October 2023

[Image generated with AI]

In this edition: 

  • Oh no, a Podcast!
  • 4J Instructional Tech Hub- Canvas!
  • Canvas Updates! 
    • Third Party Integrations (Curriculum Plugins/LTI) 
    • New Quizzes 
      • New Feature- Build on Last Attempt
    • Gradebook Settings (Show Letter Grade Only)
    • Points-Based Grading Scheme
    • Google Assignments!
    • Updated Canvas-Synergy Sync Info (High Schools)

 


Now in a Podcast!

That’s right! After some feedback from teachers I have developed a podcast that is roughly ten minutes in length outlining all the updates below, including some light instructions or references back to the newsletter. Perhaps we don’t all have time to read what all is available, that’s okay! Now you can listen with it in the background while doing other tasks and “tune in” to the newsletter on important topics as you hear of them. Click the image below!

4J Instructional Tech Hub Canvas Course!

Ever wondered, “hey how do I do that thing in Canvas again?” Don’t worry! More than likely it’s already got instructions available to you in the Instructional Tech Hub in Canvas! This course is pre-loaded on the majority of staff’s dashboards with the following icon: 

If for some reason you don’t see this icon. Please follow this link to get enrolled. Inside the course you will see a variety of options, the most applicable to users receiving this newsletter will be the Mid/High Classroom Teacher Tile. Within that area you’ll see a variety of links to get you started. 

 


Canvas Updates and Information-

Curriculum Integrations and third-party tools/LTI:

Canvas has a large number of integrations available to it, additionally many users have noticed that some of the ways we interface with these integrations has changed over summer. This is because the world is moving to LTI 1.3 from LTI 1.1, when I say world, yes, I mean world. These Learning Tool Interoperabilities allow for curriculum vendors and other educational providers the ability to import content, grades, and other items into a variety of Learning Management Systems, such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, etc. We have a lengthy list of LTI from curriculum vendors in Canvas that are pre-installed. Meaning that you only need to do a small connecting piece at the course-level. This will allows you to, depending on the company, import content, assignments, and have grade passback. For the full list, please see the 4J Instructional Tech Course, Mid/High Classroom Teacher, and in the Advanced column, click on Secondary Curricular Integrations. Below is the current list, but know that it is ever-growing and changing. If you are unsure, please reach out to your curriculum/content specialist, contact info below. 

Content Specialist Contact Info: 

Name

Contact

Adrienne Pierce (MTSS / Secondary TOSA Administrator) pierce_a@4j.lane.edu
Marina Brisby (Admin. Assistant- Instruction) brisby_m@4j.lane.edu
Emily Kemp (K-12 Mentor Lead) kemp_e@4j.lane.edu
Tammy Steeves (ELA/Read180/System44) steeves_t@4j.lane.edu
Tina Fisher (Health 6-12/PE 6-12) fisher_t@4j.lane.edu
Drew White (Social Studies 6-12) white_d@4j.lane.edu
Ed Mendelssohn (CTE and Career Readiness) mendelssohn_e@4j.lane.edu
Jocelyn Mendelssohn (K-12 TAG) mendelssohn_j@4j.lane.edu
Lynette Williams (World Lang./DLI K-12) williams_ly@4j.lane.edu
Sarah Ruggiero [Kirby] (Science 6-12/Outdoor School) ruggiero_s@4j.lane.edu
Shira Fadeley (Music K-12) fadeley_s@4j.lane.edu
Tana Shepard (EWEB and Green Programs) shepard_t@4j.lane.edu

 

New Quizzes Updates

Teachers can now set New Quizzes to build on the last attempt for students, meaning they only answer the questions that they missed! 

More Info Here

Canvas Gradebook Updates

Points-Based Grading Scheme

In the Canvas Gradebook you now have greater flexibility as an instructor in how final grades are viewed by students and families. For example, you can now set the final grade scheme to show a points-based system rather than percentages! For more information click here. 

 

Allowing Letter Grade View Only- Qualitative Data

Teachers can enable at the course-level the ability for students and families to only see a Letter Grade based off of their Final Grade Scheme, rather than points or a percentage. This is called Restricting Quantitative Data, allowing only for Qualitative Data. Click here for more information. 

 

High School Grading Scheme Adjustments

High schools have re-adopted the usage of the “F” as a final grade. As this adoption was issued after the base creation of courses, teachers can update their grading schemes in Canvas to select the Genesis Grading (HS) option to allow for the correction from NP to F. To do this, go to Settings in your course(s), scroll down to Grading Scheme, and select the dropdown menu. Select Genesis Grading (HS) and be sure to click Update Course at the bottom of the screen. 

 

Google Assignments!

This was announced in the late spring of last year, but Canvas now has a full Google Assignment integration. This means that teachers no longer have to use the “make a copy” link feature, but rather Canvas will handle your assignments as though it were through Google Classroom. It will take your original resource, like a Google Doc, copy it out to students, allow you to see their work in real-time and then have student turn in their copies directly to SpeedGrader where you can grade and make comments! 

A full video walkthrough can be found here. 

Canvas-Synergy Gradebook Sync Updates/Clarifications

The Canvas-Synergy Gradebook Sync has been activated for all users as of the end of September. This means that nightly, assignments and grades are pulled from Canvas and then sent to Synergy’s backend server. This process attempts to align grading categories and then send the assignments and grade changes. In other words, Canvas reaches out to Synergy and attempts first to align the Categories by either Name or if the teachers has manually linked categories to Synergy, once the category connection is verified, assignments are sent as long as they meet the criteria below. 

