Connecting Educators

Sept/Oct 2021

⚠️ IMPORTANT Deadline: 2-Step Verification

Starting on October 1 those who have not configured 2-Step Verification will be locked out of their accounts and will not be able to use Google services until they open a ticket and are provided a recovery code.

With 2-Step Verification (also known as two-factor authentication), you add an extra layer of security to your account in case your password is stolen. After you set up 2-Step Verification, you’ll sign in to your account in two steps using:

  • Something you know, like your password
  • Something you have, like your phone

To set this up, follow the directions in this 2-Step Verification for Google Account video or check out our step-by-step guide. Additional information can be found on the Cyber page of our website.

Google Updates

Google Forms: Progress automatically saved

When responding to a Google Form, Quiz, or Quiz assignment in Classroom while signed into your Google account, your progress will automatically be saved as a draft for 30 days from your last edit, or until your submission is complete.

More information

Google Forms: Settings are now easier to navigate

Now you can easily customize your form or quiz settings with a more visible settings tab and an improved settings layout.

Forms settings are now easier to navigate

Google Slides: Image placeholders make it easy to work as a team with images

When you create a theme in Slides, you can add image placeholders to your layouts. Slides editors can then easily replace these image placeholders with the desired images.

For more information visit: Image placeholders make it easy to work as a team with images in Slides themes and layouts

Google Sheets & Slides: Easily Customize Theme Colors

The theme colors section is now at the top color picker, and the “theme” placeholder has now been enhanced to show the name of the theme. Now you can easily identify your image and use the theme colors of the image.

To select theme colors, go to any color picker dropdown and click the edit button for your theme color palette. In the theme color sidebar, select a color from the dropdown to begin editing. Note that color changes apply only to the current theme you selected and will not create a new theme.

Easily customize theme colors in Sheets and Slides

Google Sites: Restore a page via version history

In new Google Sites, you can now restore a specific page from version history. Previously, you could only restore an entire site. This additional functionality makes it easier to restore, edit, and re-publish specific pages that may have changed by mistake or been deleted.

Restore a page via version history in new Google Sites

Google Sites: Design your own custom themes

Currently, there are six pre-created themes with limited customization options, which are helpful for quickly creating a consistent look and feel for sites. With the addition of custom themes, you have greater control over things like:

  • Fonts and text style,
  • Colors,
  • Brand images,
  • Navigation settings,
  • Style of components such as buttons, and more.

Design your own custom themes in new Google Sites

Tech Tools & Resources

PORTS - FREE distance learning program w/California State Parks!

California State Parks is re-opening it's award-winning PORTS (Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students)® for the 2021-2022 School Year! Starting September 1st, you'll have the opportunity to sign up for LIVE, FREE Virtual Field Trips with California State Parks all across the state!


Michigan K-12 CS Professional Learning Network

The Michigan CS Professional Learning Network is an opportunity for educators, administrators, and stakeholders in computer science implementation to connect and receive support. This network is planning to offer monthly events, such as webinars, newsletters, and meetups, for the different audiences in the network.

Getting Connected to the Network

The network will provide updates for the events happening in the network. You are invited to get connected with the network by filling out the following form. You may indicate if you would like to receive updates only for educators, or consultants, or state-level, or multiple.

Get Connected Link - CS PLN Network Form

Periodic Table of Elements in Pictures and Words

This interactive periodic table has some fun pictures! See for yourself by visiting here.

MITECS: Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students

Wondering how and what to be sure to teach for students in regards to technology? This technology scope and sequence gives a nice visual.

Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students

MACUL: Student Technology Showcase at the Capitol

The Student Technology Showcase (STS) at The Capitol will take place on December 8, 2021.

The showcase is a day-long event (each team will be there for 2 hours) held in the Michigan State Capitol Building to allow lawmakers, business leaders and other citizens to see first-hand how technology is used in classrooms across Michigan.

