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Innovate in TSD

Jake Gibbons
A megaphone with text "Give your digital device a rest when you are not at your desk"

In today's digital age, safeguarding student PII (Personally Identifiable Information) and other sensitive district data is more crucial than ever. One of the simplest yet most effective measures you can take is to enable a screen lock on all devices that access TSD data or systems. You probably already do this with your own personal phone or device, so set it up for your TSD digital device.

A screen lock acts as the first line of defense against unauthorized access, providing an essential layer of security in the event that a device is lost, falls into the wrong hands or enable screen lock when you leave your room or office. Whether you're using a smartphone, tablet, or computer, setting up a screen lock is a straightforward process that can significantly enhance your data protection strategy.

We invite you to use this ITS Self Help Document to set up a screen lock across your various devices and operating systems.

  • security
Andy Larkins

Have you heard of the 7 wonders of the world? Today, we present the 7 wonders of ensuring your Chromebook runs smoothly all day long:

A Full Charge is Crucial

Did you forget to charge your Chromebook last night? Think you might run out of juice? That cup of OJ may be good for your body, but isn’t going to help your Chromebook. When in doubt, bring your charger so you can plug in if your battery is not at the tippy top of its game.

Reboot, Turn it Off, Now Turn it On

Is your Chromebook more squirrely than a squirrel? Find yourself saying "Ah nuts!" because of something your Chromebook did? If you’re having trouble, have you restarted? This is always a good place to start to exterminate those nose twitching flaws.

Remove Unused Apps and Extensions

Like one-hit wonders, some chrome extensions and apps are used only once. Got an application or extension that you downloaded and only used once?  If you're not using certain apps or extensions, it's time to tell them goodbye. Doing this is an effective way to optimize your device, stop apps that run in the background without you knowing, and make room for those charming cat vids! Trust us, your Chromebook will thank you.

Clear the Cache

Is your Chromebook acting weird and creepy like something that goes bump in the night? Consider clearing your browser's cache. As you surf the web your browser saves things like images and fonts to try and speed things up the next time you visit that page. Occasionally these saved files can be out of date and lead to ghostly behavior. If you're seeing things you shouldn’t, clearing the cache will turn Chrome back into your best friend rather than a nightmare! But be warned, if you also delete cookies you'll need to sign in to websites again - and maybe get a visit from a confused blue monster.

Check for Updates

Is it the fountain of youth? Not quite, but don’t let your Chrome OS turn into a geezer. Keep it young and fresh by doing this simple 5 click process. Navigate to your Chromebook settings, locate the "About Chrome OS" section, and click on the "Check for Updates" button to keep your device up to date.

Screenshot showing how to access the About Chrome OSScreenshot with an arrow pointing to the check for updates button Screenshot of a screen showing the Chromebook is up to date.

Powerwash the Chromebook

Are your files getting as smelly as those socks under your bed? Want to just wash it all away? Giving a Chromebook a powerwash is a quick and easy way to do everything on this list all at once. To powerwash those files, go to the login screen. Press and hold “Ctrl + Alt + Shift + r”. Choose the “Restart” option. In the box that comes up select “Powerwash.” In the next box click “Continue” and watch the rinse cycle start! Keep in mind that any files you have stored on the chromebook will also be washed away, so save everything in Google Drive before this step!

And finally, drum roll please… The last wonder to make sure your Chromebook is running at its absolute best;

Get it fixed!

Get it fixed! Does your screen look like a zombie tried to take a selfie and the glass broke? Is your keyboard missing as many keys as a two year old is missing teeth? Is your charger zapping you instead of the chromebook? If you have any damage to your Chromebook, turn it in and get it fixed.

  • chromebooks
Kelly Sain

Information security is not just an “IT thing”. We all play a role in maintaining the information security of the TSD community, digital safety, security, and data privacy are key topics that TSD Innovative Technology Services Team continues to focus on and invest in resources in order to prevent attacks. Although we do apply numerous security measures to protect our networks and data, we need your help in order to implement the next phase in securing our environment and data in TSD. 
A stacked area chart showing the increase of security incidents in K-12 education from 2016 to 2021.

