Thursday, April 21, 2016

District #73 Key InfoTech Tools

For the next few years there will be some tools you'll use at school regularly. As a school district, we've tried to set up usernames and passwords that follow a similar pattern, so that you can always remember how to log into these tools. Let's take a look at the purpose of each of them and how you log in!

Zimbra Email

  • accessed under student drop down menu on our school web page:
  • Login:  firstname.lastname   (example sarah.jones)
  • Password: Your student number
Zimbra is where teachers will send emails to, where MyEd (our student record system) will send password resets to and where information regarding online courses will go. You can send and receive email from this free account. Your email address in Zimbra is (example


  • accessed on all school computers
  • Login:  first intial, followed by last name (example Sarah Jones is sjones)
  • Password: Your student number
Linux is an open source operating system that controls all the school district computer systems. There are many servers around the school district and each school has their own. Each student has a set amount of memory space held in their personal account for storing school work that is housed on our school server and other servers around the district. To access your files, they are stored on what is called the H Drive. As part of the operating system, Linux includes games, photo, audio and video editing programs, access to the internet through two browsers (Firefox and Chrome) and a free office suite (like Microsoft Office) called Libre Office. This allows you to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It does not share easily with Microsoft or Apple products, however.

Google Apps for Education (GEDU)

  • accessed on any computer (home, school or phone (*if apps have been added to phone)
  • Login: (example
  • Password: Your student number 
This free group of Google Tools includes Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides and Drawing. Many teachers use these tools in combination with Google Classroom. There is unlimited storage in this setting and easily allows students to share and collaborate with each other and with teachers. Because it is a "domain," it is protected from access by outside sources. It is not easy to share outside the domain and there are restrictions for students under the age of 13, as to what tools can be easily accessed. It is important to note that GMail was not included in this group. Our school district has insisted on student use of Zimbra email, which occasionally causes problems with sharing of assignments between students and teachers.


  • accessed through our school webpage - click on the MyEd Green icon
  • Login: (Zimbra email address)
  • Password: created by you after logging in with a temporary password given to you during training
MyEd (as teachers call it) is the provincial student information system that holds all student records and is also a place for teachers to post assignments and class information, if they choose. This is where student grades and test results can be found and where teachers find contact information and demographic records for students. 


  • accessed through our school webpage (library icon) and through Destiny Quest app on phones
  • Login: firstname.lastname
  • Password: Student number
Destiny is the library catalogue and circulation system that allows students and staff to search, sign-out and return both print and digital materials. Students can put holds on both print and e-books they would like to read and can read e-books either on computers at school or on their phones. Books (print and digital) can be signed out for two week periods and a limit of 4 books per person is encouraged. Fines are given for lost books. If a book is found and returned in good condition after a fine has been paid, the fine will be refunded.
This system also allows students to sign out textbooks, so that they are responsible for maintaining the book in the quality it was signed out in. Damaged books should be reported and returned immediately!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Hi & Welcome to the new section of students in InfoTech 8 in 2016.  We are working with the tools of of Information Technology. So, what is Info Tech, exactly? It's all of the technology tools related to school, but more than that, it's also about how we use those tools to be the best citizens of the world we can be.

As you work with the tools in our class, many of them web-based or "cloud" based, we're going to learn more than just the skills of using the tools. Safety, creativity, curiosity, and engagement all go into becoming a thoughtful individual! I hope you'll develop many of those qualities during your time at our school.

I mentioned a little bit today about your digital footprint and digital portfolios. Google, by common use, has become a digital portfolio for everyone, but what shows up in a Google search can't be fully controlled by you. During our time together, you can create a space in the Internet that is in your control and can demonstrate who you are and what you're capable of!

I look forward to the things we're going to work on together!

Friday, October 10, 2014


With the Thanksgiving weekend about to begin and the end of the first rotation of InfoTech 8 rapidly approaching, I am very grateful to get to work with all of you. You make me a better teacher with your great questions and the risks you take in your learning with technology. Thank you!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Making Mistakes and Liking it!

After so many years in school, it's hard to believe that making mistakes is a good thing. Even so, most of what you've learned in your life has been because you made mistakes and learned from them. The best learning experiences we have are often the ones where making mistakes is fun because you go back and do something you're kind of enjoying. Sometimes, though, it can be really hard - like learning how to read or doing fractions or doing long division or learning how to do a lay-up. It all depends on who you are and what your strengths are.

