BCCHS PD Session 12/4

Technology integrated, project based, service learning

  • Critical / Computational Thinking
  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Communication

Freedom vs Privacy

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover and analyze the tools available for student portfolio creation, and the pros and cons of each
  • Discuss the use of collaborative planning tools in project based learning


Google Keep Demo: collaborative notes, share with me

Activity #1: Pair up, discuss and record your answers in a Keep note:
What tools can students use to create learning artifacts?

Activity #2: Review tools, add at least two pros and two cons to at least one of the tools on this document:
Group Document

Current Available Tools

Activity #3: What tools can teachers and students use to guide the creation of a learning artifact? Use Google Keep  and share with me.


OK to upgrade to OS X Sierra

Our tech team has identified the SFA software issue that was holding back the upgrade to OS X Sierra. The SFA software we use was not developed for use in the Apple App Store, and as such doesn’t have the digital security ID to bypass the Security & Privacy Gatekeeper setting.  Once you have upgraded to Sierra, make certain you change the “Allow Apps Downloaded From: setting to “Anywhere.”

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 11.55.26 AM

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 11.55.46 AM

Implementing LanSchool



Set up

  • Make sure you have a list of the computers in your class by name.
  • How to identify a computer by name
  • Create a .csv file with a list of your machine names. (the techs can do this for you).
  • Install your version of lanschool, which you should have received by email.
  • Use the Administer / One to One / Manage Class Lists menu to create your Class List (.lsc file).

Critical Tasks

  • Set / remove login auto start preference
  • Set Teacher / Preferences / Network preferences to IP-Multicast
  • Customize Teacher Preferences
  • Load / Dismiss Class List
  • Show teacher screen to client / all
  • Show student screen to client / all
  • Vote
  • Run a particular app on client / all logged in clients
  • Control / view a client’s screen
  • Arrange clients to class layout / save layout
  • Take a snapshot
  • Send Message / Answer “Raised Hand”
  • Limit Web Browsing
  • Limit App use
  • Mute
  • Clear Desktop
  • Co-Browse Internet


How to embed videos in wordpress pages

Here is a quick tutorial on how to embed videos from Google drive into your WordPress pages and posts. Since we have very little space on the WordPress server, we can’t host files there. However, we have unlimited space in our Google Drive accounts, so we can upload files there and link to them on our websites. This works for video as well, but we can go a step further and add a preview and “embed” the video code in our webpages. Students are encouraged to do this for any presentations or presentation of learning videos they may create. This works well for leadership videos, as you can build a page and organize them on the website, rather than refer back to your email.

NOTE: Even though a video is embedded on a page, it may not play depending on how the video is shared.

NOTE: If you want to allow full screen mode, you have to add ‘ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”‘ after the height value. like this: height=”480″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”></iframe>

NOTE: I have activated the Unfiltered MU plugin on the grade level sites, so if students have been unable to embed videos before, they can now.

Printing vs copying vs paperless classroom

The leadership at YPICS has pursued a printer and copier machine policy with an eye towards access, cost and durability. I’d like to discuss costs and efficiencies of each of the print technologies, and make a case for limiting printing as much as possible, in order to limit costs and use technology in an eco-friendly fashion. I believe strongly that we have a duty to be conscientious stewards of our natural resources, and moving away from paper to digital printing is a big step in that direction.


My goal is to put a black and white laser printer in each classroom, and at least one laser color copier at each school site. We typically have two copiers each at the middle schools, and as a rule we purchase Xerox and HP devices for ease of support and to limit the supply diversity. I have over 20 years experience managing networked printers, copiers and wide format plotters at Kinkos and UCLA, so I tend to be a bit set in my ways when it comes to vendors and laser printers. 🙂 However, we have deviated from color laser copiers due to tight budgets, so we still have two thermal wax color copiers that I hope to say good-bye to very soon.

