Technology Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Technology Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Last updated September 15, 2020

What Safeguards Protect My Student's Security, Safety & Privacy During Distance Learning?

Your student’s safety and security is a top priority as we navigate learning in a virtual environment. We are working hard to ensure all of our platforms are as secure as possible. This includes changing practices and bolstering security in both Zoom and Google Classroom. 

To continue making  our digital platforms even more secure, we are taking the following measures:

Google Classroom: Additional Safeguards

Moving forward, only enrolled SFUSD students will be allowed in a Google Classroom. In the spring, educators and families may not have realized that Google Classroom is only for SFUSD students. Instead of allowing parents or guardians to join a Google Classroom as a student, your child’s teacher can invite you to Google Guardian Summaries.  

 

Zoom: Additional Safeguards

Many educator Zoom accounts were opened to allow participants outside of SFUSD’s students and staff. While this openness allows parents to connect with teachers via Zoom, it also puts classes and our students at risk of Zoombombing. As alternatives, we recommend Google Meet or phone calls to connect with families.

Can I get a device or hotspot?

If your PK-12 student needs a device or hotspot in order to participate in distance learning, please fill out the Fall 2020 Technology Request Form. While all technology requests are received on this form, devices are being distributed at school sites. Your site will contact you with details about distribution.

I got a hotspot. How do I make it work?

If you received a Verizon hotspot, watch this video or read this one-pager. (English and Spanish available. Additional translations are under construction).

If you received an AT&T hotspot, watch this video (in 6 languages) or read this one pager: Arabic | Chinese | English | Filipino |  Spanish | Vietnamese.

I have questions or issues about WiFi or hotspots...

How do I get access to the shared key to home wifi?

  • Get it from the person in your household that set up your home wifi.
  • Contact your Internet service provider. 
  • Many home wifi routers have it written on the router.

I received my Hotspot, how does it work?

I'm having issues with a Verizon hotspot

Is there a cap on the hotspot data?

  • There is no cap on data. Data is unlimited. 

A message appeared on the hotspot that the “cycle is ending in X days. What does this mean?

  • Families can disregard this message. It is related to the billing cycle that SFUSD is responsible for. The family will not lose internet service on the hotspot.
  • Hotspots will remain active through the month of August. We are looking into extending the service, if needed.

 

I have questions about how to use my SFUSD Chromebook...

How do I connect my Chromebook to my WiFi?

How do I log into my Chromebook?

  • First make sure you are connected to the internet. Once you are connected to the internet you will be able to login using your student SFUSD email address. Chromebooks must be logged into with the student SFUSD email account. Students must type in their full email address, including @s.sfusd.edu 

  • Students also need their SFUSD password to log in to a Chromebook.  For information on how to get your child's password, see "I have questions about my student's Google account," above.

How do I use my Chromebook?

To learn how to use your Chromebook with the digital learning platforms approved by the district, visit: sfusd.edu/familytechnology 

What are the accessibility features of a Chromebook, and how can I child access them?

Chromebooks have several accessibility features, such as…

  • Voice typing
  • Screen readers
  • Screen magnification
  • High-contrast
  • Enlarged cursor
  • ...and much more

Check out this video on Chromebook accessibility features, which has Closed Captions available

How do I connect my Chromebook to a monitor?

 

My child’s Chromebook is not working. What do I do?

Contact the Student and Family Resource Link at (415) 340-1716 or familylink@sfusd.edu

Before contacting the Student and Family Resource Link, please plug in the Chromebook with the provider cable/charger to make sure that the Chromebook is charged. A Chromebook battery should last up to 8 hours. However, every device is different. In the majority of calls we are currently receiving about Chromebooks not working, we are finding that the Chromebooks are not charged.

SFUSD cannot accept walk-ins for technology support or device replacement as our buildings are currently closed to the public. If, after charging the Chromebook and it is still not working, you should contact your school to schedule an exchange of the device. The "not working" device must be provided in the exchange for another device.  

Please note:

  • A replacement device is only available for district-issued Chromebooks/hotspots
  • Only 1 replacement device will be made available to a student. If it is determined that more than 1 replacement device is needed, fees may be applied before the student can receive a 3rd device
  • Only a district-issued Chromebook will be provided as a replacement device
  • Once the device is reported to the district as broken/not working, it will be deactivated so the device will no longer be usable.
  • If not exchanged at the schools, the broken/not working device will need to be mailed back to:

SFUSD Department of Technology

555 Franklin Street

San Francisco, CA 94108

I have questions or issues about Zoom...

