Another SPAM message has made it through our filter. However, I have full confidence that no one will fall for this one (at least no one that read my email from November 15th).

See below for the actual SPAM message:

Notice that the email comes from somewhere that is not the district (in this case,

If you click on the link, you will be led to a Google Docs Form. We don’t use Google Docs to collect your password.

Always be suspicious of sites that ask for lots of information (like your user name, email address and password).

Distribution Lists in Outlook (Groups)

Distribution Lists are groups of individuals (or groups) that you want to email. If you find yourself emailing the same people repeatedly, there is a more efficient way to make that happen. Let’s say that you are working on a new project and there are 40 other teachers working with you. Instead of typing in the 40 other names every time you want to email them some information, you could create a Distribution List (group) and type in one email addess instead.

You can create a distribution list directly from the recipient list of the message but depending on your Outlook version and settings, you might need to take some additional steps.


Outlook 2010


In Outlook 2010, creating a Contact Group (as distribution list are called in Outlook 2010) from the recipient list of a message goes quite quickly;

1.Right click on a recipient in the message header in the Reading Pane.

2.From the context menu that pops-up, choose; Select All

3.Now that all the recipients are highlighted, press CTRL+C to copy them or right click on the selected addresses and choose Copy.

4.Open your Contact Group or create a new one via;

New Items-> More Items-> Contact Group

(or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+L)

5.Press the “Add Members” button and select “From Address Book”.

6.Place your cursor in the field next to the “Members->” button.

7.Press CTRL+V to paste the copied addresses.

8.Press OK and the addresses will be added to the Contact Group.


You can repeat the steps above if multiple addresses have been added to both the To and CC fields.



You can easily copy addresses from a message in Outlook 2010.


Outlook 2007 and previous


The above trick will not work in Outlook 2007 and previous as the copy command there will only copy the listed names and not the actual underlying email addresses. Unless all these addresses have been added to an address list in your Address Book already, this will result in unresolved names.


You can still achieve the same via a slight detour;


1.Right click on the message in the message list and choose “Message Options…”. 2.In the “Internet headers” box at the bottom, scroll down until you see the list of email addresses for the To or CC field.

3.Select all the names and addresses but make sure you do not select the “To:” or “CC:” text itself (don’t worry about any extra spaces though).

4.Press CTRL+Copy them.

5.Open your Distribution List or create a new one via;

File-> New-> Distribution List

(or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+L)

6.Press the “Select Members…” button.

7.Place your cursor in the field next to the “Members->” button.

8.Press CTRL+V to paste the copied addresses.

9.Press OK and the addresses will be added to the Contact Group.


Note: If you get an error when pressing OK and Outlook complains about not being able to resolve a contact, the issue is most likely caused by your system not allowing the comma ( , ) as a separator character. You can enable this option via;

Tools-> Options…-> button E-mail Options…-> button Advanced E-mail Options…-> option: Allow comma as address separator



In Outlook 2007 and previous, carefully select the addresses from the Message Options dialog.


This is cross posted on our Professional Development site as well. 

Virus Protection Update

We are constantly working to improve the service and usability of our computers and our computer network. In the best of times, this can be quite a challenge. In financially difficult times, it is an even bigger challenge. Our best successes are things that you never know. Our best work occurs allowing you to continue to help students succeed. We understand that you don’t want to worry about the technology. You want things to “just work”. That remains our goal.


As part of our continued commitment to provide you with the best service and be good fiduciary stewards, we are changing our virus protection software.  In the past, we have used Trend Micro. Trend occasionally slowed down computers significantly. Trend is also quite expensive. Instead we will be switching over to AVG.


You should not have to do anything special. When you next start your computer, you may notice AVG installing. This is normal and a one time process. We are starting some computers to monitor the process so you may or may not see the installation happen.


We will be monitoring the effectiveness and use of AVG.


We are currently experiencing intermittent email issues. No email is being lost, but delivery is delayed. You  may be experiencing issues where your Outlook client is having trouble connecting. We are aware of the issue and working on it.


Recently a SPAM email made it through our filters. In today’s world, we all need to be wise about how we use computers. If you went to the site in the email, sign into a computer and change your password to something different than what you entered on that site. To change your password:

  • sign into a computer
  • depress the keys CTRL, ALT, DELETE (all three at the same time)
  • Select Change a password
  • Enter your old password and then a new, different password twice.

 A quick note. We do have you change your password for security reasons a couple of times a year. However, this is set up so that you change your password when signing into a computer. We do NOT send you to a web page to change your password.


A little knowledge can help keep you safe:

  • Please see the posting from November 8th
  • URL’s will give you valuable information (a URL is a web address, it is what you type in to get to a web page- eg. is the URL for Google). The truly important part is the .com (or .org. or .us) and the part before that.
  • Hovering over a link (without clicking on it) will reveal where the link is really going. For example, a link may say, but if you hover your mouse over the link (without clicking on it), it will reveal that the real link is (Note that the bad guys have gotten even better at this and it will now frequently say or something like that.)

