Calendars to import

Last year, the Technology Department made available an import of district events. Due to the popularity of that process, we are once again making those files available. This means that instead of having lots of people type in the same events over and over, we’ve typed the events in and made it so that you can simply import all of the events.

We will have 3 different files: District Events, Elementary Events and Secondary Events.
The District Events include all of the usual district-wide events such as Open Houses.
The Elementary Events is Elementary Forum.
The Secondary Events includes secondary administration meetings, Middle School Principal and High School Principal meetings.

This will work a little bit differently, based upon the calendar client that you are using.

*NOTE: We need to make a few corrections. This will be posted soon.

Office 2010.

If you are using Office 2010, you can import the file(s) below by:
*Note that in 2010, you can control whether you add the file as another calendar or add it to your main calendar.  
  1. Click on the file. You should get a prompt to save the file. Save the file(s) that you want to your desktop.
  2. Open Outlook 2010.
  3. Click on the Calendar tab.
  4. Select File Tab
  5. Select Open from the list on the side
  6. Select Import from the options
  7. Select “Import an iCal”
  8. Click “Next”
  9. Navigate to the file on your desktop. (Click on Desktop on the left pane)
  10. Select “District.ics”
  11. Click “OK”
  12. You’ll have 2 choices: Open as New or Import.
    – Open as new creates an additional calendar
    – Import will add to your main calendar

Office 2003.

If you are using Office 2003:

  1. Save the file(s) that you want to your desktop.
  2. Open Outlook 2003.
  3. Select File | Import from another program…
  4. Select  Comma Separated Values (Windows)…
  5. Navigate to the file on your desktop.
  6. Follow the prompts.


Thought for the day

Today’s thought comes from Scott Mcleod.

How many decisions did you make yesterday that reinforced the status quo?


Were those decisions thoughtful?

Did those decisions lead you to a destination that you want?

What decisions will you make today?

Where will those decisions lead you?

Technology updating

Technology changes at a rapid pace. We try to find the appropriate balance between staying cutting edge and providing a rock solid dependable user experience. To that end, we are constantly testing, adjusting and modifying the software and settings that we have in place. We are no longer in an era of “set it and forget it” (apologies to Ron Perlman). We can set things, but since everything else changes so rapidly, our settings wouldn’t act the same way.

Add in to this that we have users who have different needs and skill sets. Some of our users stay up to date. They want the “latest and greatest” as soon as it comes out. Some users are still working on being comfortable with basic web technologies.

We support a wide variety of users and will continue to do so. However, we will be moving forward to provide the greatest experience that we can. Technology skills are no longer an option or something for the “techie” crowd. Rather, technology skills are a basic requirement for all. Just like good writing skills, good speaking skills and the ability to listen.

We will not leave people behind. We will encourage people to take advantage of the tools and training that is available.

Look for more training available here and on our PD site. If you have suggestions, please let us know. If you’d like to see some specific training, just drop an email to the HelpDesk.

Use of Maraha

The Technology Department has been hard at work providing Blended Learning opportunities for teachers and students. One of the powerful tools that we have is Mahara. In order to help teachers, tutorials have been created to assist in the use of Mahara. Please see below for feedback from a Bryant teacher (Joann Harper) on her use within class.

Thanks for your help last week. ‘Just wanted to give you some feedback on the web technology, as you asked.

Your timing was just right for I was looking for a way to publish our 6 + 1 writing strategies for  our seventh grade capstone projects.  For some students, this was a great place to add the “ +1”  so students could publish their work.   A few  wrote journal entries and others created PowerPoint presentations.   Some of my “Early Adaptors”  jumped right into the e-Portfolio writing tool—The hardest thing we’ve found so far is how to correctly pronounce “Mahara!”    The tutorials are just right—short, sweet and very easy to understand. 

Thanks again,

Joann Harper


If you would like to watch the videos, click the link. Additional support for creating groups can be found here.  We will also be providing some FREE training over the summer- look for dates coming next week.


We have begun to deploy LibreOffice in the district. This is an exciting opportunity for the you. LibreOffice is a free, open source software package. You can download and use LibreOffice at home as well as at work. LibreOffice will work on PC’s as well as Macs. It is completely free. We’ve also included a couple of tools that will help too- more information on that will follow.

You can download the program from here or here. (Note that the first link may be slower, thus, the second link is provided).

LibreOffice provides several programs:

  • Writer (similar to MicroSoft Word)
  • Calc (similar to MicroSoft Excel)
  • Impress (similar to MicroSoft PowerPoint)
  • Draw
  • DataBase (similar to MicroSoft Access)

If you have used MicroSoft Office 2003, you will feel right at home with LibreOffice. In fact, it is much less of a change than moving to MicroSoft Office 2010.

See the image below for what the program looks like.

This is very, very similar to MicroSoft Word 2003.

  • The first icon allows you to create a new document.
  • The second one opens an existing file
  • The third one is to Save a document.
  • The fourth one is Email the Document.
  • etc.

We will provide tutorials on our Professional Development Site.

Collaborative Editing

Did you know that your classes can now do collaborative editing within iLearn 2.0? This is a powerful feature. Students can work collaboratively (in groups) with each student actually typing. This means that if you have a group of 3 students working on a report, for instance, all three of them can be responsible for actually entering information.

This is also useful for teachers to work together. Teachers could set up an iLearn course to collaborate with other teachers.

The collaborative editing is called EtherPad. Here is how to set up your own EtherPad.

  • Simply sign in to your iLearn 2.0 course
  • Turn Editing on
  • Click on “Add an activity”.
  • Then select EtherPad.
  • Give it a title.
  • Add an Introduction: (Whatever you enter in the Introduction will be the beginning document. You might want to keep this short).
  • You can set Module Settings – Restriction access or leave the defaults.
  • Click Save and display
  • Once the document has been started, it will Save automatically. There will be no Save button.

You document will now be available. There are several features that you may find useful:

  • Timeline – shows who typed what when. This gives you a history of the document. This can be very useful to “see student thinking”.
  • Import/Export – (Double Arrows) Allows you to import documents (including pdf’s and word documents) and export documents.

Dearborn has been a leader in getting EtherPad implemented into iLearn. We will continue working to improve the experience even more.

Please note:

  • Formatting is rather simple – Bold, Italic, Underline, Strikethrough, Automatic numbering & bulleting.
  • Tables are not supported at this time.

As always, if you would like some inservicing on this tool, please contact the HelpDesk.


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