Highlights from the February Google for Education newsletter

Google Edu Feb 2023
Check out Google for Edu’s latest monthly newsletter HERE. Some highlights are noted below.
Teach Black History with Applied Digital Skills
Looking for an engaging lesson to teach during Black History Month? Our Explore a Topic: Celebrate Black History collection helps students research a topic of their choosing related to Black history and create a project in Docs, Slides, or Sites to demonstrate what they learned.
Safer Internet Day tips from the CEO of ConnectSafely
This Safer Internet Day, we’re sharing tips and best practices for online safety from Larry Magid, CEO of ConnectSafely. He recommends keeping mental health in mind, having conversations with students around the apps they use, and to always keep privacy in mind.
Celebrate Digital Learning Day with Applied Digital Skills
Save the date, Digital Learning Day is March 15, 2023! Join in the fun and encourage students to try new digital tools in their classroom with a lesson from Applied Digital Skills. To get ready for the big day, check out this collection of our most popular lessons amongst educators.
Arts & Culture: Artificial Intelligence
AI More than Human, explains, explores and examines the history, creativity and potential future of artificial intelligence. Discover art works, see videos of experts, take part in AI experiments and learn how AI is trying to save the planet.
Arts & Culture: Beethoven Fun and Games
Two new experiments, Beethoven Beats and Blob Beats, challenge you to play with and discover the work of Beethoven. Tap a rhythm to conjure one of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, or play the Blobs arcade game and score points with musical notes.

Looking for past issues of the Google for Education newsletter? Find them below, and sign up to hear from Google for Education.

2023 Newsletters

Tips: Multi-send, tab management and Screen Pal

Tech Tips

TIP 1 – Gmail’s new multi-send feature allows you to send a bulk email to multiple recipients with some customization (in contrast to simply being bcc’d in a regular email).

1.Open Gmail and click the Compose button.

2. From the compose window, click the double envelope button to switch on multi-send. Read the short description of the feature and click Turn On to continue. When multi-send is enabled, the compose window has a purple header.

3. Add the recipients in the To field. You can type in their email addresses, paste a list of addresses, or use a mailing list from Google Contacts.

4. Enter the subject line and compose your message as you normally would

I suggest removing the unsubscribe link before sending. If you don’t, if a recipient unsubscribe from your emails, you will receive a notification email from Google. Next time you send a mass email, anyone who has unsubscribed from your emails is automatically removed from the recipient list.

When multi-send mode is on, you can insert merge tags like @firstname to personalize your email for each recipient to show their first name when the mail is sent. The merge tags are replaced with the appropriate name for each recipient.

Click Continue when you’re ready to send the email.

5. To send yourself a test email, click Send Preview. Once you’re ready to send the mass email, click Send All.

To switch between regular email and mass-mail modes in Gmail, click the double envelope button from the compose window toolbar.



TIP 2Stop Chrome from refreshing your tabs with this tab management feature that helps keep websites active in the background in Chrome.

If you have a lot of tabs open on a regular basis, you have probably noticed that some of your older tabs have to reload before you can use them again. This happens because of a Chrome feature that “discards” any tabs you haven’t used for some time, in order to save memory and prevent the browser or even your PC or Mac from running slow.


How to keep a website active in the background in Chrome

Follow these steps to keep your background tabs active and avoid refreshing them when you return.

1. Open Chrome settings by typing chrome://settings/ in the address bar or by clicking on the three dots from the top right corner > Settings.

2.  From the left sidebar, click on Performance.

If you want to keep all your tabs active, no matter which site you’re visiting, simply switch off the Memory saver toggle. If you’re looking to protect only certain sites from being made inactive, continue to the next step.

Performance setting

3.Click the Add button that is next to Always keep these sites active.

Add active tabs

4. Type in the websites you want to always keep active, following the below rules.

If you want to keep active:

Entire domains and subdomains: enter only the main domain of a website. For example, google.com prevents the suspension of subdomains like mail.google.com and drive.google.com.

