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HeathcoteTech has moved!

HeathcoteTech has moved! Scarsdale students are now building blogs on the CampusPress platform. CampusPress is a managed service that uses...

Monday, September 15, 2014

As week three begins...

As week three begins we are one step closer to getting all the technology up and running. But first I wanted to thank the parents who stopped by the lab during the Open House. It was great to meet so many parents and have the great conversations we did.

Here are a few follow-up points:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Open House

Welcome parents!

Tonight is Open House, feel free to stop by the Computer Lab and say hello.

If we don't get the chance to meet face-to-face, here is a quick introduction...

Looking forward to a great year.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Google Chrome - setting up multiple users

As the year gets underway one of the things everyone has heard me say a lot is "Google."

I am a huge fan of Google Apps as a platform. It does wonders for collaboration, communication, and efficiency. One of the biggest perks is that with our 4th and 5th grades on Chromebooks we can all interact within the same digital environment, just as we interact in the same physical environment.

One of the things that makes the full Google Apps platform work to its fullest potential is Chrome. Chrome is a web browser available, for free, on all operating systems.

The follow is an overview of Chrome and a tutorial on setting up one of Chrome's most powerful features, multiple users. No more need for Safari for personal Google use and Firefox for Scarsdale Google use. Chrome lets you sign in to multiple Google accounts in separate windows without needed to log out when switching between them.

I hope you find this useful...

Why Chrome? The basics:

  • free
  • supported on Windows, Mac, and Linux (full specs here)
  • Google suite fully integrate (ie: search from address bar, sign in to all services once, etc)
  • Multiple users

To paint a picture...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Social media at Heathcote

Yesterday at the faculty meeting I mentioned my love of social media in education.

I have written a few blog posts about how we used social media in my previous school. I will be writing new posts here, on HeathcoteTech, about best practices and the great successes of our social media use. In the meantime feel free to read some of the previous things I've written:

All of the above posts and more here: http://thecasalos.blogspot.com/search/label/twitter

Let me know if you have any questions. I'm excited to get all of Heathcote sharing our successes with the world and demystifying social media alongside our students....

Friday, September 5, 2014

Heathcote Network Update

As the 2014-2015 gets underway I wanted to give the Heathcote community a status update on technology, and when students will begin to access the resources (lab, Chromebooks, iPads, etc).

We are in the process of re-imaging and configuring all Mac desktops in the building, so that they all have the latest available software and access to printers. This process should be complete by Tuesday morning, if not Monday afternoon. Currently, students do not have access to their network accounts (district-wide). Typically, students are not allowed to log into their network account until they have been presented with the Acceptable Use Policy (which I will do) or for the youngest students, a lab orientation. This year there will be a slight delay in allowing student access, even after the AUP presentation, all in the name of progress.

In a nutshell, we (the entire elementary tech team, district-wide) are creating new student user accounts and we are re-organizing our network structure and management practices. Planning for this began last spring and was implemented through the summer. The traditional method of saving network files on a remote server and shuttling them back and forth between classroom, lab, and library computers had become outdated, and no longer supported by Apple. This setup became increasingly faulty as more and more students received login errors or had their connection crash, preventing them from saving their files. Moving forward is our best option and we are confident that these changes will result in more reliable network performance.

We are having a soft opening of the computer labs in the week of September 15. This is a week later than planned, but we need the time to hammer out final network issues. The soft opening will involve a handful of classes who are willing to take the new network setup for a test drive. If all goes well, we'll then roll out the lab calendar for open scheduling.

A great deal of planning, coordination, and technical effort have gone into a number of technology improvement projects over the last few months. Too much to write about in a single blog post. More details to come. 

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Welcome to HeathcoteTech!


This blog is centered around technology here at Heathcote.

This is very much an extension of Mr. Casal's computer lab but will also strive to encompass far more than simply "the computer lab."

HeathcoteTech will:

  • post updates about technology at Heathcote
  • cover topics both in and out of the computer lab
  • provide resources and tutorials for reference beyond lab time
  • house the "Heathcote TechHelp" form for easy submission of technical assistance requests
  • house the "PD Surveys" for submitting ideas, wants, and needs for technology-centric professional development 
  • be open to all areas of technology, for staff, students, and parents alike

It will also
  • have opportunities for student authors, creating original student-written blog posts 
  • have opportunities for staff authors, creating original staff and teacher written blog posts about how they are using technology at Heathcote
  • post examples of technology projects students have created

Welcome to this new endeavor, we hope you enjoy the updates!