Innovations in School Technology: Chromebooks

A new feature is rolling out to new Chromebooks: support for Android apps!

Along with the change, many models are being produced with a touchscreen to allow apps designed for touch to be more easily interacted with, while keeping all the simplicity, form, and features of a Chromebook.

These new devices can be used for everything they could before, from Google cloud apps to web browsing, Chrome apps, and more. The additional Android apps are seamlessly pushed via the same management systems, so accessing the myriad of apps previously limited to phones and tablets doesn’t require any extra hassle.

Most new Chromebooks are built with a 360-degree hinge so they can be converted from conventional laptops with physical keyboards to tablets with just the touchscreen. Many are also made more robustly, able to better withstand the rigors of school use, with strengthened cases, rubberized edges, and even liquid resistance. There’s also the the option of choosing a model with a stylus, allowing more precise drawing and handwritten notes.

While price on the new devices can be a little higher, it’s still cheaper than many alternative devices, given they can be used in the place of a conventional computer as well as tablets.

Protecting Yourself and Your Computer from Ransomware Attacks

You may have heard about the recent “WannaCry” or “WannaCrypt” ransomware attacks that have affected many organizations’ computers worldwide. If infected, a computer will require a wipe, and all data will be lost. Some fixes for the vulnerability have been released, so here are some tips on making sure your data is protected:

  • If you haven’t updated your computer recently, make sure you update as soon as possible.
  • If you have an older version of Windows that is no longer supported (such as XP or Vista), install the emergency patch recently released by Microsoft here: http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4012598
  • Windows 10 and other operating systems are not affected by the current attack, but it’s still a good idea to keep your computer up to date with the latest security patches.
  • Keep your antivirus software updated. It should already be setup to update automatically, but it never hurts to check.
  • Backup your data to Google Drive or another location not on your computer. This will save your data in the case of an attack or another issue, like hardware failure or accidental deletion.
  • As always, be aware of suspicious email attachments, websites, and downloads. Verify the sender or URL you receive any files from.
  • If you think your computer has been exposed to the attack, please contact us!

As we move through these attacks, know that the team at Beehively is here to support you. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We are more than happy to check your computer and assist you with any cleanup that might be necessary.

Happy Computing!

The Beehively Team

Beat the Heat! 5 Tips to Protect Your Devices from Rising Temperatures

We rely on our electronic devices heavily and, with summer fast approaching, we have to take extra care of them. These devices are sensitive and vulnerable to the heat. Overheating can result in improper functionality or even data loss!

Follow our five friendly reminders to keep your devices functioning to their fullest potential this summer!

1. Keep devices in a cool area away from direct sunlight, preferably with air conditioning. Phone and tablet screens are especially good absorbers of heat in direct sunlight. This can cause cause them to shut down if they get too hot.

*If your school turns off the air conditioning over the summer, turn off your devices too!*

2. Dirt and dust can cause your electronics to overheat. Keep your devices clean by storing them away from smoke, dust, and humidity.

3. Just like us, devices need breaks too! Running for too long exhausts them so try to shut them down when you are not using them.

4. Let them breathe! Prop your devices up on a stand to allow air flow. Computers and iPads should be placed in an area that will allow airflow when the devices are being used for longer hours in one spot.

5. Keep opened applications to a minimum. Using multiple applications and loading tasks at the same time can cause devices to overheat so remember to close out applications you no longer need to maximize the device’s usability.

Get Ready for Summer With These End of Year Settings

It’s that time of year… countdown to summer!!  As you prepare your final report cards for the year we wanted to share a short video to walk you through the special end of year settings you will want to address.  Keep in mind that all three of these settings apply schoolwide!

  • End of Year Attendance: Shows a cumulative total or absences and tardies
  • End of Year Scores: Shows a final average for each subject
  • End of Year Comments: An area for an end of year comment to be printed on all report cards

Don’t remember where to find these settings? We have you covered with a quick tutorial: