Tech Help for Students & Families

Mon, 04/20/2020 - 1:54pm

Helpful tips, tricks, resources, videos, links, infographics, and updates to help us all navigate the tech seas during this challenging time. Obsessively updated. We can do this!

Welcome Back to School

Well, hello! I'm so happy you're here! I will be editing this page to reflect the technology needs for the 2020-2021 school year as we discover any changes to our tech landscape. 

Thank you! ~Ms. Gwyneth Jones - MHMS Teacher Librarian & Tech Specialist.
 

UPDATE! Tech Problems? Have you UPDATED?  

Update your Chrome Browser/Operating System  - This will make things easier on you for next week, I promise! Plus: Bonus new cool stuff included! Shhh! Don't tell everyone, let the late updaters figure it out when you have all the cool stuff and they don't. OK, kidding on that last part, it sounded salty. 

Please take a moment this weekend and update your Google Chrome... & you should  always check in with your grown-up before installing the updates!

If you have a Chromebook (HCPSS chromebook included!) follow these directions to update the operating system: https://hcpss.instructure.com/courses/77796/pages/chromebook-os-updates?module_item_id=4055225

You will need to shut down your Chromebook and power it back on (and allow it time to install). If you run into issues, please let me know at the Tech-Help-Desk on Monday! Or search for a YouTube video -- you know you can learn almost anything on YouTube, right? 

-----
If you have a Windows or Mac computer:
In the upper right corner, click on the "three dots" that are stacked on top of eachother.
In the resulting drop-down menu, select the Help > About Google Chrome menu options.
Simply opening this page will initiate the update process.

Once the browser updates, you might need to click on the Relaunch button to reopen Chrome.
What if the update fails?
If the update fails, it is recommended that you download and install the latest version of Chrome.
Start by opening this site https://www.google.com/chrome/browser
Click on the DOWNLOAD CHROME button.
Open the installer and follow the instructions to complete the installation of Chrome.

Thank you!!!  ~Ms.  Gwyneth Jones

 

Kids & Parents - Broken HCPSS Chromebook?  Do you have a Cracked screen, not charging, broken charger?  

Devices may be exchanged or returned at any of the following Technology Support Centers:

  • Ascend One HCPSS Conference Center Patuxent Room, door to the left just inside first set of doors - 8930 Stanford Blvd., Columbia (Please park behind the building and look for the HCPSS entry) -- >>Closest to Murray Hill Middle School! - Hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday from 2-5 p.m.
  • Applications Research Laboratory (ARL) Room B37, door to the right of the front entrance - 10920 Clarksville Pike. Hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday from 2-5 p.m.
  • Old Bushy Park Elementary School Room E2, door to the left of the front entrance- 2690 Route 97, Glenwood (Building is between Glenwood Middle School and Bushy Park Elementary School) Hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday from 2-5 p.m.

Hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday from 2-5 p.m.

Please note that Centers are closed any day that HCPSS offices are closed.

 

Canvas / Google Integration Woes? NEW Steps to FIX that Problem!

  1. Open Canvas and open one of your courses.
  2. In the course menu, open Google Drive. Click your initial in the upper right corner and sign out.
  3. Click the Authorize button, select your @inst.hcpss.org account. If you are asked to login to hcpss, enter your username and password.
  4. Open your teacher's Canvas assignment. You may see a short delay and then a message about creating a new Howard County folder. Click yes or accept. The assignment should load after this.
  5. Restart your device - log back into your HCPSS.me account

More HCPSS Canvas - Google Assignment Integration FIXES

 ALL Google Meet codes for MHMS classes & teachers follow this format:

 

MHMS-FirstInitialTeacherLastNameTeacher-PD#

Example: MHMS-dvader-PD1

If you accidentally add a dot, misspell a name, or don't add MHMS into the Meet Code, it won’t work.  Also, if it won’t let you in and you have the right Meet code, make sure you’re logged into your HCPSS.me account and not a personal Gmail account of yourself, a sibling, or a parent. LOG OUT all the way, go back in as you and try again. Thanks!

