Instructional Technology / EMIS/ Technology

The Instructional Technology Department helps improve student achievement and academic growth by integrating technology into the curriculum to increase academic opportunities. The department works closely with the Teaching and Learning Department to enhance the curriculum and to increase 21st-century technology skills of all students and all staff members.

The department’s goal is to ensure that every school has the infrastructure to support learning with technology. The adoption of the Pickerington Schools Technology Plan in 2016 will allow the district to move toward a One2One model, providing a device for every student in the district.

The Pickerington Schools Technology Department is responsible for the infrastructural maintenance and support of all things technology for the district’s 14 school buildings, administration offices, maintenance building, and transportation center.

The team's technology specialists maintain network infrastructure, all user devices, numerous user systems as well as the student information system, Infinite Campus. The Technology Department also supports more than 11,000 users across the district with day to day technology problems. Providing a positive user experience with technology is the ultimate goal of the department, and with that will come positive teaching and learning.

The Instructional Technology Team

Brian Seymour
Brian Seymour
Director of Instructional Technology
Angie Raquepaw
Angie Raquepaw
Instructional Technology Coordinator
Stephanie Howell
Stephanie Howell
Instructional Technology Coordinator
David Hayward
David Hayward
Instructional Technology Coordinator
Scott Sommer
Scott Sommer
Instructional Technology Coordinator
614.833.2110 ext. 6156
Shelley Sakowski
Shelley Sakowski
Administrative Secretary Technology Department

Technology Team

Darin Hartsell
Darin Hartsell
Technology Supervisor
Justin Campbell
Justin Campbell
Network Administrator
Kelsey Scholl
Kelsey Scholl
Systems Analyst
Austin Nill
Austin Nill
Systems Analyst
Michael Plummer
Michael Plummer
Technology Technician
Jordan Parks
Jordan Parks
Technology Technician
Kristen Harman
Kristen Harman
Technology Technician
Harrison Parks
Harrison Parks
Technology Technician
Josh Tinsley
Josh Tinsley
Technology Technician

Office of Information Management

Ron Denton
Ron Denton
Director of Information Management
Kristie Volosin
Kristie Volosin
Database Analyst
Bethany Thompson
Bethany Thompson
Data & Student Information Analyst
Ricki Rossiter
Ricki Rossiter
Database Analyst
Lasea Leasure
Lasea Leasure
Administrative Secretary

Resources & Forms for Students, Parents and Educators

FAQs and Help Desk Requests

Having a problem?

Click here to submit an  Infinite Campus Help Desk Ticket 

For PLSD staff submit a ticket to our Help Desk

For further assistance please contact the Technology Department at 614-920-6140.

Overarching Goals for Technology

• Improve student achievement and academic growth

• Enhance the curriculum

• Integrate technology into the curriculum to increase academic opportunities

• Increase 21st century technology skills of all students and all staff

• Every school will have the infrastructure to support learning with technology

• Utilize technology to expand the academic environment outside of the traditional school day

• Educate staff members on the importance instructional technology best practices and social media skills and give professional opportunities to all staff members.

District Instructional Technology Plan

The Pickerington Schools technology plan is the current best representation of the District’s vision, goals, and objectives for instructional technology. As such, it is a living document that will always be under revision and adjustment. It is flexible, but specific enough to act as a guide in decision making and budgeting funds. It is the intention of the Pickerington Local School District Technology Committee to make recommendations with specific goals and objectives in mind. This on-going, constantly updated plan, with its associated timelines and priorities, provides guidance.

Accessing Digital Content Through Classlink

Most of the digital content that PLSD uses is rostered through a program called Classlink.  To access PLSD’s digital content at home, please follow the below directions:

  • Download the Classlink app or go to the Classlink website
  • Login in by clicking on the “Sign in with Google” button
  • Use the student’s PLSD Google Username and Password.
  • If your student is in K-2nd Grade you might have been given a QR code to use to log in.
    • You will need to scan that QR code with your device’s camera.
  • Once you get into Classlink you will see the apps that have been rostered to your student.
Student Online Personal Information Protection Agreement

Pickerington Local School District (“PLSD”) takes the protection of student data very seriously and PLSD adopts all reasonable measures to protect personally identifiable information (“PII”) about students.  PLSD asks each company that requests or is provided PII about students to agree to the terms of the following agreement.  The purpose of this agreement is to protect the students of PLSD. Accordingly, PLSD and operator hereby agree as follows:

This agreement applies to the operator in which PII of a PLSD student is:

  • Provided by a student or parent for PreK-12 school purposes;
  • Provided by PLSD, agents for the PLSD, or the Fairfield County Educational Service Center
  • Gathered by the operator through the operator’s services that clearly describes a PLSD student or identifies a  PLSD student.

The PII about students that is covered in this agreement includes, but is not limited to:

  • Information in the student’s educational record maintained by PLSD;
  • First and last name, home address, telephone number, email address, or other information that allows physical or online contact with the student and/or parent;
  • Date and place of birth;
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports;
  • Dates of attendance and graduation;
  • Discipline records, test results, special education data, juvenile dependency records, grades, and evaluations;
  • Criminal and/or juvenile court records, medical records, health records, social security number, any recognized disabilities;
  • Socioeconomic information, food purchases, 
  • Text messages, student identifiers, online search activity, photos, videos, voice recordings, or geolocation.
  • Personally identifiable student information as referenced in Ohio Revised Code 3319.321;
  • Information contained in student records as defined by 20 USC § 1232g and 34 CFR Part 99

The operator is prohibited from using PII student data to:

  • Conduct targeted advertising on their website, mobile application, etc or use targeted advertising on other websites, when such targeting is based on information (as defined above or persistent unique student identifiers) acquired by the operator because of the use of the operator’s website or mobile app.
  • Create or gathering information about PLSD PreK-12 students and using that collected information to create a profile of the PreK-12 students, except in cases when the information is used for PreK-12 school purposes.
  • Selling student’s PII (including information defined above).

If the operator utilizes a subcontractor or other third party vendor to manage students’ data then, the operator shall require the subcontractor or other third party to prohibit the use of any PII about PLSD students for any purpose other than providing the contracted service to, or on behalf of, the operator. Also, the operator shall require the subcontractor or other third party to prohibit the disclosure or sharing of any PII about PLSD students with subsequent third parties, and shall require the subcontractor to implement and maintain reasonable information and data security procedures and practices.

Aside from the non-disclosure of PII about PLSD students, operators will comply with the following security and deletion requirements:

  • Implement and maintain security procedures to protect PII about students from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure;
  • Operator shall not release PII about students without parental or student (if age 18 or older) consent, other than the release of such information to authorized subcontractors and other third parties who provide services to operator to support operator’s service to PLSD under this Agreement;
  • Delete all PII about students if PLSD requests deletion of data under the control of PLSD.
  • The operator will indemnify, defend and hold PLSD harmless from any damages, costs, losses (including loss of state or federal funding), fines, claims, demands, suits, actions or causes of action in law or in equity, in state or federal court, or before any administrative body that are caused by or arise out of operator’s breach of this Agreement.