I avoid ink jets due to the high cost of ink and the rapid deterioration of print quality over the length of a print run. As such, our tech support team does not support ink jet printers. I know that they are very inexpensive to buy, but they are meant for home use and do not hold up well in a crowded network environment such as ours. If you choose to buy one and use it in your classroom or office, the YPICS tech support team is not responsible for installation, supply or maintain of the device, nor take any responsibility if the supplies are spent in error, such as a driver issue or someone prints to it who should not.

We also have a wide format 8 color plotter at the high school which gives us the ability to print banners and posters


It is important to understand that the copiers have a much lower cost structure than workgroup printers, and running lots of prints on our little printers costs us much more than on our copiers.

We have the following printers in our inventory:

  • HP 401 LaserJet
    • Purchase cost: $250 – 400 (getting cheaper since August)
    • Toner cost: $35, average 2700 impressions ~$0.0127 per impression
    • Paper cost:
  • Xerox 4510
    • Purchase cost: $1500-1750
    • Toner cost: $50 – 180(high capacity), average 2000 – 10000 impressions ~$.018 per impression
  • HP 2055 Laserjet
    • Purchase cost: $700
    • Toner cost: $20, average 2000 impressions ~$0.01 per impression

We also have one remaining HP 2015, but I hope to replace the poor beast soon 🙂

We have a district wide service contract with SoCalOffice, which costs us about $800 a month, which covers supplies and maintenance. We have about 40 printers in the network, so our our supply costs are lower than if you buy the toner from Amazon, but the included impressions count is lower, about 66,000 impressions. This comes out to roughly 1,000 prints per printer per month. Each click beyond the allowance is charged at .15 each. We get charged overages on a quarterly basis which has been averaging an additional $1000 a quarter.

We have the following xerox copiers in our inventory:

As you can see, printing more than occasionally on our classroom printers has large cost implications for our budget. These overages get charged to the Office Supplies budget quarterly, which makes it a challenge to manage supply requests when their budget reserve is disappearing. Similarly, the BCCS office is going through a pallet of paper a month, which was my weekly order when I ran the Kinkos at Hollywood & Vine. In other words, we are spending paper at one school at a quarter of the volume of a retail print shop with 10 copiers. A ream of paper costs about $5 each, 8 – 10  reams to a box, 40 boxes to a pallet, with a cost of about $2000 a month per school site.

Going Paperless

We have an extensive cloud and web services infrastructure, and we have between 12 & 15 computers in each classroom, over 1000 computers throughout the entire YPICS family. We pay about $40,000 per year for device management and engineering support, and have over a million dollars invested in equipment and network infrastructure, plus we have staff dedicated to maintaining that equipment. While going completely paperless is something of a unicorn in the modern office environment, wished for but never seen, we have the tools to cut down on using so much paper.


  • Teacher websites: You can put syllabi, handouts, assignments and links to resources on your teacher website. Anything you project or print, you can make available on your website for students to access, both in class and at home. If your projector dies, you can direct students to your website and keep on teaching.
  • Google: All students and staff have access to Google Apps, especially Drive (formerly Docs). Students can write their assignments in Drive and share the results with you, and never a tree is harmed. This also allows students to build a library of work to show mastery over time.
  • Google Classroom: If websites is not your thing, Google Classroom is an easy-to-use alternative.The only issue I see with Google Classroom is a lack of parent engagement, transparency and publicity, but it is a very effective tool.


I challenge each of you to find a way to eliminate paper use in your classroom. Make it an ecological challenge to your students, or a grade level challenge to cut costs. I would much rather our budget be spent on field trips and authentic learning experiences than on paper and print overages.


Technology Priorities for 15-16

Mission: To support the instructional and operational pillars of the charter, specifically project-based learning, enhanced learning, and service learning, so that our students can become college ready, active citizens and life-long learners.

Vision: To provide equitable access to instructional technology for all students, teachers and staff.

I’ve found it a challenge this year to communicate how the technology team is supporting instruction this year, so I’d like to outline our initiatives here.

