Moore @School News

Issue 3, Nov 2017

The Moore @School Minute

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJLVr0Du-2g

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In this Issue

  • Technology Services: News and Updates
  • Digital Learning: News and Updates
  • Better Know a Tech - Brent Gibson
  • Better Know a DIF - Tyler Callahan

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Technology Services: News and Updates

Windows 10 Rollouts

One of the first results of our new Microsoft agreement is Windows 10 licensing for all computers in the district. You may have noticed that new devices, and any computers needing a re-image will have Windows 10 installed. We are finding that even on the same hardware, Windows 10 is proving to be more stable and performing better than previous Windows versions. Note that Office 2016 is also included on all newly imaged machines.

New Software Portal - SCCM

We have also updated to a new software distribution system. Gone is the old ‘LANDesk Desktop Manager’. Software packages are now available through the Microsoft System Center - Software Center program. Instructions are linked here, but it provides a similar interface and catalog of available software packages as the old Desktop Manager.

School Printer Installs

School printers are also now easier to install. On every laptop and desktop, under the ‘Teachers’ menu on the desktop, you will find a ‘School Printers -’ shortcut with the name of the school where you have just logged in. Simply open this shortcut, and the available network printers at the school will be listed. Right-click on the desired printer and choose ‘Connect’. This printer will then be added to the available printers on your computer.

Google Drive Update

The old Google Drive client for computers is being retired! Google is now moving to ‘Google Drive Stream’. This client automatically makes files on your drive available on-demand, rather than syncing every file to your local computer and potentially eating up gigabytes of disk space. Install the new Drive Stream client from the Software Center. It will remove the old Google Drive Sync client, and add a ‘G:’ drive to your computer where you can access all your Google Drive files. More info on using the client, making files and folders available offline (like the old Drive Sync client), etc are available at this link.

Google Calendar Update

Google Calendar is also getting a new look! New features include Conference Room details, allowing rich content inside calendar items, and a new side-by-side view for multiple calendars in a single window. We’ll be enabling the new look for all users in November. More details are available here.

YouTube in HS - Changes

As shared to all High School teachers through email, we are applying the same ‘Moderate’ YouTube restrictions uniformly on grade 6-12 student access. Network monitoring is showing that terabytes of YouTube data is being consumed on a daily basis, and this interferes with the devices and network being used for educational purposes. Details for checking the visibility of videos and YouTube channels, and allowing appropriate content were shared in the email.

Helpdesk Reminder

You can now enter and lookup the status of your own helpdesk tickets! https://helpdesk.ncmcs.org/ allows all MCS staff to report an issue and receive support directly from their local Tech Contact resources and the MCS HelpDesk. Instructions for using the system are available here.

Password Site

Also launched this school year is the new Password Manager site for MCS staff. From https://password.ncmcs.org you can manage your MCS network and MCS Google passwords from a single interface, including creating password recovery questions in case your forget your password. Instructions for using the site are available here.

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Digital Learning: News and Updates

Digital Learning Competencies

By now, hopefully you’ve heard of the new Digital Learning Competencies (DLCs). If not, the DLCs are a set of teacher and administrator skills that North Carolina has developed in order to guide and improve instructional practice in regards to digital learning. Starting with folks whose licenses expire on or after June 30, 2019, all certified staff will be required to obtain 2 DLC CEUs to renew their license (20 hrs total).


Our DIFs, media specialists, instructional coaches, and other support staff stand ready to provide plenty of opportunities to obtain these CEUs now and in the future!


For more information and a fact sheet that includes the competencies, please click HERE.

MS Engineering Thread

Our students are really starting to think like engineers! Last year, DIFs and classroom teachers worked together to create 2 engineering projects for each K-5 grade level- one that included robotics and one that use traditional materials (cardboard, duct tape, aluminum foil, etc.). This was such a huge success with our elementary teachers, we decide to expand the idea to our middle schools!


To that end, we have 6 projects for middle grades - 2 each for grades 6-8. These projects are meant to be 2-4 day projects that directly engage students with content in innovative ways. They are built directly into the pacing guides and easily accessible- and fully supported by your DIF! In the middle grades, the robotics we utilize are Sphero robots and Parrot Mini Drones.


Check these projects out and reach out to your DIF to get them going in your classrooms!

Spotlighting Moore Blog

Spotlightingmoore.blogspot.com


This is just a reminder to keep checking out our blog, Spotlighting Moore! The goal of this blog is to share out the great things you and your students are doing in regards to STEM and digital learning. It is written by our DIF team, who are always looking for new things to publish to the blog. Check it out and, if you have something cool to share, be sure to reach out to your DIF!

New STEM Labs at ABP and RES

The engineering and robotics wave sweeping across Moore County has led to some amazing opportunities for students and teachers alike. One of the byproducts of this work has been two STEM labs opening at two of our elementary schools- Aberdeen Primary and Robbins Elementary. The STEM lab works as part of the school’s “specials” rotation- alongside art, music, health/PE, and library times.


The lab at Robbins Elementary is led by the fabulous Kim Collazo and the lab at Aberdeen Primary is led by the outstanding Ashley Luersman. We’re very excited by the expansion of STEM skills in our students and the willingness of schools to grab hold of this new way of engaging our students with core content and the 4 C’s. Be sure to follow along through Ashley and Kim’s Twitter feeds: @Miss_Luersman and @kcollazo

Canvas LMS Training & Help/Support

As Canvas spreads as a learning management system throughout the district, we want to make sure you’re up-to-date on two major features to help support your usage.


  1. All staff have access to anytime, anywhere online training through Canvas (in addition to working with your DIF!). To take advantage of this FREE opportunity, check out the directions HERE.

  2. We have also purchased full Canvas support for any issues or problems you may run into. If you’re having issues while using Canvas, simply click the “Help” button and enter your issue:

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Better Know a Tech!

Brent Gibson

Schools Served: All- Brent works in our Network Engineering Department.


What part of your job do you enjoy most?

  • I love working with SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager). Building out a district-wide service knowing that it will make a difference in not only teachers daily computer use but technicians as well. My drive and passion for this have come from listening to different teachers and principals in Richmond County Schools and to bring that to Moore has been nothing short of a blessing.


Family?

  • I have a wonderful wife Misty Gibson. She has been a dedicated teacher in Richmond County for over nineteen years and is one of the reasons I got into technology in the first place. Along with a supportive wife I have three great kids:

    • Ashlynn Gibson who has just turned sixteen years old.(OMG)

    • Ethan Gibson is ten years old and is my daily sidekick.

    • Brynn Gibson is four and has been a ball of energy from day one.


Hobbies?

  • Taking the Jeep Wrangler off road and enjoying every waking minute with my family.

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Better Know a DIF!

Tyler Callahan

Schools I Serve: North Moore HS, New Century MS, Community Learning Center


What part of your job do you enjoy most?

  • The thing I enjoy most about my job is seeing the excitement of the students. I love it when kids get pumped up about learning and doing new things. I’m not sure there is a better feeling as a teacher, than showing a student a new or different way of doing things, and in turn, seeing that spark of engagement. I also get to work with some really awesome teachers. The members of the DIF team really complement each other professionally and this has allowed us to do some really amazing things in the district. I am a better teacher because of the things I have learned as a DIF.


Family?

  • Wife - Amanda

    Son - Max

    Daughter - Campbell

    Dog - Apollo


Hobbies?


  • I don’t have a lot of time for hobbies but I do like playing basketball, fantasy football, kayaking, camping and fishing. I am a lifelong learner of stuff.