Operator may use PII about PLSD students for the following purposes, as long as all aggregated or anonymized data must be adequately de-identified :

  • Maintain, develop and improve the operator’s website or mobile app;
  • Legitimate research purposes as required by state or federal law;
  • Using de-identified data to improve operator’s products;
  • Learning purpose, such as for adaptive learning;

EdTech Companies that have signed the national or PLSD’s agreement that PLSD contracts with:

Apple BrainPOP ClassDojo
Clever Compass Learning – (Renzulli Learning) Edmentum – Reading Eggs, Study Island
Edmodo EDpuzzle Hapara
Front Row Gaggle GoGuardian
Google Illuminate Education Imagine Learning
Infinite Campus JAMF Software Khan Academy
LearnZillion Microsoft MIND Research Institute
MobyMax Nearpod Newsela
Promethean Renaissance Learning Screencastify
Seesaw TenMarks Turnitin
Typing Club TCI – History Alive/Social Studies Alive  Learning A-Z

EdTech companies that have not signed the agreement that PLSD contracts with:


NOTE: This agreement is similar to the Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA)
 that was recently signed into law in California on January 1, 2016.  You may also view the Student Privacy Pledge online.

Every-1-Connected Program

Pickerington Schools is now offering a limited number of free wireless hotspot devices to students who have limited or no internet access at home.

Every-1-Connected is a program sponsored by Pickerington Schools. It gives students with the greatest need the opportunity to borrow a free “hotspot” from their school media centers for two-week periods during the school year. 

Mobile hotspots allow free access to the internet. The devices are helpful when students know they will be working on a big assignment over a weekend or for a few days when Wi-Fi is required for completion. Multiple students can sign on to a single hotspot, so students are asked to coordinate use for group projects. 

Both the device and monthly service fees are fully paid by the district and through a grant. The program is intended to help district students access online resources at home to help bridge the digital divide and ensure educational equity.

To ensure peace of mind for parents, these devices use internet content filtering and browsing history is recorded. Only one device may be borrowed per household, but these devices can be signed out repeatedly throughout the year, based on availability.

For students to participate in this program, parents must complete this form. By signing this form, the parent agrees to assume all responsibility for equipment checked out to the student. A replacement fee of $150 will be charged if the device is lost, damaged or not returned. The existing district Technology Protection Plan can cover the cost of any damaged hotspot devices, but damage(s) due to intentional reckless, willful, wanton and/or malicious conduct is not covered.

Steps for Obtaining a Hotspot

  1. Complete the application and return it to your child’s media center.
  2. Applications will be approved by the district Technology staff. Approval will be given to those students who meet financial eligibility guidelines.
  3. If the application is approved, the student will be called to the media center and a T-Mobile hotspot will be issued. All checkouts will be for two weeks. Checkouts can be renewed if hotspots are available.
  4. Students bring the device home and connect to their district-provided iPad or Chromebook. 
  5. All devices must be returned before the end of the school year.

Who is eligible to participate

This program is open to Pickerington School students who are fully enrolled in one of the 15 district buildings. Priority will be given to students on the free/reduced lunch list and who have little to no household internet access. The district reserves the right to loan devices to any student who shows a need.

Is there a cost?

Borrowing a hotspot is free. There are no fees for the device or the service. If the device is lost, stolen, or damaged, a $150 fee will be charged to parents.  The district Technology Protection Plan can cover any possible damages, but it will not cover the cost if the device is lost or stolen and will not cover damage(s) due to intentional reckless, willful, wanton and/or malicious conduct.

Rules of use

  • Hotspots are provided and maintained by Pickerington Schools. If problems occur while using the hotspot, contact the school’s media center for technical support.
  • The borrower is responsible for ensuring the hotspot is not damaged, lost, or stolen. The replacement cost for the hotspot is $150. The school media center specialist/aide should be notified immediately of any damaged, lost, or stolen hotspot.
  • Hotspots are provided for educational use. Users must adhere to the rules listed here, as well as those included in the district Acceptable Use Policy and the district Student Handbook.
  • Hotspots must be returned to Pickerington Schools at the end of the renewal period, upon the request of district administration, or upon withdrawal from the district.
  • Hotspots are for use by students enrolled in Pickerington Schools only and should only be used on school-issued devices.
  • Bypassing the internet filter, resetting the hotspot, or reconfiguring the hotspot is strictly prohibited and cause for immediate removal from the district’s Every-1-Connected program. This behavior also will be subject to possible school discipline.

Every-1-Connected Program Application (PDF)

Every-1-Connected Program Application (RTF)

Digital Content, Programs and Applications Available to Students

Here is our public portal displaying all of the digital content, programs, and applications available to students.

PLSD Public Portal

One2One Information and Resources

Overview of the One-to-One Program

Pickerington Schools is proud to say that we are now the largest school district in the state of Ohio to go completely One-to-One with our all of our students.  That means that each student will be loaned a device (iPad or Chromebook) that will be theirs for the school year. Students in grade 5-12 will be able to take the device home with them from the start of the school year to the last couple weeks of the school year. With going One-to-One there are a few procedures that parents need to be aware of.  

  • Devices are the property of Pickerington Schools.
  • Students will retain the same device for four years. It is the student’s responsibility to keep the device in proper working order.
  • Students need to charge the device at home.  No charging will be allowed at school. All devices have an 8-12 hour battery to last throughout the school day.  All power cords need to stay at home.
  • PLSD offers a yearly Technology Protection Plan to protect against accidental damage, more information below.
  • All devices are filtered 24/7 against inappropriate websites.  Alerts will be sent to administrators about inappropriate use. Teachers have the ability to monitor student use throughout the day.
  • The PLSD Acceptable Use Policy is effective 24/7 when using these devices.
  • Printing will not be allowed on these devices, as part of the plan is to share documents digital and use less paper.
  • Students are only permitted to download the apps that have been approved by the technology department. 
  • Students may put stickers on their devices as long as they are not covering the serial number or PLSD log.  Also, stickers cannot interfere with the functionality of the device.
  • If your device becomes lost or stolen, please let the main office of your school know ASAP.  We can track your device, but we only activate that on devices that have been reported as lost or stolen.
  • All devices will be collected during the last two weeks of the school year.  
Student Device Handbook

It is an exciting time in Pickerington Schools as we start our journey to utilize blended learning with our students, giving students access to communication, resources, and learning tools like never before.  Our adoption of One2One devices will allow students to access new online and digital content created by our talented staff in addition to content provided by textbook companies and software vendors. 

