus, we established as much of a standard as possible.

Tips

To help new users, we have created a Classroom and Office Phone Basics Page. This page is still under development. It was the intent from the beginning to select a phone system that is easy to use. We didn’t want to be in a situation where users needed a ton of training.

Free EduPaths courses.

Interested in earning 20+ FREE SCECHs? Join our MOOC!

What is a MOOC? A MOOC is a Massively Open Online Course. This course connects you with educators around the state as you discuss Technology Integration Models, participate in EduPaths courses, and put your new skills to work in your classroom or with staff.20+ SCECHs available for FREE! That equals 1 graduate credit!! Click the link below to learn more.

Register for the MOOC 2018-19.

Courses in the Arts, Health/PE & World Language/ELs

Every summer, EduPaths works with educators around the state to develop courses in certain target areas. Summer 2018 our target areas were the Arts, Health/PE & World Languages/ELs.If you have colleagues who are looking for support in these content areas, share these resources with them.

The Arts

The list below are approved courses and have been, or are waiting to be, published. The linked titles are published courses. The remaining list will be published through early Spring 2019. Use the live links below to get started!

Still to be published in 2018-19 – tentative dates listed:

  • Technology in the Music Classroom – Part 1 (mid December 2018)
  • Technology in the Music Classroom – Part 2 (mid December 2018)
  • The MAEIA Arts Assessment Tools for Arts Educators – Part 1 (mid December 2018)
  • The MAEIA Arts Assessment Tools for Arts Educators – Part 2 (mid December 2018)
  • The MAEIA Arts Assessment Tools for Arts Educators – Part 3 (end of January 2019)
  • The MAEIA Arts Assessment Tools for Arts Educators – Part 4 (end of January 2019)
  • Using Visual Arts to Showcase Student Research is Important for Student Growth (end of January 2019)
  • Using Stop Motion and Green Screens to Showcase Student Research (end of January 2019)
  • Authentic Assessment in the Arts – Part 1 (end of March 2019)
  • Authentic Assessment in the Arts – Part 2 (end of March 2019)

Health & P.E. Courses

The list below are approved courses and have been, or are waiting to be, published. The linked titles are published courses. The remaining list will be published through early Spring 2019. Use the live links below to get started!

Still to be published in 2018-19 – tentative dates listed:

  • Introduction to Lifelong Physical Activities (mid December 2018)
  • Teaching Lifelong Physical Activities (mid December 2018)
  • The Physically Literate Elementary Classroom – Part 1 (mid December 2018)
  • The Physically Literate Elementary Classroom – Part 2 (mid December 2018)
  • Fuel Your Tank with Premium: Making healthy choices to keep your body running at it’s best – Part 1 (end of January 2019)
  • Fuel Your Tank with Premium: Making healthy choices to keep your body running at it’s best – Part 2 (end of January 2019)
  • Everyday Games in Physical Education – Part 1 (end of January 2019)
  • Everyday Games in Physical Education – Part 2 (end of January 2019)
  • Teaching Intersectionality in Health Education – Part 1 (end of February 2019)
  • Teaching Intersectionality in Health Education – Part 2 (end of February 2019)
  • Effective Lesson Structure in P.E. – Part 1 (end of March 2019)
  • Effective Lesson Structure in P.E. – Part 2 (end of March 2019)

World Language & English Learners

The list below are approved courses and have been, or are waiting to be, published. The linked titles are published courses. The remaining list will be published through early Spring 2019. Use the live links below to get started!

Still to be published in 2018-19 – tentative dates listed:

  • Teaching English as a Second Language – Part 1 (end of January 2018)
  • Teaching English as a Second Language – Part 2 (end of January 2018)
  • Effective Technology in the World Language Classroom – Part 1 (end of February 2019)
  • Effective Technology in the World Language Classroom – Part 2 (end of February 2019)
  • Technology in the World Language Classroom: Working Toward Proficiency – Part 1 (end of March 2019)
  • Technology in the World Language Classroom: Working Toward Proficiency – Part 2 (end of March 2019)

 

Help Needed?

Looking for tips? How about some tricks?

We have a variety of Help Sheets posted. The latest ones include Interactive Projector tips. Many of these fall into the “one minute” category (meaning they take about one minute to read and implement).

Here are a couple of examples:

Password Management

You may have heard of the recent Facebook account compromised. Maybe you’ve received an email stating that your webcam shows….(we’ve had several people received these). That email may also list your user name and a password that you’ve actually used.

What does this mean to me?

Password management is an important issue and skill that you need to develop. Since there are people out there who would like to use this for their own gain (which can be stealing money, stealing your identity, or just making things difficult for you), you should proactively protect yourself.

What should I do?

In short, use a different password at every single site that you visit.

How do I do that?

There is no way that you could realistically remember that many different, complex passwords. I advise that you get a password manager.

What’s a Password manager?

A password manager is a program that, well, manages your password.

What are my options?

Here are a few choices (that I’ve used):

Other options (I don’t have any experience with these):

Which one should I get?

That’s really a personal preference. Most of these are a paid option/program. Some offer free options. (This is one of those things that I’m definitely willing to pay for.) You should check to make sure that your choice supports all the devices that you use. You should also check your use case. For example, some have free plans if you only use one device. (Personally, I use 1Password. I have paid for and used it for many years. Other team members use Passpack, Dashlane and Lastpass). The best ones allow you to enter your password in a browser extension and that fills in your password.

What about saving passwords in the browser?

We strongly advise AGAINST doing this. Saved passwords in a browser lack almost any security at all. The security standards aren’t nearly as robust for web browsers. If anyone gets any access to your computer while you are signed in, they would have access to everything.

Anything else I should do?

Yes, turn on 2 factor authentication wherever you can. Google offers 2 step authentication. So does Apple.

Gmail Interface

According to the latest schedule, as of October 16th, 2018, any users who’ve opted out of the new Gmail will be automatically migrated to the new experience.

They won’t be able to opt out after that date. Users who’ve already transitioned to the new Gmail will lose the ability to opt out as well.

I’m reminded of the adage that the only one who likes change is a wet baby.

So, why is Gmail changing?

  1. Increased security
  2. Updated code
  3. Better integration with other tools

Personally, I like the new interface. It provides some good tools to increase efficiency. However, I understand that not everyone feels the same way. Increasing security is an extremely important consideration at this point of the Internet development. You can choose to switch back and forth between the versions until October 16th. Then, the decision on which to use will be easy smile.png.

Gmail Interface

Google has “helpfully” switched everyone over to the new Gmail interface. While we really, really like the new interface, we understand that some may prefer the older interface. At this point, you can still switch back by using the setting menu. According to the release calendar, as of October 16th, everyone will be switched to the new interface permanently.

Some of the features that we really like about the new interface:

  • access to Calendar on a side panel
  • access to Tasks on a side panel
  • Smart replies
  • cleaner interface
  • Display density (more control over how much space email takes up)
  • Follow up reminder

 

WordPress App

For a long time, we’ve noted how nice it is to use the WordPress app to post to blogs. Sadly, because of bad actors and security concerns, we can no longer use the app. There is an issue in how the WordPress app integrates with a WordPress web site that allows for massive attacks.

So, for now, we have to block the WordPress app integration.

We hope that with updates, WordPress app integration can be restored. If it is, we will certainly let you know.

For now, all users will need to sign in through a browser in order to post to iBlog.

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