Access to Google Drive Cloud Assignment service to be “hidden”, effective August 1st

In two of last October’s P-CCS Technology Newsletters (10/07/2020 and 10/21/2020), the technology department had blog posts about the Google Drive Cloud Assignment service (Google Drive Cloud Assignment Going Away in Canvas and Google Assignment Clarification Post). As we shared in those blog posts, the GDCA service is an older service of Canvas’s Google Integration and its technical support and development were effectively being curtailed by Canvas. Canvas’ advice to our district at the time has not changed, if anything, it has grown more insistent — wean users from any reliance on the GDCA service, and for those looking for Google integration continue to direct them to only use our newer, supported service, Google Assignment (associated with Google’s updated assignment creation/management tool).

On August 1, 2021, as we noted last October, we will be hiding access to the service; by hiding access to the service instead of removing it altogether, while teachers will no longer be able to create new Google Drive Cloud assignments, they will still be able to open previously created Drive Cloud assignments in Canvas, both to review them and, when interested, to convert them into Google Assignments.

For information and help on how to convert a GDCA to a Google Assignment, check out the video below:

For more information on Google Assignments, please click here.

Some Updates Coming to Google Workspace for Education

Workspace changes

Google regularly updates/changes their Workspace apps. To follow their launched release changes, visit HERE. To check out details on planned release changes, visit HERE. In no particular order, some recently launched or expected release changes to note include:

File / Video Security Updates

  • Some shared files in your Google Drive will require using a URL that contains a resource key. This security update is being applied to some files in Google Drive to make sharing links more secure. This change will impact users who haven’t previously viewed a file that you’re sharing. As an end-user, this shouldn’t change anything for you other than the link that you initially share if you use the “anyone with the link” option to share a file. This change will be implemented beginning July 26th with full enforcement on and after September 13, 2021.
  • Videos in your YouTube account that were uploaded prior to January 1, 2017 and were marked as “unlisted” will be changed to “private” on July 23rd. You can revert them back to “unlisted” after the 23rd. Read more about this change here. This update doesn’t affect videos uploaded after January 1, 2017.
Google Forms
  • Twenty new font choices are being added to Google Forms.
  • The settings menu is going to be revamped to “simplify” the application of settings.
Google Docs
  • Improved revision history – To see who added or modified a portion of your document, simply highlight the text, right click and select “see editors.” This is so much quicker and easier than digging through revision history!  Show editors
  • Create interactive checklists in Google Docs. There’s a new checkbox option that you can add in place of bullet points in Google Docs. This is available now. See screenshot below for an example.  See this support page as well. Soon we will be able to assign checklist action items to other people and these action items will show up in their Google Tasks (as a reminder, browse to and login with your Google account. This is a full screen view of your Google Tasks.)
Google checklist
  • Google introduced the idea of a “smart chip” to demonstrate that Docs is more than just a page of text. Smart chips allow you to link to files, people, and events in your document. Just type the @ symbol and tag a person, file, or calendar event.
  • Coming soon…Pageless documents – Unless you are planning to print a document, there is no reason to limit yourself to 8.5×11. Google Docs now supports a “pageless” view that will automatically reflow text to fit the size of the screen you are using. If you do need to print, you can always switch back to the traditional view.

    Emoji reactions in Docs – Starting this fall you will be able to add emoji reactions to portions of a document, a quick way to provide feedback without the need to leave a full comment.

Safer learning with Google for Education

  • Google is launching a new, age-based setting to control their app experience for users. See this support page for more detail.
    • After September 1, 2021, students who are under 18 will see changes in their experience across Google products.  For example, after September 1, students designated as under 18 in K-12 domains can view YouTube content assigned by teachers, but they won’t be able to post videos, comment or live stream using their school Google account.
    • After September 1, 2021, students who are under 18 will see changes in their experience when signed into Chrome.  For example, after September 1, to ensure a safer web browsing experience for K-12 institutions, SafeSearch and SafeSites will be on by default, and Guest Mode and Incognito Mode will be off by default.

Locating Your 2020-21 School Year Canvas Courses

Image of selecting course content to copy

When you next login to Canvas, you may be looking for your courses from last year (the recently ended 2020-21 school year). To find them click on the Courses button on the Global Navigation menu and then “All Courses” to arrive at At the bottom of that page you will find “Past Enrollments.”

Visual of buttons needed to access courses

The courses in “Past Enrollments” are view only, including the copies you made per our directions in another blog post. In order to edit your course and start making updates for the 21-22 school year, you need create a new course and copy last year’s content into it.


Two ways to create a course

Give your course a name and then import existing content into the course.


