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

 

Features

Summer 2014 Computer Upgrades

This summer the following campuses will have the following computer replacements and lab upgrades:

  • Woodlake Hills Middle School & Kitty Hawk Middle School
    • New teacher workstationsHP ProDesk computer
    • Upgraded labs to L300 systems and new lab teacher workstation
    • New Pitsco workstations
    • New library circulation workstations
    • New host workstations for library workstations
    • New front office computers
    • Addition of shared Chromebook carts
    • Remove all Xtenda systems.  Some used Windows 7 computers will be brought in to partially offset loss.
  • Woodlake Elementary School, Candlewood Elementary School, Spring Meadows Elementary School & Paschall Elementary School
    • New teacher workstations
    • Upgraded labs to L300 systems and new lab teacher workstation
    • New library circulation workstations
    • New host workstations for library workstations
    • New front office computers
    • Addition of shared Chromebook carts
    • Classroom M300 sets eliminated, adding on used Windows 7 computers/L300's to make up for some of the lost seats. The initial summer goal is to have 3 working seats for all elementary M300 replacements. The end goal is 4 working student computing seats.
  • Kirby MS, Metzger MS, Franz ES, Coronado Village ES, Olympia ES, Millers Point ES, Elolf ES, Mary Hartman ES, Hopkins ES, Park Village ES, and Crestview ES.
    • Upgraded labs to L300 systems
    • Classroom M300 sets eliminated, adding on used Windows 7 computers/L300's to make up for some of the lost seats. The initial summer goal is to have 3 working seats for all elementary M300 replacements. The end goal is 4 working student computing seats.

  • Windows XP Xtenda systems will be pulled from JSAS and Kirby MS.  Next year, as Kirby’s teacher computers are replaced, those will be kept in classrooms for student use.

 

by M. Davis

Riding the Google wave

Google Apps for Education has arrived at your campus and is ready to be introduced to teachers and students.  It is time to prepare yourself to get your ‘Google’ on and start collaborating with teachers, students, and parents.  All PK-12 teachers and students have access to Google Apps for Education which consists of word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and G-mail (students only).  Elementary students can only interact via email with other Judson ISD email account holders. The Google platform allows teachers and students to collaborate in real time and share documents in the cloud! Teachers can begin to dive into Google and take a tour of its applications by:Google apps

Students access their Google account by:

  • Clicking the Google link in the portal
  • Typing district e-mail address as username@student.judsonisd.org
  • Typing district password

Google Apps for Education is the new upsurge, so hold on tight as the current drifts you into a realm allowing you to “Googlify” your classroom with excitement and productivity!  Don’t be left behind, surf’s up, so catch the Google wave!

by B. Ahr

 

Teacher Access Center 3.0

The Data Services department, a part of Technology Services, will migrate our student information system to the newest release, eSchoolPLUS 3.0. This migration comes with a new and improved Teacher Access Center (TAC), aka the Gradebook. The new TAC will sport a modern user interface therefore reducing clicks and increasing intuitiveness. The homepage is redesigned to bring forward the most important, everyday tasks a teacher performs. The list of enhancements also includes simplified and improved navigation, addition of Gradebook indicators and the creation of an assignment drawer. There are many more features and enhancements than can be listed, so we thought we would offer a sneak peek of the new TAC.

The week of May 12, there will be a new TAC 3.0 icon in the MyJISD Portal. Clicking on the icon will take you into the application where you will be able to test drive the new TAC. The application and the data are in a test environment so don’t be afraid to “play” around.