Each week there is a new news story about a business or government agency being exploited. Our neighbors in Jeffco experienced a recent attack that also affected another K-12 institution in NevadaK-12 educational institutions have seen a significant increase in the number of attacks. 

Although TSD requires staff to conform to industry best practices for passwords being changed regularly, this requirement is not enough. As explained in our Enhancing Information Security in TSD blog, we need to move to Multi-Factor-Authentication (MFA).

You probably are familiar with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Most likely, you use a second authentication method for your online banking, your insurance or doctor’s office, or even your PERA account. You probably have a password AND a code texted to you to get into your bank account. You might also use a password AND a code from an “authentication” app such as Google Authenticator, LastPass Authenticator, or Microsoft Authenticator. 

Due to the increase in threats and the new requirements for MFA to have cybersecurity insurance, TSD will be moving to MFA for TSD staff. We believe a staged approach is the right way to handle MFA in TSD. Over the next two months, different stakeholders will move to MFA.

Date

Staged Movement to Multi Factor Authentication

November 9th

All of ITS moved to MFA

November 13th

Cabinet moved to MFA

November 30th

Administration Building, Principals and AP’s moved to MFA

January 2nd

All Staff will move to MFA

During this work day, there will be an ITS member at each campus to assist in this move.

*some staff may not be moved to MFA

January 3rd

ITS at Mountain View HS to assist with MFA

We are here to help you with this change. ITS will send several communications along the way. If you would like additional information, please see our Multi Factor Authentication slide deck and self help articles. ITS will be at your school on January 2nd and at Mountain View HS on Jan 3rd to assist folks during our MFA transition.

Thank you for helping us with our Multi Factor Authentication journey.

Please reach out to me with any questions that you may have.

Kelly Sain

Recently our Digital Learning Cohort (DLC) had an opportunity to spend a day exploring the use of digital tools that our students have access to. Our day was focused on the use of our Innovation iPad Carts, Student Tech4All iPads, and Student Tech4All Chromebooks. You can also read a summary of the day in PDF form.

Innovation iPad Carts

Teachers had the opportunity to explore Apple’s Everyone Can Create Projects. These projects engage step-by step tutorials that promote digital skills in the form of drawings, photos, music, videos, and a combination of multiple skills. Teachers had a chance to create videos, photos, or pop art. These resources support the use of our Innovation iPad Carts that have been delivered across our district.

Using Chromebooks as Student Creation Tools

We explored Adobe Express and Flip. These tools allow students to create and display content through text, images, videos, AI generated content, and many more opportunities.

Choose your Own Adventure Learning

Professional learning should allow for choice, so teachers selected the sessions they were interested in. Session topics included;

  • Introduction to MakerSpaces

  • Getting Creative on Chromebooks

  • iPads for K-1

  • Accessing Sora so students can check out ebooks at any time from anywhere.

  • AI exploration and discussions

  • Robotics

We feel that learning from each other is valuable so teachers shared some of their productivity tips and favorite platforms and tools. Below are some examples that we want to highlight from our talented DLC members!

Violet Christensen, Riverview K-8 Innovation Specialist

Violet inspired the group to use Classroom Screen! Take a moment to view Violet share about this tool.

Want to try it yourself? Access Classroomscreen for free.

Brad Martin, Lucile Erwin Middle School Literacy Teacher

Brad shared a time saving tip for Google Classroom. Want to comment to students on assignments in batches? These supports for students can be essential for student growth. Watch the video below to see his workflow tip.

Try in your own Google Classroom

Want to learn more digital tool ideas? Check out our Tips and Tricks or Digital Tools Learning Pages.

Collaboration Across the Group

Finally, DLC members had time throughout the day to reflect on their learning, collaborate with other team members and have discussions on how they would implement their new learning. Please see our reflection sheet used during each session opportunity.

TSD has amazing teachers and their learning, collaboration and idea sharing inspired us. We can’t wait to get together for our next DLC day and see the student products that they will share using digital tools for creation.

Google Drive Security Tip

Effectively managing sharing permissions in Google Drive is crucial for maintaining a secure and organized collaborative environment. Check out this month's security tip regarding Google Drive sharing.

