Depending upon your role in LPS, you may have a reason to have software applications on your laptop that other LPS employees may not need, or be licensed to install. In an effort to get the right software to the right staff members, LPS offers a way to install your own software, on your LPS computer, using a tool called Managed Software Center.
Managed Software Center works similarly to the “Software Update” tool you are already familiar with on your Macintosh, with one significant difference. The software available through this tool is curated by Lincoln Public Schools. You will only see the software that LPS makes available to optional install on your LPS laptop.
Launch Managed Software Center
- Open the Applications folder on your Macintosh computer
- Double-click to launch the application called Managed Software Center
- If you want to install software that is not already on your computer, click the Software screen.
- If you want to update software that was previously installed with this tool, click the Updates button.
Installing New Software
- Click the Software button along the top of the Managed Software Center window to see a list of available software titles.
- Click the “Install” button beside the software title you wish to install. You will see indicators that the software is “downloading.” If there are any other updates available you will be redirected to the Updates screen to include them along with your new software install.
- From the Updates screen, click the “Update All” button to install your new software and any accompanying updates. You should find it in the Applications folder, ready to open and use.
- Certain software will require a license code upon first run. Seeing a title in this list does not ensure that you have a license to legally use the software in question. Unless you have received other instructions, contact the Helpdesk for assistance in acquiring license codes, or determining whether you qualify for one based upon your role or location.
- You might be asked whether you want to log out to run this install, or not. While a logout is always good practice, in most cases you do not need to. You can click the “Update without logging out” button if it is an option.
Operating System Updates
Every year Apple Computer puts out an updated version of the operating system for computers running Macintosh OS X. When Computing Services determines that the core software tools used in LPS work reliably in the newly released OS, it will appear in Managed Software Center as an available update that you may choose to run at any time.
Before installing make sure that:
- Any important files on your computer are backed up elsewhere. (LPS OwnCloud, LPS Google Drive, etc.)
- Your computer is plugged in to power.
- You have at least an hour where you will not need your computer.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the LPS Help Desk before beginning.
Updating Existing Software
If you previously installed a piece of software with this Managed Software Center utility and an update is released, it will notify you of the available update. Clicking on the notification dialog presented on your computer screen will launch Managed Software Center and bring you to the “Updates” screen. (It is similar to the Apple “App Store” tool found on your Macintosh in this way.)
You can also choose to launch the update tool at a time that is more convenient for you by following the instructions offered above and clicking the “Updates” button.
No matter how you get to the Update screen, the following steps apply:
- Click the “Update All” button. You will be provided updates as the tool downloads and installs the updates to your software.NOTE: You might be asked whether you want to log out to run this install, or not. While a logout is always good practice, in most cases you do not need to. You can click the “Update without logging out” button if it is an option.
- When installs complete, the tool will check for any additional updates. If none are found you will be told that “Your software is up to date.“
Uninstalling (Removing) Software
Managed Software Center can also be used to UNINSTALL software that was originally installed using the same tool.
- Click the Software button at the top of the Managed Software Center window.
- Find the software you wish to remove from the list of titles available.
- Click the REMOVE button.
- You will be taken to the Updates screen. Click Update to initiate the removal tool. (I know, I know, it sounds all backwards. Just play along.) You will see updates on the progress of the removal.
Computing Services often receives questions about what accessories we recommend to go with teacher laptops. The truth is that there are thousands of items that will work great with this laptop, but what follows are some recommendations in a number of categories.
If you are purchasing as an LPS entity please use the LPS Buying Guide
links. Otherwise, for personal purchases use the links of the online stores.
There is no end to the models, styles, material and color combinations available for bags that can be found to carry this laptop in safely. Any department or sporting goods store, and many clothing stores now offer a selection, though the best prices may be found online. You can find a functional bag for $15, or a fashion statement for $300. Most of the bags with features we love live in the $35-$100 range.
