Reminder: Students must now Install Grammarly

What is Grammarly? 
Grammarly is a Chrome browser extension that reviews spelling, grammar, punctuation, clarity, engagement, and delivery mistakes in English texts. It detects plagiarism and suggests replacements for the identified errors. It also allows users to customize their style, tone, and context-specific language.
Why do students now have to install it Manually? 
Previously the district was able to force install this extension for students to allow ease of access. However, it was interfering with spell check in Google docs causing issues for staff and students. Now, when students install Grammarly manually they can toggle the extension on or off so it will no longer interfere with Google docs’ internal spell check features.
How to Download the Grammarly Browser Extension

Below is a direct link to where the Grammarly extension can be installed.

Grammarly Chrome Extension from Chrome Webstore

How to Turn off the Grammarly browser extension
  1. Right-click the Grammarly icon in your browser’s toolbar.
  2. Select Manage Extensions from the dropdown menu:
  3. To turn off the extension, toggle off the blue switch next to Grammarly.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the technology department by submitting a service ticket.

Be a part of the Celebration – Crayola Creativity Week!

What is it? 

Kids are naturally curious. They ask why and how? They imagine. They create. When kids create, they solve problems and think up new solutions. Young creatives need to be nurtured, so that their originality shines. So their ideas can take shape and become real. When we celebrate their innate creative mindsets, children view the world with wonder. They embrace innovative thinking. They create possibilities. Join Crayola Creativity Week, and help children create the future.

Check out the full calendar of events here!

When is it? 

January 23-29, 2023

How can I be a part of it?

Sign up here!

  • Free Creative Learning Resources! Everyone who signs up will get FREE video activities and downloadable Thinking Sheets.* And the best part? It isn’t limited to just 7 days. Every educator will have free access to digital resources for cross-curricular creative learning fun all year long!
  • Giveaways! With giveaways, challenges from celebrity creators, and virtual classroom visits, it’s a celebration the whole school will want to be a part of!
  • Create Connections! Share students’ ideas, projects, and work in a secure online gallery, and connect with creative classrooms around the country during the live Celebration Assembly event.
  • Standards Aligned! Click here to see why YOUR school should join the fun!

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Closing Down Technology For Break!

Tech break checklist

Happy holidays all!

For those of you about to begin a well deserved two week winter break, which we hope will be all you hope for and a bit more, on THURSDAY before you leave (and possibly, if need be, again on Friday)….

WOULD YOU PLEASE SECURE ALL VALUABLES in the classrooms and office spaces you inhabit. This includes laptops, document cameras, Apple TVs, remotes, and interactive pens.

Further, would you please make sure all iPads and ChromeBooks are in their carts and those CARTS ARE LOCKED and plugged in before leaving.

Finally, would you please also POWER OFF any of the following equipment, if it is equipment you handle:

  • projectors
  • sound amps
  • SmartBoards
  • desktop computers
  • monitors
  • printers

THANK YOU for your cooperation.

Tech break checklist

Grammarly Extension Will No Longer Be Force Installed Starting January 16, 2023

Grammarly is a Chrome browser extension that reviews spelling, grammar, punctuation, clarity, engagement, and delivery mistakes in English texts. It detects plagiarism and suggests replacements for the identified errors. It also allows users to customize their style, tone, and context-specific language.

The Grammarly Chrome extension has been force installed on student Google accounts for the past several years, however, it recently started creating an issue with the built-in spell check feature in Google Docs. Its interference with Google’s native spell checker means that when students or staff are using Google Docs and words are misspelled, these mispellings aren’t identified with a red underline. While Google’s spell checker can still be used, the lack of underlining requires you to launch it by depressing Ctrl+Alt+X and using the arrow keys to cycle through words of concern.

To address this issue, the district will no longer force install the Grammarly Chrome extension on student accounts starting Monday, January 16, 2023. (Staff will not be impacted by this change since the Grammarly extension is not force installed on their accounts.) Unfortunately, when Chrome extensions are no longer force installed, they are automatically removed from the impacted accounts. If students would still like to use the Grammarly extension after it is removed, they must manually install it from the Chrome Webstore. Below is a direct link to where the Grammarly extension can be installed.

Grammarly Chrome Extension from Chrome Webstore

After the extension has been reinstalled, users will be able to use it as they have in the past, but also will be able to disable it when desired, such as when using Google Docs.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the technology department by submitting a service ticket.

Some sources for Video Clips Accessible in district

Many teachers like to use video clips to help engage students with their content.

Below are some websites built for teachers that offer usable classroom clips.

Classhook: Search for clips from popular movies and TV shows by grade level and clip length. Or browse by subject to find something to fit your needs. Their free plan includes up to 20 ad-free clips per month with an embedded question as well as access to discussion starter templates.

The Kids Should See This: Self-described as “smart videos for curious minds of all ages.”

The Literacy Shed: This site has video clips and lesson ideas, including many of the Disney shorts.