  • dlc
Erick Baumgartner

Efficient collaboration and seamless file sharing are vital components for TSD. Google Drive offers a range of sharing permissions to facilitate smooth cooperation among teachers, students, and staff members.

Using the Google Drive Search Bar with Specific Criteria

Google Drive offers a powerful search functionality that allows you to find files and folders quickly. By incorporating specific criteria, you can refine results to locate files.

Using Google Drive search bar to find the file

  1. Open Google Drive: https://drive.google.com

    1. At the top, type a word or phrase into the search box.

  2. Use the three lines to your right to click on and open up the filter chip menu.

  3. To narrow your search, use the filter chips below the search box to filter on the following criteria:

    1. Type: File types such as documents, images, or PDFs.Image of search criteria available in Google

    2. Owner: who owns the document, “owned by me”, “not owned by me” or “specific person”

    3. Has the Words or Item name: further defines your search parameters

    4. Location: Searches in a specific folder, for example: “My Drive”, "Trash," or "Starred.”

    5. Modified: The date a file was last edited.

    6. Approvals: Searches only for the title or name of a file.

    7. To do: Items that may require your attention, including approvals, follow ups, and ownership transfers.

By using the available Google Tools and Search options, you can save valuable time and ensure that you're accessing the files quickly. For additional information check out Google Drive Help.

Understanding Sharing Permissions:

Drive provides four distinct levels of sharing permissions:

  1. View Only: Users with "Viewer" permissions can only open and view files. This level is ideal for sharing information that is meant for reference purposes only.

  2. Comment Access: With "Commenter," users can add comments to files, but they cannot directly modify the content. This level is beneficial for collaborative projects where feedback and suggestions are crucial.

  3. Edit Access: Users can make changes, add new content, and delete existing elements within a file. This level is suitable for collaborative projects where multiple contributors need to actively work on a document.

  4. Owner Access: Owners have full control over a file or folder, including the ability to modify sharing settings, delete files, and transfer ownership. It's crucial to be cautious when assigning owner permissions.

    1. Access: Restricted, only specific individuals can view or edit it. This provides a higher level of security and control, making it ideal for sensitive documents or confidential information. Including student information or PII (personal identified information)

    2. Anyone with the Link: allows anyone who has the direct link to the file to access it, without the need for individual permissions. It should not be used when sharing sensitive information.

    3. Sharing with Thompson School District: gives access to everyone in our Google domain, student and staff.

    4. TSD Staff limits it so that all staff can view, but students cannot.

Effectively managing sharing permissions in Google Drive is crucial for maintaining a secure and organized collaborative environment. By understanding the different levels of permissions, you can ensure that files and folders are shared appropriately, keeping our data safe and secure while also facilitating seamless collaboration among teachers, students, and staff members.

  • security
Kelly Sain
In today's digital age, cybersecurity is paramount. As our online presence continues to grow, so does the need to fortify our defenses against cyber threats. As leaders in the education sector, it is imperative that we address these issues to protect our students, staff, and valuable data. Since October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we are addressing the increased cybersecurity threats and attacks on K-12 institutions, and reaching out to you about two new ITS security campaigns.

Security is more than physical security. An incredible amount of data is stored digitally, on a variety of devices and on servers both locally and globally. It seems that there is not a week that goes by without a news story of a security breach. In August, the White House announced a new Cybersecurity Initiative for K-12 Schools. Information security is not just an “IT thing”. We all play a role in maintaining the information security of the TSD community.

Working with our Vendor Partners to Improve Information Security

In order for us to protect our data, we need to be compliant with changing data protection laws and work with our partners to keep our data safe. Google, our TSD partner, has taken significant steps to bolster their security and by extension TSD’s information security measures will need to change.

Screenshot of catalog listing for Clever with a green checkbox to the right of the title.As of October 23rd, Google will require that any app, website or platform that uses your TSD Google account be explicitly approved by ITS. ITS has partnered with the Learning Services Curriculum and Instruction Team to evaluate the 3500 apps currently used in TSD. Since this is a large number to review, we are only verifying the apps that have over 100 TSD users. Anything that has been verified will display a green check mark in the Digital Catalog. On October 24th, anything that has not been verified will be removed from the catalog. This may mean that some apps, websites or extensions that you have used, might not be verified and will not be accessible. If there is an application that you would like to be added to the approved list, please put in a request to have it vetted. Our Learning Services and ITS team will review. This additional review process will take time to complete the final evaluation review. We appreciate your patience while we stay in compliance with K12 security changes.

