Thursday, February 9, 2017

Spear Phishing in February

Are you a clicker?

This is a simple yes/no question, but in our context it may be the difference between just another day at school and something far worse.

KnowBe4 is a security company that specializes in "Security Awareness Training." They report that 91% of successful data breaches start with a Spear Phishing attack. KnowBe4 refers to “Clickers” as those who are most likely to click on a link within a bogus email message, subjecting themselves and their employers to a malicious phishing or virus attack.

So what is Spear Phishing? Spear Phishing is an email message sent by cyber criminals that appears to be from a trusted source, but is not. The email message is designed to steal confidential information through deception.

There are untold number of ways to deceive via email. A popular method in Illinois school districts is this one: “Subject: A document has been shared with you.” The message goes on to say that someone you know is trying to share a document with you and to get this document you need to share out your email address and your email password.  Here is a great diagram that shows what to look for in such a message:

Why do we keep informing Barrington 220 users about this matter? The problem is getting worse and the tactics are getting better. Recently, a local Illinois school district fell prey to an attack via an email message that goes something like this:

Please reply with a copy of all employee W2’s as soon as possible. The info is needed for the next board meeting.

In this example, the human resources employee, Susan, knows Jennifer is a school board member, but what she does not realize is that the email address is bogus. Susan then sent all of the district’s W2 information to an unknown individual in another country. Ouch! A bad day for Susan, as well as several hundred other staff members.

Many of us work with sensitive information on a regular basis. Your system passwords need to be kept to yourself. In addition, always consider the “who, what, why, and how” when it comes to sharing sensitive information that you have access to. This holds true for any method of sharing information—whether it be email, Google Docs, or a file sharing utility such as Dropbox.

When in doubt—pick up the phone and call the person who requested the information. Ask questions.

When in doubt—consult with your supervisor about sharing confidential information.

When in doubt—check it out!

Are you a clicker?

Combatting Fake News

How do we combat the onslaught of news these days? 

In addition to filtering the news items, how do we evaluate the news to know if it's true before we hit the share button? Information analysis is an integral part of the District 220 Library/Information Literacy Curriculum. Students are taught the basic elements of evaluation:

    Share button
  • Authority: Who is the author of the information? What are their qualifications?
  • Purpose: What is the purpose of the information? What's the message?
  • Objectivity: Is the information biased? Is there conflict of interest?
  • Accuracy: Is the information accurate? Has it appeared elsewhere? Can it be triangulated, found in 3 different unrelated sources?
  • Current: Is this information current? Or, is this old information being recirculated? Have you looked at the data embedded in the document, image, or video to find the author, date of origin?
This critical skill is developed throughout our students' education beginning in elementary and carrying through high school. If a talking point arises in your classroom and you'd like to embed Information Literacy lesson, please talk with your Library Information Teacher. They'll be happy to help with this teachable moment.

Lists of Barrington 220 iPad Apps and Subscriptions

In an effort to consolidate and communicate the apps and subscriptions our staff and students can access, we created lists for each. These lists can be accessed easily using these websites:

Barrington 220 Approved Apps:

Barrington 220 Subscriptions:

Each website is designed so staff and students can easily:
  • Find explanations of each app or subscription.
  • Sort by tool function or content area.
  • Sort by grade level access.
This video by Shawndra Shelton (@SSheltonBSD220) demonstrates how to access, sort, and navigate the list of Barrington 220 Approved Apps. 

The list of Barrington 220 Subscriptions can be accessed, sorted, and navigated in the same way.

We continue to update the resources available on both these sites.

If you find any errors or any resources we can access that did not make the list, please contact me:

Snapchat! Carpool Karaoke! SAMR! Your Winter EdTech Links

Every so often, I share the best of what I've curated from the web. I usually come across these links on Twitter and in those cases, I've included the source so you can follow along.

Booksnaps-Snapping for Learning
By: Tara Martin
@TaraMMartin on Twitter

Snapchat! The forbidden fruit of social media, referenced as a learning tool?!?! That's right, Snapchat, for all it's tumultuous press, especially in education, can function as an engaging, productive tool for many classroom activities. Caroline Milne (@MrsMilneBiology), a Barrington 220 teacher, uses Snapchat for her students to demonstrate learning during labs and more. In this article, @TaraMMartin describes several ways she uses Snapchat in her classroom.

