Friday, August 26, 2016

Email Communication with Students and Parents

Links to this post
Are you looking for a quick way to communicate with a group of parents or students? You can let parents or students know about an upcoming exam, project, or the weekly agenda in class with the email feature in Teacher Access Center (TAC). Through TAC, you can email parents and students from an entire class or multiple classes at once. When emailing a large group, each person will be sent an individual email; therefore, if they reply you will be the only recipient of the email. The response email will go directly to your Outlook.  If you would like to receive a copy of the email(s) you send out, be sure to mark the setting in your TAC account. 

To send an email through TAC:

Go to Class Management - Email

Click "To" - Choose your recipients: students, guardians or both - Click on the + sign to expand your given classes - click "close"

Add an attachment by clicking browse - when done click send.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Have You Tried Rebooting It?

Links to this post
How many times have you heard a tech person say this when you ask how to fix a problem on your device? It might seem like a flippant response, but restarting your device can actually solve many problems. This same advice even applies to software, your modem/router or your smart phone. Have something acting sluggishly and unresponsively?—Try rebooting it!    

So what’s going on here? Why doesn’t the device simply fix the problem? Well, because it can’t—the code has encountered a problem and stopped working completely, so there’s no way for it to continue. By restarting, the code can start from scratch and hopefully not encounter the same problem again.  It’s like when we sleep and wake up refreshed and ready to go…devices and software need “rest” to restart themselves, too. 

Basically, a restart wipes away the current state of things. It’s often easier and faster to start from a clean state than to identify and fix any problems that may be occurring. When you have old oil in your car, instead of going in and removing each piece of dirt from the oil, we just change the oil. Restarting is a similar idea. 

How does rebooting work?

Flushes RAM
Your device's random access memory (RAM) is in a constant state of change and handles lots of short-term tasks and data. Rebooting your device flushes these out.

Stops Memory Leaks
Every program uses memory while it's open.  Memory leaks happen when a program doesn't close properly and the memory the program was using isn’t returned to the device.  Outdated, overused or glitchy programs may not always return memory, so closing the software or restarting can help.

Fixes Small Errors
When you reboot your device it allows it to runs diagnostics on itself, automatically fixing minor errors.

Installs Updates
Every piece of software on your device has the potential to receive updates, which can add new features or fix issues. Often times, you must restart your computer to download and install these updates.

Speeds up Windows (or any other system)
Sometimes a program is using 99% of a device’s resources, but it’s not always easy to find which one is misbehaving, so simply rebooting can resolve it. 

Stops a Program from Using too Much Memory
Some programs will consume more and more memory over time and get larger and slower. Closing them will cause it to relinquish their memory.

Resolves Internet or Wi-Fi Network Problems
If you have a problem with your Wi-Fi or Internet, the software on your router or modem may have encountered a problem. Resetting the router by gently unplugging it from its power socket and then plugging it back in is a common solution for connection problems.

Contact Lea Sloan if you have any questions about rebooting your device or software.   

Why Does Rebooting s Computer Fix So Many Problems?  How-To-Geek

How Often Should You Restart Your Smartphone, Tablet, Laptop or PC? PC Advisor

Reasons to Reboot Your Computer Nightly by Thomas McNish, Demand Media

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Having Problems Accessing your JTHS Materials at Home?

Links to this post
Have you worked from home and wondered why you can’t access your JTHS materials sometimes? It’s possible you are not connected to our network through Global Protect.  It’s easy to miss because it doesn’t alert you in a big way—you have to look for it. 

Global Protect software runs on your device and can be found in the lower right corner under “hidden icons.” GP protects you with the same security policies that protect you when you’re in a district building. It shows as a globe with another image over it, indicating whether you are connected or not.
If you are NOT connected, the globe will have a red X over it. When you click the icon, it will bring up a disconnected message in a box and then will generally reconnect you. 

If that doesn’t resolve your access issues, then it’s best to note as much of the following as possible and send the information to the help desk:
- Date and time of problem
- Error message (if there is one)
- A screenshot
- A click path for how you got to the error/problem

Contact Lea Sloan if you have further questions. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Want Your Final Exams to be (Fairly) Trouble Free?

Links to this post
Processing your final exam grades will slow down if your bubble sheets have any issues with them during scanning.  Avoid some hassles by checking your sheets for the following:

Don’t include the cover page, blank pages or any other pages with your batches.

Don’t make ANY additional marks (no handwriting or slashes, etc.) on the bubble sheets. 
Check over student bubble sheets as they turn them in and ensure that:
  • There are no stray marks.
  • Each answer is filled in very clearly (not just a light dot).
  • There are no duplicate answers for any question.
Though you may still have a glitch here and there (that’s life, right?!), you can prevent some of these types of problems and be on your way to completing your semester grades.

Contact Lea Sloan if you have any questions.  Have a happy holiday season, everyone! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Is Your TAC Ready for Final Exams and Semester Grades?

Links to this post
With final exams and the end of semester approaching, sometimes grade book weighting questions or issues arise.
You can check your overall grades before finals with a simple test.  Place a test value in for a student or several students for their final exam grade in TAC, and see if you get the expected semester grade in TAC.  Be sure to change the grade(s) back before exiting TAC!
Calculating Weighted Average with Percentages
Let's see how weighting works with an example.  Just replace your own weights and student percentages to verify final grades in the example below.
A student is enrolled in a course where the final grade is determined based on these categories:
40 %
Final Exam
25 %
25 %
10 %
The student has earned the following percentage scores for each category: tests-83, final exam-75, quizzes-9 and homework-100.
To calculate a weighted average with percentages, multiply each category value by its percentage. Convert weighting percentages to decimals before you multiply. Then add all of these new values together.
So, multiply the student's average on all tests (83%) by the weighting percent that the tests are worth (40%). Multiply the final exam score (75%) by its weighting percent (25%). Do the same for both the quizzes (90 * 25%) and homework (100 * 10%).
The overall calculation is:
(83 * .40) + (75 * .25) + (90 * .25) + (100 * .10)
                                                = 33.2 + 18.75 + 22.5 + 10
= 84.45 or 84% if rounded down
If you need help calculating the final grade for a few students to see if your TAC is calculating properly, contact Lea Sloan. 
Need a refresher on TAC, take a look at our JTHS EdTech TAC tutorials.  Good luck!