Specific domains, but not any subdomains: include a dot (.) before the main URL. For example, .google.com won’t prevent the deactivation of subdomains such as mail.google.com, and drive.google.com.

Specific subdirectory: include the URL path. For example, www.google.com/finance will prevent the deactivation of all Google Finance pages, but won’t stop the suspension of the www.google.com main pages.

URL host and query components: Asterisks (*) can be used as wildcards. For example, https://* avoids deactivation of all HTTPS sites, while youtube.com/watch?v=* matches and prevents the suspension of YouTube videos.

How to find more information about discarded tabs and stop Chrome from putting a specific tab to sleep

1. Open the Discards panel by typing  chrome://discards/ in the address bar.

Here you can see if the feature has been triggered for any of your currently open tabs.


2. On the left side of the table, you can see the Auto Discardable option. If you want to ensure a specific tab will not be discarded, click on the toggle button to remove the checkmark ✔.

Discards 2

In this example, the first tab has a checkmark, which means Chrome is allowed to discard it, while the second tab has an ❌, which indicates that the tab will remain active no matter what.

It’s important to note that this change only applies to that instance of the tab, not the website domain or the exact URL. Next time you open the same URL in a new tab, the Auto Discardable feature will be set back to ON (✔) by default. Use the instructions from the first part of this tip to always prevent Chrome from putting websites to sleep.



TIP 3 – ScreenPal, a Chrome extension, works inside comment and text boxes, saving steps and time for busy educators. Yes, it works right in Gmail, Docs/Slides comment boxes, Canvas, and pretty much anywhere with a text box. It gets better. A thumbnail or GIF is automatically generated. Here’s Brian Buffington showing you an example.


BrainPop’s March Teacher’s Lounge

BrainPop March 23 lounge

In honor of Women’s History Month, BrainPOP is proud to share the stories of inspirational women in the worlds of art, science, politics, education, and more—from the visionary architect Zaha Hadid to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

In March, they also celebrate Pi Day and springtime! Be sure to explore all of their collections in this issue of the Teachers’ Lounge.Screenshots below show what’s linked in the BrainPop’s March Teacher’s Lounge. Note there is now a multilingual movie player.

As a reminder, all district students, K-12 can access our paid subscription to BrainPop/BrainPop Jr via Clever at https://clever.com/in/pccs

BP 3 1BP 3 2BP 3 3


Canva – the Educator Must have tool!

Canva for Education is a free digital design tool in which students and teachers can create posters, websites, flyers, videos, collaborative whiteboards, documents, lesson plans, infographics, worksheets, and more! Canva works to make the process of design simplified so anyone can create!

As a P-CCS staff member or student you can access your free Canva account through the waffle. Just click on the Canva Icon!

You can also access Canva

  1. Through the Google dashboard at https://workspace.google.com/u/0/dashboard
  2. Sign in with Google on Canva’s website at https://www.canva.com/


Want to learn more about using Canva?

Matt Smoot, PCCS technology integration specialist, has designed 2 asynchronous Professional Developments in Canvas Catalog

Kasey Bell – Shake Up Learning – has a few blog posts (or podcast episodes if you prefer to listen!) about it too


Still want more? Put in a tech request for technology integration and Matt Smoot or Shannon Way are happy to help!

Read and Write Extension Update fixes Canvas Formatting Issue

Last week a blog post was sent out with information on the Read & Write extension tool causing formatting issues with Canvas. Texthelp(Read & Write) has released a hotfix to the chrome extension which fixes the formatting issue.

If you are still experiencing this formatting issue, we ask you attempt the following:

  1. Please restart your computer. By restarting the computer and reopening Chrome, the system will attempt to auto update the chrome extension. Please wait a couple of minutes before checking Canvas to see if formatting has been fixed.
  2. If Canvas still shows a formatting issue, you will need to force an update with the Read and Write extension.

This link will take you to a slide presentation that has step-by-step instructions to uninstall the chrome extension and reinstall


Please submit a tech ticket if you continue to have issues, or need assistance with the above instructions

Reminders for Semester 2/ Quarter 3 Canvas Courses

Publishing Canvas Courses

As a reminder, please publish your Semester 2/ Quarter 3 courses in Canvas.