Classroom Environment Ideas (Padlet)
By: Laura Meehan
@laurameehan04 on Twitter

Our very own Barrington 220 iDAL coach, Laura Meehan, in conjunction with a few other iDAL coaches, began curating some great ideas for teachers to maximize their classrooms as learning spaces. Laura and others have gathered different types of furniture and examples of learning spaces and added them to a shared Padlet document. One of Apple's Five Best Practices, flexible learning environment, can help foster student creativity. Keep some of these ideas and more in mind during our upcoming Blueprint 220 meetings.

5 Resources to Make Your Next Presentation Pop
By: Steven Anderson
@web20classroom on Twitter

I've referenced ideas from @web20classroom before. This blog post offers some great tips and resources for creating presentations. Both direct instruction and self-directed learning can lead to student learning from watching a presentation. Students can also build their own presentations to demonstrate learning.

My favorite ideas mentioned in the article include adding intentionally chosen flair to presentations using the SlidesCarnival presentation templates, using icons for slides and infographics from The Noun Project, and setting and using sharing licenses properly as outlined in Creative Commons.

How to quickly and easily record video of classes online step-by-step
By: Matt Miller
@jmattmiller on Twitter

This article outlines steps teachers and students can take to hold a collaborative, online presentation, meeting, or discussion—and record the session for future use. Kimberly Foster-Thomas, our Barrington 220 Elementary RtI Coordinator has already held several online MTSS meetings simultaneously with representatives from every elementary school using Google Hangouts.

Google Hangouts can also be recorded to offer access to the meeting for anyone unable to attend. Following these steps automatically uploads the video recorded from the Google Hangout to your YouTube channel when configured offering instant organization. Students, teachers, and administrators can all benefit from this workflow.

SAMR Flow Chart
By: Mark Anderson
@ICTEvangelist on Twitter

Also receiving another mention is @ICTEvangelist, who created a "key" to help determine where an activity might fall on the SAMR ladder. 

To address a few misconceptions, Redefinition lessons are not always good lessons and Substitution lessons are not always bad lessons. SAMR refers to the level of technology use, not necessarily to the quality of instruction. 

Also, using specific apps does not automatically mean a lesson meets a specific level on the SAMR ladder. For example, using iMovie does not always equate to Redefinition and using Kahoot! does not always equate to Substitution.

Carpool Karaoke Edu Edition
By: Brian Aspinall
@mraspinall on Twitter

I love @mraspinall's creativity in these videos. He captures the captivating and humorous nature of the carpool karaoke popularized by James Corden on the Late, Late Show and adds an educational spin. In his initial video, above, Mr. Aspinall shares some of his insights into instructional strategies and more.

I chose to subscribe on YouTube by searching for "mraspinall" and tapping the "subscribe" link so every time a new episode drops, I receive a notification.

Dealing with Digital Distraction in the Classroom
By: Common Sense Media
@commonsense on Twitter

Common Sense Media provides teachers, students, and parents with excellent resources related to responsible use of technology. This video (and subsequent articles and charts found at the link above) focus on strategies all users of technology can implement to help deal with digital distraction. During our One to World measurements, Dr. Matt Fuller (@mattjfullertech) and I conducted many student focus group interviews. Many students mentioned their struggles with digital distraction. I deal with it as an adult! Dealing with digital distraction is a skill we all need to continually learn, and this article addresses a few solutions and strategies.

If you're looking for additional resources and accounts to follow on Twitter, you can always investigate my Edu Twitter list.

Schoology and Google Classroom

The development of online classrooms in Barrington 220 has followed a winding path. Many veteran teachers may remember building their first websites and online classrooms using tools like COMPLIMENT and Moodle. The adoption of Schoology signifies a new era of organized and functional use of a unified Learning Management System (LMS) in Barrington 220.

In the time before Barrington 220 adopted Schoology as our official, district-wide LMS, many teachers explored the use of other online classrooms and LMSs. Canvas, Haiku Learning, Google Sites, Google Classroom, Edmodo, and Schoology were used throughout the district. Teachers choose tools with a wide range of specific functions and user interfaces. In an effort to streamline communication and organization among students, teachers, and parents, the District Technology Committee recommended that we choose a single LMS to use throughout the district and ultimately recommended Schoology.