  1. End User Support.
    1. Technology Support Assistant. YPICS has added a part time technology support position for each school site, who is tasked primarily with making sure the classroom instructional technology is operational. They respond to support tasking via the help desk system at http://www.ypics.org/hd/ and do such things as troubleshoot connectivity issues, reinstall student computers and assist with audio visual equipment issues. Our goal is to deal with each ticket as quickly as possible, within 24 hours during the week for most immediate issues. Some situations may require research, but we will communicate with the ticket originator within 24 hours during the week via the help desk system. (write an example)
    2. OS X client management. We have implemented the Casper/JAMF mobile device management system, which puts a software agent on each YPICS Mac device. This agent allows us to get inventory information and push out configurations and software changes automatically. This tool helps us respond to change requests without necessarily touching the affected device.
    3. Anti-Virus. We have added the Avast Antivirus package to all OS X clients, which automatically updates the antivirus definitions daily and shields the user from most malicious software, including browser based attacks. This software is being added to the computers over the course of this week, more than 500 machines have been installed so far.
    4. Printer Support. We have replaced the HP 2015 printers with HP 401, and can automatically set up the queues on YPICS managed computers.
  2. Robust Network Stability
    1. Managed services. We have secured the services of a network management company called 7LITS. They are based in Granada Hills and assist with troubleshooting and management of the switching and wifi networks.
    2. Upgraded infrastructure. We have replaced the content firewall, core router and wifi controller with more modern equipment, and have leveraged the district’s high-speed wifi network wherever possible.
    3. Cloud based services. We have migrated the primary web server, database and device management system server to Amazon Web Services, rather than hosting them in-house. This allows us a great deal of flexibility in management and configuration, and has proven to be more reliable that local hosting.
  3. End User Data / Asset Security
    1. Branding. Using the device management system, we have branded the login screen and added a confidentiality warning to all staff laptops. We are in the process of branding the student computer login screens as well.
    2. Encrypted file systems for staff laptops. We will work with each staff member over the rest of the year to add file system encryption (File Vault) to secure student and parent data in case of laptop theft. This requires the use of a user password as the encryption key, and can take a few hours to initially take effect.
    3. Inventory. We are using the device management system to maintain a digital inventory of all YPICS Mac devices, which allows the tech team to identify systems and anticipate issues such as battery end of life and software updates.
  4. Data Access and Analysis
    1. Illuminate. We are in the process of moving from Powerschool SIS to the IlluminateISI, which will allow us to generate student data reports much more easily, and in formats that are visual and colorful, so they are easier to interpret. You can learn more about this process by following the Illuminate Transition Process blog.
  5. Inventory / Cost Controls
    1. Asset tagging. We are in the process of adding asset tags to each YPICS device.
    2. Budgeting. Each school site has budget for consumables that I manage in coordination with site and YPICS admin.
  6. Technician Training
    1. Friday training meetings. The tech team meets via Google Hangout each Friday at 11am to go over current issues and to pursue more advanced topics, such as network engineering and server administration for future certifications.
  7. Documentation
    1. Runbook. The tech team is developing a “runbook” that contains all of the processes and procedures necessary to support technology integration at YPICS schools.
  8. Teacher Technology Training
    1. Professional development. Through collaborating with the Coordinators of Instruction and YPICS administration, we will be supporting the teacher PD process.

Some thoughts on Teach. Empower. Lead.

The leadership team have been reflecting on our brand and the tagline of “Teach. Empower. Lead.” has led me to think about what they mean to me and my journey here at YPICS.


Every person, from office staff to classroom teachers to administration is a person who has the opportunity to model positive behavior, share their expertise, learn from others and pass that knowledge on. If you are teaching and your students, parents, and peers are learning, then you will be successful. There is no replacement for the heart of a teacher.


Everything we do is focused on the success of the student. Whatever decision you make, if it will help our students, parents and learning community be successful, then you can’t go wrong. This empowers our staff and leadership to make decisions without having to constantly check with others.


One of the great things about the charter movement is the lack of overbearing structure and the abundance of opportunity to make your mark. As long as you are striving to improve and help others along the way, you will be successful.