Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Techy Holiday Shopping List!

When it comes to buying tech over the holidays, it can be a slippery slope. What game system do I get (check with your kids!), which tablet do I buy, Chromebook vs. Macbook vs. Laptop, and what other cool stuff can I get are all questions that people are confused by.  Since I am a techy type of guy, I thought I would give you some input on some ideas I have for Holiday shopping. I want to give a big thank you to Leslie Fisher for showing off some of these devices at GaETC!

If you have any questions, email me at lgreen@floydboe.net or follow me on Twitter @InstTechGuy.

Click Here for a Copy of the Christmas List...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

December 9-15 is Computer Science Education Week! This is a great time to take an opportunity to explore different avenues of Computer Science with your students. In particular,  CSEDWeek.org is promoting the idea of an Hour of Code. Computer Science Education Week is asking educators, and everyone for that matter, to spend one hour coding just to familiarize yourself with the process of coding.
If you can take your students to a lab, great! If you have a lab to undertake this task, even better! If you only have paper and pencil, check out http://csedweek.org/participate for some ideas on how you can practice coding anywhere.

If you are interested in getting your students into coding, or just looking to learn a bit more about coding for yourself, you need to participate in the Hour of Code. To learn more go to http://csedweek.org/participate for more information.

Technology Education in the News:
President Obama will meet with several key players in the world of Educational Technology today to discuss his ConnectED initiative. Georgia is also putting their hat into the ring of Educational Technology by pursuing the 7 MM Grant starting in January of 2014. I am currently working on our portion of the 7 MM Grant which could be 10 GB (currently we are 375 mb) of bandwidth to our district.

Read USA Today story about ConnectED: Full Story

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I received an email from Pearson today discussing some recent issues with PowerSchool and Java. Please read a portion of the email as it pertains to upcoming solutions.

Email from November 20th, 2013:
Unfortunately, we are aware that recent updates to the underlying Java technology used by PowerTeacher Gradebook and ReportWorks have, on several occasions, interrupted that reliability which all of our customers rightfully expect. While we have no control over Oracle, the 3rd party who supplies Java technologies, Pearson has made minimizing the disruption created by these updates a top priority.
To that end, Pearson is working on two parallel efforts:
First, Pearson is working more closely with Oracle on better coordination with future Java releases so that we have any necessary PowerTeacher Gradebook updates ready in advance of the Java updates. To this end, we want to make you aware of a planned Java update Oracle has targeted for January 2014. Pearson is actively testing the pre-release version of this Java update (Java 7 Version 51). In the coming weeks, we will release a new version of PowerTeacher Gradebook with changes to maintain compatibility with the new Java version. Please arrange to install the update prior to January to avoid any potential problems with the new Java release. Pearson hosted customers will be automatically updated.
Second, Pearson is reducing PowerSchool's reliance on Java technologies. As you may imagine, this is not a small project. We have assigned our top development resources to this effort and we will keep you updated on our progress. We will continue to offer the same great user experience that our customers are used to in the current versions of PowerTeacher Gradebook and ReportWorks, and we are working hard to make this technology change seamless.
Pearson is committed to providing you with the highest quality technology tools to improve teaching and learning. We recognize how important PowerSchool is to our customers and how difficult disruptions can be. We reiterate our apologies and thank you for your loyalty.

Collaborative Learning Center at Pepperell Elementary School  (CLC at PES)
Learn about the future 21st century classroom design being developed at PES. Their website has videos of some equipment being purchased, and a summary how it can be used by students and teachers.We are moving along nicely with an expected opening date of January of 2014. 

Crypto Locker Virus

Current Virus Threat - Crypto Locker ( Learn More)
This is an email born virus pretending to be from companies like FedEx or UPS. Never, Never, Never, (Did I say never?) open an attachment from someone unless you are 100% sure it is safe. Always look for misspelled words, improper grammar, typos, etc. 
Link to email sent on Oct. 31st, 2013