Experience has taught us to look for a few features when choosing a laptop bag:
- Make sure your bag of choice has a strap or handle. Many laptop “sleeves” do not, and are therefore easy to drop.
- Many bags come with a padded pouch for your tablet device (iPad?) as well as an easily accessible top pouch for a cell phone.
- Some bags feature upright, zippered pockets for your water bottle. This is a nice hands-free way to carry liquids with less risk of spilling/seepage on your laptop.
- Your laptop is 13-inches. Larger bags are not necessarily better, because the laptop can move too freely within the bag, and the additional cargo you squeeze into the larger bag may actually end up doing damage to the laptop.
- If you travel by air, it is nice to have a bag that zips open to expose the laptop without having to remove it from the bag. NOTE: your laptop should never be checked, always carry it with you.
- Shop around! The price for the same bag can vary wildly from store-store, site-site.
A few brands we like:
The MacBook Air has two USB 3.0 ports. Any USB hard drive should work, but ones that specifically state that they are USB 3.0 will be much faster than ones that are USB 2.0.
Portable External Hard Drive Storage
USB 3.0 drives are available in multiple storage sizes and colors, each changing the price. We recommend at least 1TB.
USB 3.0 Flash Drives (16GB+)
If your storage needs are not as great, a USB 3.0 thumb drive is smaller, cheaper, and fits in your pocket.
External Optical Drive (CD/DVD)
LPS has provided a number of these external USB optical (CD/DVD) drives to school media centers for teachers to check-out as needed. If you have a more persistent need and wish to have one available permanently, this is a fairly inexpensive option. (~$25)
A shell does not offer complete physical protection for your laptop, but it can protect from everyday wear and tear, keep simple bumps from leaving permanent dents and bruises, and can offer a splash of color. Look for shells that fit a 13″ MacBook Air.
A skin won’t protect your laptop from physical harm, but it will help your laptop resist scratches and stand out in the sea of identical MacBook Airs, allowing you to express some personality. Look for skins that match 13″ MacBook Air.
Note the difference between a vinyl skin and a sticker. Stickers have adhesive backs, vinyl skins do not and are therefore easy to remove without leaving residue on the laptop. No stickers are allowed on LPS devices.
Power & Cords (Adapters)
Apple 45W MagSafe Power Adapter for MacBook Air: Apple.com or LPS Buying Guide
Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter: Apple.com
This will let your MacBook Air connect to certain newer projectors and most HDTVs.
Apple Magic Mouse
This is the standard mouse that ships with Apple desktop computers.
Apple.com or LPS Buying Guide
Logitech makes great computer mice at every price point ($6 – $100) and feature set you might desire.
Logitech.com or LPS Buying Guide
The content of this page is a digital representation of the “LPS Technology Survival Guide” information shared at new teacher orientations and other situations.
We have a keyword ‘shortcut’ system throughout the LPS website. Type the keywords mentioned below in the keyword field at the top right of most LPS.org pages to quickly access specific pages on the site.
From the main lps.org website, click the Staff Center tab at the right end of the top menu. You’ll find all of the front page news here, as well as links to most of the LPS web resources you need.
The LPS website has thousands of pages, but a handful of them are accessible directly with a KEYWORD typed into the keyword/search box in the top right corner of lps.org. Here are a handful (not mentioned already in this document) that might be useful to teachers…
Information Center for Employees (ICE)
The LPS Information Center for Employees (ICE) will show you all of your paycheck information, along with W2, Online Benefit Information, Employee ID, and a growing list of employee information. Your 6-digit employee ID is the number required for using the Xerox MFDs (printing, copying, faxing, scanning) in our district.
Time and Attendance
Time and Attendance (TAS) is used to record the hours worked for “non-exempt” staff as well as to request, view and verify time and absences for ALL staff. You can only access the TAS website from an LPS building.
keyword: subs or absence
This is where most staff members submit absences so that they are properly entered into TAS and teachers request a substitute.
