• The Beginning of the End: Hacking, Hybrid, and Hysteria

    Posted by Monica Dalton on 4/8/2022

    Happy Spring Break y'all!!

    First of all, it's great to be out, about, healthy, wealthy, and none the wiser. While circumstances (see: my procrastination) kept my wheels firmly in OC this week, my eyes are green with envy and full of love for all my traveling Roadrunners!! Stay safe!!!

    However, just a couple of things to set some info straight for our SHS staff community...

    1) Mr B's recent email about his being hacked {...AGAIN, sigh...} came with this attached image.

    B's hackers trying... again

    Some of you likely already know this, but perhaps there are some of you (us?) who don't use Apple products at a programming level. Mr. B uses an iPhone, and images captured/shared using the iPhone camera are saved as HEIC ("High Efficiency Image Capture" or something like that haha) files, which are.... unique to Apple devices. Eh. Monopoly blah blah blah. Anyway, they're image files, like JPGs or PNGs, so they're harmless. Unlike, apparently, whomever has dedicated their efforts toward hacking a high school principal's email.

     

    2) We (by that, I mean --- I ---) have momentarily paused further classroom tech rollout. Just in time for me to take inventory.

    I know I promised classroom visits to everyone, and, especially to my adoring fans, I apologize. But with good reason:

    Considering how awfully the DO blew its proverbial load by trigger-happy purchasing a bunch of HYBRID teaching equipment  (most of which either was not properly disseminated nor was sufficient training ever provided), I believe it is important for my Tech Support role to close out the year with a proper classroom inventory. I'm set to work on that upon our return from Spring Break!

     

    and 3) THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH, FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, FOR MAKING MY TECH SUPPORT ROLE SO EASY AND APPRECIATED!!!

    It hasn't been an easy year, by any means, for myriad reasons, and affecting every single one of us. While the support I received from up top was virtually non-existent, I am so blessed and incredibly humbled to have had near unanimous backing from everyone at SHS -- admin, teachers, staff, I adore you all!!!

    Anyway, mushy stuff out of the way: the endgame for my schoolwide technology inventory is NEXT YEAR. 2022-23 is closer than we all likely realize, and I would ultimately like to develop a sort of training manual/reference guide for our most widely used applications (Zoom, Google Classroom/Meet, Google Drive, and Aeries) to implement before the school year actually starts!

    In any case, if you'd like to share any comments, suggestions, criticisms, dad jokes, Reddit forums, hilarious TikToks, cringeworthy Whispers, general merriment, words of encouragement, or [most importantly] questions, please hit that Comment section!

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  • HAPPY 2022 and Preparing Ourselves for the Omicron Wave

    Posted by Monica Dalton on 1/6/2022

    Many have asked my opinion on whether or not we might be shutting down due to the unprecedented Omicron variant of Covid-19 currently sweeping the entire world. As unfortunate as that is, what's even more sad is that I truly believe that our District will make every effort to avoid a return to distance learning, which is a terrible way of saying, "Those of us who are healthy will keep showing up, while everyone else will suffer at home."

    We were never asked to prepare for hybrid learning, which, honestly, is just fine. But in avoiding the topic, we're putting ourselves and our students at great disadvantage now that a large percentage of our classrooms AND our staff are now out. And those numbers keep fluctuating daily.

    Teachers: you need to begin training your students to be more adamant about checking your online courses (Google Classroom or Canvas). Try to make it a required part of each week's activities. It will not be enough to just put work online; students who miss days will need to rely upon the online systems to catch up, and teachers who miss days even more so.

    I'm creating a series of mini-screencasts to give some examples/tutorials on online LMS functionality, so stay tuned, check out our SHS Staff Tech Support homepage complete with a Request Form, and hang in there, everybody! <3

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  • Additional Online Resources for Teachers

    Posted by Monica Dalton on 1/20/2021

    Thank you to Mrs. Barfield and Ms. Morgan for sharing these OUTSTANDING resource collections available to the public! If you are looking to enhance your distance learning experience for students, please check these out...

     

    Online Learning Platforms for Kids

     

    GoFormative (for Google Classroom)

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  • Why is Aeries going haywire/looking different/being problematic???

