Category Archives: Slates&Tabs

Yorktown Update: October 18, 2011

There has been a tremendous amount of progress in resolving remaining outstanding technology-related issues, and a clear shift from technical priorities to instructional priorities. I hope this trend continues! I will be restructuring the tag clouds for this blog to better reflect a set of topics. That should help people search for salient information. On to the updates!

Google Docs Inservice

I will lead a session (hosted by the English Department) in room A-372 at 3:15 PM on Thursday, October 20, detailing how to use Google Docs to create, share, edit, manage, and save documents, and how this can be a powerful collaborative instructional tool as well as a great way to eliminate waste and secure important information! All are welcome; please join us!

GroupWise to Exchange

For details on how to move your old GroupWise emails into Exchange, click here to visit the “Anytime, Anywhere” training area of APS Blackboard. Seven items down or so, you’ll find “Instructions for Moving E-Mail from Groupwise to Outlook 2010.”

Ink and Toner

If you need ink and/or toner cartridges for your printers, please contact me (KDR) by email. Please include the number from the cartridge. The printer make and model is good, but the cartridge number (e.g., “HP42” or “52A”) is much more helpful. Thanks!

Reserving Computer Labs (Refresher)

  • Go to the school website,
  • Mouse over the Technology tab, and select Make a Reservation. You’ll be prompted to log in to
  • GoogleAPS. (firstname.lastname and default password staff if you’ve never logged in before; otherwise it’s the password you selected upon logging in the first time.)
  • You’ll see the lab calendars on the left hand side.
  • Select the desired calendar, and reserve away!

iPad Pilot Program

Expect details from Suzanne Evans and I on the upcoming iPad pilot program. We’re looking for innovative instructors willing to step up and take advantage of our 30-unit iPad 2 cart, designing rigorous technology-integrative instruction for their learners. Here’s a link from VDOE ITRT command with a list of iPad apps compiled by teachers and students!

Parent Portal Update

We are reportedly still on track to have the Parent Portal in place by the end of Marking Period One. I’m keeping an eye on this!

Phase III Budget Submitted

The Phase III Technology Budget Request was submitted for analysis and consideration by Senior Staff on October 17. Details will follow through your Technology Committee representatives.

Teacher Laptop Log-Ins

If you’re planning to use an APS-owned laptop outside of APS, be sure you’ve logged on as yourself from inside the Division at least once, specifically using the APS wireless network. This creates a local account on the machine, which means you’ll be able to log on once you’re out of range of the APS wireless. This does not need to be done via a hard cable, so long as you’re connected to the APS wireless network. (APS computers try to find this network by default.)

No Log On Servers Found

If, when trying to log in, you see the error “no log in servers are available” or something to that effect, it means your computer is not connected to the wired network, or to the APS wireless network. Lately, that seems to indicate a network cable is unplugged or the internet router (“hub”) has been unplugged accidentally. Check to see that the lights are flashing on the router. Often times it’s not plugged in!

The System Is Down… The System is Down…

If a computer isn’t working properly, be sure to notify Raj or me. Please don’t stick a sign on the computer that says “not working” or “out of order.” We can’t fix what we don’t know is broken!

Computer Lab A-372 Management

Please monitor the activities of students using A-372. Recently, several inappropriate pictures were made desktop wallpaper. If you see someone change settings, please take note of the student and follow-up with the ITC. A-372 is used as both a regular classroom as well as a general use lab.

Call Ahead Seating

Please call the ITC office before sending students out of the instructional environment to see me. I am not always (increasingly less so) at my desk, and I hate to see students missing out on rigorous academic coursework just because I’m not there!

SAS Curriculum Pathways

Virginia teacher have free access to SAS Curriculum Pathways. For details on how to include these standards-aligned curricular tools in your instruction, click here to visit the Curriculum Pathways professional development resource center.

Intel Thinkfinity Coursework Free Online

Virginia teachers have free access to Intel’s Thinkfinity coursework! Upcoming options include project-based instruction, 21st century assessment, collaboration in the classroom, and educational leadership. Click here to visit the upcoming Thinkfinity offerings online! You can earn recertification points in these four and six week online courses.

