Email Scams are Back

We’re seeing more scam emails pretending to be staff members. We saw the same thing earlier in the year. The scammers in this case are trying to trick people into buying gift cards. They change the display name on the email to look like it came from an actual employee.

  • Always be suspicious of emails asking for something unusual.
  • If you think it may be legitimate, reach out to the person through a known method.
  • Look at the sender’s address – the ones we’ve received so far have been Gmail accounts.
  • Mark any messages like this as spam/junk
  • The best defense is remaining vigilant – no technology can stop every scam.

Department Restructuring

We are pleased to announce some exciting changes in the technology department. Carlos Jaime has joined us as our third support technician. His hiring allows us to reorganize our operation.

Each tech will be responsible for one part of the district. One will handle the elementary buildings, one will be at the middle school, and one will support the high school. The techs will spend a large part of each week at their assigned location.

Library staff will continue to be the first point of contact for student technology issues, including virtual students. The techs will focus on those issues that have been escalated by the library staff.

This arrangement will allow us to focus on specific areas, build stronger relationships, and increase response times. Once we catch up, it will allow us to be proactive and work on future needs as well.

Please continue to use the helpdesk to report issues. Contact the library in the rare event that you cannot access the helpdesk directly. Students should reach out to the library with tech problems, where a ticket can be opened for them. Remember to choose the best category and use separate tickets for separate issues.

Webcams and Microphone Issues

There have been a number of reports around microphones and sound in virtual meetings.

Teachers with desktop computers received a webcam on Saturday. These devices add a camera and microphone in one unit. The camera itself does not have any settings to configure. It is managed through the program you are using it with (Meet, Teams, Zoom, etc). In some cases, the program defaults to the computer’s external microphone input that usually has nothing plugged into it. In this case, you need to select the webcam microphone so that it can be used. Below are some guides for doing this in these programs.

Staff with laptops already have a camera and microphone built in. These are used the same way as the external device.

If you are able to use the microphone but it’s not working correctly, please open a helpdesk ticket so we can look at it. We will get to these as soon as we can.

If you need or want additional assistance, a member of the tech team would be happy to assist.

 

Links for common video tools:

Meet: https://support.google.com/meet/answer/9302964?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en

Teams: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/manage-your-call-settings-in-teams-456cb611-3477-496f-b31a-6ab752a7595f

Zoom: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362283-Testing-computer-or-device-audio

 

 

Tech Answers

We’ve been working on a new and improved tech knowledgebase, or KB. This is where we plan to post answers to common tech questions and provide documentation for various tasks.

There is information on everything from printing to wireless, and the collection will grow as we continue working on it.

You can access it here and it will be linked above.

Checking Your Voicemail Remotely

Here are the steps to access your voicemail from outside the school:

    1. Dial your number and wait for the greeting to play
    2. Press the * key during the greeting
    3. Enter your ID, which is your four-digit phone extension
    4. Enter your voicemail password

If you have trouble, or don’t remember your password, open a helpdesk ticket and we’ll reset it.

Adobe Changes

Adobe Warning MessageIf you use Adobe products other than Reader, you’ve likely seen notices about the license expiring at the end of February. Our subscription is still current, but changes in how Adobe licenses their products have necessitated a change on our end.

We have moved to ‘named user’ licensing. This means we have to provision an account for any person who will be using the programs. We have done this for all students and staff.

When first accessing an Adobe product (other than Reader), you will need to sign in to use it. It will remember you on that particular computer. You will need to sign in again for any new computers you use.

Emergency Paging System Status

Part of the recent phone system upgrade is the ability to page all the phones in the building from any phone in the building. The system will undergo final testing shortly, and will be ready to use after that.

To make a page, pick up a phone and dial the number for the paging system. It will answer and say “welcome…”. After that it will beep and you are talking to everyone through their phone. It will be like you are on a one-way speakerphone call. This was implemented for emergency situations, but will have use for regular communication as well.

This only works from district phones. Plans include connecting to the existing paging system so broadcasts will be heard more widely. Codes to access the system will be distributed once testing is complete.

Cloud-Based Home Folders

The network home folders of high school students were migrated to OneDrive over the break. This means that files on the desktop, or in the downloads and pictures folders, are now stored online and can be accessed from anywhere.

When logging into their computers, there will be a slight delay the first time as the connection is set up to the cloud storage. The process should complete without any user interaction. Further instructions should appear on the desktop of affected users.

This change brings several benefits:

  • Files can be accessed from any device. There are client apps for Windows, Mac, IOS, and Android. They can also be accessed from a browser.
  • Microsoft Office documents, such as Word and Excel files, can be edited from a web browser using the Office 365 apps.
  • The storage limit on the HCCS server is 2Gb. On OneDrive, it’s presently 1000Gb.
  • Files are stored on Microsoft’s servers, which have greater uptime and reliability.
  • Some of the high school student computers were having issues trying to access the district server when it was unavailable (from home). OneDrive is available anywhere.
  • For the student-issued devices, local files are kept in sync with the cloud version. This means students can continue to work even if they do not have internet.

While we started with high school students, the plan is to include all students and staff eventually.