Vista USD Ed Tech Newsletter

December 2022


Training - Support

If there is a training you’re interested in, please reach out and let us know - email: We are happy to schedule small groups, come to grade level collaboration meetings and/or during your collaboration model times. If it’s not our area of expertise, we will direct you to the department who can provide that support!

How a Burger Emoji Became a Teaching Tool - Pear Deck

Special education teacher Christina Ramsay used a creative approach to support a student needing help. Read on in celebration of National Special Education Day on Dec. 2.

No Red Ink

NoRedInk is available for teachers through Cloud Connect. NoRedInk was purchased as the core curriculum for secondary writing and grammar instruction. Check out our training resources here. Check out this link for resources to support English language learners. Join us Wednesday, January 25, 2023 for a training session on developing guided drafts with NoRedInk. The session will focus on using Guided Drafts to support student-led drafting and revision.


Each month we are adding more resources to support all teachers and staff. This month we added the following!

NoRedInk Training - recorded training from our introductory session is available to view asynchronously in the TLC Canvas course in Canvas.

GLAD - Resource Directories by Grade Level - Folder

Fastbridge Report - Long Term Data, If you have a student who has taken the Fastbridge test over the last three years, you can now track their data. Thank you to the Site Tech Expert Aaron Acosta from Monte Vista for this resource.

January 10th Professional Development

At our January 10th professional development day, all staff will engage in training in Digital Citizenship. This year, our goal is to develop a common language around digital citizenship through the 5 Competencies. In addition to staff training, the VUSD Ed Tech team will be engaging our families with important Digital Citizenship resources and a webinar opportunity.
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Tips and Tricks

Email Signature

Email signatures are helpful in many ways! It can be basic where it displays your name, site and position, but it can also be in depth with images and certifications. When you send the EdTech team an email it’s extremely helpful to us if you have a signature so we automatically know your site and job title. Here is a “how to” on creating email signatures, thank you in advance for adding this in your settings.

Retro Report + Pear Deck

Pear Deck’s newest partnership with nonprofit journalism organization Retro Report helps students connect the past with the present. Check out these lessons that entice high school students with fascinating social studies concepts!

Upcoming Trainings - Vector Solutions

All upcoming trainings will be listed in Vector Solutions. We encourage you to check Vector weekly and follow us on Instagram for updates on trainings; @vusdeeielementary and @tlc.vusd. We have created this as a quick link on the district website called PD for Staff.

If you don't have a Vector Solutions account, please contact

Vector Solutions. District ID: Vistausd

If you are enrolled to attend a training and can no longer attend, please be sure to unenroll yourself so you don’t show up as a no show in the system. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 25 - No Red Ink - Guided Drafts to support student-led drafting and revision


Performance Framework Survey for Secondary Teachers

We would like to invite you to share your thoughts and ideas in an OPTIONAL TEACHER survey and pay you for two hours at the current hourly rate for doing so.


VUSD is currently creating a student assessment survey around the newly adopted Learner Portrait for middle and high schools. The trends and ideas collected by our district teachers in this survey will be used to guide the development of the student survey and inform next steps for district work with the Learner Portrait.


Go to this linked Google Form* Provide robust responses with your specific thoughts and ideas.

*NOTE: The Google Form WILL ask for your school email address to ensure everyone who completes the survey will receive two hours of pay for their efforts at the current hourly rate.


The window is open until December 31st.


Hāpara offers a rich classroom learning ecosystem built into our Chromebook management for schools. Unfortunately due to Apple’s design, this program is not available on iPads, only Chromebooks. EdTech is offering a training, see below for dates and times. Please sign up on Vector, seating is limited! Here is the Hapara Resource Directory located in the TLC Resource Course in Canvas. Go to Hapara today and Sign in with Google!

Technology Matrix

There have been a lot of questions about who to reach out to for different technology questions. We have created the following Technology Matrix to help provide more support.

Elementary Matrix

Secondary Matrix

Technology Help Form

Every site has a Site Tech Expert! If you don’t know who yours is, please ask your admin or grade level lead/chair. If you have checked with your Canvas Site Expert and still need support, you can fill out our Technology Help Form and we will assist you! The technology help form is meant for help with Canvas (deleting a course, you aren’t seeing your courses, adding a teacher/IA/sub, etc), Benchmark and TCi. You can also contact Canvas through their chat feature, by clicking Help in Canvas.

IT Work Order

The IT Work order can help with technology set up (printers, monitors, etc) and account support (don’t see a tile in Cloud Connect). If you don’t have an account yet, register NOW!

**Password: 4680NorthAve this password is needed at the bottom when you’re submitting the work order, Step 9**


Here is the temporary login for Benchmark if your tile isn’t working in Cloud Connect.


  • Username: vistausd_edu

  • Password: password

If you cannot access your Benchmark account, please let us know ASAP! Benchmark said all accounts have been fixed as of last week. Technology Help Form


Gradebook Reminders for Secondary Teachers

If you plan to sync your grades between Canvas and Aeries, remember that gradebooks in Aeries SHOULD NOT be linked to each other. Linking the gradebooks in Aeries can cause syncing issues for cross-listed classes. It is best to complete all of your grading via Canvas and then sync to Aeries, rather than doing grading in both locations. If you have an assignment that is completed on paper in class, it can still be added to the Canvas gradebook by creating a “no submission” or placeholder assignment.

Please watch this video that explains how to create placeholder or no submission assignments on Canvas.

Canvas Help for Teachers

Contact Us!

Canvas Support Teachers

Taresa McSpadden (Elementary) ext 92117

Craig Gastauer (Secondary) ext 92116

Michelle Daum (Secondary) ext 92114

Contact: VUSD Technology Help Form

Past EDTech Newletters