Pickerington students will be able to communicate and collaborate in a digital environment that was not available to the world just a few years ago.  We’re excited about working with our students as they learn good digital citizenship in a safe and responsible atmosphere.

We’ll continue to be amazed by what our students create and how they incorporate the tools of their generation into the learning that will shape their future.  Tools like a Chromebook or iPad will allow them access to software that will encourage their artistic abilities, improve their reading and writing, and push them to think critically as they spark new interests and insights into their journey of being a lifelong learner. 

Pickerington educators are dedicated to continuing to offer rigorous and engaging learning opportunities for students.

Receiving Your Device 

For Grade Preschool – 4: The One2One devices will remain in the school with preschool – 2 grade having access to iPads and grades 3 -4 having access to Chromebooks.

For Grades 5 – 12: The Chromebook and all accompanying equipment, such as the charger (hereafter, collectively “Chromebook”) will be distributed during a “Distribution Night”. Parents and students must sign and return the Device Agreement before the Chromebook can be issued to the student. The Device Agreement is a part of the online forms through the OneView portal. 

Distribution Nights

  • See detailed schedule in one of the sections below.

Ownership of the Device

PLSD retains the sole right of ownership and possession of the device. The device is lent to the student for educational purposes only for the academic year. Moreover, PLSD’s administrative staff and faculty retain the right to collect, monitor, and/or inspect the device at any time, including via electronic remote access and to monitor student work or to alter, add or delete installed software or hardware.

Student’s Responsibilities

Student and parent/guardian are solely responsible for the device issued to them and must adhere to the following:

    • Students must comply with the District’s Acceptable Use Policy and the Student Device Handbook when using their device.
    • Students must bring their device to school every day and make sure it is fully charged. Failure to do so may result in loss of instruction.
      • Note: A fully charged device should last at least 8 hours.
    • Students must treat their device with care and never leave it in an unsecured location.
    • Students must report any problems with their device to the media center as soon as possible.
    • Students may not remove or interfere with the serial number and other identification tags.
    • Students may not attempt to remove or change the physical structure of the device, including the keys, screen cover or plastic casing.
    • Students may not attempt to install or run any operating system on the device other than the ChromeOS or iOS operating system supported by the district.

Responsibility for Electronic Data

    • The students are solely responsible for any apps or extensions on their device that is not installed by a member of the PLSD Instructional Technology staff or by classroom educators.
    • Students are responsible for backing up their data to protect from loss.
    • Users of District Technology have no rights, ownership, or expectations of privacy to any data that is, or was, stored on the device, school network, or any school­-issued applications and are given no guarantees that data will be retained or destroyed.

Devices Left At Home

If students leave their device at home, they are responsible for getting the coursework completed as if they had their device present. If a student repeatedly leaves his/her device at home, he/she will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Protecting Your Data and Files

Students are responsible for the appropriateness of all files, data, and internet history on their device. Although these devices will be logged and filtered on and off campus it is still the responsibility of the student to use good judgment when accessing or transmitting data.  Do not take photos or video of other students or staff without their permission. The possessing, forwarding or uploading of unauthorized data, photos, audio or video to any website, network storage area, or person is strictly forbidden. Do not access another individual’s materials, information, or files without permission.

Cost of Repairs/Replacement

Pickerington School District recognizes that with the implementation of the One2One initiative there is a need to protect the investment by both the District and the student/parent. Therefore, we have set the following charges in place, which are subject to change.

Pickerington School District has created the Technology Protection Plan. See the section below for more specific details about the Technology Protection Plan.

If you do not select the Technology Protection Plan, you will be responsible for paying for the needed equipment, repair or replacement of the device if needed. The prices do not include labor which is at least $40/repair. You will be issued one charger with your device. The Technology Protection Plan does not cover the charger if lost or damaged. Total replacement cost for the device is $300.

The following will be considered damage(s) due to intentional reckless, willful, wanton and/or malicious conduct is not covered by the Technology Protection Plan.

    • Key Removal (with or without rubber stopper being intact)
      • Keys do not fall off without force being applied to them to break the parts that hold them in place. Key removal is indicative of picking at the device and removing keys. Rubber nubs under the keys are connected below the plastics and metals of the key and do not come off without being pulled or picked at.
      • The 2017 model has tabs to keep keys under the bezel of the keyboard. The tabs or bezel must be pulled up for keys to come off. 
    • Rubber Removal
      • Rubber around the device and on the bottom cover is adhered with adhesives and has notches and rubber nubs that hold it in place. These parts do not just fall off, they must be pulled or picked to separate them from the plastics they are attached to.
    • Coloring, Drawing, or Writing on the device.
      • Cleaning fines will be applied for any markings on the device. If they can not be removed due to the medium used to color, draw, or wright being permanent, there will be a cost to replace those parts.
      • Harsh chemicals cannot be used to clean off devices as it causes further damage to the plastics.
    • Etching or carving
      • Any etching or carving on a device will be considered intentional

Vandalism and Theft

In cases of theft, vandalism, and other criminal acts, a police report must be filed by the student or parent as soon as practicable by in no case more than 48 hours after the theft or vandalism is discovered.  The police report must be presented to the building principal. Further, students/parents must contact their building principal ASAP after the device is determined to be stolen, lost or vandalized. There is geo-location software that can be activated by the technology department once the principal is notified.

Technical Issues/Damage/Loss

Take your device to your school’s media center if you experience any technical problems or damage. If it cannot be fixed at that time, a loaner device may be issued to you, if available. All device policy agreements and technology protection plan will remain in effect for the loaner device.

Audio & Sound

The sound must be muted at all times unless permission is obtained from the teacher for instructional purposes. Earbuds/headphones may be used in the classroom based only upon individual teacher approval.

Device Identification

Student devices will be labeled in the manner specified by the district. Devices can be identified based on the serial number. Serial numbers, asset numbers, and the PLSD logo have been etched onto the top of Chromebooks. Do not remove any identifying labels or markings.

Personalizing Devices

Students are permitted to place school appropriate stickers on the top of their Chromebooks only. The presence of weapons, alcohol, drug or gang related symbols or pictures are not permitted per school/district policies.  Stickers cannot cover the PLSD logo or the asset tag number.  Stickers are not permitted on the sides or bottom of the Chromebook. 3D stickers, Puffy Stickers, or Rhinestone and Gemstone’s are not permitted as they can cause damage to the device. 

Students are permitted to install school appropriate personal apps on their devices.  If storage on the device becomes an issue all school required application have a priority over student downloads and may require the student to uninstall personal apps.

No stickers are permitted on the iPads.


Devices must be returned to the building media center during the final weeks of the school year by the date announced each spring.   Any student who withdraws, terminates enrollment or is expelled must return their device and accessories immediately.  If a student fails to return the device and/or accessories when requested the student/parent will be billed for the replacement cost of the device and/or accessory.  Any device not returned or immediately paid for in full will be considered stolen property and law enforcement will be notified.

