Digital Learning Newsletter November 2020

Canvas Updates

Google Drive in Canvas Navigation

Please make sure that Google Drive is enabled on your course navigation bar for students. Why? Because it is the easiest way to verify that a student is actually signed in with their school Gmail account if a student is having issues seeing Google documents or if they get an Authorization or Request Access error. Many people are afraid to enable this in their navigation because they think it links to their Google Drive. It does not. It links to the Canvas users authorized Google account (personal, parent, school, etc.).

How do you use this to fix the issue? When a student clicks on the Google Drive link, it will open a window. In the right upper corner there will be a circle with their initials or an image. When they click on that, it will show what account is signed in (personal, parent, school, etc). They can then sign out and sign back in with their district Gmail account to reauthorize their connection.

Grade Sync in Canvas Navigation

Secondary Teachers, are you having issues with your grades not showing up in Skyward, even though you have a due date and you have turned on sync with SIS? This is your solution! You will need to use Grade Sync to remaster your gradebook. How?

  1. Go to your course Settings, Navigation, and enable Grade Sync. Hit save.
  2. Click on Grade Sync in the course navigation bar.
  3. Click on Settings.
  4. Click Remaster Grade Passback.

Once you have done that, your syncing issues should be resolved. This can take some time for it to process, so leave it and do a different project.

If you have any questions about how to add these to your Course Navigation menu, reach out to your Digital Coach.

New Analytics in Canvas Navigation

New Analytics is a feature that allows teachers to track usage and grades within their course using an interactive chart, graph, or table. You will see New Analytics in both your Course Navigation bar and on the right side of your home page.

What can you do with New Analytics?

  • View average course grade analytics as an interactive chart graph or a data table
  • Compare the course average with an individual assignment, course section, or student filter using the chart graph comparison or data table comparison
  • View average weekly online participation analytics as an interactive chart graph or a data table
  • Compare the course average weekly online participation analytics with an individual student or section using the chart graph comparison or data table comparison
  • Send a message to all students based on specific course grade or participation criteria
  • Send a message to an individual student based on specific course grade or participation criteria
  • View course grade and participation analytics for an individual student
  • View and download reports on missing, late, or excused assignments, class roster, and course activity.

RCE Enhancements (Rich Content Editor)

Canvas launched a new RCE Enhancements this year. Many of you have already turned it on in your Course Settings (Feature Options). We would like to encourage you all to turn it on. Canvas plans to replace the old RCE with this system wide in January.

What is it? The new RCE provides a condensed and more intuitive toolbar where tasks are grouped by common icons and interactions. It streamlines the RCE. It can be found anywhere in Canvas where you are editing your content (pages, assignments, discussions, etc.).

Google Tips

We live in a time where the world is at our fingertips. It takes seconds for us to look up information on our computers or our phones. But how do we make sure that we are getting the best results for our search?

Set Google search time restrainsts- sometimes you need something relevant and timely. Other times you want information from years in the past. After you do your Google Search, click on tools on the top right of your search and select the arrow next to any time. You can then select your time frame and it will narrow down your search to that time period.

Track Google results with Google Trends- do you ever wonder what other people are searching for? You can view search data, trending topics, visualization maps and information from past years. This could be useful in a classroom for writing prompts and for students to see what is popular here right now.

Embedded Tools with Google Search- Google has a lot of tools and games built in. You can use your search bar as a calculator, a translator, a convertor, and even tools like dice or a metronome. There are even games. For the calculator, translator, or convertor, just type in the problem you want to solve in your search bar. For the other tools and games, search the tool (like roll dice) in the search bar and then you can click on the arrow underneath it to see all of the available tools and games.

Nearpod Update

Social and Emotional Learning Package

UEN has partnered with Nearpod to bring their engaging, lesson delivery platform to all of our students! In addition to the Nearpod library with over 8,500 lessons, we have access to the Social and Emotional Learning Supplemental package. The Nearpod Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) package is a seven-series, K-12 supplemental curriculum that supports positive, safe, and empowering learning environments. This robust package is active and ready for you to use in Nearpod (scroll down on the left side of your library)! Here are some of the series highlights:

SEL Check-ins: Take the temperature of your classroom at any point with quick, activity-based lessons that can be used to add SEL to your regular routines. The SEL check-ins show students how practices can grow their emotional intelligence. (57 lessons)