Where an online classroom provides a place for teachers, students, and parents to interact online, a learning management system provides an online platform for much more. Barrington 220 connects Infinite Campus, Google Apps, Turnitin, iPad apps, and more within the Schoology construct.

Change is hard, and several teachers expressed their plight of needing to adopt a new online classroom, many for the third time in a short period of time. The most popular question that has arisen is, "Can I still use Google Classroom?"

Google Classroom is a wonderful tool to use as an online classroom and document differentiation and dissemination tool, all while including Google Apps, add-ons, and primary functions. We encourage the use of Google Classroom as a tool that works well within the Google ecosystem. Google Classroom is a great online classroom tool.

Where Canvas, Haiku Learning, and Edmodo differ from Google Classroom is that these tools are full learning management systems. In the best interest of the students, teachers, and parents, and under the recommendation of the District Technology Committee, it's best to only use one learning management system throughout the district. Therefore, the use of these tools is not approved.

Schoology and Google Classroom provide teachers and students opportunities to connect with curricular resources and demonstrate learning. Our departments of Technology & Innovation and Teaching & Learning support the use of both tools. While diverse in their capabilities, Schoology and Google Classroom accomplish different tasks. Google Classroom provides teachers and students with a great tool within the Google ecosystem, while Schoology functions as a learning management system—connecting to our student information system, Infinite Campus, and supporting our diverse platform of tools such as iPad apps, website subscriptions, and more.

Barrington 220 Hosts One to World Showcase Event on 11-24-17

On Tuesday, January 24, 2017, Barrington 220 hosted a showcase event for regional education leaders featuring our One to World program. The event was well-received by participants and had far-reaching coverage on social media.

The purpose of our One to World Showcase was to provide an in-depth view of our district’s one-to-one learning initiative to educational leaders in our region, spotlight several of our classrooms using effective technology integration, and further expand our district’s network of professional learning contacts.

Apple provided online registration services and identified the Showcase as an official Apple Education Event. The event accepted over 90 online registrations from over 40 school districts, and more than 20 additional attendees visited who were not pre-registered.

Attendees visited from as far north as West Salem, Wisconsin (near La Crosse), to as far south as Arcola, Illinois (south of Champaign). Attendees included technology support staff, teachers, instructional coaches, principals, coordinators, directors, assistant superintendents, and other educational technology leaders at building and district levels. In addition, our local Apple support team was present.

The Showcase began at 9:00 AM in the Barrington High School Black Box Theatre with registered guests arriving up to 30 minutes in advance. A trio of Barrington High School jazz musicians performed for guests before each of the large-group presentations during the event. The trio included Barrington High School student musicians Chris Winkler on saxophone, Scott Randall on guitar, and Andrew King on bass.

The Showcase was organized into three main sections: an opening presentation, a set of classroom visits or a breakout session, and a closing presentation.

Opening Presentation

The opening presentation included an overview of the Barrington 220 One to World Program and described various aspects of the program using Apple’s Five Best Practices: visionary leadership, innovative learning and teaching, ongoing professional learning, compelling evidence of success, and flexible learning environment. This section was co-presented by Assistant Superintendent for Technology & Innovation Matt Fuller and Director of Instructional Technology Joe Robinson.

Attendees were invited to participate in a Twitter Challenge throughout the event. The challenge introduced the event’s hashtag as #220showcase and asked attendees to tweet in three categories during classroom visits and the breakout session:
  • Tweet an idea you will bring back to your school.
  • Tweet an image exemplifying one of the 
4 Cs (communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking).
  • Tweet with 
a new PLN (Personal
Network) contact you meet today.
Classroom Visits & Breakout Session

The second part of the Showcase allowed attendees to select among building-based classroom visits or a breakout session featuring Barrington 220 Instructional Digital Age Learning (iDAL) Coaches.