  • The assignment has the sync turned on. To double check, go to Assignments and ensure the black X is turned to a green check on the assignment.
  • The assignment has a due date and that date has passed. 
  • The assignment has received a grade for a student. 

In many cases, either the grading categories have not been linked, resulting in Canvas failing to find matching categories in Synergy, or the assignment sync is turned off. New assignments in Canvas have this feature turned on by default, but when we import assignments from past courses, that is typically turned off. Categories either need to have the same exact naming convention, or the easiest method would be to link them to ensure the connection is secure. Please see full video below for clarification and troubleshooting. 

LOOM LINK

2023-24 Welcome (Back)!

The Hadley Herald Welcome Back Edition is jam-packed with new and noteworthy announcements! Please take a moment to read through as they will impact your workflow, for the better!

Contents: 

  • Course Population
  • All-Staff Canvas Course (Instructional Tech Hub) NEW!
    • Course Walkthrough
    • Intentions and Design
  • Canvas Updates and Changes:
    • QuickStart GuideNEW!
    • GradeGuardian
    • Publish Granularity! –NEW!
    • Past Term Archiving –NEW!
    • Semester Course Templates for Middle and High School!
    • Curriculum Integrations. 
    • Delete a Sandbox!!! –NEW!
    • Canvas Courses and Clubs –NEW!
  • Lightspeed Voice Amplification Systems!

Course Population into Canvas

First and foremost course shells will begin populating into Canvas LMS the evening of 8/24/2023 for Semester 1 and appear in Canvas 8/25/23. If you do not see your courses, first check with your building registrar/scheduler to ensure the following: 

  • You are the teacher of record. 
  • The master schedule has been pushed/released
  • A night has passed since any changes (we pull data every night at 10pm-ish, from Synergy to Canvas)

If these three elements are true and you still do not see your course, please email 4jDesktop@4j.lane.edu with Canvas in the subject line and provide your course title that is missing. We will work to resolve the issue as soon as possible. 

Students will begin populating courses the morning of 9/04/2023. 


All-Staff Canvas Course- Instructional Tech Hub

Course Details-

The course is designed in a way to better help staff by role type and responsibilities, but also with the transparency to better align with our goal of communication and clarity. You will find on the homepage roles are defined as follows, note that not all roles are present. If you are unsure where to start, feel free to reach out to Nicholas Hadley at hadley_n@4j.lane.edu with any questions. 

Intentions and Design- 

The Instructional Tech Hub is a place where instructions, documentation, and professional development will live in Canvas. This information is not limited to Canvas usage and knowledge, but rather a breadth of products and services including Google, Seesaw, Canvas, and other technology. For the first time since its adoption, Canvas is now going to be open to our K-5 educators and EA classified staff at all levels that are employed through SSD. All licensed staff members and administrators are able to log in, access the Instructional Tech Hub and access viable and timely PD. Note that at times the Hub may port you into other courses or other sites, this is in attempt to provide better and more targeted resources for staff. 



Canvas Updates and Changes: 

Click here to see a new QUICKSTART Guide and Video! 

Publishing Granularity

Modules in Canvas can now be published in pieces, ie just the shell of the module, all items, or even unpublish all items at once! 

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Past Term Archiving

In Canvas our past terms have never been archived or at least grouped. Until now. This change is coming due to our need to better manage (at a district level) the 20K+ courses from past years and terms. What this means for teachers is that for courses prior to the 2022-2023 academic year they will be reorganized into a 4J Archive Term, you will not lose access or have any sort of deletion occur. This change is mostly cosmetic on the the teacher end, ie when you go to import course content from previous years they will see courses in the following format example below. This change does NOT affect sandbox courses, only Synergy courses. But note that you are now able to delete old sandbox courses

This change will be implemented prior to the population of courses for the 2023-2024 academic year. 

The most recent year will look as normal and will rollover each year. 
Then prior courses will be in a 4J Archive Term with the year it was originally created spliced to the end of the name, this will hopefully allow teachers an easier quick glance when importing past content as well as being able to easily distinguish from which years courses originated. Additionally, this will help us fulfill our reporting metrics as a district. 
Example: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Semester Templates Available in the Commons: 

There are three templates available for staff to use in the Canvas Commons. 

1 for Middle Schools: 

 

 

 

 

And 2 for High Schools: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The standard template includes all days of the week in linear format while the A/B Combined has A and B Days combines so that teachers who are teaching on a schedule where their preps are spread over two days can use only one heading. 

If utilizing the A/B Combined template, remember that when you are creating an assignment, in the Due Date Settings you can assign specific days per sections(A vs B day sections) so that students receive equity in due dates. IE. A day students have their assignment due on the next A day while B day students have it on the next B day, but your students are accessing a singular assignment, saving you time from copying, duplicating, and switching courses for grading and creation!

Examples-

Standard (Linear) Modules: 

A/B Combined Modules: 

 


Canvas Curriculum Integrations: 

We now have a number of curriculum partners integrating into Canvas. 

For our established integrations please visit the Canvas Instructional Tech Hub


Delete a Sandbox Course!

Teachers have been asking, and there is now an answer. Over summer a processes has been developed that utilized the power of coding, with the assistance of AI, to delete a course in which the requester is enrolled as a teacher, but is not generated by Synergy. IE a Sandbox Course. 

Rest assured that if a course is deleted by mistake it can always be restored. Canvas LMS does not fully delete anything from its cloud servers, but rather off-loads data for easier management. This information and more can be found in the Canvas Instructional Tech Hub under Middle/High School Teacher. 

Learn more here. 