K-12 student teams representing their schools from around the state demonstrate best practices of how technology can enhance teaching and learning for the success of Michigan students. Each team consists of up to 4 students and 1 mentor.

Application and more information

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 - October 15. Check out this virtual room that Sarah Wood created. It's an interactive virtual room with links and more!

Sarah Wood: @myedtechworld

2021-2022 TEAMJXN Maker/STEAM Checkout is Officially Open!

With the start of the new school year, you can now begin to check out different Maker and STEAM tools again. If you haven't checked anything out before, make sure to take a look at all the items we have available. We also offer a chance to schedule coaching sessions where an EdTech will come into your classroom with a Maker/STEAM tool of your choice and help guide you and your class in an activity.

To learn more, visit our TEAMJXN Maker/STEAM webpage!

Halloween Hyperdoc

Make a copy of this fun, interactive document to use with your students for Halloween.

Halloween Hyperdoc

Pumpkin Description Assignment

Get your students writing with this Pumpkin Description Assignment in Google Slides.

Pumpkin Description Assignment (Created by John Sowash)

Updates from Powerschool!

  1. PowerSchool Tip: Review report cards to make sure you can submit any updates or changes to the PowerSchool team. Submitting these changes early will help make sure there aren't delays in distribution.
  2. Join PowerSchool Admin Email List
  3. Join PowerSchool Teacher Email List

PD Opportunities

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.


  • Summer/Fall 2021 - You can register through Wisdomwhere at any time throughout the summer 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:


Incorporating CSS into Your Thinking and Practices

Starting in October, these foundational level webinars will show you how to incorporate CS concepts throughout all content areas using what you already know and teach. Broaden your scope of vocabulary and tasks and earn 3 SCECHs for each session. Register:

Interactive Worksheets with Pages

Intuitive tools in Pages make it easy to customize fonts and add images, movies, audio clips, shapes, & your own drawings to any document. Create reports, newsletters, posters, and more! Earn 2 FREE SCECHs and have time with an Apple Specialist to answer your questions. Register here:

Gamification for Student Engagement

Student engagement is key to learning. Explore tools that students relate to such as badges, levels, & leaderboards. These gamification strategies result in increased student-led learning, critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem-solving. Earn 10 FREE SCECHs - held 9/6.

Practical Differentiated Instruction Explore the instructional strategies that support diverse learners on 9/6. Learn the 6 elements of differentiation, and understand common language for implementing practical differentiation. Participants earn 10 SCECHs at no cost! Register today!

Storytelling to Enhance Teaching

Storytelling is a dynamic way to engage students in learning & make your content come alive. See how stories can set the stage for learning or enhance your content. Plan and practice your own story for a content area of your choice while learning to use free, online resources such as Book Creator, Sway and others. Starts September 6th:

Even More! - Virtual Course registration:

Assistive Technology Writing Tools and Supports PD

Introducing Bite-Size PD for general ed teachers, tech coaches, etc…that focuses on different writing supports, tools and tips.

Bite-Size PD Topics View Here

Assistive Technology Writing Tools and Supports PD sign up form

Learning First Technology Second Book Study

MACUL's Technology Leadership Learning Area is pleased to announce a virtual book study around Liz Kolb's book Learning First, Technology Second. Here is an overview with more details:

Learning First Technology Second Book Study Registration

Engaged Learning Conference

If you’re looking to activate intrinsic motivation, ignite curiosity, and make a long-lasting impact on learning through increased student engagement, this event is for you. Register for our $49, half-day, virtual Engaged Learning Conference.

EdgeU Badges

MACUL has partnered with Forward Edge to bring you the EdgeU Badging program that provides professional learning anytime, anywhere and at your own pace over the next year. Register today for $85 to gain access from October 5, 2021 - October 1, 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!

Connect with Us!

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

Educator Spotlight! -

We'd love to hear what you're doing to make remote learning fun! Please share with us at