Connecting Educators

May 2022

Coding in the Classroom PD

What: a PD opportunity that aims to provide teachers with a chance to learn about the Sphero indi and Sphero Bolt, as well as, how they can use them to teach coding in their classroom.

Where: JCISD KEC Building

When: June 13, 2022 (9-11am)

Cost: Free

To learn more, check out the Coding in the Classroom webpage.

Mornings with TeamJXN

What: Looking to amp up your curriculum this summer with some great tech tools? Need some help or a great space to work? Join us this summer for coffee, a light breakfast, and EdTech support. Jump-start your school year with TeamJXN.

Where: Local coffee shops throughout Jackson and Hillsdale County

When: 5 different dates between June and August

Cost: Free

To learn more, check out the Mornings with TeamJXN webpage.

Innovation Camp

Join us for a two-and-a-half-day scholastic esports event. Educators don't need to know anything about esports to participate. They will bring a team of up to three students to participate in project-based learning centered around entrepreneurship, media creation, and technology skills. Student teams will compete in the TeamJXN Innovation Cup, a tournament featuring school-friendly esports games on day 3 of this event. Winning teams will get their choice of a Nintendo Switch or gaming chair for their classroom.

Innovation Camp Website


Google Forms Phising Scam

We all use Google Forms and now we need to be on the lookout for malicious behavior.

Just because you are getting a response receipt, doesn't mean you actually completed a Google Form and requested that receipt. Spammers send a response receipt with a prefilled form tricking users into giving additional information. If something is an actual receipt, IT SHOULD NOT BE ASKING YOU FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

Read more about it in this article from Chrome Unboxed

Google Updates/Google Tips

Productivity With TeamJXN: New email draft template

Google made it easy to collaborate on an email draft in Docs with the new email draft template. You can mention people in the recipient fields using the @ menu without having to remember their email addresses, and collaborate on the message body using comments and suggestions. When ready to send, simply click the button that is shown alongside an email draft. A Gmail compose window will pop up, with email fields (subject, to, cc, bcc, and body) automatically populated based on the email draft in the document.

New email draft template in Google Docs

Video instructions For email draft template

For more productivity tips visit our Productivity With TeamJXN page.

Google Docs: New Emoji reactions on web

Giving and receiving feedback is a key collaborative workflow in Google Docs. The new emoji reactions feature provides a less formal alternative to comments to express your opinions about document content.

New Emoji reactions in Google Docs on web

Google Docs: More assistive writing suggestions

Google added several new assistive writing features in Google Docs, which will provide a variety of tone and style suggestions to help you create impactful documents faster. Specifically, you’ll see suggestions for:

  • Word choice: More dynamic or contextually relevant wording
  • Active voice: Active rather than passive voice
  • Conciseness: More concise phrases
  • Inclusive language: More inclusive words or phrases
  • Word warnings: Reconsidering potentially inappropriate words

More assistive writing suggestions in Google Docs

Google Docs: Improved announcements for braille comments and highlights available on Web

The change makes it easier for users of assistive technology, including screen readers and refreshable braille displays, to interact with comments in documents and identify text with background colors.

When reading the document, you’ll now hear start and end indications for comments and highlights alongside the rest of the text. These announcements will respect the comment and marked text settings that screen readers provide.

Improved announcements for braille comments and highlights available in Google Docs on Web

Google Docs: Compose with Markdown on web

In Google Docs, you can now select “Automatically detect Markdown” from Tools > Preferences to enable auto-correcting for Markdown syntax, a lightweight markup language for applying formatting using plain text. Currently, Google Docs supports some Markdown syntax, such as:

  • * or - followed by a space autocorrects to bullet points
  • Various ways to start a numbered list similar to Markdown
  • [] followed by a space autocorrects to checkboxes

The expanded support will now support autocorrection for:

  1. Headings
  2. Italic and bold
  3. Bold + italic
  4. Strikethrough
  5. Links

Compose with Markdown in Google Docs on web

Google Sheets: Intelligent corrections for formulas

Write formulas faster and with higher confidence with formula corrections. These intelligent, context-aware corrections help you improve and troubleshoot many different kinds of formulas. Some examples include:

  • VLOOKUP errors
  • Missing cells in range input
  • Locking ranges when applying formulas across cells

Whenever you insert a formula that Sheets detects may be improved, a suggestion box will appear with details on a new version that can replace the current formula, including the ability to accept or reject it.