Canvas Building-Wide and Club Courses

Clubs and courses for buildings in Canvas are now done via a Google Form. This will give you as the advisor admin privileges in the course, unify our layout, provide you with instructions for adding and removing students/users, as well as tie it to our year-long calendar so that students and guardians (and teachers) don’t have the same things on their dashboard from year to year. 

Learn more here. 

This information and more can be found in the Canvas Instructional Tech Hub under Middle/High School Teacher. 


Lightspeed Voice Amplification Systems!(The microphones in your rooms!)

Lightspeed Voice Amplification – easily enhance the learning environment for students.  This video from Lightspeed (Benefits of Instructional Audio) explains how the learning environment is improved by the use of audio enhancement systems, for students and staff.

Here is a link to training materials and other helpful resources.  If staff are experiencing issues or have questions regarding the use of the equipment, they can submit a help ticket to 4jdesktop@4j.lane.edu.

Lightspeed training resources and FAQ

Lightspeed Instructional Audio training & troubleshooting videos

Lightspeed Video library on YouTube

2023 End of Year Wrap Up

Contents: 

  • Canvas Tasks/Reminders: 
    • Canvas Gradebook
    • Incompletes for Student Grades
    • Course Backup (Optional)
  • Digital Services Pause
  • Online Safety

Here’s to hoping everyone has a safe and restful summer break. Thank you all for your grace, patience and continued dedication to our students and community. 

-Nicholas 

 

Canvas Tasks

Canvas Gradebook

  • Be sure that all items you intend to have graded for T3 are inputted into the Canvas gradebook and that grades reflect accurately in Synergy either via the sync process or after you have manually entered final grades for students in Grade Reports.

  • Export a copy of your Canvas Gradebook and send a copy to your registrar, as well as keep a copy for yourself. Go to Grades, then actions near the top, and Export. Save the file it creates.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 


Incompletes for High School

Students at the high school level may receive an Incomplete as a final grade and will need extended access to services like Canvas LMS. Though our Google services do not stop over summer break, Clever and Canvas do need to have a pause to allow for the new year rollover to occur. Canvas and Clever services will pause on June 30th, 2023. This means students will be able to still log in to Canvas, but any sort of data transfer will stop. Additionally, those who are enrolled in an “Incomplete” Section will lose access to those courses on that date as well. 

For more information on how to setup access for students for Incomplete grades please see this document

 


Course Backup

Canvas will always let you access past courses and access your data, but having a method to store classes and your work offline is useful for sharing and other storage options. The process can be found here at this link.


Digital Services Pause

During summer break, June 30th – August 14th, all 4J digital services for student rostering will pause. Students and staff may be able to still log in to certain services like Zimbra, 4J Google, and Canvas LMS, but any courses for Summer School or other programs will not be rostered via these services. Additionally, services rostered via Clever will also be available to students that are currently rostered, no new students will be rostered during the pause. Elementary programs will still be available to currently rostered students. 


Online Safety

Remember that even over summer your accounts and activity are things you need to protect! Especially when it comes to thing within 4J as many of us have access to sensitive information like student information, grades, addresses, and other files including parent and medical information via our Synergy System. Going into summer take a moment to review some key ways to you can protect yourself and your students. 

  • Strong Passwords: Instead of a single word, consider using a passphrase that combines multiple words. Passphrases are easier to remember and can be more secure. For example, “CorrectHorseBatteryStaple” is a stronger password than a simple word. Also avoid patterns like, “1234” or “ABC”, and as much as possible, make sure it’s nothing too personal as a bad actor who has done their research may be able to find the name of a beloved pet or family member that could be a potential password. 
  • Use our 4J Secure Wifi network. Especially while working on student information, it’s always best for teachers and staff to be on our secured network. 
  • Be sure that your software is regularly updated. Using the “Managed Software Center” on your 4J device will ensure that you receive timely updates, additionally you can go to Settings in your browser and search Update to get Chrome to manually check. 
  • Be aware of your machine and documents. It’s easy to accidentally leave a list of usernames or other sensitive information on our desk and get distracted while helping students or others. It is always best to keep sensitive information in a locked cabinet or drawer. In digital terms think about closing your laptop more often, or locking the screen, so it requires your password, or fingerprint, to log back in. Remember, on our Mac devices you can always hit Command+Control+Q on the keyboard to instantly lock your screen. 
  • Regularly update or change your passwords: I know it’s not everyone’s preference, but it’s best practices to update your password, at the very least from year to year. 
  • Phishing Awareness: Phishing emails are more prevalent then ever, and bad actors are getting better at impersonating links that look like they are from specific organizations. Always be sure when opening email that you recognize the sender, for example, that it does not include the red banner [ STOP.THINK.VERIFY ] that indicates it’s from an email outside our organization. Additionally, even for emails from within our organization, links inside emails can be encoded to look like they are innocuous. For example, it may say 4j.lane.edu but when you hover over it, the lower left corner of your browser will show where the link actually goes (see image below). When in doubt, always forward the email to 4jdesktop@4j.lane.edu for inspection. 

April Updates

 

In This Issue:

  • Adobe Firefly (Image Generative AI) and other Tools đŸĒļ
  • Canva Creation Tools Note* NOT CanvaS  😀
  • Canvas Updates 📜
  • Other Tips and Tricks-
    • Pressto Writing Prompts for Teachers đŸĒ„
    • Google Assignments for Canvas! 🔎
    • TurnItIn AI Detection Tool! 🤖

All teachers in our district can sign up for Adobe Firefly, a image generating AI tool provided by the Adobe platform. It is a waitlist, but I was able to get a turn around in about a week which is great. This tool can take the time out of “looking for that perfect image” as well as allow you to generate custom royalty free images. At this time the feature is only available to adults, 18 years of age and up, so it is not yet ready for students to use, but hopefully in the near future they will have it fine-tuned for a younger audience. 