Student Learning & Information Management
The LPS Student Learning & Instructional Management (SLIM) page provides a one-stop-shop for links to information about systems that manage/report student data for the district. LPS users Synergy by EduPoint as our Student Information System. The SLIM page contains instructions by role (office, admin, teacher, etc)
CLASS Plan (Connected Learning for the Achievement of Students and Staff)
LPS believes that technology extends learning opportunities, increases productivity, and promotes greater effectiveness. A plan is in place that should allow all LPS staff and students access to the tools necessary to take advantage of greater access to technology. If you want to keep tabs on the official LPS Technology Plan – also known as the “CLASS Plan” – visit the link above to learn more.
Instructional Technology Tools (ITT)
High-quality instructional technology is an important tool for improving student achievement and preparing them for adult success. Teacher creativity and passion drive instructional innovations, and the District intends to provide advice for teachers, families and students about the use of instructional technology tools. Our goal is to efficiently identify Instructional Technology Tools that are safe for student use, support district learning goals, and encourage innovative teaching and learning. Want to understand “the why?” See this link for additional rationale.
After identifying an instructional need, teachers and school leaders are encouraged to review the LPS Instructional Technology Tool Matrix when considering a tool. The Matrix catalogs the applications, extensions, websites and other digital tools that have been reviewed by the District ITT Evaluation Committee. This matrix provides school leaders and teachers with additional information connecting research-based instructional strategies, tool functionality and curricular connections.
Web Content Filtering in LPS
Federal regulations require the restriction of access to specific types of web content. LPS employees may enter their LPS credentials to access many web pages not allowed to students. This is known as “Role Based Authentication” and respects an educator’s right to make professional decisions about the content you access. Learn more about this process and the LPS Board of Education Policies and Regulations it relates to on this page.
Technology Support & Skill Development
Suitable for framing.
Technology Helpdesk & Regional Support Technicians
The LPS Helpdesk (click Help) is the place to start with work-related technology issues. LPS also has regional Support Technicians that will be dispatched to your location when necessary. Whenever you require technology support, a Help Desk ticket via the web is the preferred method but you are welcome to contact the Help Desk directly when necessary (7am-5pm) at 402-436-1735.
Training and Support
This is the page that brings you all the training and support materials offered by LPS Computing Services. The Apps link in the top right takes you to a page with more information about all of the software we support as a district and the Talk link takes you to our discussion forums where you can ask questions or dialog with other users. You can also search for any software title in the keyword/search box of the LPS website.
Staff Development Catalog (CourseWhere)
The LPS Staff Development department utilizes an online catalog that lists the latest offerings in all areas of Staff Development, including curriculum and technology workshops. If you have questions on its use, contact Staff Development at 402-436-1851.
LPS subscribes to Atomic Learning – a set of self paced tutorials on dozens of pieces of popular software. Atomic Learning is a tremendous asset to our community, available for LPS staff AND students AND family members. LPS staff members and LPS students login with their own username & password using the link from the Staff Center page. Non-LPS staff share a single username that we can provide upon request in a Helpdesk ticket.
Communication & Productivity
Most LPS applications are accessed via a web browser. Teachers may use any web browser that fits the task/application. LPS encourages the use of Google Chrome, as that will offer the best environment for modeling to students using Chromebooks. Always identify the web browser that you are using when requesting support.
Zimbra Email, Calendar, Contacts
Zimbra allows LPS employees to access their email, calendar and contacts from any location using any platform.
LPS Google Drive & Docs
LPS Google Drive and Docs are available to staff and students for instructional use or for professional productivity. To access LPS Google Docs, enter keyword GOOG on the LPS website. To learn more about using LPS Google Docs, look for staff development sessions or enter keyword: GDOCS.
