Friday, August 7, 2015

Top 6 Tech Things to Know for 2015-2016

Welcome back to the start of another amazing school year! With school beginning on Monday here is a list of the Top 6 Things to Know for 2015-2016 from the Technology Department.

1. New NCS PowerSchool Information
This year we have our own, fully independent version of PowerSchool. As a result, all related web addresses and login information have changed. Please make sure you check your email for a message from me regarding your username and password. Additionally, please update any bookmarks or website links you may have used in the past. I have also added the new student and parent URL, but those accounts will not be in use until mid-September.
2. Schoology
This year teachers in Leading Edge, PFAA, VLA, and Project X at PACT will be using Schoology as learning management system for all of their courses. Schoology is a tool similar to Blackboard, Moodle, or WebCT that allows teachers to seamlessly connect in-school and at-home academic activities using a blended learning model. Students will be able to submit assignments digitally, engage in online discussion forums, and complete web-based assessments. All students and teachers login to Schoology ( using their NCS Google Accounts. 

3. Student Account Information
In the IT department we make every attempt to ensure all incoming students have their accounts set ahead of time and provide small sheets of paper with login directions to either homeroom, technology, or ELA teachers depending on the academy and grade level. All student account usernames have the same format - first name, last initial, graduation year (ex: JohnS2022). Email addresses are identical to usernames with the addition of Students set their own passwords beginning in 6th grade, but new students will have the temporary password ncsyear1516. Below is an example of the full set of information for a student.
  • Username: JohnS2022
  • Email:
  • Temporary Password: ncsyear1516
4. Help Desk
If you need any technology support this year please always submit a Help Desk ticket. The system allows us to prioritize and track support as a team. Please save emails and phone calls for an immediate technology emergency. 
  • Help Desk Website -
  • Email Address - Your email address (staff only)
  • Password - A password you set
5. NCS Professional Development Portal and Year-Long Support
The NCS Professional Development Portal contains a plethora of information for instructional technology support. On this site you will find resource pages for a variety of topics from Schoology to Minecraft and Google Drive. If you are new to our school this year you will also find the resource page for our New Staff Tech Orientation. During the school year weekly technology professional development time will continue at the following dates and times. For the first few weeks of school I will also host open labs at these times. Keep an eye out for my weekly emails.
  • PFAA & LE - Tech Tuesdays 3:30-4:30pm in G-4
  • VLA - Wednesdays 9:30-10:45am in D-1
  • PACT - Bring a Challenge/Solve a Challenge Thursdays 8:00-8:45am
  • Star - STEAM Thursdays 3:15-4:15pm
6. Laptop Insurance
Have you signed up for laptop insurance this year? If not check out the Worth Avenue Group NCS page. We had an employee who ended up needing it this summer after she spilled water on her laptop. The process for repairing her laptop was quick, easy, and painless and only cost her the price of the deductible. You can also use the Worth Avenue site to insure personal devices, such as iPads, smartphones, and laptops.

Have a great year and a great first day of school on Monday!


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