Hello MTPS Families!
As our schools shift into a state where staff and students are not present in the school buildings, technology tools can become even more important. For some students, this is the first time their MTPS devices are coming home, and for some students they are using personal computers at home to participate in online activities. This email offers some guidance to help you use the technology available to you as well as one way to get tech support.
MTPS 1-to-1 devices at home:
- Grade 3 and 4 students (who took home an MTPS computer):
- The MTPS computer is a Google Chromebook. Power it on with the button in the upper right corner of the keyboard.
- The first thing it will ask you to do is connect to a wireless network. Choose your own home network’s name. It may ask for a password as well. Information about the network name and password might be physically attached to your wireless access point/router.
- Once connected to your network, it will ask for a username and password. This is your child’s Google username (which has @mtps.us at the end). They likely already know it but If they don’t, you can log on to your Genesis Parent Portal with another device, and the “Google Username” and “Google Password” will be listed on the “summary” page of the student, just under their picture.
- Grade 5 students (who took home an MTPS computer):
- The MTPS computer is a Dell 3340 Windows 10 laptop. Power it on with the button just to the right of the keyboard.
- The first thing for the student to do is login. This is their “plain” username WITHOUT @mtps.us at the end of it, and their current network password.
- After getting logged in, you will want to connect to your wireless network. Click the wireless network icon in the lower right corner of the screen, near the date/time. A list of available wireless networks will appear. Choose your own home network’s name. It may ask for a password as well. Information about the network name and password might be physically attached to your wireless access point/router.
- Grade 6-12 students:
- you can log on to your MTPS computer at home the same way you have been doing throughout the year.
If your child has no access to the Internet where they are located, there are a couple of options that you can try. MTPS administration is still working on additional options for families who responded to the survey.
- Comcast/XFinity announced that their “xfinitiywifi” wireless hotspots will be free for the next 60 days. However, it might not apply to ALL of their visible hotspots. To try using it with your wireless laptop or tablet, go into its wireless list and find this network name EXACTLY: “xfinitywifi” (there may be others that look similar, but aren’t the ones you want!) Click/tap on that name. If it works as expected, you should then be on the Internet and can browse as needed. However, if an Xfinity login/payment/guest pass page comes up, then you are on a hotspot that apparently isn’t offering fully free wifi. You can try the “guest pass” option, but it may limit you to only 1 hour of use.
- Comcast Internet Essentials is offering 2 months of free service to new customers (and you can cancel anytime). They do require families to meet certain criteria, one of which is free/reduced lunch status. If you need Internet and think you have even a chance of qualifying, please visit their website and apply. If you are not a customer and have questions about applying for Internet Essentials please call 1-855-8-INTERNET (1-855-846-8376).
Access to online resources:
MTPS has a wide range of online systems for which the students have their own accounts. For the most part, these systems use a student’s Google username (with the @mtps.us) as the username and might use their initial Google password. There are some exceptions, though – your teacher may have details, and if you have trouble logging into a system, you can reach out to MTPS technical support
For students using a personally-owned device at home:
Teachers may share information with you about the URL (web address) of online resources students will be using. However, here are the URL’s of a few of the common resources USED BY K-5 GRADES IN PARTICULAR:
- Journeys/Thinkcentral Language Arts: https://www-k6.thinkcentral.com You will need to choose the district and school from drop-down lists, and then logon with the student’s @mtps.us account and initial Google password.
- Reflex Math: https://www.reflexmath.com/ Students log in by choosing their teacher’s name, then enter their own password (initial Google password)
Remote Tech Support:
You might have a technical problem at home with the MTPS computer or with the online systems that MTPS supports. The MTPS tech team can be contacted by students or parents for help. Below are email addresses that are monitored by MTPS tech support personnel. Email can be sent to these addresses anytime, and a tech team member will respond as soon as they can. MTPS will be setting up phone numbers for call-in tech support on 3/17. Those numbers, and the times when they can be called, will be shared with you in the morning.
One outcome of a tech support request could be that the MTPS computer needs to be brought in for repair and/or exchanged for a loaner. If that is the case, the technician will follow up with you to let you know when and where the next in-person repair/exchange opportunity will be.
Thank you for your patience as the tech team continues to improve tech support for both families and staff members during this unusual time!
-Jeff Arey, Director of Technology, MTPS