Technology Update #49

In this Issue

Welcome Back to School! I hope everyone had a great summer and you’ve returned recharged and ready to go! There have been many changes to the technology that you use here at Westside. We’ve been working hard to streamline your access to technology and allow you to better offer new learning opportunities to your students! Here are a few of the larger changes. We’ll dive deeper into new features and apps in future news letters. Stay tuned!

What’s New for 2019


Sign in with Westside Access!
New! We’ve worked hard over the summer to reduce the number of different credentials that you need to remember in order to access the services provided by the Westside Technology Department. I’m happy to announce that we’re launching ‘Westside Access’ for the 2019-20 school year. Westside Access is powered by Microsoft and you may see a Microsoft logo from time to time- don’t be alarmed! It’s perfectly normal. Microsoft plays well with both Apple and Google products and leverages the systems we currently have in place.

For the 2019-20 school year, the following systems will take advantage of the Westside Access: Apple ID’s (iCloud), Blackboard, Help Desk, Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office.

You can read more about this transition at:

Google Chat
Google Hangout Chat is a way for staff to communicate with team members, buildings and one-on-one in real time. Using chat can help ease the pressure of email and get you a quicker response. It works on laptops, iPads and all cell phones! It’s a great way to keep your work communications separate from your personal phone number. Learn more, including how to install Chat from this page on Area 66.

New Mojave Features
All staff with a district assigned laptop should update to macOS Mojave. You can check if you have Mojave installed by going to the Apple menu, and selecting ‘About this Mac’. If you don’t see Mojave listed, you can download the update from Self-Service or the Mac App Store.

macOS Mojave brings with it several new features! Here are a few highlights:

  • Use Stacks to help organize a messy desktop.
  • Check out Dark Mode to change the look of your Mac. It’s also great to use in a dark room to reduce the brightness coming from your screen.
  • Quickly record your screen with the new built in recording tools.
  • Rotate and mark up photos directly in the Finder.

Reminder on Posting Student Photos to Personal Social Media Accounts

As a reminder, the district has a board policy regarding staff posting images of students on their personal social media accounts (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)

School staff have the ability to post photos of students on District websites, publications and classroom social media pages (assuming that parents have not opted out – check with your building administrative assistant for the FERPA opt-out list). This rule is contained in Board Policy 5220 which describes which photos may be used without specific permissions of a parent. This policy does NOT contain a provision for posting student photos on personal social media sites. Therefor, under FERPA, student photos may NOT be posted on personal social media sites. 

At the elementary level, we’ve worked to make it easier for you and your students to access key learning materials. We’ve enlisted the help of Clever to help make this possible. Staff can access Clever from the “Bookmarks” tab in Self-Service. Students have a Clever icon on their iPad. Once there, you’ll log in with your Westside Google account (email and password).

Clever is set up to provide automatic rostering (aka putting students in classes) and log-in capabilities for the services below. Please direct students to access the following services via Clever:

  • EduTyping Jr.
  • CommonLit
  • MackinVia
  • NEW Pearson Math
  • NEW Pearson Science
  • NEW TCI Social Studies

The Blackboard system was upgraded this summer. Most things will work exactly as before, but there are a three new changes we’d like to introduce to you! Check out our update page on Area 66 to learn more, including signing in with Westside Access.


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.