With the Holiday’s approaching, more of these SPAM and Phishing issues will arise. Those who attempt to steal your information get better and better at this each year. It is important for you to learn to be safe.

Email & Printers

We are currently experiencing an issue revolving around printing and email. We are working on the issue. We will need to reboot a couple of servers to resolve the printing issue. This will also effect email temporarily. No email should be lost.

Functionality should return fully shortly.

Accessing MI-STAR from home

Some people have experienced trouble accessing MI-STAR from home. While we can’t support every different computer and computer set up that is out there, here are some things that you can. These are the things that most often help people fix their problem.

*Note that all of the links above open an additional tab and link to an external site. 

The steps for these vary based upon what type of computer that you have, what operating system, etc. However, please see the step by step directions below for some general guidance. These should help you  and give you very valuable tips on what to uncheck during the installation.

Adobe Reader Install

Adobe Flash & Shockwave updates


Eastern Michigan University has issued a nice reminder about Phishing scams and SPAM. I’ve received permission from them to repost that information here.

With the holiday season upon us, we are seeing an increase in the volume and the quality of email phishing scams.  Phishing is an attempt, usually made through fraudulent email, to steal your personal information.

Phishing emails usually appear to come from a well-known organization and ask for your personal information, such as, credit card number, social security number, EMU ID or password. Some recent phishing attempts have gone so far as to use the EMU logos to give them “authenticity.”  Other phishing attempts may appear to come from sites or companies with which you do not even have an account.

In order for Internet criminals to successfully “phish” your personal information, they must get you to go from an email to a website. Phishing emails will almost always tell you to click a link that takes you to a site where your personal information is requested. Legitimate organizations (including the EMU IT Help Desk) would never request this information of you via email.

Here are some things to look for in an email that may indicate a phish:


  • Generic greeting. Phishing emails are usually sent in large batches. To save time, Internet criminals use generic names like “First Generic Bank Customer” so they do not have to individually type all recipients’ names. If you do not see your name, be suspicious.


  • Forged link. Even if a link has a name you recognize somewhere in it, it doesn’t mean it links to the real organization. Roll your mouse over the link and see if it matches what appears in the email. If there is a discrepancy, do not click on the link. Also, websites where it is safe to enter personal information begin with “https” (the “s” stands for secure). If you do not see “https”, do not proceed.


  • Requests personal information. The point of sending a phishing email is to trick you into providing your personal information. If you receive an email requesting your personal information, it is probably a phishing attempt.


  • Sense of urgency. Internet criminals want you to provide your personal information now. They do this by making you think something has happened that requires you to act fast. The faster they get your information, the faster they can move on to another victim.

You should change your passwords often. A good time is when you reset clocks. At that time, change your important passwords. Also, don’t use the same password for multiple sites. The most popular passwords are:

  1. password
  2. 123456
  3. 12345678
  4. abc123
  5. qwerty
You get the idea. Don’t use those. Good passwords should not be based upon a word. They should also include alpha characters, numeric characters and punctuation.

Advanced Tip: If you hover your mouse over a link (without clicking on it), it should show you the real URL that you would go to. (See below). Notice that there is no real name. Also note that holding the mouse over the link really leads to a totally different site (which I won’t type out here, but starts with issueswith….

Screen shot of SPAM Email


Hangin’ Out at Bryant

Chris and Troy had the opportunity to spend the day at Bryant Middle School. Ms. Shannon Peterson took us up on our offer to come to the school and hang out all day. Teachers can come down and get answers to their questions on using technology. Specifically, we focus on iLearn, iBlog and Promethean.

Here are just a few answers, tips, tricks, and solutions where we were able to help:


  • Creating a draggable copy of an item on a Promethean flip chart
  • Calibrating a Promethean Board
  • Putting a Timer on a Promethean toolbar
  • Scanning an item and placing it on a FlipChart page
  • Toolbar basics
  • Importing SmartBoard resources into Promethean
  • Editing SmartBoard resources in Promethean


  • Setting up an additional page on iBlog
  • Setting up an iBlog page to post from an iPhone
  • Connecting an iPhone to iBlog
  • Reestablishing a blog
  • Posting to a blog
  • Setting up a new blog
  • Adding Links to a blog
  • Adding categories to links on a blog
  • Deleting default links on a blog


  • Enrolling in an iLearn course
  • The basics of using iLearn in a classroom
  • Kids voting for President online
  • Sorting Student responses by last name
  • Grading student responses
  • Book reviews through iLearn
  • Students using Personal Dropbox to save files


Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.

Skip to toolbar