 

Digital FREE Agenda Book / Planner - Make a Copy! 

 

From HCPSS:  

What should we do when technology is not working?
Occasionally, students may have issues with Canvas, Google Meet or other learning platforms used by HCPSS. If your child is having difficulty:

  • Logging in to Google Meet - Directions on joining a Google Meet can be found online. If your child is still unable to join, have them send their teacher a message via Canvas or you can send the teacher an email to make them aware. Your child can work on other assignments in Canvas and/or you can have them focus on another learning platform used by their teachers, such as Lexia Core5 or DreamBox at the elementary level or Actively Learn at the middle and high school levels, until the issue is resolved.
  • Logging in to Canvas - Have your child attend any scheduled virtual learning sessions and/or have them focus on another learning platform used by their teachers, such as Lexia Core5 or DreamBox at the elementary level or Actively Learn at middle and high school levels. Make sure to let your child’s teacher know about the issue via email. 

Families also may find the following resources to be helpful:

Need a Chromebook? Student Chromebook Request Procedure

The first wave of requested Chromebooks have been designated and emails went home to those families that responded by the deadline. Did you miss it and not get one? It's not too late!  More will be coming. Follow the directions below please. Thank you for your understanding and patience. 

  • Parents/guardians should log in to HCPSS Connect.

  • From the left menu, last choice, select “More Options” then choose “Student Technology” from the center of the screen.

  • On the HCPSS Student Technology screen, use the drop down arrows to indicate the Technology Requested for each student. Changes are saved immediately.

  • If a device has already been issued, it will appear in the inventory list. If a student already has a device issued, a new request will not be processed.

  • Individual schools will communicate a plan for the distribution of devices when they are available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Helpful Tips with Tech Issues for Students & Teachers (Ok, for everyone!)

Make sure you're logged into your HCPSS GSuite account and not your personal Google account.

  • Clear cache & cookies
  • Whenever possible use an updated Chrome browser
  • Close extra apps, windows, and tabs 
  • Restart your device (this is kind of like magic! Fixes most problems) 
  • If siblings are using the SAME CHROMEBOOK Device -- this needs to be done: 1st sibling goes to Hcpss.me and logs OUT of GSuite and closes any open tabs including Canvas. 2nd sibling goes to HCPSS.me and logs  into GSuite, then follow the directions for joining the meeting.  
  • For issues with those devices or technology in general please review the HCPSS Student Device website & more links below.

Student Passwords

Students NEW to HCPSS and whose registration has been finalized were emailed student account credentials, which will be used to log in to HCPSS computers and applications. If you have a child new to the school system and did not receive the email and/or cannot locate the email in the junk/spam folder of the email account you used during registration, you can use the Forgot Password or Username button on the hcpss.me student landing page to retrieve both your child’s username and password.

Forgot your password? Please try it several times & check capslock or check for extra spaces. To change:  view the Account Self Service directions posted online. Very important, if you create a new password that does not follow the requirememnts, you will be rejected. It might not even tell you why you were rejected. No one likes that.

ALL Passwords must follow these rules:

  • MUST be at least 8 alphabetic letters
  • MUST include at least 1 Capital letter
  • MUST include at least 1 number
  • And it's good to have a special character like ! or $ or #
  • Cannot repeat the same password ever used before, or it will be rejected

Too short or not including these things will lead it to being, rejected. Did I mention that no one likes rejection! LOL

Passwords must include 8 alphabetic letters, at least one number, and a special character: EXAMPLE: SloppyZombie77! = 12 alphabetic letters, the numbers 77 and the !. You also can't have the same password as before - best to add a different number on the end of a favorite password as long as it's longer than 8 characters. EASY HOW TO: Screenshots & graphics on the HCPSS Account Self Service directions

 

