Technology Update #43

In this Issue

Welcome to Westside.Technology Update Issue #43! In this issue we’ll explore the complicated balancing act surrounding technology administration, find out about new features in Google Classroom and Google Calendar and more!

Thought of the Week

Stay with me here…
Ask any communications expert and they’ll most likely tell you that writing an article to the general population and referencing economics is a no-no. They are also likely to tell you that starting off an article with “stay with me” is a great way to quickly lose readers. This article blatantly ignores both pieces of advice.

In 1977 the United States Congress amended the Federal Reserve Act to require the Federal Reserve to promote actions to maximize employment (i.e., reduce unemployment) and to keep stable prices (i.e., combat inflation). This dual mandate sounds great and came at a critical time in our country’s history. Everyone gets a job! Prices are stable! A real win-win! Yet, as any Econ 101 student (or 5th grader) will tell you, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Try to get unemployment down and prices tend to rise (inflation). On the other hand, if we want to keep prices stable, the economy grows too slowly and businesses are less likely to hire. They may even begin to lay people off (increasing unemployment).

Those of you who heeded our plea and are still with us are probably asking, “Matt and Paul, did you just get me to read an entire paragraph on economics?” And, “What in the world does the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate have to do with NETA?” Yes, you did and if you want an answer to the second question, read on. Click here to continue to the rest of the story.

The Doctor Is In

Question: Thank you for the tips and tricks. Is there a way to view back issues so I can see all of the previous tips I may have missed?


Yes! All Westside.Technology Update newsletters are posted on Area 66. You can view past issues by clicking on ‘Newsletters’ from the homepage, or go directly there by clicking here.

NETA Voting

Westside’s own Dr. Paul Lindgren and Andrew Easton are running for the NETA Board of Directors! You can view the full ballot and each candidate’s biography on the NETA website:

NETA members will receive a voting code and custom URL via email within the next week or so.

Google Classroom

Did you know that we have over 360 active Google Classrooms in the Westside school district? In those, there are about 270 new post per day! That’s incredible! If you are wanting to start using Google Classroom in YOUR class, go to create one! Classroom is available to ALL teachers K-12 and it works on both Mac and iPad.

New Features
Google Classroom recently got a visual overhaul, as well as gaining several new features.

Don’t forget: Parent / Guardian Email Updates
Parent/Guardian communication is important! Google Classroom allows you to enable an email update to parents about their student’s progress in your Google Classroom. When guardians join Classroom, they receive regular, automatic email summaries for each of their students. Guardians choose the frequency of the emails—daily or weekly—and can unsubscribe at any time.

Guardian email summaries include:

  • Missing work— Work that’s late at the time the email was sent
  • Upcoming work— Work that’s due today and tomorrow (for daily emails) or work that’s due in the upcoming week (for weekly emails)
  • Class activity— Announcements, assignments, and questions recently posted by teachers
  • By default, email summaries for your classes are turned off.
    Check out how to enable and set up parent / guardian email summaries here.
    You can also check out Google’s FAQ on guardian email summaries here.

Appointment Slots in the New Google Calendar

From Alice Keeler
I’m really digging the new layout for Google Calendar. It’s mostly just a new look not a loss of features. So good news, appointment slots are still there for G Suite for Education users. Appointment slots allow you to create available slots of people to sign up. In other words, instead of YOU manually adding each appointment to the calendar, people do it themselves. I used Google Calendar Appointment slots to meet with students to review their student portfolios. I created the slots of time on the calendar that I was available and the students clicked on the link and chose the spot that worked for them.

Read more and see how to create appointment slots here:

Microsoft Office

As a reminder, Microsoft Office is available to every one of our staff and students free of charge for use on personal devices! This automatically updatable, subscription-based software ensures everyone at Westside will always have the latest version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and more.


As always, if you ever have any technology integration related questions, please let us know. We are happy to work with you to design lessons, develop workflows and even come into your classes and work with you and your students.