Are you interested in sharing video content with the community?

Video camera filming stage event

Creating and sharing online video content can be an excellent way to engage with students and their families. Olympia School District staff are encouraged to use YouTube to host, caption and share video content. Here are the necessary steps to start this process:

1.   Create A YouTube Account

The first step to creating videos is to create a YouTube account, which is often referred to as a channel. Staff are required to use their district Google credentials to create an account. Once the account is created, it must be registered with ArchiveSocial for archival purposes. Our Communications and Community Relations Department has put together a quick screencast demonstrating the account creation and archival process.

2.   Record your video

Once you have created and registered your account, you are ready to record video. The Olympia School District provides a helpful Google Chrome extension called Screencastify which is available to all OSD staff. Screencastify simplifies the recording and uploading of videos to YouTube. Our Technology Department has compiled this helpful guide on installing and using Screencastify.

When recording your video, it is important to have clear audio. The clearer the audio, the easier the captioning process will be. Audio quality can be improved by using a dedicated microphone or headset and by reducing background noise.

3.   Upload and caption your video

Screencastify users can upload their video to YouTube using the tool itself. YouTube offers three tiers of video privacy – private, unlisted and public. Generally, unlisted is the preferred option as the video won’t appear in YouTube search results, but can be linked to directly. More information on the different privacy options is available in the blog.

Once the video is uploaded, YouTube will attempt to generate automatic captions. This process can take anywhere from five minutes to several hours, depending on the length of the video being uploaded. While these automatic captions are phenomenal in that they remove the need to type out speech verbatim, they are lacking in terms of punctuation, grammar and accuracy. Before distributing the video, the captions likely need to be edited.

Steps on enhancing the accuracy of automatically generated captions can be found on the District’s Website Accessibility Resources page.

4.   Share your video

Once the captioning process is complete, you are ready to share your video. To get the shareable URL navigate to your video on YouTube and click on the ‘Share’ button directly under your video content and click ‘Copy’. Unlisted videos may use this copied, shareable link to direct users to the video via email or on a webpage.

When sharing your video content on other platforms, it is crucial to also include the captions from YouTube. Linking directly to the YouTube video negates this need, but if a video is uploaded to another platform, the captions should be uploaded too. Captions can be downloaded from within the YouTube caption editing tool.

That’s all there is to it!

While the process of creating, uploading and captioning a video can seem daunting, the tools available to OSD staff enable an efficient workflow. If you have questions about creating video content, please reach out to the Communications and Community Relations Department. If you have questions or comments regarding captioning or other elements of accessibility, please reach out directly to Robert Hardy, the district’s Website Accessibility Specialist. We are here to help!

So you want to learn more…

Person typing on a laptop computerAs you head into summer, you may have an interest in continuing to explore and learn about digital platforms and distance learning. Below you will find opportunities for summer self-directed PD courses for 2020-21 PD pay and clock hours. Below that you will find Padlets with curated articles, videos, social media groups and websites that will help you to learn more about each tool. Feel free to comment on or add to the resources on each Padlet. Each column on the Padlet may be scrolled independently. Click the + at the bottom of the columns to add additional resources and ideas for your colleagues.

Register on pdEnroller for self-paced courses for clock hours and 2020-21 compensation:

Learn more about instructional tech tools and approaches:

District network outage set for 3 p.m. this Friday, May 15

Abstract art of interconnected blue laser lights crossing

This Friday, May 15 the district network will be taken down at 3 p.m. for a core network appliance swap out and upgrade. This work will take down all in-district network reliant services such as (but not limited to):

  • Networked server shares
  • Internet (hardwired and wireless)
  • Phones (internal and external)
  • Faxing

The outage will not affect the ability to email staff from off campus.

The My OSD Portal will remain functional during this time, including the Participation Tracker. The district website may also continue to be accessed while the server work is being completed.

Staff will be informed when the upgrade is complete and the network is available again for in-district use.

