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Instructional Technology

3031 Stanton St.
Springfield, IL 62703
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January 31, 2020


As most people are aware, YouTube has been purchased by Google. However, Google does not provide us with any support when we are dealing with issues regarding YouTube. Your building Technology TILs have the ability to approve videos. Most YouTube issues have to do with users (teachers or students) not being signed into their district Google/YouTube account. When a teacher integrates a YouTube video into his/her teaching, the teacher is responsible for watching the video in full to make sure it is completely appropriate for use within the intended grade. Additionally, it is always best check to see if the video is viewable on the teacher device, as well as the student device (if the video is going to be watched by the students on their own devices). If the video isn't viewable, send the link to the building TIL for approval. Remember - you can view YouTube videos on your home network when planning, but will not be able to view those same videos on the district network if they have not been approved by an EdTech TIL.

Choosing A Browser That Best Fits The Task

Often times, teachers will ask why they are required to use Google Chrome. Actually, it is not required. The technology department will recommend Chrome for a number of reasons. To name a few, Chrome works really well with G-Suite, users can choose a theme to make the appearance change as little or often as desired, and it allows users to sign into the browser for the purpose of storing user settings, bookmarks, and downloaded apps and extensions. One of the great things about Chrome is it allows you to make the browser yours no matter what device you are on, where you are, or which of your user accounts you are trying to work with. 

One thing you do need to know is Safari most commonly works best with our District Intranet and Websites. Safari, along with Firefox and Opera, are good browsers too. However, they do not have the capacity of features Chrome offers. It all comes down to what works best for the user, but it is important to know when the user is having an issue where something doesn't seem to be working correctly, it is possible it could be due to the browser being used at the time.

New Features in Buncee

Buncee is one of our favorite creation and communication tools. Immersive Reader is one of the newest updates to the Buncee tool. Check out this article to learn more about how the learning can be transformed for students, teachers, and parents.

Streaming Sevices

The Technology Department receives a lot of questions regarding a variety of streaming services. (i.e. Netflix, Vimeo, Hulu, Spotify, Prime Video, and most recently Disney+) Due to privacy and security concerns, our district does not support these services on our network. YouTube is the only streaming service in which the feature of being able to screen/vet videos is offered. Additionally, smart home devices such as Alexa, Google Home, etc. are also not supported on our network due to major privacy concerns. 

Features on Google Forms

Richard Byrne provides us with a great blog article on 5 things teachers need to know about Google Forms. Check out this link to dive in further!