Tech for Teachers 101

Part 1 - Online Platforms


Below is a list of widely used platforms that you are likely to need as an OUSD teacher. There will almost certainly be other platforms that you will need for your role or situation, but this list includes the most essential ones that are used district-wide. At a minimum, you should know the basics of what each platform does.


If you are a new hire, please be aware that these platforms are generally not accessible until you have a working OUSD email address and password.

Aeries

Aeries is the Student Information System (SIS) used by OUSD. It is an essential platform for teachers and school staff, because it holds and tracks a wide range of data and information about students. Some of the important functions of Aeries include:


  • Attendance Tracking - Teachers take attendance in Aeries on a daily basis.

  • Rostering - Site staff use Aeries to create classes and populate them with students.

  • Report Cards - Teachers use Aeries to enter grades and comments.

  • Gradebooks - Teachers at middle and high schools have the ability to set up gradebooks, in which individual grades for assignments and assessments automatically calculate an overall grade for each student.

  • Contact Information - Aeries holds phone numbers, email addresses, and mailing addresses for each student’s family.

  • Demographic and Other Information - Aeries holds information about each student’s demographic information, and other essential information such as IEP status.


Aeries also syncs with other platforms, including Clever and its associated edtech programs. So if there is incorrect information or a login issue with one of those platforms, there is likely a problem in Aeries.


How to log into Aeries:

Go to the OUSD Aeries portal, choose the Sign In with Google button, and use your Google account and password. You must have students assigned to you in the master schedule and your Google account must be live before your account will function. Consult your school office staff to make sure you have classes assigned to you prior to logging in.

Clever

Clever is the edtech portal used by OUSD. It allows students and teachers to easily and securely log into edtech platforms. Once users log into Clever using their OUSD Google login credentials, they can quickly open programs without having to enter usernames and passwords. Teachers can also set up their own class pages, with customized icons that open programs or other websites. Clever syncs with Aeries nightly. Many edtech programs integrate with Clever rostering, in which case your class rosters will already be attached to those programs.


How to log into Clever:

You should be able to sign in through the Clever OUSD portal at clever.com/in/ousd. Use "Log in with Google".

Google Workspace for Education

Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is an essential collection of programs used widely throughout OUSD. These programs are used for student work, teacher collaboration, assessment, and communication. At a minimum, you will have to use Google Workspace on a regular basis for essential collaboration with others. But you can significantly boost your productivity and skills by learning how to leverage the Google Workspace programs.


Some of the core Google Workspace programs (Docs, Slides, Sheets) have rough equivalents to the Microsoft Office suite programs (Word, Powerpoint, Excel). But Google Workspace’s web-based ease of use has made it the preferred ecosystem for online productivity tools. Some of the most important Google Workspace tools include:


  • Docs - Word processing program for student and teacher work

  • Slides - Powerpoint-style presentation tool for instruction or student assignments

  • Sheets - Excel-style spreadsheet program to organize information and data

  • Forms - Customizable form program that can be used to create assessments

  • Google Classroom - A hub for student assignments, assessments and resources. Optional gradebook (and Aeries gradebook syncing)

  • Gmail - The official email platform for OUSD

  • Calendar - Online calendar to schedule events and meetings.

ParentSquare

ParentSquare is the official communication platform for OUSD. The platform is used for district-wide communications (e.g. superintendent messages) as well as for mandatory forms.


In addition, teachers and school sites have the option to use ParentSquare for direct communication with families. The platform can automatically translate into over 100 languages, which improves the ability to effectively communicate with everyone in our district. Families can use the ParentSquare mobile app or text messages to interact with ParentSquare. ParentSquare has the same functionality as other communication platforms such as TalkingPoints and Konstella.


ParentSquare is one of the platforms that syncs with Aeries, so ParentSquare class rosters are automatically loaded from the rosters in Aeries.


How to log into ParentSquare:

Download the mobile ParentSquare app or go to https://www.parentsquare.com/signin. Choose "Sign in with Google".

OUSD HelpDesk

The OUSD HelpDesk is a platform for OUSD staff get help with issues related to technology. If you or your students are experiencing difficulties with devices, programs, or internet connectivity, you can submit a helpdesk ticket simply by sending an email to helpdesk@ousd.org and describing your issue. The HelpDesk support staff will assign your ticket to the appropriate team member, who will work with you to resolve the issue. There is no need to sign into the OUSD HelpDesk - you can communicate entirely through email.

SmartFind Express

SmartFind Express is the platform for teachers to request a substitute when they cannot be present in the classroom. Substitutes can also find and accept assignments using SmartFind.


How to set up SmartFind Express:

  • Find your employee ID number (it is on your authorization to work letter).

  • Call 510-379-9303 and complete the following steps.

  • Follow phone prompts to verify account (your default username and PIN are both set to your employee ID number) .

  • Follow phone prompts to set up new PIN .

  • Go to SmartFind Express (https://oakland.eschoolsolutions.com) .

  • Log in using your employee ID, and the PIN number you just created.

  • Personalize your account with your grade and subject.

Zoom

Zoom is currently the most widely used videoconferencing platform in OUSD. While there may be less distance learning in the 2021-22 school year, there will still be situations when videoconferencing is a better fit for meetings. Examples might include professional development sessions or parent teacher conferences.


Every OUSD teacher has a Zoom account. You can create and schedule meetings directly from your OUSD Google Calendar. For more information about Zoom scheduling and security, please visit the Teacher Central Zoom webpage.


How to log into Zoom:

Go to https://ousd.zoom.us. Sign in with your OUSD Google login credentials.

Other Platforms

There are several other platforms that may be important to you, depending on your role and needs, including:

  • i-Ready (K-5) - online instruction and assessment for reading and math

  • FOSSWeb (K-8) - Standards-aligned science content and assessments

  • Newsela - ELA reading and assessment platform with differentiated news articles

  • Illuminate - Assessment and data tracking, especially for early literacy (K-2)

  • TeachBoost - Teacher evaluation and observation tracking

  • OUSD Dashboards - OUSD data tracking platform

  • OUSD Teacher Central - Centralized website to find online resources for teachers.