Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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💥 Tech tools - SeeSaw ambassadors, Google Classroom, Offline files, Shadow Art and more in this weeks tech post.

Monday, May 6, 2019

📌Our Norris SeeSaw Ambassador Program is off and running!
Congratulations to Haley Halvorsen on becoming our first K-2 Norris for becoming a SeeSaw Ambassador!  More Norris program details can be found here

HS - MS -IS - If you are not using Google Classroom-You are missing out! 
  • More and more products are integrating with Google Classroom. Pearson's Realize product just announced integrations with Google Classroom too. 
  • If you are using Google Classroom - You need to enable the parent notifications!
  • See Jason for more info and help to get started with Google Classroom! 
  • We are pushing this for grades 3 & up, but there are applications and uses for elementary as well, so we are willing to help if you want to use it with those younger grades too.  
⚠️ We need your help -it's only a few clicks! (And it's not Phishing!) 
We need to increase our subscribers to our YouTube Channels!  Visit this page  (Please!) and subscribe to all of our Norris YouTube Channels. There are some tech reasons that we need more subscribers, but I think it would be beneficial to all of our staff and students to be subscribed to all of our channels. (Notifications of live broadcasts, etc...) 

New right-click in Google Drive to make files available offline and more (Coming in the next few days)
It’s now possible for users to work on Docs, Sheets, and Slides files when your device is offline or have a bad internet connection within Google Drive. (It's always been available but now you can do it within Drive.)  You can also preview which files are available offline with a new offline preview mode.  More info here.  And there is more coming to the right-click menu... Via TechRepublic | If you depend upon Gmail for daily communication, you'll be happy to know about the new right-click context menu that gives users more power and flexibility. More info in this article.

Helping families develop healthy digital habits with Chromebooks
This article has several tools for Android and Chrome devices that are freely available to families to help monitor and guide digital citizenship at home.  (I have added this to our document - "Internet filtering and monitoring kids at home" which you can freely share with parents when questions arise.)  

📄27 incredibly useful things you didn’t know Google Sheets could do
There’s much more to Google Sheets than meets the eye. Unlock these advanced options–and watch your productivity soar.

Google Drive Workspaces is coming soon! 
Workspaces allow you to create a collection of files into a workspace. (pull files from different folders into a grouping while still leaving them in those folders. This article will show you the basics of priority and the new workspaces. -How to access and organize files faster in G Suite using Priority and Workspaces

Hey, my files are getting deleted from my Z drive (Network drive) this summer! (And Windows 10 is coming too!) 
We sent out an email to our Norris staff about this but I did want to include this in my blog posting since Windows 7 will be losing its support starting in January 2020.  It's very simple to move files to Google Drive!  I would upload entire folders but you can do individual files too. 

 How to Enable Gmail’s Hidden Email Preview Pane (We all have different email views that like and Gmail gives us that flexibility.)
Via How-To Geek | Gmail has a hidden preview panel that gives you a dual-pane view of your emails—just like in Outlook and other desktop email clients. Here’s how to enable it on the web and choose a horizontal or vertical split.

This one is kind of cool - and fun!  Shadow Art: Form Shadow Puppets With A.I. and Webcam

Google has taken the ancient practice of forming shadow puppets with your hands and turned it into an interactive digital experience. Check it out here:

How to Add Music to Spark Video with Soundtrap
Check out this quick tutorial on how to use these two easy and powerful tools together to "app smash" them together and turn out a great student project. 

 ⚠️🚨 I never want to sound like an alarmist, but these are the reason's we keep educating staff to be diligent and to always be careful about what you click on and what information you give out.  I know the phishing emails and required training (from KnowB4) can be a hassle... but we are trying to protect you and the district.  

Scott County Schools Victim of 3.7 Million Dollar CEO Fraud Phishing Scam 
(WKYT) - Scott County Schools has announced the district is a victim of a multi-million dollar online scam. The FBI is now investigating after Superintendent Dr. Kevin Hub said an undisclosed vendor told the district it was never paid for an invoice from two weeks ago. As the district investigated, it learned it fell victim to a fraudulent email disguising as the vendor.

"This is a process that we use currently in Scott County Schools. It's a way that we pay our vendors. And it was in this specific case, a single case, that we can verify, and this fraudulent email and fraudulent documentation is what caused this crime to happen."

The school lost USD 3.7 million as a result of the scam. Hub said the fraudsters no longer have access to the district's bank account, and there was no data breach involving personal information.

Sounds like they could use some new-school security awareness training. Video at WKYT:

The City of Tallahassee Lost Half a Million Dollars in an Insidious Payroll Attack 

Hackers stole approximately 500K from the city of Tallahassee, Florida, by diverting city employees’ paychecks, according to USA Today. The attackers hacked a third-party vendor that provides the city’s payroll services and then redirected direct deposit payments to attacker-controlled accounts.

Tallahassee officials only learned of the attack after they were contacted by the city’s bank. The incident is still under investigation, but city spokeswoman Alison Faris said the attack is suspected to have originated outside of the US.

City officials said attackers try to compromise the city’s defenses every day, and last month a malicious Dropbox link was sent out from the email account of the city manager. Officials don’t believe this attack was related to the payroll theft, although IT experts noted that this type of phishing attack is often a precursor to more advanced attacks.

“Usually the way they get in is through email," Blake Dowling, CEO of Aegis Business Technologies, told USA Today. “Those happen all the time. If you’re not trained to be on the lookout for something, about how that may look or feel or the implications, it can bring your city to a crawl.”

Even secure networks are vulnerable to employees making a simple mistake and accidentally opening the door to an attacker. Supply-chain attacks like this one can have far-reaching impacts that can cripple a vendor’s reputation. New-school security awareness training can help your employees defend themselves against phishing attacks. USA Today has the story:

The above two articles are from the KnowBe4 product - Check it out, it's worth having at your school. 


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