We each can learn how to get better at something, but it means we have to stick at it. Even if something is really frustrating, if we keep trying (after taking a break from it for a little while to calm down) we will get better! It just means taking a risk.  Learning how to use technology can be like that, too.  Watch the following video by Sa-Hali Grad, Sophia de Zeeuw. Sophia graduated last year and presented at last year's TEDxYouth event, held at TRU last spring. It's pretty amazing to think we have a TED presenter who graduated from our school!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Trillion Dollar Footprint

Monday's activity is called Trillion Dollar Footprint. You're going to pretend you're the Producers for a new reality TV show called Trillion Dollar Footprint. The research/investigative team you hired have narrowed their search for a host down to two people. Based on the information they have given you, you must pick the new host based on their social media presence. 

Your digital footprint is not just the things that you post on different social media sites. Your footprint also includes online newspaper articles and photographs and things that other people post that you may be tagged in. If you (or your team) win awards, your name and photograph could be linked to that. If a friend posts a picture of you in a silly pose, that may be part of your footprint, also. 

One way to get a sense of what your digital footprint is already is to do something called a "vanity search." This is when you Google your own name to see what other people see when they search for you. There might be nothing. There might be a few things. There may be things about people who have the same name as you. It's worth knowing what Google can find about you, because employers will search for you and so will the universities that you apply to, when you are in grade 11 and 12. I've even searched out potential baby-sitters to see if I would trust them as a person to look after my children. 

Think about what kind of a digital footprint you would like to have in a few years. What kinds of things would you like to see when you look yourself up on Google. Would you like newspaper articles or videos of interviews? What kinds of things do you hope you'll have created that other people will see as examples of what you do well? What awards might you have won and how would those show up- would there be photographs or links to webpages of the sport you play? Will your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, website or Electronic Portfolio be there?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Internet Safety

Internet Safety is more than being careful with your passwords and not talking to strangers in chat rooms. Internet safety is recognizing scams designed to put malware on your computer. Internet Safety is recognizing how to deal with problems on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat when so-called friends start bullying or harrassing you. Internet Safety is especially recognizing that the Internet is basically just the same as your neighbourhood. You wouldn't say certain things to your neighbours and you wouldn't want your grandmother or mom to see you behaving badly or in embarrassing ways. If you put it out on the Internet, chances are someone you know will see it, or share it or use it against you if it could put you in a bad light.

The key to remember is that the Internet is very public, no matter how many privacy settings you try to set up, there are ways around it and it's easy to forget how many people can see what you've put up, or what others have shared about you. Internet Safety is also about how to remove things that other people write, say or share about you.

Watch the following video as a class.  After watching, take 5 minutes to talk at your table about:
  •  experiences you've had, especially if you've had the opportunity to be really smart about your privacy and safety. 
  • What have your parents and others taught you that you think everyone should know. 
  • Is there anything you're not sure of that you want to know or get better at?

One person in the group should be the note-taker for your group and write things on a big sheet of paper with a marker. Put the names of everyone in your group. (Spelling doesn't matter for this assignment, except the names.) Hand in the sheet to Mr. Erickson, the substitute teacher.

After your group chat, please take the rest of the period to write down your ideas for how you're going to be Cyber smart and protect yourself. Consider:  
  • Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Gaming, Youtube)
  • Picture sharing/Video sharing
  • Scams/Spam/ Malware
  • Password safety and online shopping safety
This is a draft and we'll work on polishing this writing in class on Friday using Google Docs! You will need to have at least 5-10 sentences for Friday!

Thank you, Mr. Erickson, for being my Teacher on Call today! I hope the students made you feel welcome in our class!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


So, what is an ePortfolio and why do you have to make one for this class? An eP (my abbreviation) is a way to collect together all your work and think about what you've learned as you created each assignment. Each thing you make (digitally) is called an artifact. Your eP is like a binder that has a page for each artifact you make.
While making the artifacts and getting them into the eP is important, even more important is what you write about what you've learned. This is called reflecting on your learning and it helps you become a better learner. By realizing how you feel, what frustrates you, what situations or processes help you learn faster or are fun and easy, you can apply that understanding to new situations! Be patient with yourself as you try this out. It takes a while to get good at it!
I'll demo what it looks like & how my thinking works as we set up eP's today.