There is a little ‘J‘ icon immediately to the right of the Keyword search box on lps.org. It is our LPS “JumpCode” tool, a URL shortener made with elementary teachers in mind. A document explaining how to create JumpCodes can be found by entering JumpCode PGBO on the LPS website.
Printing, Copying, Scanning, Faxing
keyword: print or copy
To access documentation and video tutorials on how to print to MFDs or the LPS Print Center, use the MFD to make copies, or scan items to DocuShare, enter keyword COPY or PRINT on the LPS website.
DocuShare is the main location for storing and sharing files for professional retention. Login to DocuShare with your LPS user name and password. At the top right of the screen click HELP for how-to documents and video tutorials.
Web Page Tools in LPS
Much more information…
It is expected that all teachers in LPS have a web footprint that parents, students, colleagues and community can access. The degree to which teachers develop this web footprint will vary by role, grade level, content area, and need. All teachers should begin by completing a “Profile.” Most teachers will also create an “LMS Page” within Synergy. Information about both of these tools is found in the link above.
Digital Content Resources / Subscription Services
LPS subscribes to a number of resources that put rich digital content at your fingertips. These are not your average web pages – they are web-based content produced by professional organizations geared towards K-12 classrooms. Look for links to them on the Library Media Services page or speak to your building Media Specialist for resources your building may subscribe to individually.
Microsoft Windows 10
Windows 10 is the most up-to-date software from Microsoft, and is designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind.
VIDEO TUTORIALS: Atomic Learning has dozens of self paced tutorials on how to use Windows 10 available here:
OTHER WEB RESOURCES:
Computing Services Support is here!
If you are having issues with your computer, you might begin with some of the ideas listed below for dealing with the general health of your machine. If these basic ideas do not get you to the desired result, you can seek support by:
Windows Troubleshooting Tips
To force an application to quit:
- Press the [Control]+[Alt]+[Delete] keys simultaneously and select ‘Start Task Manager’ OR type “task manager” into the start/search menu bar in the bottom left of the screen.
- Select the frozen application from the list provided.
- Click the ‘End Task’ button.
If the computer doesn’t turn on or start up:
- Make sure the power adapter that came with your computer is plugged into the computer and into a functioning power outlet. If the power adapter stops charging and you don’t see the indicator light on the power adapter turn on when you plug in the power cord, try unplugging and replugging the power cord to reset it.
- If you are still unable to start up your computer, contact the LPS HelpDesk (x1735).
Ergonomics is the word commonly used when thinking about the way a person interacts with their working environment. If you are considering setting up a computing workspace for yourself, or are finding that you are physically uncomfortable in the one that you have, here are a few tips and ideas to help you begin.
If you have not found the simple tips listed above to be satisfactory, remember that LPS Risk Management can do a review of your workstation to determine if adjustments need to be made.
If you are considering accessories that might make a more suitable personal working environment for your LPS laptop, we offer the following buying guide for LPS employees.
There is not a District Acceptable Use Policy for students regarding the use of computers or network resources (including Internet access). All applicable policy is included in LPS School Board Policy 3972 & 3972.1 “Rights and Responsibilities of Students” (PDF).
Internet use for students is considered a privilege, not a right. It can be taken from a student at any time for any reason.
Teacher & Staff Use
LPS staff members are often active participants in the creation of content and facilitation of learning using Internet based resources. LPS hosted web sites should be viewed as an electronic extension of LPS buildings, schools and classrooms. All LPS staff members using the Internet in this way must read and abide by the “Lincoln Public Schools Web Linking Agreement” (Summary Form and Full Text) as stated in School Board Policy 3972 & 3972.1 (PDF).
LPS makes every effort to filter out Internet content that is not in line with acceptable instructional use. As a result, access to valid curricular content is restricted unintentionally on occasion.
If you are an LPS staff member who wishes to access a page that is being filtered, please use the Help Desk system to create a ticket with item type “Web Filter – Netspective” and include the URL (address) of the page you wish to access in the ticket’s details.