Growth Mindset Practices: Empower students with habits of mind that will support success in and beyond school. Use the Growth Mindset Practices to promote a culture of strength and positivity around learning. (36 lessons)

SEL Moments: Use these lessons to equip students with in-the-moment strategies to practice and apply SEL strategies. Also, use these lessons as positive replacement behaviors for intervention. (51 lessons)

SEL In-Action: Encourage SEL practice through exposure to real-life scenarios. These robust lessons provide engaging, collaborative direct instruction in the five SEL core competencies. (48 lessons)

Lifelong Learning Strategies: Unlock a love for learning with skills like metacognition and goal setting. This series reinforces the skills needed to navigate academic and work-ready situations. (36 lessons)

SEL & Our Stories: Use real stories to promote discussion about emotions. Build awareness of the relationship between emotional struggles and character strengths. (10 lessons)

SEL in Digital Life: Analyze recent news articles and opinion pieces relating to SEL practices. Encourage discussion on the social impact of SEL in real-world settings. (10 lessons)

Contact your Digital Coach or Deanna Taylor for more support with Nearpod.

We will be starting a Nearpod Certified Educator and a Nearpod Certified Educator Advanced in January. You will be able to register through JPLS on December 1, 2020.

Digital Learning Tip

Do you feel like you spend most of your time answering the same questions from parents and students over and over? Do these questions fill up your email inbox and take so much time to answer? Try a FAQ page.

What is an FAQ page? It is a reference page that has a list of frequently asked questions. Websites and businesses use these all of the time. They help save time by providing quick and immediate answers to the user. They also help you maximize your time by streamlining your email.

Matt Miller from "Ditch That Textbook" has written a great blog that helps walk you through how to create them. They can be really simple documents that you embed in your website or LMS classroom. You can even add the link to your doc in your signature line in Gmail. One of the suggestions Matt Miller makes is to add video to your FAQ page. This is a great idea, especially if the questions require you to show how to do something.

Tech Tool Spotlight- Unicheck

What is Unicheck? Unicheck is a plagiarism checker. It verifies the originality of submitted texts or documents and delivers detailed similarity reports to instructors and students. Unicheck can be used by instructors and students in all secondary Canvas courses.

Check out these videos to learn more.

Tech Tool Spotlight- Adobe Spark: Khan +Create

Adobe Spark is an online and app-based tool that enables you to create beautiful graphics, web stories, and videos in minutes. With access to a large variety of fonts, icons, and photos, you can create a visual masterpiece quickly and easily. It is available to every student and every teacher from K-12 in JSD.

We keep telling you about it because it is a great tool that will help you increase engagement in your classroom. Students at all grade levels love making projects using Spark.

Basic users can quickly add text, images, icons, and videos to their projects. Advanced users can design personal logos, templates, and advanced graphics. This tool opens the door for creativity in any classroom. You can even access Adobe Spark in a target language.


Adobe educators have extended Khan Academy lessons with engaging and creative activities for students of all ages. These lessons are complete lessons that include Khan Academy resources and add creative elements using Spark.

Distance Learning Resources from Adobe

During this unprecedented time, we have to consider ways to provide engaging learning opportunities for our students both in the classroom and at home. Adobe has put together a resource page with lessons, prjects, resources and activities for you to use in your classroom. There are lessons for all grades and subjects and many that can be adapted to fit your specific needs.

We will be offering Adobe courses for teachers in January. You may sign up for them in JPLS starting on December 1, 2020.

Spotlight Blog: Edutopia

Edutopia is a blog run by the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Their goal is to transform K-12 education so that all students can acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to thrive.

Topics include: assessment, integrated studies, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, teacher development, student engagement and technology integration.

The reason I love this blog is that each entry has plenty of information, resources, and ideas that help improve teaching in the classroom. I can find entries on any topic and they are timely. There are also quick video blogs on a wide range of topics. Explore Edutopia by clicking on the link below.

Please contact your Digital Coach at your school or your Digital Learning Specialist for support.


Created with images by Cayla1 - "Small pumpkin on table" • Markus Spiske - "Paintings from my twelve year old nephew. Have a look: http://felixspiske.com" • Paweł Czerwiński - "untitled image" • Jan Antonin Kolar - "Library Database" • Andras Vas - "untitled image" • Rohit Farmer - "I have a question. Future scientist. " • Jon Tyson - "untitled image" • LUM3N - "workplace office desk" • Pexels - "bright celebration dark" • allan.rotgers - "chalkboard"