Thursday, January 27, 2011

Technology Facilitator Meeting January 27, 2011

It was the "Perfect Storm" of technology problems--Betty Showed this Youtube video if you want to watch it again :)

Though, NCWISE upgrade was fairly seamless, Parent assist had some issues, was down for a few days and the link changed.

School Wires went plain badly!
Network issues also cropped up, at first they might have not caught it because it was semester time (much higher volume) but later learned that there were issues way beyond their control…Our break was an Internet server problem in DC or Philly?
Yesterday afternoon the bandwidth was a little better.


  • Remind teachers that they have to post to parent…Teachers can’t show what they want to show because the averages don’t add up, and parents will catch it and start calling :)
  • Teachers now must enter codes/reasons for absence within three days!.
  • I-tunes with DPI videos—Betty can’t unlock itunes for right now. Encourage teachers to look at home for now.
  • Budget, only had one meeting for now. There is a recommendation that Theme money be reduced to $20,000
  • There will be avenues to express your concerns…
  • It also impacts her staff…Double whammy if she looses resources and school resources.
  • Atomic learning…some schools are not using at all..maybe cut, but then again maybe what we need when there might be less tech support next year?
  • IP Phones: Send e-mail to Brian or a ticket for fixing extension names etc if your school is on the list
  • Daylight savings time patch has been updated, will cause a problem with calendaring with Blackberries. Same with Lead Secretaries if they put items on the principals calendars. Call service desk to get the patch. If you find a machine not patched, then you will have to also have service done on the blackberry.

Work Order System/Assist:

  • Speed should assist based on the improvement in bandwidth speed
  • If there is a category you feel the group would need, send it in…
  • reminded that you need to re-assign to Service Desk only
  • On IT purchases, assist tickets will be directed right to Kevin.
  • Encourage teachers to add a comment to existing tickets if tickets are not being addressed. (rather than submit another one)
  • You can also cancel tickets if you figure out on your own …(it asks you to give a reason for cancelling

Question: about core protection module on the WFU laptops from Sandi Holt…They will get hit eventually as they are brought in once a month or you can run it through AICP? (someone is that correct?)

Find out for Tanya where to order the Dell long-life Battery…(I ordered with the new Dell Latitude 2100 laptop and asked for the battery with the enhanced life--lasts up to 8 hours. I spoke with this guy at Dell:  "Sean M. Lough"   Sean Lough Inside Sales Representative K12 & High-Ed Sales
Dell Inc. 512-513-9314 OR 800-274-7799 x 513-9314 office 512-283-3586 fax )  He said the standard battery is still 3 cells but because of the processor difference and the power savings associated  the 2110, the new laptop gets and average battery life of 4 hours and 58 minutes (he admitted that this was optimal, maybe less than that) The 2100 netbook (also with the three cell battery) supposedly got 3.8 hours of battery life. Sean said he though the 6 cell battery (the enhanced battery that quotes a life of 10 hours and 13 mins--optimal) would work with the laptop carts designed for the latitude netbook)