Be cautious of phishing scams; reports of phishing emails this week

Below is a message from OSD Technology, which was emailed to all employees today:

Good morning OSD employees,

We have received several reports of employees receiving phishing emails this week, posing as messages from principals. Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details and money, often for malicious reasons, by someone disguising as a trustworthy entity. This most recent phishing attack has scammers impersonating administrators and principals in our district in an attempt to give you a sense of urgency to buy gift cards. Unfortunately these scammers are trying to take advantage of our closure and pandemic situation, in an attempt to get you to bypass normal scrutiny of these types of email.

As talked about in past phishing awareness messages, if any email looks or feels suspicious, check that the sender’s email address matches their name and expected email address ( Also, if any email is asking you to make purchases, transfer money or reveal personal information, immediately be wary.

Remember, phishing scams can come in all forms, including phone calls, emails, letters and more. Continue to report phishing attempts to your supervisor and/or the Technology Helpdesk (

‘Screenagers Next Chapter’ film screening set on February 19

Screenagers Next Chapter Poster; information is contained in articleAs part of the district’s commitment to providing awareness and education around digital citizenship and digital health and well-being, staff are invited to join students, families and the community in a showing of the next installment of “Screenagers.”

“Screenagers Next Chapter: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience” is a film that examines the science behind teens’ emotional challenges, the interplay of social media, and most importantly, what can be done in schools and homes to help students build crucial skills to navigate stress, anxiety and depression in our digital age. This film follows physician and filmmaker, Delaney Ruston, as she discovers solutions for improved adolescent well-being in the digital age.

The free screening will be followed by a discussion led by district Chief Information Officer Marc Elliott.

Join us in the Capital High School Auditorium, 2707 Conger Ave. N.W. on Wednesday, February 19 from 6-7:30 p.m.

Congratulations to educators who recently earned Common Sense Education certification

Common sense educator 2018-20 logoCongratulations to the latest cohort of OSD teachers who earned Common Sense Educator certification during Fall 2019. They committed themselves to learning about and integrating elements of digital citizenship in their classrooms.  The certification process includes readings and webinars, developing curriculum and other resources, and applying approaches in the classroom or family engagement events. The lessons and resources align closely with OSD Student Outcomes 3 and 4.

The next cohort will launch on February 27.  The course is self-paced through online assignments and discussions in Schoology. For more information and to enroll, go to pdEnroller event #101553

“Becoming a Common Sense Educator has made me a more effective and prepared teacher. Instead of throwing random tech advice as needed, I am able to be intentional with my lessons. I like to think of myself as a tech competent teacher. I was born in the 90s and have lived the changes from dial up, floppy disks, cds, usbs, social media, google and the cloud. However, I never realized my lack of expertise in teaching about technology use and developing digital citizens. As a result of becoming a common sense educator, my students are better informed and prepared for digital use.” – Cassandra Fowler, Garfield Elementary School

“It was a great opportunity to reflect on my own digital habits as well as discuss with students what they are both comfortable with (a lot!) and what they aren’t. It allows us to connect over a topic that frequently drives us apart generationally.” – David Johnston, Capital High School

“This fall our school went to a 1:1 student-to-Chromebook ratio. Students were both excited at the prospect of having a Chromebook to call their own and nervous about the responsibility of taking care of it. I appreciated the CSM lessons on maintaining a healthy media balance. Students appreciate that they have a point person, me, to go to with media issues. Parents know me as the person who answers their concerns. CSM lessons have been crucial in our transition & have helped me lead the way.” – Mary Mathis, Washington Middle School

“I believe that being more mindful of my understanding of technology education in my classroom opens a better connection with my students. By allowing myself to gain additional information… the resources provided via Common Sense Education, I am able to open my eyes to the evolution of what a classroom needs. Engagement is at an all time high. Our students want to be almost “entertained” as they learn. It is my job to find tools, tricks and to gain further insight regarding technology.” – Nicole Winkley, Avanti High School

Phishing test: Did you catch the suspicious OSD email?

In the last month the Technology Department “Phish” tested our district staff with the following email. It probably looks very familiar, as the minute it went out our Help Desk and the Communications department received many alert calls about its suspicious nature.

