Putting Computer Science First

The building blocks of computer science and coding are becoming increasingly more important to understand in today’s world of ever-evolving technology. Luckily, Google has created a program called CS First that is a free and easy to use program designed for teachers to expose students to computer science through in and after-school clubs. The best part? No experience is necessary!

CS First aims to provide 4th-8th graders access to computer science education and increase their comfortability around computers. Clubs can be run for several days or weeks at a time and there are a wide range of themes such as storytelling, animation, sports, game design, music, etc. The curriculum is set up so that each club has eight projects within the chosen theme that help students build a basic foundation of computer science knowledge. There are also sample activities you can try out before signing up for a specific project theme.

The program provides teachers all the training and materials needed to begin and run a club. Once teachers have the students and access to computers, internet, and headphones- they are ready to start! Teachers can set up their club online, then CS First will give the teacher the curriculum and materials and the teacher is then free to organize the club how they see fit.

With over 700,000 users, CS First is an effective and user-friendly way to begin teaching students the important concepts of computer science and how to use technology to as a tool of creation and innovation.

And check out how CS First has already impacted a school district in Los Angeles!

Quick Tips and Tricks for Admin: Attendance Dashboard

We wanted to update our Admin with some helpful hints regarding the Attendance Dashboard. Read below to learn more about how to view daily absences and tardies schoolwide!

  1. Go to the “Administration” tab and select “Attendance & Discipline” from the menu.Screen Shot 2017-08-27 at 10.40.11 PM
  2. When the attendance screen opens, you have a few options:
    1. You can select a class from the dropdown menu to review attendance for just that grade.
    2. You can set up your school holidays for the year.
    3. You can download attendance reports for archiving or printing purposes.
    4. You can view an Attendance Dashboard that will quickly show any students that have been marked as Tardy or Absent for a certain day or date range.Screen Shot 2017-08-27 at 10.48.53 PM.png
  3. Select the “Attendance Dashboard”.
  4. On this dashboard you are able to do a couple of different things:Screen Shot 2017-08-27 at 10.40.24 PM.png
    1. In Section A you can select a day or date range for the attendance you would like to view.  If you would like to view just one day put the same date in the “From Date” and “To Date” sections.
    2. In Section B you can select to filter just students who are Absent and/or Tardy or view all attendance statuses (including “present”) for the school. If you are looking to know which students are Absent or Tardy please select that from the drop down menu.
    3. In Section C and Section D you will see the student names and the attendance code in blue.  These items are in blue because you can click on them to make changes to the student’s attendance.
    4. If you are looking to print or save this daily report as a pdf you can do so directly in your browser, contact our support line for instructions that will work with the browser you are using!
  5. If you click on a student’s name you will have the opportunity to change their attendance for the day.  For example if a student was marked “Absent” and then arrived to school at 9am, the attendance can be updated here.Screen Shot 2017-08-27 at 10.40.40 PM

We hope these tips help and, as always, feel free to contact us with further questions regarding our Attendance Dashboard or any of our other features!

AirPlay: A Simple Way to Expand your Screen and Share Content

Ever wish you could make your screen a little bigger or share your music, movies, and photos on your TV? Look no further than Apple AirPlay!

AirPlay is the built in functionality in Apple devices that helps you mirror your screen on a bigger display and stream audio in external speakers using Apple TV. In order to set up AirPlay, you will need an iPhone/iPad/MacBook and an Apple TV. With these Apple products, you can then follow these 5 simple steps to get the most out of your AirPlay experience!

  1. Make sure that both your Apple TV and iPad/iPhone or MacBook are connected to the same WiFi network.
  2. Next, find AirPlay in the control center icon on your iPhone/iPad or on the top right corner of the menu bar for MacBooks.

blog

  1. Once you’ve found AirPlay, choose your Apple TV from the list of the Apple TVs that appear in the dropdown menu when you select the AirPlay icon.
  2. When connecting to an Apple TV for the first time, you will receive a code which you will then enter into your Apple device. Once you’ve done this initial setup once, you should then be able to connect to your Apple TV without a code simply by selecting it from that dropdown menu. After you select your Apple TV, your AirPlay is set up and you will see your screen appear on the TV. Your every move on your screen will now be mirrored on the larger screen of the TV to share with others.
  3. Once you want to stop mirroring your screen through AirPlay, you simply go back to the AirPlay icon and deselect your Apple TV.

We hope you find AirPlay efficient, useful, and easy to setup whether it’s in your classroom or at home!

Quick Tips to Help Your Student Become More Tech Savvy

In today’s world computer navigation and learning one’s way around technological resources for education can save hours each day and put students on the path to achieving success in their respective classes.