The iDAL Coach session was moderated by Kelly Hanson, Director of Secondary Curriculum. Becky Wiegel, Director of Elementary Curriculum, organized the elementary school classroom visits. Attendees who selected classroom visits to elementary or middle schools were shuttled on buses to Countryside Elementary, Hough Elementary, or Barrington Middle School—Station Campus. High school classroom visits and the breakout session were held at Barrington High School.

Closing Presentation

After the classroom visits and breakout session, attendees gathered back in the Black Box Theatre where Matt Fuller and Joe Robinson highlighted and responded to many of the tweets from the previous two hours. For example, one attendee tweeted, “I love hearing what works, but I also want to hear what didn’t and why.” To respond to this tweet, we offered “3 Things that Didn’t Go Well (and How We Fixed Them).” In addition, we highlighted some of the many tweets featuring technology integration in our classrooms that demonstrated innovative learning and teaching and shared tweets showing some of our flexible learning environments in action across the district.

The closing presentation featured Dr. Brian Harris, who presented “Building Future-Ready Students.” Dr. Harris discussed the “why?” behind our One to World program by discussing “skills that matter,” including digital citizenship, critical thinking, collaboration, positive attitude, and creativity. Dr. Harris also discussed how Barrington 220 is preparing our students for the new workforce and the importance of learning to “live, work, and play in a virtual world.”

A Reach Far Beyond Barrington 220

Chart courtesy depicting #220showcase hashtag
Reach and Timeline deliveries as of 1-25-17.
The One to World Showcase reached far beyond Barrington 220, as evidenced by our Twitter statistics for the event. Two Twitter analytics platforms (Keyhole and Hashtracking indicated that the #220showcase hashtag had generated 668 posts, with 225 original tweets, 19 @Message tweets, and 399 retweets (as of 1-25-17). Tweets using the hashtag #220showcase reached over 142,000 users, and over 2.5 million #220showcase posts were viewed on timelines of Twitter users.

The high volume of original tweets, views, and sharing was likely a result of our highly connected audience of educational technology leaders who use Twitter and are connected to other educational technology leaders.

Event Highlight Photos

Please visit the One to World Showcase photo album to see highlights of the event captured by Barrington 220 staff and collected from Twitter and other social media.

Special Thanks

Many Barrington 220 staff members contributed to the success of our Showcase event. Thank you to the following people:

iDAL Coaches
Laura Meehan
Katie Muhtaris
Kelly Pinta
Erika Inka
Ben Rodriguez
Mary Stec
Loretta Johnson
Joslyn Katz
Lisa Riley
Eliza Aliotta

Hough Teacher Classroom Visits
Jill Henning
Eleni Keller
Kristin Lanan
Anna Jagielski
Georgia Nelson
Patricia Haney

Countryside Teacher Classroom Visits
Nicole Gorges
Sara McMillan
Jen Parisi
Sean McGann

Barrington Middle School—Station Teacher Classroom Visits
Carrie Raia
Amy Suessen
Laura Baker
Kara Stengren
Heather Chvojka
Marge Miskovetz

Barrington High School Teacher Classroom Visits
Hagop Soulakian
Tom Bredemeier
Brian Mathien
Kurt Weisenberger
Sheila Soss
Ninja Nagel
Wendy Sanchez

Library/Technology Assistants
Christine Herbert
Brendan Glenn
Sue Kiss
Eden Mosoff
Megan Polzin
Shawndra Shelton
Liz DeWitt
Heidi Bickham
Emma Woods

Barrington High School Support
Amy Jessup-Tilford, Auditorium Director
Mary Flanagan, BHS Reception Attendant
Joann Fullman, Administrative Assistant to the Director of Instructional Technology

BHS Jazz Trio
Chris Winkler, Saxophone
Scott Randall, Guitar
Andrew King, Bass

District Support
Kelly Hansen, Director of Secondary Curriculum
Becky Wiegel, Director of Elementary Curriculum
Mark Polzin, Technology Support Supervisor
Russ Vander Mey, Systems Administrator
June Nilles, Director of Student Information
Scott Moore, Network Operations Specialist
Brigid Tileston, Fine, Visual, and Performing Arts Director
Melissa Martin, Fine, Visual, and Performing Arts Administrative Assistant

Dr. Brian Harris, Superintendent
Joe Robinson, Director of Instructional Technology
Margarita Geleske, Uncharted Learning

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