Digital Teaching and Learning

October 9, 2020

Instructional Technology Support

The Instructional Technology team has concluded office hours. Staff are reminded that they may email for instructional technology support.

Chromebook Video Series

Support videos have been created for students using HCPS Chromebooks. Videos are intended to support student use and are also available for teachers to view. View the playlist of videos.

Teams Updates

1. Virtual instruction Teams meetings inconsistencies

There have been many reported inconsistencies this week: “Attendance list not available,” “Seeing no students in lobby,” “Some students do not see Chat button.”

Possible fix? As long as you ended your last class meeting, delete the old link and create a new link. This should reset the Teams meeting to capture the most recent changes Microsoft has made, as they are continually applying enhancements or fixes to this application.

2. Bots in Chat for students

Bots as an option in Chat allows users to be able to search for content from the web, through software that works within the Chat structure of teams. The ability for students to be able to add bots to a chat thread has been disabled. This feature has NOT been disabled for staff.

3. NEW Breakout Room Preview in Teams

There have been many reported errors about Breakout rooms. Break out rooms is “in development” (MS roadmap), and HCPS accepted the early release option. Early release means that a product may experience inconsistencies and performance errors. Once Microsoft identifies a product as “Launched,” inconsistencies and problems are minimal. Break rooms may not be 100% reliable in the early release. Microsoft continues to work on breakout room performance, as they are making changes for the development of this feature. Please use breakout rooms with this information in mind. Note: Creating new meeting links seems to give teachers a clean slate with the most updated experience.

Please send error reports to Microsoft Education Support: (When prompted, login with your organization 365 account, which is

4. Teams Troubleshooting Tips

  • What if my students say they see a “green screen” from their computer?
  • What if my video/audio or student video/audio freezes or cuts out?

These problems could be caused by poor Wi-Fi connection. A suggested solution is to turn off outgoing video (integrated web-cam), or incoming video. Sometimes moving closer to a Wi-Fi router helps.

itslearning Tips and Tricks

What should I know if I would like to attach a file to a student assignment?

1. I can attach a file for students to view only (or download, which is most useful with Windows devices).

2. I can attach a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document copy for students to edit in the browser.

Why have my Plans disappeared? It looks like Plans I made have been deleted, even though the resources still exist.

itslearning has artificial intelligence that tries to serve up the most current date to you and students.

If a Plan is set to All upcoming, it will hide past dates, or show any lesson with today’s date. All upcoming will also show any plan without a date. We recommend that a teacher always puts dates, or deletes empty lesson rows, so it reduces the clutter of what you do not need to see and helps your students know what to do when. You can either set your Plan View to All, or select last week, Week 2, etc. from the View in Calendar dropdown. (Students should get in the habit of doing this, too, especially if going back a week to see lesson items—as they always get the playlist in their Plans student view.) This video explains:

Use the View in calendar drop down to make a selection:

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My students keep doing work before we have class—how can I set timed visibility of my assignments and other tasks?

Teachers can hide assessments—even when you have deadlines that exist into the future, you just adjust the visibility date:

Note: you can hide some things like Notes, too—but not all Resources (Pages, Links, and files might be visible to students from Plans).

Conditions that apply (example):

1. I have a Plan (today’s lesson) dated for 10/7. I set a deadline for the assignment because students will have until 10/9 for the work to be “due” – the assignment will show in Tasks on the Overview page until they finish.

2. I set a visibility date for the assignment for 10/7, so students will not complete this ahead of time—as they would see it under Task ahead of time.

Students will NOT see any future assignments in Tasks or Plans until the assignment visibility date and time.

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You can set visibility in Tasks and Tests from Set time span: (click show MORE options)

From Task:

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From test:

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Instructional Technology Updates and FAQ

The Instructional Technology Team has developed a resource of updates and answers to frequently asked questions. The 2020-2021 Instructional Technology Updates and FAQ document will continue to be updated throughout the 2020-2021 school year.


Any questions related to the information in this newsletter may be directed to