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.



ChatGPT: AI technology specializes in dialogue and generates original responses to questions in moments

ChatGPT by OpenAI (link blocked on our network) was recently released and has taken social media by storm. ChatGPT is a technology that is powered by AI (Artificial Intelligence).

What is unique about this technology is the AI can answer a multitude of questions with original responses that cannot be checked by modern plagiarism checkers. The writing is so advanced that these platforms (such as Google’s Originality Reports and Turnitin) see it as original work. There are springing up detectors such as this one that can be used to analyze and rate on a scale how likely a block of text was AI-generated, but they are far from 100% accurate.

See for example this article and look at the example below gathered from this article:

Technology disrupting the education field is nothing new. When the PhotoMath app – Video, came out a couple of years ago, it too made an impact. The fact that a student could simply take a picture of a math problem and the app could not only give an immediate answer, but then show the steps it takes to solve the problem, caused consternation.

Below are some tips and tricks that we recommend to teachers to help address possible concerns with usage:

  1. Utilize a blended learning/flipped model: Canvas can offer a multitude of options and solutions. Upload lessons, screencasts, teachings, using the Canvas platform, and have students view these outside of school. So, then when you are meeting in person, they can write during class time, complete math work, have meaningful discussion about what was learned.
  2. Google Assignments: In Canvas, teachers can assign work with Google Assignments. Which allows the teacher to share a template/file with the student. In doing so, the teacher has immediate access through Google Drive to that assignment. So the teacher can “check-in” on the assignment throughout the writing process. Here is a previous blog post put out by the TIS team.
  3. Version History in Google Docs/Sheets/Slides: With google docs auto saving technology, the docs are saved every 3 seconds. Because of this the version history of docs can be extremely helpful. If a large portion of the writing appears, more than likely this was block copied. For help with version history click here: You may also want to use the Google docs’ add-on Draftback to playback the composing of a document so you can see the timing as well.
  4. AI detector software: Since GPT has come out, different programs have been created to help detect AI generated Text. The program that seems to identify the most, has been GPT-2 Output Detector. Simply copy and paste the text into this website, and it will tell the user if text was created using AI software.
  5. Other detectors include:, , or
  6. Frame different questions, in some cases seeking subjective responses (so for example, “explain your opinion on ___ with evidence that informed your opinion”).
  7. NEWLY ADDED RESOURCES to further explore AI
    1. check out CommonSense’s posting on ChatGPT at
    2. check out the AI Education Project at

While the district has blocked ChatGPT on its network (due to terms of service issues as well as for security and academic concerns), this tool still can be accessed at home or on cell phones by students.

We hope that the ideas above help you and support you with understanding and leveraging this new technology and how to continue to support your students when new technology appears.

As always, reach out to curriculum and instruction team for additional ideas and best instructional practices for the classroom. Also, reach out to a member of the TIS team for additional ideas and support around educational technology, and how to utilize technology in the classroom.

LATEST TOS have now been updated to allow for service use by those between 13 and 18, but parental/guardian permission is still required:

Terms of service age clause


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 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,

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.

  • 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.


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.

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:

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

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


EdPuzzle Design Time (for secondary teachers)

flyer for edpuzzle design time

EdPuzzle is introducing a design time for teachers in grades 6-12. This month they will demonstrate (15 minutes) the Live Mode feature and then allow for 30 minutes of design time with personalized support from members of their School Success Team.

With Edpuzzle’s Live Mode feature, you can project your video live in front of the whole class while students answer in real-time on their own devices!

Why might you use Live Mode?

  • If you want to assign Edpuzzle videos for students to do independently, you can model how to interact with an Edpuzzle as a whole class
  • Use it for a read-aloud and circulate the room as students answer comprehension questions
  • Experience a poetry reading and allow students to analyze and make predictions
  • Go on a virtual field trip using 360 video
  • Review an Edpuzzle video students had for homework
  • Showcase final projects from students and allow students to give peer feedback
  • Observe a science experiment to practice making predictions and evaluating the results

Design Time will be on Wednesday, November 9

Google Login in for MiStar Coming Soon!

coming soon

Beginning on November 8, 2022 staff will have the option to log into their MiStar accounts by clicking and signing in with their district Google accounts. Since we now have two-factor authentication for Google account access,  using this log in option will not trigger an emailed log in code that needs to be retrieved and entered.

Feel free to give this login option a try on November 8th when you are not in front of students to see how it operates. See the screenshot below for what it will look like. Clicking the Local Login link will render the familiar login option we have been using.

image of google login to mistar

close up

Please note, if and when you are going to be logging into MISTAR on a mobile device, you will either want to use the Local Login option to enter your familiar User Id/Name and password (what you had entered prior to November 8th) and retrieve/enter the emailed code OR choose to open MISTAR on the desktop site view so you can select the Sign in with Google option.