Cybersecurity Insurance Requirements

With the increased threats and attacks on K-12 Institutions, we will need to enhance security in order to qualify for and maintain our cybersecurity insurance. Over the last 6 months, ITS has been creating Information Security training for all TSD staff. This will be delivered through the Public SchoolWorks platform. We are offering this professional development this fall and will require all staff to take cybersecurity training during the Winter Training period which begins on February 1.

Multi Factor Authentication Changes. As explained above by CISA, we will need to move to Multi Factor Authentication. More information will be shared soon about this requirement.

Information Security

As a part of our ongoing mission to support information security, we will add an ITS Security Tip each month to the Innovate in TSD Blog.

Want to Bring Students into the Fold of Information Security?

Common Sense Media has created Digital Citizenship Lessons for K-12 Students. Check out the following lessons that can be shared with students

Remember, cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and we all play a part in creating a safer digital ecosystem. Let's embrace these changes and work together to fortify our online security.

  • security
Erick Baumgartner

An IT security incident refers to any event or situation that has the potential to compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of information systems, data, or services. These incidents may stem from various sources, including cyberattacks, human error, social engineering, or technical malfunctions.

Common Examples of IT Security Incidents

  • Malware Infections: This category encompasses viruses, ransomware, and other forms of malicious software that can infiltrate systems, causing harm or unauthorized access.
  • Phishing Attacks: Deceptive emails or messages designed to deceive recipients into revealing sensitive information like passwords or financial details.
  • Unauthorized Access: Any attempt to gain access to a system or data without proper authorization, whether through exploiting vulnerabilities or utilizing stolen credentials.
  • Data Breaches: Incidents involving the unauthorized access, acquisition, or disclosure of sensitive or confidential information.
  • Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks: These attacks attempt to overwhelm a system or network, rendering it inaccessible to legitimate users.

Reporting Procedures

In the event you suspect or encounter an IT security incident, it is imperative to follow these steps:

  • Immediate Response: If you suspect an incident, act promptly to contain it and minimize potential damage.
  • Notify ITS Department: Report the incident to ITS help desk, immediately. Incidents can be reported via help desk ticket http://help.tsd.org, phone 970-613-7777, in-person, or email software.security@tsd.org. Provide as much detail as possible.
  • Document Everything: Keep records of what transpired, including the time, actions taken, and any evidence you may have.
  • Avoid Further Actions: Refrain from taking any further action that could exacerbate the situation or compromise evidence.

Prevention and Mitigation

While incidents may occur, our best defense lies in proactive measures. Regularly update and patch systems, use strong, unique passwords, and be vigilant against phishing attempts.

By understanding IT security incidents and knowing how to respond, we strengthen our collective ability to safeguard our district's information and assets.
 

  • security
Erick Baumgartner

We want to bring your attention to an increasingly sophisticated cyber threat that has been on the rise: spear phishing. Spear phishing attacks are highly targeted and personalized attempts by malicious actors to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information or performing actions like:

  • sharing personal information,
  • purchasing gift cards,
  • or compromising security

Malicious actors are using the names of staff members, mostly principals and secretaries, to create email accounts and pretend to be those individuals, asking for phone calls or to purchase gift cards. District staff should not be using personal email accounts to conduct business. If you receive an email that is a personal email vs their TSD e-mail, please do NOT click on that communication or any  links in the communication.

As part of our ongoing commitment to the safety and security, we want to provide you with some important information about spear phishing and how you can protect yourself:

What is Spear Phishing?

Spear phishing involves attackers researching and tailoring their messages to specific individuals. These messages often appear legitimate, utilizing familiar names, logos, or contexts to lure recipients into taking actions that may compromise personal or organizational security.