How can I get Zoom to work? 

  • Students can sign into Zoom through the web app using their SFUSD email and password. They should log in via the “Sign in with Google” option. If they are using a district-issued Chromebook, they must sign in through the regular Chromebook sign in and the app will automatically load for them. Find directions at Zoom for Students: Activating Your Managed SFUSD Account. View tutorials on our Zoom video tutorials playlist

I am concerned about Zoombombing. What safeguards are there?

  • You may have seen stories about Zoombombing, where an unauthorized person breaks into a Zoom meeting and behaves badly. SFUSD manages its Zoom accounts centrally and has installed important safeguards to prevent this. First, SFUSD staff must fill out a Help request to even be authorized to allow non-SFUSD-users into their Zoom meetings. Second, SFUSD Zoom meetings are set up to have a waiting room. The meeting host (teacher) must specifically choose to allow people into the meeting, or those people will simply be waiting with a blank screen, unable to interact with others in the waiting room or the meeting itself.

I have questions about Synergy (ParentVUE, StudentVUE)...

How do I get my child's StudentVue username/password?

  • You are able to see your student’s SFUSD username and default password in ParentVUE
  • Click on “Student Info/Accept Offer” tab and it will be under “StudentVUE and Gmail Login Info” section.
  • Note: we cannot give passwords out via phone or email because we cannot verify the identity of the requester.
  • For instructions and a how-to video on viewing your child’s StudentVue/SFUSD Google username and default password, including email, visit the SFUSD website at: sfusd.edu/parentvue.

I didn't get my ParentVUE Activation Key letter; how do I get one?

  • Please contact your school site for an activation key. For more questions on ParentVUE please visit our website: www.sfusd.edu/parentvue

Can I update my contact information using ParentVUE?

  • Yes! You can update your email address and phone number using the ParentVUE app or website. This webpage will show you how to update your contact information.
  • Note: To update your address, you need to contact the Educational Placement Center (EPC). During the shelter-in-place, the EPC office is closed for safety reasons, but you can leave a message at 415-241-6085, and your call will be returned within 5 business days, due to high calling volume. Or email them at enrollinschool@sfusd.edu.

How can I learn more information about ParentVUE (also called the Family Portal)?

I have questions about my student's Google account...

What is my student’s email? 

  • If families don’t have their child’s SFUSD Google login, they are now able to find their username and password through ParentVUE: portal.sfusd.edu under the “Student Info” tab. If you need help accessing your ParentVUE account, please submit a request via bit.ly/familyportalhelp.
  • Email address convention: First two initials, last name, @s.sfusd.edul. E.g.: Sam Student’s address would be sastudent@s.sfusd.edu 
  • For instructions and a how-to video on viewing your child’s StudentVue/SFUSD Google username and default password, including email, visit the SFUSD website at: sfusd.edu/parentvue.

What is my student’s email password? 

  • You can see your student’s password by logging into ParentVue (portal.sfusd.edu) and looking under the “Student Info” tab.
  • Or reach out to your child's teacher or school office staff. The Department of Technology cannot give passwords out via phone or email because we cannot verify the identity of the requester.
  • For instructions and a how-to video on viewing your child’s StudentVue/SFUSD Google username and default password, including email, visit the SFUSD website at: sfusd.edu/parentvue.

 

How Can I Get Additional Help with Distance Learning Technology?

The Technology Resources for Families webpage is continually updated with tutorial resources. In addition we are happy to offer two new sources of support:

Technology Videos

Check out the Family Technology Video Tutorials page at sfusd.edu/family-technology-tutorials for videos on how to use district Chromebooks, hotspots, ParentVue, and several digital learning platforms


Free 1:1 Technology Support for Parents and Guardians!

In collaboration with the San Francisco Education Fund, SFUSD has recruited tech volunteers to provide personal phone and video support on basic questions about Zoom, Google Meet, Google Classroom, and Seesaw. 

Sign up for an appointment! ← (Click or tap here)

Volunteers can support you for up to 30 minutes. 

Tech appointments are available in twenty languages, including Spanish, Mandarin, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.