Care of the Device

The device is the property of Pickerington Local Schools and all users will follow these rules and the Acceptable Use Policy.  Students are responsible at all times for the care of the device to which they are assigned. 

  • Use only a soft, lint-free microfiber cloth to clean the screen.
  • Avoid getting moisture and liquids on the device/accessories.
  • Do not use window cleaner, household cleaner, aerosol sprays, solvents, alcohol, ammonia, or abrasives to clean the device.
  • Devices must never be left in an unlocked or unsecured space such as a locker or car.
  • Under no circumstances should devices be left in unsupervised areas including school grounds, athletic fields/areas, cafeterias, computer labs, classrooms, dressing rooms, and hallways. Unsupervised devices will be confiscated and disciplinary action may be taken.
  • Students will not have the opportunity to charge their devices at school, devices are to come to school, each day, charged to 100%.
  • Too much pressure may crack the screen, avoid placing anything on top of the device.
  • Do not cram the device in a bag or locker.
  • Never place or consume food or drink near the device.  Do not use your device at cafeteria tables when food or drink is present.
  • Extreme heat or cold can harm the device.  Never leave the device in a hot or frozen car.
  • Never leave your device on the floor, a chair, or sofa.  Stepping or sitting on the device could cause significant damage.
  • Do not disassemble or attempt to repair the device, or take the device to a third-party for repair.  All repairs must be made by the PLSD Technology Department.

Transporting Devices

When transporting the device between classes or outside the building you are required to close the lid.  Never walk with the device open.  Students are required to take their devices home every day after school, regardless of whether or not they are needed.


Students will be required to maintain an updated password on their device.  Students may never share, distribute, or otherwise allow other students access to their password.  At any time a parent, teacher, or school administrator may request and obtain the password and access to the device.


Chromebook FAQ’s

Q. What is a Chromebook?

A. “Chromebooks are mobile devices designed specifically for people who live on the web. With a comfortable, full-sized keyboard, large display and clickable trackpad, all-day battery life, lightweight and built-in ability to connect to Wi-Fi and mobile broadband networks, the Chromebooks are ideal for any time, anywhere access to the web.”

Q. What kind of software does a Chromebook run?

A. “Chromebooks run thousands of web-based applications, or web apps, that open right in the browser. You can access web apps by typing their URL into the address bar or by installing them instantly from the Chrome Web Store.”  Recently announced, Chromebooks will be able to run Android apps starting in the summer/fall of 2016.

Q. How are these web-based applications managed?

A. Each Chromebook we provide to students will be a managed device. Members of Pickerington Local School District Technology Department will maintain devices through our Google Apps for Education account.

Q. Can the Chromebook be used anywhere at any time?

A. Yes, as long as you have a wi-fi signal to access the web. There is an offline option, as well, when using Google Drive, and when students enter a wi-fi connection, it syncs again with the student’s Google account.

Q. Will our Chromebook have 3G/Cellular Signal?

A. No. The district Chromebooks will not have 3G broadband or a cellular signal.

Q. Is there antivirus software included with the Chromebooks?

A. No, there is not. As all of the data is stored in the cloud, there is no need for antivirus software. They do, however, come with web filtering.

Q. How long will the Chromebook run on a fully charged battery?

A. Chromebooks have a rated battery life of 8-10 hours. However, we do expect that students charge them each evening to ensure maximum performance during the school day without interruption of use.

Chromebook Care Reminders

  • Take good care of your new Chromebook.  You will use the same Chromebook for 4 years.
  • Carry your Chromebook with both hands.
  • Set your Chromebook on a flat surface to use it.  An example of a flat surface is a desk or table.
  • Keep food and drinks away from your Chromebook.  In other words, do not eat or drink while you are using the Chromebook.  Instead, take a study break away from your Chromebook.
  • Never place a heavy object or a lot of objects on top of your Chromebook.
  • Charge your Chromebook every night at home.
    • If you close the lid of your Chromebook, you will help save the battery.
    • You can use your Chromebook when the level is low.  Just remember to charge when you get home.
    • When you plug in your Chromebook to charge it, look for the charging light indicator.  This will assure you that your Chromebook is being charged.
    • Let the Chromebook completely charge to a full battery.
    • Charging a Chromebook could take up to 4 hours.  Therefore, plug it in to charge and go do something else.
Technology Protection Plan for One2One Devices

Please read this entire document to determine if this plan is needed for you and your child’s protection against the cost of damage to the loaned device (Chromebook or iPad) in your care. This plan is available for all students grades K-12 for the 2019-2020 school year.

Coverage and Benefit

This annual agreement covers the Chromebook or iPad (“device”) loaned to the student against any accidental damage and/or repair costs. This agreement costs $40 per device per school year for a total of $400 worth of repairs, replacement and/or labor costs. Any costs above and beyond $400 will the responsibility of the parents/guardians/student. The charger is NOT covered and is the sole responsibility of the student/parent. Coverage is 24 hours per day. Damage(s) due to intentional, reckless, willful, wanton and/or malicious conduct is not covered. Lost devices will not be covered by the technology protection plan. Stolen devices will be covered by the technology protection plan as long as the parent/guardian submits to PLSD a filed police report for the stolen device. The Technology Protection Plan will cover damage and repairs for loaner devices, but will count towards the total allowed for the TPP.

Effective Date and Expiration

Coverage is effective from the date this technology protection plan is purchased through Infinite Campus. Subject to immediate termination for the failure to timely pay the premium, the coverage shall end on the date that the device is required to be returned to the school, whether or not that device is returned to the school by that date. This is an annual plan.

Premium & How to Purchase the Technology Protection Plan

The premium cost is $40 for the 2019-20 school year, for this optional coverage, and the premium will not be prorated. This premium will be added to your child’s account at the start of the school year.  Payment is due by September 13, 2019 for the plan to be in effect.  Coverage will be removed for those students whose parents/guardians do not pay this premium by September 13, 2019.  Payment may be made via the Infinite Campus Parent Portal, or at your child’s school.

The Technology Protection Plan is non-refundable. Administration, in its sole discretion, will determine if damages were due to intentional, reckless, willful, wanton and/or malicious conduct (please see PLSD Technology website for more specific information). This is an annual plan, previously purchased PLSD Technology Protection Plans will not cover the new school year. The Technology Protection Plan is not subject to waiver for free and reduced students as it is totally an optional fee; students/parents are not required to have this coverage.

Reminder this is an annual plan and does not extend from one school year to the next.

Student Enrolling After the Start of the School Year: Purchasing the TPP

If you are new to the District after September 13, 2019, log in your Infinite Campus Parent Portal and under the fees section, there is an optional purchase, Technology Protection Plan.  Purchase and pay for the plan for it to be active. Reminder this is an annual plan and does not extend from one school year to the next.