Of course, don’t forget the district-provided video content resources like BrainPOP (accessed via Clever) and EdPuzzle (6-12).

Finally, on the TED-Ed lessons website you can sort TED-Ed lessons by grade level by going to the TED-Ed lessons page then looking about half-way down the page on the right-hand side to find “filter by” and “sort by” settings. In the “filter by” drop-down menu you can choose elementary school, middle school, high school, or university. You can combine grade level sorting with sorting to find the oldest, newest, most watched, and least watched TED-Ed lessons.

See also this post from last spring for more online resources offering video clips.

 

 

Blocked Websites

Lately, we have received a few tickets about blocked websites. Please keep in mind that certain websites may not be blocked for teachers, yet are blocked for students. As far in advance as possible before starting a lesson with students that involves an online activity, please confirm that a student can successfully get to the website and the activities you hope to use with them on the site. If the site/video/activity is blocked you can submit a tech ticket to request that it be unblocked. Keep in mind that we have different access permissions set at our three grade levels – elementary, middle and high – and you should confirm with an account of the same level as your expected lesson audience. So for example, if you teach middle school students, but have an elementary student at home, testing a site on their account may not be an accurate picture of access for your middle schoolers.

Related Notes:

  • Some YouTube videos must be approved before students will be able to view them (see this blog post on how to approve)
  • Google Sites from domains other than P-CCSk12.com are blocked for elementary students. If you submit a ticket well in advance, the tech department may be able to get a copy of the site to place in our own domain, provided it is not a Google site of a personal Gmail account.

Happy Thanksgiving and a Housekeeping Request

Happy Thanksgiving

We hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving break! Before you leave Tuesday afternoon…

WOULD YOU PLEASE SECURE ALL VALUABLES in the classrooms and office spaces you inhabit. This includes laptops, document cameras, Apple TVs, remotes, and interactive pens.

Further, if it is equipment you handle, would you please make sure all iPads and Chromebooks are in their carts and those CARTS ARE LOCKED and plugged in before leaving.

Finally, would you please also POWER OFF any of the following equipment, if it is equipment you handle:

  • projectors
  • sound amps
  • SmartBoards
  • desktop computers
  • monitors
  • printers

THANK YOU for your cooperation.

Tech break checklist

Need Canvas Help?

image of Canvas help menu

Canvas is an important learning tool in our district. We hope that you continue to find it a valuable teaching and communication tool. If you are new to the district or have questions come up about it, we want you to be aware of several resources that are available to you.

First, click the “Help” icon on the Global Navigation Menu. For general and common questions try searching the Canvas guides. If your problem or question is unique and specific to your situation you can chat online or call the Canvas Support hotline. You can be connected with a support agent that can help you almost immediately.

image of Canvas help menu

If you would like to slowly browse resources, please check out our resources at the P-CCS Tech website, https://tech.pccsk12.com/canvas-lms/

If you are instructional staff working on meeting your PD expectations, please note we have a number of courses including the following listed below (all of them are 3 hours) that can help increase your understanding of how to use Canvas effectively available for you in the Catalog. https://catalog.pccsk12.com/

  • Canvas 1.0 (new)
  • Canvas 2.0
  • Canvas 3.0
  • Canvas in the Face to Face Classroom
  • Simplify and Streamline your Elementary Classroom with Canvas (new)

As always, please submit a tech ticket if you have any questions. https://links.pccsk12.com/helpdesk

 

Gamify with Canvas and Ditch Summit

Many teachers have heard of break-out style lessons that build problem-solving and collaboration skills in students. They may be used more often to help engage students as holiday breaks inch closer. Did you know you can create your own digital break-outs with a Canvas module? You can go beyond a one time game and gamify an entire unit with a storyline. Check out the guest blog post on Ditch that Textbook for more information. https://ditchthattextbook.com/gamify-canvas-lms/

While you are there, you might consider signing up for the annual, free Ditch Summit.

In this online “summit” there are nine video presentations from awesome presenters on topics related to tech and solid teaching and learning. Including previous years’ sessions, you’ll have access to more than 80 video presentations!

This year, it’s scheduled for December 12, 2022, to January 6, 2023.

Get registered for free at: DitchSummit.com.

HOW IT WORKS: New presentations are released every day. They remain available until the end of the summit so you can re-watch or catch up on any you’ve missed. They’re pre-recorded, so you can watch them whenever you want until the summit closes. After that, the summit ends and the videos are unavailable to watch anymore.

Sign up for the digital summit at DitchSummit.com.

This year’s speakers include:
Ken Shelton, education leader and techquity advocate
Cornelius Minor, author and consultant, The Minor Collective
Jed Dearybury and Julie Jones, authors and playful learning advocates
Holly Clark, author, speaker, and blended learning expert
Amanda Sandoval, history and EL teacher
Hedreich Nichols, consultant and award-winning educator
Mandy Froelich, educator mental health change agent
Al Thomas, educator, filmmaker, photographer, YouTuber
Michele Eaton, online academy director, author, speaker