Innovative Technology Services (ITS)Dr. Matt Kuhn
Chief Technology Officer - Innovative Technology Services
Empowering the TSD community to grow into the future with innovative technology today.
The ITS division's mission is to provide, support, and coordinate the best possible technology for productivity, learning, and school improvement.
ITS is responsible for planning, implementing, and supporting technology across the district including student devices, staff computers, instructional applications, business software, classroom projection systems, telecommunications, network infrastructure and more. The department also assists the Learning Services Department with improving instructional technology pedagogy in coordination with each school's leadership.
The ITS Help Desk is a Web-based service request system for staff members of the Thompson School District to enter and track their service requests for technology or software support. For technical support, call (970) 613-7777 or submit an ITS Help Desk Ticket.
Latest Tech News
New Google Chat SoftwareGoogle is retiring the Hangouts Chat software and replacing it with a completely new application called Google Chat. The new software will be implemented in two phases. Next week, we will turn it on as the preferred chat program. The old https://hangouts.google.
com will still work but you will see the new one as the default integrated into your email. You don't need to do anything to use it in your email. You can also optionally decide to use it in your web browser by installing it at https://support.google.com/ chat/answer/9455386?hl=en. If you use the old Hangouts Chat on your phone, check for the new free Google Chat app and download it to your phone.Phase two will be later this school year when the old Google Hangout will be completely turned off for all TSD users.
Google Chat is a communication software developed by Google built for teams that provides direct messages and team chat rooms, similar to competitors Slack and Microsoft Teams, along with a group messaging function that allows Google Drive content sharing.If you want to turn on notifications for the new Chat in Google Chrome, follow the direction at https://support.google.com/chat/answer/9169357#browser.
What is Securly Classroom Software?
Securly Classroom software is a cloud-based classroom management tool for Chromebooks, giving teachers the ability to guide, monitor, and communicate with students during class. This helps remove distractions and keep kids focused on learning.
Teachers can guide the class by instantly pushing web pages to individual students or the entire class. This gets students on-task quickly, especially when using long URLs. They can also save links to their commonly accessed sites into a “collection” which they can launch on all devices in class with just one click. To get the attention of the class, they use Screen Lock to provide a custom messages.
Teachers can keep kids focused and on-task by removing distractions from student devices. Similar to Push URL, Site Lock can be used to open specific web pages on student devices, while blocking all others. Site Lock can be used for all students, specific groups, or individuals. When a teacher is reviewing a list of all open tabs on a student’s devices, Tab Control allows them to select and close any site on that device. Plus, teachers can block specific websites within their classroom, even those allowed by the district’s content filter.
Teachers can monitor all current activity across all devices at a glance to easily spot an off-task student. Securly is looking at the student's TSD issued account, not the device. It does not see any locally stored documents. It also does not see any information about what the student was doing on their computer with a personal account like an @gmail.com or @yahoo.com or other personal account. It provides a thumbnail view of all screens in class to see that everyone is on task. Teachers can zoom in on any screen, including all available open tabs and then close any websites not related to the coursework in a single click. It also gives them access to all student browsing histories that occur during class. Teachers can check history for any of their own students at any time, while administrators have access to the history for all students. This is used to monitor appropriate online behavior according to the Student Technology Use Policy and Agreement.
Teachers can send class-wide announcements or start one-on-one conversations with individual students. All teacher-student messages are logged in a chat history, and can be reviewed by the teacher or admins at any time. Students are able to get the teacher’s attention or ask for help using this special alert that appears as a glowing hand on the teacher’s device. Teachers can send announcements to the entire class (“You have 10 minutes to finish your test”) or to individual students (“Please see me after class”). Students must acknowledge the message by clicking on it before they can continue working.
As you can imagine, managing a classroom of students on technology while teaching is challenging during normal times, much less during remote learning. This software gives teachers the tools needed to teach, organize, and manage the class in real time.