If the Technology Protection Plan is not Purchased
All damages and replacement parts will be charged at the current market rate with a labor fine of $15-$50 determined by the repair.  Damage fine without the Technology Protection Plan will range between $15 – $300.  If the cost of the damage exceeds $300, then a new device will be issued at the cost of $300.  All damage, replacement parts and labor costs will be applied through the parent portal in Infinite Campus. Additionally, when a student is provided a loaner device all of the regulations apply for proper care of loaner devices, any damage to the loaner device will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian/student.

If Your Device is Damaged (if you have the Technology Protection Plan or Not)
Take your device to the Media Center and inform the Media Center Specialist/Aide what the issue is with the device.  A loaner device will be supplied during the time in which your issued device is being repaired.  Loaner devices are only available to students that have submitted a damaged device to the Media Center.

How to Protect Your Chromebook

With starting a new school year the Technology Team wanted to remind you of a few things before the break starts and you take your devices home.

Please keep the things below in mind going forward.

Caring for your Chromebook

  • Avoid using Themes. Many seem to cause issues with the battery and freezing.
  • Do not eat or drink over your Chromebook.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to clean your display on a regular basis.
  • Do not spray any household cleaners on your device. Isopropyl Alcohol wipes can be used.
  • Do not leave your Chromebook in an unsecured location.
  • Please report any problem to the media center as soon as possible. (including damage)
  • Do not remove the Serial Number or ID tags.
  • Do not disassemble or attempt to repair the device, or take the device to a third-party for repair.  All repairs must be made by the PLSD Technology Department.
  • Extreme heat or cold can harm the device.  Never leave the device in a hot or frozen car.

Avoiding Physical Damage

  • Do not pick off any of the rubber around the edges of the Chromebook or on the bottom.
  • Keep liquids out of your backpack when your Chromebook is in it.
  • When walking with the Chromebook always keep the lid closed.
  • Do not draw, write, or etch on your device. *Stickers are permitted if they do not cover the etchings or serial number.
  • Do not remove or change the physical structure of the Chromebook, including the keys, screen cover or plastic casing.
  • Too much pressure may crack the screen, avoid placing anything on top of the device.
  • Do not cram the device in a bag or locker
  • Never leave your device on the floor, a chair, or sofa.  Stepping or sitting on the device could cause significant damage
  • Be cautious of breaking off headphones when using them in the device. We may not be able to remove the broken piece, which would lead to a repair.
Device Agreement for One2One Devices

This form must be signed by a parent/guardian and the student before the One2One device will be issued – Device Agreement (PDF) | Device Agreement (RTF).  Please print out a copy and bring the completed form during the device handout days.

One device and charger (“equipment”) are being loaned to the student and are in good working order. It is the student’s and parent/guardian’s responsibility to care for the equipment and ensure that it is maintained in a safe environment. The equipment is, and at all times remains, the property of Pickerington Local School District (PLSD) and is herewith loaned to the student for educational purposes.

Student Agreement:

I will follow the expectations outlined in the Device Handbook and the PLSD Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) at all times.

  • I agree to immediately return the equipment in good working condition upon the District’s request or withdrawal from the school district.
  • I assume full responsibility of the issued equipment at all times
  • I acknowledge that the handbook is to be used as a guide and does not attempt to address every required or prohibited behavior by its users.
  • I understand that this equipment is the property of PLSD and PLSD has the right to search and/or monitor the equipment issued to me and the digital use on the equipment and PLSD accounts.

Parent/Guardian Agreement:

  • I, on behalf of my minor child (student above), acknowledge and agree to all of the terms set forth about under “Student Agreement.”
  • I will be responsible for the equipment repair or replacement costs as specified in the Device Handbook and/or I will purchase the PLSD Technology Protection Plan.
  • I acknowledge that my student and I are to follow the expectations in the Device Handbook and the PLSD Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and that a violation of these guidelines could result in the student facing disciplinary action.
  • I will be responsible for monitoring my student’s use of the Internet when he/she is not at school.
  • I agree to immediately return the equipment in good working condition upon the District’s request or withdrawal from the school district, whichever occurs first.
  • I acknowledge that the handbook is to be used as a guide and does not attempt to address every required or prohibited behavior by its users.
One2One Device Handout Days/Times

Please have your Forms completed online through OneView to pick up your device.

All elementary school students will be issued a device that will remain in the building throughout the school year.

Fifth (5th) Grade Students entering Diley, Harmon, or Tollgate Middle Schools – your device pickup will be August 5, 2019, from 5:30 – 8:30 PM at Diley Middle School.  A parent/guardian may pick up with or without the student. Please enter through the main doors at Diley Middle School.

  • Diley Middle School 5th graders – 5:30 – 6:30 PM
  • Harmon Middle School 5th graders – 6:30 – 7:30 PM
  • Toll Gate Middle School 5th graders – 7:30 – 8:30 PM
    • Note: All online OneView forms need to be completed before devices can be handed out.

Sixth (6th) Grade Students will receive their same device back on August 1st or 2nd. If the device is not picked up then, students will receive them back during the first three days of school.

Lakeview & Ridgeview JH Students will receive their same device back during welcome days.

  • TBA

Pickerington High School Central (All Students) will receive their same device back during the welcome days.

  • TBA

Pickerington High School North (All Students) will receive their same device back during the welcome days.

  • TBA

Special Note:

  • If you are new to Pickerington Schools, your student’s device will be issued during the first three days of school.
  • If you cannot make the scheduled pickup days/nights students will be able to pick up devices during the first three days of the school year.
Recommended Cases for PLSD Chromebooks

If you are looking to purchase a case for one of the PLSD Chromebooks, here are a few that we recommend.  You can purchase these directly through Amazon by using the links below.

NOTE: We currently are using three different models of Dell Chromebooks.  Please read below and select the correct model.  The model number can be verified by looking at the bottom of the Chromebook.

Model #3100 – Most (2019-2020) 5th and 9th graders

Model #3189 – Most (2019-2020) 6th, 7th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders

Model #3120 – Most (2019-2020) 8th graders

Note: PLSD does not endorse or profit from any sales of cases.  PLSD does not provide any additional support, insurance or repairs based on damage from cases. Please double-check the model number from your Chromebook and the information provided by the vendor.

Former Chromebook Project FAQ

Years ago, the junior high schools held a Chromebook pilot that lasted for 2-3 years.  Those devices are no longer effective and do not meet the needs of our current curriculum and digital content and software.  Students that were in the former Chromebook pilot need to pick up a new device during the scheduled pick up times.

The older Chromebooks are the property of the parents/students and do not need to be turned in for a new Chromebook.

Parenting in the Digital World: Hints, Tips and Tricks for Social Media


Does your child have a phone or other new piece of technology? Are your children always on their iPhones or tablet? Do your children have a Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, or KIK account? If you answer yes for any of these questions – or if your answer was, “What’s SnapChat and KIK?” – these hints, tips and tricks for parenting in the digital world will be helpful.

