Vista USD Ed Tech Newsletter

October 2022


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


We have two new part time Secondary TLC TOSA’s this school year, please welcome Michelle Daum and Craig Gastauer to the team!

​If you have resources to share please send them to so we can add them to the TLC resource course. We have a lot of teachers interested in Google Slide decks for Benchmark and Eureka!

We want to support teachers! If you are an Elementary teacher interested in being recorded teaching a lesson (any subject), please fill out this form to set up a time.

If you don’t see TLC on your dashboard, please email for access.

Pear Deck and Nearpod

Pear Deck is a district purchase and Nearpod is purchased by sites. We want to know which program you prefer! Take this short survey to tell us which program you use, how often and why you like/dislike it. Thank you for the feedback.

Canvas Updates


Coming soon... October 15th - you will be able to set a publish date for your pages! When the Schedule Page Publication feature option is enabled, teachers can delay pages for publication on a specific date and time. This update allows teachers to prepare and schedule pages in advance to automatically publish in a course.


Basic cut and trim video editing options are available for Studio media. This update allows media owners to easily edit media within Studio itself, rather than having to edit media in a third-party editing software. Click here to learn more.

Canvas September Newsletter

Speedgrader vs. Assignments Grading Workflow

Tips and Tricks


Kami is an online document annotation and markup tool. This tool is engaging for students and purchased by the district for all teachers to use. We recently had a Kami training through Zoom (Video Link) and the Kami experts showed us so many of the great features this program has to offer. Our favorite was the Split & Merge feature. You can split and/or merge any PDF document(s)! We will have more trainings in the future. Head over to their Back to School site for short videos to help you get started. There are more resources linked to the resource directory in the TLC Canvas Course.

Notifications - Google

Did you know you can set a notification to get an email anytime a document, slide or sheet is edited? The new feature from Google is a real time saver! Click here to see the step by step directions for setting these notifications.

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

Pear Deck 101 for Elementary: 10/6 3:15-4:15pm @ VIC Room 303

Canvas Basics for Secondary: 10/11 4-5:30 pm @ VIC Room 303

Pear Deck 201 for Elementary: 10/12 3:15-4:15pm @ VIC Room 303

Digging Deeper into Canvas for Secondary: 10/25 4-5:30 pm @ VIC Room 303

Kami for Secondary: 10/26 4:00-5:00pm via Zoom

All Keenan trainings are also listed in your Vector Solutions!


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


Canvas Commons

Commons is located on the left global navigation bar when you’re on your Canvas Dashboard. We like to call this the Teachers Pay Teachers of Canvas. Commons has hundreds of thousands of different pages, modules, assignments, etc. already created for you to import into a Sandbox! It’s recommended to have it go straight to a Sandbox so you can be sure you want to use the resource and it doesn’t delete anything in your live course. Directions to import from Commons

**Note: An import may override certain customizations you have already made in a Canvas course. To avoid this, import into a sandbox, then add your customizations**

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