Category Archives: How-To Guides

Canvas – Trimester Change

As we learn during our first year Canvas implementation, I have some notes to share regarding teachers’ and students’ access to last trimester’s Canvas courses and data.  

Accessing Previous Grades – Teachers

If you log in to your T1 Canvas courses this morning, you will find that the “Grades” page appears to be empty.  In order to view and work with T1 grades, you will need to click the gear icon in the top right, and then choose “Show Concluded Enrollments”. 

Continue reading Canvas – Trimester Change

Extending Gmail with Google Labs

Gmail offers a number of features that allow you to customize your experience, and I’ve blogged about some of those already – such as adding a preview pane (like Outlook) and creating rules to filter incoming messages – but I haven’t yet written about the wonder that is (are?) Gmail Labs.  

What are Gmail Labs? 

Have you ever wanted to be able to automate replies that you send on a regular basis?  Automatically filter out bulk emails?  Add your calendar to your Gmail interface?  These and many more features are available within Gmail Labs, and can be enabled for any ICCSD account.   Continue reading Extending Gmail with Google Labs

Canvas at the End of the Trimester

I previously posted regarding the dates at which courses will no longer be available to students and teachers; in a nutshell, Trimester 1 courses will be available until June 30th, 2018.  Here is a more comprehensive guide for teachers as the end of the first trimester approaches.   Continue reading Canvas at the End of the Trimester

Q: What happens to Canvas courses at the end of the first trimester?

While I’m amazed that we’re already nearing the turn of the calendar to second trimester, I received a question today that reminded me that I needed to get some information to ICCSD teachers and students regarding what to expect.  Specifically, what happens to Canvas courses at the end of the first Trimester?

A: All teachers and students will continue to have access to Tri 1 courses – whether they are yearlong courses or single-trimester courses – until midnight on June 30th, 2018.  This will allow teachers to work on grading, students to reference previously-submitted work and materials, and so forth.  

Since the courses will no longer be current, their status will change to “Past Enrollment” and won’t appear – by default – on students’ and teachers’ dashboards.  Instead, users will need to click the “Courses” button on the left side of Canvas, and then “All Courses” to show both past and current enrollments.  This area will also show teachers their future courses.  

If you’ve read about Canvas, you may be aware that this is not the default behavior; we modified the access end dates to ensure that students and teachers can seamlessly use and reference previous course content until the end of the year.  

Maximizing Internet/Network Performance

While we’ve taken many steps to expand our network access and performance over the past few months, the reality is that all networks face hard limits in terms of the amount of data that can be moved at once.  

In order to ensure that teachers and students are able to maximize internet and network performance, here are a few useful tips: Continue reading Maximizing Internet/Network Performance

Setting Up the Canvas Parent Portal App

The Canvas Parent Portal App (available on iOS and Android) allows parents to follow their child(ren)’s Canvas courses.  In order to get started, check out the video and/or written instructions below. 

Continue reading Setting Up the Canvas Parent Portal App

How-To: Enable or Disable Presenter View in PowerPoint

With new computers and wireless projection throughout the district, we have more staff who are interested in concepts such as extending your display so that your projector shows different content than your laptop screen.  A more specific request that has come up a handful of times has been how to disable presenter view in PowerPoint, which makes use of both screens when using it in extended display mode.  

You can enable or disable presenter view by clicking on the “Slide Show” tab in PowerPoint, and then toggling the “Use Presenter View” checkbox (see below).  With presenter view off, your computer will show you the same content that is on the projector while presenting with PowerPoint with mirrored displays, and will default to the presentation appearing on your projector only when using extended desktop.  

Canvas: Manually Adding Users to Canvas Courses

Teachers should be able to add anybody with an ICCSD Google account (including paraeducators) to their courses following the process outlined here

Continue reading Canvas: Manually Adding Users to Canvas Courses

Wireless Projection and Extending Your Display

One of the features of our upgraded classroom suites in the Iowa City Schools is the ability to connect teacher laptops to the room’s projector wirelessly, providing wireless video projection as well as wireless control of the projector’s interactive functionality.  The video and instructions below walk through the processes of connecting wirelessly to a projector, turning on interactive functionality, and choosing whether to duplicate your laptop screen (the same thing appears on the laptop and the projector) or extend your laptop screen (so you can have different things on the respective displays).  

Continue reading Wireless Projection and Extending Your Display

ICCSD Launches Virtual Application Service

To support our secondary 1:1 Chromebook initiative, the Iowa City Schools have launched our Citrix virtual application service, which allows students and teachers to run Windows software on a Chromebook.  

For detailed information, check out our Virtual Applications page, and for instructions for accessing the system at https://apps.iowacityschools.org, check out the video below: