One of the benefits of Chromebooks the Chrome browser is that they automatically update their software to the latest version, freeing up IT staff time to work on other issues. We recently learned, however, that a handful of ICCSD Chromebooks were stuck on Chrome OS Version 61, which was preventing certain Chrome Apps – like Lexia – from loading.
At any time, students and teachers can manually check for software updates on a district-issued Chromebook or in the Chrome browser on a Windows or Mac computer. This can be an easy first step when an application is not loading or isn’t behaving as expected. In order to check for a software update, follow the appropriate set of instructions below; the first set shows how to update a Chromebook, and the second shows how to update the Chrome browser.
We’ve received a number of support requests from individuals (students and teachers) who are missing courses in Canvas. In the vast majority of cases, the Canvas enrollments are correct, but the user dashboard is customized such that the courses don’t appear when the user logs in. Check out the steps (and video) below that show you how to customize which courses appear on your dashboard.
Interactive Projector Videos: these video-walkthroughs show you how to use common interactive projector functions, and how to connect wirelessly to a projector.
Classroom Technology Resources: these step-by-step guides will show you how to identify and use features of our classroom technology suite, including the new suite and the SMART Board/hub computer configuration.
Internet access within the Iowa City Community School District was interrupted this Sunday morning, August 26th, when Iowa Communications Network (ICN) engineers accidentally cut a district fiber optic connection in Tiffin, IA.
The cut has been repaired and service restored as of Sunday, August 26th at 2:15 PM. We will continue to monitor connectivity for issues going forward, but do not anticipate additional service interruptions.
We were notified today (see below) that Canvas has identified an issue – based upon ICCSD’s submission of the problem – with imports of assignment categories into Canvas from PowerSchool. While imports are working for some teachers, they are not working for others.
Canvas Support has sent us an update to apply which they believe will solve this issue. If you have had troubles importing assignment categories over the past few days, please try again after the update has been applied. We’ll update this post as soon as we’ve been able to implement this fix.
From all of us in the Technology & Innovation Office, welcome (back) to school! While we haven’t had the seismic technology shifts this summer that we may have had last summer in many buildings, read on to learn about the new and ongoing technology initiatives underway in the district.
While I try to avoid getting too technical or specific in these blog posts, I’ve received enough questions on this topic in the past few days to think that it warrants its own mention. The issue is this: whereas our high schools and junior highs have 7 or 8 periods, PowerSchool has as many as 14 periods, depending on the building. When Canvas synchronizes section names from PowerSchool, it uses the PowerSchool period numbers, meaning that the periods shown in Canvas don’t necessarily match the actual period of the day. This results in section names that seem to indicate period numbers that don’t even exist, such as this section at North Central JH – an 8-period school – that appears to take place during period 14:
A couple of weeks ago I was presenting to a group of teachers, one of whom asked a question that I realized wasn’t addressed in a related how-to guide. During the ensuing break, I decided to work on revising the how-to guide, a process that included taking a couple of screenshots, much like this one (below).
Several of the teachers who were watching me develop this guide were in awe of the tool that I used to create my screenshots, the Snipping Tool. One of the hidden secrets in Windows, the Snipping Tool is one of the utilities that I use on an almost-daily basis. Whether I’m creating a how-to guide, developing a presentation that includes examples, reporting a software error, sharing a Google Map, or capturing a website, the Snipping Tool is my go-to.
One of the sets of guides we’ve prepared focuses on teachers’ use of Canvas. Check out this resource here, where you’ll find walkthroughs focusing on basic Canvas use, course-building, grading, assignments, and more.
In addition to the district-created guides linked above, parents wanting to make use of the Canvas Parent app should check out the guides available for iOS and Android.
Did you know that the Iowa City CSD has a site license for Screencastify, a Chrome plugin that allows you to record your entire screen (not just Chrome)? For teachers thinking about flipping a lesson, staff members providing a walkthrough of an on-screen process, or a student recording a presentation, screen recording software can be of great value.
The Screencastify plugin allows ICCSD teachers, staff, and students to record an unlimited number of videos, each of unlimited length, which can then be uploaded to YouTube, shared via Google Drive, or downloaded as an mp4 file or animated GIF. In order to use the ICCSD site license, you just need to authenticate with your @iowacityschools.org or @icstudents.org Google account.