AI image generation can be very useful when looking at the bias of AI tools. For example, if you give it a very generic description, for example, “Person.” What type of person(s) does it return? Do they all look the same, and what sort of “sameness” do they share? There are lots of implications here that can spark discussion and how we can better our world through connection and conversation. Additionally, Adobe’s platform has very clear usage guidelines around explicit material and inappropriate usage of the platform, as well as reporting if users attempt to generate explicit material. Additionally, all images downloaded from the site is given a watermark for transparency, that this image was generated by an AI which I think is also important to discuss, why would this be important in our digital age? Here is a very quick (3min) video to get started today. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adobe Express Animation

This tool allows students and teachers to record short presentations that get dubbed onto a funny character. It’s free to use and allows for you to record up to two minutes of audio. These can be great ways for students to share and show knowledge in a low-stress and fun way. You can record directly on the website, or you can record on your machine with QuickTime and upload the file to the site. They can then download it to share to Canvas or present directly to the class! 

Click Here for the resource!


Major Canva Creation Updates

Canva for Education has also jumped on the AI Generative bandwagon with extremely powerful tools that you can utilize in your classroom. You can take a document that you’ve created with perhaps lesson objectives, ideas, and a few activity notes and use the new Convert tools to create a classroom slides presentation. You can also use Canva’s new generative image AI to create stunning graphics or even templates that allow your slides and classroom materials to have consistency. 

There are so many updates that putting them all here would be overwhelming, but their full news briefing is available here. Below is also a video.

 


Canvas Updates

Canvas Page History:

Review Changes: Viewing the page history gives you the ability to review changes. If you want to see what changes have been made to a particular page over time, viewing the page history can be helpful. You can see who made changes to the page, what they changed, and when they made the changes. 

Collaboration: If multiple people are working on a page, viewing the page history can help everyone to keep track of who has made changes and when the changes were made. This can help to avoid conflict when making changes to the same page. 

Restoring Previous Versions: If you accidentally deleted or make significant changes to a page and you want to revert to a page version, viewing the page history can help identify the version you want to restore. You can then restore that version of the page and make the necessary edits. 

Overall, using the view page history feature in Canvas can help you better understand changes made to a page over time and help you resolve any issues that may arise.

Gradebook Sort by Assignment Status: 

You can now sort in your gradebook by assignment status, ie excused, late etc. 

Assignment Menu Sort By Options

 

Coming May 20th: SpeedGrader Access Update

Near the end of May, Canvas will update where you can access SpeedGrader for assignments, it will be made available in all locations of the assignment in the 3-dot menu on the item. For example from the Modules screen, Assignment screen, even while editing the assignment. 

Assignment SpeedGrader Quick Link


 

 

Other Tips and Tools:

  • 60+ free prompts to use with ChatGPT for Teacher workflow. Click Here
  • Pressto Writing Assistant: Helps you generate writing prompts by content area and grade level! Click Here
  • Canvas and Google Assignments are fully integrated! Assign, edit, comment, and share feedback just like in Google Classroom, but have the full turn-in value and access in Canvas!! Click Here.
  • TurnItIn is getting AI Detection Tools! At our 4 high schools we currently have Turn It In, and now their platform includes AI Detection software! This feature is on by default and ready to go! Click Here

March Updates and T3 Turnover

Trimester 3 is Upon Us!

Table of Contents: 

  • End of Term Checklist
  • Setting Up T3
    • Note: new course templates are now available in multiple languages!
    • Curricular Integration Setups
  • Google Assignment Update Reminder
  • Other Updates:
    • Canvas content editor now supports drag and drop
    • Coming Soon: Teachers able to submit on behalf of student (unique case usage)
    • Grade Passback Improvements (Late T3 or beginning S1 2023).
    • ChatGPT Prompts for Teachers!
    • How to get support

End of Term Checklist:

  • When finished with grading, export a copy of your grade book for each class and email them to your registrar. 
    • Go to Grades. Click Export. Click Export Entire Grade Book. Save and upload to an email to your registrar for safekeeping. 
  • Tidy up any grades and comments in Synergy under Report Card- Progress Reports. Be sure to save frequently and to hit Post Grades when finished entering any comments you wish to add. 
  • Incompletes:
    • If you have students that will be receiving an Incomplete, please add them and yourself to the Incomplete section already generated in your course. This section is open by default until April 16th, 2023. If you feel you or your students will need more you can modify the end-dates in the Sections settings of the course or email edtech@4j.lane.edu. More info is found here on how to add yourself and students: Click Here 
    • Note that the Incompletes section will not be auto-loaded onto your Canvas courses until week 2 of T3, so do not worry if you don’t see it right away. This is accomplished via custom scripting and automation and requires that cross-listing (by and large) be completed.
  • Be sure that grades match within Synergy or you have modified Final Grades in Synergy to match and Post Grades. 

*Optional* Export your Canvas course(s) as an IMSCC file. These files can be uploaded to most other LMS providers and give you a hard-copy backup of your course. Note that these files are not editable in their downloaded state. They need to be uploaded to an LMS, like Canvas, to be editable. See here for more information.


Setting Up Trimester 3:

Course shells will populate by the end of this week, March 10th. Students will populate by the end of next week. 

CROSS-LIST

Remember, if you have common preps, it is highly recommended that your cross-list them together. This must be the first thing done prior to building or importing content. 

