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Technology News

December 2018

As the holidays approach, be cautious of unsolicited emails that contain malicious links or attachments with malware, advertisements infected with malware, and requests for donations from fraudulent charitable organizations, which could result in security breaches, identity theft, or financial loss. We recommend the following actions:

• Use caution when browsing the internet, shopping online, and using email.

• Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in unsolicited emails.

• Be wary of fraudulent social media pleas, calls, texts, and websites solicitations for donations to charities.

• If you believe you are a victim of a scam or malware campaign, immediately change any passwords you might have revealed and do not reuse the password on any other account.

Some of our staff members have continued to receive spoofed emails that pretend to be our school Principals and administrators. The email address usually begins with "headofschool" followed by random numbers. Schools around Vermont and beyond are all experiencing the same trend. It is important that you do not engage with the sender(s) of these messages. If you receive such spoofed email, please report as spam to Google. To report as spam, open or highlight the email and click on the “stop sign” icon next to the trash icon.

Image of how to report Spam in Gmail

Google recently notified us of security incidents involving password leakages that may have affected some users in our Google Apps domain: u61.net. Common causes of password theft are viruses, user responses to phishing emails, or the use of the same password on many different websites, of which one or more have been compromised by attackers. Use this site (https://haveibeenpwned.com/) to determine whether your email has been compromised in a data breach. Scroll down to check the year and what was compromised. If a password was compromised, change it and don’t ever use it again for any account. The tech team encourages everyone to consider enrolling into Google’s 2-step verification for account protection. Here is a link to a short video about how to turn it on (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf4ZouTvcp4). We will be rolling this out in the coming months. Stay tuned!

If you've heard about the Hour of Code before, you might know it made history. More than 100 million students have tried an Hour of Code. This year, let’s get more of our students to join the Hour of Code 2018 by hosting one in our classrooms. Please get involved with an Hour of Code event during Computer Science Education Week, December 3-9 and beyond. You can read more about the event at http://hourofcode.com. Here is a participation guild that might be helpful: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fdw8jQ37TZqwMMPu3YLddPoGJ9mozj-1AHb2kSWS9Yc/edit#.

We are finalizing plans to pilot the use of teacher Chromebooks and Chromecasts in the classroom. The Chromebooks would allow teachers to cast a presentation and control what students see on the "board" from wherever they are in the room. The device can also flip into a tablet mode, providing access to the camera for pictures and video. A number of teachers from Spaulding High School are participating, and the data/feedback collected from this pilot program will help us determine what would be best for our classroom technology moving forward.

We are working with our E-rate consultant on preparing our FY20 E-rate application. We have completed the paperwork and submitted to the consultant for review. Our goal is to have this preparation process finished as soon as possible so that the USAC 470 form can be filed before the end of December.