Easy Digital Business Cards with HiHello

image of digital business card from hihello

We are excited to share the tool, HiHello. Spend about 5 minutes getting signed up and entering in your information and you get a professional looking email signature and Zoom background. The Zoom backgrounds (pictured below) are especially helpful because they can display your name, position, and pronouns which is helpful if you are in a lot of meetings with families and community members. You can also upload the P-CCS logo or your school logo. Get the mobile app and have access to a digital business cards that can easily be shared. Check it out!

image with hihello zoom background

Use Canva for Year-End Slideshow or Video

As the year comes to a close, you may be looking for a way to put together a slideshow of photo memories from the school year. You can use Canva to help create and share these. You can set up a slideshow with images on each slide and add background music. Canva also has the complete video editor so you can customize it to your liking. See the tutorials for each of those options below.

Google LTI and Canvas Known Issue 4/12/22 – RESOLVED 5/9/22

UPDATE: Canvas and Google have worked together to RESOLVE the issue described in last month’s blog post shown below. Thank you for your patience.


Some teachers are experiencing Canvas assignment submissions that are subsequently inaccessible to them. This has been occurring when a Canvas assignment is created and students load a file from Google Drive. When the teachers open Speedgrader, instead of seeing a preview of the document they see a link to an unknown file type that they are unable to download or view.

Error teachers experience with Google Drive submissions

Students will have a clue that submission didn’t come through correctly when they select and attach an item from Google Drive they will see this:

error on student side
Students will see this when their attachment is unsuccessful. They should follow the directions linked below to upload the file as a PDF.

This is a Google LTI issue and we are currently working on a resolution. There are several potential workarounds:

  1. You can create a Google Assignment in Canvas that creates a copy for each student.
  2. Students can download the file as a PDF and upload it to Canvas.
  3. Students can paste the Shared Google link into the comments of an existing assignment.
  4. Teachers can check the “Website URL” entry option under the submission type and students can submit the Shared Google link.
location of website URL option
Teachers can select this Website URL option where students can paste the Shared Google link to their file.

We will update this blog post when the issue has been resolved. Resolved as of 5/9/22

Canva for Education Webinars

image of webinar topics and dates

Do you love Canva? Would you like to learn more about how to use it in your classroom? Canva Learning Consultants are providing “quick hit” webinars this Spring to help you envision how to use Canvas for student collaboration, use it in STEM courses, Arts courses, Humanities courses, and for parent communication. Register for the 30 minute webinar (Tuesdays from 6:00-6:30 pm) and attend live or catch the recording.

Click here to see the options and register.

Suggested Laptop Maintenance

The tech department would like to suggest the following maintenance steps to ensure the best performance from your new laptop.

  • Clear your Chrome Browsing Data and Cookies every couple of weeks (with Time range All Time) / Ditto for all Microsoft Edge users (click here for easy steps)
  • Do a full restart of your laptop at least once a week
  • If you teach in the Virtual Academy, at least monthly come onto campus (the parking lot is sufficient) with your computer. After initially connecting via district WIFI, restart your laptop and log back in, then allow 15-20 minutes for any updates to run in the background while you are on it. So if you are planning to come on-campus for any reason, please bring your laptop, and restart and log into it when there!

Making sure you perform periodic restarts and logging into your laptop while on the district network does several important things to improve performance including clearing the laptop’s Random Access Memory (RAM) which can otherwise over time bog down its system resources and allowing important and useful district updates to to run at start up (as one example, a needed component to run the updated Canvas Studio Screen Recorder requires a one time laptop restart and new log in while in district so a log in script that is associated with user accounts can install it).

We appreciate your help to ensure the best possible performance of your laptop. Please submit a tech ticket if you have any questions.

Matt Miller May

cover of Tech Like a Pirate by Matt Miller

If you have not heard of Matt Miller, author of Ditch that Textbook and other titles, it is your lucky day! His website, books, and podcast are full of great teacher tips. Recently, he has promoted an EfficienTEACH series to help you save time and have a big impact on student learning. Check out some of his fantastic resources below, click the picture to access the links.

Google Docs Email Templates

Ever find yourself writing emails and thinking that you should really save it to re-use later? Google Docs now makes it easier to draft an email in Docs and send it with just a few more clicks.

Entering @email in docs.google.com will load a template complete with To, Cc, Bcc, and Subject lines. It can also be accessed via Insert > Building Blocks > Email draft.

preview of email template screenYou can access your contacts and enter them directly in the correct fields. Then you can draft your email. Because you are in Docs you can share it with your grade-level team or co-teacher for feedback and suggestions.

When you are ready to send, click on the Gmail icon and it will automatically populate the Gmail message with what you entered in Docs. Then congratulate yourself because that yearly email or other frequent communication is saved in Drive to save you time in the future.

Draft email in Docs

This feature was previously mentioned along with some other exciting updates in this blog post.

Awesome Analytics with Canvas Studio

Canvas Studio is a tools that allows instructors and students to actively collaborate through video and audio media.

It has the ability to:
Why would you use it?
And newly-updated View Insights!
  • You have always been able to view graphs on who viewed you video and for how long.
  • Now you can also see what parts of the video get played or replayed most often so you can better understand what was useful for students.
  • You can see a viewer list and easily see the completion rate for each.

Image of Studio viewer list

If you want to chat more about the possibilities with Canvas Studio, submit a tech ticket and we’d be happy to answer your questions and walk through it with you.

New Features Coming to Canvas 4/16/22

Highlighted below are a number of new features that will be available in Canvas after this Saturday’s (4/16) update.

  1. Default Assignment Due Time
  • An oft-requested feature that will be welcome by many. Currently, when creating an assignment, the default time for that assignment is set for 11:59 p.m. This feature will allow assignment makers to change the default due time to a different time.
    • To change the default due time, go into your course settings, locate a box called “Default Due Time”, click into the box and change to your preferred time.

2. Apply Score to Ungraded Assignments

  • The Apply Score to Ungraded Assignments feature allows scores to be applied to multiple ungraded submissions at once. This change allows instructors to apply scores to ungraded submissions en masse from an assignment group and total column menus in the Gradebook.
    • To use, locate the options menu from an assignment group or the Total column in the Gradebook and select Apply Score to Ungraded.

3. Rich Content Editor(RCE) Icon Maker

  • Another requested feature is the ability to create icons from right within Canvas. This feature change provides instructors the ability to incorporate simple icons for their courses without using an external tool. The Icon Maker allows simple customized iconography to be created directly within the Rich Content Editor.
    • To use, when in Rich Content Editor(RCE) locate an icon with various shapes. Click on this icon, and follow the instructions to build the icon.

Some of the other new features are New Quiz abilities and Emojis in Submissions.

To find out more information about all of these new features, please visit: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Canvas-Releases/Canvas-Release-Notes-2022-04-16/ta-p/515876

Spring Book Study Opportunity

details for book study, can be found in post

The P-CCS Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Department (DEI) is pleased to invite you to participate in a spring book study with the Assistive & Instructional Technology (A&IT) and Technology Departments.

We will be reading and reflecting on the book, Antiracism and Universal Design for Learning: Building Expressways to Success authored by Andratesha Fritzgerald. This book will build on the concepts of Culturally Responsive Instruction and provide practical next steps for building more equitable and inclusive classrooms.

To participate, please be prepared to commit to the following schedule:
– attend two Zoom meetings to discuss the book (April 14 & April 28, 7-8 p.m.)
– complete asynchronous discussions & activities via Canvas LMS.

Course activities will conclude by May 12th. SCECHs will be available and the book will be provided. Space is limited. Reserve your spot by completing this form.