Gmail and Google Calendar Tips

Many thanks to South East Junior High teacher librarian and Instructional Design Strategist (Innovation) Chelsea Sims for creating this great Gmail and Google Calendar guide (link below) to help ease the transition from Exchange to Google: 

Gmail and Google Calendar Tips Continue reading Gmail and Google Calendar Tips

Staff Device Upgrades: Questions and Answers

As I’ve written and emailed out to staff members, we’ll be upgrading all district-issued, staff-assigned computers in May (for laptops) and this summer (for desktops).  In addition to providing new laptops and desktops, we’ll also be providing laptop users with a limited choose-your-own-device (CYOD) option, which will provide staff members with the choice between a conventional Windows laptop (Dell Latitude 5480) and a convertible Windows laptop/tablet (Dell Latitude 5289).  

While my emails and posts above have probably answered many of the questions you might have, I’ve received a number of questions from staff members since these announcements were released.  To benefit a larger audience, I’m including many of those questions and answers below:  Continue reading Staff Device Upgrades: Questions and Answers

Email Migration: Questions and Answers

I’ve posted an email migration overview, along with a more detailed presentation, explaining the upcoming switch from Exchange email to Google email.  Further, you can find instructions for manually migrating emails older than 180 days, or for configuring Outlook to access Google mail.  That said, there are still some questions that have come in from users relating to the email migration.  For the benefit of all, here are questions and answers:  Continue reading Email Migration: Questions and Answers

Laptop Demo Schedule

As we approach the staff device replacement dates in May, we are bringing the two laptop options – the Dell 5480 laptop and the Dell 5289 convertible tablet – to each of the buildings so that staff can have the chance to take a look at them firsthand.  Check below for the date and time scheduled for your building.  For those who cannot make the time in your building, we’ve also added some drop-in dates at the ESC at the end of the schedule.   Continue reading Laptop Demo Schedule

Backing Up Your Files With Google Drive

We in the technology & innovation department are tremendously excited about the staff-assigned laptop upgrades that are taking place in early to mid-May.  Such a large undertaking, however, also creates potential pitfalls that we’ve been working hard to avoid.  

One of the steps that staff members can take to ensure that the upgrade process goes quickly and smoothly is to back up your files prior to the laptop upgrade date.  Since our Google Drive accounts offer unlimited storage, we’re strongly recommending the use of the Google Drive application to back up any and all files that you want to keep to your Google Drive account, and then after the upgrade the Google Drive application can be used to download those files to your new computer.   Continue reading Backing Up Your Files With Google Drive

Configuring Outlook to Access ICCSD Google Email

ICCSD’s transition to Google email for staff on April 27th is rapidly approaching, and there are steps that you can take to prepare in advance!  If you have questions, check out my Email Migration Overview for more info.  

The first step you should take, before following any other instructions in this article, is to manually migrate any emails you have that are older than 180 days (by following this link).  While this step is optional – you may not want or need access to older email – it should be completed prior to following the instructions below.  

Configuring Outlook to Access Google Email

One of the challenges of this transition has been related to terminology.  Email, within the ICCSD, has generally been referred to as “Outlook Email”.  In actuality, our current email service is Microsoft Exchange, and Outlook is just a software client that most staff use to access email.  Here’s the good news: if you like Outlook, you can continue to use it even after we migrate to Google (Gmail)! Continue reading Configuring Outlook to Access ICCSD Google Email

ICCSD Email Migration Video Instructions

As I’ve written previously, the Iowa City Community School District is transitioning from our current email service (Exchange) to Google (Gmail) for email and calendars.

For detailed information, follow the link (above) to my previous blog post or check out my Email migration presentation.  I’ve also created a video (below) that walks you through the process of importing your email from Outlook to Gmail.   Continue reading ICCSD Email Migration Video Instructions

What’s New: Google Team Drives

Earlier this week, the technology & innovation department enabled Team Drives within our Google domain, allowing staff to make use of this great sharing resource that is fully integrated with Google Drive.  

What are Team Drives?

Essentially, you can think of your team drive as a Google Drive for a group, that will be owned by the group.  Here’s an example:  Continue reading What’s New: Google Team Drives

CoSN Conference Update

There are few things that I find more draining than professional conferences.  Not long ago, in a discussion with a friend of mine who is also in the ed tech field, I mused that I’m more exhausted after a day full of conference sessions, networking, and lectures than I am after a day spent shoveling landscape rock.  While the latter is definitely harder work, I’m pretty convinced that the former is more exhausting.  As this year’s Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) conference wraps up in Chicago, this belief has been reinforced.   Continue reading CoSN Conference Update

Maximizing our Financial Resources

As we seek to expand the technology tools and infrastructure available to our students and teachers, we must also cope with one of the key realities of this investment: technology is expensive.  On one hand, of course, the cost of technology has consistently declined over the past three decades; the word processors of the 1980s frequently cost more than $2,000, for instance.  The drop in technology prices has been closely tied to the increasing ubiquity of and reliance on technology within our schools and society at large; in other words, while prices may be dropping, the amount of technology that must be purchased continues to increase.   Continue reading Maximizing our Financial Resources