Emergency Alert Test Postponed to October 3rd

UPDATE: The emergency alert system test originally scheduled for September 20th has been postponed until October 3rd at 1:18 PM Central due to Hurricane Florence. 

Original post (dates updated): In order to avoid any confusion in our classrooms, I wanted to share this notification that on October 3rd, 2018, the Federal Emergency and Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) beginning at 1:18 PM Central.

In our classrooms, students and teachers with cellphones are likely to receive test alerts – including an audible notification – at 1:18 PM on Thursday.  

Solving the “Google Authorization” Issue in Canvas

We’ve had relatively few ongoing technical issues with Canvas, but one of the problems that’s been a nagging issue that’s impacted our students and teachers is an issue with embedded Google documents. 

One of the features of Canvas is that it integrates with Google Drive; teachers can embed Google syllabi, assignment descriptions, sheets that students can collaborate on, etc., within Canvas.  Further, students can submit Google Docs as Canvas assignment submissions, embed Google docs in wikis and discussion boards, and so forth.  

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ICCSD Innovation on Education Exchange

Check out the annual Educational Exchange episode focused on the Iowa City Schools’ Technology & Innovation programs.  Some of the topics covered include recent and current technology projects, our recent program evaluation, and the district’s focus on technology integration support and STEM programming. 

An Inexpensive Home Internet Option for Qualifying Families

While the district is able to provide home internet access* for students in our secondary schools who do not have home internet, we sometimes get inquiries from elementary families about options for affordable home internet.  

One option that I’d like to share is Mediacom’s Connect2Compete program, which offers 10Mb internet service to families who qualify for $9.95 per month. 

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Updating Chromebook and Chrome Browser Software

One of the benefits of Chromebooks the Chrome browser is that they automatically update their software to the latest version, freeing up IT staff time to work on other issues.  We recently learned, however, that a handful of ICCSD Chromebooks were stuck on Chrome OS Version 61, which was preventing certain Chrome Apps – like Lexia – from loading.  

At any time, students and teachers can manually check for software updates on a district-issued Chromebook or in the Chrome browser on a Windows or Mac computer.  This can be an easy first step when an application is not loading or isn’t behaving as expected.  In order to check for a software update, follow the appropriate set of instructions below; the first set shows how to update a Chromebook, and the second shows how to update the Chrome browser.   

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