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Thursday, November 17, 2016

UPdates for Nov 17th

Digital Integration, the Joyce Kelly Edition: The people you work around are doing great work with integrating technology into their daily instruction. Joye Kelly decided to tackle Canterbury Tales a new way this fall. She is having her standard ELA 12 students use to create illustrated characterizations of 15 of the pilgrims from the book. After 3 days the kids are pros with the program & are able to recall the physical traits and satirical elements of several of the characters they read about. This is a challenging group of students with which to try something new; not to mention in the context of English Literature. Good work and you are awesome!

PLC’s and Accreditation: Your PLC minutes are great, don’t change anything. With that said, PHS was docked points for not have a central hub for admin and SIT to review them. As a result, I need all Dept Heads to please send me the share LINK to your docs and I will create a hub for them in Canvas. You will continue to access them as you always do or you can get them through Canvas. If you can get me the “Share”  link in an email titled ex: "Science PLC” I will take care of the rest over Thanksgiving. 

Nerding out in the Aux Gym: On December 15th First Tech Challenge is a world-wide, robot building, engineering, and programing competition. The Public Education Foundation of Moore County and Microsoft Inc have given grants to sponsor and supply seven teams from across Moore County middle and high schools. On Dec 15th, our 2 viking teams will scrimmage all other MCS teams in preparation for the state qualifiers in January. Will Allred has worked with our teams two days a week for three hour sessions to get ready for this. Come down during your planning to check it out, cheer them on , and wish our kids luck. If you want to bring your whole class let me know ahead of time and we will make that happen too. Game play will begin at 11 AM with trophies awarded at 2:30 PM. 

—  Canvas is coming and MCS Moodle is going: We had a scare this past week; IT asked if anyone would miss the MCS Moodle Server if they killed it? They are as shorthanded as everyone else in education & it is time consuming the keep the software updated. If/when they kill the server it will kill any course that you / students access on the MCS Moodle (not dpi or ncsu so this would not impact the state run CTE classes in Moodle). 
Fortunately the county IT department has heard from teachers that we need more time in transitioning to Canvas. The server will most likely be maintained to the end of Spring Semester. The scare was good because it reminds us to hurry our Canvas transition. To that end I will start having trainings during the first half of each block Monday and Tuesday of next week with more to come when we return in December and January. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Nov 1st UPdate

Access to your grade book and more is changing November 7th. IAM / Rapid Identity is the umbrella log in for many of our products including SchoolNet, Canvas, Gradebook, TNL (observation tool), and PowerSchool. Currently you have to enter an IAM / Rapid Identity password and a second PowerSchool / Gradebook password for attendance and grades. On November 7th, you will NO LONGER BE PROMPTED to enter a separate password for PowerSchool / Gradebook; it will just open when you are logged into Rapid Identity.

Old Way
Step 1 Step 2
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New Way Beginning Nov 7th
Step 1
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“I don’t care Will, just tell me what to do”

Gotcha: You need a new bookmark because the old, desktop Gradebook icon WILL NOT WORK ANYMORE. Right click on that one > select “Delete”.
New: type in a window or click here: . Before you type anything in those fields, select or highlight the ENTIRE URL in the bar above. Click, Hold and Drag that highlighted URL down just a little into the Bookmark Bar of your Chrome Browser. Don’t see that? You can just click the Star in the right corner of the URL line also to create a bookmark in chrome.
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**You must be able to log in to IAM by the end of this week. If you cannot or do not want to do this on your own, come to the Media Center Tech Lab Thursday during the first 30 minutes of each block to walk through it with Ms. Smith or myself. **

UP_TV: For a couple of years now we have tried to figure out a way to let students begin broadcasting our morning announcements. It’s a great idea because students have access to the announcements (if they are interested) on demand, parents can watch from anywhere to see what is going at their child’s school, and your first and fourth period class get 6 extra hours of instruction (4 min X 5 days X 18 weeks).

To get this up and going, we will begin this week running a dual system, announcements embedded on the web page AND full announcements read over the intercom. Next week we will begin deferring to the online announcements Tuesday through Friday with only emergency announcements, Pledge of Allegiance, and Moment of Silence over the intercom. For now, keep using the notebook in the front office to record your announcements although in the future I hope to replace that with an online version.

This is going to take some getting used to for us, the teachers, the club sponsors, and the team coaches. We can’t reliably film these the morning they are released because of logistical concerns. We will film tomorrow’s announcements today (that’s right, we’ve got the future) during 3rd block. That means: #1 greater planning when possible on our parts, #2 changing situations like “game is cancelled and we’ll practise in the Aux Gym” will still be done on the fly over the intercom.

NEWSELA Pro: Kim paid the Pro subscription this morning. All UPHS teachers now have access to all the features that were so useful during our free trial. If you have not used it, or are not sure if you should use it, please reach out to myself or one of our power users: Lisa Murphy, Bill Moore, Jennifer Cunningham, and I’m sure I missed some others.
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