ICCSD Providing Home Computer and Internet Access During COVID-19 Closure

It is important that students and families are able to gain access to educational, news, and communication resources during this challenging time.  To this end, Iowa City CSD’s Technology & Innovation staff are preparing to make Chromebooks available to elementary school students who do not have access to computers within the home.  Families of elementary students that do not have access to a laptop computer, desktop computer, or tablet in the home may complete this request form or call (319) 688-1950, after which you will be contacted with instructions for picking up the device.  We do ask that requests be made by families who lack computing resources at home, as we wish to ensure that devices are available to all families in need of service. 

While secondary students have been assigned a Chromebook from their school as part of the secondary one-to-one Chromebook program, we recognize that some students may have left their school-issued Chromebook at school prior to leaving for Spring Break.  If a secondary student’s Chromebook is still at school at this time, please contact the ICCSD Technology Helpdesk at helpdesk@iowacityschools.org, or by calling (319) 688-1950.  

We have also worked with telecommunications providers to identify opportunities to provide for internet access to District families with no existing internet service. If your family does not have internet service at home, please fill out this form or call (319) 688-1950 to arrange for district-provided internet access.  Once your form has been submitted, we will contact the telecommunications provider and assist in arranging for the establishment of service during the COVID-19 related school closure.  Again, we ask that requests only be submitted in cases where home internet is currently unavailable, as we want to ensure that resources are available for all families in need of service.  The ICCSD Technology Helpdesk is expected to remain open throughout the school closure, and will be available to support use of district-provided technology beginning Tuesday, March 24. You can contact the Helpdesk by emailing helpdesk@iowacityschools.org, using the chat option available in the bottom right corner of innovation.iowacityschools.org, or by calling (319) 688-1950. 

CANVAS IN EDU: EPISODE 05

Episode 05: Personalization for Students

🔀 Strand: Differentiation 🔀

We facilitate learning for a wide range of learners. Canvas has built-in features that allow us to personalize the content to better meet the diverse needs of the learners we support.

👀 Check it out below 👇

Missed a previous episode? Check them all out here.

Let’s Collaborate

If you are looking to partner with an IDS: Innovation team member and explore how you might implement the strategy from Episode 03 or collaborate on additional ways to enhance instruction with Canvas, please contact Andrew Fenstermaker at fenstermaker.andrew@iowacityschools.org or use the form below.

Are my teachers spying on me?

Answer: Only the good ones are.  But don’t worry, we’re only talking about making good use of our classroom student data.  Part of effective teaching is having an adaptive classroom that adjusts to meet students where they are at in order to maximize the time they spend in the zone of proximal development. But as anyone who has spent time as a classroom teacher knows, finding the time to really dig into the data can seem daunting, if not impossible.

Fortunately, Canvas provides some built in options for a mid to high level view of classroom data in real time. This won’t be a replacement for analysis of individual student responses on formative assessments. But it can be used to identify patterns in student performance over time. Continue reading Are my teachers spying on me?

CANVAS IN EDU: EPISODE 04

Episode 04: Top 5 Tips

📂 Strand: Organization 📂

A quick Google Search for Canvas tips results in an overwhelming number of posts. In exploring these posts, I have narrowed them down into My Top 5 for Canvas Organization.

👀 Check it out below 👇

Missed a previous episode? Check them all out here.

Let’s Collaborate

If you are looking to partner with an IDS: Innovation team member and explore how you might implement the strategy from Episode 03 or collaborate on additional ways to enhance instruction with Canvas, please contact Andrew Fenstermaker at fenstermaker.andrew@iowacityschools.org or use the form below.

Securing Your Account with a Passphrase

Password ImageIt is often said that data and networks are far less vulnerable to sophisticated technological attack than they are to human mistakes.  This is borne out time and again with news of large-scale hacks that were made possible not by expansive, high-tech eavesdropping operations, but instead by individuals who were tricked into giving up a password over email, passwords that were written down, or passwords that are so simple as to be cracked in seconds.  

Indeed, the use of difficult-to-remember passwords – and the steps that people take to keep track of them – is one of the key ways that attackers compromise a system.  In order to protect yourself and any organizations – including the Iowa City Community School District – whose systems you have access to, one easy solution is to switch from passwords to passphrases.  Continue reading Securing Your Account with a Passphrase