iSchool Newsletter Archive

Here is a recent history of our previous newsletters, the featured videos, and a link to see the full communication.

iSchool Newsletter | June 2021

Our end-of-year newsletter video reviews a quick task list and has some important reminders related to our transition to Google email, account security to-dos.

Security Homework and Action Steps

It is on all of us to have good workplace habits when it comes to security! We shared essential information and steps to take to secure your HPS account.

Table of Contents:

  • Review Complex Password Article (in our KB)

  • Set Up Account Recovery Options (in ClassLink)

  • Update to a Complex Password

HPS Transition to Google Mail | May 2021

This update overviews the timeline, gives a sneak peek at the new system, and answers a few frequently asked questions.

Topics covered were:

  • Transition to Google Email Benefits

  • Transition Timeline

  • Sneak Peek and Overview

  • Sneak Peek: Logging In

  • Sneak Peek: Folders/Labels

  • Sneak Peek: Calendars

  • Sneak Peek: Contacts

  • Sneak Peek: Email Preferences

  • FAQ: Email Signatures

  • FAQ: Away/Vacation Message

  • FAQ: Create Folders/Labels

  • FAQ: Changing the Look/Appearance

  • Conclusion + Next Steps

Also reviewed were reminders about setting up recovery options for your HPS account through ClassLink and our upcoming password policy which will require complex passwords.

HPS Technology Ransomware Update | May 2021

Doug Russell, Director of Technology, took a moment to recap where we are as a District related to the recent ransomware attack, our core system statuses, and notes for the future.

Topics covered were:

  • The Recovery Process

  • Internet Access

  • Compromised Computers (and Interactive Whiteboards)

  • External Emails

  • Printing

  • Password Security

  • iSchool Newsletters

  • Next Steps

iSchool Newsletter | May 2021

What a crazy month we just had! As we enter May, we talk about status updates, look back at some best practices related to password management, preview the new Google Meet views, and more! #OnwardsAndUpwards

*IMPORTANT* Return from Break Technology Updates

We thank you all for your patience as we work through the restoration process from our recent ransomware attack. HPS Technology has been working hard these last couple of weeks to get the essential systems back up and running to avoid any additional missed days, and we trust that you will be ready for the end-of-year process coming back from your April break.

Please read the full newsletter for updates regarding:

  • Email Restoration

  • Password Policy Updates

  • Compromised Computers

  • Home Folders (Windows devices)

  • FollowMe Printing and USB Flash Drives

  • Main Office Computers and BudgetSense

  • Interactive Whiteboards

iSchool Newsletter | April 2021

Big updates for spring! We chat about our upcoming transition to Gmail for staff accounts, Screencastify and Jamboard being globally available as additional digital tools, and we take a peek at the new search functionality in both Drive and Chrome tabs.

iSchool Newsletter | March 2021

This month had a reminder to be diligent in regards to SPAM emails and /Phishing attempts as well as a review of Google's recent Education webinar, where they announced a lot of new and upcoming features to Classroom, Meet, and more.

We also encouraged folks to take a self-evaluation of their past skills and next steps based on what has been learned in this last year of the pandemic. We also included a reminder about troubleshooting workflows for Digital Curriculum resources.

iSchool Newsletter | February 2021

This month featured an overview tutorial of the Interactive Whiteboards to review the Digital Whiteboard option, Projector option, and Hybrid/Remote considerations. We also discussed the troubleshooting workflows for Digital Curriculum resources and invited all staff to continue to reach out for support via Support Tickets or iSchool training appointments.

iSchool Newsletter | January 2021

As we roll into the new year, we take a look at ClassLink's interface updates, how to customize the interface and add apps, as well as a peek into the Teacher Console and its available analytics. We also remind everyone of best practices surrounding SPAM/Phishing attempts and how to identify misinformation.

Notes from the iSchool | Internet Content and Ads

In this day and age of technology, with content readily available at our fingertips, we have a great responsibility to be sure the resources we share are safe and healthy for our students. While the Internet is a great tool for research and learning, there is certainly potential to discover topics, advertisements, and visuals that may not be appropriate for the audience in question.

This communication focused on best-practices for previewing content, including using Print to PDF options and YouTube-specific workflows.

iSchool Newsletter | December 2020

With our featured video talking all about Google Chrome tips and tricks with Bookmark folders, Startup Tabs, Grouping and Pinning, we trust these productivity tools will increase your efficiency while working with the web! We also have highlights on Hand Raising in Meets, PDFs to Google Doc conversion, and ClassLink interface updates.

iSchool Newsletter | November 2020

This month features some new updates to Google Meets, Host Controls, Activities, Google Forms question imports, and some additional information and updates from HPS Technology including the availability of requesting a Webcam as an additional tool for your Meets and the iSchool Newsletter Archive.

iSchool Newsletter | October 2020

This month was all about Google Meet and its new features, including Grid Size, Host Controls, and upcoming options with Background Blur, Meet Attendance, and Q+A/Polls.

We also discussed Best Practices with Meet Quality, at-home resources with our Technology @ Home website , and Technology Single-Point-of-Contact at each school.

Finally, we took a look at Classwize/Family Zone as a feature to assist with digital classroom management, with best practices of avoiding multiple active class sessions to allow other teachers to manage their Classrooms as they see fit.

iSchool Newsletter | September 2020

As we look into the start of the 2020-21 school year, we reviewed updated to our HPS Tech Support training and online resources, resources for families at home with our Technology @ Home website, 1:1 initiative, and beginning of the year PD opportunities.

We featured some of our most popular and foundational Kb articles found in HPS Tech Support > Kb (at top) for Google Meets and SchoolBrains.