    Posted by Monica Dalton on 1/5/2021

    SIDE NOTE (thank you so much Mrs. Barfield!!): if you have not yet tailored your current Google Classrooms to reflect ONLY 2nd semester assignments, then linking your current GC to Aeries will set it to sync EVERYTHING, including 1st semester work. You may need to either create a completely different GC for each class and archive your old one, or delete all your assignments entirely. Again, please reach out if you have concerns about this!!!

    * * * * *

    Hey everyone, Happy New Year!

    So... you may have noticed your Aeries gradebooks either looking strange, being categorized incorrectly, or just otherwise not working normally.

    Here is an excerpt from an email I sent another teacher earlier... because this seems to be a common issue.

    So... I am going to just assume that you generally start your gradebook over from scratch for 2nd semester (meaning, your 1st sem grades don't get calculated into the next sem).
     
    The problem is: for those of us with YEAR long classes (like you and me), nobody ever told anyone that our class rosters would be based upon SEMESTERS (it was a change that was made mid-fall semester). So, what you'll need to do is go into your Current Terms gradebooks (the ones from Fall) and change the Associated terms for each class:
     
    Click Gradebooks
    Click Past Term (if you don't see them right away)
    Click Manage Gradebook
    (If "Single Term" is selected, uncheck it)
    Under Associated Term, uncheck Year and check Fall
    Scroll down and under "Sections" make sure that the appropriate period and "F" for Fall is the only box checked
    At the very bottom click Save
     
    What this process will do is have all your Fall gradebooks show up under Past Terms. When you then create your Current Term gradebooks, make sure to check "Spring" under Associated Term and once again the appropriate period with "S" for Spring under Sections. Then each gradebook AND its associated students (which you will then be prompted to Add, as you'll see the red Add/Drop button show up on your Dashboard) will all be in Current Term. Changing our Fall gradebooks in this manner will NOT affect anything except what you see on your Dashboard.
     
    Let me know if that works out for you! 
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  • No, Aeries is NOT asking you to drop all your students.

    Posted by Monica Dalton on 12/18/2020
    Did you discover sometime today that Aeries was asking you to Drop ALL of your students from ALL of your classes?
     
    Never fear... there IS an explanation!
     
    So for our Year term classes, we have typically received a Master Schedule with students designated as Year.
     
    Because of Distance Learning etc, we had to re-designate all our classes as Fall and Spring.
     
    When we create our Aeries gradebooks, we have to associate each gradebook with a particular section (under Manage Gradebook, then the Edit Gradebook tab). If you look there, you'll notice blue checkmarks next to each Master Schedule section that has been approved/released, and right now they all have an F for Fall next to them.
     
    Since our Fall term ended already according to our Master Schedule, it automatically dropped those sections (and sent them into "Add/Drop Students," the red button).
     
    The Spring term Master Schedule cannot be approved/released until tomorrow, so eventually we may have to go back into our Aeries gradebooks and click the blue checkmark next to the S associated sections that will then pop up once the approval happens.
     
    In short, for now, just leave it alone 🙂 If you want, you can check again in a couple days and you'll probably see what I mean. Meaning, you still will NOT have to Drop anyone, you'll just be able to go back into Manage Gradebook/Edit Gradebook and click/unclick for Spring/Fall, respectively.
     
    Hope that helps! ❤️
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  • OMGOMGOMGOMG YASSSSS QUEEN!!!

    Posted by Monica Dalton on 11/16/2020

    Google Drive LTI 1.3 integration, on both distribution and submission ends? WORKS!

    TA roles in each Canvas course having access to said Google Drive LTI 1.3 integrations? WORKS!

    Grade Sync from Canvas Gradebook directly into Aeries? WORKS!

    Delaying posts of Announcements and restricting access to Discussions by setting end times? WORKS!

    Omg. This is happening, it's really happening!!!!!!!!!

    Please visit the Roadrunner Nation Tech Support for Teachers page for Canvas updates and tutorials on these magnificent accomplishments!

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  • Zoom Settings???