Intelligent corrections for formulas in Google Sheets

Google Challenge Days

Try out these 22 challenges with your students!


  • workload will be reduced
  • learners will gain digital skills
  • staff confidence will increase

22 Challenge Days

Tech Tools & Resources

How to Embrace Your Kid's Screen Time

Common Sense media reports on kid's screen time in their latest report.

Quick facts from their research:

  • More than 60% of tweens and teens watch online videos every day, and say they enjoy watching "a lot." And YouTube is the platform they can't live without.
  • The number of tweens using social media—before they're technically old enough to do so—is growing.

4 Tips to help:

1. Show interest in what they're doing online.

2. Help them recognize their screen time habits.

3. Talk about their emotional health.

4. Talk about what to do when they have negative feelings or want to set new screen time habits.

Read more about tips to help here

Credit: Common Sense Media

NEW Classroom Resources page from REMC

The REMC Association believes that teachers should have access to the necessary skills, tools, and rich sources of information in order to create high-quality, engaging instructional environments for Michigan students. This page provides easy access to our FREE teacher resources and classroom tools.

GEG Games 2022: Virtual Rooms Demo Slam
jackson reads

Michigan History

The Michigan History Center fosters curiosity, enjoyment, and inspiration rooted in Michigan's stories. Although their name is fairly new, their story goes back more than 100 years.

Teachers, check out the "For Kids" section!

Students will discover how Michigan achieved statehood, how Lansing became the capital city, Michigan's state symbols, archaeology projects around the state, and many other interesting facts about Michigan.

Michigan Shipwrecks Story App

Locate places to snorkel, kayak, paddle-board, and dive. See a map showing the difficulty of diving at Michigan shipwreck locations.

Michigan Shipwrecks Story App

Shipwreck Information Web App

Search for a shipwreck by name or location. Learn more about shipwrecks off the shores of Michigan by clicking the icons. Print a PDF map designed by you.

Access: shipwreck information web app


Welcome to where Michiganologists focus on the study of Michigan. A Michiganologist is someone who is curious about Michigan, shares its stories, and understands and takes pride in Michigan’s unique identity. If you are not already a Michiganologist, they can help!

Teacher Resources:

Computational Thinking and Data Analysis Go Hand-in-Hand

Identifying sources of data, recognizing patterns, extrapolating a generalization, and communicating all of this to a computer is the core activity of computational thinking. Read this article from ISTE to learn more.

Updates from Powerschool


A session to prepare your building for the end of year process and rollover. All in person sessions are subject to change.

5/11/2022 PowerScheduler Workshop: @ Kratz Education Center and Zoom Sign-Up

5/12/2022 PowerScheduler Workshop: @ Hayes Building Cafeteria Sign-Up

PD Opportunities

Calling all middle school Social Studies, Arts, and Language Arts teachers interested in….

Michigan State University is working with leading researchers and professional development providers from Telos Learning and Mouse to offer integrated computational thinking Professional Development and inviting PD participants to deepen this work as iCT Design Fellows. This opportunity is open to any middle school ELA, Social Studies, and Arts teachers from across the country.

More information

MicroPD Courses

What is MicroPD?

Text message courses that let you learn in bite-size chunks. MicroPD courses consist of an image, a 1,200-character concept, and an interactive assessment sent every weekday over a specific period of time. *SCECHs pending

  • JCISD Tech Consortium - FREE!

  • Outside the Consortium - $5/course. *Costs subject to change.


  • 2021/2022 School Year - You can register through Wisdomwhere at any time throughout the school year using the registration links.

Micro-PD Series:

  • Asynchronous Instruction
  • Remote Assessment Part 1
  • Remote Assessment Part 2
  • Tech Tools for Middle & High School Teachers
  • Coding in the Classroom
  • How to Become a Human Firewall Part 1
  • How to Become a Human Firewall Part 2
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality
  • Google Classroom For Face-to-Face and Blended Classrooms

For more information visit:

The last day to register is May 31, 2022!

JCISD Assistive Tech Weebly

Keep up with the latest ideas from our Assistive Technology Coordinator, Elisabeth Mills.

Tech support

Need help? Did your printer stop working? Can't login? The Internet broke? 😉 Contact the Tech department by putting in a ticket here: Tech Support!

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Want to try something you see here or have questions? Please feel free to connect with our team anytime!