Did someone ask about training? Not to worry, the application comes with a training video that all teachers will be required to view upon their return from summer break. The video will cover everything from setting up the gradebook, taking attendance, creating the aforementioned assignment drawer and many other features. Also, the Data Services department will have trainers available to come to the campus to offer reinforcement training to anyone who may need it. The department is excited to launch the new Teacher Access Center and looks forward to making sure every teacher has a successful year using the new and improved gradebook.

by J. Cortinas

JISD Chromeercising with Chromebooks

Dell Chromebook 11Chromebooks have arrived at Judson ISD.  IB students at Judson High School and TAG students at all elementary schools have had an opportunity to pilot these new devices.  All 3rd, 4th and 5th grade TAG students are using their Chromebooks to do journaling and research for project-based lessons.  Our High School IB students are now able to learn 24/7 with their Chromebook.  IB students are issued a Chromebook, which we call our one-to-one Chromebook program.  Chromebooks have allowed students to use Google Apps for Education which offers various tools such as Docs, Presentations, Spreadsheets and more.  The Google Apps for Education also enables students to collaborate on group projects, and easily share all their work with their teachers which allows for immediate feedback.  

Since the pilot has had much success, more Chromebooks will be introduced at designated JISD campuses.  Soon, many more students will be Chromercising!

 

by M. Martinez

Protecting confidential employee and student information

Did you know that student and employee information is considered confidSecurity lockential?  Everyday teachers and district staff access student and employee information systems and/or files that contain confidential information.   The information accessed contains items such as addresses, date of birth, ID numbers, etc. The value of this information to someone outside the district can be very valuable and easily abused.

So what happens if you emailed employee information to someone outside the Judson School District? What if you lost your laptop or flash drive with confidential information on it? What if you noticed someone else within the district shared student information with someone outside the Judson School District? What should I do? Who do I notify/report this to? What can I do to help prevent this in the future?  The questions above all are very good and relevant.  The steps below will help guide you in the event student or employee information has been compromised.

  1. Notify your supervisor :
    1. Provide the affected student(s)/employee(s) name and ID.
    2. How the information was sent or where it was found (ex: email or on a website).
    3. The day and time the incident occurred.
  2. Also notify the Help Desk immediately at 210-945-5473 or 61473
    1. Provide the affected student(s)/employee(s) name and ID.
    2. How the information was sent or where it was found (ex: email or on a website).
    3. The day and time the incident occurred.
    4. Provide your contact information for follow up.

Tips to prevent information from being compromised

  1. Always consider student and employee information as confidential.
  2. Ensure you carefully review that the person you’re sending the information to is allowed to have access to the information. 
  3. Do not ever send unencrypted social security numbers.
  4. Don’t save private information to media such as USB flash drives, DVD or other portable drives.
  5. Avoid saving any files with confidential data to laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.  Keep confidential data on your personal networked H drive.
  6. When taking a district owned device (laptop or similar) off campus ensure you lock the device
    1. For windows devices press the CTRL + ALT + DEL keys.
    2. For iPad press the on/off button.

by C. Dean

The dangers of emailing and/or storing private information

In today's society we are becoming even more dependent on technology and the ease of communicating without human interaction.  It’s very easy to email someone or a business with information while not realizing who might have access to the information.  Many businesses have moved to conducting transactions via email as it simplifies so many processes that used to require a face-to-face conversation. 
So what’s the big deal with emailing social security numbers or birth dates?  Think back a couple of months ago when Target had its customer information database compromised.  Customers had to request new credit cards and even enroll in credit monitoring services.  Could you imagine having someone pretend to be you and ruin your credit by charging up credit cards?

Do you have a USB Flash drive? What would you do if you lost it? Should you be worried? Is there anything important on the drive? Wait what did I have saved on the drive?  These are all questions we have and should ask ourselves.   While it might seem harmless to save addresses, birth dates, passwords (yes this actually happens) it’s a gold mine to someone who wants to steal your identity. Now imagine ifyou accidentally lost or misplaced the USB drive. Be aware and cautious with your information. Below are some suggestions on how to protect you and your information.

  1. Don’t send personal information (social security numbers, credit card number, etc.) in an email or through instant messaging
  2. NEVER connect your USB Flash drive to a public computer
  3. If you’re asked to provide a social security on a website ALWAYS check for the “S” at the end of http “https://”
  4. If you receive an email requesting private information call the business to verify the request is real and pass the information over the phone
  5. Encrypt USB Flash drives – Some USB Flash drives come with preloaded encryption software

by C. Dean