Category Archives: How-To Guides

ICCSD Tech Support

Hours: 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday

Submit a Support Request Online

Email Support: helpdesk@iowacityschools.org

Chat: Use the chat option available in the bottom right corner of this page during business hours.

Phone: x4357 (on-campus only)

Securing Your Account with a Passphrase

Password ImageIt is often said that data and networks are far less vulnerable to sophisticated technological attack than they are to human mistakes.  This is borne out time and again with news of large-scale hacks that were made possible not by expansive, high-tech eavesdropping operations, but instead by individuals who were tricked into giving up a password over email, passwords that were written down, or passwords that are so simple as to be cracked in seconds.  

Indeed, the use of difficult-to-remember passwords – and the steps that people take to keep track of them – is one of the key ways that attackers compromise a system.  In order to protect yourself and any organizations – including the Iowa City Community School District – whose systems you have access to, one easy solution is to switch from passwords to passphrases.  Continue reading Securing Your Account with a Passphrase

Gmail Sending Limits

As we enter student registration and summer programming signup season, we’ve received inquiries from a number of District staff members regarding Gmail sending limits. While most users of the District’s email system would never run into these limits, it’s important that staff members who are regularly communicating with large numbers of individuals be aware of the following limits:

Continue reading Gmail Sending Limits

Canvas Grade Synchronization Issue (and fix)

There seems to be no end to the crazy weather we’ve had thus far this year! Now, not only has the weather complicated school day schedules and our academic calendar, but it’s also having an impact on technology.

ICCSD extended its second trimester to provide more contact time for Tri 2 courses that have already lost so much. In doing so, the District updated its term definitions in PowerSchool, extending the Tri 2 end date by a few days. In doing so, we accidentally broke Canvas grade synchronization. The bug is not one that Canvas was aware of, as it’s not often that institutions adjust term start/end dates in the middle of the year.

The good thing is that we have a solution. Teachers who utilize grade synchronization between Canvas and PowerSchool will need to reimport grading categories within each course. Instructions for doing so can be found in step 4 here, and after doing so, grade sync should work properly.

Canvas: Advanced Instructor Workshop

For those teachers who would like to take a deeper dive into Canvas, I recommend checking out this Canvas: Advanced Workshop slide deck.  This resource can serve as a self-guided launching point to learn more about how Canvas can be leveraged in your classroom.

Among the topics that are included are:

  • Google Integration
  • Instructor Basics
  • Assignments and Grading
  • Assessments
  • Discussions
  • Text/Email Notification Settings
  • Mastery Paths (individualization/personalization)

Further, you’ll find a link to enroll in Kung-Fu Canvas, our Canvas course for instructors, where you can explore Canvas topics from basic to advanced.