Red Flags to Watch For

  • Unexpected or unusual requests for personal or sensitive information.
  • Urgent or threatening language that pressures you into quick actions.
  • Email addresses that closely mimic official ones (e.g., Mary.Sue@tsd.org vs. Mary.Sue254e@gmail.com).
  • Links or attachments from unknown or unexpected sources.

Preventive Measures

  • Think Before You Click: Be cautious about clicking on links or opening attachments, especially if they are unexpected.
  • Verify the Sender: Double-check email addresses and contact the sender using official channels if in doubt.
  • Use Strong Passwords: Regularly update your passwords and use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Keep Software Updated: Ensure your operating system, antivirus, and other software are up to date.
  • Report Suspicious Activity: If you receive a suspicious email, report it to your IT department or administrator immediately.
  • Report in Gmail: Report the email as phishing or as spam in Gmail.

Education is Key

Help spread awareness about spear phishing to your peers and colleagues. The more informed our community is, the better we can protect ourselves and our school district.

Remember, cyber threats are evolving, and our best defense is staying informed and vigilant. If you ever receive an email that seems suspicious, it's always better to be cautious and report it rather than risk a security breach.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and please feel free to reach out to ITS if you have any questions or concerns.

  • security
Kelly Sain

During the summer our ITS team has been busy, if you missed it, check out our summer ITS work Video. One of the most exciting changes to share is the remarkable accomplishments of our high school student interns and ITS staff apprentices who dedicated their summer to support TSD’s changes with Tech4All.

400 Devices Repaired: Elevating Technological Resilience

Our tech-savvy interns repaired close to 400 devices in the month of July alone. Whether it was a damaged screen, a sluggish processor, or a battery in dire need of replacement, our interns successfully repaired TSD student devices. Through their efforts, they have not only saved valuable resources but have also shown their commitment to enhancing the technological resilience of our school's infrastructure.

Assisting in Processing 3,000 New Chromebooks: Paving the Way for the 23-24 School Year

Two people applying asset tags to new Chromebooks

The year brings with it exciting prospects, and our student interns played a pivotal role in processing a whopping 3,000 new Chromebooks, ensuring that our faculty and students will have access to cutting-edge technology to facilitate seamless learning experiences.

15,000 Devices Cleaned and Moved: Enhancing Digital Accessibility While Working With Zone Teams

Digital accessibility is a key component of our educational philosophy, and our zone technicians, apprentices, and student interns took this mantra to heart. By integrating with our full-time staff zone teams, they accomplished the task of cleaning and moving 15,000 devices between sites. Working side by side, their teamwork demonstrates their belief in creating an inclusive educational ecosystem where every student can harness the potential of technology.

Over 750 Hours Worked: Fostering a Strong Work Ethic

Over the course of the summer, our interns collectively contributed more than 750 hours of hard work and dedication. Such an exemplary display of work ethic sets an inspiring precedent for their peers. Check out our website to learn more about our Apprentice and Intern program.

With a successful Intern and Apprentice program, we shared our learning with other Colorado districts.

Representatives of ITS presenting with a slide show

The ITS Client Services team presented conference sessions at both InnEdCO and CASE conferences this summer. Students from both the intern and apprentice programs shared their experience with leaders from around the state. Attendees asked questions about the program, how students feel doing the work and how our staff collaborates and connects with student workers.

Looking Ahead: A Bright and Empowered Future

The accomplishments of our high school student interns and apprentices underscore the value of nurturing and empowering young minds. If you would like to expand or begin a student intern program at your school, reach out to us. As the Chief Technology Officer, I am proud of our school team Interns and ITS apprentices. Their efforts are a testament to the power of collaboration between students, educators, and administrators, all working together to create a college to career ready learning experience in TSD.

Kelly Sain
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Kelly Sain

End of the School Year: Technology Updates

As we approach the end of the academic year, I.T.S. is looking ahead to summer projects, from device refreshes to software changes. Here are a few things to keep in mind for a smooth start to the next academic year, or if you are leaving the district this year.

Student Device Collection

To prepare for our recently-announced student device changes, I.T.S. will be collecting all student devices over the summer in order to redistribute according to our new sustainable model next year. Please see this blog for more information. If you would like I.T.S. support for deployment or check in processes, please sign up for a time for help.