After a recent study on the impact of social media on kids and families, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reported that there could be benefits to children using sites like Facebook. Those benefits include increased communication, access to information, and help in developing a sense of self. But, there can be serious downsides to all this online sharing, too.

Social networking is on the rise. The study found that 22 percent of teenagers log onto their favorite social media sites more than 10 times a day, and 75 percent own cell phones. This level of engagement online increases the risks of cyberbullying, “Facebook depression” (a new phenomenon where “de-friending” and online bullying lead to symptoms of depression), exposure to inappropriate content, and sexting.

Just as we prepare our kids for life in the real world, we should prepare them for life in the online world.

Smart Practices for Parents in the Digital World

No Underage Facebooking

Did you know that no one under the age of 13 is permitted to join Facebook? Of course, there is no real way for Facebook to truly enforce this limit, because everyone can lie about age. That’s why it’s up to parents to ensure their children stay away from Facebook until 13 – and until you as a parent are comfortable with them having an account.

Check the Device’s Privacy Settings

Check that the privacy settings for the Internet and Facebook on your children’s digital devices are set to the strictest levels. Depending on which browser you are using, you can adjust settings directly from the “options” tab. Adjust levels on things such as cookies, third party sites, and more. This protects the computer user as well as the computer from the threat of viruses.

Checking Facebook privacy settings is easy, too. Ensure that you are up to speed on Facebook’s privacy policy and make any changes you deem necessary.

Create Ground Rules

If your kids are old enough to use the computer on their own, they are old enough to understand that there are rules they need to follow. Breaking those rules should not have a lesser consequence than if they broke a rule in the offline world. One way for families to agree on ground rules is to create a contract that all parties must sign. The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) encourages parents and kids to have an open discussion about what these rules mean, and offers a good example of a contract here.

Learn Your Child’s Habits

You don’t need to be a super sleuth and spy on your kid’s every online move, but it is important to be aware of the people they are associating with and the kinds of sites they are frequenting. After all, you get to know the friends they are hanging out with at school; knowing their online friends shouldn’t be any different. Parents should require full access to their children’s Facebook friends and the ability to take a look whenever they wish.

Keep Computers in a Central Location

It’s much easier to keep tabs on online activity when computers are located in a high-traffic zone rather than in the privacy of a child’s own room. Place computers in a central location like your kitchen or family room so everything is out in the open.

Teach Children to Avoid Online Questionnaires, Free Giveaways and Contests

A pop-up ad appears and tells kids they can win a free iPad by simply clicking the link. Anyone would be tempted by this kind of offer, but kids are particularly susceptible. It’s important to warn kids against falling for this kind of Internet trick. Many of these ruses are attempts to glean personal information or to download malware to digital devices. Teach children that even if a friend forwards a fun online questionnaire, it’s best to close the window and not participate.

Monitor Pictures Your Children Post Online

In an ideal world, your children would never post photos of themselves online, but that might not be entirely realistic. If children want to share photos with their friends via email or a social networking site, be sure you know exactly which pictures are being posted. Make sure the content of the photo is completely innocuous and that no identifiable locales are noticeable in the background.

Set a Good Example

If parents are tweeting and updating their Facebook pages at a stoplight or taking every opportunity to “just check something,” they are setting a poor precedent for social media use that children will surely follow. Always ask yourself if you’re setting a good example and demonstrating proper technology etiquette as well.

Limit Cell Phone Use

Parents should limit cell phone use, just as they would limit use of a computer, TV or gaming system. Only allow cell phone use at certain hours in the evening or after homework has been completed.

If you have teens of driving age, teach them that under no circumstances should cell phones ever be used while driving. (For underage teens in Ohio, this is a primary offense, meaning police can pull drivers over for texting while driving.) Phones should be kept off or in the glove compartment so incoming text sounds aren’t a distraction.

Teach Kids about their Online Reputation

What is posted online stays online forever. Many kids don’t understand the permanence of the images and messages they post online. They also don’t understand that there are no secrets in social media. Parents should talk to their children about the impact posting inappropriate messages and images could have if a future college administrator or employer were to find them.

Talk to Kids about Online Dangers

You may feel like you’re scaring your kids when talking to them about the dangers of being online, but it’s better for them to be scared than to be unaware. Having an open line of communication is crucial the minute your kids start using the Internet more independently.

Get to Know the Technology

Kids master technology quickly and easily pick up the nuances any new gadget has, often far more easily than adults. It is every parent’s responsibility to know exactly which key features are included in the gadgets their kids are using.

To help parents understand the technology, below is a list of the most common social media apps students are using today, along with a description about what parents should know and understand about each one.

Social Media Apps


This is the world’s largest social network, with more than 1 billion users worldwide.

What parents need to know

  • Facebook is not private. Anything posted online, whether it’s an image or a comment, stays in cyberspace forever. A Facebook post is only as good as a friendship. A friend today may be gone tomorrow. What happens with that post or image then? That “no-longer” friend may disseminate it to others. Images might even be digitally altered and sent to others.
  • Many parents think “friending” their kids is enough to keep them safe and ensure they are behaving appropriately on Facebook. However, many kids are creating two Facebook profiles, one for their friends and one for their parents.
  • According to the FBI, there are 500,000 predators trying to engage kids online. Facebook is one of the venues where predators try to “friend” children and establish a relationship.
  • Whenever a child posts anything on Facebook, whether it’s an image or a comment, it can affect their futures. Why? Because every time a child posts something online, they are creating their own personal brand online and permanent digital footprint that stays in cyberspace forever. Children should be taught to think, “Is this post or image really representing who I am? Would I be embarrassed if a teacher or my grandma saw it?”


KIK Messenger

This app lets kids text for free. It’s fast and has no message limits, character limits, or fees if you only use the basic features. Because it’s an app, the texts won’t show up on a phone’s messaging service, and you’re not charged for them (beyond standard data rates).

What parents need to know

  • It’s loaded with ads and in-app-purchases.
  • KIK specializes in “promoted chats,” which are basically conversations between brands and users. It also offers specially designed apps (accessible only through the main app), many of which offer products for sale.
  • There’s some stranger danger. An app named OinkText, linked to KIK, allows communication with strangers who share their KIK usernames to find people to chat with. There’s also a KIK community blog where users can submit photos of themselves and screenshots of messages (sometimes displaying users’ full names) to contests.



This is a free video, voice, and messaging app. Users can have group chats with up to 12 people for free. It’s common for kids to log on after school and keep it open while doing homework.

What parents need to know

  • You can only chat with approved friends. Users can only communicate with those on their approved contact lists, which can help ease parents’ safety concerns.
  • It can be distracting. Because the service makes video chatting so affordable and accessible, it also can be addicting. A conversation with your kids about multitasking may be in order.



