Due to a critical update, we need to upgrade iLearn at the end of the day today. Please note that iLearn may be unavailable for a bit starting at 3:30. This update will also address some performance issues.
In order to apply timely security patches and perform necessary infrastructure upgrades the Wayne RESA networking/server team needs to have an entire Sunday available every quarter. School district staff may experience intermittent outages of services on Sunday April 14, 2019 between 8 AM and 4 PM due to the activity in the data center.
Libraries (Media Centers) play an integral role in education. Dearborn is proud of the great work that our Media Specialists do every day.
April 2019: School Library Month
SCHOOL LIBRARY MONTH
WHEREAS, effective school library programs staffed by certified school librarians/library media specialists are integral to a quality educational program and have a high impact on increasing student achievement; and,
WHEREAS, effective school library programs contribute to a well-rounded education and positively affect the climate and culture of schools; and,
WHEREAS, effective school library programs equalize access to print and digital resources for all students; and,
WHEREAS, school librarians/library media specialists teach students the skills they need to access, evaluate, and use information throughout their lives; and,
WHEREAS, school librarians/library media specialists are leaders in technology integration and digital learning in their schools; and,
WHEREAS, school libraries not only are places where information can be found, but also are places that can bring pleasure and recreation to students for many years to come; and,
WHEREAS, effective school library programs contribute to an interest in lifelong learning and enhance the learner’s quality of life;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of the State of Michigan, do hereby proclaim the month of April 2019 as School Library Month in all public schools in the State of Michigan, and I urge all school boards, superintendents, school administrators, teachers, students, and citizens to join me in recognizing school libraries for the outstanding services they provide.
The web is an ever-changing landscape. Here are some upcoming changes in Google Applications:
Calendar Event Creators
You will soon be able to tell who booked a room on the Room Resource. In Find a Time, simply hover over the event and you will see who Created (thus booked the room) the event. This can be extremely useful when you need to see if someone can “swap” a room with you.
Priority page in Drive
You can access the Priority page from the left-hand navigation panel in Drive. Some features you’ll see on the Priority page include:
- Here you’ll see the documents we think are most relevant to you right now. These machine-learning-powered suggestions are based on various signals from your activity. On each suggested document, you can also take actions in line, without navigating to the doc in question, like replying to a comment or reviewing recent edits.
- In Workspaces, you’ll be able to see intelligent suggestions of related content to group together for easier access— like multiple files related to the same project.
- You can also create your own personalized Workspaces collecting any files you have access to, including content stored in your My Drive and various Team Drives.
- Right-click on any file and select Add to Workspace to dynamically group files as you work.
Availability: Rolling out throughout April
Tasks – Start Times, Repeating Tasks & Import Reminders
Google is adding three highly-requested features to Tasks. You can now:
- Set a date and time for your tasks and receive notifications
- Create repeating tasks
- Import reminders into Tasks
Images in Google Sheets
Google has made it simpler to add images inside of cells in Google Sheets.
- Via the menu bar at the top of a Sheet: Insert > Image > Image in cell
- Tap once on a cell to select
- Tap again to bring up menu: Insert > Tap the “+” at the top of the screen > Image > Image in cell
Availability: Rolling by April 15th
REMC Virtual Courses 2019
The REMC Virtual Courses are free and open to Michigan school personnel. You can take courses “just to learn” or complete the course and assignments and earn SCECH credits.
All the courses are facilitated by Michigan educators. The courses last three weeks and consists of two one-hour webinars and four to eight hours of resource review, assessment development, discussion boards, and written reflection. SCECHs range from 6 – 10 depending on the course.
New Courses start on April 8th.
- Literacy Instruction and Technology: Foundational Elements, Level 1
- Inquiry and Questioning: Igniting Student Curiosity with Technology, Level 1
- Media Literacy: Fake or Real
- Authentic Student Learning & Gamification
- The What, Why, and How of Open Educational Resources (OER)
- Social Media: Professional Development through Social Media, Level 1
- Dynamic Presentations
Chrome extensions can be wonderful. These can add great functionality to the Chrome browser. Unfortunately, Chrome extensions can also be used by those with ill intent. Recently, we have seen a rash of employees having trouble with their browsers due to installing a Chrome extension. Many of these users didn’t even realize that they installed the extensions. For instance, I received this email just the other day:
FYIWhen I posted my blog today, three advertisement links popped up
For some reason my browser has been acting up and will not let me go to google images. Can I please get this fixed? It says “web page blocked” when I try to open a new tab in chrome.
