New KCS Technology Status Site –

Over the last few months I’ve been working on a new technology status site for Kenton City Schools. This site is hosted by Amazon Web Services, so it will be accessible even if our network, or WOCOs, or the state’s network isn’t functioning. I will still post issues to the kcstechalerts Twitter account, but if you don’t use Twitter, the new site will be of more use to you.

To view the site, navigate to

The top of the page will show the buildings, myself, and Mr. Dean with our current operational status. The bottom of the page will be a reverse chronological listing of past outages and issues. Scheduled maintenance will also show below the operational status.

In the upper right is an envelope icon. Clicking it will allow you to enter your email address and get a notification when the status changes. The email alerts come from, so you can set up notifications on your phone how you see fit. For example, if you are an iPhone user, you can add that address to your VIP list and get a notification when you receive email from that account.

If you have an issue, please check the status site before submitting a help desk ticket. There’s a chance we’re already aware of the problem and are working to solve it.

Students and their Chrome Extensions – Why are my students getting weird popups and having issues?

As the students learn to use their Chromebooks, they find the Chrome Webstore and start installing everything under the sun. Unfortunately, this can cause issues.

To check what extensions are installed, and to remove the extensions having issues, first go to the Extensions screen. Click on the 3 dot menu, select More Tools -> Extensions.

Extensions that are turned on have the slider switch in blue. When the slider switch is gray, that means the extension is turned off. Several extensions are installed by the tech department. Here is what the screens look like for those users.

To remove an extension, click the Remove button. If a student is having issues, go through and remove all of the extensions that don’t match this list. That usually fixes the issues the student is having.

If they continue to have issues, put in a help desk and we’ll check it out.

How to powerwash a Chromebook

Sometimes the only way to fix issues on a Chromebook is to powerwash it back to factory settings. This process removes all data from the laptop and sets it up like new. Most of your data will be already backed up to Google Drive, the exception is the Downloads folder. Anything in the Downloads folder on the laptop will be lost when the machine is powerwashed.

For KCS Chromebooks, the Chromebook will still be enrolled in the Kenton City Schools Google domain, and still be controlled by the district. You will be required to sign in with an Google account.

The following steps should be used under the direction of the Technology Department. If you have any questions, let us know!

Powerwashing a Chromebook

Every teacher has a substitute teacher Google account created

Every teacher has a Google account created that can be used by their substitute teacher. This account allows the teacher to share files with the substitute teacher and also communicate through email with the teacher.

You will want to place this information in your substitute teacher folder, along with any directions on how you want the substitute teacher to use the account.

If you did not receive an email from me with your sub account information, please let me know so I can fix the issue.

Switching to Google Drive File Stream

Here are the steps to switch to Google Drive File Stream. You will need to re-create any shortcuts you have made to your Dock or in the Finder windows to point to the new location in your Google Drive File Stream.

Once completed, you will have the Google Drive icon on your Desktop.

From there you can access/save files stored in Google Drive.


If you have any questions, please let me know!

Upgrading to Google Drive File Stream

  1. Check your laptop’s macOS version and upgrade if needed.
  2. Turn off the old Google Drive App.
  3. Turn on Google Drive File Stream.

1. Check your laptop’s macOS version and upgrade if needed

Log into your laptop, and access the About This Mac from the Apple Menu.

Look at the version number.

If it is 10.12 or higher, you are on the current macOS version for the district and can skip to step 2.

Upgrading your macOS


From the menu bar in the Finder, select Go -> Applications

Find Managed Software Center and double click on it to open.

Run Updates.

Click on the + beside Install macOS Sierra (10.12).

Click Update All. After the updates install, it may ask you to update again. Click the Upgrade button to start the macOS upgrade.

Once the machine reboots, you can continue with step 2.

2. Turn off the old Google Drive App

Check and see if you are using the Google Drive app. Look for the Google Drive app icon:

If you are not using the old Google Drive app, you can skip to step 3.

The first step you will take is to make sure that Google Drive has synced all your files. Click on the Google Drive app icon in the menu bar.

Look at the bottom right corner, it will say Sync Complete.

Next, set Google Drive to not start when you log in. Click the three dot menu, and select preferences.

Click on the Advanced tab.

Uncheck Start Google Drive on system startup.

Now we need to disconnect Google Drive. Click on the Account tab.

Click Discconect Account. Then confirm your choice.

Click Disconnect. Finally, quit the Google Drive App.

3. Turn on Google Drive File Stream.

You’re in the home stretch!

From the menu bar in the Finder, select Go -> Applications

Find Managed Software Center and double click on it to open.

Run Updates.

If the machine needs you to logout and reboot, let it.

Once updates are done, from the menu bar in the Finder, select Go -> Applications.

Find Google Drive File Stream and double click it to open.

Sign in to Google Drive File Stream with your school account.

Click through the 4 introduction slides.

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On the final slide, click Open Finder.

Google Drive will show in a Finder window.

And you will also have a Google Drive icon on your desktop.


Here’s a good overview of the differences between the old Google Drive app and the new Google Drive File Stream. We won’t be using Google Drive Backup & Sync.

Upcoming PD Opportunities – Gmail, Screencasting, exit tickets, 1:1 classes

Here is a list of upcoming classes being offered at Northwood. Click here to register. If you have any questions, let me know!


1/24/18 Gmail tips & tricks Gmail can be used as a powerful organizer, this class will cover several tips and tricks that you can use with Gmail.
2/7/18 Screencasting for Beginners Get started creating videos for your classroom and distributing the videos on Youtube and Google Drive.
2/21/18 Exit/entry tickets using Google How to automate exit/entry tickets in your classroom utilizing Google Forms and Google Slides.


2/10/18 Running a 1:1 Classroom Tips and tricks for the 1:1 classroom.
3/10/18 Re-assessing assessment and student ownership in the 1:1 classroom How could the 1:1 classroom look? How do you start on this journey? This class will answer these questions and more!

Increased security of school data on your smartphone

You may have noticed some additional restrictions on your smartphone regarding using your school Google account on your phone. A side effect of setting up Android apps on Chromebooks was the implementation of restrictions before you can use your school Google account on the phone.

iPhone users

The Google apps (Gmail, Google Calendar, Drive, etc.) now require you to have a passcode on your device. This is good advice in general. Go to Settings to set your passcode. If your phone is an iPhone 5S or new, you can also set up Touch ID.

Android users

Google will push a Device Policy app to your phone. You will need to install the app to use your school Google account on your phone. This application verifies that certain security precautions are taken on your phone (such as the use of a passcode) and also gives you the ability to locate and/or wipe the device if it is lost or stolen.


These are security precautions to guard against unauthorized use of school data and to protect against data loss.

Poster printing for the classroom

Guarded by the sacred Yoda statue is the HP Design Jet T520 24in wide format printer. With it, we can print documents up to 24″ wide by 36″ long.

To have a document turned into a poster send an email to and attach the document you would like to be printed (PDF”s preferred), number of copies, and size. Also if its time sensitive.

The siizes available are:

  • Medium 13.5″ x 18″
  • Large 18″ x 24″
  • Extra Large 24″ x 36″