Marlo: School Wires Upgrade Updates:
  • non-negotiables are still in effect--Trebuchet is still the district font!
  • In defense of School Wires, We were one of the biggest districts and users to go through this up-grade. More training dates are available for webmasters--morning and afternoon on Feb 9 & 10,  and on the 14th (morning only) 
Some advantages from the upgrade--
  • You no longer have to navigate, to your page if you are a teacher and you sign-in to school wires, elementary teachers have to be on an elementary site for that to work.
  • Groups: Only relevant if you are going to protect a page You as a webmaster can create your own groups, tho Marlo will create staff groups for all the schools based on what’s in personnel.
  • Webmasters now have the ability to unlock users
  • Navigation/old hierarchy is now drag and drop compared to the convoluted way it was before the upgrade. 
Known Issues:
  • linking in tables--problems with that
  • hyperlinking an image is an issue
  • NCREPORT CARD: url has capital letters in the web address, but when you create a link in Quick links (and quick links only), it makes everything lower case, so that is an issue because NCREPORT card distinguishes schools by capital letters in the web address.
  • Sometimes pasting from word, it will merge words.
  • Forms and Surveys: some schools not receiving the e-mail saying you have received a response to a form. Speaking of forms, Ignore bully form issues, Marlo will be sending that form to all schools
  • Flash Pictures on the Main Page, Marlo will be sending out directions, and a video soon.
  • Hierarchy of editing--who controls what:  Flow chart (she will post this power point on the web portal
  • Collections: has to do with calendars…have not been setup yet but should be by February. You can push down calendar items to teacher calendars—don’t need to get approval. We can push up with approval to district calendar.
  • Page Types: With School Wires before the upgrade all pages were set to one column.
  • You do have ability to set to two or three columns (Marlo does not recommend it tho)
  • APPS: For example, you can add a calendar in one corner, a form in another corner and directions for signing up in another corner (all by adding “apps”)
  • Page types are also called “apps”
  • Marlo feels like “assignment pages” are under used, you could also use assignment pages for to do lists for PLC’s or School Improvement teams to do list.
  • Photo-Galleries are easier now--They can be added as a separate school wires page or as an "App" to an existing flex page
  • Marlo mentioned changing the homepage by clicking on the little drop down arrow underneath the picture of the house in Internet explorer and choosing add or change homepage so that the correct address for school wires is saved)
  • Issue: If link on the desktop no longer going to the homepage. There is a “friendly url” for everyone’shomepage. Marlo has a list of the friendly url’s From now on, they will use the friendly URL for links.
  • Mentioned that the link for Parent Assist changes, and if you had an old link on a page that you created, then the link needs to be updated.
  • Marlo and Site Manager: "The View Website" brings a window (black box) up and all you have to do is hit the x to get out it as opposed to before when you sometimes ended up exiting out.
  • Issue with contact tab in account settings, have teachers check to make sure their e-mail address is correct--especially new teacher.
  • How do I?” There is a section editor workbook, Interactive video tutorials, were they have you work along with them, it's not just watching a video.  Also don't forget Learning Village--Melissa has posted a bunch of links to resources on School Wires
  • Statistics, you can check statistics on any section, teachers can also check on how many people are going to their website.
  • When you go to edit a page, it brings up an overview box, and you can choose apps on that page (have to hit down arrow key) to see all of the apps.
  • Important box is to make sure box for “activate on my page” it defaults to be on, but if it’s off then someone has clicked it off.
  • Also must check display bullet image if you want a bullet to display for quick links.
  • Calendar: recurring events --now have ability to choose weekdays, and choose number of recurrences and does not include weekends.
  • Viewers: gives you the ability to keep a master calendar, and have certain events only be viewable to certain people (teachers could also to this for parent conferences, etc for a team calendar, and make those events only viewable to teachers)
  • Anytime you protect a page, then people need to log-in to see the link. If you are going to protect page, train teachers to always sign-in when ever they go to our website, and this will happen more often as central office learns to use different features like this. (You could have landing page that says in order to see pages you will have to log-in)
  • Comments on colors for the calendar--they will be working on that.
  • Channels—little bubble now where you see the number of pages in that channel--so for example you can see the number of teacher pages in that view.
  • Use the search, start typing your page and you can search.

Editors and Viewers tab: 
  •  If teachers have not been assigned rights to their own page you can check under this tab
  • Files: If you look under tools/ Files and folders (note that some files maybe under folders on the left
  • Marlo, best thing when editing links on a flex page is to remove the link (there is now a remove link icon)
  • Another button now is “remove formatting” that can be helpful if you copy and paste from another program and there were problems with formatting.
  • You now have a button on the right called “DESIGN” and click on that design button and you want to add an app for example a photo-gallery.
  • Under “more” button under users you can emulate users to see what they are seeing.
  • You can unlock and lock a user by filtering to find a user and then clicking on them, opening their information and then taking the check box off locked.
  • Groups: Don’t get "group happy"--Really only use if you intend to protect pages
  • Today’s Power Point will be in the web-portal under documents/schoolwires/centricity
  • Workshop Proposals: Steven Anderson has created a “School wires update” workshop in the workshop registration system--you can copy those proposals and make your own.
  • Spring calendar is posted on the webportal:
  • Feb 7th—quest Atlantis all day 8:-3 with Brian

Betty Weycker--final words:
Accommodation training—how to put accommodations in NCWISE..not for teachers…
more and more requests for Lotus notes accounts, request for email accounts, etc. It has to come from HR, and if they are never in HR, then they are never added.--Betty is holding off on dealing with those tickets

Alert Now: a person called the Superintendent’s office about a number being removed. It can be removed from the district, but many schools have local spreadsheets and if that is the case then you have to manually update those...