YouTube Video Directions

 

Download the handy Chromebook Guide PDF PDF iconChromebookOverviewStudent.pdf

 

Chromebook Quick Start to WiFi Guide PDF PDF iconjoin-chromebook-to-wifi_english.pdf

Technology Account Information for HCPSS students PDF PDF iconTechnology account information for new HCPSS student.pdf

HCPSS Student Technology Duties & Obligations PDF  PDF iconstudent-device-form.pdf  - Includes cost for replacement due to student loss or damage

HCPSS Student Mobile HotSpot Technology Duties and Obligations  - Español 

Canvas Hotspot USER GUIDE & Set Up Directions

  Download: Mobile Hotspot PDF Reference Guide
Español Guide (Spanish)
中文 Guide (Chinese)
한국어 Guide (Korean)

Latest FIXES for GoogleCloud / Canvas Integration

  1. Open Canvas and open one of your courses.
  2. In the course menu, open Google Drive. Click your initial in the upper right corner and sign out.
  3. Click the Authorize button, select your @inst.hcpss.org account. If you are asked to login to hcpss, enter your username and password.
  4. Open your teacher's Canvas assignment. You may see a short delay and then a message about creating a new Howard County folder. Click yes or accept. The assignment should load after this.

Disconnecting & reconnecting the Google Drive Integration:

  1.      Navigate to your Canvas settings ( https://hcpss.instructure.com/profile/settings) and delete Google Drive from Registered Services AND from Approved Integrations.
  2.      Log out of Canvas
  3.      Navigate to: https://myaccount.google.com/permissions
  4.      Under Third-Party apps with account access, click on Google Drive LTI by Canvas
  5.      Hit the Remove Access button
  6.      Click your Google icon in the top right corner of the screen and sign out of accounts in Google
  7.      Close and reopen your browser
  8.      Log back into Google (https://drive.google.com/a/hcpss.org/) with your HCPSS credentials
  9.      Log back into Canvas (https://hcpss.instructure.com/),  go to Canvas settings ( https://hcpss.instructure.com/profile/settings) and reauthorize your Google Drive under Other Services.
  10.  Now navigate to an assignment in Canvas that uses Google Drive and reauthorize by following the prompts.

For more: G Suite / Canvas Integration Issues

With a recent Chrome update, we found that cookies setting were blocking 3rd party applications:

  1. Press the 3 Dot Button on your top right corner of Chrome
  2. Then proceed to press Settings 
  3. After once you’re in the Settings then I would like you to click on Privacy and Security 
  4. From there you will see something called Site Settings 
  5. Then click on Cookies and Site Data (Your first option) 
  6. If Block Third Party Cookies is enabled then this is the cause of your problems, simply Disable it and reset your pages

More Google Cloud Integration Things to Try:

Things to Try When Canvas & Google Cloud Don’t Seem to Like Each Other?

 

Then Try the Device Restart - Make sure to remove peripheral devices (headphones) log off all accounts and close out all apps, tabs, and then click RESTART

“Most commonly, restarting your computer can fix issues with freezing or applications that get stuck at “not responding.” If your computer is frozen and you’re unable to click on the start menu to restart it, you can manually shut it off by pressing the power button, waiting a few seconds after it shuts down, then pressing the power button again to turn it back on.” 

- from Transparent Solutions

Then try and log back in. Still not working? See below: 

Log out of all Google Accounts

To submit work on canvas choose one or all of the options below:

1 - Use this Link for step by step instructions. (Links to an external site.)

2- You can watch the video below.

Very Helpful!  Students: Watch this!  A cool YouTube Video to help upload work to Canvas (Links to an external site.)

Need More Help Authorizing Google in Canvas? 

Navigate to your settings page by clicking on "Accounts" in the global navigation menu on the left. Then, click "Settings." Click on the “Google Docs” button, located in the center of the page under Other Services. A new window will appear, asking you to authorize Canvas to access your Google Docs. 