We discussed the LittleSIS sync tool between SchoolBrains and Google Classroom, JamBoard for teachers, ClassWize/FamilyZone Classroom, and a popular Chrome Extension "Web Paint" for quick digital annotations.

iSchool Newsletter | August 2020

Our August newsletter looked at the variety of training and support resources we have available, including Self-Help Guides, New Staff Resources, our Support Ticket system, and Remote Training Appointments.

We reviewed a recent change to SchoolBrains and how to use the Communications module to best keep track of student/parent communications.

iSchool Newsletter | June 2020

Our end-of-school-year newsletter looked back at our Distance Learning adventure, highlighting Summer Training Opportunities, Chrome Extensions, and tips for summer projects.

We took a look at using the Communications module in SchoolBrains for keeping track of student/parent communications and highlighted a couple of web apps including Microsoft Translator, Dualless Chrome Extension, and the Canvas Digital Whiteboard.

Notes from the iSchool | Updated YouTube Permissions

This quick update shows how to manage permissions for YouTube videos where sometimes the built-in filters for YouTube would mistakenly block certain resources teachers would like to share with their students and how an "Approve" button is available for staff.

We also cover a couple of updates to Google Meet (Present a Tab feature) and review updates to the Chromebooks At Home website resource.

iSchool Newsletter | May 2020

May's newsletter featured a peek into Google's new Tiled Layout in Meet and how to Present a Tab - a better option when looking to showcase multimedia while in a Meet. Also, we took a brief look at Google Sites and demonstrated a way to Present and View your class simultaneously while in a Meet.

We reminded folks of ClassWize/Family Zone Classroom as a digital classroom management tool, as well as to look out for SPAM/Phishing messages and related tips for identifying false information.

Notes from the iSchool | Google Meet Updates

A much-requested update to Google Meets came through, with a new feature now available in Google Classroom with direct integration with Google Meet, in that you can set up a custom meeting code for your Classroom.

As long as the teacher is the first one in and the last to leave, students will not be allowed to enter this unique Meet unless the teacher is present. It will also prevent students from rejoining an unattended Google Meet after it has been ended.

The steps below outline how to generate a unique meeting for your Google Classroom:

  • Visit Your Classroom Settings

  • Generate Meet Link

  • Make Visible to Students [optional]

  • Share with Students

We also review how you can use Family Zone Classroom for additional oversight of your students' digital habits.

iSchool Newsletter | April 2020

We announced our dedicated support and resource page for Distance Learning resources, showcasing ideas on using Google Meet, Recording a Meet, information on Google Voice, and some Google Classroom walkthroughs.

We highlighted resources from Google's "Teach from Home" website where they have targeted help guides for teachers, parents, and students.

Finally, we reminded everyone of the "Chromebooks @ Home" resource that was created to assist families at home with District-issued technology as well as what to look out for when it comes to false information in SPAM/Phishing emails.

iSchool Newsletter | March 2020

Rubrics launched in Google Classroom, so we took a deeper dive into how to set up and use within an Assignment. We reminded everyone of our expanded training opportunities, including Remote appointments and increased time slot availability for Face-to-Face training appointments.

We announced a new digital classroom resource in ClassWize/FamilyZone Classroom that offers teacher oversight of their students' digital activity, including the ability to provide additional filtering.

As friendly reminders, we mentioned ClassLink and G Suite as essential resources for our digital platforms and gave relevant action steps with our 3 Phase approach to technology integration.

iSchool Newsletter | February 2020

We announced our updated training opportunities and expanded schedule, encouraging folks to consider action steps in the G Suite for each of our 3 Phases of technology integration.

We previewed an upcoming feature in Google Classroom for integrating Rubrics while in an Assignment, as well as reminding folks to look out for SPAM/Phishing threats and relevant tips for identifying false information.

iSchool Newsletter | January 2020

We welcomed the new year by taking a look at ways to reset and reflect on your personal and professional goals. We encouraged a look at our 3 Phase approach to technology integration, booking a training appointment, and taking advantage of Google's Teacher Training Center.

There were also specific updates for High School teachers with Semester 2 implications for both Gradebook and Google Classroom.

iSchool Newsletter | December 2019

December featured a deeper dive into Google Slides, including animation basics and a handful of "did you know" features with Inserting a video/audio, working with Diagrams and WordArt, and exploring Add-ons.

We reminded folks of an in-district resource called HPS Video, which includes streamable feature films and video-based curriculum content.

We referenced Google Spark as an option for web-based multimedia projects - just simply sign in with Google and explore!

iSchool Newsletter | November 2019

Google Forms was the main topic this month, exploring options for Assessments, feedback, data visuals, and some advanced reporting ideas.

We explored using Impero as an option for digital classroom management and referenced using the Communications module in SchoolBrains as the best way to keep track of parent/student communications.

We also highlighted a new report in SchoolBrains called "Student and Parent Contacts - by Section", which provides an easy way to grab email address and contact information for your students and their guardians.

iSchool Newsletter | October 2019

This newsletter featured a discussion surrounding best practices with your HPS Account, including password best practices, identifying SPAM/Phishing attacks, and staying signed in with Google.

We mentioned ClassLink as a new resource on the HPS LaunchPad and its important connection to multiple curriculum services.

Our Did You Know section featured the "Scan to OCR" options available in our district copiers, as well as some updated Google Resources with a Countdown timer, Inserting Audio in Slides, and a new Priority View in Drive.

iSchool Newsletter | September 2019

This beginning-of-the-year update highlighted new appointment options and an updated scheduling website, our iSchool Training Philosophy and Technology Phases, Technology Training and Support Resources, new printers with access card features, Google Classroom updates, Student Logins and Badges for young students, HPS Video, and more!