 The database from NCWISE to Alert Now is taken out every night.

 Staff is being pulled from HR…Home field.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lenovo T-61 (Wake Forest Univ. Teacher laptops) laptop issues

Daniel Bryant our 6th grade math/science teacher offered the following solution for a couple of "display problems" with the new laptops

The first issue deals with the icons and writing on the new laptops being much smaller than on other computers. The second problem occurs (sometimes) when using Function F7 to transfer your computer display onto a projector. To try the solutions to one or both of these issues, read on below.

1) Writing and Icons are Too Small on the Desktop…
To solve this problem,

  • click on the Start Tab and go to Settings and Control Panel .
  • Next, double-click on the Display icon, and then press the Advanced button in the bottom right corner of the new window.
  • You will see a highlighted drop down box titled DPI Setting . Currently, your setting is probably set at Normal Size (96DPI) . You want to click on that drop down box, and change the setting to Large Size (120DPI) .
  • After making the change you will be asked a question acknowledging that font changes won’t be made until windows is restarted.
  • Click OK . Next click APPLY in the bottom right corner of the box.
  • Another question will pop up asking if you would like to skip loading new files and just stick with what’s on the computer. Click YES. Finally, if you are not prompted to do so, restart your computer for the changes to take place.

2) My Projector Only Shows My Background after I Press Function F7


OK, here is what has mysteriously happened… When you pressed Function F7, the laptop not only transferred your screen onto the projector, but it also changed your display settings (anyone interested in what they became, feel free to email Daniel for an explanation). I’m not sure what causes this change to happen, because I used Function F7 many times before this problem suddenly started taking place. Here is the Fix:


In the bottom right-hand corner of your laptop screen is a small green button that shows as NVIDIA Settings if you hold the cursor over it.

  • Double-click this NVIDIA button.
  • You will get a pop up window.
  • Hold your cursor over Quatro NVS 140m (Display 1- Digital) ,
  • then move it to the left over nView Display Settings .
  • The “Dualview” setting is probably checked,
  • but we want to go down and hold the cursor over Clone ,
  •  and then click on Laptop Display + Analog Display
  • Finally, the computer will ask if you are sure that you want to make these display changes.
  •  Click YES .
  • Clicking on this should return your computer to the correct setting so that you can see what is on your laptop and what is on the projector at the same time.
  •  If it is only showing up on one or the other, press Function F7 again.






Saturday, January 8, 2011

Parent Assist Issues

FYI, During NCWISE maintenance weekends” parent assist” is not accessible either.
List of Maintenance Weekends:

Also, even before the maintenance weekend, I have been hearing about parents having difficulty accessing parent assist. ( )

Unfortunately, there is not one simple answer as to why someone might be having difficulty accessing Parent Assist. However, having heard of some problems and possible fixes from various parents this week, the following are some possible solutions:

1) One quick fix is to start fresh try another internet browser, and then use that new browser only for Parent Assist. Why might that work?—because browsers can get corrupted by various spyware, tool bars, and the like, and starting fresh can be away to deal with those issues without addressing the other issues that are affecting your computer. A couple of good browsers that have been suggested to me are:




2) Another suggestion might to be to clean up your internet explorer browser. Depending on your internet explorer version, you might try the following:

From an open internet explorer window:
Go to the menu
choose Tools,
Internet Options,
advanced tab
select RESET (under reset internet explorer settings)

Warning, this will generally reset your homepage and other customized settings, but can be a good clean sweep if you were having other IE problems.

Another good thing to occasionally do is:
Also under Internet Options,
but this time under the general tab
choose “delete”: to remove temporary files, cookies, browsing history, saved passwords. This can sometimes make a program like parent assist work where there were problems with it loading before.

Otherwise, there is a Parent Assist FAQ site on WS/FCS’s webpage:

List of Maintenance Weekends:

If you come across other suggestions that have worked for you, please let me know. I did speak about navigating to different grade views in parent assist in the weekly memo.