Judson ISD's Technology Services & Instructional Technology News and Information

 

Features

Google-licious

Google Apps for EducationJudson is serving up a scrumptious full course meal of productivity tools for students and staff. In the upcoming school year, Judson ISD will be promoting Google Drive.  With this implementation, JISD students will be transitioned from Live@edu to gmail accounts (staff will keep their current email accounts).  This move will allow students and staff access to Google Drive which is a file storage and synchronization service. The use of Google Drive, enables cloud storage, file sharing and collaborative creation and editing of documents.  Google Drive is now the home of Google Docs that include word processing, spreadsheets and presentation applications. At this time, each user is allotted 15 GB of free storage.  One of the most impressive features of using Google Drive is the ability to collaborate in real time with other users on the same document. Google will also sync with Schoology as a collection of resources.  Bon appétit!

by B. Ahr

Update: Teacher Access Center 3.0

In the February 2013 Technology Uplink newsletter the article A New & Improved Teacher Access was discussed. The Data Services Department would like you to know that progress in the development of the application is progressing and we are in the queue with our software vendor to have the application installed over the summer. Along with a new Teacher Access Center comes training and we are investigating new ways to deliver training. Please stay tuned and communication will be forthcoming as to when and how training will be delivered.

Goals for the new TAC include:

  • Modernizing the user interface and user experience, reducing clicks and increasing intuitiveness
  • Redesigning the homepage that brings forward the most important, everyday tasks that a teacher does
  • Simplifying and improving navigation, allowing teachers to quickly move between classes and manage complex multiple class environments more intuitively
  • Simplifying filtering for categories, mark types, etc.
  • Adding Gradebook Indicators – icons that show in the score cell whether a student was absent, a comment, or other items
  • Creating an assignment drawer that makes it easy to quickly add or edit an assignment

Here are some new interface pictures: Picture1, Picture2, Picture3, Picture4

by J. Cortinas

Microsoft Office 2013 Home Use Program - Office for $9.99

One of the benefits that Microsoft extends to academic institutions who participate in their educational solutions is a Home Use Program (HUP) for employees.  As a Judson ISD employee, you can now purchase a home use copy of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 (PC) or Office 2011 (MAC).  The cost is $9.99 for a downloadable file of MS Office that can be installed on your home computer.  The office professional pro suite Microsoft Office Home Useincludes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, and Publisher.  You must use your Judson ISD email account to verify program eligibility. Only one copy of Microsoft Office can be purchased per employee.  For more information about the Home Use Program and the process for purchasing your copy, log on to the My JISD Portal and look in TECH HELP under Software and Applications. Select the option Microsoft Office 2010 – Home Use Program (HUP).   You can also click here for a direct link: 

Tips:

  • Verify your computer meets the hardware requirements for the software prior to installation.
  • It is recommended to access the website and download the MS Office file on the computer you intend to install the program on. 

by S. Young

The Orange "B" brings help to your desktop

The orange “B” stands for Bomgar, a remote desktop support solution that was recently installed on your district owned devices.  The orange “B” on your computer, will provide you access to desktop support anywhere you have Internet access on district owned computers and laptops.  This technology will allow JISD technology support staff to remotely access, assist, troubleshoot and repair district owned devices when support is needed.  When a remote session is active you will see a watermark picture of a support technician on the top right of your screen.  This will inform you that you are now in a remote support session and assistance is at hand.

Typically sessions will be started once you call the JISD Help Desk at 210-945-JISD (5473) or create a Help Desk ticket in Eduphoria Help Desk.

by M. Davis

Protecting your privacy on the Internet

Protecting your privacy is not only applies to face to face communications but on the Internet as well. So many times we are willing to provide more information than what is needed. To the average person this doesn’t seem unsafe but to the average criminal this can be a gold mine.  So as you probably do now shredding documents that contain personal information must now also be transferred to online usage.  Below are some tips for ensuring you’re protecting your privacy on the Internet:

  • Do not share more than you need to
  • Do not post anything online that you would not want made public.
  • Minimize details that identify you or your whereabouts.
  • Keep your account numbers, user names, and passwords secret.
  • Only share your primary email address or Instant Message (IM) name with people who you know or with reputable organizations. Avoid listing your address or name on Internet directories and job-posting sites.
  • Enter only required information—often marked with an asterisk (*)—on registration and other forms.
  • Protect your computer
  • Use an Internet firewall.
    Note: Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP with Service Pack 2 and Service Pack 3 have a firewall already built in and automatically turned on.
  • Visit Microsoft Update to verify your settings and check for security updates.
    Note Microsoft Update will also update your Microsoft Office programs.
  • Create strong passwords
  • Don't share your passwords with friends.
  • Avoid using the same password everywhere. If someone steals it, all the information that password protects is at risk.
  • Spot the signs of a scam
  • Think before you click to visit a website or call a number in a suspicious email or phone message—both could be phony.
  • Be cautious with links to video clips and games, or open photos, songs, or other files—even if you know the sender. Check with the sender first.
  • Look for signs that a web page is safe

Before you enter sensitive data, check for evidence that:

  • The site uses encryption, a security measure that scrambles data as it crosses the Internet. Good indicators that a site is encrypted include a web address with https ("s" stands for secure) and a closed padlock beside it. (The lock might also be in the lower-right corner of the window.)

security bar

by C. Dean

Using the Judson ISD Guest Network with Personal Devices - Log In for More Access

Here are a few tips to help you get going with the Judson ISD guest wireless network.

  • A Guest Wireless Networkis available for staff & student-owned wireless devices.
    • Staff members using the JISD Guest wireless network may occasionally see an "access is denied" message, as the guest network is filtering for students by default. If you wish to bypass this block, look for the "Currently logged in as unknown user. (Not you?)" message. Simply click the “Not you?” link and log in with your district credentials.  Once you login and are identified as a Judson ISD employee, you will be surfing under the employee filter, rather than the student filter.
    • All users of the wireless network should review the Acceptable Usage Policy before attempting to use the wireless network. When staff and students sign the handbook annually, they are agreeing to the Acceptable Usage Policy.

Board Policy CQ (Local) now says the following: Students, employees, and guests may connect personal technology resources to the District’s guest wireless network as set forth in administrative procedures. Connecting personal technology resources to the District’s wired network shall only be allowed with written permission as set forth in administrative procedures

by C. Dean

 

Protect Your Home Computer with Free Anti-Vrius Software from Vipre

All Judson ISD computers have antivirus software to help reduce the number of security threats and downtime caused by malware and computer viruses.  You should protect your home computers as well. As a subscribing partner with our current antivirus company, GFI extends the same antivirus software for home use for all Judson ISD employees.  We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to help reduce the number of malware and viruses that can be spread using portable flash drives.  In addition, the company also helps you get rid viruses on your home computer should it become infected.  This can add up to a substantial savings and less worries since you do not have to pay for this service. You can find more information and the required License Activation Key on the JISD Intranet in the Tech Help wiki under Free Antivirus Software.  To get the free virus/malware removal support you can call their consumer support at 1-877-673-1153.  

Directions for installation on your computer at home:GFI Vipre Antivirus

  1. Download the software on your home computer and select "Run" when prompted.
  2. Download VIPRE Antivirus here: http://go.sunbeltsoftware.com/?linkid=411
  3. Allow the setup wizard to run (you will be prompted for some preferred configurations).
  4. Enter the product key (located in JISD Intranet) when prompted
  5. Restart the computer

by S. Young