  • Students only have access to Published courses.  If a course is Unpublished they will not see it on their dashboard. Please note that you if you publish a course you cannot unpublish a course after you have assigned something to a student.
  • Reminder: It is a contractual obligation to have your course published and an absent support page available to students/families.

Reminder: Customizing Your Canvas Dashboard

As the new semester has begun, some courses may look like they’re not on canvas, when really they’re just not on the Dashboard. Students and staff can all customize the dashboard to show only the courses they wish to see. To customize the teacher or student dashboard to show certain courses please see the graphic below:




Canvas Displaying Incorrectly? – Read for a Temporary Fix

Issue reported: Canvas displaying incorrectly!



If you’ve logged into Canvas and noticed an odd looking menu, extra spacing that shouldn’t be there, text not displaying correctly, you’re not alone. This issue is occurring due to a recent update to the Read and Write Extension from Google. Canvas and Google are working on fixing this glitch, but there is not yet a timeline on a fix.

Temporarily, to avoid display issues in Canvas, we recommend these options:

  • Staff can use the Microsoft Edge Browser instead of Chrome. When using Edge, there should be no display issues. If on a Mac, using Safari also presents no display issues.
  • Staff and students can turn off the Google Read and Write Extension when it is not needed.

How to turn off the Google Read and Write Extension: 

  1. Click on the 3 dots on the upper right of your chrome browser
  2. Select More Tools > Extensions
  3. Locate the ReadWrite extension
  4. Turn off the extension
  5. Refresh your page
  6. If you later need it, you can retrace your steps and re-enable it.

What’s new on IXL – January 2023

IXL New features

IXL has compiled a list of their top new features to help you students and staff get the most out of IXL.

Keep reading below for a roundup of releases from the past month, including video tutorials for English language arts skills, mobile support for IXL games, iPhone app support for the Real-Time Diagnostic, and more! To stay current with our latest updates, follow IXL on FacebookInstagramTwitterLinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Table of contents

Major releases

English language arts video tutorials

Lights, camera, action: English language arts video tutorials have arrived! IXL now has videos for nearly half of our pre-kindergarten and kindergarten Reading Foundations skills. These tutorials help students learn how to read in a fun, engaging, and effective way. They provide research-based direct instruction for early literacy skills like phonemic awareness, phonics, and sight words, and they align with the science of reading.

Like IXL’s math video tutorials, these videos can be accessed from the practice page of their associated skills by clicking the “Watch a tutorial” link. Check out a few examples below:

We will continue to release more pre-K and kindergarten videos in the coming months.

IXL ELA video tutorials

View Grades and Submissions for ‘Concluded’ Students in Canvas(Repost from January 2021)

This post is for teachers who do not “see” some of their students in Canvas because those students’ enrollments have ‘concluded’. Enrollments are concluded, for example, as students move from one school track to another (e.g. between Virtual and Safe Start schools). If you are unable to “see” some students, there are three areas in Canvas (via Grade or People in the Course Navigation Menu or via User Details) to do so. We recommend using the Grades option described below.

Option 1: Grades (in the Course Navigation Menu)

For concluded student enrollments, all content in the Gradebook is read only and cannot be changed. You will need to input any grades into MISTAR manually that weren’t already moved via grade passback when the student was still active.

To see the grades of students who have concluded their enrollment in your Canvas course, do the following:

Open Grades



view concluded

HINT: Be sure to drag the right side dividing line of the Student Name column so that you can see both the entire student name AND the label “concluded”.

The above guidance is from: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Instructor-Guide/How-do-I-view-grades-for-inactive-or-concluded-student/ta-p/753

Option 2: People (in the Navigation Menu)

As with the Gradebook, individual grades can also be viewed through this approach.


prior enrollments

prior enrollments more


Option 3: User Details

As with active students, you can review grades and other details of your concluded users. Please see https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Instructor-Guide/How-do-I-view-user-details-for-an-enrollment-in-a-course/ta-p/1216 for elaboration.