This app lets users send text messages, audio messages, videos, and photos to one or many people with no message limits or fees.

What parents need to know

  • It’s supposed to be for users 16 and over, but lots of younger teens seem to be using the app. This age minimum has been set by WhatsApp.
  • It can be pushy. After you sign up, it automatically connects you to all the people in your address book who also are using WhatsApp. It also encourages you to add friends who haven’t signed up yet.
Microblogging Apps and Sites


This lets users snap, edit, and share photos and 15-second videos, either publicly or with a private network of followers. It unites the most popular features of social media sites: sharing, seeing, and commenting on photos. It also lets you apply fun filters and effects to your photos, making them look high quality and artistic.

What parents need to know

  • Teens are on the lookout for digital “likes.” Similar to the way they use Facebook, teens may measure the “success” of their photos — even their self-worth — by the number of likes or comments they receive. Posting a photo or video can be problematic if teens post it to validate their popularity.
  • Public photos are the default. Photos and videos shared on Instagram are public unless privacy settings are adjusted. Hashtags and location information can make photos even more visible to communities beyond a teen’s followers if his or her account is public.
  • Private messaging is now an option. Instagram Direct allows users to send “private messages” to up to 15 mutual friends. These pictures don’t show up on their public feeds. Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with group chats, kids may be more likely to share inappropriate things with their inner circles.



This app lets you share and experience live video streams direct from a smartphone or tablet. It can be used to capture the atmosphere among fans at an important match, to broadcast an unfolding news story, or to experience what it’s like to walk down the streets of Pickerington or New York City.

What parents should know

  • The premise of the app is that it allows you to live stream video, direct from your phone or tablet.
  • Aside from just watching video streams, Periscope allows for real time interaction. Viewers can “heart” the streams they like and can interact with the person streaming the video through the comments/chat function.
  • You can explore the videos being broadcast in different parts of the world through the interactive map feature. This allows you to search for videos by location and find streams of particular events taking place.
  • All Periscope accounts and broadcasts are public for anyone to see, unless you adjust the settings. The integration with Twitter makes it easier to reach a worldwide audience very quickly.



This is like a cross between a blog and Twitter. It’s a streaming scrapbook of text, photos, and/or videos and audio clips. Users create and follow short blogs, or “tumblelogs,” that can be seen by anyone online (if made public). Many teens have tumblelogs for personal use: sharing photos, videos, musings, and things they find funny with their friends.

What parents need to know

  • Privacy can be guarded but only through an awkward workaround. The first profile a member creates is public and viewable by anyone on the Internet. Members who desire full privacy have to create a second profile, which they’re able to password-protect.
  • Pornography is easy to find. This online hangout is hip and creative but sometimes raunchy. Pornographic images and videos and depictions of violence, self-harm, drug use, and offensive language are easily searchable.
  • Posts are often copied and shared. Reblogging on Tumblr is similar to re-tweeting: A post is reblogged from one tumblelog to another. Many teens like — and, in fact, want — their posts reblogged. But do you really want your kids’ words and photos on someone else’s page?



This is a microblogging site that allows users to post brief, 140-character messages — called “tweets” — and follow other users’ activities. It’s not only for adults. Teens like using it to share tidbits and keep up with news and celebrities.

What parents need to know

  • Public tweets are the norm for teens. Though you can choose to keep your tweets private, most teens report having public accounts. Talk to your kids about what they post and how a post can spread far and fast.
  • Updates appear immediately. Even though you can remove tweets, your followers can still read what you wrote until it’s gone. This can get kids in trouble if they say something in the heat of the moment.



This social media app lets users post and watch looping six-second video clips. This Twitter-owned service has developed a unique community of people who post videos that are often creative, funny, and sometimes thought-provoking. Teens usually use Vine to create and share silly videos of themselves and/or their friends and families.

What parents need to know

  • It’s full of inappropriate videos.
  • There are significant privacy concerns. The videos you post, the accounts you follow, and the comments you make on videos all are public by default. But you can adjust your settings to protect your posts so that only followers will see them, and you have to approve new followers.
  • Parents can be star performers (without their knowledge). If your teens film you being goofy or silly, you may want to talk about whether they plan to share it.
Self-destructive and "Secret" Apps

Burn Note

This app erases its messages after a set period of time. Unlike many other apps of this sort, it limits itself to text messages. Users cannot send pictures or video. That may reduce issues such as sexting, but words can hurt, too.

What parents need to know

  • It allows kids to communicate covertly. To discourage copying and taking screenshots, a spotlight-like system that recipients direct with a finger (or the mouse) only reveals a portion of the message at a time.
  • It may encourage risky sharing. The company claims that its “Multi-Device Deletion” system can delete a message from anywhere: the device it was sent from, the device it was sent to, and its own servers. But it’s wise to be skeptical of this claim, and it’s always possible for anything sent online to be copied as an image via screenshots.
  • You don’t have to have the app to receive a Burn Note. Unlike other apps — for example, Snapchat — users can send a Burn Note to anyone, including others who don’t have the program.



This messaging app lets users put a time limit on the pictures and videos they send before they disappear. Most teens use the app to share goofy or embarrassing photos without the risk of them going public. However, there are lots of opportunities to use it in other ways.

What parents need to know

  • It’s a myth that Snapchats go away forever. Data is data: Whenever an image is sent, it never truly goes away. For example, the person on the receiving end can take a screenshot of the image before it disappears. Snapchats can even be recovered.
  • It can make sexting seem OK. The seemingly risk-free messaging might encourage users to share pictures containing sexy images.



After connecting via Facebook, this app lets you tap the image of a friend to take a picture. By holding their picture down, you record a short video of a few seconds. Using the front-facing camera, users can send a selfie or, as is often the case, a short video message to that friend. Click on the bottom half of the camera field and you can type in a short message.

What parents need to know

  • The app displays both the photo and a map of where you are when you upload the picture.
  • Talking a cue from SnapChat, any photo of video you send can’t be retrieved after you’ve seen it. You also can’t pre-take a photo and upload it. Everything you send to others is unique.
  • Because the app displays both the photo/and a map of where you are — in the case of sending a video — this means the app is turning into a sort of video walkie-talkie.



This a social “confessional” app that allows users to post whatever’s on their minds, paired with an image. With all the emotions running through teens, anonymous outlets give them the freedom to share their feelings with the perception that they are free of judgment.

What parents need to know

  • Whispers are often sexual in nature. Some users use the app to try to hook up with people nearby, while others post “confessions” of desire. Lots of eye-catching nearly nude pics accompany these shared secrets.
  • Content can be dark. People normally don’t confess sunshine and rainbows. Common Whisper topics include insecurity, depression, substance abuse, and various lies told to employers and teachers.
  • Although it’s anonymous to start, it may not stay that way. The app encourages users to exchange personal information in the “Meet Up” section.