We have created some additional supports for check-in. Please see this student generated video explaining our check-in process. Please print a check-in form for each student to use during device collection. 

Please use the following slide decks to help with the process.

Moving to a new room? Leave your phone.

If you are moving to a new building, classroom, or office over the summer, please leave your phone in its place. Desk phones belong to the room and it’s important we have accurate records for safety purposes. If you need assistance setting up your voicemail in your new room, please create a Telecom Support Ticket.

Departing the district? Turn in your devices and transfer your files.

If you are leaving the district this year, please leave all devices at your building. We ask that you turn your device into your school site tech.  We also encourage you to transfer ownership of any files other will need after your departure, or move them to a Shared Drive. Please create a ticket at help.tsd.org if you have questions about moving your files.

Staff Laptop Clinic & New Teacher Deployment 

Staff laptop clinic returns. Get your computer tuned up or have a problem looked at on the spot. If you receive an email that you are eligible for a new computer, you can come and get it before classes start! New staff can also sign up to get their computer issued to them before NTO. We have many summer options if you are available, as well as options during NTO and TENS week to support all staff. 

We have many options available to accommodate staff this year. 

  • Summer Slots - July 11-Aug 4th,

  • NTO Week - Aug 1st, Aug 2nd (MVHS) & Aug 3rd

  • TENS Week - Aug 9th and 11th

You can book a 30-min appointment slot using this calendar. Unless otherwise noted, all appointments are at SSC, located at 2890 N Monroe Ave, Loveland CO 80538. The Aug 2 timeframe at MVHS will be held in the Media Center from 8-12 and is first come, first serve.

New Staff Computers

Are you eligible for a new computer for the 23-24 school year? If you are, ITS will notify you by May 19th. You can pick up your new computer anytime during our Staff Laptop Clinic by making an appointment using this calendar. We will take your old computer and give you your new computer at the same time, so please make sure to backup your files to your Google Drive prior to coming to your appointment. 

Google Classroom cleanup and archive

Over the summer, all Google Classrooms from previous academic years (22-23 and earlier) will be archived to help teachers and students start the new year with a clean dashboard. If you still need a class from a previous year, you can easily unarchive it.
We will also be tightening our security settings to ensure only users inside TSD can join Google Classrooms. This change will only affect about 1% of classrooms, but if you have any questions please create a Software Support Ticket.

Kami Retirement

As part of the ongoing process of evaluating what platforms and systems are being utilized within the Thompson School District, we have looked at the usage data of the Kami premium application. This application was purchased using ESSER funds to handle remote learning. The usage of Kami has decreased since we have returned to in school learning. As a result, TSD will not renew Kami at a district level purchase and it will no longer be rostered in Clever. The free version is still available. There are also several alternatives available in the Digital Catalog as well as native features on both Chromebooks and iPads that can annotate on PDFs.

  • On a Chromebook: Download the PDF from Google Classroom (or however else you give the PDF to students), then open in Gallery (native CB app) where you’ll find text, highlight, and drawing features. After annotating, students can save the file, then go to Google Classroom and upload the edited file.

  • iPads offer the Markup tool when viewing a PDF. 


Help with any of these options is available from the Technology Implementation Specialists.

Google Takeout

Students or staff leaving the district can use Google Takeout to transfer data out of their TSD Google account. They can get started with this self-help document.  Please share with your graduating seniors.

You're invited to the Summer Empowered Learning Institute, and it all kicks off with live sessions on June 20th!

Inside the Institute, you'll find 70+ differentiated sessions, go at your own pace sessions that provide you with a blueprint on how to create future focused classrooms that inspire playful learning and authentic engagement. View the Empowered Learning Institute flyer or go directly to the TSD Empowered Learning website 

  • This experience supports everyone with sessions customized to specific grade levels, content areas, and roles. Access to the institute will be provided after registration in mid May, along with a Google Classroom invite. 

Click the following link to log in and view the TSD course: #10716 Empowered Learning Institute at TSD - Summer 2023. Register for the classified, Relicensure licensed or TIC credit that works for your summer learning needs!

