The district technology team met on February 17, 2011. At this meeting, the team discussed frustrations of trying to use technology with limited professional development resources, a lack of supervision, limited tech support, and other barriers to successful technology use with our students.
The district technology team met on January 18, 2011. At this meeting, the team discussed the status of current technology projects, the continuous improvement process and plans for setting goals for 2011-2012, and the components of effective technology-related professional development for teachers.
The district technology team met on December 2, 2010. At this meeting, the team discussed the status of current technology projects, unfiltered web access for staff members, and print quota and management policy. The team also briefly discussed preliminary findings on school 1:1 laptop programs.
The district technology team met on September 30, 2010. At this meeting, the team discussed the strengths and challenges of technology use in our schools, and prioritized technology projects and initiatives for the year. The team also weighed in on meeting dates for the coming year.
In the summer of 2010, the Brecksville-Broadview Heights school district changed from a self-hosted email solution to one provided by Google. The change in email systems was made to take advantage of a number of benefits offered by Google, including:
- Improved Webmail: The webmail system changed to Gmail, offering staff members improved performance and functionality when accessing email through a web browser.
- Better Spam Filtering: Keeping up with the volume and ever-changing nature of spam and malicious email has been a difficult, frustrating task. By letting Google's spam filtering and Postini message security services handle this for us, we're able to leverage their expertise and resources in fighting unwanted email.
- Improved Performance: When we managed our own mail server from 2005-2010, we saw exponential growth in the number of incoming messages, to the point where we were processing more than 20,000 email messages per day. Google's resources can handle this additional load much more robustly than the district's internal resources could.
- Additional Capacity: As the volume of email has increased, so has the need for storage space to keep it. With Google's email service, district account holders can use up to 7.4 gb of space per email account. That's a tenfold increase over the old mail server's capacity.
- More Robust Archiving: Using Google's Postini services, we have much more control over email archiving, allowing us to avoid archiving spam, making it easier to retrieve messages to fill public records or discovery requests, and ensuring that our email archive is stored off-site for disaster recovery.
- Better Integration with Google Apps: As we continue to use Google Apps collaboratively within the district, having access to email and contacts within the Google suite will make it much easier to communicate with colleagues.
As with any transition, there will be some problems, concern, and confusion during the transition process. This document is intended to assist staff members and other users of the district email system during this transition. Hopefully, staff members can refer to these instructions to avoid or alleviate many of the more common problems.
Using Outlook Express
Staff members who have used Outlook Express in the past may continue to do so. Your email settings should automatically be re-configured when you log in to your computer. The details of using Outlook Express for sending and receiving email should not have changed substantially.
My password is not being accepted.
Google requires passwords that are at least six characters in length. In the spring of 2010, staff members were asked to change their passwords in preparation for this requirement. If you have not changed your password in the last six months, you should do so by visiting http://www.bbhcsd.org/user. This is especially true if you can log in to the network and access network drives, but cannot access email.
It is also possible that your Google account is not in sync with your network account. This could have happened if you changed your password, but there was a problem updating your Google account. If this is the case, resetting your password (even to the same thing) should fix the problem.
When I try to log in, I get a message saying "web login required."
This error can be triggered by a number of things. If you have a weak password, for example, you will get this message more often. This will also occur if you configure your mail program to check for new messages very frequently (more than once every 10-15 minutes). To reset your account, visit http://www.google.com/a/bbhcsd.org/UnlockCaptcha and log in with your account.
To prevent this problem from occurring in the future, consider taking these actions:
- Pick a stronger password. Mix upper- and lower-case letters. Put numbers and punctuation symbols in. Also take a look at Google's recommendations for good passwords.
- Change your email settings to check for email less frequently. In Outlook Express, go to Tools, Options. On the General tab, there's an option for checking for new messages. Checking every 30 minutes is a reasonable number. If you have to have every message the moment arrives, you can decrease this number to 15 if absolutely necessary. Going below that will probably trigger "web login required" errors. If you're checking for new messages this often, you probably should be using webmail.
I don't have any folders in Outlook Express.
Your mail folders have been converted to labels in Gmail. If you're using Outlook Express to access your email, they should still appear as folders. If you don't see any folders listed, click on your email address in the folder list. It should say that there aren't any folders to display for this account. Click "yes" to get the list of available folders, and enter your password if requested. This should retrieve the list of folders from the server, and restore them to Outlook Express. A screencast of this procedure also shows you exactly what to do.
Some of my old messages are missing.
We did not migrate email that was stored in the "Trash" folder. We also did not move any email messages that were stored locally on your computer to the Gmail servers. If you had folders under "local folders" in your old Outlook Express profile, they are probably still on your computer. Please complete a help desk request and we'll try to assist you in getting them back.
In general, it's a bad idea to store anything you want to keep in the trash, and email messages should not be stored in local folders because they're only accessible on one computer that is not backed up.
When I try to email a file from within Word or Excel, I can't send it.
When I right click on a file on my computer, and choose "Send to, Email Recipient," it doesn't work.
These problems are caused by not having your default email account set. To fix this, go to Outlook Express and choose Tools, Accounts. Click on your email account, and choose "Set as Default." This should re-enable the ability to send email from MS Office and the Windows context menu.
- In Outlook Express, go to Tools, Address Book.
- From the File menu, choose Export, and then Other Address Book.
- Choose Text File (Comma Separated Values) and choose Export.
- Save the exported file as "H:oeaddressbook.csv".
- Optionally select the fields you want to export, and choose Finish.
- In Gmail, click Contacts at the bottom of your folder/label list.
- In the upper-right corner, select the Import link.
- Select Choose File and find the file you saved above.
- Click the Import button.
Mobile Phone Access
How do I configure my mobile phone to access my email?
To access your email account on your Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, or other portable device, use these settings:
- Incoming (IMAP) server: imap.gmail.com
- Port: 993
- Security: SSL required
- username: your email address
- Outgoing Server: smtp.gmail.com
- Port: 465
- Security: SSL required
- Authentication required
- username: your email address
If you need additional help, please a help desk request and we'll try to assist you as soon as we can.
Image credit: Ramberg Media Images on Flickr.