Cross-Listing Video Here

IMPORTING THE TEMPLATE

If you are using the template, which has weekly modules and dates preset for T3 and need a refresher on how to get content from the Commons, see this video. 

For the first time we now have the template in other languages to better support some of our DLI Programs and WL courses. The template is now available in Spanish and French in addition to English. Next year I hope to add Mandarin and Japanese support as well!

Be sure you are importing the correct language into your course from the commons!

 

 

 

GRADEBOOK SYNC

Synergy Gradebook has received an update, and now, syncing the gradebook between Canvas and Synergy is even easier than before! For a full walkthrough, including step-by-step instructions and videos click here!

IMPORTING PAST CONTENT

You can of course import content from prior years/trimesters into current classes. Keep in mind, it’s best to select the option to “Remove Due Dates” when importing to eliminate the possibility of forcing zeros in the gradebook for missing assignments. 

Importing Video Here

INTEGRATIONS

The following curricular integrations are available in Canvas, they are very helpful in including accessible text options, activities, text-to-speech, and much more! 

Publish your course for students!


Google Assignments in Canvas!🤩

FINALLY!!! A feature teachers have been asking for since the adoption/invention of Canvas. Full Google integrations in Canvas! 

That’s right! The new and improved Google Assignments LTI 1.3 allows teachers to create assignments in Canvas that will automatically distribute Google docs/slides/etc to students, keep them organized, and will now allow teachers to navigate through Canvas to the students’ documents to provide real-time feedback and comments on student work. When students are ready to submit, they can use the Google Assignments LTI to submit directly to SpeedGrader where teachers can provide feedback in Canvas so that students receive notifications and reminders to check that feedback from teachers. Students can resubmit, generate new documents if they delete one on accident, and also tag their teachers in comments within Docs (using the @ feature) that will automatically send an email to the teacher. This feature is available to staff NOW. 

A full video walkthrough is available here. (9 minutes)
In the video you will learn how to create a Google Assignment with the new LTI (learning tool integration) and explore its features. 


Other Updates: 

  • The Rich Content Editor (RCE) in Canvas will now allow teachers to drag and drop content, images, etc directly into it instead of needing to Upload a picture from the desktop each time!
  • Coming Soon!! Teachers will soon be able to ‘submit on behalf of the student’. Meaning you could submit an assignment or mark it as submitted if a student emailed you a doc and you wished to put it in Canvas to grade, etc. 
  • Canvas New Quizzes is available to us! Canvas has very extensive documentation already in place on how to use NQ. Note also that migrating Classic Quizzes to New Quizzes is easily done with one click, and when you are importing content, you can select to migrate your quizzes automatically in the process! Learn more here.
  • In the coming months/next year I hope to better automate our grade passback system. In conjunction with our Synergy team, we are looking to create auto-passback for teachers using a simple Assignments-only grading category, also known as a non-weighted system. ie what is in the Assignments category in Canvas would automatically pass back to Synergy’s Assignments category with no setup required. For those using weights and custom category names, there is still a setup process, but hopefully that will become simpler as well over time. 
  • ChatGPT has been in the news quite a bit, but here is a free pdf on prompts that can help educators with daily tasks. 
  •  To get timely support please email Canvas questions directly to 4jdesktop@4j.lane.edu where they will get routed to relevant individuals to respond to your questions. 

February Updates: Massive Google Update-Docs in Canvas!!

In this issue: 

  • Google Assignments in Canvas
  • Canvas-Synergy Grade Sync Updates
  • Reminder- MI code is now available!
  • New Integration Information: Cengage/NatGeo(SS)
  • Robots available for checkout!
  • TechArticles to Use in Class

Google Assignments in Canvas!🤩

FINALLY!!! A feature teachers have been asking for since the adoption/invention of Canvas. Full Google integrations in Canvas! 

That’s right! The new and improved Google Assignments LTI 1.3 allows teachers to create assignments in Canvas that will automatically distribute Google docs/slides/etc to students, keep them organized, and will now allow teachers to navigate through Canvas to the students’ documents to provide real-time feedback and comments on student work. When students are ready to submit, they can use the Google Assignments LTI to submit directly to SpeedGrader where teachers can provide feedback in Canvas so that students receive notifications and reminders to check that feedback from teachers. Students can resubmit, generate new documents if they delete one on accident, and also tag their teachers in comments within Docs (using the @ feature) that will automatically send an email to the teacher. This feature is available to staff NOW. 

A full video walkthrough is available here. (9 minutes)
In the video you will learn how to create a Google Assignment with the new LTI (learning tool integration) and explore its features. 


Canvas-Synergy Grade Sync Updates

The syncing between Canvas and Synergy is becoming easier with new updates in our coding and processes. Now, every single course in our Canvas instance will have the Nightly Gradesync option activated by default starting week 1 of the new trimester/semester.  For a full walkthrough on how to setup your gradebook to sync with Synergy please see these materials, for a video walkthrough click here.


‘MI’ code available!

Staff, you can now use the ‘mi’ code in both the Gradebook, and SpeedGrader to mark assignments Missing for students!


Canvas Integrations Update/ Info

Cengage/NatGeo-

I know the naming is difficult to get around but if you are using the Social Studies curriculum provided by National Geographic and Cengage, Canvas refers to it as Cengage while the actual portal to the product and materials is on a platform called MindTap. Just wanted to clarify that verbiage for folks. 
To access Cengage’s materials in your Canvas instance please see the latest integration materials here- https://4j.instructure.com/courses/26934/pages/cengage-integration

 


 

 

We have a variety of robotics available to checkout from Library Services! 

