Friday, May 27, 2011

Teacher Laptop Re-image Program - iTunes Update and Office 2007

SBISD is asking that all teachers schedule a time this summer to have their laptops re-imaged to improve the functionality of the laptop and update the software. So many teachers are having software and update conflicts because the current image is so out of date. Microsoft is currently releasing updates that fix operating system "bugs" and software companies release new and improved versions of their products. But so many times in an organization as large as ours, Technology Services is challenged to get all of the updates to all of the computers. So, a little time now will save you further headaches and frustrations! Teacher laptops are not scheduled to be replaced until 2013, so we need to make these last two more years!

What do you need to do? Make sure you backup all of your folders/documents to your SAN folder. This includes your iTunes folder with all of your mobile applications for the iPod touch! Additionally, you'll want to export your bookmarks from the browsers you use - Chrome and IE7. If you store your personal folders in your Outlook account on your computer, you will need to move those also. Directions for all of the above can be found here under 2011 Summer Teacher Laptop Reimage!

For those of you who are part of the Summer Deployment for Classroom-Based Devices and are getting ready to learn about syncing iPad and iPod touches to your teacher laptop, you will want to make sure you get your laptop re imaged as quickly as you can. We have found so many of the teacher laptops have problems with the latest version of iTunes because remnants of earlier versions cause conflicts.

Best of all, you will be receiving an updated version of Office - Office 2007! Office 2007 has some really cool features, but the interface is quite different for some tasks. Great news! Atomic Learning has tutorials - introduction and advanced - for all parts of the package - Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel! We have even generated direct-link webpages to whisk you there quickly on the Ed Tech Classroom 21 page!

So, if you haven't done so already, call the Help Desk (713-251-8324) and schedule your re-image today!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A beginning: The SBISD Ed Tech Database of Resources

As Oprah moves onto another chapter in her life, so also must I. Oprah’s departure has left an enormous void in everyone’s world, so I’m going for it!

I have struggled for years as to why I should blog. There are already a number of really great blogs that I visit regularly and learn so much from, what else is there to say? However, I am going to attempt to personalize the learning for teachers and students in Spring Branch. Sometimes, these postings will be about district projects and the ramifications for teachers. Sometimes, they will be about district resources and pointing you to them. Sometimes, I hope to share some ideas for integration of some really cool web tools. And, if you have ideas, let me know! I’m open. So, without further ado...

The Ed Tech Database of Tools/Resources for your Classroom

Under construction for the last year, the Ed Tech Database is now operational! Search by grade level groups, content areas and/or types of resources to find a wealth of web tools, iPad/iPod touch apps and Flipcharts! The Flipchart Repository has been re-invented and is even better! Everything is now in one place!

Here’s a link, but just so you know, it is the Settings App on our iPod touch on the Ed Tech homepage! We are constantly adding everyday! And, if you have a flipchart, or know of a web tool or an app, you can also request that the resource be added by submitting the form which is also available on the same webpage! 

Tip: All iPad and iPod touch apps that are installed on your devices in Spring Branch must be approved and in this database! So, check here first! Also, remember that no district funds - general budgets or activity funds - can be used to purchase iTunes gift cards. We are in the process of reviewing the Volume Purchase Program and hope to pilot that soon in the district. Until then, you can only use personal or PTA funds to purchase apps.