Technology Newsletter

September 2022

Technology integration is the meaningful use of technologies to encourage, strengthen or enable learning. Technology integration is not technology as an add-on but technologies as vital to thinking, learning and sharing ideas and outcomes.


In this edition

  1. Online Outlook - Encryption
  2. Clever Teacher Page
  3. Quizlet Alternatives
  4. Canva for Education
  5. Company Portal
  6. Teachflix
  7. When you will be out of the classroom...
  8. Fact Check Explorer
  9. Exit Ticket Sample Questions
  10. Copyright Ruling - Houston ISD
  11. Fair Use
  12. Openverse
  13. Classroom Movies ~ Swank Movie Licensing for Education FAQ (document)
  14. Canva Setup & Login directions

Outlook Online ~ Encrypting messages

If you use the online version of Outlook email, you may have noticed some user interface changes within the last couple weeks. One most notibly to me was the Encrypt button - which used to be at the top of every email message. The Encrypt option can now be found at the bottom of the new email message you are creating under the three dots (to the right of the Send, Discard, Attach, Image, Emoji options). Please use the Encrypt feature any time you are including sensitive information in your message - such as a staff or student name.

Quizlet ~ What is a good alternative?

Since we have found through our review of resources requested by teachers that Quizlet collects student personal data (name, email, DOB) we are recommending you do not use Quizlet unless you are using the version that does not collect data or require student accounts. Instead, we are researching alternatives and will share them as we learn more and ensure they pass the vulnerability test. One that has passed and we are encouraging you to consider in place of Quizlet is Quizizz.

Start here to learn more about Quizizz and how it might fit your classroom needs.


Another alternative is Blooket - learn more about Blooket (you can import Quizlets) here!

Canva Setup & Login

If you would like to use Canva with your students, please refer to the attachment below on how to set this up and make it accessible to your students.

Company Portal ~ What is it and how can I use it?

What is the Company Portal?

The Company Portal is a way that IT can make applications available for staff & students to install on their own, on demand. For example, you will find apps such as Minecraft, NWEA, DRC, CrisisGo, 3CX phone app, and more.

How do I use it?

In Windows, Find the “Company Portal” app and open it. It will automatically sign in – based on who is signed into the computer. Once signed in, you can view all the apps available to you. To install an app, click on it, and then click on the “Install” button. The app will load in the background and be available to use shortly.

TeachFlix - Collection of great classroom videos in one place!

What if you could access tons of great YouTube videos for your class all in one place? That's what has been collected on the Ditch That Textbook TEACHFLIX page. Browse 360 videos, elementary and middle school science, virtual field trips and more.

TEACHFLIX - Ditch That Textbook

Attribution to: Ditch That Textbook

Are you going to be out of the classroom and a sub is taking over?

Here is what I recommend to keep your classroom running and on track with content:


  • Change your password to a temporary password that you can leave your login credentials with the sub (for security purposes)
  • Leave your device for the sub and checkout a loaner from the library if you need access.
  • When you return, check your loaner device back into the media center.
  • Change your password back to your original password

Fact Check Explorer ~ attribution to Richard Byrne, FT4T

Fact Check Explorer is a free tool from Google that anyone can use to explore the veracity of claims made on the Internet. As you can see in the brief video linked below, on Fact Check Explorer you can enter a topic or name then see a list of articles accompanied by notations about the accuracy of the claims in those articles. You can click through to the source of each article and the fact checker.



Watch this short video for an overview of how to use Google's Fact Check Explorer.

Sample Exit Ticket Questions

Below are sample exit ticket questions that promote a growth mindset:


  1. What's one mistake you made in class today? What could you do to improve next time? ‍
  2. Explain what you do when you do not understand a skill or concept you are learning?
  3. What’s one change you made recently to become a better learner?
  4. What goal are you currently working on with your learning?
  5. How did you make progress towards your goal today?
  6. Explain what it means to be a good learner in this class
  7. How much effort did you put into learning today?
  8. What would help you to put more effort into learning tomorrow?
  9. In what ways were you challenged today and why?

Three Lessons to Learn from the $9.2M Copyright Ruling Against Houston ISD

Federal court rules against Houston ISD for violating the copyright of a small company called DynaStudy that sells study guides.

The short version of the case is that teachers in the district were photocopying and redistributing copyrighted study guides without permission of DynaStudy and continued to do so even after DynaStudy raised concerns to the school district. According to World IP Review's article, the district tried to make a Fair Use claim regarding use of four of the copyrighted works, but the court ruled against the claims. Read more here.


Attribution to Richard Byrne, FT4T

Fair Use ~ What is it and how do I know?

Fair use grants users conditional permission to use or reproduce certain copyright protected materials as long as the reproduction or use of those materials meet defined guidelines (fair use assessment). Fair use is not a right given to educators or any other person - it is a defense applied in court to a charge of infringement. Below a document is attached that you can use as a worksheet to determine whether a particular use might be fair - please use this criteria any time you are looking to use materials that are copyright protected. This is called the 'four tests' fair use assessment.
Big picture

Openverse ~ free images and audio for classroom use

Openverse can be used to find Creative Commons-licensed and public domain pictures and audio files. The best aspect of Openverse is that it provides a clear explanation of how you can and can't use a particular image or audio file. It also provides preformatted text to use when citing the source of an image or audio file.


Check it out here!

Classroom Movies

Are you looking to show a movie in your classroom? To find out which movies we are licensed for, please visit the Swank Movie Licensing site and search for your title. Below is an FAQ on movies for educational use through our Swank Licensing provider.

Your Technology Team

Todd Pickthorn

Karen Londgren

Nick Esping

Kent Powell