We have OzoBots, MicroBits, as well as EdisonBots and more advanced kits such as the SparkInventor kits. 

We do have pre-made MicroBit lessons in the Canvas Commons! Check them out by going to Commons in Canvas and typing in MicroBits.

 

Click here for more information!


Tech Articles You Can Use!

These articles are primarily from NewsELA and other sources and can be used to entice students to discuss the repercussions, uses, pros/cons, of technology and more so AI in our ever evolving world. 

 

Hadley Herald: January Canvas Updates

Hoping the new year brings you joy and prosperity!

In this issue:

  • Updates for High School Incompletes!
  • Student Teacher Access
  • Missing Assignment- Gradebook Shortcut!!
  • Canvas-Synergy Gradebook Sync
  • Content Editor Update
  • ChatGPT Resources and Info

Incompletes at High School UPDATE: Please Read

Previously teachers needed to create a section and set dates manually, and then add students to that section in order to give students extended access to the course.  Starting Monday, Jan 16th all high school courses will have a section titled “Incompletes” automatically added to their Canvas classes (and each subsequent trimester/semester). Therefore, at the end of the course, while teachers are giving final grades and realize a student will receive an Incomplete, they need only add themself and the student to the Incompletes section. This will allow the student(s) and the teacher extended access to the course. This access is full-access, not read-only, meaning the course is still live, on the dashboard, and still allows for the selected student(s) to turn in work and the teacher to grade their work. The default length of access at this time is 3 weeks into the next trimester,  if you or the selected student(s) would like to have more time, please submit a ticket to 4jedtech@4j.lane.edu with the requested amount of time or cutoff date and a link/url to the course.

To add a student/students and yourself to the Incompletes section for extended access, it needs to be done before the first day of the succeeding trimester or semester. To add them and yourself navigate to the People tab in the Canvas course. Click the 3-dot menu next to the person’s name and click Edit Sections. In the window that appears type in Incompletes and select the section. Click done. 

For the entire process with screenshots, click here. 

*When the upcoming high school schedule with semesters is updated this will change to reflect those needs. 
If you find after the first day of the next trimester/semester that you need to add students in the Incompletes section, please email 4jedtech@4j.lane.edu and provide a link to the course and their names. 


Student Teachers in Canvas

If you have a student teacher please review and bookmark the following site, and share it with your student teacher: https://www.4j.lane.edu/hr/university-student-teacher-placement-process/ 

Student teachers need to complete the background process in order to have a 4J email generated, once generated they can gain access to the building’s Synergy account via the registrar and once that process is complete you and your student teacher will receive an email regarding the activation of their Synergy account which will then trigger the generation of their Canvas account. You and your student teacher will receive an email when the Canvas account has been generated and how to add them to courses. 


Missing Assignments Gradebook Shortcut!!

Teachers have been asking and Canvas finally came through! You can now mark an assignment as missing in the gradebook or speed grader by typing ‘MI’ or ‘mi’ in the score field and it will automatically mark the assignment as missing and assign the score, if you have it set to automatically score a missing assignment with a designated percentage, ie 0%. 

More info here: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Canvas-Releases/Canvas-Deploy-Notes-2023-01-04/ta-p/549091#toc-hId-728570955 


Canvas-Synergy Gradebook Sync

Yes, there is still time for you to sync your Canvas gradebook with Synergy! One thing I see a lot of is folks forgetting to pick the categories in Canvas and Synergy. Remember that after setting the weights in Canvas and Synergy you need to tell Canvas that, for example the Canvas assignment Group called “Test and Quizzes” matches the “Test” category in Synergy. 

For full instructions see below! 


Content Editor 

Canvas has made a shortcut in the content editor (where you edit content in pages and assignments) with the addition of buttons to directly insert images, documents and media. This will help in saving time and clicks!


EdSurge’s Podcast on ChatGPT 

The following podcast from EdSurge discusses some of the ramifications, and discusses the possibilities with an AI like ChatGPT in education. (28 Mins)

From the NYT an article about possible uses of ChatGPT as well as rationale to not fear it in the classroom- 

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/12/technology/chatgpt-schools-teachers.html

Ditch That Textbook’s list of creative ways to use AI in the classroom and a plethora of other resources: 

https://ditchthattextbook.com/ai


Remember, if you have any Canvas issues you can reach me quickly at 4jedtech@4j.lane.edu or via telephone (call or text) at 541-731-3901

 

 

November 2022-Trimester Transitions

Staff, thank you for your patience as we go through this time of support for our students and buildings. 

As we transition trimesters, below you will find a list of resources to assist you. 

Trimester Transition Update:

New course shells will populate into Canvas over this long weekend, 11/24-27, if on Monday you are missing a course shell please notify us immediately by emailing 4jdesktop@4j.lane.edu. Students will not populate until the start of Trimester 2. Remember, the first thing that must be done is cross-listing. There are more details below. 

Students Receiving Incompletes (High School):

Finally, after much trial and testing, we have located what we need to give students specific access to courses past their end-date so they can work on assignments, and turn them into the course.

Please see this updated policy to see how and more information: Click Here 
***Note you must do this process prior to the last day of term***

Canvas-Synergy Sync:

When syncing your course from Canvas to Synergy with the grade passback system, at times it may get stuck on a few data points. This is common when moving large amounts of data. To fix this issue, open your course, go to the Grade Sync link in the left-hand menu (if the link is not visible, enable it by going to Settings, and Navigation), from there you can click on Utilities and select Remaster Gradepassback. It will have you confirm. After about an hour, you should see the correct scores and updated information in Synergy. 