Installed extensions (Ads)
Here is a list of some extensions that employees have installed:
- Ad Offers by GameDaddio
- Ad Offers by GamesChill
- Ad Offers by MapsScout
- Advertising by Entrality
- Advertising Offers by PlayZiz
- ArcadeFiesta Advertising
- ArcadeFrontier Ads
- ArcadeStar Advertising
- Ball Pin Pal Ad
- Battle Terrain Advertising
- BoredPlay Advertising
- BrainyZanyGames ads
You can see a general trend here (and we didn’t even make it out of the B’s).
Why is this a problem?
Ad sites frequently send the user to a different place. As you can see from the emails above, this can lead to frustration. This is also a potential security risk. As the bad actors get more sophisticated, the potential for harm increases.
Approved Extensions – Students
Currently, extensions must be approved prior to students installing them. We publish a list of the approved extensions for students on the Technology Blog.
Checking for Extensions:
You can easily check to see which extensions you have installed.
- Click on the three buttons in the top right-hand corner of the Chrome browser (to the right of your picture/avatar)
- Select “More tools…”
- Select “Extensions” from the pop out
This will open a new page. This page will list all of the extensions that you have installed. The page of extensions will also allow you to remove any extensions that you don’t want (unless the extension is District installed). The example below is an example of 1Password as an extension (note the “Remove” button).
*1Password is a “paid for” extension that I purchased.
District Installed Extensions
The District can “force” install extensions. The only one that we are currently installing is Clever.
District Approved Extensions
In addition to the Student Approved Extensions, we are currently comfortable with the following:
- Google Cast for Education – allows teachers to have students screen share to a projector (via desktop)
- WAVE – review ADA compliance of a website
- Hypothes.is – annotation for the web
We will be reviewing Extensions over the next few months.
Apps vs Extensions
Just to confuse things more, individuals can also install Chrome Apps. Although these will appear similar, extensions enhance the Chrome browser. Apps run within the browser. For your purposes, you can consider them the same.
Changes this Summer
Starting this summer, all extensions will need to be whitelisted in order to be installed. This will include staff as well as students. Starting this summer, any Chrome extension (or App) not approved will be removed. Currently, we are reviewing the extensions and Apps installed by all users.
Action for YOU to Take
- Review the extensions that you have installed.
- Remove extensions that you don’t need or want.
Nancy V. Hmayed is a Media Specialist here in Dearborn Public Schools. She does terrific work helping our students learn to read, learn to love reading, learn to research and so much more! Ms. Hmayed has just been appointed to represent librarians from schools on the Library of Michigan Board of Trustees. She will apply her specialized skill and knowledge to help students throughout the entire state (while still sharing that knowledge with our students).
Mission of The Library
The Michigan Legislature created The Library of Michigan to guarantee the people of this State and their government one perpetual institution to collect and preserve Michigan publications, conduct reference and research and support libraries statewide.
Please congratulate Ms. Hmayed on this valuable and influential role. She is a shining example of the great work and valuable role that our Media Specialists provide here in Dearborn.
In a recent post, Google Document Sharing, I noted that you could no longer pick a “group” that you had created when sharing documents. Well, that ability is now back!
You can once again share documents with a group that you have created in your Google Contacts.
We wanted to let you know that Clever logins into Chromebooks on Chrome OS 72 are not working properly in some cases. We apologize for any disruption this has caused.
We’re seeing login errors when students/teachers attempt to log into Chromebooks with Clever using their Google credentials. Users logging in with Badges, or logging in with Google credentials outside the Clever Chromebook login process are not impacted. We’ve been hard at work investigating that issue, including working with Google on a resolution.
In the meantime, we wanted to reach out with information on how you and your users can avoid running into that issue.
- We recommend that you update to Chrome OS 72
- Students logging into Chromebooks with Badges do not need to change their behavior
- Students/teachers logging into Chromebooks with Google credentials should choose “Sign in with a different account” rather than “Next” on the first screen, then proceed to log in with their Google credentials
An article outlining the Clever recommended login flow is available here.
Google has updated Contacts. In Contacts, the “groups” that individuals create are now “labels”. Unfortunately, a side effect of this change is that you can NOT pick that “group” to share documents with. That group IS still available within Gmail.
I have a ticket open with Google (as do a few others) seeking resolution.