Summer Technology Update
To view past summer update videos, please click here.
As we continue moving forward to achieving our elementary one-to-one ratio, an additional 1,700 laptops were prepared to be rolled out to 25 elementary schools across the district. This increased computer to student ratio helps create a dynamic learning environment for elementary students.
eLearning with Canvas
Last year, KSD adopted Canvas as our Learning Management System. Canvas is available to all secondary students and teachers. Canvas changes the ways teachers interact with students and the way they interact with one another. In Canvas, teachers can set up classes, units, assignments all in one place. Additional training is offered through the office of Professional Development. You can register for these classes through our Professional Development web page.
Elementary Curriculum Center
The Elementary content on Curriculum Center has been updated and moved to its new home. Now teachers can login through 365, and only have to login once all day. Teachers can find the grade level and the content area and search by key words or find things through the links. To use all of the improved functions of the new Curriculum Center, go to https://kentschooldistrict.sharepoint.com/sites/CurriculumCenter/Pages/default.aspx. The content for Secondary Teachers and KSD Programs can still be accessed in the current Secondary Curriculum Center - https://lv.kent.k12.wa.us/_layouts/LearningVillage/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2f.
Skype is available for the first time to all secondary students. It's a tool that brings absent student into the classroom, and allows a class to connect to the world. Teachers can bring outside speakers into the classroom or take their class on virtual field trips around the globe. With Skype, teachers have access to a massive online library of best practice lessons in all content areas. Plus, students can better collaborate with their classmates, students in other schools and students from around the world.
OneDrive for Business
Starting in 2017-18 school year, KSD is transitioning all student data storage “to the cloud”. This transition from H: Drives to OneDrive for Business in Office365 provides more effective access, enhances collaboration for students, and reduces collaboration for students, and reduces the districts operational costs. This year, all high school students will have read only access to their H: Drive during the school year to give them time to move files they may want to keep. OneDrive for Business gives students easier ways to work on documents together, to save them, and to share them. Students can start a new document from OneDrive and then invite their teacher to watch them work. They can also invite other students in their class to work on it with them. Once a student finishes an assignment, he/she can let the teacher know that it’s waiting for feedback without having to leave the document. It’s automatically saving it for them in a place that they can get to no matter what computer they’re using.
Class Notebook has three main features, with a bonus feature available. First, it has a collaborative area where students can collaborate together on projects and assignments. Second, there is an area that is just for each individual student. And third, it offers a space where files can be shared with your class. Think of it like having the ability to "hand out assignments" to your students quickly and easily. The bonus feature is the ability to enable a "Teacher-Only" section in Class Notebook for only the teacher and co-teachers to see and access. This would be a great place to store lesson plans and materials teachers need each day.
It can be used with all students, kindergarten through high school! Teachers can use ClassPolicy to open an application for all their students at the same time and use it to bring them all to the same place in OneNote, or even to freeze their screens to bring them all back together. Teachers can also check in to see what they’re doing from teacher’s device. ClassPolicy also makes it easy to send different resources to different students based on their individual needs. For more information, visit the Help Center on StaffLink.
"Self-Service Password Reset Management" tool
A new tool is now available so students and staff can reset or recover their passwords from any computer anywhere there is an active internet connection. This “Self-Service Password Reset Management” tool reduces classroom disruptions by allowing students and staff to quickly reset and recovery their passwords on their own. To Improve security, KSD will be implementing a new password change protocol this year, so it is very important that everyone enroll in this tool. To self-enroll in this service, go to https://reset.kent.k12.wa.us. This process takes less than 5 minutes.
Microsoft's Monthly Updates
Did you know that the April 2017 ransomware attack that caused interruptions for multiple businesses across the world did not affect KSD? That is because the IT Team keeps all computers protected with Microsoft’s monthly updates and patches. Please recognize the importance of those monthly emails and also please know how important these updates are in order to best protect you and your students’ data and privacy.
In June 2017, the school board adopted Policy 4217 and procedure 4217P to comply with state and federal law regarding accessible communications. District employees are required to ensure that all documents, services, and materials produced, are made accessible to individuals with visual, auditory, or motor disabilities. Also, all new online services must meet accessibility requirements and be reviewed and approved by the Software Review Team prior to purchase an upon contact renewal.
Each school and department will soon identify staff members to fill the roles of webmaster and digital materials coordinator. These two roles will be instrumental in ensuring that all online content, and online services and communications, are accessible in compliance with state and federal law. For more information about either role, please speak with your supervisor.
Accessibility is everyone’s responsibility! Your efforts to improve the accessibility of your content will ultimately increase student achievement and parent engagement. Go to www.kentschooldistrict.org/accessibility to learn more about accessibility requirements for employees.
Skyward Training Video Series
To further increase staff effectiveness, last year IT began developing in-house training video libraries to enhance professional development for staff.
The first training series is on how to use skyward. This video library is located on the Skyward Resources page on StaffLink - https://kentschooldistrict.sharepoint.com/Help/Pages/Skyward.aspx
These short training videos are intended to bring staff up to speed with skyward. They are good references for timely use and training new staff.