Giving the course a name


Import existing content


Image of selecting course content to copyTo watch these steps in video format:

Please reach out to a Technology Integration Specialist if you need assistance.

to ensure greater security, SMARTweb to require multi-factor authentication


In an effort to make more secure the SMART web interface where staff go to view payroll information and perform business functions, the system will require multi-factor authentication starting July 1, 2021. The initial piece of information staff will be asked for is their email address, and after providing it, staff will need to retrieve an access code they are then emailed to continue to log into SMART. For more about this change, visit this explanation page.


SMART MFA details

2021 JULY REMC Free Virtual Courses with 10 free SCECHs // New Web series offering too

REMC courses

VIRTUAL COURSES, The REMC Virtual Courses offer an easy, convenient way for teachers to connect and collaborate during the summer from the convenience of their home. The Virtual Courses are free, offer free 10 SCECHs when completed, and are open to all Michigan school personnel. There are no registration or SCECH fees because REMC SAVE’s vendor partners provide support for all REMC professional learning opportunities.

Register by Friday July 2nd – Classes Begin July 5th

If you have questions or need further assistance with your course registration, please contact Erin Rommeck, REMC Event Coordinator.


Each offering includes a robust toolkit of resources to support teacher planning and student learning. Participants may choose to attend one or more of the seven sessions. To earn SCECHs, participants must attend the live webinar and complete the assigned task following the webinar. Two (2) SCECHs per session.

Blended Learning Sessions:

Teaching Strategies for Virtual and Blended Learning Environments: Introduction

Session details and dates available:


Teaching Strategies for Virtual and Blended Learning: Help Students Demonstrate Mathematical Thinking K-2 

Session details and dates available:


Teaching Strategies for Virtual and Blended Learning: Help Students Demonstrate Mathematical Thinking 3-6

Session details and dates available:


Teaching Strategies for Virtual and Blended Learning: Help Students Demonstrate Mathematical Thinking 7-12

Session details and dates available:


Teaching Strategies for Virtual and Blended Learning Language Arts: Growing Early Literacy Learners K-2

Session details and dates available:


Teaching Strategies for Virtual and Blended Learning Language Arts: Growing Literacy Learners 3-5

Session details and dates available:


Teaching Strategies for Virtual and Blended Learning Language Arts: Growing Literacy Learners 6-12

Session details and dates available:


from this newsletter

iOS and GMail app

IOS Gmail update

For those that have an iPhone and use the Gmail app — IOS users must upgrade to the latest version for Gmail iOS app versions 6.0.210221 and 6.0.210222 before July 7, 2021 to avoid interruption. Google discovered an issue with two Google Gmail iOS app versions that could result in a disruption of functionality to users’ service. This is a proactive upgrade required to avoid the application from hanging, crashing, and going into unusual application states that may cause an interruption.

What do I need to do?

On July 7, 2021, IOS users will receive a prompt requiring them to upgrade to the latest version if they have the GMAIL app. If they don’t accept the latest version, they’ll experience an interruption in service until the upgrade is performed.

  • Download the latest version of the Gmail iOS app from the Apple App Store before July 7.

Network / MISTAR/ SMART outage July 2-4

Wayne RESA will be conducting disaster recovery systems testing during the Independence Day holiday break from Friday July 2nd (6 PM) through Sunday July 4th. This testing is critical to ensure that RESA will be able to continue to provide our districts with full services should a disaster-level event happen. Districts [including ours] should expect RESA service/system unavailability during this test. This includes SMART, MISTAR (and Parent Connection and Student Connection), Illuminate DnA and PolyPlot. Additionally, NO INTERNET service will be available within the district during this time period

Second Notice: End of the Year Tech Checklist

As you make plans to close up your classroom for the summer (and a well deserved break), please take care of the following items:

  1. Copy your Canvas courses so you don’t lose any content!
  2. Please comply with the directions of your principal and main office to turn in or secure all classroom technology equipment such as document cameras, microphones, interactive pens, and remotes. 
  3. Please also secure or take home all District-assigned devices (laptop, Chromebook, iPad, etc.), as well as all personally-owned devices..
    • If you are leaving the District, complete this form.
  4. Power off projectors/IFPs, sound amps, and desktop computers.
    • You may leave printer and copiers plugged in and powered on
  5. Follow the care suggestions for classroom audio

Virtual Academy Teachers: Please return monitors and other borrowed equipment, such as document cameras to the Board Office. You may drop off during these hours:

  • Through June 11: 1:30-3:00 pm each day
  • Week of June 14: Monday through Thursday, 9:00-11:00 am and 1:00-3:00 pm
  • No drop off availability June 18-July 5

Thanks for your cooperation!