Copy of email sent to staff as test phishing exercise: Email reads: To all employees, As part of ongoing efforts to maintain regulatory compliance we have updated our password policy and we need everyone to check their password immediately to ensure it meets our minimum security requirements. Please click here to do that: Check Password link. Please do this right away. Thanks! Email was sent from

We sent this message to determine a baseline risk potential for our district, as well as determine a need for further phishing training. Based on the results, we did fairly well as a district, coming in below the typical industry standard score of an organization our size. We had a “Phish Prone” score of 22.8% compared to the industry average of 27.7%.

Stats showing results of phish test to 1380 recipients: 1374 delivered, 970 opened, 271 clicked, 42 data entered

Specifically in this message we measured whether or not a user opened the message (which is completely fine), clicked on the link, and if clicked, entered information. The information above is what was used to calculate our score. Based on our responses and score, we plan to provide more phishing education for you in the future, as well as occasional tests to measure our progress.

In this email, there were four items that recipients should have looked for:

  1. The sender and domain. Often times phishers can “spoof” (fake) domains so that emails look authentic. Even if the domain looks correct, is the user someone you are familiar with?
  2. The subject line is trying to convey a sense of urgency.  Phishers often try to take advantage of urgent situations to get you act before you think through the situation clearly.
  3. The email is directing you to click on or open a link. Urgent emails directing you to click or open something should be a warning that more inspection is warranted.
  4. When you mouse over/hover the link, the URL doesn’t match. Typically when you hover over a link, in the browser window you will see the URL (web address). If the URL does not sensibly match the sender or content of the email, this should be a warning.

Copy of phishing email sent to all staff with commentary on what to avoid in specific email categories, including: Email domain is spoofing a popular website or well-known organization; sense of urgency (Example: do this now); Tells you to click a link or open an attachment; Hover over the link. Link does not take you to the site the email content says it will.

Phishing emails are not going away and our automated filters will occasionally let some pass through. If you encounter an email that you feel is suspicious, but are not sure, contact the Help Desk at Ext. 6172 and they can provide guidance.

For more information related to Phishing and Social Engineering, this video from Google for Education is a great place to start. Stay Safe from Phishing and Scams

National Digital Citizenship Week is October 14-18


A person typng on a laptop

“Digital citizens think critically about what they see online, understand the benefits and risks of sharing information and balance screen time with other activities. But digital citizens aren’t born — they’re taught by teachers like you!”Common Sense Education

The week of October 14-18 marks National Digital Citizenship Week, a time when we focus intentionally on a topic that many of you discuss with your students every day. Our students will interact with digital media and devices in our schools, as well as in college, careers and daily life. This week is a great opportunity to engage your students, colleagues and families in important dialogue about digital citizenship and perhaps to incorporate a relevant activity or lesson in your classroom. 

Common Sense Education is a terrific resource for more information and lessons about digital citizenship, including foundational research, educator webinars, student activities and family tip sheets. Additionally, throughout the year our teacher-librarians are providing self-paced Common Sense Educator certification opportunities that qualify for Technology Professional Development and clock hours. 

More information can be found at:

Have a great Digital Citizenship Week!

Marc Elliott
OSD CIO, Technology

Please inventory technology equipment before leaving for summer

Hands using keybaord to communicate to accompany article about worksheets that direct staff to learn how to create accessible documents.

The following is a message from the Technology department to all employees:

The Technology department requests that you take a moment to conduct an inventory of your technology equipment. Please go to the district portal. There, you should see a message at the top center of the page, “Inventory Your Technology.” Click the “Yes, I’ll do it now” button to begin.

Please only inventory items that are specific to you, such as:

  • Your desk phone
  • Your computer/laptop
  • Your monitors
  • Your chromebook and/or iPad

Do not inventory classroom technology, such as your projector, document camera, classroom phone, or student-use computers, chromebooks and iPads.

Please contact the Technology Helpdesk at or Ext. 6172 if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you!