Two of this month’s Google updates

Google Updates

Every month tweaks and changes occur in one or more of our Google apps. Here are two of this month’s.

Create meeting notes in Google Calendar. Available starting in late October, quickly start and share a meeting notes document for your Calendar events.

 

Add image watermarks in Google Docs. You can now add image watermarks directly into Google Docs.

 

​Cybersecurity Awareness Month – Safety Tips Sheets, Posters, and Lesson Plans

Cybersecurity advice

STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ is the global online safety awareness campaign to help all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online. They have a large collection of posters, tip sheets, and videos that you can use to promote good online safety practices. They maintain a resource page with tip sheets to posters to videos and more, to help you stay safer and more secure online and better protect your personal information. All of these resources are free to use, download and share at home, at work and in the community.  We have embedded two of the many videos they have below. Here’s also a link to one of their advice posters.

Free Lesson Plans
Google for Education’s Applied Digital Skills lesson library includes a couple of lesson plans that align with Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

  • Avoid Online Scams is a lesson plan for middle school and high school classrooms. This lesson includes a scenario in which students have to identify the signs of a scam phone call and email then decide how to respond.

BrainPOP Information Privacy Lesson

image of brain pop lesson

October is Cybersecurity month. How can you facilitate student learning about this topic? BrainPOP has videos and accompanying lessons for grades 3-12. Teachers of younger learners can check out BrainPOP Jr for more appropriate videos and lessons. P-CCS has a K-12 subscription to BrainPOP products and they are accessible via Clever. Check out this lesson on information privacy.

 

Meet OrbitNote (formerly the Texthelp PDF Reader tool)

The TextHelp PDF Reader has officially been reborn as OrbitNote!

Earlier this summer, the Texthelp PDF Reader was updated and became OrbitNote. This update included a new look & easier onboarding. P-CCS students & staff have access to all the PREMIUM features of OrbitNote detailed below.

If you’re not familiar with it yet, OrbitNote allows staff & students to transform and interact with PDFs and digital documents in a completely different way. It helps to create an accessible, dynamic and collaborative space that works for everyone.

You & your students can use OrbitNote to:

      • -Collaborate in real-time within digital documents
      • -Read text, including math & science equations, aloud with easy-to-follow dual color highlighting
      • -Type text on top of your PDFs with the Text feature
      • -Highlight and extract information with colored highlighters
      • -Add text and voice comments or use pushpins for helpful hints or instructions
      • -Use freehand or shape drawing to scribble and draw on your digital documents
    And more!

There is NO ACTION required for students or staff who were already using the PDF Reader; the new OrbitNote extension auto-updated. Students and staff may have to update permissions with the first use of the new tool.

Staff who have not used the Texthelp PDF Reader in the past will need to install the extension here.

For more information about using OrbitNote, including Canvas LMS integration, go to the RW4G@PCCS website: https://bit.ly/PCCS-OrbitNote

The new OrbitNote Quick Reference Guide is available here.

Videos: https://text.help/orbitvids
Technical Support: https://support.texthelp.com

You might also want to check out this video of OrbitNotes used in Canvas and/or a comprehensive overview of many of TextHelp’s features:

 

 

OrbitDoc (now OrbitNotes) used in Canvas

 

Print Canvas New Quizzes

If you would like to have a paper copy of a Canvas quiz for certain students, you can easily do that in New Quizzes. Just click the 3 dots (or TimBits) in the upper, right corner to reveal more options.

option to print new quiz

After selecting the print option, you will be able to choose the preferred text size.

menu to select print size

One other enhancement with New Quizzes is that you can bypass the assignment details screen and get right into building question when you are designing a unit in modules. See below.

option to build a new quiz directly from modules

If you like these enhancements but mostly have Classic Quizzes in your course, you can begin the process of migrating them to New Quizzes with these directions.

New Nightly MiStar/Canvas Grade Auto-Syncing

Steps for setting up grade sync each night

If you would like your Canvas grades to automatically sync with your MiStar gradebook each night, that is now possible with just a few clicks.

  1. Make sure Grade Sync is enabled under Settings/Navigation
Showing grade sync enabled
Students do not have access to this page.

2. Once enabled and saved, you can navigate to the Grade Sync from the Course Navigation menu and toggle the option on.

Steps for setting up grade sync each night

If you need more information about the necessary set up for your Canvas Grades to sync with MiStar, take a look at the resources on the P-CCS Tech website.

 

 

Quick Tip: Create a QR code for any site you open in Chrome

Q

You can now quickly and easily generate a QR code for any site you have open in Chrome. Just click the URL bar (omnibox) and then click the QR code button to the right. Download it, and place it where you want people to scan it!

 

QR code steps

 

 

Google’s .NEW domains make for some great quick access to various sites and services

.New

Since our last blog post about Google’s .New domains, they have since opened registration up to 3rd party developers,  allowing you to quickly jump not only into several Google services just by typing into your browser’s address bar things like docs.new, sheets.new, slides.new, etc. but hundreds of other services etc. In another post our today, we mentioned spark.new. Below are just some of the other shortcuts you might appreciate knowing about — also consider visiting the domain directory to review the comprehensive and growing list:

Updates to Adobe Spark for Education Plan

Adobe Spark

Beginning in late October 2021, the K12 Adobe Spark for Education plan will start to include two additional applications, Adobe Photoshop Express and Adobe Premiere Rush. In or shortly after late October 2021, our users will have access to these applications.

Adobe Photoshop Express enables image editing and collage making and is available on both iOS and Android devices. To learn about this application’s capabilities, system requirements, and device compatibility, please visit the user guide.

Adobe Premiere Rush enables video editing and sharing and is available on both iOS and Android, as well as desktop devices. To learn about this application’s capabilities, system requirements, and device compatibility, please visit the user guide.

As a reminder, simply type spark.new in the Chrome browser and review these steps on how to access Spark for Education. 

And for more ideas on Spark, revisit our last blog post about it HERE.