Working with Google in Canvas ---Yet Another YouTubeVideo from our friends in Florida Students Submitting a Google Cloud Assignment in Canvas

 

From Ms. Behrens & the Executive Functioning committee: 

Must be logged into HCPSS.me school GSuite to View. If it asks for permission - log out of your personal Gmail and into your school GSuite: 

 

Accessing FREE Digital Content the Howard County Public Library A+ Library Card and through MackinVia

See Video Directions at the bottom of the page on the MHMS Student Resource Course 

Note:  Every student has an A+ Partnership library card from HCLS.  Students can access online databases, ebooks and eAudiobooks through MackinVia and HCLS.

NEW! View - Read/Write Quick Reference Guide

 

For some Chromebook errors, students should do the Refresh Procedure. 

  https://hcpss.instructure.com/courses/77796/pages/chromebook-system-errors

PLEASE NOTE: Follow the RESET process step by step. When it asks for the email address for the enrollment process, make sure students type their @inst.hcpss.org   The system automatically populates with the @hcpss.org and this is for a STAFF enrollment. It needs to be changed to @inst.hcpss.org for STUDENT enrollment. This is the crucial part. 
 

Don't have WiFi at Home? Directions how to connect at the bottom! 

TL: DR In a Pinch? 

FOR HARDWARE Chromebook Problems / Device / Laptop / Email / Synergy / GSuite /  Canvas:  

If all elese fails, please email Ms. Gwyneth Jones (Library Media Specialist)  gwyneth_jones@hcpss.org with your Chromebook AV Inventory Tag Number # (very important) and your contact information (phone & parent email ) During non-school hours (evenings & weekends) Email support requests to TechSupport@hcpss.org with your contact information, Chromebook Inventory Tag #, a description of the problem, and any error messages. Our talented technology professionals who are also working remotely will get back to you.

Chromebook Quick Start to WiFi Guide PDF PDF icon join-chromebook-to-wifi_english.pdf

More Tech Tips: 

In order to access G Suite or Google Meet, users must first log out of any personal accounts. After logging out of personal accounts, students and staff can log in with their HCPSS credentials. Parents cannot access these platforms with their own accounts. Students must be logged in with their credentials in order to access applications through Clever, Synergy, or Canvas. Directions for using Google Meet can be found on Canvas (login required).

Passwords NEW! Students now have the ability to reset their passwords without intervention from HCPSS staff – please direct parents & students to this new resource: https://hcpss.me/account-self-service

Student HCPSS email address is ex: dvader4566@inst.hcpss.org

Outlook email link can be found on hcpss.me at the bottom

 

Please NOTE: The password reset link is valid for only 1 hour.

Password will be denied (possibly without explanation) if they don't follow these requirments to the T.

 

Requirements:

    8 characters

    Meets complexity requirements, i.e. use a minimum of three (3) different character types: upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and/or special characters.

 

EX: The3HappyZombies!

You can also use: https://www.dinopass.com + a special character !@#$%

 

Canvas Tips from Mme. Jean-Louis

To submit work on canvas choose one or all of the options below:

1 - Use this Link for step by step instructions. (Links to an external site.)

2- You can watch the video below.

Very Helpful!  Students: Watch this!  A cool YouTube Video to help upload work to Canvas (Links to an external site.)

Need More Help Authorizing Google in Canvas? 

Navigate to your settings page by clicking on "Accounts" in the global navigation menu on the left. Then, click "Settings." Click on the “Google Docs” button, located in the center of the page under Other Services. A new window will appear, asking you to authorize Canvas to access your Google Docs. 