This free social-networking app lets users post brief, Twitter-like comments to the 500 geographically nearest Yik Yak users. Kids can find out opinions, secrets, rumors, and more. Plus, they’ll get the bonus thrill of knowing all these have come from a 1.5-mile radius (maybe even from the kids at the desks in front of them!).

What parents need to know

  • It reveals your location. By default, your exact location is shown unless you toggle location-sharing off. Each time you open the app, GPS updates your location.
  • It’s a mixed bag of trouble. This app has it all: cyberbullying, explicit sexual content, unintended location-sharing, and exposure to explicit information about drugs and alcohol.
  • Some schools have banned access. Pickerington Schools has blocked this app on our Internet, but all students have to do is use their own phone’s cellular signal and they are online. Some teens have used the app to threaten others, causing school lockdowns in other parts of the country. The app’s gossipy and sometimes cruel nature can be toxic to a school environment.
Chatting, Meeting, and Dating Apps and Sites


This is a photo and messaging dating app for browsing pictures of potential matches within a certain-mile radius of the user’s location. It’s very popular with 20-somethings as a way to meet new people for casual or long-term relationships.

What parents need to know

  • Meeting up (and possibly hooking up) is pretty much the goal.
  • It’s all about swipes. You swipe right to “like” a photo or left to “pass.” If a person whose photo you “liked” swipes “like” on your photo, too, the app allows you to message each other.
  • It’s location-based. Geolocation means it’s possible for teens to meet up with nearby people, which can be very dangerous.


Meet Me

“Chat and Meet New People,” says it all. Although not marketed as a dating app, MeetMe does have a “Match” feature whereby users can “secretly admire” others, and its large user base means fast-paced communication and guaranteed attention.

What parents need to know

  • It’s an open network. Users can chat with others online, as well as search locally, opening the door for potential trouble.
  • Lots of details are required. First and last name, age, and ZIP code are requested at registration, or you can log in using a Facebook account. The app also asks permission to use location services on your teens’ mobile devices, meaning they can find the closest matches wherever they go.



This is a chat site (and app) that puts two strangers together in their choice of a text chat or video chat room. Being anonymous can be very attractive to teens, and Omegle provides a no-fuss opportunity to make connections. Its “interest boxes” also let users filter potential chat partners by shared interests.

What parents need to know

  • Users get paired up with strangers. That’s the whole premise of the app. And there’s no registration required.
  • This is not an app for kids and teens. Omegle is filled with people searching for sexual chat. Some prefer to do so live. Others offer links to porn sites.
  • Language is a big issue. Since the chats are anonymous, they’re often much more explicit than those with an identifiable user might be.



This is a flirting app that allows users to sign up as teens or adults. They’re then placed in the appropriate peer group, where they can post to a feed, comment on others’ posts, add pictures, and chat. They’ll get notifications when other users near their geographic area join, and they can search other areas by cashing in points. They receive notifications when someone “checks” them out but must pay points to see who it is.

What parents need to know

  • If your teens are going to use a dating app, Skout is probably the safest choice, if only because it has a teens-only section that seems to be moderated reasonably well.
  • There’s no age verification. This makes it easy for a teen to say their older than 18 and an adult to say their younger.
Secret Apps to Hide Items

The following apps were all created to hide things away from others. Many of the apps require additional PIN numbers to access the “hidden” material. Some of the apps even go as far as calling itself a calculator and looking/functioning like a calculator, to only have a PIN unlock a secret hidden vault of items.

Parents should be wary and start asking questions if they see any of the following apps on their child’s device.


Private Photo Vault

This allows users to import photos into albums and hide them behind a PIN lock. Beyond basic password protection, the app has two other bonus features called “break-in report” and “decoy password.” If someone tries to enter the app, it will secretly take a photo of the person and log their GPS location so you can see who was trying to access your private photos. Users also have the option to set up a decoy password that launches a different set of pictures.


Gallery Lock Lite

Unlike other apps, Gallery Lock Lite lets you put the app icon in “Stealth Mode,” so it doesn’t appear on your phone. If you opt for this feature, you’ll have to access the app by typing in an asterisk, your password and pressing “Call.” Gallery Lock Lite will also catch a photo of any intruder with your phone’s front-facing camera after three failed password attempts.


Best Secret Folder

This app is used by people who don’t want anyone to know that they downloaded a privacy app. The icon is disguised as “My Utilities,” so no one will ever guess there are private photos tucked away in a phone.


Keep Safe

This is a simple app with basic password protection for photos and videos. Users simply type in a PIN and import photos to albums in the app.



This app’s icon is disguised as a calculator with the label of Ky-Calc. When the app is launched, a fully functional calculator appears. All a user has to do is punch in a 4-digit PIN number and the equal sign, and they have access to hidden contents. Along with hidden photos, you can store PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and text files. KYMS allows you to import media from your computer, camera roll, the web and more.



In addition to password-protected galleries, Vaulty allows users to edit photos, sort and filter files, and create multiple vaults with different passwords. It hide photos and videos. Like similar apps, Vaulty includes a “mug shot” feature, with which it snaps a photo of anyone who enters the incorrect password.



Specifically designed for hiding photos, PhotoVault differs from other apps because it has public and private galleries. The Private gallery is password-protected for hidden photos, and the Public gallery is accessible to anyone on your phone. Users can choose to set the app to open in Public mode, so it appears to be like any other photo app.


Bonus “Hidden” Album in iOS8 and iOS9

Although this isn’t the most secure way to hide photos, it is an alternative to downloading a privacy app. With Apple’s iOS 8 update, users have the option to “hide” a photo from your Collections album. The hidden album is not password-protected, so anyone can still access it.

Social Media in the Classroom

Social media, when used correctly, can a powerful tool for students and teachers in the classroom. There is a myth that if students are allowed to use social media in the classroom, then students will do nothing but tweet, send messages and chat while we are trying to teach. Social media if used properly can allow students, teachers and parents the greater ability to communication, collaborate, and think critically.

Here are a few ways in which some of our teachers are using social media in the classroom:

  1. Tweet or post status updates as a class. Teachers let students propose nuggets of learning that are posted for parents to read. Many teachers and administrators are tweeting about the positive things going on in the District.
  2. Connect to other classrooms through social media. Teachers have connected with other classrooms in other countries to discuss social studies and diversity issues.
  3. Students are creating videos and sharing them via YouTube.
  4. Teachers are using social media to connect with other teachers around the world to create personal learning networks (PLNs) that allow teachers to learn from each other.
  5. Numerous teachers and administrators have blogs in which they post updates for events and activities in their classroom or buildings.
  6. Numerous teachers have created Facebook groups that are specifically for their classes, in which students can communicate in forming study groups or project groups.
  7. Teachers are using Pinterest to find creative projects to use with their students.
  8. Teachers are using Skype to communicate with authors, business professionals and people of interest.