Technology Integration Update

 

Welcome to Issue #51. In this update, we’ll take  look at software updates for Mac and iPad, talk about the new, district managed AppleID’s, and then highlight some of the great updates that apps received over the summer. Enjoy!

Time to Update!

As the technology department continues on our mission to simplify technology for students and staff, along with providing new opportunities for teaching and learning, it is becoming more and more important to make sure that you keep your computer and iPad updated to the newest supported operating system.

Mac: We are asking that ALL staff update their MacBook Air’s to macOS 10.14.6 “Mojave”.

NOTE: Please do NOT update to macOS 10.15 "Catalina". We have not verified that it will work with our district systems, and it will break many older applications.

To check to see if you are updated, please click on the Apple menu, then go to ‘About This Mac’.

To update:

  • If you don't see macOS Mojave, please open up Self-Service and locate ‘Install macOS Mojave’ and click ‘Update!’.
  • Your mac will download the update and then prompt you to restart to finish the installation. This may take up to an hour. Please do not turn off or shut your computer during this process.

iPad: STAFF, Please go in to Settings->General->Check for Software updates. All staff should update to iPadOS 13.1. For the time being, we have blocked students from updating until we can verify compatibility for student testing.

New for iPad - iPadOS 13!

After you update your iPad to iPadOS 13, you’ll be abel to take advantage of SEVERAL new features that transform your iPad into a productivity powerhouse! Here’s an overview from Dieter Bohn at verge.com:

  • A new home screen. You can set the iPad to have a higher density of apps in the grid so you don’t have to page around as much. You can also pin your widget bar to the home screen, which seems like a petty thing, but it really does change my experience in a meaningful way. Having my calendar “just there” whenever I go home is a huge help.
  • The floating keyboard. You can pinch on the keyboard to turn it into something that’s the size of an iPhone keyboard. You can then move it anywhere you like on the screen and just use one thumb to swipe on it to type. (It’s still buggy for me in iPadOS 13.1.2, jumping around the screen for some reason.)
  • Safari. Apple changed Safari so that it would tell websites it is a Mac instead of an iPad. The result is that you are more likely to get the “full” desktop version of a lot of sites. THIS INCLUDES FULL GOOGLE DOCS IN SAFARI.
  • Slideover. If you’ve only ever used one app at a time on your iPad, I encourage you to give Slideover a try. Drag an icon up from the dock until it looks like a tall floating window. You can have several of them in a stack that you can swipe through just like you do on an iPhone, and it’s easy to swipe them all away off to the side of your screen. It’s super convenient for lightweight apps that you only need to use briefly, like Music or Messages.
  • Dark mode. Here’s where Apple’s app ecosystem really shines: even though iPadOS and iOS 13 have only been officially out for a short time, a large number of popular apps have already updated to support Dark mode. I also like that you can set Dark mode to work on a schedule, turning it on or off with the sun or your own custom times.

A full listing of new features can be found at https://www.apple.com/ipados/features/

Managed AppleIDs

As announced in June, Westside is moving to managed Apple IDs using your Westside email address. If you had a previous personal Apple ID using your Westside email address, you should have received an email from Apple with instructions on how to change the email address associated with it.

Now that the transition has happened, all staff need to sign into their MacBook Air (and iPad if assigned) using their new managed AppleID. As a reminder, the new managed AppleID is your Westside email address and password.

Once you are signed in with your new, managed Apple ID, you’ll gain access to several features such as:

  • 200GB of storage which can free up space on your Mac
  • The ability to collaborate in Pages/Keynote/Numbers
  • The separation of personal and professional documents/photos/movies
  • If you are assigned a district iPad, you’ll have the ability to sync files between the two devices

Here are resources to help you with signing in:

New App Updates!

SeeSaw

Seesaw is a platform for student engagement and works on both iPads and MacBooks. Teachers can empower students to create, reflect, share, and collaborate. Students “show what they know” using photos, videos, drawings, text, PDFs, and links. It’s simple to get student work in one place and share with families, and nothing is shared without teacher approval.

New for the 2019-20 school year:

  • Import rosters from Google Classroom
  • Multipage posts: Multipage means students can show EVERYTHING they know in one easy-to-view post. The best part? They have access to all of Seesaw's Creative Tools, like drawing, voice recording, collage, and more on EVERY page
  • New fonts and justifications in with the label tool
  • Music teachers, now there is a staff paper view and the ability to draw notes
  • You can now lock templates

FlipGrid

For those not familiar with FlipGrid, it’s a free app that allows teachers to pose questions, and students answer using short video recordings. There’s no need to create accounts since students can log in with Microsoft (AKA Westside Access) using their email and password.

Over the summer, FlipGrid received several MAJOR updates including:

  • A new FlipGrid Camera w/ unlimited video clips, whiteboard mode, live inking, sticker overlay and filters!
  • Easier administrative access
  • Ready made discussion prompts that you can use
  • Microsoft Immersive reader to video transcripts
NETA Virtual Field Trip Mini-Grant Program

The NETA Board, along with NDLA and ESUCC, offers a mini-grant opportunity for Nebraska public and private school teachers. The Virtual Field Trip Mini-grant Program allows teachers to be reimbursed for the purchase of a Virtual Field Trip program.

For more information about the program and a link to the grant application click here.

If you have additional questions, feel free to contact Julie Moore, NETA Executive Director, executivedirector@netasite.org and/or Tom Rolfes, NETA Executive Liaison, tom.rolfes@netasite.org.

In Closing
As always, if you ever have any technology integration related questions, please let us know. We are happy to work with you to design lessons, develop workflows and even come into your classes and work with you and your students.