Working with Google in Canvas ---Yet Another YouTubeVideo from our friends in Florida Students Submitting a Google Cloud Assignment in Canvas

 

 
CANVAS Help -- through Canvas: Log into Canvas and on HELP on the Left: You have the option to
 

 For Google Drive assignments: 

Follow the steps below:

- Before submitting Google Drive assignments make sure your file has a title on it  and your Share is set to- Or anyone with the link

-Go to the assignment on Canvas "Family Project writing"

-Click on Submit assignment

Click your option:

Google Canvas

- Media(video or audio), File Upload (only if file is from device or computer)

-Google Drive (if work is on Drive). 

-To authorize it, log out of your personal Google account and log in to the school Google account to access the work from that drive. 

-Once authorize all your files on Drive will come up. Find the one you need and submit it.  

 

Something Weird on Your Chromebook? Maybe you need a Refresh!

Overview: The Refresh Procedure cuts power completely to the main board and causes it to reinitialize. This typically corrects any issues with ChromeOS loading.

1. Turn off your Chromebook by pressing one of the power buttons, or by clicking into the menu in the bottom-right corner and selecting the power icon. 

2. Press and hold the Refresh button (which is located just above the 3 and 4 keys) and tap the Power button. (Do not hold down the Power button)

3. Release the refresh button when you see your Chromebook starting back up. 

For the students who do not have WiFI at home.

The parent logs into Connect and then clicks on Student Technology on the bottom left, they can choose Internet Access as a choice to be included with the Device. However, we do not have hotspots yet.  In the meantime, please take note of the below – specifically the Xfinity WiFi, as it is free. They could check to see if where they live is covered by that service.

  • Comcast has opened free access to its Xfinity WiFi network, making hotspots across the country available to anyone, including non-subscribers, at no cost. Search by zip code or city to find a hotspot near you at wifi.xfinity.com. Comcast is also providing low cost internet access to eligible families through its Internet Essentials program.

Parents - Do you have questions about Filtering on the HCPSS Chromebooks? 

Thank you for reaching out to learn more about how internet content filtering works. Please find below information regarding how filtering works and the technology HCPSS currently has in place. 

 

Content filters are put into place in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to address concerns about children's access to obscene or harmful content over the internet. Filters work by vendors categorizing sites into buckets, and then the organization applies settings to block certain categories (e.g., weapons). Content filters are not utilized to block all sites other than those used for virtual instruction. Additionally, due to the sheer number of internet sites, it is important to recognize that content filters are not infallible. However, anyone can request a site be reviewed and considered for recategorization. You can review the categories that are blocked and find the link to request review on the Student Technology Resources page.

 

HCPSS has blocked the category “weapons,” which means the filter will block sites that have been categorized this way because the web content is dedicated to guns, swords, knives and/or other weapons. It does not guarantee that a site in an accessible category will not have content related to weapons, for example, YouTube. As a content hosting site there is a wide variety of content. Because YouTube is an allowed site, a video with weapons could potentially be accessible alongside a video showing how solar eclipses work. Currently, HCPSS does not have technology that filters specific videos on that site. 

 

Nuke.zone is blocked under the category of Mature-Games. Websites are continuously being added, evolving or changing ownership, and so a site’s category may change, which would potentially change their accessibility.  

 

The content filter on an HCPSS device is not customizable for individuals and the settings are universal for students. HCPSS does not have technology that allows parents to customize settings on a school system-issued Chromebook. If you wish to put further restrictions on your home internet, you may find it helpful to look for personal network-related content filtering/security technologies such as Circle or others. You may also find it helpful to apply Internet access time restrictions to your home network. Please note that any optional applications or home network configurations are the responsibility of the family and not supported by the school system. Instead the family would need to seek any necessary support from the Internet service provider. 

 

We encourage parents/guardians to continue to monitor their children’s use of internet sites and services. Students using an HCPSS device cannot clear the browsing history and parents can review it by following directions on the Student Technology Resources page. Additionally, please feel free to reach out to your child’s school counselor to discuss non-technology-related strategies that may support your efforts. 

 

Thank you for reaching out about the content filter. I hope the information above provides you with the information you need.

From: Justin Benedict. Executive Director. Information Technology