If for some reason you do not, some culprits could be: 

  • You don’t have the sync activated for that assignment: Go to Assignments, and check it has the green check mark on the right for Syncing, instead of the black circle with an X. 
  • You are trying to do extra credit out of zero. Synergy cannot divide by zero and sees it as an error, so that assignment will not sync: Instead tack on extra points to an assignment with a point value, ie 12/10. 
  • Your assignment isn’t published or does not have scores: An assignment won’t push to Synergy until it has been published and has been graded for at least one student. 
  • You haven’t synced in a while: Go to Grades, and in the menu bar at the top on the right and click Sync, and Sync Now. Remember a sync can take 20-30 minutes, or longer depending on how much data you are moving, and how busy the servers are. 
  • In Synergy the assignment is marked “HIDDEN TYPE”. This means the mapping in Synergy is such that the grading category is not visible: In Synergy, go to Gradebook, Gradebook Setup, and ensure that the dropdown menu reads “Add my types to the district types” and apply this to all classes at the bottom before clicking “Update”. 

The most up-to-date sync materials can be found here. You can always reach out via 4jdesktop@4j.lane.edu and tickets are routed to me, please use the ticket system as it’s much easier to keep track of help requests. 

Updates to IQWST’s Platform!

Starting 11/29/2022 IQWST will now have an auto-score feature for multiple-choice questions! More info can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLegZMfbjy0

End of Term Checklist:

  • When finished with grading, export a copy of your grade book for each class and email them to your registrar. 
    • Go to Grades. Click Export. Click Export Entire Grade Book. Save and upload to an email to your registrar for safekeeping. 
  • Tidy up any grades and comments in Synergy under Report Card- Progress Reports. Be sure to save frequently and to hit Post Grades when finished entering any comments you wish to add. 
  • If you would like to work on any coursework or alter anything for next year from a Synergy-generated course it should be copied to a Sandbox. Sandbox courses do not close and remain open for teachers to alter content indefinitely. 

*Optional* Export your Canvas course(s) as an IMSCC file. These files can be uploaded to most other LMS providers and give you a hard-copy backup of your course. Note that these files are not editable in their downloaded state. They need to be uploaded to an LMS, like Canvas, to be editable. See here for more information.


Setting Up Trimester 2:

Course shells will populate over the Thanksgiving long weekend. Students should start populating between 12/1-12/2. 

CROSS-LIST

Remember, if you have common preps, it is highly recommended that your cross-list them together. This must be the first thing done prior to building or importing content. 

Cross-Listing Video Here

IMPORTING TEMPLATE

If you are using the template, which has weekly modules and dates preset for T2 and need a refresher on how to get content from the Commons, see this video. 

GRADEBOOK SYNC

Synergy Gradebook has received an update, and now, syncing the gradebook between Canvas and Synergy is even easier than before! For a full walkthrough, including step-by-step instructions and videos click here!

IMPORTING PAST CONTENT

You can of course import content from prior years/trimesters into current classes. Keep in mind, it’s best to select the option to “Remove Due Dates” when importing to eliminate the possibility of forcing zeros in the gradebook for missing assignments. 

Importing Video Here

INTEGRATIONS

The following curricular integrations are available in Canvas, they are very helpful in including accessible text options, activities, text-to-speech, and much more! 

 

Publish your course for students!


The Hour of Code is just around the corner, December 5th-11th! Sign up for it! It’s super fun and students of all ages love it! Don’t worry at all if you don’t know a thing about coding, all the puzzles offered on the website will walk students through everything they need to know. I’m happy to visit your class to get your class up and running. It’s for all ages, K-12! Once students get started, they can continue all year long! Here’s a link to Amy Page’s availability and you schedule a visit here as well

https://hourofcode.com/br/en 

October 2022

Hadley Herald: October 2022

Well Hello There!

In This Issue: 

  • New Synergy Materials
  • Canvas Curricula Integrations
  • Grade Guardian
  • Additional Resources

Synergy’s New Grade Book and Canvas Sync: 

Synergy’s grade book is getting a makeover this month and with that makeover comes new Synergy-Canvas Sync materials to reflect those changes. 

To access those materials please click here (WordPress won’t embed them :-/ ) 

Benefits to Syncing:

  • Quicker turnover at grade report times. 
  • Recorded grades for drops, schedule changes, withdrawals, etc. 
  • Easily print grade printouts for your class. 
  • Turn on nightly sync to set and forget. 

Canvas Curricula Integrations: 

As the social studies adoption continues, science continues looking at materials, as well as other resources are reviewed; we have found that many of our curricular items come with a digital component that also integrates into Canvas for ease of use. By integrating these items, you can insert assignments, readings, and materials directly in Canvas or take students directly to them, allowing for access outside the classroom. Keep in mind that for some services, though we have access to them, if they are not district-funded, those will need to come from buildings. For a list of items funded by the district click here
The following curricular sources are available to integrate into your Canvas course(s): 

If you have trouble accessing the materials, be sure you have enrolled in the Canvas Resources Course

Grade Guardian:

All 4J Teachers have access to Grade Guardian in their Canvas instance and courses. Grade Guardian is a way for teachers to see how their students are doing in other courses, they can see how many missing assignments, zeros, and other info students have in other courses. To access this information, navigate to your course settings, go to Navigation, and drag Grade Guardian to the visible area above, be sure to hit save. 

For more information here is a 3min video: Click Here

Additional Resources:

Lit2Go: A free consortium of literature in PDF and Audiobook format. 

Apple Teacher: A place to get Apple Teacher Certified and post/find lessons from other teachers using Apple products. 