That’s All Folks!

Oh who are we kidding? No it’s not! It’s just the beginning! See you on the flip side, friends.

Yorktown Update: October 4, 2011

It has been a very busy couple of weeks, but many of the major issues appear to be resolved in many places. Here’s the latest!

GoogleAPS Up and Running

All students and staff should log on through

Instructional Library Online

The KACE server Instructional Library is now online, which will allow you to request software installations directly from the KACE server, which are then pushed to that computer in the background. It is available at kermit.aps in your web browser. Your user name and password are your standard Single Sign-On credentials, and the organization is APS.

There’s not a ton of stuff in there yet, but more is coming!

Hiding Emails from Students

Outlook 2010, by default, will cause a desktop notification to pop up when you get a new email. Lynnette McCracken raises an excellent point that this might cause confidentiality issues if this appears on your projected image on a SmartBoard! Here’s how you disable that option. Inside the Outlook 2010 client:

  1. Click the orange File tab in the upper left
  2. Click Options
  3. From the menu on the left, select the second option: Mail
  4. Under the third header, Message arrival, find “Display a Desktop Alert
  5. Remove the checkbox from “Display a Desktop Alert
  6. Click OK

Enable Attendance in EasyGrade Pro Web Edition

Here is a link to instructions to enable attendance totals in Easy Grade Pro Web.  The system shows attendance in color blocks. These instructions set it so you can see the totals. Your might find this helpful preparing for Interims.

Thanks to Dana Smith for providing this resource.

Parent Portal

The latest news is that we do expect to have this system in place by the end of Marking Period 1.

Wireless Access Posters

You will be receiving a small colored poster regarding wireless access in your mailbox. Please post it conspicuously in your classroom. All students and staff should have ready access to this network. It is not secret information, though it should not be posted online.

Technology Committee

The 2011-2012 Technology Committee has been formed. Please relay information to your Technology Committee representatives if you feel it does or would impact our school, or for discussion with the group. This year’s Committee includes:

  • Kevin Bridwell
  • John Doll
  • Laura Dye
  • Stephen Ford
  • Rebecca Gibbs-Jones
  • Richard Gibson
  • Kristin Gomez
  • Reed Hubbard
  • Keith David Reeves, Chairperson
  • Aaron Schuetz
  • Michael Smalley
  • Mark Stripe

Website Guidelines

Laura Dye and I are developing a concise summary of the APS Website Guidelines for the convenience and information of Yorktown teachers. These will be disseminated through the Technology Committee next week, but in short, it’s important to remember that we are moving ahead with refining our web presence and bringing into compliance with US Section 508 law, which deals with people with disabilities accessing the internet. Because we receive Federal funds, we are obligated to comply with this law. More details to follow!

iPad Cart Coming Online

Suzanne Evans and I will be rolling out Yorktown’s first general-use iPad cart in the coming weeks, once we get a few technical bumps ironed out. We’ll be looking for applicants for our first-phase Pilot Program, integrating these resources in meaningful ways into classroom instruction.

It is of significant importance not only to me professionally, but to our success as academics and instructional practitioners, to design our instruction to take advantage of our digital resources, not simply “tack it on” to existing designs. One can no more fill a gasoline car with natural gas than one can add digital technology to an analog-based lesson. The door is always open for consulting on your units of instruction!

Phase II and Phase III

Technology orders for Phase II have been submitted, and many of the new spaces will feature extraordinary, state-of-the-art resources that will set the standard not only for our county but throughout the region. I’m very excited, and grateful to Meghan Henning, Brian Bersh, Dot Green, Pat Teske, Jeannine Richardson, David Jackson, and Lottie Mack for helping to facilitate this.

Phase III promises to be very exciting, and I’m actively working to maximize our return on taxpayer investment, and am collaborative with a variety of stakeholders to try and ensure Yorktown’s massive Phase III opening features some of the most remarkable instructional technology steps to date! Stay tuned, Yorktown… a lot of very exciting things happening!