While technology, at times, can feel overwhelming, follow some of our tricks below to help your student organize their workflow and enhance learning development both in and out of the classroom:

  • Master Keyboard Shortcuts: Not only will this save you time on frequently used computer tasks, it will also help students become adept to important typing and keyboard skills.
  • Use Browser Bookmarks: No matter the browser, the bookmark tool can help students quickly navigate to frequently used web pages and online material with less searching and fewer clicks
    • All web browsers have their own built-in bookmarking features in the form of some type of star icon near the address bar, though locations may vary
    • Clicking on that specialized star will save a webpage to a bookmark list in the browser
  • File Organization: Similar to how bookmarks streamline online learning time, students should also create a filing system for computer documents to keep their work secure and easily accessible
    • A consistent filing system may include: name, date, subject and assignment type.
    • Google Drive is a popular information storage system your student may wish to utilize
    • Backup your data to prevent losing important data using the Google Drive, saving files to a flash drive, to an external hard drive, or in cloud storage
  • Computer Checkups: Just like it’s important for us to get check-ups, our devices need them too! A slow computer can be frustrating and cut-down on learning time.
    • Check your device for important updates
    • Remove clutter and unused shortcuts from your desktop
    • You should have a free antivirus program such as Avast, AVG Free, or Microsoft Security Essentials downloaded on your computer.
    • Shutting down and re-booting as well as removing duplicate or unneeded files can help speed things up!
    • Free up space by uninstalling unneeded programs with the Control Panel
    • Make sure at least 15% of your hard drive space is free at minimum
    • Run a disk defragment, allowing your hard drive to place all saved data together in order to make it easier to access

What tips or tricks do your students use to ease their online learning experience? Share below!

Beehively Summer Update: Settings That Are Even Easier to Use!

We’re having a busy summer here at Beehively. Along with all of the updates you have already heard about, we are making our software, even more, user friendly.

We have redesigned the subject edit page so that it lays out all of the information more clearly. The page now has tabs that clearly divide the different information you are used to. If you don’t see what you are looking for, let us know as we may have renamed it.

You can also edit multiple subjects at once! This means that you can change what your parents can see for all of your subjects without clicking into each one individually. You can find this screen by clicking on Grades/Reports in the Admin menu.Gradebook, classroom report, and report legend settings have been moved to a more easily accessible location. They are the settings you are used to, but can now be found in the Reporting section of the Administration Menu.

The homework notification system has also been updated. You can now set your homework assignment with the date it will be assigned and the date that it is due. This allows you to tell the system when to send out the notification emails for each assignment. To send a notification on the assignment date, make sure you check “notify parents by email”.

For our wonderful Admin users, the School Profile page received a makeover this summer! All the options that were on this page before are still there along with a new option! You can now control what items show up in homepage feeds (i.e. Announcements, Calendar events, Spotlights, principal’s messages… )

We hope you’re having a great summer. Keep checking in for more Beehively updates.

As always, let us know if you have any questions by email support@beehively.com or calling (888) 851-4879. You can also leave a comment here!

Content Filtering 101!

Here at Beehively, we work with your school to help ensure your students are safe online. With the online world today’s students live in, it is important to filter their access to the web during school hours. Here is a summary of how Beehively can help your school filter inappropriate content.

Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 4.32.53 PM.png

Did you know? You have multiple options to block inappropriate images and other content even when using a free device management system or older devices.

  • Encourage students to use a safe search engine such as KidzSearch. This type of search engine is highly filtered, preventing students from accidentally running across inappropriate content.
  • Enforce Login to Chrome browser and block access to other browsers. The Chrome browser allows administration to set safe search on student profiles and monitor student activity.
  • If your iPads are older and cannot run the latest operating systems, filtering content will be very difficult. The latest operating systems support more options for filtering and monitoring student usage.

Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 3.54.38 PM

For additional options and features, you can expand filtering with paid filtering services.

  • At Beehively, we are constantly researching and adjusting our recommendations for paid content filtering to take advantage of the most complete and “safe” system.  We are always willing to work with schools on their individual needs. If you are interested in more information regarding additional paid filtering services, please let us know.
  • Like all solutions, content filtering is not a 100% fail-safe and cannot replace the diligence and support of teachers in the classroom. Some of these options do restrict content that your teachers may want to access.

Beehively Summer Update: New Tools and Features for Admin Users

We have built a few more tools for admin users to have more control of announcements, searches, and users.

Announcements

First, announcements now have a timestamped history. You can see who created, edited, and approved each announcement just by clicking on its title from the Admin > Announcements page.

Second, Admin users now have the ability to view and reactivate deleted users. The deleted users page will look like this showing when they were deleted with the option to edit, bringing you to a page that allows you to approve and activate the user.

deleted

Approve and Activate

Approve

Database Tools

The new and improved search function allows administrators to query the database. This means that you can ask the system questions like, “Which users do not have addresses” in a query format and the system will generate a list that can then be downloaded. You can also save a search if you use it frequently.

A few of the most exciting query options include: first name, last name, homeroom, approval status, and birthday. Each of these can be queried in a number of ways. For a full list of query options, click here. To watch a quick video of the process, click here. We will update the list as new query options become available. Let us know if you have a request!

We heard your requests, so we created a whole new report! The new report is an Emergency Report. It generates a two sided sheet for each student that includes all of their emergency contact information, medical information, and releases for easy access and filing hard copies. This report can be downloaded from the directory.
Emergency Contact Report

We also added a new option to the announcement editor. You can now choose which types of users receive notification emails for any particular announcement. Just add any types of users in the box shown below.

Announcement

These announcements behave in the same manner on the Beehively homepage. If you are posting announcements that should only be seen by a certain group of people, please continue to use the group or class pages.

In addition to all these fun updates, you can also look forward to an all new look for Beehively announcement emails. We thought they could use a make-over, we hope you like it!

Do you have questions about our updates? Do you have requests for future updates? Let us know and keep your eyes out for more updates soon!

Happy Summer!