EA/Office Canvas Training: A quick presentation and video showing EAs how to navigate Canvas with their EA accounts. 

App Approval Process: Is there an app, software, or website you’d like to use pedagogically with students? Feel free to submit a form request to ensure that it follows district guidelines for safety, student information security, and other use cases. Note that it can take up to 2-3 weeks for a turnaround in some cases. 

Canva for Educators: Canva is a free tool for educators where you can create amazing things for your classroom! You can make slides, banners, newsletters, lesson planning pages, certificates, announcements, worksheets and more. Be sure to claim your educator account when signing up with your 4J email to have access to all their amazing templates and more. (Note Canva is approved for teacher use.)

 

September Resources to Share

deep breaths

Thank you for all of the work you are doing to support students and the community!

In this edition: 

  • Canvas-
    • Tips and Reminders 
      • Guest Teachers/Subs
      • Student Teachers
      • Synergy-Canvas Sync
    • Integrations to Curricula
  • Apple Learning Resources
    • Apple Education Community
    • 1:1 Free Virtual Coaching
    • Free Virtual Conferences

Canvas-   

Tips and Reminders:

Substitutes and Guest Teachers in Canvas- Please remember that our district has over 300 guest teachers, this means that not all guest teachers will automatically have a Canvas account in order to access your Canvas course or to be added to your course(s), which in the event of a sudden absence would need to be done by the Canvas team (edtech@4j.lane.edu). Whenever possible, leaving a printout of an agenda of what students are doing in Canvas or identifying a helpful student that a guest teacher can rely on to look at Canvas with while in classes is very helpful. If a planned absence is coming up and you’d like to add a guest teacher to your course(s) you can try adding them with their Login ID (email without the @4j.lane.edu). If they do not have an account please email 4J Desktop with Guest Teacher Canvas in the subject line for proper routing. At this time we are looking at methods to get all of our guest teachers limited access to Canvas for emergencies, but that process is still in development. 

Student-Teachers in Canvas If you have a student teacher in Canvas, please see the district’s updated process for student-teacher access to digital services such as Canvas, Seesaw and Synergy. https://www.4j.lane.edu/hr/university-student-teacher-placement-process/ 

Synergy-Canvas Gradebook Sync- There has been a lot of concerning information circulating around the Synergy-Canvas Grade Passback. Yes, when Canvas was first adopted by the district, it operated very poorly and had many issues. Since then there have been a number of updates and improvements, both to Canvas and Synergy.
To clarify some concerning points. You can use the Synergy-Canvas Grade Passback if you meet any of the following:

  • You use a point-based scale ( ie 9/10 points, etc) with the standard A-D/NP/F Scale. (Most High Schools fall in this category for state reporting). 
  • You choose to use weighted categories, ie Tests/quizzes are 30% of the overall grade while Homework is 20% and Participation is 50%. 
  • You use a modified proficiency calculation via points, such as the aforementioned 9/10 points (HP, Prof, Np, Etc) in conjunction with weighted categories, but map final scores to HP = 70%-100%, etc. You can fully customize these things both in Synergy and Canvas. They just need to be set up first. Granted, for state reporting, many buildings still require teachers translate a HP to A or B, etc. 
  • You would like to have your grades sync each night automatically to Synergy so they are there for you at reporting times. 

If you, your department, or your building would like an in-person tutorial and walkthrough on this process, which after some practice takes approximately 8-10 minutes, please reach to me directly at hadley_n@4j.lane.edu. I would be more than happy to come on some of the Friday times or during a prep period. Note that syncing can be done at any time, you don’t have to do it right now, but the sooner before reporting time, when servers get very busy, the better! This is a process that is done at the beginning of each trimester. 

Updated walkthrough materials can be found here. 

Canvas Integrations:

Over time we are beginning to add more and more integrations to our Canvas instance. There are integrations already installed for services such as: NewsELA, NoRedInk, Quizlet, Wayside, Cengage(NatGeo), Nearpod, CK-12, Khan Academy, Turnitin and others. By utilizing our integrations you are able to create assignments that include materials from curriculum, link students directly to class portals, and in many cases allow for grade passback to Canvas and other grading options. Integration set up information can be found in the 4J Training and Resources Course. 

Currently, we are developing integrations for our Middle School Science curriculum with ActivateLearning (IQWST) and Pivot Interactive platforms. Information on how to set up these different integrations info can be found in the 4J Training and Resources Course. If there is an integration you are interested in seeing in Canvas, let me know by emailing edtech@4j.lane.edu.  

Additional Tips

Grade Book Filters: Remember that the filter for period sections in the Canvas grade book has moved –click here 

Importing Past Content: Small clip on how to import materials from past courses and remove due dates- click here

Google Translate now has a feature for teachers, perhaps not best shared with students in WL/Immersion programs, where you can translate your lesson materials, slides, pdfs, docs, into other languages by uploading them- click here. This feature is not perfect and has only been tested with Spanish, but provides scaffolds for our students for whom English may not be their first language and may want to reference classroom materials in their first language. 


Apple Learning Resources-

We were so fortunate to have an Apple Representative come and speak to our district during the MacBook camp this summer. While here teachers who attended were able to gain insights to their MacBook device on how to create lessons, tools, and features. Some of those features have been compiled into a handy PDF with short instructions and/or links to how to view those features. Feel free to download a copy here

Additionally, there are some free options that educators can take advantage of to hone their skills and learning: 

 


Remember you can always file a ticket at eugene4j.freshservice.com  with any concern you have regarding software, hardware, or other issues.