    Posted by Monica Dalton on 10/5/2020

    Zoom settings pg1 Zoom settings pg2 Zoom settings pg3 Zoom settings pg4 Zoom settings pg5 Zoom settings pg6 Zoom settings pg7 Zoom settings pg8 Zoom settings pg9 Zoom settings pg10

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  • SHS CANVAS STAFF TRAINING SCHEDULE

    Posted by Monica Dalton on 9/30/2020

    For further information about the upcoming Canvas training, please check your SAUSD.US inboxes for emails from me, or please reach out to me ASAP!!!

    Please begin by exploring this course's MODULES before beginning your department's training course! Click on Modules in the course navigation at the left to begin.

    NOTE: please make sure to click Mark as Done in the upper right hand corner as you explore each module's page! There are THREE modules in this pre-training set up, but right now you can only see the first one.....

    Tentative Canvas staff training schedule (on Wednesdays 1pm-2:52pm unless otherwise stated):

    SCIENCE: October 7

    WORLD LANGUAGE, PE, VAPA: October 14

    SOCIAL STUDIES: October 21

    MATH: October 28

    ELA: November 6 (Friday; staff duty day, training time TBA)

    HEC/LIBRARY: TBA

    ADMIN/STAFF: TBA

    *M/M SPED will train with their respective subject areas

    ** M/S SPED will train at a time of their choosing

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  • Your ZOOM BIBLE is just as readable as WAR AND PEACE.

    Posted by Monica Dalton on 9/28/2020

    Seriously, though. It's IKEA furniture instructions, NOT a book of leisure.

    follow the color coding, right to left and back and forth and...

     

    Please understand, it's literally LINE by LINE.

    Meaning, please TRY to follow *the directions I provided* directly to configuring your *Zoom settings on the website* first! I promise you can do it!!!

     

    seriously though, line by line, follow the pretty colors...

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  • No, Seriously, Though. SWITCH OVER TO ZOOM. NOW.

    Posted by Monica Dalton on 9/15/2020

    "My Grid View disappeared"

    "Attendance doesn't work right anymore"

    "Attendees and Breakout Rooms isn't doing anything right"

    WAS THIS YOUR CONCERN THIS WEEK?????

    No worries-- it was everyone's concern this week. Without a District tech blog to help keep us apprised of such things, and without a reliable source of Google updates because THEY JUST DO THINGS LIKE THAT, just know that the numerous glitches and failures are

    ENTIRELY DUE TO HOW MUCH GOOGLE MEET SUUUUUUUUCKS

    I said it before, but I haven't ever meant it as much as I do now.

    I highly respect Google for their adaptability and flexibility in the face of tech-user friendliness (which is why they have open source code that allows developers and app creators to make extensions and author applications tailored to nerdy creativity as such, which is partially why I'm a lifelong Android user ---NEVER iPHONE--- haha), but, in this particular case, it causes more headaches than satisfaction.

    In Google's desperate effort to match Zoom in terms of connectivity, encryption, security, and features, Meet has been rolling out built-in features slowly but surely trying to keep their own standards up while responding to the Zoom-comparative cries of so many users, especially now in the age of distance learning.

    Meaning, when Google arbitrarily decides to update a product, it does so slowly, inconsistently (at first), and without warning; however, this gives extension/app developers very little reaction time in terms of anticipating what features, if any, will be compatible with the new versions.

    In layman's terms: Grid View Fix stopped working because Meet rolled out dumb crap like "Security" (ooh, shiny new badge looking thing that only has ONE FREAKING FEATURE!), the ability to disable Chat, and the start of a promising idea called "meeting hosts." (UGH, /SARCASM)

    When GVfix stopped working, so did all the other extensions somehow dependent on it (anything Attendance related, the awkwardly occasionally functional Reactions/Nod, their dozen dysfunctional Breakout Rooms methods, etc).

    So, you may be asking yourself, what can I do to mitigate this? I mean, a little patience and understanding in the name of developing technology is perfectly acceptable, but... this? THIS? Is just outrageous and infuriating. What to do, you ask?

    Re-read the title of the this blog post. Go back to my Google Doc Zoom bible. Bother me with a million questions about ZOOM. Until then... I'll be getting my salary's worth dealing with the constant hiccups that Google Meet will throw my --our-- way from here on out....

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Last Modified on April 8, 2022