  • student devices
Kelly Sain

Rebranding 1:1 Ubiquitous Technology Access UTA

For the last few years, TSD has achieved Ubiquitous Technology Access (UTA) for all students. Utilizing ESSER and district funds, we have one iPad or Chromebook for every student in TSD. Part of our 1:1 work has involved rebranding the name of the Ubiquitous Technology Access (UTA) program. Through collaboration with district representatives and groups, we have a new name, Tech4All.

Since Tech4All is about students using technology, we would like TSD students to create a logo design to represent our new name. Please ask your students to create a design and share their design ideas (via the linked form) by May 26th. The winning logo design will be announced next year and will be incorporated into our website and communications.

Innovation iPad Carts

As part of the New Device Deployment plan, Tech4All, I.T.S. will provide a cart of Innovation iPads to all schools. The iPads will be set up as shared devices. This means that multiple students will be able to log in and save their work. A suite of creativity apps will be pre-installed. 

The school cart of 30 iPads will be stored in a common location available for your learning community. Technology Implementation Specialists, working in collaboration with our Digital Learning Cohort members and library services team, will collaborate with schools to determine the utilization of the Innovation iPad Cart. Professional Development will be made available to any staff and teachers who would like support using iPads so students can create and demonstrate their learning.

Interested in having an Innovation iPad Cart? Principals, complete the form to request one. Carts will be delivered at the beginning of the year. 

Get Your Learning On, The Empowered Learning Institute

June 20th Kick off Date

Select from 70+ “go at your own pace” sessions. These asynchronous sessions are rigorous and will be available from (June 20th - Aug 31st) 

  • Join us for the LIVE Kick Off Event on June 20th (the only live day)

  • 70+ Sessions 

  • Classified Employee Support

  • Google Workspace Training

Check out the schedule, and details. The Empowered Learning Institute website has topics and strands including: math, ELA, digital citizenship, and formative and summative assessments. More information for credit with our PD department will be coming soon. 

  • student devices
Kelly Sain

In order to “empower the TSD community to grow in the future with innovative technology today”, we need to continue the great work that was created around the digital divide and access and equity challenges during the global pandemic.

Districts across the US received ESSER funds to solve digital access and equity for students. TSD purchased devices to support our current UTA program. Based on supply chain challenges, device shortage and chip challenges and the quick pivots associated with emergency response teaching, we made the right decisions. ESSER funds are not ongoing so we need to make some changes and create systemness within our 1:1 program. Currently, TSD supports 11 different Chromebook models and 7 different iPads. As you can imagine, this is not a sustainable plan for us moving forward.

Why do we need to continue our 1:1 program?

1:1 student device initiative supports Strive 2025 and TSD Equity by:

  • having students "demonstrate their learning in meaningful ways", including using the digital tools of their present and future. 

  • by having access to digital tools, TSD is creating "learning conditions that enable students to reach their fullest potential." 

  • assuring students have digital access and equity so they can engage in our digitally connected world.

How do we sustain our program now that ESSER funds are going away?

We have met with the following stakeholder groups: TALC, TPAC, TEA and EC-12 leadership. Through collaboration, we voted on the levels we could alter to keep 1:1 student access.

Based on these levels and discussions, we have selected a new vendor to support our new 1:1 learning model and have changed the device type/allocation to get to systemness in TSD.

Grade Level Device
Pre K-1 iPad
2-5 Touchscreen Flip Chromebook
6-12 Clamshell Chromebook

Refresh more frequently & equitably

We are also decreasing the number of years a device is in use. TSD's current model is to keep Chromebooks for students in a 5 year refresh. After looking at surrounding districts and listening to stakeholders, we are moving to a 4 year refresh model. This will help reduce the repair expenses and will give our students new devices more frequently. Our new model will refresh devices at the K, 2nd, 6th and 9th grade levels. Each year we will refresh at those grade levels, allowing all schools to get new devices each year. The TSD 1:1 device will follow the student to their next grade level.

How can I get more information on the costs of repairs and the 1:1 program?

Check out our new website with additional resources and details about our 1:1 program.

Next Steps

We will continue to work with TALC, Leadership, Librarians and our community to support the changes. Over the next few months we will:

  • Create a new name for 1:1 by changing it from UTA (Ubiquitous Technology Access) to Tech4All

  • Gather extra devices at schools

  • Collaborate to create plans to collect devices and bring all devices back to I.T.S.

  • Determine dates for May pick up of devices and August deployments at schools

  • Finalize professional development to support these changes

  • Prepare a new device rollout protocol and plan

  • Prepare for digital citizenship training in collaboration with deployments.

If you are interested in helping with any of these tasks, please contact me or your TALC representative. Thank you to our business services partners and our RFP committee members for their diligent work on devising a way for us to keep 1:1 digital access and equity for our TSD community.

  • student devices
Kelly Sain

On Thursday January 19th, the Innovative Technology Services Department (I.T.S) had the privilege of presenting to the Board of Education (BOE) about some recent accomplishments. Interactive stations were used to give the board members a hands-on experience with innovation technology that is being used by students as well as seeing the Apprenticeship Program in action. 

Apprenticeship/Intern Program

Innovative Technology Services partners with our High Schools to offer a unique learning opportunity for TSD students! Course 5092 is a course for high school students that want hands-on experience to explore the field of technology. Students enrolled in this course work directly with the I.T.S technicians that provide technical support at their school.

In this class, students learn how to;

  • fix both software and hardware issues,

  • gain customer support skills,

  • learn how a professional IT department works.

Student interns will support students at their school with problems they may be having with their school-issued technology. Student tech’s also support building staff with audio visual equipment, printing, and any software problems they run into. Want to learn more about the program?

Multimedia Studios

Traditional computer labs used to have the purpose of exposing students to information technology when few options existed. Now that the district has achieved 1:1 with student devices, the traditional computer lab is no longer necessary. I.T.S is supporting a move to Innovation Labs. These are labs of specialized equipment to augment the technology learning happening in the classroom. 

One of the more popular Innovation Labs in the district is the Multimedia Studio. Included in these labs is equipment for video recording/editing and podcasting. Students from Walt Clark Middle School showed the BOE members all the work that goes into creating a newscast for school events. 

Robotics

In 2019, Jo Conlon and Steve Moos were awarded a Colorado Department of Education Computer Science Professional Development Grant for elementary schools. Since then, we have received this grant yearly. These grants provided professional development to each elementary tech facilitator, plus one classroom teacher and classroom materials. The materials were code curriculum and robots.

Teaching computer science during elementary specials means each student is learning critical thinking, coding, problem-solving, and using design sprints to create collaboratively. Computer Science, or CS, helps us address the persistent gender and racial gap in technology fields. A 2021 report confirmed that girls and students of color are still underrepresented in computer science. Thompson has taken action by developing the K-12 Computer Science Pathway, which offers each student the opportunity to develop skills each year to be ready for a job in computer science upon high school graduation or continue onto a 2-year or 4-year degree in computer science.

Rotary

The Loveland Rotary has a long history of supporting Thompson District students. They have  provided dictionaries, student devices, and other support for many years. More recently, they have seen the benefit of providing Innovation Lab access to students. Since the inception of the Innovation Lab model, they have helped get 8 labs installed across the district. We look forward to continuing our relationship with this fabulous group.

TSD Innovation Labs Menu

Kelly Sain

As we start a new year, we wanted to start a new process for communication, an Innovate in I.T.S. blog.

Communication is always a challenge, so we will use this blog to share with our TSD community important news and Tips and Tricks for staff to learn on their own. 

Our Technology Advisory Leadership Council, TALC has met a few times this year. During those meetings, TALC asked us to focus on a few topics;

  • Better communication - limit the long ITS newsletter and share as much info as possible in short, easy to digest chunks 

  • Professional Learning - Staff would like to learn on their own

  • Self-Help Articles - Learn and support yourself as needed. Of course, our Technicians and help desk Extension 7777 are here to support you at any time

Staff Laptop Replacement has started 

Professional Development  

Self-Help Articles

Thanks for reading our first Innovate in I.T.S. Blog, come back each month to learn more about how I.T.S. can support you. We want to help you so that we can “Empower the TSD community to grow into the future with innovative technology today.”